Unlimited procedural missions, equipment stash, streamlined game start, mercenaries, new enemies, tons of gear to loot, updated space stations, new character portraits, turn order bar, grenades and med-kits moved out of the secondary weapon slot and much more…this is a big patch!
I’d like to thank everyone one of you for supporting the development of Stellar Tactics and for your patience. There has been an enormous amount of work put into the game over the last few months. I don’t want to overhype this build, though I do think you are going to like what you find (I hope). The game just took a very big leap forward towards Alpha.
With that, here is what you will find in 0.051!
Procedural missions have been added to the game. The abandoned Halamis Research Station has re-appeared on the surface of Achmedius VIII. You will find a new NPC near the entrance of the Trade Station in Achmedius who will recruit you. A few things about the procedural mission system.
- The level cap is set to 60 – this applies to global team member levels and skills
- There are three mission categories right now; eliminate boss, clear facility and gather. More are coming (destroy, activate and rescue).
- Missions are offered in short, medium and long variants – long missions take quite a while. The longer the mission, the better the rewards and tokens. You can reject a mission and another will be generated.
- You can abandon a procedural mission. Story missions cannot be abandoned. You must leave the facility to abandon missions. A button is displayed in the mission log area with red text that says “ABANDON” and is only displayed if you are not located in the mission area. Clicking the button will remove the mission from your active missions list. No rewards will be granted for the abandoned mission. You can only take one mission at a time from the Halamis agent, so, this frees you up to take further missions if you are having difficulty completing your currently assigned task.
- Tokens are granted for missions – more tokens for longer missions. Faction tokens can be spent at faction merchants for unique armor, devices and other goods. Faction merchants are not in the game yet. They will be going in very soon, so save those tokens! Besides a new armor set, there is at least one device that will be going on this vendor that every one of you is going to want – believe me!
- Every time you enter the facility the layout is randomly generated. That is, locations are assembled to create a unique facility layout. Enemy placement, enemy types, loot and the placement of objectives changes every time a mission is generated.
- Other than the basic background story of the facility, there is no story content in this update. This is the first pass at procedural mission content that will be persisted throughout the universe. Other “mission sets” and enemies will be developed in the future for variants on the system. Story content is different and non-procedural. I do plan to add flavor logs and other interesting mission variants in the future.
- The slice mines have been moved to another planet.
New portraits replaced the old portrait system. There are a total of 20 to choose from. If you load an existing game, I assign a portrait to your team members automatically (other than Rhamus and Jensen – NPC portraits are not changed).
- Auto-assignment of portraits may display duplicates.
- To change portraits, enter the character information screen (“C”), select the portrait from the portrait GUI in the upper left of the screen. Once the character you want to change is selected, left click the larger single portrait on the character information screen. A new window will pop up that lets you assign a new portrait, voice and name.
- You can change any team members portrait, name and voice at any time.
When starting a new game, you can now choose to skip the Dauntless. After the universe data is generated, you will create a single character, starting the game without a full team. You will be able to add new team members on the Trade station, where you will find several mercenaries willing to join you in your travels.
The mission information UI on the log screen now allows sorting by active and completed missions. Active missions are displayed by default.
NPC’s can now join your team. There are several on the Achmedius Trade Station.
- The doctors will leave your team the next time you enter the trade station. If you are already on the trade station, walk near the entry and they will leave your team. This leaves you room to add three new and permanent team members by recruiting them on the station.
- Save before your recruit your merc’s in case you want to make changes. The Mercenary manger is not yet in the game. It will go in at a later time allow you to add and remove merc’s from your active party.
- Mercenaries have assigned combat skills. They will tell you which skills they are proficient with.
- Mercenaries set their level to your existing team’s average level.
- Even though the mercenaries skills may not exactly match what you are looking for, you can still progress that team member and customize them by equipping the appropriate weapon types of your choosing.
- Once a new NPC joins your team, you will be able to change their appearance, voice and name.
- The NPC’s physical model appearance will change to match the selected portrait the next time you change locations or save and reload the game. I’ll be doing some work in the future so the models match the portraits better!
- The new team member will have a number of stat points to assign depending on what level you are when you ask the mercenary to join your team.
The rollover info GUI now displays enemy difficult with a total of three icons next to the enemy name. If no icons are displayed the enemy is of normal difficulty. Enemy groups may have leaders, captains and in some cases bosses commanding them.
A stash has been added to the game. The stash is available anywhere while out of combat (for now). You can sort the stash by any inventory item type. Double clicking items in your inventory automatically moves them to the stash. You can also drag any inventory item to the stash graphic if it is open or to the stash crate.
Grenades have been moved to their own hot-bar slot.
- Right click the icon to select the current grenade
- Left click to activate/deactivate the grenade
- Activation is required in order to throw a grenade
- You must de-activate (click the icon again) or throw the grenade before continuing with combat actions.
- AP is displayed on the icon and is dependent on whether or not you are crippled
- Grenades are pulled from your shared inventory (backpack), not from your stash
Med-Kits have been moved to their own hot-bar slot.
- Right click the icon to select the current med-kit
- Left click to activate/deactivate the med-kit
- Activation is required in order to use the med-kit
- You must de-activate (click the icon again) or use the med-kit before continuing with other combat actions
- AP is displayed on the icon and is dependent on whether or not you are crippled
- -Med-kits are pulled from your shared inventory (backpack), not from your stash
While in a procedural mission area, a dynamic map is displayed. It gives “GENERAL” cues as to where you will find exits leading to other areas and where the main exit from mission location is located. As you explore the environment, the map fills in and eventually will indicate when the entire area is explored. I’ll be implementing scanning devices in the future that provide additional information on the map depending on the quality of the device and your skill in electronics, intelligence and perception. The map also notifies you when areas of the mission are cleared by setting that room’s background color to green. There are two cases where an area is considered clear:
- If you are in a kill mission where the entire base needs to be cleared, the map background for each area will be marked green if that area is cleared of enemies.
- If you are gathering data, samples and otherwise, an area is considered clear when all items for that area have been gathered.
The game now has a turn order indicator on the left side of the screen. Turn order is displayed with a series of portraits running from the bottom to top, where the top in the list is the currently active combatant. Combatants higher in the turn order indicator are likely to gain their turn sooner, though in some circumstances a re-roll of initiative can move combatants up or down in priority. Enemies are highlighted in red and team members in green. Rolling over any of the portraits displays the combatants name. The turn order shows a maximum of 8 combatants, thought there may be more in an encounter.
When working for a faction, mission rewards will include tokens. Tokens can be used to buy faction equipment. This includes faction armor and devices. For now, the tokens you are rewarded will accumulate until the faction equipment vendor is added. In the future, these faction merchants will be located in trade stations across the universe.
A global tuning pass that increases the pace of combat by adjusting a number of factors including enemy and player character hit points. Combat encounters in general take less time to resolve. This should increase the overall pace of game play. I see it as in improvement and I’m looking forward to everyone’s feedback. Obviously more work to do on this as well as tuning skills and progression.
Things that did not make it in that will soon:
–Halamis faction vendor
GENERAL BUG FIXES
FIXED: Planets labels staying visible when loading to an exploration location from space.
FIXED: Personal Shield effects are less likely to occlude character model geometry
FIXED: Text entry fields work as intended now
FIXED: In rare cases, team member turns were skipped at the end of an enemies turn, if a team member was the next combatant in queue
FIXED: %hit chance displayed on cursor will never be above 100%
FIXED: A rare crash when fighting phage that would lock the game
FIXED: Mod’s were not displaying correct icons when equipped. In some cases this may cause equipped mods in save games to not work correctly. The only solution is to discard the weapon. Not to worry, the Halamis Research labs have countless new (and better) weapons to loot.
FIXED: Further fixes for enemies healing from long distances
FIXED: Looting objects through walls
FIXED: If self stunned during a round by grenades, can no longer use remaining AP to move
FIXED: A rare killing blow combat lockup bug.
ADDED: “G” key toggles group/single movement while out of combat
ADDED: “V” key toggles crouching/standing for the currently selected team member
ADDED: Two bonus AP are granted to players and enemies at levels 40 and 80 (the level cap at this time is level 60)
ADDED: Bosses and enemies may be completely resistant to certain types of damage. If they resist damage, a message is displayed
UPDATED: Updated the help menu to reflect the new keys
UPDATED: Combat responsiveness improved.
UPDATED: All general vendors now carry a basic hacking tool.
UPDATED: Sound-FX updates for various menus
UPDATED: Added additional team member voice comments
UPDATED: When leaving the Dauntless, you retain your party members equipped items which are moved to your stash.
UPDATED: Vendor trash items re-worked to be a bit more Sci-Fi – these items will be useful once crafting goes live, though can be sold to vendors for cash.
–A possible very rare crash with Phage – I believe this is fixed, however, it may rear it’s ugly head again!
–When looting or purchasing grenades and med-kits, the icons on the hud do not update quantity.
–Some nav-mesh errors – this are almost impossible to find by myself and they will likely show up with heavy gameplay. If you do get stuck, please send me the S3DClient.log file – it’s the only way I can debug the issue.
–Heavy debug data is being pushed to the client log. I’ll reduce debug data in a few weeks.
A few things that you can buy from the Halamis faction vendor with those tokens you are earning.
–Halamis Quantum Translocator – Tired of trudging back through the facility? Buy a Quantum Translocator from your friendly Halamis merchant! The Halamis Quantum Translocator is attuned to the staging area of the abandoned Halamis Research Facility.
–Halamis Faction Armor – Buy the entire set and get a shiny new look! The merchant knows what you need and the armor offered scales to your level, offering the finest protection available – at least from Halamis!
Another pass at the combat AI to make enemy’s more efficient.
Perks to level 60 for hacking and first aid.
More variants of the facility map set.
Bug fixes – of course.
THE NEXT MAJOR CONTENT UPDATE:
The next major update will be a first pass at space combat. This will include the ability to purchase ships and equip them with various weapons and equipment items.