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Dev Log #49: Temporal Manipulation


Stygian Software
Aug 18, 2010
Hi guys,

In the expansion, we'll be adding a new psionic school called "Temporal Manipulation", which will primarily feature delayed damage and buffing/debuffing abilities.


This psi discipline will, probably more than any other, will function well as a support skill that can be incorporated into other builds, rather than a primary skill around which a build is made, though I have no doubt that some of you will find a way to prove me wrong.

Here are the abilities:
  • tm_psi1.PNG
    Temporal Distortion - Places a debuff on the target that lasts 1 turn and deals mechanical and energy damage when it expires. In the case the target is already affected by temporal distortion, its duration will be increased by 1 turn and damage by 25% and the newly applied temporal distortion will have the same duration and damage bonus. Damage dealt by this ability ignores shield and 50% of damage resistance and threshold. This ability cannot critically hit.
  • tm_psi2.PNG
    Psycho-temporal Dilation - Reduces target's action points by 15 and movement points by 50. Lasts 2 turns.
  • tm_psi3.PNG
    Limited Temporal Increment - Reduces all remaining cooldowns by 1 turn.
  • tm_psi4.PNG
    Entropic Recurrence - Repeats the percentage of the last unit of damage taken by the target over 3 turns. This damage ignores shields and resistances. In cases when the original damage was very slight, the recurrence may actually empower it.
  • tm_psi5.PNG
    Psycho-temporal Contraction - Increases target's action points by 15 and movement points by 30. Lasts 2 turns.
  • tm_psi6.PNG
    Temporary Rewind - Reverses the last damage done to the target, up to certain amount depending on the skill level. After two turns this health is lost and this may cause the target to die.
  • tm_psi7.PNG
    Precognition - While this ability is active, your chance to dodge and evade attacks is increased by certain percentage depending on skill level (additively). Drains 25 psi points every turn.
  • tm_psi8.PNG
    Stasis - Places the target in stasis for 2 turns, making it immune to all damage and most disabling effects, but also preventing it from acting. While in stasis, the target's status effects will not progress (except the stasis one), but the cooldowns will.
That's about it. Let me know how you guys like the new psi school.


Nov 20, 2015
Goodies for my Psi-monk character? Thank you. Are we going to get a chance to respec for the expansion?


Jan 26, 2016
I'm as excited as the next guy but this update is a slap to the face to Psychosis, especially this part:
"This ability cannot critically hit"
Perhaps abilities that can't crit should be excluded from Psychosis as someone suggested here:
That would be logical and good for balance. And more needed than ever with Temporal Manipulation.

Psychosis review by Pope Amole II:
I'd like to add that Pyrostream does not crit. Not sure if bug or not.

Temporal Distortion, Entropic Recurrence - nice stuff to throw at someone and CC him/her afterwards, making it good for psiker as they have lots of CC. But it still might not be worth using over instant damage.

Psycho-temporal Dilation - those snipers are going to pay.

Psycho-temporal Contraction - Haste! That's always useful.

Limited Temporal Increment - cooldown reduction! As useful as haste.

Temporary Rewind - too order dependant which is a weakness of TB systems. Suffers from same problem as Last Stand - damage is done right before enemy turn.

Precognition - big cost is making it a good ability to mix with non-psiker builds. Perhaps even with psikers with proper setup. Potentially great for heavy armor guys who also want to dodge, depending on whether or not armor penalty is going to affect this ability.

Stasis - mixes well with DOTs if you use it on yourself. But it suffers from a time handling problems i'm going to discuss later.

I'm happy this school is useful vs robots.

4 abilities do not seem to scale with skill level so there might indeed be potential for mixing with non-psikers.

The game has two problems with handling time:

1. DOTs are applied at the end of target's turn, not at the beginning.
Why it's bad? You attack your enemy, doing damage and applying DOTs. Your target drops to X health and cumulative DOT damage is greater than X. "Awesome" you may think. "I'm going to leave him to bleed out and use my APs for something else".

WRONG. You need to finish this guy despite DOTs affecting him or otherwise he will take full turn, attacking you and probably using a health hypo. It will only work if enemy is disabled. Combo used to be good for this but ... we know what has happed to Combo ):
It's unfortunate Stasis does not progress DOTs of targeted unit.

2. Protective effects are actually 1 turn shorter than description suggests.
Do you guys think Last Stand is going to give you 2 more turns to finish your enemies?

WRONG. It's just one turn. One enemy turn, because it's what matters for defensive buffs. Sure, you will have extra HP during two of your turns but ... you don't need it when you take action unless you throw like a girl. Or have Tranquility.
Same deal with Morphine, Evasive Manouvers etc. And now with Stasis if cast on yourself.

Time oriented PSI school has potential to help with those problems, something like this for example:

Long And Scientifically Sounding Name 1 - advances all timers of target (or all targets in given area, i don't see any AoE in this school) by X (possibly just one) turn(s) (that would tick over time effects but also PSI regen).

Long And Scientifically Sounding Name 2 - prolongs duration of all effects on target(s) by 1 turn.

and most importantly:
Instant Expedition - instantly releases first expansion for Underrail video game.

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