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Author Topic: Cogmind Beta 9.3 "RPGLIKE"  (Read 7685 times)


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Cogmind Beta 9.3 "RPGLIKE"
« on: December 16, 2019, 04:57:56 PM »

Introducing "RPGLIKE", this year's Winter special event and all-new optional way to play Cogmind, with a completely different progression system and other significantly game-altering mechanics!

With RPGLIKE mode you'll be able to
  • raise levels!
  • select from a range of permanent upgrades!
  • repair your core with protomatter!
  • and keep your parts intact indefinitely!

This mode plays with the concept of making Cogmind a little bit more like other traditional roguelikes, though combined with Cogmind's unique content opens up quite a few new strategic horizons.

Lots more info and demos below, but first, the changelog--with all the work put into 9.3 and the resulting decent-sized changelog, you'll see that "RPGLIKE" is essentially a semi-major release masquerading as a minor version update :)

Cogmind Beta 9.3 "RPGLIKE" (191217) changelog:
  • NEW: Special event for Winter 2019, automatically activates between 12/17 and 1/1 (inclusive) for anyone who has played at least 10 runs
  • NEW: Command line argument "-forceMode:Winter2019" (or "-forceMode:RPGLIKE") to enable the Winter mode from 2019, regardless of system date
  • NEW: [RPGLIKE mode] Cogmind does not evolve, instead uses leveling mechanics with an XP system enabling free-form assignment of permanent upgrades
  • NEW: [RPGLIKE mode] Gain XP by exploring and/or raising the alert level
  • NEW: [RPGLIKE mode] Start with much higher core integrity, but only one of each slot type (can upgrade immediately in Scrapyard)
  • NEW: [RPGLIKE mode] 80% of incoming damage to parts instead transferred to core, thus losing parts is relatively rare
  • NEW: [RPGLIKE mode] Use Protomatter to restore integrity of core and parts
  • NEW: [RPGLIKE mode] Storage units do not exist and Cogmind starts with no base inventory, optionally expand capacity with level upgrades
  • NEW: [RPGLIKE mode] Dynamic build type analysis always shown above parts list, even before activating showBuildType advanced.cfg option
  • NEW: [RPGLIKE mode] Fewer Relay Couplers spawn, but all that do have double their normal value
  • NEW: [RPGLIKE mode] Extra "RPGLIKE" section in scoresheet containing mode-specific stats
  • NEW: "Alternative Rules" section of manual describes all previous special modes/events and how to access them
  • NEW: Mouse movement pathfinding and running via keyboard both stop on spotting a hidden door or phase wall
  • NEW: Keyboard mode pathfind to cursor (Shift-Alt-g in examine mode to set, same key outside examine mode to continue approaching if stopped)
  • NEW: Ctrl-Alt in keyboard mode also highlights path to most recent keyboard pathfinding target, if still valid
  • NEW: Pathfinding directly to an interactive machine automatically initiates hacking on arrival
  • NEW: Scan window shows faint map label buttons while no object info loaded
  • NEW: Item labels outside FOV remember which are Faulty or Rigged, include this status in label name
  • NEW: Item labels both within and outside FOV also reflect the "Non-functional" status (marked as "Broken")
  • NEW: Option to always close robot/item info windows instantly rather than animating the close (advanced.cfg: disableInfoWindowCloseAnimation)
  • NEW: Option to adjust movement interval for running and pathfinding (advanced.cfg: movementDelayInterval)
  • NEW: Option to have parts list always sort destroy-on-removal parts like Processors to the top (advanced.cfg: partSortSeparatesDestroyOnRemoval)
  • MOD: Running via keyboard stops before reaching corners and doors rather than continuing one space past them
  • MOD: Running via keyboard now supports layout-based autostopping on diagonal movement as well
  • MOD: Removed disablePersistentScanInfo/disablePersistentAccuracyInfo advanced.cfg options, both now default behavior by necessity
  • MOD: Keyboard running behavior matches mouse pathfinding when approaching stairs, allowing a run to exit a map if recently confirmed the exit action
  • MOD: All Gyrokinetic Inverter overweight penalties increased from 30 to 40
  • MOD: "Perfect Aim" achievement description specifies accuracy bonus from utilities only
  • MOD: Class name modifier "Mechanic" renamed to "Machinist"
  • MOD: Unidentified parts no longer display their integrity in Scanalyzer lists
  • MOD: Sorting inventory by type or integrity groups all unidentified parts together
  • MOD: Allies reactivated via Datajack no longer recalled automatically for subsequent "attacks"
  • MOD: Updated some major NPC parse text
  • MOD: Temporary allies gained via streamctrl_ hacks no longer follow to other maps
  • MOD: Dormant bot systems no longer accessible for RIF hacking purposes
  • MOD: High Security dispatch composition expanded to deal with a wider range of threats
  • MOD: More time to explore W base, tweaked composition of later attacking squads
  • MOD: [Pay2Buy mode] Hotkey for opening Cogshop change from '0' to '9'
  • MOD: [Pay2Buy mode] Cogshop windows displaced from bottom/left edges of map view to avoid covering intel markers and exit labels
  • MOD: Special game modes now override challenge modes, rather than the other way around
  • MOD: Toggling special modes or challenge modes via command line or advanced.cfg will not apply the effect unless game started for a fresh run (no saves)
  • MOD: "-forceMode:" command line argument's mode name no longer case-sensitive
  • MOD: "Challenge Modes" list in manual moved under new section "Alternative Rules"
  • MOD: Simplified Hacking immunity context help accessed via robot info page
  • MOD: All achievements are allowed to be earned regardless of active challenge modes or special modes
  • FIX: Holding cursor stationary while using 'f' to retarget a previously targeted robot that moved displayed incorrect base hit chance [Valguris]
  • FIX: Ejecting Relay Couplers from a just-opened Garrison Access might not be able to create the Couplers in some layouts [Valguris]
  • FIX: Any type of damage that didn't destroy a door could cause a malfunction, instead of just EM [Valguris]
  • FIX: Unpowered/Broken bots could still have active parts which might cause side effects [Valguris]
  • FIX: Controllable ally names might be the same if allies of same class acquired on different maps at the same depth [Valguris]
  • FIX: 0b10 Decoders attached to a hostile could give Cogmind info [Valguris]
  • FIX: Crash while pathfinding to a distant location and using keyboard to order nearby drones to RETURN and have a Drone Bay with free space [Valguris]
  • FIX: Hostile Programmers assimilating Protectors converted them to non-threat faction, causing Cogmind allies to stop targeting them [Valguris]
  • FIX: Warlord outpost in caves might have two Commanders, both of which could offer an escort in rare cases [CaptainWinky]
  • FIX: Crash in rare layouts while closing hacking window when that target machine is indirectly destroyed by the hack itself [CaptainWinky]
  • FIX: Abominations update began allowing Cogmind to use autoswapping to swap in unidentified parts [core_nxt]
  • FIX: Crash during a certain special event if player had specifically muted Prop audio levels, or had system audio off at the time [MitchellFJN]
  • FIX: Terminal dynamic key increased difficulty of hacks with negative chances of success, sometimes noticeable with hackware or Operator allies [Joshua]
  • FIX: Part autopair validity may not always be checked correctly, potentially even crashing on attempting to leave the map [Driana]
  • FIX: Becoming enemies with Zion after imprinting could still allow for terminal network hard line cut in 0b10 [Finestep]
  • FIX: Post-streamctrl_high behavior of Operators unusual [Benjamin]
  • FIX: "Winner's Signature" achievement was still possible if scanned by any Researcher, rather than only in a certain map [sideriver81]
  • FIX: Comparing different Datajacks showed a numeric difference next to their effect even though irrelevant to player [aperiodic]
  • FIX: Any potential [C]-type Relay Couplers unattached but in inventory on acquiring Crosswire RIF ability became usable from inventory [Pimski]
  • FIX: Crash on a Worker following deconstruct_machine orders on a Network Hub [Xii]
  • FIX: Beta 9.3 prerelease bugs hunted down by: [Terminus, Zyalin, NikolayAg, Tone, Xii]
  • FIX: Stopping a running/pathfinding movement in progress was not completely reliable
  • FIX: Potential crash if a Core Expander used while any info window open
  • FIX: Temporary allies gained via overwrite_iff hack or Autooverride RIF ability would follow to a new map if exited quickly enough after hacking


This event/mode is focused around an "RPG-ish" progression model, envisioning Cogmind as if it were more like a lot of other traditional roguelikes featuring a leveling system but without rampant item destruction :P. While it's still possible to lose parts, it's not very likely, and many of your abilities can also be gained from the upgrade mechanics, altogether allowing you to create sturdier builds with more permanence.

At its core Cogmind is about mitigating loss and adapting to changing situations (including losing your own capabilities!), so naturally this mode is seemingly the "anti-Cogmind," turning the game on its head. As one of testers put it "this mode definitely feels like other games," so for those out there who are looking for a new/different traditional roguelike maybe not quite so radical in terms of strategy and tactics as regular Cogmind, this mode might be for them/you. You can possibly play it as a break from the sometimes stressful regular mode, or even switch to RPGLIKE altogether, as it's meant to be a permanent gameplay option from now on, and will continue to get more updates as necessary if people are into it.

Progression aside, one of the key features of this mode that allows you to retain your build is the automatic damage transfer: 80% of incoming damage to your attached parts is instead transferred to your core. This does mean your core takes a lot more damage than usual, but in RPGLIKE mode you'll have more core integrity and you can also restore the integrity of both your core and parts using the new Protomatter item that you'll sometimes find among the salvage of newly fallen bots.

Again, overall this is going to be quite a different Cogmind experience, but one that might be more enjoyable for those who prefer to have more attachment to their build, or rely on certain rare parts for much of their run without having to worry about protecting or replacing them, among other benefits.

RPGLIKE: Upgrading

In this mode you start with 600 core integrity instead of the usual 250, and also only one of each slot type for a total of 4 instead of the usual 7. But right away in the Scrapyard you can allocate an initial amount of XP to upgrade your build, which you could liken to "character creation" at the beginning of a run in many other roguelikes. You can add more slots right away, but it's not required since there's no limit to what you can upgrade when--all types of upgrade are available immediately!

You won't encounter the usual evolution interface as you play, because you can gain levels and apply upgrades at any time, or even save your XP to upgrade later if you want (for example to save up for something more expensive, since individual upgrades become increasingly expensive as you specialize in them).

Here's what it looks like to raise a level and choose some upgrades:

As with Pay2Buy mode, you can see there's a dedicated RPGLIKE interface in the bottom left corner of the map view, displaying your current level and how close you are to reaching the next one, and providing access to the full upgrade interface via the mouse button (or hotkey '9').

The menu is of course fully accessible via keyboard. Including the mouse there are three different input schemes, supporting increasing/decreasing upgrades via their corresponding letters, or using arrow keys or numpad to move around (also '1' for reset and Enter to confirm).

XP is earned by exploring, raising the alert level, or from any source of bonus points. (For the RPGLIKE event, Adventurer and Explorer modes get additional starting XP to distribute, and also have an easier time gaining XP to catch up if they fall behind the level curve.)

You'll probably want to upgrade your inventory size at some point, because in this mode you start with 0 capacity and Storage Units do not exist at all! Inventory isn't as important for RPGLIKE mode anyway, since you don't need to worry about carrying a bunch of spare parts, so it's more about just having what capacity you need for the occasional consumable or unique parts for special situations.

Those of you who haven't activated it manually (or didn't even know it's existed since Beta 9 :P) might notice the class indicator appearing at the top of your parts list while you're playing this mode. This feature is off by default because it normally doesn't quite jive with Cogmind's goal of immersion, but hey this is the great "RPGLIKE" event so of course we need class names! The class detection/categorization even now includes consideration of any applicable upgrades you might have, in addition to the usual factors.

If you checked out the banner image for today's release it includes some sample classes there off to the right...

(You may have seen class names like this appearing on Steam since the 9.2 release since Steam rich presence support was added.)

When you're done with your run (or if you use the relatively new mid-run dump feature), you can see a new RPGLIKE-specific section of the mode-specific stats appearing towards the end of your scoresheet. For example:

RPGLIKE: Protomatter

Instead of regular matter, some bots might drop Protomatter when destroyed, and this is your key to restoring core and part integrity.

It eventually decays out in the open, however, so you generally have to use it immediately or carry it with you.

As per its in-game description, using Protomatter is fairly easy, just stand on it and wait in order to apply some, and repeatedly do so if more is necessary. You can also simply repeatedly wait (even holding down the key) and it will stop you from waiting once it reaches a threshold so that you don't waste extra turns. The process restores integrity in two stages: first your core, then your parts.

Note that even though this is a special mode, having acquired Protomatter at least once is technically required for 100% gallery completion.

RPGLIKE: Access and Notes

Unlike some special modes (e.g. Abominations) and challenge modes, in RPGLIKE you have access to the entire game as normal. That combined with the new change which allows you to earn achievements regardless of active special/challenge modes means that you can indeed make RPGLIKE the primary way you play Cogmind without losing much of anything. I'm interested to know if some players decide to do this, and I guess we'll see once the leaderboards are active since we will have a separate one for this mode (again, even though the leaderboards aren't available for the time being, run data is still being collected for them in the meantime!).

Certain achievements might technically be easier for you in this mode as well, making it possible to obtain those that are otherwise normally outside your reach in terms of skill (or enjoyment) level.

Winter 2019/RPGLIKE mode will automatically activate for you on new runs from 12/17 through 1/1 if you've played at least 10 runs. This number is higher than the usual restriction because the event lasts quite a while and makes such sweeping changes.

On days outside that range, you can still force it by adding a command line parameter when running COGMIND.EXE: "-forceMode:RPGLIKE". (Within Steam this is handled by going to Cogmind > Properties > Set Launch Options.) If you want to play a regular run during the event, you can suppress event date triggering by adding the "-noSpecialMode" command line parameter.

Note: As of Beta 9.3, there is a new requirement specifying that regardless of settings, special modes and challenge modes will only be activated if the game starts up without loading a save. Even restarting/self-destructing won't work in this case, because some modes, especially this one, actually modify the underlying game data, which cannot be reloaded while the game is running.

Not long after this announcement goes up, I'll be streaming an RPGLIKE run no later than 8 PM EST (Monday 12/16), and probably again the day after. (If you miss it it'll be up on YouTube later.)

At some point over the coming weeks I'll also be publishing a blog post covering the RPGLIKE design.

Movement QoL

It's not all RPGLIKE! There's actually plenty more to this release in the form of fixes, tweaks, and other features, one of the larger categories being movement-related QoL features.

Keyboard-based running behavior is now more tactically optimal, stopping before reaching a corner, rather than beyond it, which is both safer and saves time if the intention is to round the corner. It also stops in a doorway rather than entering the room if running directly towards a door.

Pure keyboard players now also have access to mouse-like pathfinding via Shift-Alt-g (for "go" to), which heads straight for the cursor in examine mode, useful for crossing large distances through known territory, or for example heading straight for an item you just examined.

Spotting a hidden door will also cause you to stop running or autopathing now, in case you want to change trajectory based on the new information.

Both mouse and keyboard pathfinding can now be directed to approach a hackable machine and will start hacking automatically on arrival:

And no one asked for this and it's pretty non-optimal and potentially dangerous to use, but... lo and behold the new movementDelayInterval setting!

I imagine at least realtime speedrunners might want to tweak their delay :P

You can read more about movement QoL features and their background in this dev blog article.

Other QoL

Another advanced option, disableInfoWindowCloseAnimation, was requested, and can be used to disable the less than half-second close animation on the item info window so you can close and open new item info nearly instantly via keyboard, or as many times as you want xD

More broadly useful is the addition of special item statuses to their on-map labels, both inside and outside FOV, so it's much easier to quickly identify Faulty, Broken, and Rigged parts at a glance \o/

Another requested option, partSortSeparatesDestroyOnRemoval, sorts all your processors/hackware/etc together, since those are the kinds of things you're less likely to remove.

(It's off by default though, since such parts are already visible marked in the list and are sorted among other parts based on their function rather than this secondary characteristic.)

A separate new sorting behavior which is automatically enforced now puts all of your unidentified inventory objects together, so you can't use their sorting order among other parts to guess at what they might be.

The Scan window no longer holds info for objects when the cursor is not over it. This used to be the default behavior (tweakable in the options), but could indirectly cause bugs and could be generally confusing anyway, so instead it'll otherwise hold the faded buttons you can access with the mouse, making it easier for new players to discover those features, and remind you which key is which if you like hotkeys and are still learning.


Thank you all for your votes! With your help Cogmind made the IndieDB Top 100 for the 6th year in a row, this time sitting there next to Noita in the, uh, "roguelike" category :P

And thanks for the reviews! We hit Overwhelmingly Positive last month and as promised this means I’ll be adding a significant expansion around a new “Merchants Guild” faction. And now that we’ve hit that goal, I’ve already set the next one: if we can maintain this rating up to 800 reviews, I’ll also add a new derelict community.

The concepts for both expansions are fairly fleshed out at this point, but building either/both will take quite some time. I’ve also even added a third but smaller expansion as a Patreon goal... As I see it there’s still room yet to liven up the world even more!

For now, enjoy RPGLIKE, it's pretty fun :D

Saves from earlier versions are incompatible with Beta 9.3, but even if you're on Steam and Cogmind automatically updates, Beta 9.2 is still available via its own legacy branch and you can roll back to finish a run in progress first if you like.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 07:59:38 PM by Kyzrati »
Josh Ge, Developer - Dev Blog | @GridSageGames | Patreon