“Handley Page Manx” Update

The biggest change in this here update is that we’ve changed the way XP is awarded across the board. Here’s a great explanation from Alex, our chief data scientist, on what’s up:

We’ve got ongoing work on several fronts to bring rewards in sync with challenge levels. We’re filing rough edges off of unfairly lethal enemies, making mid-and-high-tier loot drops more accessible, and scaling XP rewards so more enemies are worth your time. This patch seeks to partially that address that last item, though there’s still a ways to go.

Our core philosophy on XP rewards is pretty simple: XP should be (very roughly) proportional to time-to-kill. If enemy A takes twice as long to kill as enemy B, it had better give somewhere near twice as much XP, otherwise you’re better off just killing two Bs. Caveats abound, particularly that better loot rewards can compensate for XP, and that a riskier enemy should be worth even more. But as a rule-of-thumb it’s not bad. In this patch we’re moving toward that goal with a sweeping but rough change: with some exceptions – particularly enemies that give 0 XP – XP is now proportional to enemy health.

Don’t think of this as the end state, but just a starting place. For a little while you may find that enemies who are hard to hit or very deadly don’t give as much XP as you might expect. We’re working on this as we speak. But despite a few new outliers, there are many more enemies whose XP should already feel more fair. Hopefully you’ll find the experience better overall, at least once you regain your sky legs. Meanwhile, loot rewards remain the same and will soon improve as well. Hope that clears things up, and thanks for being patient with us as we tune this thing ’til it purrs.

We’re really curious to see how these changes play out.

In UI, there’s a new sheriff in town: being able to see what level your planes are before you select them.

And in a little somethin’ somethin’ for long-time players, you can now initiate pilot skill selection from the options menu, if you missed that dialog in the death sequence for whatever reason.

In addition to that, there’s a bunch of quality of life improvements like being able to see other player plane death animations, improved responsiveness on the chat window, and lowering the post-teleport safety shield duration a bit.

The issue where folks would not be able to log in should be significantly reduced and maybe eliminated, and if it’s still around, at least I added a crapton of debugging to it so can figure it out.

Changelog for “Handley Page Manx”

  • Kennel Carrier name changed to Terrier Carrier
  • Player gets more stars when hit, this is sort of an experiment to see whether this helps with unexpected deaths. Probably it’s too tanky so we’ll undo this.
  • Plane selection menu shows levels and equipment for your planes
  • One fix for players getting stuck unable to enter an island.
  • Assault armor increased by 40%
  • Bash cost decreased, you can now bash 5 times instead of 3.
  • Initial XP balancing pass
  • Fixed loot of triguard
  • Pilot parachutes out of other player planes.
  • Fixed cloud item rotation animation.
  • Stats display of Junkier Laser improved.
  • Puntgun progression revamped. More puntgun variety!
  • You can see other players’ death throes animation now; maybe you can save someone, or maybe you can callously ignore them. Your call!
  • Many of the new guns have real names and descriptions
  • When scrolling through chat with pageup/pagedown, the chat shows itself
  • Don’t show Mission Complete banner for quest enemies that are far away (you probably didn’t destroy them yourself)
  • Chat window responsiveness improved.
  • Post-teleport safety lowered to 5 seconds.
  • Select unchosen pilot skills from the options menu. If you quit or crashed before entering the skill selection screen, you’ll now see this option. Chect it out, some people have kind of a lot of unchosen pilot skills.
  • Fixed some elemental weaknesses.
  • T5 engine icons corrected to say T5.
  • /tp command goes directly to the player, same as pressing [c] on the keyboard (or whatever you rebound it to)
  • Pharaoh made a little bit easier to kill, so it feels more like a T5 boss. Here are the incredible details:
    • forward fang and forward asskickinglaser are synced to fire alternatingly with 1.5 secs in between
    • forward fang now has wider firing arc
    • side asskickinglasers had their firing arc trimmed so we didn’t have as much overlapping lasers in the front and back. They also use ‘justshootdammit’ and will fire even if nobody is in range
    • fang guns all fires 6 clean shots instead of the quick burst of 4
    • fangs and asskickinglasers shoot about 25% slower, but have longer lifetime to compensate
    • health was also reduced
  • Ghost ship and skull firing arc widened
  • Alien Ambassador weaknesses and shields fixed
  • Fixed icon for T8 laser
  • Fix a (literal) corner case where players would get wedged into a wall after leaving the hangar or storage.

As always, most of these things that we fixed came from individual reports from players. The most important ingredient in the baking of this game is You.