Just in case you were wondering, R02 — the long-prophesied content-focused update for Project Y4 — is still in development. On and off. I got a little bit sidetracked by loads of stuff, but it’s still happening, I promise! (I totally didn’t just buy System Shock 2 either.)
Would you like to know about some more bits and pieces that are going into it? I’m sure you would, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you?!
Moar Equipment, Moar!
It always boils back down to equipment. After that pre-crimbo awkwardness where I unleashed the Aegis, Prox Mod and Projector Kit well ahead of their intended positions in R02, I naturally needed to add even more equipment to keep the changelog nice and long. As has been said before, I’m all about value.
The problem is that I’m running out of ideas.
Sure, Marseille’s Ricochet is still the poster-boy undercarriage mod — it’s working well, barring a few oddities where the dummy caster tries to walk around obstacles before launching the blade, and I can’t get it to play a special effect on each bounce impact. But one undercarriage mod isn’t going to carry an update, even if it does come with a whole new side area complete with a boss battle.
So I started with some very basic new equipment. There are now Amberite Shields to go along with the Amberite Swords you can get at the Foundry; nothing special about them, just a nice new look and a good bit of damage reduction. There are also upgraded Caustic Blades that become available from the gatehouse repair station after you’ve defended the Telegraph Core — very boring of me, but I might try to add in a few more of these “remixed” versions of existing items at this point for pure bulk value. Hey, it’s all new artwork if not mechanics!
A real new piece of weapon functionality comes with the G1 Cleavers, which secrete tar to reduce the attack and movement speeds of those you strike. Pretty cheap, but there aren’t any weapons that fill this niche at the moment.
Joining the ranks of the undercarriage mods along with the Ricochet will be the Spiderbot Assembler, which recycles the wreckage of fallen enemies (and friends) to produce hordes of the little blighters. Should be good for a few cheap laughs, if nothing else — you’ll get two or three bots per recycled unit.
To top off the equipment roster for now, I’ve produced a pair of blades called the “Mind Claws”, inspired by the Mind Claw weapon that was cut from Unreal II: The Awakening. I haven’t yet got the faintest idea what special power these will have, or even how to integrate them into the map; I just made them for shits and giggles. I guess they’ll be like the Dragon’s Tooth and be hideously powerful but require you to indulge in all the quests to get them. They look the business, though.
Don’t Tell The Boss
I’ve decided I want to do a few more things with some of the boss fights, just to spice them up a tiny bit more.
The HoverCon D now has Emergency Shields, which power up on its health falling below about 60% to bestow upon it a measure of damage reduction. The one’s always a short fight, so this should even the odds a little (at least if you tackle this quest quite early).
Joining the G1 Assault force will be an as-yet unnamed mini-boss, something occupying a similar niche to the Alpha mechs dotted around the facility proper — a heavy unit rather than a fully-scripted boss fight. This mini-boss will carry the G1 Cleavers mentioned above, so if you want to try them out you’ll need to go off on a small tangent.
I also want to do something extra with the finale. I’ve been considering some kind of plasma beam that sweeps round slowly (so lots of flashy lights and pretty easy to avoid), but picking all units in a line based on facing angle is crazy mathemagical stuff.
And then to compensate, Easy Mode might need some additional nerf. More power-up cannisters, perhaps? Or foreknowledge of what each cannister contains rather than a random effect? Your thoughts… let me have them. (Avoiding spoilers where necessary, natch.)
Any Other Issue
Well, there are still bugs to iron out, though I’m still mighty pleased by how short the bug-fix list is considering how nobody except me touched the map until R01 hit the shelves.
Probably the most obvious change is that Alphas no longer have such a terribly low acquisition range that they basically ignore you. The purchasable nuke was also broken and impossible to detonate, so it’s back to having a 10 second timer like the plot-nuke in the intro. (The intention to make it detonate by pulse cannon or artillery shell fell on its face, apparently.)
Easy Mode is also being made a little bit easier, as I’ve increased the respawn time for drones. Now clearing out a route and then dying will give you much a better chance of being able to slip back along it while the way is still fairly clear. Basically, the game is quite fiendish so I’m going to keep gently nerfing Easy Mode until people can actually be bothered to complete it.
(Of course, I’m making the fatal assumption that the difficulty is the problem, and not the complete and utter lack of signposting, or the horrendous graphics, or the pretty much non-existent plot, or maybe just the fact that it’s a space fantasy. Either way, I’m not going to blame the ModDB download mirrors seeming to be a bit wobbly for a lot of people.)
Your Thoughts… Let Me Have Them
If there’s anything you’d like to add… I would say “now’s your chance”, but R02 isn’t exactly going to come out tomorrow. Take your time, look around…