Everything’s gone topsy-turvy

Firstly (imagine a booming, Zeus-like voice as you read this): we’ve inverted the world!

What I mean by that is that we’ve moved the noob/overworld-entry zone to the center of the world, and more difficult regions radiate out from there, with the most difficult (palace) zone forming the final outer ring of the world. Previously, the noob zone was the far edge of the world and the palace was in its center. This has some pretty significant consequences, including:

  • There is more highlands and palace content than there used to be (about 25% more setpieces in those areas.)
  • Players now have reason to spread around the map, rather than cluster in one region

This is an experiment, so we haven’t taken the time to make it perfect yet. For example, the outer edge of the palace terrain currently has very funky border (water) art that needs to be fixed, and if you fly beyond that border you’ll be unceremoniously teleported home, which will annoy you, so I recommend not doing that. If it seems like the experiment is a worthy one, we’ll fix all of this.

Secondly, and just as important (possibly more so): we have added a 3-second delay to ALL forms of teleportation. Whether you’re teleporting to another player or to home, there is now a 3 second period during which your TP system visibly charges up / calibrates. During this time, you can continue to fly, shoot and use your special abilities as normal, but you are NOT shielded until teleportation actually initiates. So, no more using rapid teleportation during boss battles to keep yourself alive. Nor can you rely on a lightning-fast press of the Q button to save yourself from death; you’ll need to keep yourself alive for 3 seconds. Hey, you didn’t think we were just going to make changes (like the star rule) that made the game easier, did you? 😉

Beyond those two very big changes, there are a bunch of smaller but still notable ones:

  • Raptor rebalance: 1) health increased +6%, 2) barrel-roll steam cost reduced -10%, and 3) mines now detonate (after a 1s initial delay) within 2s of detecting an enemy within reach, up to 5s after deploy. Previously, mines had a flat 4s detonation time.
  • Engineer rebalance: health +33%, DPS -7% (DPS is still significantly higher than average.)
  • Tutorial is mostly up and running! Still needs a lot of fine tuning. If you are curious, you can experience it by entering /tutorial – but don’t do that if you don’t have an empty hangar slot. Happy to hear feedback from anyone who wants to try it.
  • Doomsday mechanism has been rebalanced so it’s not as overwhelming
  • Jester now drops the Home For Special Children (which still also drops from the Raceboss)
  • Bomb dungeon wall height increase & fixes (no more Z fighting! woo!)
  • Auditing system was optimized (less memory and CPU usage). It is still not actually impacting players in any way, but we’re getting closer to that momentous occasion. 🙂

Oh, and last but not least, we finally replaced the remaining placeholder enemy art in the highlands! Check it out: