Echo #86: Map rework intensifies Posted on October 16, 2017 at 17:24
Last week I have done a huge part of map rework and added arena mission.
Arena mission works just like I have described it in the previous echo and map rework is going really well!
I have already changed most of the things to work with the new map system.
Left to do:
Change story mission 5 to work with the new map system.
Relocate and rename several regions.
Add 27 remaining regions.
Add contribution system.
Add siege mission.
Add endgame area and improve new game+.
Add a few minions.
Add part compression.
Improve secure regions further.
Fix various minor problems.
This is not only the map rework, I'm also trying to add some of the remaining features.
Features like part compression, siege mission and endgame area.
Endgame area will be the last area in Sector Six after map rework.
You will be able to customize it - set the level of enemies, choose which enemies will spawn in that area and other things.
It will your main hub after completing the story.
Alternatively, you'll be able to start a new game+, which will reset story missions and increase levels of regions.
Siege mission will be a fun gameplay loop.
Massive structure of the Machines will spawn minions, you will destroy them for ammo to reload siege cannon
Reloaded cannon will fire a missile at the Machine structure and then you'll have to get more ammo.
This will continue until you will destroy the Machine structure.
Part compression will allow you to compress two parts into one, so you will be able to make your spaceship slimmer.
It will give even more customization.
To keep big ships viable, I'm planning to make certain abilities benefit from spaceship size.
This update is very fun to do so far and will probably make the game like 90% complete!
Echo #85: Areas of Deep Path Posted on October 09, 2017 at 17:32
Last week I spent a lot of time trying to improve HUD.
Unfortunately, none of the changes did anything good to it, I had to revert them and now I'm working on map rework.
My plan is to add 3 zones and see how that changes the game.
The first zone is Deep Path.
Deep Path will have 7 areas:
Aon Way Initially secured
Sells level 1 generic weapons when secured
Berel Way Initially destroyed
Has an arena
Cyr Way Initially occupied
Contributes level 1 optimized part when secured
Story mission: The Beginning
Dask Way Initially besieged
Contributes level 1 generic weapon when secured
Ewe Way Initially besieged
Contributes units when secured
Fion Way Initially besieged
Sells level 1 parts when secured
Galis Way Initially besieged
Sells level 1 alloy containers when secured
Aon Way, Berel Way, Cyr Way... It just means area A, area B, area C... Giving all the areas in 30 regions unique names would take too much time.
I will eventually give certain areas more meaningful names, but for now, it will be like that.
So, map rework will not only change the way player progresses through Sector, it will also add new features.
Instead of having shops, some regions contribute items and resources to help you fight the Machines.
Contributions will be given out after every successful mission in the region.
For example, if you have secured Ewe Way and then complete mission in Irre Way, Ewe Way will give you some units.
Another new feature is arena missions.
Because the Machines will not occupy regions anymore, you would run out of missions after you have secured all areas in the region.
Arena missions will prevent that.
Securing all areas in the region will be enough to level up and move to the next region, but I'll add arena missions just to be safe.
So, how will arena missions work?
Arena missions will be similar to good old kill missions.
During arena missions, you will never fight more than one minion at once in the arena.
Also, after every minion destroyed, you will need to choose one of two randomly chosen opponents.
E.g.: Heavy or tank, veteran or acolyte, modified collector or probe.
To complete arena mission, you will have to destroy 10 minions.
Arena mission reward is always units and amount of units is based on which minions you have defeated.
Bigger minions will give more units.
There's also an option to continue fighting indefinitely after required 10 fights.
To be able to do arena missions, you will have to secure the areas that have arenas.
Anyway, right now I'm working on making map more eye pleasing.
I'm going to make map squares bigger, mission icons more visible and add decorative map squares.
Echo #84: Complete map rework Posted on October 02, 2017 at 17:13
This week I've been trying to improve combat HUD and graphics.
I've changed HUD to cover less of the screen and made collisions more impactful.
Next week I will be preparing for one of biggest Sector Six updates ever - complete map rework!
Map rework is a solution to levelling problem.
Because enemy level scales with player level, levelling up is not that beneficial to a player.
Sometimes even harmful.
I want to change that.
There are 3 ways I can do it:
1) Allow the player to change a level of enemies manually in the map screen.
Player levels up > Returns to map screen > Increases the enemy level > Player starts another mission.
It would be effective, but it's a very lazy way to do it.
And possibly exploitable.
2) Scale enemy level with player level whenever the Machines move.
I liked this idea, but it's way too easy to exploit it.
With a simple strategy, the player could easily become 10 levels higher than enemies.
I could make it impossible to exploit, but those fixes would hinder the game even more.
I can do better than this.
3) Get rid of the dynamic map and create different level zones.
Sector Six had so-called dynamic map since the early versions of the game.
In other games, wars and invasions don't really affect the game.
I wanted to be original and make the world into a battlefield, where player actions affect the course of the war.
Currently, every 10 missions player starts - either wins or loses - the Machines moves, occupying other regions.
Because there's 8 of the Machines, it's possible to recover regions faster than the Machines destroy them.
Secure regions are where shops are located and the Machines are able to block access to them, by invading secure regions.
It's an interesting system, I really like how it works.
However, it only works with enemies scaling to the player.
Similar games to Sector Six like Torchlight or Path of Exile have completely different map system.
There are connected zones with different level enemies.
The player plays in level 1 zone, then reaches level 2 and moves to level 2 zone. And so on.
I want to this with Sector Six.
I will have to create a zone for every player level.
Every zone will have 3-12 regions, a story mission and a different set of enemies.
Level 1 area
Minions: Collector, drone, demolisher, probe, tank, swarmling
Mission: The Beginning
Level 10 area
Minions: Heavy, anode, dagger, revenant factory, veteran, swarmling
Mission: The Core
Level 11 area
Minions: Veteran, dreadnought, probe, killer, gatherer, scion
Mission: The Eight Keys
Enemies, item rewards and cities will be the same level as the region.
E.g.: Deep Path cities will sell level 1 parts, enemies in Deep Path will be level 1 and drop level 1 parts.
Players will still be able to secure/destroy regions.
I might make some missions more punishing than before - failing them will damage status of multiple regions in the zone.
This seems like the best solution - it will permanently fix problems with levelling, create a strong feeling of progression and increase variety.
By dropping that Machine invasion minigame, Sector Six should become into a much better game.
The only problem is that between every part of the story, players will be required to level up, which might feel grindy.
But if it will end up being a problem, I'm confident that I can fix it as well.
So, that's the news!
Hopefully, I'll be able to include screenshots or even a video of the new map system the next time I post.
Final combat update! New content and important changes Posted on September 26, 2017 at 06:12
Sector Six combat is now complete!
This update adds new enemy, abilities and modifications, removes all of the combat exploits, improves armoured colony seeker, finishes modular difficulty system and more!
New abilities Passive ability effects
Every non-passive ability has received a passive effect.
Apocalypse class abilities increase damage by 2% per level.
Titan class abilities increase armour by 2% per level.
Carrier class abilities increase armour and damage by 1% per level.
New enemy modifications
Has an armour extension
Apex of evolution
Minion with Evolves modification turns into a stronger minion after a few seconds.
The timer is reset whenever minion takes damage.
After minion evolves, it doesn't stop evolving until it evolves into apex.
Apex is a new minion that is even more powerful than dreadnoughts and apparitions.
Those who can defeat apex will be rewarded with an extant part.
Armoured colony seeker improvements
Armoured colony seeker is now faster, more intelligent and much more dangerous!
Same applies to scions, sentinels and gatherers.
Rewards have also been improved to match increased difficulty.
Modular difficulty system changes
Changes applied to modular difficulty system with the previous update has been reverted and new modifier has been added: Hivind's Army.
Hivind's Army functions the same as level 2 Manifestations Of Destruction in version 0.8.4
This is the final version of modular difficulty system, there are no more changes planned for it.
Entropic Arc ability has been replaced with Entropic Fracture.
Reflect chance is now capped at 80%.
Fixed several mistakes in ability descriptions.
Temporarily removed avatar customization panel from settings.
Corrected wrong ability interface tooltips.
All regions have cities now.
Improved story mission V.
Fixed Titan class tutorial skipping bug.
Reverted Death From Above, now it works like it used to work before 0.8.4 update.
Increased range of Shatter, Swarm Control and EMP Grenade.
Reworked Aggression, Resistance, and Capacity passive abilities.
Parts now give less damage boost, to make other damage boosts more important.
Parts no longer increase levels of Aggression, Resistance, and Capacity.
Instead, parts increase ether and armour by a percentage.
Minion armour cores have been renamed to armour extensions.
Fixed apparition graphical glitches.
Beacon can now be modified.
Improved Concentrated Fire.
Part sets now require only 6 components to be completed.
Added new shield sounds.
Added new buying and selling sounds.
Fixed glitch that occurred when the ship was destroyed during region resurrection.
Echo #83: Cataclysm, evolution and exploits Posted on September 18, 2017 at 16:51
Last week I have implemented the last Apocalypse class ability, added new modifications and finally fixed enemy exploits.
Since the very beginning, Sector Six combat was riddled with exploits.
It was possible to regenerate armour outside combat, which encouraged idling.
I removed that.
It was possible to get in and out of the enemy range to avoid getting hit.
I have added missiles to prevent staying out of enemy range.
It was possible to damage enemies by standing at the edge of their range.
Few more adjustments and that became impossible.
It was possible to separate enemies from their groups and never fight more than one enemy at once.
Enemies now warn each other and will attack you, even if they are outside the screen.
Enemy projectiles no longer disappear outside the screen, so there's no escape!
That should be the last of exploits!
One step closer to perfecting the combat.
Another step is the 36th ability - Cataclysm.
With Cataclysm added, all classes have 12 abilities now!
And that is all abilities I have planned for Early Access.
The ability itself is very basic: It increases damage minions take by 100% for 10 seconds.
Still, it's an effect that no other abilities have, so it will probably find its place.
Anyway, last week I have also implemented 3 new enemy modifications!
'Teleports' - Minions with this modification will teleport to a different place every second.
'Has an armour expansion' - This modification adds 1 extra armour bar!
'Mine launcher' - And this one turns enemies into demolishers!
I have also added evolving minions.
The system is still rough around the edges, needs few more hours to be finished.
So, that's all the news, the next update should be very soon.
Echo #81: Final combat update Posted on August 28, 2017 at 15:18
Preparation for translations should be finished within this week.
To keep myself enthusiastic about what's to come while I bore myself by moving pieces of text from point A to point B, I want to write about the final combat update.
Here are things I have to do with combat before I can release the game:
Add last four abilities, 2 for Apocalypse class and 2 for Carrier class.
Solve ability point problem.
Fix enemy group approaching exploits.
Make armoured colony seeker more interesting.
Improve certain Titan class abilities.
I'm planning to do all that with final combat update, which I will work on after I'm done with text moving.
So, here's the last four abilities:
Carrier class ability
Ether cost 10 - Adds 10 alloy to alloy container
Apocalypse class ability
Ether cost 40 - For 10 seconds minions will take 100% more damage
Rapid Fire Mode
Apocalypse class ability
Ether cost 10 - Reduces Missile Strike cooldown for 10 seconds
Awakening Of Inner Power
Carrier class ability
Ether cost 200 - Unleashes power stored within nodes
- Jams ALL minions for 5 seconds
- Removes 40% of armour from ALL minions
- Damage is based on amount of nodes equipped
- Can only be used once per mission
Awakening Of Inner Power is ultimate carrier class ability.
I'm really proud of this one.
Unlike other abilities, it can only be used once, but it has an effect that lasts for the entire mission.
As the description says, it removes some of the armour from all enemies.
It means all enemies you will encounter during the mission will have less armour.
Each node equipped removes 1% of enemy armour
That means Awakening Of Inner Power almost useless at level 1, but it keeps getting better as weapon limit increases.
High-level ship with 40 nodes equipped will remove 40% from all enemies!
Let's not forget that weapon limit can be ignored!
Ignoring weapon limit penalty, it will be possible to remove 80% of enemy armour with 80 nodes equipped!
Weapon limit penalty increases all ability cooldowns by 400%.
Which of damage dealing abilities has the lowest cooldown and so is barely affected by the penalty?
That's right, Concentrated Fire!
And what we get is 80 Nodes Titan Carrier Awakening build!
Anyway, let's move on to other stuff from final combat update.
What's ability point problem?
It's a very old problem that I've talked about in previous echoes if I remember right.
Basically, ability points become almost useless at level 22.
At level 22 you can max out 9 abilities and because you can't equip more than that, you will never really need more points.
How to solve it? Give every ability a passive effect, that works even if the ability is unequipped.
If every ability is worth spending ability points on, ability points will lose value at about level 82.
Ability point problem is a part of level up problem, that I am currently attacking from all angles.
Aside from fixes and improvements, final combat update should add new minion modifications:
'Has a core' modification. Enemies with this modification will have armour core.
'Mine launcher' modification. It's similar to 'Sniper' modification, but releases mines instead of accurate missiles.
Now this one is worth writing about!
Minion with 'Evolves' modification will turn into a bigger minion after some time.
E.g.: Probe will turn into the tank after 5 seconds.
You can kill probe right away or wait 5 seconds and kill tank for more XP.
But it gets more interesting because evolved minions continue evolving!
A tank will evolve to heavy, heavy to a veteran, veteran to a dreadnought, dreadnought to apparition and apparition to final form!
Final form will be a monstrous minion - even more powerful than an apparition.
It will make you think twice before enabling The Assault Of The Modified modifier.
Then again, it will always drop an extant part!
This is inspired by Borderlands 2 goliaths, that level up when enraged.
Goliaths were the best part of that game for me and I really wanted to have something like that in Sector Six.
Echo #80: Back to big questions Posted on August 21, 2017 at 04:42
This week I was preparing the game for translation.
A large part of it is done, but there's still a lot to go.
What I am doing is putting chunks of text out of the game into one external file.
While doing that, I did a few improvements to the game.
All regions will have shops now, so every region will be worthy of securing.
The highlight is two new amplifier shops in Archmist and Pulsar Vector if I remember right.
I have also improved ability tooltips and corrected few errors in ability descriptions.
Finally, the reflect chance will now be capped at 80%, reduced from 90%.
Anyway, it's been a while since I have asked big questions.
I've got some feedback since, so I feel ready to reveal my decisions.
1) Should I decrease maximum part limit from 80 to 70?
I have decided to decrease it just before game leaves Early Access.
2) Should I nerf The Decision difficulty modifier? If yes, how much?
Players didn't seem to like very long missions, so I have left just 1 level of The Decision that doubles mission length.
3) Should I delete all saves and reset leaderboards when the game will leave Early Access?
Saves from Early Access will not work in post-Early Access game version, but everyone will have access to a game version where the old saves will still work.
I think that's a good compromise between erasing hours of playing and having to support saves from all game versions.
Not having to worry about old saves is a big relief to me.
4) Should I release all story missions in one update, or should I release a mission, whenever I'm done with it?
I will try to release a story mission every 1-2 weeks - it seems that it's what my players want.
5) How is the part sets?
I have decided to reduce the number of parts required to activate part set to 6.
There's still time to give your answer to big questions, so if you have any thoughts, let me know!
Until next time!
PS.: Here's a screenshot of Sector Six ability interface translated to * language:
Massive update! Titan class is now available! Posted on August 12, 2017 at 14:31
It's done guys!
Took me a month to make and is the biggest Sector Six content update so far!
This is why I am a game developer.
(I love big ass updates and I cannot lie)
Original post (Show)
The wait is over!
Titan class is now available!
Class power distribution
Titan class spaceships are resilient destroyers of the Machine minions.
They aren't very good damage dealers, but their defensive abilities allow them to outlast even the deadliest of the Machine minions.
Titan class offensive abilities deal damage based on pylons.
It's quite complex class, with unique ability effects and disadvantages.
Some of the class abilities are compatible with other class spaceships.
Class abilities Other changes
Rebalanced Lethal Weapons and Aberrant Armour difficulty modifiers.
Manifestations of Destruction modifier now can be increased to level 2.
Manifestations of Destruction level 2 makes minions always spawn in groups of 3.
Difficulty modifier levels are now saved between different missions and play sessions.
Fixed message glitch.
Added Almadi diodes.
Almadi diodes increase the grade of parts.
Now difficulty level increases a chance to get Almadi diode drop from minions.
Amplifiers, cathodes, anodes and diodes now have consistent levels and sell/buy costs.
Sustained Barrage ability now requires at least 5 ether to activate.
Shards Of Chaos ability projectiles now destroy enemy armour pieces.
Carrier class mines no longer bounce off shields.
Reworked Piercing Lasers ability.
Armoured colony seeker will no longer hit player spaceship when appearing.
Added Channel ability for carrier class.
Added new part sprites.
Your feedback is crucial
Some of the new abilities probably need to be improved, but to make improvements, I need feedback!
So if something doesn't feel right, please tell me and I will take care of it.