It's time for yet another Red Algorithm update and it's a big one! This new game version has many changes, the most important of which is an introduction of a new mechanic of diseases that will make the life of the hero a little bit more challenging. In addition to that, there is a new weapon, a new perk, many visual improvements, important changes in balance, and much more!
Here is a short summary of what is new:
- New mechanic - diseases
- Runes limit of 70 per hero was removed, now you can get all of them, but there's a trick...
- Every hero has got 2nd favorite skill (which you can train twice faster)
- New weapon reloading animations
- +1 new weapon
- +1 new weapon upgrade
- +1 new perk
- Various balance changes
- The issue of multiple sounds playing all together in a messy and loud way was fixed
- A few other bugs were fixed
- Other minor changes and improvements
As always, thank you all who support the game in any way! Thank you all who wrote a review on Steam, made a YouTube video, purchased a DLC, left a comment or like, followed the game on Twitter or Reddit, recommended it to a friend, or just enjoyed playing it. New free updates like this one are possible only because of your support, it gives a lot of motivation to continue this work.
Alright, let's look at the changes closer and start with diseases.
Introducing yet another annoying thing that can weaken, damage, or kill you, as if there weren't enough of them already. Now you can also catch diseases during the game.
There were multiple possible ways of implementing diseases, but after all, it was decided to add this mechanic in a simplified, yet clear and practical way. You can think of disease in the game as something bad in a broad sense. It reduces almost all your stats (but not by much), damages you, and blocks some healing. In a way, diseases are quite similar to injuries. The disease is like one weak injury for all your body parts, but there are differences too. Healing a disease is easier than healing an injury, and also diseases aren't permanent, you always know when it will pass.
Now during the game at precisely the 13th second of every minute, you have a chance to get a disease (if you already have it, this is when it will do damage to you and the timer will go forward). You will hear the "disease" sound, see a popup, and then there will be this thing in the top-left part of the interface.
A thermometer with a timer
This means that you have caught a disease and are now sick.
Here is how the chance to get a disease is currently calculated:
- 3% every minute in the casual mode, -50% if you have perk Healthy
- 6% every minute in the Hard Mode, -50% if you have perk Healthy
- 1% per every melee hit of a monster (range hits can't spread it), perk Healthy doesn't help here
So, you either get it randomly every minute (you can't do much about it, it's purely random), or you can get it from a monster (you can try to avoid hits and get it less often).
The duration of the disease is also random, it can be from 5 to 15 minutes. However, here is an interesting detail. Your Wickedness affects the possible duration, each 33 points of it reduce or increase the duration by 1 minute. So, if you have 100 Wickedness (you are an evil bad boi), you will get a 3 minutes longer disease from 8 to 18 minutes. Righteous players with low Wickedness will get diseases that don't last long, but the fact that you are good or bad can't protect you from getting it in the first place and it doesn't reduce its effects.
Ok, now let's talk about disease's effects, here they are:
- Damages 10% of the Max HP (not a fixed damage, but a % of the max hp like with overwhelming, to be relevant in the late game) per minute (applies at 13th second every minute)
- Blocks your HP regeneration (but it doesn't block other ways of healing)
- -10% to damage
- -10% to hit speed
- -10% to move speed
- -10% reload speed
- -10% range
- -10% accuracy
- -10% experience
- -10% armor
- -10% splash size
- -10% dodge
- -10% crit
So, it reduces almost all important stats by 10%, damages you every minute, and blocks basic HP regeneration. It's all bad, but you can live with it, and in many cases just wait until the disease is gone. The disease blocks all basic HP regeneration, but it doesn't block other things that can heal you like: Vampirism, Paladin's heal, heal from Go Green perk, Life Recycling weapon upgrade, healing from rain, etc. What it does block is regeneration given from: Troll perk, Alteration, Passive Heal, Antisocial (although, the disease will also cancel the HP loss caused by that perk), Entrenching, regeneration bonus, etc. The way it works might not always be intuitive, but generally speaking, the disease blocks most of the passive heals or HP Reg, but it doesn't block most of the direct heals.
The last thing to talk about here is how to heal a disease?
- Just wait until the timer runs out and it'll be gone
- Use simple heal  (first aid kit), it doesn't heal injuries, but it does heal diseases
- Perk Doctor heals it
- Perk Alteration heals it
- Perk Phoenix heals it (after rebirth)
- Perk Cup Of Tea heals it. It doesn't heal injuries, but it does heal diseases
As you can see, diseases are not as bad as injuries, yet they are also annoying and can make the game harder, especially in the beginning and in the Hard Mode.
The interesting part about this mechanic is that, unlike with injuries, you always know when the disease will end, thus it makes you think and make hard choices. Should you use your heal now when just 3 minutes of the disease left and you still have 70% of HP? Maybe it's better to just wait and save the heal? Choices and decisions like that will force you to think and will create some interesting game moments.
Lastly, note that as with all newly added mechanics, there might be changes in the future updates after some additional testing and players' feedback.
Meet the new weapon - Blades.
It's a level 20 primitive weapon with a number of unique features. First of all, there are 2 blades, so it works just like Gemini pistols, launching two projectiles simultaneously and spending just 1 ammo to do so (1 ammo here represents 2 blades...). This rare feature already means that things that improve crit, for example, will have a double effect here. Another fun feature of Blades is that they are poisonous, they have a rare "type 4" toxic damage type and will do 1 toxic damage per second even without perk Venom (and much more with it). This is the first primitive weapon with this type of damage. As with many other primitive weapons, it has its limitations: a huge (50%) range penalty, low ammo, a quite limited range, and wind interference. In addition to that, unlike many primitive weapons with a great (around 3) habit gain speed, Blades have a reduced habit speed, which means that it’s hard to get used to and to master them. Lastly, Blades can fully benefit from the special Primal perk (which will work together with poison) and from Athlete. It's a very special and nice alternative to another primitive weapon level 20, Malleus.
The Crossbow was nerfed:
- Ammo: 12 > 10
- Reload: 1.5 > 1.75
- Weight: 0.2 > 0.25
- Range penalty: 0.3 > 0.35
- Penetration: 4 > 2
- Habit: 2.5 > 2
Mr. Lee now starts the game with it, so this low-level weapon should be well-balanced. It's still strong even with all these changes, it's just before it actually was too OP.
Many assault rifles (ARs) in this version were slightly nerfed. Dictator, Patriot, Fukuoka, and Peacekeeper range was reduced by 25, reload speed was increased by 0.25 second, and the slow-down effect was weakened by 0.05. This is not a significant nerf, but it's an unpleasant one. After a number of tests, ARs still performed above many other weapon classes, and the 3 stats that are being reduced (range, reload, and slow) are the main reason for it.
Liberty AR was nerfed too: reload speed +0.25 second, but its range and slow weren't affected.
A few SMGs were slightly nerfed, their slow-down effect was reduced. Zion: 0.15 > 0.05, Wallon: 0.3 > 0.3, Shark: 0.25 > 0.15, Sheol: 0.25 > 0.15, Horangi: 0.15 > 0.1. The slow-down effect in general proved to be a bit too powerful in dealing with most of the melee monsters, that's why it's being reduced.
We didn't have new weapon upgrades for a while, so here is another one.
It's a new "silver" weapon upgrade - Sharp Delivery.
It will increase the critical hit chance by 10% for those weapons that can have it (non-splash type). This upgrade is generally weaker than simple +25% damage or +25% shooting speed, yet considering the fact that some weapons like assault rifles shot 3 bullets at a time, this +10% to crit can actually be turned to +30%. Plus, any critical hit not only deals double damage but also fully ignores the armor (resistance). As with the perk Headhunter, this weapon upgrade is particularly good with weapons that had no crit at all initially or a very low one, like SMGs, MGs, and especially shotguns.
A new perk - Fire Bullet.
With this perk, your hero will shoot a powerful bullet with 1000 fire-based damage every 20 seconds. This perk is triggered at 0, 20, and 40 second marks every minute, so you can predict when the next bullet will be shot, aim, and hit a particular target. Also, 1 second before the shot, there will be a simple animation signifying that the next fire bullet is coming out soon. It'll help you to aim.
Here is a screenshot from one of the internal tests to demonstrate it:
You can see that the Fire Bullet is being prepared near the hero at 20:19, it'll be launched after 1 second
This perk has its strengths and weakness. As with many other fixed-damage things, this perk is much more effective in the early game and it losses its power later, yet it can still be very helpful if you learn to aim with it properly. Fire Bullet is particularly good against spawners, most of which can be killed with just 1 Fire Bullet (or even more than 1 per shot, if they are positioned on the same line). If you learn to aim with this perk well, you can pretty much kill most of the spawners with it in the early and mid-game, which is a huge help for builds that have low DPS early on (pistols, SMGs, etc.).
Perk Soulmate is now considered to be a good thing (from the moral point of view, it's something like marriage and commitment xD), so it will reduce hero Wickedness by 50 when taken.
Perk Alteration was nerfed: HP Reg 1 > 0.5. This perk already was strong and super helpful in many cases, but as now it also heals diseases, its main effects should be weakened.
A new warning will be shown for Phoenix perk that all your bionic body parts will be removed after death if you have at least 1 body part installed.
Perk Doctor now also heals diseases.
Perk Healthy now also reduces the chance to catch a disease by 50%.
Perk Cup Of Tea now also heals diseases.
When you take perk Virus you will be punished for an attempt to spread it by getting disease yourself. To compensate for that, its main perk's damage was improved from 0.5 to 0.75 per second.
Mr. Lee will now start with the Crossbow and not the Bow. Bow proved to be a too complicated weapon for new players with its usual shooting mechanic (you have to hold the button...) and strong wind influence. Also, the Bow level is quite high (6), when the Crossbow level is just 3, so you can get rid of the penalty much faster. Because of this change, some of the Crossbow stats were reduced, but not by much, it's still a very decent starting weapon.
Phantoms behavior was changed. In one of the previous versions, they started to chase the hero only if there are 50 or more monsters (of any kind) on the map. With fewer monsters, they would just stay away from the hero. Such behavior resulted in a situation when you could "catch" a phantom and push it to the rock, and then quite safely kill after that, if there were less than 50 monsters it won't do anything to you. Now, however, if a phantom is damaged by a hero even a little bit, it will attack the hero anyway instead of sticking to its main strategy of waiting while 50 monsters will be created. This slight AI improvement will make their behavior more reasonable.
The maximum number of runes a hero can have was changed from 70 to 130, so now you can improve all the stats and keep improving your favorite hero much longer. This change wasn't easy to make as I had a strong opinion about limiting the total number of runes to 70 and argued about it in the Steam discussions. I believed that it would be better in terms of the overall balance and game-design as such limitation would result in different end hero builds. However, after some serious thinking, I came to the conclusion that allowing to get all possible runes and removing the cap could be fine with certain limitations (it will be much harder to get runes after 65, half of the maximum number) and with some additional game balancing (the new diseases mechanic will partially compensate for this removed cap).
A new "perfection modifier" was added to the total rune drop formula. It applies when you have more than 50% of the total number of runes (more than 65 of them). This modifier will reduce rune drop rate by a factor of 5, so if you had the drop rate of 30% with 50 runes, if you have 70 runes the same drop rate will be 30 / 5 = 6%. So, it's still possible to get runes, and in a long game in Hard Mode (and if you completed many achievements, etc.) it's still will be possible to get a few runes in just one game, but in general, pushing your hero to the level of perfection will be tough.
The rune that improves HP now gives +3 per rune instead of +2 before (up to +30).
The rune that improves HP Regeneration now gives 0.05 per rune instead of 0.025 before (up to +0.5).
Good news! Every hero in the game has got an additional favorite skill (favorite weapon class) that will be trained twice faster than others, so now there are 2 favorite skills out of 8 in total.
This is what each hero got:
- Ivan: launchers (old) & primitive (new)
- John: rifles (old) & shotguns (new)
- Sarah: SMGs (old) & MGs (new)
- Mr. Lee: primitive (old) & plasma (new)
- Samara: ARs (old) & launchers (new)
- Fernando: shotguns (old) & rifles (new)
- Lucy: pistols (old) & gauss (new)
- Osiris: plasma (old) & pistols (new)
Only 1 favorite skill imposed too many limitations on weapon choices for those players who were too concerned with skill improvements. So, two of them will widen the arsenal. Honestly speaking, improving skills (and even getting runes) wasn't meant to be the main focus of the game, and if you just allow yourself to be more flexible with weapon choices and not only choose weapons that hero "likes" in order to improve skills faster, the game will be much more fun and you'll survive longer.
Note that hero favorite skills, the native bonus, and the inherited perk doesn't always fit the way it would be perfect in terms of the gameplay. Each hero, including all premium ones, has its weaknesses and weird parts, nobody is perfect. And the fact that a skill is hero's favorite doesn't always mean that it's the best type of weapon for this hero in any situation.
A few simple reloading animations for the most common weapon types (pistols, SMGs, launchers, most of the rifles, and assault rifles) were added:
Hopefully, it looks better than no animations at all
The animation speed (how fast frames are moving forward) depends on the actual reload speed. So, with fast-reloading weapons, the animation will go fast, but slow-reloading weapons will have a slow animation. Perks, runes, and other things that affect the reloading speed also affect the animation speed.
There are still a bunch of less common weapons without reloading animations; heavy machine guns, most primitive weapons (although, I added it for the Crossbow and Blades), Tesla, Diablo, Crusher, and many more. They will be slowly added in the next game updates.
Any other animation that is happening during the reloading one will break it (for example, when the hero runs), and then the reloading animation will start over, but the reloading process itself won't be broken, the animation will just end sooner in a bit broken way. You'll see what I mean in the game.
Runes button was adjusted to fit numbers with triple digits.
99+ numbers will fit better there now
There is a new hero sprite with Crossbow and it also has its own reloading animation:
Because Mr. Lee now starts with it...
There is a new hero sprite for all pistols:
It fits better to the new hero reloading animation
The fire explosion animation was changed. It was significantly speeded up to reflect the actual lifetime of the explosion, so now it lasts only a few milliseconds (ticks), but this way all such splash-type attacks will look much sharper than before.
The plasma explosion animation was changed. It was significantly speeded up to reflect the actual lifetime of the explosion, the same way as it was done with the fire-based explosions.
Declaration icon and number were moved, so the background now takes less space:
It's a minor correction
Blood particles now behave in a bit different way, they will now fly against the hero if you have a weapon without a splash (which looks better), and they will fly randomly (as before in any case) if you have a weapon with splash.
New popup: "disease".
The main menu buttons font was reduced from 30 to 28.
A few standard GMS 2 (GameMaker Studio 2, the engine this game uses) effects were removed. The smoke effect (it was used as blood when a hero is hit and on a few other occasions), the explosion effect (when a drone or a turret self-destroy), and the cloud effect (which was used as a pool of blood after you kill a monster) is not in the game anymore. The game effects are being slowly replaced with the custom ones (like blood particles, etc.) that you can customize in settings better and that, presumably, are less CPU demanding. However, there are still many standard GMS effects left in the game and they probably will stay there for a while or even forever.
The link to the guide about achievements was removed from the achievements screen.
The "Go Hard" button was redesigned. Now it just says "Hard Mode: on / off" without a checkmark, but it's written as text now, rather than being an image, thus it finally can be translated properly.
Graphs & Events
A new event icon was added when you get a disease.
All small event symbols on graphs were redesigned. Also, now their location won't be exactly on the time point, but above or below it instead, see the screenshot below as reference:
These small symbols now look a bit better and cleaner
In addition to that, a small legend (clarification of meaning) was added there:
It includes new disease events
Understanding these graphs wasn't an easy task for many players, so now it should be a bit more clear.
An issue when multiple sounds (when many monsters are killed simultaneously, for example from a splash attack, a nuke, or something like that) are playing together was fixed. The sound system was made in such a way that if the same sound it triggered more than once, its loudness just increases, and these increases could go up to a very critical level (my apologies to the people who experienced that...). Now there is a check for all monster death sound if the same sound is playing already, and if so, the new sound won't be played, which overall sounds much better and smoother. There are still some sounds in the game that can be "stackable", for example when the hero gets hit, but practice proves that it's much less of an issue with these sounds compared to the monsters' death sounds and some of them better leave "stackable".
The "Miss" sound was removed from the game. In some cases, for example, when you attack a bunch of Imps or Spiders, this "miss" sound was too loud and didn't fit well. There were some experiments with "crit" and other similar sounds before, but after all, they proved to be unnecessary and too annoying.
A new sound "disease" was added, it's played when you get it.
A new cause of death was added: "from the diseases".
A new stat: "total number of all caught diseases". It's near the total number of injuries.
"Random" background in settings wasn't actually random. Even with the "seed" generation mechanic that is there in order to achieve real randomness, the background was often generated in the exact same way if you started the game in a particular manner (for example if you quickly picked Sarah). Now, no matter how you start the game, if the background is set to random in settings (which is the case by default), it'll actually be random.
A bug with John and Genius perk was fixed. This perk with this hero caused 4x skill training speed instead of 2x. This was caused by a typo.
The bug with Smokey perk was fixed. The smoking triggered only 1 time at the 30-second mark every minute before, but it should have triggered twice per minute (at 0 seconds as well). Now the hero will smoke at 5 and 35 seconds for 10 seconds (until 15th and 45th second), and it will work twice per minute, as it should.
The heal that you have with the Paladin perk was activated only if hero HP is below 100%, which means that if your Wickedness was very high, like 150, and this heal supposed to damage you by 150 HP instead of healing, in case your health was full the paladin heal wasn't triggered. This heal is meant to damage an evil person even if the current HP = 100%, so now the heal of this perk will be activated even if your health is full.
The chance of harmful acid rain is now 5% instead of 1% before. It'll be more common, but still rare.
The Trust formula was updated.
The healing mechanic was optimized, now it's all executed from a single script (technical detail).
Random advice now will be shown until you played 10 hours by default (it used to be just a few hours). This way, hopefully, more people will learn something new from them.
The "Vive La Revolution" achievement name was fixed. The French "e" (é) wasn’t displayed properly.
More random advice was added, they are mostly about new features.
A few old random advice were corrected.
New guide about consumables was written on Steam.
New guide about declarations was written on Steam.
Some of the old guides on Steam were updated.
The official website was updated.