The first major update is live! Quality-of-life / game balance / drone AI improvements
This is a very aggressive patch! It mainly focuses on quality-of-life changes, balance, and raising the power level of several formerly uncompetitive loadouts such as engineer and architect construct builds, shielded construct builds, and Siege Weaponry / Saturation Fire builds.
General and Quality of Life Changes
- The game has been zoomed out 5%, providing more room to maneuver. This feels right to me, but the change has a lot of subtle effects on game balance, so overall difficulty is something to observe moving forward. (Dynamic zoom is planned for the future.)
- The Settings menu now asks for confirmation before wiping your progress or high scores.
- Some of the faster enemies enter the arena with less initial speed. This, combined with the previous change, should make getting blitzed from off-screen somewhat less of a concern.
- Added an early access popup menu to the game providing useful links and information for new players.
- Burn damage numbers will display your burn damage over 1 second if you have "Show Damage Numbers" turned on in the settings.
- Salvo missile stockpiles now have a graphical HUD element.
- Experience orbs from enemies scatter a bit depending on the size of what spawned them.
- The default values for settings have been changed, defaulting to "Auto Deploy Drones" and "Show Enemy Hull Bars".
- Windowed mode, when toggled from the Settings menu, sets the window to a 16:9 aspect ratio instead of scaling from your monitor dimensions. More dynamic options are planned for the future.
- Added a better "finder" for when you screen wrap. There is much more work to do regarding player visibility.
- You won't lose your experience orbs as easily during the Scion boss fight.
- The Warbringer now has its own boss music: "Ares."
- Salvo jet trails have been optimized, and now are also included on Salvo Splinters. Drone Rockets also now have jet trails.
- The OSX version of the game can now enter debug mode.
- Game controls are now displayed longer.
- The Game End menu now displays your damage taken and highest damage dealt.
- Confirming your Upgrade with "fire" no longer fires your weapon.
- Continued to reduce the most excessive screen flash and blending cases.
- Further preparations for the engine switch to GameMaker 2 have been made.
- Various optimizations, particularly to jet trails, projectile targeting, Essense Sap, and constructs.
Game Balance: Constructs
- Drones and Allies now lead targets with their weapons, and are far more accurate as a result.
- Drones and Allies try to stay outside of the radius of their targets.
- Drones and Allies attempt to avoid hazards slightly.
- Allies with Integrated Weaponry have a less severe rate of fire penalty for your weapon, (potentially achieving very high values with Overclock, Architect, and other construct rate of fire boosts).
- Drones and Allies are better at multitasking. Defense Drones can target in Rampart formation, and Guardians can fight while approaching a healing target.
- Constructs have smoother transitions when moving between formations and targets.
- Elegant Construction now has +.4% total construct assembly speed per your level.
- Overseer now has +10% faster construct assembly speed in addition to its construct count scaling element. Additionally, its slowing debuff has been increased from -2% -> -2.5% per standard and advanced construct assembly total.
- +18% -> 20% hull damage resistance for Shielded Constructs. It now also has +10 base hull.
- Apex Machinery now has +15% shield effect power.
- 110 -> 115 architect hull.
- In light of changes to assembly speed, 12 -> 14s Bastion Shield base assembly time.
Game Balance: Self Damage
- Siege Weaponry has been revamped. It no longer damages you until you've fired twice in succession. It now uses a different formula for dealing self-damage independent of when you fire, meaning it is equally aggressive regardless of your rate of fire or chosen weapon. Additionally, the rate of fire curve has been reworked, providing large increases up-front and tapering off over time.
- Saturation Fire now fully replaces the calibrate effect, calibrating while you're ramping up siege weaponry and granting reduced spread, increased velocity, and increased targeting at a reduced value compared to standard calibrate.
- Antimatter Rounds has been adjusted. The flat self-damage it deals has been increased. This mod is potentially extremely strong, and was designed to be a balancing act of value between rate of fire, projectile count, and DPS. As a result, its less "safe" on very rapid fire weapons.
- Antimatter Rounds is less exploitable by Salvo, which now uses a modified formula to compensate for the fact that its base cost is almost entirely circumvented by the stockpile mechanic.
- Weapon self-damage that scaled with your adjusted rate of fire now scales with your weapon base rate of fire.
- Previously, a bug existed where your self-damage resistance didn't work on Siege Weaponry and Antimatter Rounds. This has been fixed.
- +5% self-damage taken from Celestial Lance.
- 25% -> 20% self-damage resistance for the Stealth body gear.
- Self-damage resistance for hull and shields are now displayed on the pause menu.
- Drones with your shield receiving self-shield-damage hits (discharge) now properly create Helix orbs on them instead of you.
General Game Balance
- Temporal Shield's shield effect has been reworked. It is now integrated better with the global enemy speed increases over high waves. Additionally, Elites, Champions, and Bosses resist the effects in more consistent ways.
- The Stealth body gear now gains +20% total weapon damage from breaking stealth.
- Channeling 2% -> 1% total shield effect per armor stack. As a multiplicative effect with a max stack of 50, this was way over tuned.
- Knockback Resistance now also resists any recoil from weapons and mods.
- Certain enemy powers were hit too hard by the inclusion of i-frames. To compensate, Scatterdrone, Pulsar, and Seraph bullet damage has been slightly increased.
- -15% -> -18% hull and shields from Apotheosis.
- -80% -> -75% hull and shields from Last Stand's reincarnation. The explosion damage has been increased greatly, and you have three seconds if i-frames after being reborn.
- 15% -> 12% Terminate "cull" threshold.
- 20% -> 25% Blitz bonus on full hull.
- -10% -> -15% rate of fire for Splinter. Splinters deal slightly more damage. This change was made to improve performance and reduce screen clutter.
- Splinter is now more generous with submunitions, for instance allowing Grenade more clusters per splinter.
- Hullbreaker's recovery rate bonus now works on Sanctuary, as it should (hooray?) And text describing this bonus has been made more consistent.
- 115 -> 120 base hull for Battery.
- Vortex is now able to trigger Terminate.
- Rancor has been toned down considerably. It's still very potent.
- Warp Strike no longer reduces your hull and shields. Instead, it has a new drawback: Screen wrapping yourself removes 15% of your current hull and shields. Removal can't be mitigated and doesn't count as a hit. Warp Strike is incredibly powerful; My hope is that this change makes choosing it more situational and less of an auto-choose for weapons like Salvo.
- Singularities pull harder (affects everyone), and the player is slightly less resistant to the effect than they were.
- Windowed mode should now properly center on game start.
- Improved various syntax to be more accurate and consistent.
- Fixed a crash relating to Blade and Splinter Shot.
- Fixed a crash relating to Architect detonating Bastion Shield.
- Fixed a crash while toggling constructs with Architect and Shielded Constructs while using a gamepad.
- Smarter selector system for selecting constructs on gamepads.
- Fixed several instances of the mods claiming they unlocked the wrong mod next.
- Gamepads can now be detected being plugged in or unplugged if the game is paused.
- Fixed the broken link to the Leaderboards from the Settings menu.
- Fixed several cases of songs playing mono when they should be stereo.
- Fixed some memory leaks relating to jet trails.
- Fixed a bug where your self-damage resistance didn't work on Siege Weaponry and Antimatter Rounds.
- Siege Weaponry has been further revised from 0.19.0. It has a ceiling closer to its previous incarnation and the self-damage ramps up less violently
- Saturation Fire has been changed. Now, you calibrate while using Siege Weaponry instead of over time. As such, it also applies velocity and targeting at a reduced value, relative to your Siege Weaponry bonus
- Fixed the broken left directional on the early access menu
- Fixed some out of proportion / redundant glows (Serpents, Saucers)
- Reduced Last Stand damage, such that it doesn't grant the achievement from Planet Buster without considerable investment in global damage boosts
- The wording on the "I Regret Everything" achievement has been adjusted so that it doesn't apply to Bastion
- Jet and missile trails have been optimized further
- Fixed a problem with gamepad / keyboard selection of constructs relating to automines
- Fixed a crash and a visual artefact involving Railgun and Salvo trails and Splinter / Warp Strike
- Warp Strike now "soft triggers" your shield cooldown
- Pulse secondary projectiles now benefit from the new Saturation Fire behavior
- Helix Orbs properly orbit your constructs if you discharge with shielded constructs
- Fixed a bug with Tactical Link's cap
- Weaponized Shield's radius now properly displays with Bastion Shield
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