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Kyzrati  [developer] Jan 6 @ 3:40pm
Beta 9.4 "Plot Armor" Release Notes
The two-week Winter 2019 event was a big hit, and some people are opting to continue playing RPGLIKE mode! Beta 9.4 is a relatively small release aimed mostly at fixing some new bugs and tweaking a few aspects of RPGLIKE to balance it out a bit.

If you're not familiar with the new mode, check out the announcement itself for details, and if you want to know even more details, I've written a huge article[www.gridsagegames.com] with very in-depth coverage of the process behind building Cogmind's RPGLIKE mode, including spreadsheets, graphs, interfaces, and the reasoning on many of the decisions. (visual overview[i.imgur.com])

Cogmind Beta 9.4 "Plot Armor" (200107) changelog:
  • NEW: [RPGLIKE mode] All Armor-type utilities transfer only 40% of damage to core (reflected in new description)
  • MOD: [RPGLIKE mode] Mass Support upgrade cost increase per upgrade increased from 100 to 500
  • MOD: [RPGLIKE mode] Terrain Scan Density upgrade cost increase per upgrade increased from 20 to 40
  • MOD: [RPGLIKE mode] Protomatter amounts somewhat reduced at higher depths, less so in Adventurer mode and unchanged in Explorer mode
  • MOD: [RPGLIKE mode] All types of Core Shielding unavailable
  • MOD: All COGMIND.EXE command line arguments and parameters now case-insensitive
  • FIX: Tearclaws could in some cases still remove parts from target that should not be removable [MitchellFJN]
  • FIX: Repeated quickloading after visiting Proximity Caves base eventually caused loading to take excessively long [MitchellFJN]
  • FIX: [RPGLIKE mode] Level raise notice would remain visible in Adventurer/Explorer modes if loading a quicksave while notice still flashing [MitchellFJN]
  • FIX: [RPGLIKE mode] Crash one entering a Garrison where the transition provides enough XP to raise a level [Solar Sloth, Terminus]
  • FIX: [RPGLIKE mode] In extremely rare cases a Resource or Heavy resupply dispatch might contain storage units [Horse]
  • FIX: Item info window reversed types of "Item" and "Protomatter" due to RPGLIKE mode [Rumbl3]
  • FIX: 'p' menu partially broken by a 9.2 update, could result in frozen UI state [Atherys, Mx. Eldritch]
  • FIX: Some incomplete back corridors made their way into the Data Miner layout [Valguris]
  • FIX: Disabling Cetus Manufacturing Module while inactive did not affect the outcome of a later event [NikolayAg]
  • FIX: Garrison Doors inside Garrisons might unintentionally be opened "remotely" [3.14]

Saves from Beta 9.3 *are* compatible with this new version, so technically you can continue a run in progress without having to stick to (or roll back to) an older one. That said, if you do want to continue playing with Beta 9.3 for now, it's available on the legacy_beta_9.3 branch on Steam. (Off Steam this won't matter since it'll only update if you do it manually :P)

Get Armored (RPGLIKE)
The mechanics of the initial RPGLIKE release didn't yet carve a suitable space for Armor-type parts to continue serving their purpose. They were still meaningful parts, but only for other robots still operating under the normal damage distribution rules.

To make armor useful for Cogmind again, their rules have been changed to transfer less damage from each attack that hits them (40% instead of 80%), turning them into a sort of consumable in the RPGLIKE world of otherwise far less consumable parts. This means you can use armor as a way to avoid the need to rely on acquiring as much Protomatter.

Again, this is only relevant in RPGLIKE mode--none of this has any effect on the mechanics in the regular game.

Nerfs (RPGLIKE)
RPGLIKE mode was clearly easier than the regular game, as intended. I mean it's a fun holiday mode, right? :) (last year's "Holiday Mode 2018" was also outright easier, and had new content each day). But as it's a mode to be promoted as a serious alternative way to play Cogmind, some of the biggest imbalances or aspects that its first iteration didn't account for should definitely still be addressed.

The Mass Support upgrade has been significantly nerfed. It was cheap enough to make anything but airborne propulsion obsolete, greatly limiting the variety of speed among builds and that's no good. Now it's mainly a way to at most get a little extra support for your build, rather than support it in its entirety :P

Terrain Scan Density upgrades also got a little more expensive, although that won't have such a significant impact.

Another potentially significant tweak is the amount of Protomatter. Frequency of drops remains unchanged, but on higher difficulty settings the amounts have been tweaked down from previous levels as you reach later depths. The effect is minimal in Adventurer mode, and non-existent in Explorer mode, but will definitely be noticeable for Rogues. The new RPGLIKE armor behavior will come in handy here!

I didn't want to overdo it right away so my guess is the Protomatter drop isn't as steep as it should be, but I don't have access to the Beta 9.3 stats yet so didn't want to make any bigger moves without some real aggregate data to base them on.

How to Play (RPGLIKE)
As a reminder, even though the event is over you can continue to play RPGLIKE mode as long as you like, even in this and future versions of Cogmind.

On Steam this can be accomplished by entering "-forceMode:RPGLIKE" as a launch option, like so[i.imgur.com].

Note that this only works if you have no run in progress (i.e. exited the game directly after finishing a previous run, or did a self-destruct w/save removal from the game menu). Also some people were having trouble forcing the mode on (or off) in the first place, so it'll probably help that the commands are no longer case sensitive \o/

Off Steam, you can either set the launch options for COGMIND.EXE, or run a .bat file like this one[www.gridsagegames.com]--just drop it into your Cogmind directory and click it. This file simply contains the text "start COGMIND.exe -forceMode:RPGLIKE", to start the game in the desired mode.
Last edited by Kyzrati; Jan 6 @ 3:41pm
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Showing 1-7 of 7 comments
All of the special modes are awesome, and they should all be accessible for everyone so that those who don't have time to play during the holidays or picked up the game at a a later date can enjoy them too. :steamhappy:
Kyzrati  [developer] Jan 6 @ 7:40pm 
Yep, this is usually the case (the Alternative Rules section in the manual), but I have built modes before that would by their nature be incompatible with future versions and therefore had to be removed, otherwise they would break old player data. Holiday Mode from December 2018 was cool, but it also had different content every day, and added a bunch of special items to the game that I would not want to remain in the data forever!

Not sure if that'll ever happen again--I mean these modes are often just short-term projects for fun, no real long-term planning involved, but for the most part events are retained when possible. Already thinking about the next one, which is going to be pretty cool ;) (well, if it works, that is--sometimes experimental mechanics for special events just don't pan out xD)
That is too bad, feels like it is missing a part of the game's history but understandable. Is that also why you haven't put in achievements in for some of the special modes?
Thanks for embracing RPGLIKE mode permanently. It almost feels like a totally different game...sans the basics of course. :2018raygun:
Kyzrati  [developer] Jan 6 @ 11:00pm 
Originally posted by A Nickel:
That is too bad, feels like it is missing a part of the game's history but understandable. Is that also why you haven't put in achievements in for some of the special modes?
No new achievements have been added since the first batch just because it makes more sense for me to add them all at once. Notice that none of the new mechanics and content added over the past year and a half have achievements, either!

They will be added just before 1.0, all together in a second batch--we'll get a bunch for new things you can do, and yes, some for special modes, too :)

It'd be nice to add them as the updates are released, but in the long term this ends up being a drawback for the design (and it's also slower to do them individually) so they ideally need to be done all at once (as a solo dev I need to find as many ways to be efficient and save time as possible :P). Of course, adding achievements in batches like this long after the game was first released means all of Steam's achievement rates are very wrong (because people technically achieved XYZ before, it just wasn't recorded officially), but such is Early Access...

Originally posted by reddog000:
Thanks for embracing RPGLIKE mode permanently. It almost feels like a totally different game...sans the basics of course. :2018raygun:
\o/
Sirius Jan 9 @ 4:13am 
So 9.4 is only RPG mode update?
Kyzrati  [developer] Jan 9 @ 3:44pm 
Originally posted by Sirius:
So 9.4 is only RPG mode update?
You can see the full changelog in the post above. It lists everything included and whether or not it's specific to that mode.
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