Welcome to Beta 4, a properly meaty major version release! Herein we have an improved early game, even greater information transparency, more challenge modes, item gallery stat exporting, and lots more...
Cogmind Beta 4 "Data Mining" (0.10.171220) changelog:
- NEW: Export stats for all discovered gallery items to TXT, HTML, or CSV for external reading/processing
- NEW: Lore and gallery exporting shows destination file name once export complete
- NEW: Materials maps may have one or two special stockpiles
- NEW: Added guaranteed Sml. Storage Unit to Scrapyard
- NEW: Option to automatically attach/collect all parts/matter in Scrapyard and start at the exit to Materials (advanced.cfg only: quickStart)
- NEW: "Fragile Parts" experimental challenge mode (for now set in advanced.cfg: challengeFragileParts)
- NEW: "Sticky Parts" experimental challenge mode (for now set in advanced.cfg: challengeStickyParts)
- NEW: "Simple Hacker" experimental challenge mode (for now set in advanced.cfg: challengeSimpleHacker)
- NEW: "Trapped" experimental challenge mode (for now set in advanced.cfg: challengeTrapped)
- NEW: 1 new corruption effect
- NEW: AI corruption can cause misfires and temporary IFF failure
- NEW: Consecutive on-map items can be compared in keyboard mode, where previous item remembered for stat comparison as long as no other actions taken
- NEW: Applicable major NPCs and some late-game robots list immunities under their resistances, including context help describing each
- NEW: Robots with special effect (e.g. Samaritans) now have a Traits button in their robot info window that gives access to all relevant details
- NEW: Pacifist bonus score applied for each depth reached with no prior kills, increasing with proximity to surface
- NEW: Programmers can reset nearby allied robot systems (0b10 variants only) to clean corruption
- NEW: Super secret hidden door opens in response to relevant NPC's data core
- NEW: Option to show actual remaining integrity for damaged robot core popups, rather than a percentage (advanced.cfg only: preciseCorePopup)
- NEW: Operators summoning reinforcements via their terminal also display an on-map ALERT message
- NEW: Part swap list distinguishes broken inventory items by displaying their names in red
- NEW: Tutorial message about non-stacking effects when simultaneously attaching two parts that will not combine their effects
- NEW: Numpad Enter also centers map view on self
- NEW: WASDQEZC command set
- NEW: Optional "-nonportable" switch applies to all player file saving, including settings, score sheets, screenshots, and the backup system
- NEW: Support for custom save paths, specified via "-customFilePath" switch (see manual under Advanced UI > File Options)
- NEW: Option to hide precise values in part coverage visualization mode even when Tactical HUD active (advanced.cfg only: noPreciseCoverage)
- NEW: Score sheet Best States also records Energy Generation and Matter Stores
- NEW: Optional Terminus style map glyphs for size 18 ASCII mode players (see manual under Advanced UI > Fonts)
- NEW: Added explanation of Vulnerability mode visualization to manual (Advanced UI > Parts Window)
- NEW: Option to block all vi-key input, to prevent unintended movement by those who don't use vi-keys anyway (advanced.cfg only: blockVi)
- NEW: All Alpha supporter names registered since Beta 3.1 added to in-game list (see Credits menu)
- NEW: Robots sending distress signals to an ally out of view temporarily reveal that ally's position with a blinking yellow marker
- NEW: Robots calling for help or reinforcements from a garrison temporarily reveal that garrison's position with a blinking red marker
- MOD: Robot info window provides Analysis button with separate access to that text, instead of directly displaying it all (some didn't fit)
- MOD: 't' button no longer sorts inventory while robot info window open
- MOD: Robot/machine/terrain damage modifier info display now represented as Resistances, using negative values for weaknesses
- MOD: "Dispatching garrison force" log message in a certain mid-game branch changed to "dispatching additional forces" to avoid confusion
- MOD: Masking an area prevents Recyclers from even collecting there, rather than simply blocking item knowledge at a distance
- MOD: Reduced size of -10/Materials by 44%
- MOD: Scanalyzers removed from -10/Materials
- MOD: Reduced number of Terminals and Repair Stations in -10/Materials
- MOD: Fewer bots in -10/Materials, and Swarmer patrols always 3 bots rather 3-4
- MOD: Maximum preloaded Fabricator schematic rating bonus increased from +2 to +3
- MOD: "Data loss" message due to corruption effect more specifically indicates that lost data is component knowledge
- MOD: Corruption misfire attacks against Demented outside W base no longer cause faction-wide aggro
- MOD: Bump- and forced-melee attack targets no longer recalled automatically for subsequent attacks
- MOD: On-map label for object under cursor only appears once if cursor remains on that object
- MOD: On-map label for multi-cell robots no longer recreated when moving cursor (via kb or mouse) around between that robot's sections
- MOD: Wall/door destruction value (for alert purposes) now based on depth, reducing it for much of 0b10 though later maxing out at its Beta 3.1 value
- MOD: Item stat comparison no longer available via Repair Station repair list
- MOD: Core Stripper effectiveness reduced by one-third
- MOD: A few corruption side effects require passing a minimum system corruption threshold rather than anything being possible from 1%
- MOD: Core resets also wipe all intel data
- MOD: Easier/Easiest mode accuracy bonus now 20%/30%
- MOD: Hvy. Machine Gun buffed
- MOD: AM-PH4 propulsion tweaked
- MOD: A single terminal will only ever explicitly list one Prototype ID Bank
- MOD: Chance to trigger traps increased while overweight
- MOD: Removed Ctrl-F1 hotkey for cycling combat log verbosity (legacy 7DRL command now available in options menu)
- MOD: Cannibalization Units removed
- MOD: Robots sending distress signals to an ally show no log message if that ally already visible to Cogmind
- MOD: Lore export button style changed, and keyboard players now access them via T/H/C (upper case) instead of 1/2/3
- FIX: Chance to avoid self-damage from kicking was calculated per leg rather than per slot, and therefore incorrect for the one multi-slot leg [Valguris]
- FIX: Network Hubs destroyed outside both view and audible range did not correctly apply effect [Valguris]
- FIX: Certain bonus points could be earned multiple times, despite intended limits [Valguris]
- FIX: Potential crash if Borebot destroys itself while clearing an explosive machine [Valguris]
- FIX: Particle Accelerators only applied effects against on robot targets, not terrain or machines [Valguris]
- FIX: W might fail to spawn for a particular late-game event [GJ]
- FIX: Science guy terminal missing a lore entry [GJ]
- FIX: Holding 'f' before and while dialogue transmission window opening would ignore all commands once window closed [GJ]
- FIX: Opening super secret hidden door with the proper manual code triggered the security system anyway [GJ]
- FIX: Crash on a temporary patrol spawning into a map under certain rare conditions [Hopeless Situation Warrior]
- FIX: Containment Facilitator explosion type context help message missing [Hopeless Situation Warrior]
- FIX: Core Analyzer effects were checked on the defender rather than attacker, making it useless to attach one [Hopeless Situation Warrior]
- FIX: Allied Programmers wiped friendly trojans from 0b10 terminals [Hopeless Situation Warrior]
- FIX: Allied 0b10 Operators revealed friendly derelict traps outside 0b10 [Joshua]
- FIX: Materials storage cache prefab could in rare cases allow a hostile bot to spawn near Cogmind's entrance location [Joshua]
- FIX: Easier difficulty modes were getting a higher accuracy bonus than advertised/intended [DeanSherman]
- FIX: Version number stored multiple times within compressed game.bin metadata (no impact on functionality or data integrity) [kiroist]
- FIX: 3.1 caused Command internal name misalignment for some commands.cfg entries (no impact on functionality, though) [Raine, JamesVagabond]
- FIX: Crash on hypermatrix ping effect triggered while simultaneously tunneling deep into earth [dak]
- FIX: Implementation of tread crushing effect made autoreplacement of some tread types incompatible with the replacement rules [zxc]
- FIX: Specific Cetus terminal query topic accessible only directly rather than indirectly as a reference (affected keyboard mode only) [ozer0]
- FIX: Scrolling a repair/scanalyze item list of greater than 26 items resulted in incorrect color coding [Snow_Cat]
- FIX: Allied programmers could rewire shutdown robots that were otherwise unhackable [Quelan]
- FIX: Temporary pop-up labels for robots would remain visible and track the robot even after it leaves view if enough turns are passed [Star Weaver]
- FIX: If the new advanced.cfg noFluffLogMessages option activated, no autogenerated messages would appear in log
- FIX: Data backup system incompatible with "-nonportable" command line parameter
- FIX: Score sheet "Absorbed by Shields" data not tallied correctly
I've made a number of adjustments to the early game explicitly aimed at 1) making it a little easier for new players and 2) further streamlining it for experience players. The most significant change is that -10/Materials was almost halved in size. This will make finding exits even quicker, even if you're just wandering aimlessly, having not yet figured out the layout patterns and other clues that tell you where exits are likely located :). Of course the contents (and obstacles! are scaled down correspondingly, so overall your first evolution will come that much faster. Patrolling Swarmers will also never come in 4's, only 3's.
Those changes only apply to -10, whereas all Materials floors will also usually each have one or two special stockpiles with slightly better gear. These are easy to spot.
Even the starting area has been updated, providing a guaranteed Sml. Storage Unit. Carrying spare parts is important for survival, and it's fairly easy to acquire storage units very early on, anyway, so may as well start with one.
This addition also made possible a new advanced.cfg option, quickStart, which automatically collects everything in the Scrapyard, attaches what parts it can, stores the rest in inventory, and puts you next to the exit ready to go. This starts you out with middle-ground Leg propulsion, but carries everything else along too in case you want to switch (or lose something!), and because it's never good to leave spares behind if your inventory isn't full!
Those of you going crazy with explosives in Materials will also (maybe? :P) be relieved to know that the impact on alert won't be as significant as before. Instead of a static value, walls now gradually increase in value the higher into the complex you reach, peaking at the original Beta 3.1 levels for late-game areas. Setting off a chain of reactors will definitely still spike your alert, but not quite like it used to.
Some other features/changes also impact the early-game experience, but are covered in their respective sections below.
Cogmind is in general very transparent with its mechanics, and I always aim to convey as much useful information as possible, but there were still a few areas that long sat on the list for improvement which I've finally had an opportunity to address...
Not a lot of robots have traits and outright immunities, and they're usually found late in the game or in out-of-the-way areas, but those that do will now show them in their info window. Immunities are listed right along with Resistances, and as with all stats have context help to describe them more specifically.
Traits got their own sub-window. These are passive effects originally intended to be discovered by observation (or via lore) as they originally only represented non-essential mechanics, but then a couple were added that happen to be pretty important in certain cases, thus it's time to make them all fully transparent.
To make room for this extra info I also gave robot Analysis text its own sub-window. It's mostly fluff and not referenced all that often, so this is a good change that freed up valuable space to fit more important tactical info. (All you really need to know is whether you have the analysis for a given bot, and the fact that the button is visible or not will already tell you that :D)
One of the farthest-reaching gameplay changes to Cogmind with Beta 4: All those distress calls you see are now visible. Notified combat robots are temporarily marked with yellow indicators, revealing their location when otherwise out of view.
This is especially useful when facing Watchers, since their alert range is relatively large. It'll be helpful for new players still learning about the world, as well as tactically relevant to all players since knowing where those signals are headed makes it possible to react by advance repositioning as necessary, or otherwise plan for new company. Cogminds using sensors could more or less already do this, so this change is even more relevant to full combat builds that may not have room for sensors.
Garrisons called for reinforcements will also be revealed, but in red.
As part of this update robots also won't emit distress signals when all they're doing is calling robots already in view. That was always kinda annoying :P
There's a new corruption effect! It's a dangerous one, and you can probably tell what it does in this GIF...
Fortunately it's also the rarest one, and also can't even occur while your corruption is low. That's a restriction enabled by a new threshold system--not all effects are possible at all corruption levels, so no more misfires at 1%. The thresholds aren't exactly high so you'll still want to keep your corruption minimal, but it'll be helpful in avoiding ultra-low-corruption mishaps.
EM damage also now comes with another little inherent bonus: Corrupted enemies might misfire, or even specifically target their allies. Oops :P
(this sample image is not indicative of the intended frequency-
-I recorded during testing with a 100% chance!)
Programmers are also capable of resetting simple allied bot systems to fully purge their corruption. (No, friendly Programmers cannot clean your corruption!)
Wouldn't be a Cogmind update without some good old QoL!
Operators summoning reinforcements also have a new global ALERT message, meaning they also trigger the on-map alert and sfx. Can't miss it, and you'll also know exactly when that Operator which spotted you (or was even just alerted to your presence indirectly!) reaches its terminal and calls for help.
We get a lot of questions about the damage resistance system in Cogmind, which was implemented more as "damage modifiers," and previously called such. (This was a remnant of Cogmind's origins as a 7DRL[cogmindrl.blogspot.com] based on an X-Com remake[cogmindrl.blogspot.com].) The meaning of the values was explained in the context help, but it's better to switch over to a more intuitive "Resistances" system found in most modern games. Here positive values represent resistance against damage, and negative values a weakness.
All objects use the new Resistances display, not just robots.
In other QoL, pure keyboard players can now compare two map items against one another, since the first is remembered when its info window is opened. (This was the only comparison scenario not automatically covered under the standard item info retrieval systems.)
A new advanced.cfg option (preciseCorePopup) shows core damage popups as actual core integrity rather than a percentage.
[More!] Challenge Modes
Many of you probably don't even know challenge modes are a thing in Cogmind, but they've been in there for a long while and even have a dedicated leaderboard[www.gridsagegames.com] (at the bottom). They're described in the manual, and we have an ongoing list on the forums[www.gridsagegames.com], but they don't have their own in-game menu yet so it's not as easy to discover them. For now they can be activated by setting the relevant advanced.cfg variable, but we'll be getting an in-game selection menu eventually--I'm still waiting on some other related features first.
I've added 4 new modes, bringing the total to 12...
"Simple Hacker" mode completely removes the ability to do any indirect or manual hacking.
"Fragile Parts" mode destroys any part that is removed (basically everything acts like a Processor).
"Sticky Parts" mode is an even more extreme variant in which no parts can be removed at all--the only way to get rid of them is for them to be destroyed (think twice before attaching a processor :P).
"Trapped" mode is less a challenge than a different way to play, since you can build specifically to take advantage of this scenario, but it fills most maps with a lot of traps. There is also a +20% chance to trigger a trap.
Item Stat Exports
Time for some data mining! You can now export all your item gallery data, putting the stats in one of three formats, whichever works best for your needs.
Most useful for the average player looking to compare items is the HTML export, with a table of contents linking to each section, where items are divided by slot type and show only the set of stats relevant for that category.
CSV is good for spreadsheet analysis, graphing, or even converting it all into some other format. (This is how our item stats will finally start making their way to the wiki[gridsagegames.com].)
The TXT export is good only because items list only stats relevant to them.
In any case, these offer new ways to explore the items you've discovered so far.
Both the lore and gallery UI also now show the file path and name of the exported file, so you know it happened and where to retrieve the results. The buttons were also redone and for keyboard players are referenced via T/H/C instead of 1/2/3.
You'll find plenty of other little uncategorized things listed on the changelog, but some of it's worth talking about in a bit more detail...
I added support for WASDQEZC movement, but it's not native like vi-keys and the other common movement options. Technically all I did was create a keybinds file remapping existing WASDQEZC commands to vi-keys, so this was possible before, but I'm doing an official one since it's fairly easy and more players might want this. To read more about it, and how to activate it, check out this post[www.gridsagegames.com] on the forums.
I've also added an option to use alternative map ASCII, giving it a more traditional roguelike look with Terminus rather than Cogmind's default square sci-fi font. The main purposes here was to improve readability of the ASCII mode map for those with low vision or on tiny high-res displays. It's not in the options menu, and currently only works at size 18 (our most common font size at 55.3% of players), but I could add it at more sizes depending on feedback. Those capable of using font size 18 can enable this option by opening data/fonts/_config.xt and setting the new Terminus options to 1 in the Available column. The relevant new font set names begin with "18/T+".
It's also worth mentioning that DeanSherman discovered Easy and Easiest mode players have always been getting essentially max accuracy with every shot, unintentionally xD. As I was fixing it so these modes applied the correct bonus, I decided based on the state of the lower leaderboards that for now it would be overkill to nerf the accuracy to intended values. After all, even with a massive accuracy boost players still die in droves, because there are quite a lot of strategic and tactical factors relevant to creating deadly situations (besides simple accuracy), so we may as well keep one of the more easily controllable variables a net positive rather than yet another factor to contend with. So now these modes get a +20/30% boost, respectively. This means shots in certain situations will miss a little more than you might be used to in these modes, and the challenge will go up a bit, just enough to need to pay a little attention to accuracy factors (and make targeting computers actually somewhat useful!).
Beta 4 saves are not compatible with previous versions, but even if you're on Steam and have autoupdates enabled, Beta 3.1 is still available via its own branch and you can roll back to finish a run in progress first if you like.
Your game cannot support native 1280 x 1024 resolution monitors. I need full screen space use and biggest letters possible. No buy for me ..
Did you check the link from the system requirements? There is a page of UI previews here: Gridsagegames.com
Native 1280x1024 is supported just fine, and you can see it in the list to test--there are seven different fonts at that resolution. (Cogmind was actually designed for 4:3 aspect ratio, and expands to widescreen only as necessary, so it was definitely designed with this ratio in mind!)
But if you have a *physically* small screen then yeah it might be too hard to see things since it requires that the screen be divided into a minimum 160x60 grid for displaying the terminal. In any case, you can test with those images and see.