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Game News Underrail Dev Log #67: Version 1.1.2.0 Beta - Waterways and Psi Update

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Infinitron, Jul 21, 2020.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    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.
     
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  2. Sinatar Arbiter

    Sinatar
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    So instead of making other builds more diverse and fun, the solution is instead to nerf the psi build into oblivion.

    When did Josh Sawyer take over this project?
     
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  3. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    Spaceman 1: Wait, it's all Sawyer?
    Spaceman 2 behind him and holding a gun: Always has been.
     
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  4. aratuk Arbiter

    aratuk
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    Today a new dev introduced himself on the Underrail forum: "For a long time to come, I'll be primarily focused on polishing and improving the overall experience of Underrail. All feedback on the upcoming content is more than welcome."

    I really wonder how they have funding to continue polishing and expanding this single-player isometric game. Underrail is a great achievement, and I love that they're doing it, but I bought it the better part of a decade ago, and so probably did most people who would be inclined to.

    It's going to be truly massive in another ten years.
     
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  5. underground nymph Learned

    underground nymph
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    Can’t stop admiring Styg’s dedication to his project, his principles of not seeking easy money on kickstarter and overall deep knowledge of the system he develops. Giving up a good job which can drag you through your life on easy mode and starting something so uncertain is a thing to respect.
     
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  6. Hedge Wizard Totally not Auraculum

    Hedge Wizard
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    Great, and I was about to start my first playthrough of the game as a Mentalist, focusing entirely on Psi abilities. Guess that's wishful thinking now.
     
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  7. Trash Player Scholar

    Trash Player
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    Locus Of Control - Change AoE radius to 2 (down from 3)
    Enrage maximum duration changed to 2 (down from 4)

    Not too bad, all things considered. Innervation is very divisive though, but imo it is mostly due to the harsh execution.
    Either keep it like that and tax a few feats or lax somewhat.
    It has more to do with variety than peak power though, 5 slots and 2 schools are enough to trivialize the game anyway.
     
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  8. Iluvcheezcake Arbiter

    Iluvcheezcake
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    Sounds like its time for another playthrough soon :)
     
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  9. Major_Blackhart Codexia Lord Sodom Patron

    Major_Blackhart
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    You know, it's really indicative of the dedication and respect shown towards his own game and his community that Styg and co. continue to work on this. Bravo.

    And I can't wait for the next expansion. I feel like this beta patch, which may be live soon, is a preview of the upcoming expansion, regarding changes and challenges, as well as a preview for either Underrail 2 OR another game entirely.
     
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  10. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Well, you still have time while the update is in beta.
     
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  11. Thac0 Hopeless Optimist Patron

    Thac0
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    Since Styg is lurking here some thoughts on these changes:

    I am absolutely fine with PSI spell slots. Nerfs just running with all schools, and should make running psions much more interesting in general.
    For the total PSI pool I would have to play with it first to form an opinion, sounds really tedious.
    I am heavily opposed to the +15% cost when using multiple PSI schools. This will completely kill general Psions, PSI base costs are too high for that. This will reduce Psionic to either Choosing two PSI schools and sticking to those, with the rest of the points flowing into defensive and utility skills like dodge and biology, or just normal builds which splash for a single PSI school. Innervating Spell slots nerfs PSI generalists enough on its own, the stacking cost is completely unnecessary.
     
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  12. Hedge Wizard Totally not Auraculum

    Hedge Wizard
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    Playing on a non-updated system feels somehow like cheating.
     
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  13. Marte1980 Literate

    Marte1980
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    These changes make sure that I'm never gonna complete this game and that I'm never gonna buy anything else from this developer.
    There are 2 reasons for that:
    1) I despise developers who put this much thought and effort into balancing their games
    2) This is even worse when the game has been out for so long and yet it's still being balanced
    Balance is a retarded concept and it's completely different from other abolutely important ones like character growth progression, encounter design, combat difficulty, etc.
    All that balancing does is neuter a game. Just like in MMOs, where, e.g. , bounty hunters and imperial agents _must_ be as strong (or often stronger, by accident) than jedi and siths!
    Anyway, another developer down the drain!
     
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  14. ciox Learned

    ciox
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    Your reaction is drastic but I can't say that I don't understand.

    When a game has only one balance version you can play (the latest one) and no support for multiple ones, it's sensible to avoid pushing sweeping "oh hi I upgraded your RAM" updates, especially when time's passed and the game state has solidified to an extent, but unfortunately this type of game update is a thing for some games.

    A solution that comes up sometimes is from the community, they program something called a "downgrader/upgrader" which can change a game's version with a few clicks, maybe someone will step up and write one for this game too.
     
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  15. urmom Educated

    urmom
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    They could make psi have two resources. One short-term resource that works like a mana pool in typical fantasy games, and another long-duration resource that you only get by sporadically preying on people like a vampire. Maybe it has to be the right type of person too, not just anyone.

    [ed]

    Or maybe you need to infrequently harvest a particular organ in order to retain your psi powers, and whom and when you can harvest the organs from is scripted.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
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  16. Trash Player Scholar

    Trash Player
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    There is a new patch:

    Version 1.1.2.1


    Psi
    • Changed the psi empathy health reduction to 20% (down from 25%)
    • Changed the maximum number of psi slots to 8 (up from 6)
    • Changed the psi slot requirement to 2 int per slot (down from 3), and you get 2 slots for free (no requirements) (up from 1)
    • Changed the multischooling psi cost penalty to 10% (down from 15%)
    • [Expedition] Psycho-temporal contraction base psi cost changed to 50 (down from 75)
    Feats
    • Shooting Spree - Will now grant an ability that, when activated, will cause your sniper kills to refund 100% their action point cost. This can happen twice and will expire after the turn ends. All your sniper rifle kills will now also reduced the cooldown of Shooting Spree in addition to Aimed Shot. Cooldown: 8 turns.
    Specializations
    • Added Shooting Spree specialization that reduces cooldown of Shooting Spree by 1 turn per point. Max 2 points.
    Bugs
    • New death screen actually enabled now
    • Fixed some of the new cave doors not being properly patched (old doors will remain instead and sometimes block the player from moving through)
    • Fixed an unknown item sometimes appearing among generated items
    • [Expedition]Fixed new quest cutscene on The Rig
    • Minor dialog and map fixes
    Innervation is just a minor hindrance now. 3 slots is enough for dippers anyway. 6 slots can hold any fight winning array. 10% isn't that much counting in Expedition power creep.
    Reserves is still more busywork. At best it makes cave wizards take Grenadier now. So much sound and fury for little gain.
    Snipers don't even need a sidearm now, derp. Weapons otherwise are fine with Critical Power nerf, barring some sad outliners.
     
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