The combat update is now live bringing a lot of improvements and new features as showcased over the past two months. Below is a summary of the highlights that are now available.
New story line
There is a new story line focusing around improving your equipment and to showcase newly added features like improving your weapons or crafting your own robots. Yes, you read correctly: The new playable race can also be crafted! The new techno-warrior story has roughly the same length as the other two story lines and they can be freely combined.
New playable race and new enemies
Robots are a new playable race and bring along new enemies like robot spiders.
A new room can be built in your colonies: the Med Lab. They work similar to the recruitment station, but instead of hiring crew members for money, you can just build yourself as many robots as you want (crew member limit still applies). You only need a sufficient amount of bio samples and robot brains.
One of the many new features is the ability to disassemble weapons and to manufacture weapon upgrades. You can do this at any resource processor on your ship or in workshops in your outposts. Disassemble any weapon you have into parts boxes which are useable items. There is a random chance of getting different weapon upgrades. The probability to get something useful can be increased by leveling a new passive skill all your scientists have!
There are a total of three new skills and they all belong to the scientist. Instead of looting a defeated beast, you can send in your scientist to collect bio samples. The amount of collected bio samples depend on the new passive skill shown below. The new passive disassembly skill can improve your chances of getting weapon upgrades when using parts boxes (a new item that is received from disassembling weapons).
One of the new features are racial features: Each race gets certain advantages like increased XP gain, damage reduction, bonus damage with firearms, immunity against environmental effects etc. These features are available to all characters even from older save games. You do not need to start a new game to get these bonuses!
The new content is completed by adding four new elements to the tech tree that are now also Steam Achievements. If you complete the story lines, build colonies, and craft items, you are rewarded with a new bonus card that will reward you for building colonies.
I found various tool-tips that needed some love. The overview over captain skills is one of them. Below, you can see how the skill overview looks like now.
The following screenshot shows several additions to the crew member list. There are new options to show the profession and level for each crew member, if you want to. The options are disabled by default, but you can activate them in the settings menu at any time. There is also a new tool-tip that shows a character's name, his/her/its profession and the hit points as well as his/her/its experience progress.
The ship's overview already listed all features of your ship and they were updated once you started retrofitting your ship. However, some rooms such as drone booster were not properly explained. Now, tool-tips will explain each room in the retrofitting menu and there is a whole new section in the help dialog to list all rooms and their features.
When crew members are assigned to spaceship stations and you explore a planet or a dungeon and you teleport them back to the ship afterwards, you have to re-assign them to stations. This can be annoying if you do dungeons and planets often. Therefore, there is a new option so that crew members resume their spaceship tasks after teleporting back from dungeons or planets. You can deactive this feature in the settings if you want. It will be activated by default.
There is a new toggle button in the tool bar for each crew member where you can set what a crew member does when he/she/it gets attacked. Right now, crew members keep stations manned when attacked, but you will get the option to set them to defending so that they will stop manning the station and attacking their attackers.
More quality-of-life improvements
The mission overview can now be minimized / restored by clicking on a newly added button.
Another feature that was requested several times was hotkeys for skills. You can now assign skills like repairing, healing, or mining to hot keys. The skills are not bound to any keys by default, but you can do so at any time in the game's settings.
Auto-attacking enemy ships is another new feature. If enabled, your ship starts firing automatically at random pieces of enemy equipment once a space battle starts. Like all new features I mentioned so far, it is optional and can be activated in the game's settings.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at any given time.
Kind regards, Benjamin