Major Update: Meowza 2 and Dungeon Mods!

The moment has arrived! In the next couple hours, we will be shipping our first major update of the open beta. You already know about some but not all of it… we wanted to surprise you!

Meowza Herself

Let’s start with what you already know: the Meowza 2 (M2) encounter. As previously announced, when Meowza’s infamous mech is defeated, there is a large (but not 100%) chance that Rebel spies will successfully lock onto Meowza’s signal in her inner sanctum. If this happens, a special Rebel carrier will appear which leads to Meowza herself! (Note: it is not currently possible to proactively increase the chances of the special carrier appearing, but in a future update it will be possible to actually help the Rebel spies lock onto Meowza’s signal. We’d love to hear your ideas/suggestions for how this could work, please share your thoughts in our Discord!)

Sarge will not allow pilots onto the special carrier unless they have sufficiently upgraded their planes or have reached a pilot rank of 90. This is to prevent over-eager Rebel recruits from throwing away their valuable aircraft in a completely futile (if courageous) assault against M2 in her ultimate place of power.

Inside the M2 encounter, you will first be confronted by upgraded versions of the Three Brothers. Some of their individual attacks have been upgraded to be more deadly, and they also have new joint attacks that they inflict at key moments in the battle. Those who survive this battle will need to fight their way through a hallway filled with elite unites before boarding a final carrier, which takes you to Meowza’s secret temple.

You’re not fighting a remote-controlled mech at this point. You’re fighting Meowza herself, who’ll be wielding ancient technologies against you that are so powerful, they might as well be magic. I could tell you more, but you might as well just watch the encounter play out:

Meowza currently drops one new Special Legendary weapon (at the usual very low rate) and has a guaranteed T10 drop. There is a small but significant chance that the T10 drop will be a modified T10 armor, called “M2 Armor”, that is stronger than normal and/or has special stat buffs.

Dungeon Mods

This part’s the surprise! In addition to M2, we’ve also added what we’re calling “dungeon mods” to this update. These mods are being applied to all of the hardest (T10) dungeons in the game (except The Dig, which will also be getting mods of a slightly more complex variety in the future.)

Mods can be “normal”, “difficult” and “lethal”. 60% of the time when a dungeon spawns, it will spawn as a “normal” dungeon, which has mods which are intended to make you play a bit differently than you normally do, not necessarily to make the dungeon more difficult. For example, the normal “In Your Face” mod, which reduces your gun’s range but increases its damage.

30% of the time that a dungeon spawns, it will be a “difficult” dungeon. Difficult mods definitely make a dungeon harder, but also reward you with double the upgrade drops as well as **3x** the drop chance for all other major rewards from the boss. For example, the rare “Nearsighted” mod significantly zooms in the camera, making the dungeon feel claustrophobic, while the “Rush Hour” mod increases your superspeed by +50% while making you take +30% more damage from enemy bullets.

10% of the time that a dungeon spawns, it will be a “lethal” dungeon. Lethal mods make a dungeon extremely dangerous; unprepared players should probably bail on them immediately. Those who brave the dungeon are rewarded with double the upgrades and a **7x** drop chance for all other major rewards. For example, the lethal “Dead to the World” mod completely disables your Steam so you can’t use maneuvers or abilities while also increasing the damage you take by +20%.

At the current time it is not possible to intentionally spawn a lethal dungeon, but in the future we intend to make crafting lethal dungeon keys a possibility.

Other Changes

There are quite a few other changes in this build as well, some of them quite significant:

  • Menu buttons have been shrunk a bit so that you don’t have to needlessly scroll a lot.
  • Teleporting to a player who subsequently enters a portal will leave you at the spot right outside the portal instead of nullifying the teleport or putting you inside a dungeon without warning.
  • All new Meowza battle music!
  • Pilot Skills UI can now be filtered by aircraft class.
  • Grand Lion is no longer susceptible to water damage and no longer drops T9s but its Stiffener drop rate has been increased to compensate
  • Machine Gun skill 4B (aka “Social Agility”) has been changed to: +20% turn rate, +5% superspeed, and +5% camera view
  • Hog skill 1B (aka “Stoic”) has been renamed to “Fast Exit” and changed to: On maneuver: +30% superspeed for 3s duration
  • Sword skill 3B now uses “postAdd” instead of “Add” math.
  • The max distance you can be from a quest target or a boss when it dies in order to qualify for quest completion and/or XP has been increased by 50%. This should eliminate the complaints we’ve been getting about not getting credit when you should.
  • Reduced the delay on teleporting to the Rebel City from 3s to just 1s. (The delay for player-to-player teleport remains 3s.) The old 3s delay didn’t seem to impact veteran players, it just hurt new players. Not much point in that. Also, a 1s delay will make M2 a little less terrifying.
  • The Re-ed dungeon miniboss no longer shoots misleadingly tiny, deadly projectiles.

And of course, we did a lot of work on the servers and our backend tools, as usual. That never stops.

Last Word

We hope you enjoy this update! We look forward to your feedback on it and will plan to address any bugs or balance issues that may have escaped our attention in testing over the next couple weeks. Aside from that, we’ll be focused mainly on improving server performance and stability for the next several weeks, plus any balance changes that are needed to the game overall, as we prepare to officially launch SBA on Steam in the very near future. 🙂