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SteamDB Unknown App 2094560 update for 6 September 2022

Alpha Update #22: Difficulty Systems

Share · View all patches · Build 9456550 · Last edited by Wendy

Patchnotes via Steam Community


Update #22 rolls out the game's much-needed Difficulty system and is also now displaying your Team's Power Level which will be the underlying factor in all things scaling for the game. We're very excited with this design as a refinement on the Star Traders classic and Star Traders: Frontiers system of having a curve you need to stay ahead of else you'll fall behind. It's a lot and much of it is not yet fully described inside the game, so check the details of this update below for specifics!

The big puzzle pieces for the game's progression are now snapping into place. There isn't enough yet to extend the playtime significantly, but the bridge is starting to build and it's very exciting to see the plan coming together.

Due to the major saved game format changes to support difficulty, we're sorry to say this update wipes saved games again.

Playtest Test "Hover Escape"

For playtesting, we've added the Hover Escape level which had ended up missing from Update #21. This new level features a high-takes rush to an exit on the top of a corporate research tower. Move quietly and quickly if you can, but once things get heated up it is time to run fast and try to ward off pursuit with some retreating gunfire.


Top right, 0.34 Team Power Level

Your Power Level and Game Scaling

The safehouse is now displaying your merc company's underworld renown, infamy and calculated Power Level. You gain in Power Level and underworld rep solely by completing missions and storylines. It is completely unrelated to the character level and headcount of your squad, or the weapons and gear you've managed to acquire. This separation creates the classic difficulty curve we use in our games, forcing you to turn the rewards of each mission into measurable gains within your squad to "stay ahead" or fall behind.

Your underworld Contacts now also display their Power Level, which is calculated by missions completed for them as well as storylines taken for or against them. Even some of your interactions (selling them valuable paydata) can raise this Power Level while others (buying guns from them) will not.

Power Level is a value from 0 to 10, including up to 2 digits of precision -- such as 1.33. You'll see the same stat on everything in the game from weapons, armor, enemies, missions, matrix hosts and Contacts.

Difficulty for Life

As with all of our games, we take difficulty very seriously! There are 6 default levels now added to the game, each slowly ratcheting up the difficulty curve across all aspects of the game. While it is not yet available, a Custom Difficulty creator will be available in the game so you can fine tune your own run -- just like you could in CK classic with famous difficulty settings like Live Fast, Die Young (LFDY) that maxed out starting credits and enemy difficulty.

A major feature brought forward to the feature requests from Star Traders: Frontiers is the ability to speed up or slow down the pace of the story in the game. This will allow players who want to take more time and explore more angles of the game without feeling a time squeeze to play at a more relaxed pace and also let those who love the pressure of the tick-tick-tick of a very short clock to prove they can play the game with a deadly calm no one else can handle.

  • Casual offers unadjusted challenge levels, +15% XP and Mission Payments, a 20% reduction to the cost of all types of goods and services, regular story speed and 100% resistance to negative Trait mutations, Wounds, Armor Shredding and Death. This is for gliding through the game content with little resistance.
  • Easy offers unadjusted challenge levels, +15% XP and Mission Payments, 20% reduction to the cost of all types of goods and services, regular story speed and 50% resistance to negative Trait mutations, Wounds, Armor Shredding and Death. While still easy, mistakes can start to have big costs here.
  • Normal offers unadjusted challenge levels, +15% XP and Mission Payments, 20% reduction to the cost of all types of goods and services, regular story speed and no bonus resistance to negative Trait mutations, Wounds, Armor Shredding and Death. All your mistakes, critical hits and shredded armor are now real.
  • Hard increases game Power Level by +1, adds +20% to enemy HP, adds no bonus for XP and Mission Payments, does not reduce the cost of all types of goods and services, regular story speed and no bonus resistance to negative Trait mutations, Wounds, Armor Shredding and Death. Everything is hurting regular, costs are higher and it will be harder to take down enemies and stay ahead of the power curve.
  • Brutal increases the game Power Level by +2, Matrix Power Level by +1, adds +20% extra Power Level to your team's power level when calculating enemy Power Level and tosses on an extra +30% enemy HP for good measure. Ouch ... ! With no bonus for XP and Mission Payments, an extra 20% cost for all types of goods and services, regular story speed and no bonus resistance to negative Trait mutations, Wounds, Armor Shredding and Death. This is mean, the power curve is stacked against you and you're going to have to wring every advantage out of every mission and dollar you can.
  • Chrome increases the game Power Level by +3, Matrix Power Level by +1, adds +25% extra Power Level to your team's power level when calculating enemy Power Level and tosses on an extra +60% enemy HP for good measure. You did ask to play the hardest difficulty ... ! Mission Payments takes a -15% hit while XP stays regular, an extra 50% cost for all types of goods and services, regular story speed and no bonus resistance to negative Trait mutations, Wounds, Armor Shredding and Death. The entire deck is stacked against you. Every dollar you make is going to be counted, and you might be worrying out its pennies while facing overwhelming combat odds.

Enemy, Talent and IC Power Levels

While the first big squad compositions rolled out in the last 2 updates, Update #22 now is releasing different Power Level enemies to the field. As your squad's infamy and Power Level grow, you'll embark on higher PL missions which will in turn release high PL enemies to the field of battle. These enemies will spawn in different squad formations as well as deploying different and higher level Talents against you.

At the moment, only patrolling corporate enemies are trying out Power Levels 1-4, but every faction and enemy type will be catching up soon enough.

In addition, we've improved the Matrix security escalations to ensure that the Power Level of the mission is driving correct responses with enough difficulty. To help give more range of responses, we've added 10 new IC types of varying Power Levels.

Highlight Toggle "H"

We fixed the longstanding issue that matrix terminals were not showing up in the highlight at all which could make them quite famously hard to find. We've also fixed an issue with dead bodies acting oddly when hovered during the "H" highlight. To keep the battlefield understandable, dead bodies are currently not highlighted with "H" -- only if you hover over them.

Mission Fixes

A number of small bugs have crept into missions over the updates and we've worked on sweeping them out with Update #22. Cadaver Sample was granting the objective immediately upon starting it (oops!) and Dock Trouble had stopped correctly declaring victory after a certain point if you killed all the enemies. The Hack Missions are now correctly setup so that you can start your hack in a single click, and we've fixed a number of missions that had bad settings with lights and missing shadows.

Overwatch Fixes

There were a few Overwatch bugs that could occur before Update #22 that are now fixed. Getting gunned down by an enemy Overwatch no longer locks up the game. This also resolved an issue where inexplicably an enemy would not take an Overwatch shot even if you provoked the reaction shot.

v0.6.31 - 9/5/2022

  • Added missing Playtest Mission “Hover Escape”
  • Added Difficulty option to New Game, including 7 difficulty options from Easy to Chrome
  • Estimated Team Power Level now visible in top right of Safehouse (1-10)
  • Contact’s top row of stats includes their individual Power Level (1-10)
  • Patrolling enemies will now spawn from Power Level 1-4 depending on mission power level and have Talents that increase in PL as well
  • Improved filtering of Matrix security escalations and IC by power level and host stats
  • Added 10 new IC types
  • Fixed bug with Cadaver Sample granting objective immediately
  • Fixed bug with enemy sometimes not taking Overwatch shot
  • Fixed softlock that could occur if current character is gunned down by enemy Overwatch
  • Fixed issue with Dock Trouble not always ending on the right Turn (when you kill all the enemies)
  • Hack Missions all setup to click with one hack upon start
  • Improved rendering performance
  • Fixed some mission lights with bad settings, missing shadows
  • Matrix Terminals now highlighted by H toggle
  • Fixed odd behavior with dead bodies an H toggle
Windows 64-bit Depot 2094562
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macOS 64-bit Depot 2094563
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Linux 64-bit Depot 2094564
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