Update 4.0: The Really Really Big Update
April 20, 2022
It’s been a busy few weeks, but we’re thrilled to share what we’ve been working on for Update 4! This is an enormous update with a new game mode, long-requested features like private servers and a lower-intensity Flasher effect, and major changes to the combat sandbox! Plus, you’ll be able to unlock the Rocket Rocket Launcher in a few weeks, as well as the usual bevvy of bug fixes, quality of life changes, and stability improvements. Buckle up buckaroos, because it's time for...
Boris has built Holdout Mode, a new training regimen to help Guion, Nessa, Liu, and Lance hone their combat skills, and it’s launching in Beta form with Update 4. Defend the Bridge of the Isolode from increasingly rowdy waves of aliens, collect new perks after every round, and replenish your special weapons and health items every three rounds.
Holdout is a perfect place to test out your Rocket Rocket Launcher and the new H-Blaster, a holdout specific variant of the Blaster that ramps up short range lethality in exchange for reduced damage at range. Holdout Mode is designed for a quick ten-minute combat sessions, and is a great way to test out new strategies or get familiar with a new weapon.
Introducing the Rocket Rocket Launcher
In a few weeks, players who have the Infinity Pass (everyone who bought the game on Steam, Xbox, or Microsoft Store, as well as players who bought the Infinity Pass on other platforms) will gain access to the Rocket Rocket Launcher, which we think is a fantastic one-shot solution to most of your alien-related problems.
Major UI Overhaul
This is our first major update to the user interface since launch, and it touches most of the main menus, as well as the in-game menu and inventory screen. We’ve redesigned the Home screen to prioritize Quick Play, which will put you and your party members into the first available server with the appropriate number of slots available, including games in progress. We’ve also revamped the play screen to accommodate Holdout Mode as well as our first wave of mod content, which will launch in a future update.
Along with the UI changes, we’ve enabled two new options for people who don’t want to play in the public matchmaking pool.
Private Servers are available for folks who want to play online games with their friends, but aren’t interested in filling empty slots in their game with players from the matchmaking pools. You can invite your friends to join your private game using either your platform’s friend list functionality or party codes. For the time being, in order to start a private server game, the person hosting the game must own the Infinity Pass. (We’ll expand that to work if anyone in your party has the Pass in a future update.) Players who join their lobby do not need the pass in order to play in a private game though. We know this UI flow isn’t ideal at the moment, and we’ll continue improving it in future updates.
Offline Mode is available for players who want to play by themselves with bots or who have laggy experiences right now, either due to distance from server or bad internet. Anyone who has access to the game can start an offline mode game. Unfortunately, because of the way our Season Pass works, you won’t be able to make progress in your Season Pass quests when you play in offline mode. For the time being, you need Internet to launch and log into the game. We’ll add the ability to launch the game in offline mode in a future update, which will enable full offline play.
Community Requests and Suggestions
This is our favorite section of the patch notes. These updates and changes were all either suggested by or requested by the community. There’s a lot of good stuff in here and we really appreciate the players who take the time to tell us what they love (or hate) about the game. Want to toss your feedback in? You can submit bugs here or join the conversation with us in the Discord here.
Flasher VFX Revamp
One of the earliest notes we got from players is that the Flasher was just too damn bright, especially for players with HDR displays. We’ve made a new visual treatment for the Flasher and liked it so much that we made it the default for all new players. If you like the classic “Eyeblaster” Flasher VFX, you can turn it back on in the Options menu. Disable the “Reduce Flasher Intensity” option and grab your sunglasses.
Character Preference Selector
You don't always get what you want, but now you can at least express your character preference. Choose your top two survivors and using an incredibly complicated algorithm, the game server will attempt to fulfill everyone's desires, at least as it regards the character they get to play. Now, we're setting our character #1 to Liu and #2 to Guion. If we don't get our picks, you can expect lots of angry Tweeting.
New Enemy Animations
We’ve added a ton of new animations for enemies, including death animations, hit reactions, and stumbles for common. We’ve also added pre-fire and celebration animations for the gooper and a bunch of other animations that we’ll let you find as you play. We’ll continue adding to the character animations in future updates. In the meantime, we highly recommend you shoot some enemies as they are jumping down from one level to a lower one.
Fire Burns Hotter
We’ve increased the damage that fire does to common and special enemies.
Game Instructor Instructs About More Things
The Game Instructor has been updated to gently teach new players about several world events, matter compilers, and incapacitated teammates.
Player Bot Improvements
The bots are much more capable in combat situations without being too capable, if you know what I mean. When you’re in AFK mode, the player bots will now pick up special weapons, although they don’t now how to use them (yet). Bots are also much less likely to get stuck on world geometry. If they do, just ignore them. They won’t try to move if you’re looking at them.
Added Toggle/Hold Options for Several Controls
In the Controller/Mouse and Keyboard Options screen, there are now Toggle and Hold binding options for both crouch and aim down sight.
Combat Sandbox Changes
For this update, we’ve done a huge pass on the combat sandbox, involving changes to weapons, aliens, item spawning, and AI Director pacing. The broad goal of this change is to re-balance the player kit and aliens to be more inline with one another, allowing us (and the AI Director) to make the game more fun!
Weapon Feel & Identities
We’ve changed each of primary weapons - Blaster, SMB, and Plasma Rifle - with the goal of giving them clearer identities and roles within the game. Generally, weapons will feel more powerful when at their best, but weaker when mishandled. Combined with overall improvements to their visuals and sound effects, we think each weapon has a well defined role now.
By player request, we’ve added hit markers (grey) and crit markers (yellow) in addition to previous kill markers (red)
Added hit sounds to common for body shots
Adjusted enemy hit and death reactions across the board
Aim Assist settings which work for mouse users have been split out. Aim Assist is disabled by default for mouse users, but they remain available if player’s prefer them
Crouching will increase weapon stability in most cases
Tracers should now accurately reflect the shot’s impact location
Tracer shots should no longer display HUD outlines
Fixed some animation wonkiness, especially when switching between weapons and non-weapons
Disabled Chromatic Aberration effects when aiming down sights
Softened the automatic recoil recovery curve
We’ve made a first pass on balancing weapon perks to account for the weapon changes, but undoubtedly there will be stuff we’ve missed. We’re watching and will do a full pass on affected perks for update 5. Please let us know what you think in the Discord
Added tracers and impact marks that better match how the weapon works. (Tracers effects only show up for the player using the weapon right now. That will change in a future patch)
Rate of Fire reduced around 33%
Damage increased around 30%
Significantly reduced width of cone of fire
Increased range / decreased damage falloff. The range of damage should better match expectations.
Added damage penetration with a steep drop off. Shots will pass through a few common at very close range
Increased the Blaster’s effectiveness at removing goo from incapacitated players
Increased recoil when hip firing and aiming down sights
Reworked recoil to use a recoil pattern
Reworked weapon bloom to grow slowly when burst firing, but quickly in full auto
Reworked damage falloff. The SMB will generally take more shots to kill enemies, especially at longer range
Improved the visuals of the SMB reticle at all sizes
Increased recoil when hip firing and aiming down sights
Reworked recoil to use a recoil pattern
Reduced weapon spread under almost all conditions. Adjusted targeting reticle to better reflect the spread
Reworked damage falloff. Common will take two body shots to kill past 10m
Ragdolls have been cleaned up to almost completely eliminate cases of popping or jumping on death
Performance Improvement: Ragdolls have been adjusted to go to sleep far more often
Numerous minor adjustments to hit and death reactions have been made
Burning common move at around half speed
Added hit impact sounds when shot in the body
Limited situations where large groups of common could strike a player far more often than intended
Ragdoll has been cleaned up to reduce popping and jumping on death
Performance Improvement: Ragdoll has been adjusted to go to sleep far more often
The Brute is more aggressively slowed by being hit. Together, a team can bring it nearly to a halt
Improved the Brute’s targeting behavior when preparing a charge attack. Should be much easier to understand and predict
We love Pulse, but more than that, you love Pulse. Frankly, you love it much more than we anticipated before launch. Players (especially high-skill players) are using Pulse at a much higher frequency than we saw in our pre-release testing. Pulse is so spectacularly powerful that it's rendered the common aliens virtually harmless in most combat situations.
To help make the common dangerous again, we're dialing back Pulse. That will make common more of a threat and allow other tools to take a bigger role. We know that this is a big change and we know that change is scary sometimes, but we think ultimately this will help us make the game more fun and increase both accessibility for new players and the skill ceiling for more experienced players.
The new Pulse will change the way that you play the game. You will want to stay closer to your friends because you'll need help if you get caught by even a small horde of aliens. And if you get swarmed when you're alone? Good luck.
This seems like a big change, but it’s important to remember that it’s also matched by other changes to the combat sandbox. Even then, it is only the first iteration of pulse. We’ll be trying out different ideas internally that will release in future updates!
Reduced initial charges from 3 to 1 (Pulse Charge count perks still increase the limit by 1 each)
Reduced pulse charge rate by half, from 3.5 seconds to 7 seconds per full charge
Pulse Charge speed perk now reduces the charge time from 7 seconds to 5 seconds
Added Emergency Pulse, which is used instead of a normal pulse when only half a charge is left. This pulse is smaller and pushes back enemies less than a normal pulse. We are working on better UI for this in a future update
Added a helpful sound effect that plays when you try to pulse without enough charge
Other Combat Changes
Flashers are slightly less common
Improvements to the Director so it better understands the impact of the special aliens it spawns. Generally, groups of specials will be better composed and less overpowering. This is especially important when spawning groups of disablers
The Director now has more freedom in how it shapes encounters. Notably, swarms of enemies can be directed to come from a small number of spawn points, giving players more understanding of combat situations
The Director now takes map events into account better for its longer-term pacing
The Director now makes use of more data about what has happened to players in determining pacing
Reduced availability of Turrets and Grenades
The Section With One-Line Changes
Added a new Goo overlay so goo-covered players will unequivocally know that they’re covered in goo
Added fancy pants animated screens to the Health Stations that are available in most airlocks
Added signs to the shops in the Episode 1 version of the Terminal
Added VFX for the Charger
Added VFX for healing items (Health Scanner, Boost, and Healing Goo)
Menu lighting has changed
Visual redesign of the pre- and post-game screens
Visual redesign of the inventory screen
Added UI animations in places where there previously were no UI animations
Updated character skin renders for Loadout and Infinity Pass screens
Added “Reset Hint Progress” option that lets you reset your Game Instructor records. This may be useful if you come back to the game after a break in the future
Separated Gamepad and Mouse and keyboard reticle snap and shot magnetism. Defaulted gamepad to on and mouse + keyboard to off
Push to talk binding is also exposed in the Voice Chat section in Audio so it’s easier to find
Moved the Credits to the Options page (and updated them with the new folks who joined the team since launch)
Improved text legibility throughout the game
Removed DX12 support from the Microsoft Store version of the game. If you’re using the -dx12 command-line flag in Steam, you should turn it off, as the new Charger VFX crash a significant number of PCs running the DX12 version of the game
Grenades and Health Items should now have pickup SFX
“SMB Tracking” perk should now work independently of the aim assist and magnetism settings
Common should no longer clip through Airlock doors - they may still die and fall through them
Missing MC re-rolls should now be available
Game Instructor should no longer prompt you to heal an ally who has a health kit
Quest progress should now update live in the inventory [TAB] screen
Fixed performance issues when players joined in progress, and were revived
Charger VFX and SFX no longer trigger when ammo is full
Fixed incorrect preview image shown for Plasma Rifle, and Blaster "White" skin
Fixed enemy corpses floating on the Episode 1: Bridge
Fixed Season rewards sometimes not immediately unlocking when the Quest was to complete an Episode
Fixed instances where Ammo Chargers would pick up wall decal
Fixed bots consistently switching to the Plasma Rifle
Fixed portions of the Episode 1: Mall floor not receiving decals (such as goo)
Fixed Death Counter not incrementing on Episode results screen
Fixed pinged Health Station highlight never going away
Fixed Auto Turret missing polygons on bottom of mesh
Fixed Bots getting stuck trying to give a Health Booster if one is already in the player's inventory
Fixed Bots will continue trying to heal you after you've already been healed
Fixed a server hang when players join mid-game or respawn
But wait, there's more! On Monday, May 2, we'll roll out Update 4.1 with even more fixes, tweaks, and updates, all brought to us by feedback from our fantastic community! Here's what's in 4.1:
AI Bot Improvements
Improved AI logic for deciding when to pulse using the new pulse changes
Player bots will pulse grabbed survivors to free them. (This works for players too!)
Player bots will occasionally look around when idle
Player bots will now make some effort to avoid enemies that encroach on their personal space
Fixed player bot behavior when multiple survivors are gooed, grabbed, or downed
Fixed proximate cause of infinite ammo laser rifle. Players can begin the spin-up period for the laser rifle while it's being equipped
Player Bots will consume health boosters when they need health now.
Bots are much better at recovering from being stuck now. If you do notice a bot that's become stuck, it's not a bug. It's due to a flaw in the underlying structure of the universe.
Fixed Ultrawide support - We believe that the game should display properly on even the widest of displays now. Please let us know and share your ultra- and ultra-ultra- wide screenshots in the Discord. (Please, no ultra-ultra-ultra wide screens, though. That would just be gratuitous.)
Fix for matter compiler rerolls not going beyond 1. We know we've said this before, but we're pretty sure we've found everything that was breaking this, for real this time. Please let us know if you're still affected after 4.1 lands on Monday.