Friendly Bullets

We’ve been hearing that other players’ bullets are too visually noisy and making it harder to play well in crowded areas. We totally agree, and it’s been on our minds enough in the past that we added the option of dimming ally bullets. But now with these larger groups in Friendly Fridays two things are clear: the dimming isn’t enough, and dimmed bullets look bad and artists hate screenshots containing them.

We realized that we can play with the speed and size of player bullets a bit more than we can for enemies. As danc points out, aiming at and leading the enemy are not very core to the gameplay.

So we’ve done a few things:

  • Every player gun has 2x faster bullets, though the range should be roughly the same. (except Strike weapons)
  • The size of player bullets has decreased by between 44% to 66%.
  • We’ve added a new “tracer” bullet shape, which is used in our high-RPS weapons like lasers and tripleshots.

The smaller the bullets, the less screen real estate they take up. And the faster they are, the less time they’ll be visible. In our internal tests, reaction has been positive. We even think it’ll improve player/enemy distinction, which has been a problem in the past. We’re really curious how this plays out in action later today! We’ll be tweaking as we go, we know already that some of the untiereds look strange with these changes.

Here’s what a tracer looks like when still.

At 60 FPS it makes more sense (it’s hard to capture it in video)

Known issue: the tracer bullets can appear to go through small enemies that they’re hitting. It’s purely cosmetic and we’ll fix it soon.

The Ambassador has a new look!

The snake dungeon has new snakes! (the boss still has old art though)


We removed the star rule for enemies.For those who haven’t heard, the star rule made it so that any bullets that hit faster than a certain rate (5 per 0.1s) would be ignored. It’s so-named because little stars pop up if this happens to you — see the above screenshot for an example! It was always intended mainly as a tool to prevent unfair player deaths (i.e. prevent enemy shotguns from killing players so frequently, etc). We later applied it to player guns mainly to prevent the players’ own shotgun from being OP. We recently realized that this same algorithm wasn’t doing the right thing on enemies, because it doesn’t rate-limit bullets per-source but globally. So the more players attacked an enemy, the fewer shots would hit. And we’ve subsequently changed shotguns and other weapons so that the star rule is less useful. We think we’re just going to remove the star-rule from player weapons entirely and see how that goes. A couple weapons will likely end up slightly OP as a result and need a small nerf but in general, we don’t expect things to change much.

Rest of changes:

  • Press U to save a gif of the last 7 seconds! (or rebind it, see if we care) Note that this doesn’t include UI.
  • You can now type /options to open the options, or /resetbindings to set your keybindings to the defaults again.
  • Fixed loot hanging around in the Rebel City forever (again, for the last time, we hope)
  • Camera zooms out when you’re near bosses.
  • The Paladin’s aura no longer freezes in place for the 1.5 seconds before it expires.
  • Stats window has been fixed to show your portrait and pilot level.
  • The XP bar in the HUD now shows your XP within the current level instead of total XP.
  • Unit sizes in the Mountains are tweaked.
  • Colors on some Beach units are tweaked.
  • Tweaks to Solaris territory size and increased its threat.
  • Fixed terrain bug which made for a spotty view under certain circumstances.
  • Various performance improvements.