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Underrail Dev Log #67: Version Beta - Waterways and Psi Update

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Underrail Dev Log #67: Version Beta - Waterways and Psi Update

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 21 July 2020, 23:01:25

Tags: Stygian Software; Underrail; Underrail: Expedition

Styg has released the second major content update for Underrail which he first teased back in March. It's called the Waterways and Psi Update and it does pretty much what the title indicates. As I expected, the new content is mainly located in the Expedition expansion, but it seems like the real centerpiece of the update is the psi system overhaul. Psi in Underrail will now use an elaborate dual resource management scheme, which might be described as Vancian spellcasting combined with a long-term mana resource that must be replenished using psi inhalants. It's an ambitious enough change that Styg has decided to release the update as an experimental beta first. He explains his design goals in the new development update:

Hi guys,

We're rolling out a new content update. It's going to land on experimental branch first in order to thoroughly test it out.

To play experimental branch on Steam, you right click the game in your library and go to "Betas" tab. To do so on GOG Galaxy, you go to Manage Installation -> Configure. Make sure you don't override all your live version saves just in case something goes horribly wrong.

The first major theme of this update is the change to psi mechanics. The full changes are listed below. They are not primarily meant to kick the full psi builds down a notch (though they will do that), but to address the following issues with psi that I find the most problematic and detrimental to the game as a whole, not just in terms of difficulty:
  1. Psi gives you too many utilities. Due to how the psi functions now (prior to this update) it's almost impossible to add new stuff to psi without extending the already bloated spectrum of combat utilities of any given psi generalist (which most psi builds are) even further, since, unlike with combat utilities, there are no limits to what a psi invoker can access during combat.
  2. Psi is cheap to spec into. Even though every psi school is a separate skill, they are all based on a single base ability, which is the only one required to be maxed out in order for your character to be powerful. If you invest heavily enough into it, the psi abilities themselves will make up for many deficiencies in other areas. No other robust build works like this, they usually require at least moderately strong investment into a secondary base ability.
  3. Psi does not require any expendable resource. Pretty much every other build does so I introduced a resource for psi as well. Now it has a dual (or hybrid if you will) resource management aspect. Also I used this opportunity to put a sort of a limit to how much psionic output you can dish out in a single fight, so we'll see how this works out.
  4. This is the least important point, but it's still worth addressing. Some abilities are a bit too cheesey and easy to exploit so I changed them up a bit. This does not make them perfectly balanced or un-cheeseable and I know there is other stuff out there that's cheese as well. These are just the ones that bothered me the most and were long overdue to change.
Anyway, the detailed changes are in the list below. What I hope to do in the future with psi now that I've dealt with psi generalist question is to facilitate more hybrid builds, which I think the new system will support well.

* * * * *

The other major theme of the update is a lot of new content for the waterways - one big new dungeon, a couple of smaller locations, many new random encounters and other stuff. I'll leave it to you guys to find out for yourselves.

On a related note I halved the price of all the fancy jet skis and all the parts, so they will be easier to acquire now. We do not need such ridiculous prices anymore since we added the economic component to the difficulty settings.​

As always you can check out the full update for a complete changelog, including all the details about the new psi system and much more.

There are 15 comments on Underrail Dev Log #67: Version Beta - Waterways and Psi Update

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