Great reading. I should fine time during the week to play the new update, and give some "new" feedbacks.
Build 36: New AI, Weapon Effects and Tactical Polish
Build 36 of Depth of Extinction is finally here! What’s included? Glad you asked!
- New Enemy AI
- Updated weapon effects and explosions
- More work on loot drops
- Enemy spotted movement interruption
- Alert Level indicator
- Blood on environment and walls
- Removing Androids as playable characters
- Lots of bug fixes and UX improvements
What can we expect in future builds?
- More tactical encounter types and level layouts
- Initiative Groupings and Character Switching
- New enemy type
- Complete rework of character classes
- Rework of the HUD
Build 36 Release Notes
If you are the type that likes to know the details on the changes then read on for the Build 36 release notes...
New Enemy AI. This change has been in the works for a while now and makes our enemies significantly smarter while also introducing a few things for us to work with in balancing the game difficulty. The main upgrade is that enemies can now use skills and items. For instance, many enemies now carry grenades and will use them! We’re also excited to work on enemy classes (that are unlockable) for an upcoming release. These will create the skill trees that enemies will use. Enemies also have some attributes to make them each have unique behaviors. There should be a lot of cool area to cover here.
Updated weapon effects and explosions. There was a lot of work put into refining the effects in the game and making them more consistent. A few of the current weapons were slightly reworked and we added two new weapons, the plasma sniper and the plasma grenade launcher to this release. We’ve got at least 8 more weapon types (each with unique effects) to add in the game. We are working on ideas for a few more as well. Explosion effects also received an update, and now each grenade or explosion type is unique. We have smoke grenades (cause blindness), frag grenades (cripple), stun grenades (umm, stun?) and plasma grenades (burning).
More work on loot drops. Loot that enemies drop will now be picked up if you walk over it, either by stopping on the space or even while moving toward another destination. Loot will also have a “flickering” animation that will hopefully make it stand out a little better than in the last build. Loot boxes are still collected by opening and actively collecting them.
Enemy spotted movement interruption. If you run into a hidden enemy while moving, your character will stop and get an extra action. The action will be “move only” if you have less than an action remaining. If you have more than one remaining, then any action will be allowed. There’s still some refining needed on this one we think so looking forward to feedback.
Alert Level Indicator. Instead of just two modes (explore and battle) that we have now, we want to introduce a more nuanced system to determine how far characters can move and make it more clear which mode the player is in currently. We’re introducing a “Medium” alert level where you can move 1.5x your current movement rate. This is when enemies are alerted to your presence but not in the immediate area.
Blood on environment and walls. Hitting an enemy near a wall or a piece of cover will now splatter it with blood.
Removing Androids as playable characters. The android armor sprites have just not kept pace with the quality of the human armors, which will need to happen if we are to use them in the game. We might bring them back as an unlockable Faction in a future build but to keep the visual quality high we decided to remove them for now.
A lot of bug fixes. Including some inconsistency with characters using cover, a problem with overwatch, and game locks when an enemy dies of a status effect or when your whole team dies.
UX improvements. Including double clicking on the recruit screen and store, more readable text that appears over characters heads, character and cover damage and flags now have a staggered display plus a lot more stuff.
Coming in Build 37
We are getting started on Build 37 and for right now, here is the plan:
More tactical encounter types. Currently, we only have “find the loot” encounters but are planning to spice that up with quite a few more. Initially, we’re going for 2 new types: “sub to sub” battles and reactor disarm.
More interesting and tactical level layouts. We want to introduce more varied map layouts and add in more interesting environments with tactical elements to make the battles more interesting.
Initiative Character Switching. This system will allow you to freely switch between team members at the same (or similar) initiative level. It should replace the slightly more clumsy “Defer Turn” action that is currently in the game. An initial version and more details on the final system will be available in our next Dev Log.
New enemy type. We will be introducing some “built in” defenses to the undersea habitats build by the Creators. The first one will be Turrets. Should be a good variety of weapons and ways we can use these. Expect to see a tight integration with the Alert system. Turrets will not necessarily be your enemy either and will introduce another tactical variable.
Some work on the camera. One of the most requested changes is to “fix” the right click and drag mechanic and offer an option for manual control of the camera.
More upcoming stuff that we haven’t mentioned before:
Complete rework of character classes. Thanks to all our First Access players that have given us a ton of data on the classes. Armed with that information, plus a lot of feedback and ideas from conventions, message board posts and within the team, we are ready to rework the in game classes. Expect a more detailed post on that in the future but we think you’ll be excited about what we have planned. This is looking like it will be in Build 38 for right now.
Cutscenes. We’ve already made some progress on this one since we wanted to get a few of these together for use in our teaser videos and trailer (coming soon-ish!) but they are not in the game just yet. Cutscenes will mostly be seen as part of boss fights but we have ideas for some interesting encounters that can be unlocked as you explore the world of DoE. No definite plan on which build this will be in yet though.
HUD Overhaul. Now that we are close to finalizing the elements that will appear in the HUD, we will be doing a visual overhaul similar to what we did on the mission navigation screens. We’ll probably post some mockups and in-progress screenshots soon. It’s unclear when this will release for now.
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