Some of these changes are experimental, which is the reason that this update will be temporarily released as a beta - players will still be able to play the previous version if this one has any major issues.
With this beta update I will require a lot of player feedback regarding difficulty levels.
Please try to play matches of various difficulty levels and write down your impressions in this topic.
Try to include the following information:
- matches' difficulty level,
- number of players present in the game,
- what was the cause of difficulty issue (what enemy type? was it it's spawn rate? was it it's maximum population?),
- when did the issue occur (first minutes of the game? 10th minut? end-game siege?).
Changelog v. 0.83:
- Major difficulty level scaling rework.
Difficulty should now more linearly and predictably relatively to difficulty level and number of players.
- Rearranged Engineer's weapon choice options.
Engineer's initial weapon setup has significant friendly-fire issues. I'm planning to address this with a few bigger changes in the future but for now band-aid solution was swapping his weapons.
- Flamethrower will now only apply Burning's damage effect up to 1 stack. Slow down effect will still stack up to 3.
- Flamethrower Burning's damage effect will now last only 1 second after attack. Slow down effect will last 5 seconds.
Flamethrower has been a very powerful weapon. It was quite effective and very versatile what made it stand out from other weapon choices.
With very short Burning duration, players will need to continue attacking to consistently deal damage.
- Gatling Gun being warmed up will now be visible as player status.
- Increased duration of Gatling Gun's warmed up status.
- Players are now able to maintain Gatling Gun's warmed up status when moving slowly.
- Gatling Gun's warmed up status will reduce player's movement speed.
To make Gatling Gun more fun to use it can now maintain it's warmed up status while player is moving slowly (player periodicly stops movement or walks with his shield up).
- Flamethrower and Gatling Gun attacks will now temporarily disable player's sneaking status.
It looked silly when players were able to fire these large and flashy weapons with enemies paid them no attention whatsoever).
- Increased Assault Sniper Rifle's damage and reload cost.
Assault Sniper Rifle has always been tough for me to balance. It was supposed to be a superior machine gun with sniping range while I didn't want it to take away Sniper Rifle's place, leaving double sniper a valid weapon setup for Scout.
In recent updates Sniper Rifle received new anti-rare enemy effects. This allowed me to buff Assault Sniper Rifle and make it effective against Reapers. Hopefuly, Assault Sniper Rifle will now feel like a proper rare weapon worth grabbing.
- Halved Explosives' damage dealt to non-structure units.
Explosives were too powerful when used against rare enemies, which is not their main intended purpose.
- Increased maximum number of Molotov charges.
- Increased Molotov's chance to apply burning to rare enemies and massive units.
- Reduced Molotov's chance to apply burning to common enemies and allies.
Molotov was not useful enough against Cocoons due to limited number of charges. In this update Molotov's AoE radius is reduced but more charges will allow using it more frequently against multiple Cocoons blocking your way.
- Hand weapons will now have maximum ability charges at start of the game.
- Reduced Medium Armor's Response Support recharge time.
- Medium Armor's Response Support will no longer recharge while player is repeatedly attacked.
Medium Armor was intended to help kite enemies. Previously, it's damage reduction and movement speed effect were recharging even when player did nothing while taking hit after hit of damage. In this update, every hit receiver by player will further delay Medium Armor's Response Support status recharge.
- Flare's Exposed effect will no longer affect damage dealt by automated turrets.
Flares were able to provide unfair advantage to Automated Double Machine Guns over other automated turrets.
- Reduced Automated Flamethrower's friendly fire attack arc.
- Increased Automated Flamethrower's rotation speed.
Automated Flamethrower's friendly fire range was making it troublesome to use. Higher rotation will make this turret more reliable at holding back enemies as it will no longer waste too much time turning.
- Automated Turrets can no longer be constructed near Main Computer.
It was possible to construct automated turrets a bit too close to the Main Computer. Taking advantage of this area's obstacles has made it a bit too easy to defend.
- Shredder placement no longer has cast time.
Shredders casting time did not allow Shredder to be deployed in emergency situations. Hopefuly, now it will be more reliable to use it to deal with unexpected hordes while roaming.
- Added two new rare enemies.
I won't reveal much about them as I would like them to be a surprised for players during the game.
I will only mention that they can be countered using apropriate utility equipment. One of them can also be countered by staying together with another player.
- Nests will no longer spawn in Main Computer area.
Nests that spawned near Main Computer were either quickly disposed off or they became a troublesome threat in a key location.
- Idle Hunters will now periodically roam around in packs.
Hunters rarely moved away much from their spawning location. I also didn't want them to roam around alone. Fortunately, now they will roam like other enemies, except they will do it in packs.
- Enemies will now prioritize non-sneaking players when hunting due to Main Computer shutdown or Sentient Nest.
This is intended to be an additional benefit of sneaking using Light Armor or Agent's stealth.
- Enemies spawning from Cocoons or Eggs destroyed with rockets, Claymore or Bomb will no longer have Cocoon Web buff.
Cocoon Web status present on enemies spawning from Cocoons killed with intended explosive counters was a significant issue. Because of this, enemies in Cocoons at the edges of explosion's AoE range would not be killed, making some weapons not as effective as they should be.
- Splasher's attack will now ignore most of player armor and Heavy's Shield protection.
- Increased Splasher's maximum movement speed.
- Splasher now has a long acceleration period.
- Splasher will now deal less damage when it is killed before suiciding.
Balancing Splasher was tricky. It either was too slow to catch up fast players or too fast to be killed by slow players. In this update, Splasher will start off slow and keep speeding up until it is able to catch up even with fast players. Using fire against it will instantly slow it down however.
Because it was too easy for Heavy to just block Splasher's damage with Shield, Splasher will now ignore that protection. Additionally ignoring most of player's armor value will lead it further towards counter Heavy Armor.
- Rebalanced Leeches.
Leeches were significantly changed. Previously, they were distracting but not very hard to deal with. Their unique aspect of life-stealing was also not very present.
Successful Leech attack will now fully restore it's health and reset weapon cooldown. If player manages to dodge a Leech attack it's going to take a longer while before it can attack you again. In short: players will now need to properly kite while fighting Leeches.
Kiting Leeches can take a lot of attention space and time. To balance that out Leeches will now ignore players who don't attack them and aren't bleeding. This will allow players to avoid engaging Leeches in unfavorable circumstances.
- Increased number of possible Mother territories.
This is a small change that I made in preparation for possible higher difficulty levels.
- Increased Leviathan Tentacle respawn rate relative to number of players in the game.
I felt it was too easy to dispose of Tentacles completely by a group of players. Hopefully their respawn time will scale better now.
- Replaced Ledge Platform connecting caves and living area maintenance tunnel with a ramp.
- Changed east cable corridor to connect caves with air treatment area.
Corridor on the right side has never been used much. I think that without the need for Scout's ropes it should be more useful.
- Added new Scout cliff in corridor between factory and laboratories.
- Added new unreachable WIP room on the west side.
This area cannot be accessed right now. It's contents will be implemented later.
- Added a few visual improvements and terrain decorations.
- Changed loading screen image and message text.
- Players are now able to click minimap to issue a move order.
There used to be an issue that unlocked minimap mouse input allowed players to move camera which should be locked onto player character. That's the reason why minimap movement clicking was disabled.
I tested it recently and it seems that that issue is no longer the case. I am glad that beginner players will finally be able to properly use minimap to move around.
- Improved visibility during light flashes when Reactor Core gets damaged.
- Removed beginner tips display on the right side at start of the game.
They were useful but containted a lot of text and distracted new players taking their time at start of the game and preventing them from focusing on studying other more important UI elements.
- Beginner players will now be reminded of path display buttons for Dropship, Escape Pods and Anti-Matter Detonation objectives.
- Beginner players will now see a large visual reminder on Rescue Dropship when it is time to board it.
- Beginner objective to revive an ally will now respond to amount of supplies and Medkits.
- Players' chat messages will now appear above them.
- Replaced team chat with local chat with nearby players.
- Removed lobby chat type setting.
This is an experimental change. I'd like to check if replacing Team Chat with chat shared by nearby players will be more useful.
- Removed lobby evacuation time setting.
It was barely ever used.
- Fixed High-Powered Shotgun's incorrect reload cost when reloading full clip.
- Fixed cancelling Shredder placement returning more supplies than it's cost.
- Fixed incorrect amount of supplies being refunded from failed Storage Cache placement.
- Fixed ability to throw objects through closed doors.
- Fixed Combat Mech being able to fire rockets through gates.
- Fixed "Drop items" button not appearing when player exits a vehicle having only Fighter Access Codes.
- Fixed players not being revivable when killed by air contamination.
- Fixed some damage sources being able to kill Monstrosity.
- Fixed left Fighter disappearing after right Fighter takes off.
- Fixed players not seeing inside of fighters' hangar when standing on fighter launch platform.
- Fixed beginner objective to deploy Medipack activating when having very few Medkits.
- Fixed beginner objectives disappearing for player under kick-voting.
- Fixed missing vent model at recreation room.
Changelog v. 0.83.1:
- Flamethrower's slowing down minor burning status will no longer be applied to structures.
Flamethrower now applies 1 second of regular Burning status and 10 seconds of slow-down effect. The latter had no effect on structures while causing confusion wheter Cocoons will spawn burning enemies or not.
- Adjusted number of Leeches spawning during sieges.
Sieges were spawning single Leeches while 3-4 of them are considered to be of equal difficulty value to another rare enemy.
- Set Dropship evacuation timer to 15 minutes.
10 minutes of a game was a bit too short, especially on higher difficulty levels.
- Added message displayed to beginner players at end of the game.
Beginners will now be informed wheter they played on Beginner or Pro mode which might've felt easy or difficult for them.
Popup will also tell them that more features, unlockables and endings are available on higher difficulty levels.
Lastly, it will encourage them to join Pandorium Battlenet group, forum or Discord.
- Fixed spawned Nest possibly blocking doors leading to reactor room.
- Fixed players not being able to see each others' chat balloons.
Changelog v. 0.83.2:
- Reduced Raid Shotgun's reload cost.
Raid Shotgun felt inferior to most alternatives. Reduced reload cost will make it very supply efficient. Raid Shotgun should be more balanced now considering it still has a number of downsides.
- Reduced Combat Pistol's clip size, reload cost and reload time.
Combat Pistol is intended to be used situationally to handle lone Reapers. It was capable of much more than that when used with Gunner's ammunition though.
- Increased Smartgun range.
Slightly longer range will help Smartgun be a support weapon and make better use of it's no-friendly fire aspect.
- Gatling Gun will no longer fire extra shots after attack if it has fired at least 5 times.
- Increased number of Gatling Gun's extra shots to a maximum of 5.
- Reduced Gatling Gun's clip size.
Gatling Gun is supposed to be effective against groups. It's extra shots were supposed to discourage using this weapon to handle lone enemies. However, extra shots fired after attacking were frequently a reason for significant friendly fire dealt.
With new changes, uncontrollable friendly fire should no longer be an issue as long as Heavy fires the weapon at least 5 times. Each targetted shot will reduce the number of remaining extra shots.
To keep things balanced, Gatling Gun's clip size was reduced as now proper use of Gatling Gun will not result in wasted ammunition.
- Increased Rocket Launcher's attack speed.
Rocket Launcher's reload time needs to be balanced relatively to Nest's enemy spawn frequency.
Previously when I balanced Rocket Launcher I forgot that Nests on higher difficulty levels spawn enemies much more often.
- Significantly incressed Grenade Launcher's range. Increased it's accuracy.
- Reduced Grenade Launcher's reload time.
- Changed Grenade Launcher's missile model.
Grenade Launcher now has a very long attack range. This changed was done mostly in favor of Scout, however players with Communication Relay might also be able to make use of it.
Increased accuracy should make Grenade Launcher much more reliable. Reduced reload time should also help it stand against alternatives.
- Changed Automated Grenade Launcher's missile model.
- Reducer Gunner ammunition abilities' recharge time.
Gunner's ammunition recharge took quite some time. Ironicly, this increased Gunner's value in a match compared to other classes, as too few Gunners were not able to provide a reliable supply of ammunition.
- Hibernation Capsules triggered through hacking will now take a very short time to open.
After hacking Hibernation Capsules players often had to waste significant amount of time waiting. Because of that it was often not worth it to use Hacking Terminal in that way. That issue is now addressed.
- Activating Security Mech no longer requires hacking.
- Security Mech will now start repairing itself instead of dying.
- Security Mech's location is no longer revealed to players.
- Security Mech can now be hacked to temporarily gain control or remove Frenzy status.
In most cases repairing Security Mech Platform was not worth the supplies and time invested. Mech wouldn't roam long enough to justify the costs. Need to use Hacking Terminal to activate it made this even less practical.
Security Mech will now automatically repair itself over time when destroyed. This will make repairing Security Mech Platform a valueable investment into late game.
To make things more fun, Security Mech can now be hacked to give player control over it for a short time or remove Frenzy status.
Please take note that Frenzy can now be applied randomly whenever Security Mech revives itself.
- Slightly increased spawning rate and maximum population of Zombies on low difficulty levels.
Some beginners were still complaining on not enough action.
- Reduced number of spawning Reapers.
- Reduced number of Reapers spawning on lower difficulty levels during Battleship siege.
- Reduced size of enemy wave spawning 40 seconds before Battleship takes off.
Number of Reapers during the game was much too high. Especially during the wave overwhelming Battleship 40 seconds before it's takeoff.
- Extended Nests' initial growth period up to ~60 seconds.
With this change I am hoping to make Explosives more useful. Nests will now be temporarily harmless after spawning. This can give player with Explosives a chance to deal with it easily and safely. Demolitionist can also work together with players with Explosives to ping them locations of spawning Nests.
- Changed layout of reactor room.
Reactor Core was significantly harder to defend against sieges than other facilities.
- Changed Security Mech Platform model.
- Added Ledge Platform leading from cable corridor to hibernation capsules room.
- Added connection between hibernation capsules room and cliff in air treatment area.
These changes will make it easier to access air treatment plant, add more reasons to roam through hibernation room and increase usefulness of Scout's elevator ropes.
- Added beginner context tooltip for picking up supplies.
- Added beginner context tooltip for sharing supplies with nearby players.
- Added beginner context tooltip for collecting Medkits as Medic.
Another set of context tooltips added to make beginner games easier to understand.
- Changed default difficulty vote to "Hard".
With default difficulty vote set to "Normal" new players rarely picked any other option. Sometimes this lead to them complaining about Pandorium Survivor being too easy.
With "Hard" being the default difficulty beginners can stop to think on wheter they should go with the advised "Hard" difficulty or wheter they'd preffer to tone it down to "Normal".
- Fixed repeating Security Machine Gun opening animation.
- Fixed very large waves of enemies spawning during focused spawns.
- Fixed Prowler attacks slowing down vehicles.
Changelog v. 0.83.3:
- Increased Smartgun accuracy.
- Reduced Smartgun reload time.
- Reduced Smartgun reload cost.
- Smartgun is no longer compatible with Gunner's special ammunition.
These are some of the changes I had in mind for Smartgun but forgot to implement them.
As another small buff I reduced Smartgun's reload cost.
Because I don't want Smartgun to be used with Gunner's ammunition I removed that attribute.
- Increased Raid Shotgun attack speed.
- Raid Shotgun no longer has Quick Swap attribute.
Raid Shotgun's quick swap wasn't very practical and it was barely ever used. Instead of it I slightly increased attack speed. Raid Shotgun should now be more effective as long as player using it is kiting enemies.
- Beginner mode will now reward players with the same amount of class experience as Pro mode.
- Added new title screenshot.
- Added new loading screen background.
- Added display of maximum supplies to player's supply UI.
- Added beginner tooltip highlighting location of player's supplies on UI.
- Fixed incorrect Rocket Launcher attack speed.
- Fixed lights being too bright after Reactor Core was repaired.
- Fixed inaccurate placement collision detection of Explosives and Nuclear Warhead.
- Fixed a few bugs in weapon descriptions and ratings.
Changelog v. 0.83.4:
- Reduced Raid Shotgun clip size to 2. Reduced reload cost proportionally.
- Reduced Raid Shotgun's rate of fire.
Raid Shotgun's "double shot" attribute was quite confusing and in the end I found it unnecessary. Reload time is short enough to allow keeping Raid Shotgun's identity without additional game mechanics.
- Heavy Shotgun now has "quick swap" attribute.
- Reduced Heavy Shotgun's friendly fire area size.
- Reduced Heavy Shotgun's rate of fire.
- Reduced Heavy Shotgun's clip size to 6. Reduced reload cost to 10.
- Reduced Heavy Shotgun's reload time when reloading full clip.
Heavy Shotgun is meant to be an AoE anti-Reaper weapon. It's damage has been compensated with low rate of fire. That rate of fire was making Heavy Shotgun very awkward to use as the long delay prevented players from defending themselves after shooting. I think that "quick swap" might be well placed here as players can now switch from Heavy Shotgun to another weapon and continue firing.
Clip with 8 shots felt like too much. Players didn't need to reload this weapon (relatively) very often. For that reason I reduced clip size to 6.
- Slightly increased Smartgun rate of fire.
- Smartgun will now track enemies ahead, increasing accuracy against them by 15%.
I realise that Smartgun is not considered a strong weapon choice, even for the intended purpose of escorting other players. It's tricky to buff it though without increasing it's usefulness to lone players.
One change that I came up with is that Smartgun will now mark enemies in front of Gunner with laser tracking status. Players attacking these enemies will have weapon hit chance significantly increased.
This effect should work best when escorting a player equipped with Machine Gun, Uzi or Gatling Gun as these weapons will benefit the most from increased accuracy.
- Reduced Uzi accuracy. Increased it's maximum clip size and slightly increased reload cost.
Reduced accuracy is a change meant to create better synergy with Smartgun. To even out this change I have increased Uzi's clip size and slightly increased it's supply efficiency. Using a Motion Scanner or relying on a Smartgun user will improve this efficiency even further.
- Reduced Motion Scanner's accuracy improving effect from 10% to 5%.
- Increased Motion Scanner's radar range.
Motion Scanner, being a hard counter for Larvas, has been a pretty strong pick and I feel like it can still do fine with a weaker bonus to accuracy. It will be inferior to Smartgun in that role now.
I realised that Motion Scanner's enemy detection range has been too short, preventing one of it's key features from being useful. With increased detection range Motion Scanner should now be more effective at providing players with useful information on their surroundings.
- High Explosive ammunition will no longer increase weapon accuracy.
High Explosive ammunition is very effective on most compatible weapons - especially ones with high damage. I don't think it really needs the accuracy increase which would now also compete with Smartgun's new effect.
- Flares will no longer reduce nearby enemy armor.
Flare's effect of reducing nearby enemy armor has been causing some disorder in my intended weapon balance concept. Low-caliber weapons intended against non-armored enemies were suddenly becoming quite strong against Reapers.
Flare in new update will only provide the effect of increasing damage dealt to targets, without affecting their armor.
- Added new common enemy.
- Reduced number of Zombies spawning on high difficulty levels.
Overall balance changes I've performed not long ago have made me realise that high population of enemies will have a significant impact on game's performance. This means that I was not able to increase the difficulty level (if I wanted to do so) any further.
Besides that, weapons damage until now has practically only mattered as number of shots it takes to kill a Reaper (other situations where exact damage values matter were less common).
These two facts has made me realise that a new common enemy is needed, one that would have a larger health pool and one that could act as replacement for multiple Zombies on higher difficulty levels.
- Reduced rare enemy respawn time.
- Adjusted spawning proportions of rare enemy types.
Rare enemies were a little too rare on higher difficulty levels. It held back game's difficulty and it made matches more repetitive.
- Fixed Flares not increasing damage taken by nearby small enemies.
Changelog v. 0.83.5:
- Taser will now slow down massive enemies.
Taser should not be powerful enough to stun massive enemies but there is no harm in slowing them down. This change should make Taser perform better at it's main purpose: self-defense.
- Smartgun's Laser Tracking status will now reduce target's armor.
Smartgun's accuracy bonus alone was a very situational benefit. I decided to give it the effect of reducing enemy armor (much like Flare used to in previous updates). It might still mess a little with my intended weapon balance, however that's justified better by Smartgun user not being able to take advantage of that benefit himself and it will make Smartgun's new mechanic much more useful.
- Automated Rifle will no longer have low hit chance when firing at Spitters.
- Reduced Spitter attack damage and health.
- Spitters will no longer ignore armor when attacking massive units or structures.
- Reduced number of Spitters spawning on low difficulty levels.
Spitters needed some balancing tweaks, especially when facing automated turrets.