“Saro Shrimp” Update

That’s right, we’re naming our updates now!

Wow, it’s been quite the while so this update contains a number of changes to the weapons. We’ve changed a lot, and also things are largely the same.

We changed almost all the guns, ha ha! These are not a big revamping, more of a reordering of the progression of the guns, starting them simple and ramping up the complexity as the tier increases. There’s also, now, a second group for each type that starts appearing in the higher tiers. There’s two different T8 blasters!

Snipers look pretty similar, but have a somewhat subtler behavior if you look closely. Now the base sniper has three bullets which have different ranges. If you hit an enemy up close, you do more damage than if you’re farther away. The smallest/longest bullet still has piercing, but the others don’t. So it still gets a bonus from lining up enemies, and it still does a lot of damage in one package, but the utility changes.

Taking out most of the piercing from the sniper is a nerf, and nerfs never feel good. We do feel that piercing in its current form is probably a little strong. When we added it to other guns, those guns became the UNSTOPPABLE BRINGERS OF DEATH. So maybe there’s some modification to it that might make it more tactical. We have ideas. For the moment, though, it’s better to have a balanced suite of options than a game where one gun is the best. The long-term goal is to have every gun category feel equally as great; it’s gonna take some innovation, time, grit, and that good old can-do attitude to get there!

Are there more changes? Is there a new bash maneuver for the Assault planes? Yes there is!

Bashing replaces the 180 that used to be the maneuver. It shoots the Assault forwards a short distance, doing damage to enemies it hits along the way. Note that there is no shielding on your plane, so if you bash into some bullets, you might die! Bash with aloha.

Another small but big change is the “con system” which changes the color of enemy names based on an estimate of how difficult they are relative to your current level. While this will mostly help new players, it also serves to expose more information about enemy strength to everyone, which will hopefully help us find individual balance issues faster.

Completely standard changelog for “Saro Shrimp”

  • Maybe fixed getting-stuck-not-able-to-join bugs, deployed over the weekend.
  • Slowed down rotation of item icons to 6s (previously 2s)
  • Fix missing T1 armor icon
  • Blaster, sniper, short laser, shotgun, colombo repeater firing patterns reorganized, there’s now a more obvious progression, and we get more variety in the higher tiers.
  • Clock hands colliders fixed
  • Dr. Octo’s followers got a bit more educated, should lose their way less often
  • Converted some highlands enemies to tier 5 enemies so they drop T5 items
  • Converted some mountain enemies to tier 7 so they drop T7 items
  • The clouds formerly known as Vengeance Cloud have all been given unique names
  • Fortress of Ra drop rates increased
  • Vampire fang range decreased.
  • Going backwards in the options menu re-highlights your old item
  • Better at dropping loot not in walls
  • Prevent hog’s tank maneuver from being used while safe, which fixes some “stuck on” bug.
  • Remove red flash when shooting a wall that damaged an enemy because so many people thought it was a bug.
  • Shrunk sniper icons so they aren’t completely spilling out of their space
  • Cancer stage 3 less vertical, lowered its z. Big-ass head was occluding action behind it
  • Analytics updates so we get an even better idea of enemy balance
  • Made electricity enemies weak to ice as players expect. And not weak to electricity. As players expect.
  • Made ice damage loop around to impact lightning enemies since players expected it.
  • Reduced damage buff that elemental damage gave (was super ridiculous. now only ridiculous)
  • Remove giant nerf to Hawkeye Sniper, it drops from a different place now.
  • Bash maneuver for assaults.
  • Pilot parachutes out of plane when you crash!
  • Fix multi-fire exploit if you swap shot and sniper rapidly
  • Fixed tank colliders so you can hit the turret instead of the invincible base.
  • Enemies continue to process their surrounding and aggro to players no matter how many there are in the world. They do get stupider if there are more players, though.
  • Client doesn’t try to pick up lootbags when cargo is full. Should be clearer than old “pick up then drop immediately” style.
  • Server announces death of players who disconnected at their moment of death.
  • “Con system” shows rough difficulty of enemies, relative to your current plane’s level.
  • Fix exceptions caused by bug reporting when other UI is up
  • Fix icon on Fusion Engine of Repair (T5)
  • Fix layout of item info panel for untiered items that also boost plane stats
  • Dropship progress bars now correct whenever you approach them.
  • Iceboss icicles no longer give XP for killing them.
  • Nerfed cancer’s death explosion.
  • Removed piercing except for the longest-range sniper bullet.

Most of these items were the result of a bug report or post from an alpha player. Thanks so much, you guys are the best, and Steambirds is going to be the best game because of you!