!!! ALERT: SPECIAL MODE DETECTED !!!
It's that time of year again, when all sorts of fake things appear on the internet... But I've become a fan of using this opportunity to make crazy unprecedented things that are true, so Cogmind is going P̶a̶y̶2̶W̶i̶n̶ Pay2Buy! Well, for a day, anyway ;)
Get the latest Cogmind update and fire it up on April 1st, and anyone who's past the tutorial starts and has been playing the regular game will automatically have new runs start in Pay2Buy mode!
I'll talk about that more below, but unlike last year's event, I've combined this one with an actual release, which includes a number of fixes for Beta 8, as well as some balance-related tweaks. There's also a bit of new content as well:
Cogmind Beta 8.1 "Pay2Buy" (0.10.190401) changelog:
- NEW: Unique AFD mode for 2019, automatically activates on 4/1 for anyone who has played at least three runs
- NEW: 1 new unique superweapon
- NEW: Special NPC encounter under certain circumstances
- NEW: Additional improvements to reduce turn delay when holding wait key or moving at extremely high speeds
- NEW: Command line argument "-forceAFD2019" to enable the AFD mode from 2019, regardless of system date
- NEW: Command line argument "-forceAFD2018" to enable the AFD mode from 2018, regardless of system date
- NEW: [AFD 2019] Includes a special interface for "purchasing" items with CogCoins, an event-specific mechanic
- NEW: [AFD 2019] Earn CogCoins by raising the alert level
- NEW: [AFD 2019] Other event-specific mechanics
- NEW: [AFD 2019] Score sheets include list of all purchased items at the end
- NEW: Any AFD mode scores can now be uploaded as well for aggregate stats and potential special leaderboads, but are still excluded from main leaderboards
- NEW: Added Phase Armor and Phase Redirector mechanics to manual's Attack Resolution section
- NEW: List of patrons added via Credits menu
- MOD: Tweaked various Exiles scenario reactions
- MOD: Master Thief behavior changed to make them more dangerous
- MOD: New internal turn system, harder to game for free peeking around corners
- MOD: Dropped items/salvage allowed to fall to other side of map exits (on same map)
- MOD: Overloaded Fabricator effects no longer count as Cogmind kills, or for alert purposes
- MOD: Signal Generator only works in 0b10-controlled areas
- MOD: Firepult damage reduced
- MOD: Keyboard's Pause key no longer has an effect
- MOD: Alpha Supporters shortcut command changed from '0' to '9'
- MOD: Lore no longer has '9' as an optional shortcut (access via Records page)
- MOD: AFD runs no longer added to scorehistory.txt
- FIX: An active Stasis Generator brought into a new map has no effect unless toggled off and on again [Joshua]
- FIX: Ejecting couplers from certain unlocked Garrison Access instead destroys them [Joshua]
- FIX: "Batter Up" achievement description did not specify melee impact damage only, despite kinetic cannons now being capable of knockback as well [Joshua]
- FIX: Gallery CSV/HTML exports were missing a header for the new propulsion Drag stat [Mx. Eldritch]
- FIX: Rare crash on an allied Mechanic seeking a repair target after robot it was following is destroyed [Horse]
- FIX: In rare layouts a special hidden area of a certain map might be slightly disconnected from the rest of the map [8fpsbossfight]
- FIX: Possible to crash the UI by switching into the game menu extremely quickly while also switching pages [geedmat, Horse, 8fpsbossfight]
- FIX: Crash on hitting a controllable ally with a Field Lobotomy Kit [ApolliniaD, alice_fexa]
- FIX: Manual seeds could be applied incorrectly in some cases, resulting in different seeds producing the same world [Suslik]
- FIX: Combining any Thermal Generator and Cryofiber Web could show a net negative energy readout in HUD, even though still positive [lsend]
- FIX: Advanced flashProjectileVictims option could in some locations cause flashes outside of combat as well [Puzzlebark]
- FIX: Integrity Redistributor could result in the wrong effect if core integrity near 50% of a total value greater than 1000 [mtf]
- FIX: Crash on accessing the Z-Roster if earlier on same map summoned a hero and in the turn immediately afterward a new hero was added to roster [Rumbl3]
- FIX: Fixing a separate issue in previous release broke schematic list highlighting while hacking a Fabricator [Malthusis]
- FIX: Typo [mindcog]
- FIX: Scrollable lists containing multiple keyboard ASCII colors may not align properly with list items when more than 26 items, after scrolling
- FIX: Hacking Prototype ID Banks did not immediately update identified inventory items if any happen to be matching unknown prototypes
- FIX: Multiple Stasis Generators being used at once may not always remain active depending on relative toggle states
AFD 2018 was a last-minute joke implemented and deployed in just an hour on 2018.4.1. This year I put a good bit more time into it, spending several days over the past week building some new UI features, designing and balancing systems, and surprisingly increased Cogmind's core code base by 0.6% for Pay2Buy alone (excluding all the other work that went into bringing you Beta 8.1).
So what's this mode all about...
The Cogshop is open for business! No, this isn't the Merchants Guild expansion I've touted as one of my Patreon goals, it's a new AFD mode that significantly changes the Cogmind experience.
Skip this section if you want to go in blind, or read on for more details.
In Pay2Buy mode there are no parts lying around, and no salvage from kills, either. In a few very rare cases items may still be available via the usual special means, e.g. Relay Couplers, but for the most part you'll have one source of new parts: the Cogshop.
Access the shop by clicking on the Buy button in the bottom-left corner, or via the number '0' on your keyboard. There is no item info available for shop items--there wasn't enough time to add that, although I did add the short item stat summary after each one so you can reference that to help make purchasing decisions.
Earn CogCoins by doing almost anything that raises alert, i.e. get in fights -> earn coins -> buy parts -> get in more fights (or go around sabotaging machinery as your source of revenue ;)) and so on.
Eventually you might notice there's a bit of a market economy going, with you as its only customer :P. Prices will fluctuate a bit, more so depending on what you do and don't buy. Item types you don't buy will get lower in price, while those you do will get increasingly expensive.
There are also Loot Boxes! Because of course there are :). If you've got coins to spare or want to take a risk, test your luck and buy some. You might also see some special discounts or other shop-related announcements as you play.
Interestingly the Pay2Buy experience is kinda like typical character creation at the beginning of a run, as well as ongoing throughout the run, only with even more control than you normally have. It's a pretty unique Cogmind experience :D
As for other AFD-related tweaks, you do not have access to any Storage Units, but start with ten inventory slots for free, instead of the usual four. Your score sheet at the end of the run will include a full list of all of your purchases, and the prices you paid. And in a very first for one of our Cogmind special events, score sheets can actually be uploaded! (assuming you have the option enabled) Of course they won't be included in the regular leaderboards, but Pay2Buy runs could get their own dedicated event leaderboard, at least for those who play in the near term.
AFD 2019 normally autoactivates for new runs on 4/1, but if you want to play on another day, rather than having to change your system time like before, I've added a new option you might prefer, the "-forceAFD2019" command line parameter. (In Steam this is Cogmind > Properties > Set Launch Options...) If you don't want to play this special mode on 4/1, the "-noAFD" switch will block it.
Beta 8.1 brings with it a fair number of Exiles tweaks, if you remember them from their explosive Beta 8 debut ;)
Yes, as many in the community feared, I did nerf their Firepult just a bit, but it's still an amazing and terrifying weapon. More importantly, Master Thieves are a good bit scarier now. They're still a challenge that can be overcome, but... you really would do better to not attract them in the first place. (I also changed up the dialogue just bit so that it makes sense they can still come after you if you went all evil murderer in the lab.)
You know that scenario where the Exiles have prematurely departed? Well there's a new potential reward in that case, and a clue about where to get it...
There were various other EX tweaks as well, mostly small stuff.
One of the other big changes under the hood is probably not so big to most players, but the entire turn system has been replaced with a new type of queue. I'll be covering this more on the dev blog later, but the main impetus was to prevent free corner peeking, which a tiny handful of players were taking advantage of as an optimal tactic made possible by gaming the original turn time system. Now the system is more fair, and directly related to movement speed, rather than specifically when during a turn the move action is taken.
In the process of making the above change I also optimized the turn queue handling, which will speed up the game by up to 10% in some scenarios.
Behind the Scenes
Beta 8.1 includes a bunch of fixes, as usual (mostly to new stuff), and as part of my debugging work I finally added an engine-level visualization so I could see which subconsole is currently receiving mouse hover messages:
This helped track down a particular new bug that wasn't highlighting the current schematic at a Fabricator, for example:
It turns out this bug was caused by a separate Beta 8 fix for a completely unrelated issue xD
On the blog I've shared an addendum to my level design article, this one discussing how I approach layout planning for procedural maps, with an eye towards level design goals.
Another addendum, looking at the usage of static, procedural, and hybrid maps, is currently available to patrons here.
In good hardware news, I successfully cleaned out my dev laptop, as well as recovered all parts taken by Recyclers that escaped from the Cogmind source in the process.
(I shared the process on Twitter.)
Zyalin has shared some cool new fan art, this piece titled "Storage Jammin'"
It depicts a beat up Cogmind build rampaging through Storage, indeed a dangerous map with very tight confines. Also of course there are friendly drones nearby :)
JackNine did another cogmic in his style:
Over on the forums muxecoid started a poll for the most hated combat enemy class, and Hunters won by a fair margin. Swarmers came in second place.
Although there's no "official" support for it beyond answers I hand out when interested people occasionally ask about superficial mod support, a number of people have actually modded Cogmind. Most recently Ape3000 has shared their mod that mixes ASCII with graphical walls from the tileset. Here's a sample of how that looks:
As for myself, on my Twitch channel I've been streaming a bunch of 7DRLs for reviewing lately, but will get back to Cogmind soon. In fact, it won't be this week because I have family visiting, but next week we're gong to play with Pay2Buy mode! As usual the videos will be up on YouTube afterwards.
Patreon is going okay, the one I announced last time as part of the Future of Cogmind update.
So far patrons have been submitting suggestions for my Cogmind TODO list prioritization, to decide which major QoL system they'd like to fund for Beta 9, and also more recently for the new item/mechanic they'd like to see in the next release. These things are collaborative so we'll be doing some voting in April.
What's Up Next?
Well my near-term plans have somewhat changed due to this whole Pay2Buy event. I was originally planning to release a Beta 8.1 with fixes and some new hacking content, but Pay2Buy got big enough that it pushed back the other stuff (and 4/1 is a hard and fast deadline, after all xD), so my earlier 8.1 plans are likely being folded into Beta 9 instead (along with all the other Beta 9 stuff).
So the next release will likely be Beta 9, though it's too early to say when that'll happen since there's a lot to do. That said, Beta 8.1 is pretty big for a "minor" release, and the new mode adds yet another layer of replayability, so I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone thinks of it.
Beta 8.1 saves are not compatible with previous versions, but even if you're on Steam and Cogmind automatically updates, Beta 8 is still available via its own legacy branch and you can roll back to finish a run in progress first if you like.
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