Patch Notes - (27 Feb 2018)

[color=#9966ff]Build Version: Combat update.
Release Date: 27/02/2018

For bug reports and technical help, please see our Troubleshooting Guide.

What’s New
Combat changes - batch #1
The biggest change we’ve made to this build is a complete rework of the Heat mechanics. We’ve redesigned the Heat bar and the way it gives feedback. We’ve also made the mechanics simpler and feel we’ve arrived at something that makes combat fun and accessible, whilst being measured and allowing the player to use a few tactics to get the most out it. Here are all the changes we’ve made:
[/color][ul][li][color=#9966ff]Heat is no longer gained from forward thrust, it is now only applied when strafing and firing weapons (though we may add additional ways to gain heat in the future).[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Heat is a value which goes up to 100, once you reach 100 your vessel will overheat.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]The Heat bar warning light will turn on around 80% as an indication that you are close to overheating. There is also an audio cue.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Consequences like the temporary loss of a weapon whilst overheated have been removed.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]When you are overheated you will be unable to strafe, though you can still turn, reverse and move forwards.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Once overheated you will remain in that state for a few seconds. After the overheated period has elapsed your locomotive will vent Heat rapidly and you’ll once again be able to strafe.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]You can fire your weapons whilst overheated, but as a consequence you will take damage (10% of your max Hull value). When you choose to do this your locomotive will vent immediately and Heat will dissipate rapidly.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]You will be unable to fire your weapons if you are overheated and firing them would damage your Hull to the extent that it would lead to your untimely demise.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Weapons now have continuous fire - hold down your hotkey/mouse button and the weapon will fire again as soon as it comes off its cooldown.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]If you are using continuous fire then your weapons will cut out automatically when you become overheated so you don’t inadvertently damage your Hull. Once you come out of the overheated state continuous fire will kick in again.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Weapons have variable cooldown times and kick out different amounts of Heat (Jerusalem 30%, Emanation 50%, Brassraven 10%).[/color][/li][/ul][color=#9966ff]We’ve also made numerous changes to some of the beasties that roam the Reach. Cantankeri are a little faster, Reach Marauders can turn sharper and Enduring Dreadnaughts have new weapons and are a bit tougher. We’ve also made the agents less accurate, enemies like the Tacketies and Dreadnaughts will now take potshots at you even when they don’t have a perfect line of sight.

Controller Support
Gamepad support is finally here and currently works with Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PS4 controllers. Plug in a control pad and have fun navigating across the Reach using the bumper buttons to strafe and the triggers to control forward and backward thrust.

Unfortunately we didn’t have time to implement a login check to reset everyone’s default controls automatically to include the updated controller mapping, but we’ll be including it in the next update. For now if you want to take advantage of gamepad controls you’ll need to manually reset the controls to default… You can do this from the title screen (select Options > Controls > Restore Defaults) or in-game (press Esc > Options > Controls > Restore Defaults).

After many hours of gameplay we’ve added a default configuration which we feel is the best fit, however everyone is different so you can remap the gamepad controls at any time after having restored to the default configuration.

The gamepad controls introduced a lot of new functionality in order to be able to move through the various interfaces without using a mouse, so there are also keyboard equivalents in place, however these are not fully supported yet so you cannot rebind them at the moment, there is no functionality for the chart or moving between tabs in shops, and they are not currently shown in the Controls menu. They are as follows:
[/color][ul][li][color=#9966ff]Select Left Menu (Port Index UI or Always Storylets when not docked) - Ctrl + Left Arrow[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Select Bottom Menu (Navigation bar) - Ctrl + Down Arrow[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Select Right Menu (Officer HUD) - Ctrl + Right Arrow[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]UI Move Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]UI Cancel - Backspace[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]UI Select - Enter[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]UI Submit (equivalent to X on Xbox controller, used for Jettison, More Info etc) - Delete[/color][/li][/ul][color=#9966ff]As simple as the gamepad controls look, it was a phenomenal amount of dev work to get it working correctly within Skies. Naturally there were lots of bugs and we’ve painstakingly nuked all but a bunch of minor issues which we’ll fix in an upcoming build. Make sure you read about them on our Known Issues page so you are familiar. As always, if you come across any that aren’t listed then send us a quick report, details of how to do so are here

We’ve made a couple of very subtle tweaks to locomotive movement. We’ve mentioned before in one of our Upcoming Changes threads that we are toying with the idea of having difficulty settings for movement. We won’t be implementing this until much closer to launch but in the meantime we wanted to adjust the controls to make the locomotives feel slightly less ‘slidey’. It’s been hard to find a balance because while a lot of players have told us they find the locomotive difficult to control, there’s also a lot of people who like the feel of it. One thing we don’t want to do is make the default controls feel ‘dumbed down’, hence why the changes we’ve made in this build are minor. Once difficulty settings are in place, you’ll be able to make stronger adjustments yourself. Here are the tweaks we’ve made:
[/color][ul][li][color=#9966ff]We’ve increased forward thrust so you get up to your maximum speed quicker. This should make you nippier in combat when you need to kill forward thrust, make a sharp turn and move full steam ahead out of the way of incoming enemy fire. [/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]In our last update we reduced the locomotive’s backward thrust so it’s much slower to reverse. We’ve buffed that a little in this build so it’s now a bit quicker.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]We’ve tweaked the skid suppression which will give you a little more control when strafing.[/color][/li][/ul][color=#9966ff]
[/color][ul][li][color=#9966ff]Default controls for weapons have been changed to the mouse buttons - only new players installing the game for the first time will see this change. If you’ve been playing in Early Access and you want to see the changes you will need to restore defaults (from in game press Esc > Options > Controls > Restore Defaults).[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]The Survival HUD now flashes when you take Hull damage. [/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]The Fastidious Inspector quest now requires items freely available throughout the Reach so players are no longer at the mercy of random Bargains.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]When weapons are assigned to mouse buttons they no longer fire when opening/closing interfaces. We had to apply this change to hotkeys too, so be aware that if you choose to use keyboard hotkeys to fire your weapons, they will only work when your cursor is not over an interface. [/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Weapon keys can now be held down so that weapons fire immediately when they come off cooldown.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]New ambient sounds are in place throughout the Reach.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]We’ve added some functionality which stops you from going over the edge of the Reach and as a result players will no longer get stuck on the loading screen when crossing the boundary.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]New in-game messages which trigger when you hit certain variable states have been introduced.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]We’ve made some adjustments to the camera zoom. [/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]The tutorial no longer opens up each time you close a Must Event or a Loot storylet.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Quests are now marked as completed once the storyline is finished.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Quests are now moved to the bottom of the journal when completed.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Objectives (sub-quests) are now in place and display as bullet pointed lists in the journal underneath the main quest. When completed they will be marked with a tick.[/color][/li][/ul][color=#9966ff]Bug Fixes
[/color][ul][li][color=#9966ff]Spam clicking Facets no longer causes skill boosts to be applied multiple times.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Navigation interfaces can no longer become locked to the middle of the screen.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Navigation interfaces can no longer be brought up on the Title Screen.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]The patch notes no longer appear in-game.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]You will no longer receive Hull as a reward from Flotsam & Jetsam if your locomotive has max Hull.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]When collecting Hull from Flotsam and Jetsam, the correct amount of Hull applied is now shown.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]The Experienced gained label for Squire’s House at Port Avon now appears in game on discovery.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Double Terror gain now kicks in when you are down to 2 Crew on Parsival-class locomotives, rather than 1.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Bargains are now removed from the Bazaar once you’ve purchased all the items available in the offer.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]If returning to the Title Screen and then continuing immediately after creating a new character, your locomotives equipment is no longer unequipped.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Colliders on mechanical agents are now removed immediately on death.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]The Crew requirement for Conduct a nocturnal excavation at Port Avon has been lowered to 5 to accommodate Sky-Captains with Parsival and Pellinore class locomotives.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]You will now see the correct quality effect message when completing the Amenable Host’s Assumed Identity quest [/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Once you’ve completed the Assumed Identity quest you will no longer see the option to tell the Amenable Host about his past.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Port reports can no longer be farmed for Sovereigns at Lustrum and Port Prosper when the Winchester War changes[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Player’s can now purchase all Ministry-Approved Literature bargains around the Reach.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Sovereigns awarded for Ministry-Approved Literature Prospects have been adjusted so they are worth more than the value at Victoria Market.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]The avatar tooltip no longer gets stuck on screen.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]The avatar tooltip no longer appears on the Character Progression screen is opened while it is displayed.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Officer slots will no longer remain in an expanded state if the main menu (pause menu) is opened over them.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Engine SFX now play after death.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Character names are no longer obscured by the Load button on save files (with default Font and UI scales).[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Increasing the Font Scale will no longer cause the cost of locomotives to become cut off in the Engine Yard interface.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]The fog around Carillion has been tweaked to remove straight lines.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]The line above the Bedivere-class locomotive in the Engine Yard and Hold interfaces has been removed.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]Erroneous graphical assets have been removed from the chart between segments.[/color][/li][li][color=#9966ff]We’ve fixed a number of typos and grammatical errors.[/color][/li][/ul][color=#9966ff]

edited by FailbetterFuzz on 9/19/2019
edited by FailbetterFuzz on 9/19/2019

I just jumped in and gave the new movement mechanics a bit of a test. Here’s my impressions so far:

  • I like the new handling of Overheat. The additions to the UI for the alert light and sound are well done, and I appreciate the expedient cooling down after overheating. Only thing I would add is a delightful hissssss sound effect when doing the quick venting. The corresponding visual is already there, after all. Also, maybe it’s just me, but the overheating being vented this quickly seems… Iunno, a little silly? Not that this setting isn’t known for being silly from time to time, but maybe adding a second or two for the overheat bar dropping down would add a little bit of extra authenticity. But again, might just be me.[/li][li]The continuous fire option is a huge quality of life thing that I’m very happy about, although realistically I don’t see myself making actual use of it a lot, as it’s usually better to wait for a precise moment to land a good hit even with the more rapidly firing weapons. This might be different once we get some BIG beasties to fight, though. Also, on that note - if I’m not completely insane, you buffed the firing rate of Emanation by a lot. Thanks for that! It’s even more of a beast up-close now.[/li][li]I’m in the camp that really likes the ‘slidey’ movement the engines had so far, and the new levels are a bit rigid for my taste, though still pretty good. I just really like the sensation of plummeting through space, like a runaway train, yknow? If you end up including that idea of a difficulty slider for movement, I see myself putting that to ‘very high’. As movement is one of the most important things for me in a game with, well, movement, I would really appreciate that customization option.

edited by MeingroessterFan on 2/27/2018

On first try I like the heat system. I also liked the slidy mechanics more, but this does make docking significantly easier, so the goal has probably been achieved for a decent “easy mode.”

The music in the Nature Reserve seriously freaked me out. Also, when I arrived in the Reserve, bargains and prospects don’t work - clicking one doesn’t take me to the buying/selling screen. Everything else has seemed to work so far.

I think the speed at which heat is gained is currently too high. Having to manage heat even against a single opponent seems a little over tuned to me. It also makes the new continuous fire option pretty pointless as you’ll overheat within a second or two of activating your weapons.

Overheating disables the most ‘fun’ aspects of combat - strafing and shooting and should only come into play in extended combat against large or multiple opponents, in my opinion of course.

The movement changes, I’m fine with as they are. I’m the type of player that will crank difficulty up to max so 25% less or more slidey as a default doesn’t really affect my experience much at all.

I do wish however that this patch had gone further and perhaps introduced or talked about a system whereby different engines can have different speeds and handling - and can be upgraded further. In this game, the ship is pretty much the players avatar. Adding +4 hold and the ability to mine etc is nice but ship handling and speed is something the player will get the most enjoyment and obvious progression feedback from.

Now that the default is for the mouse buttons to fire the weapons (something I configured myself previously) it might be nice to consider having the ship turn to face the mouse pointer too. I’ve used this control method in other games and it works well.

Not really related to this patch, but I’ll add it here anyway - I think the bat should now report on more than just ports when it scouts. It feels wrong to be sailing past a mysterious ruins with terror rapidly rising whilst your only pair of eyes out there in the dark repeatedly informs you there’s nothing of interest going on.

If the bat is only going to report on port locations, its feedback text should probably reflect that. New players are certainly going to have a different expectation of exactly what the bat will tell them about

I haven’t had the chance to play for a few months, but I’ve dipped back in for a bit today to test out the new movement. I’m firmly in the camp that prefers more “slidey” movement, and I loved the old controls. But I also recognize that many players had a hard time playing the game because they constantly crashed, so I see the need to tighten them up a little. However, I really hope that you guys implement that difficulty slider, as I don’t really enjoy travelling anymore, and found myself just sailing straight from port to port instead of having fun with it.

I disagree with rakaposhi re: the overheating speed, I think it’s fine, even too slow. Now that heat gain from forward thrust is removed it’s effectively cooling much faster while moving

I’m a bit disappointed in the nerfing of the brassraven. I agree it was more powerful than other weapons in this tier, but it was &quotThe Machine Gun&quot. It filled a specific archetype of being rapid fire and thus easier to hit with. I used to fire it in three shot bursts

If it needed to be nerfing (and it did, though not much) then you guys should tweak it’s per-shot damage, and leave it’s ultrafast firing rate intact.

In its current state after last patch, it’s now only sort-of-fast firing, and its unique feel has been lost
edited by Nanako on 3/7/2018

I do wish however that this patch had gone further and perhaps introduced or talked about a system whereby different engines can have different speeds and handling - and can be upgraded further. In this game, the ship is pretty much the players avatar. Adding +4 hold and the ability to mine etc is nice but ship handling and speed is something the player will get the most enjoyment and obvious progression feedback from.t[/quote]

I agree with you strongly on this point and I have a thread over here which may be of interest

[color=#6666ff]New patch notes for today’s update (Albion) are here.[/color]