Preview: Beasts Within update

Hello everyone!

We’re about to publish Barotrauma’s second major update, titled Beasts Within. It will be available next week, and here’s a sneak peek.

Before that though, props to those community members who suggested we give our bigger updates names! We rather like the practice, although with the first two, it seems we’re circling around the same themes, with somewhat similar themes being present in the updates themselves… However, where the Saints & Sinners update was a little light on the content side, here we bring more of that too.

New content

The Beasts Within update sees the introduction of the Hammerhead Matriarch – our answer to the question nobody asked: “What would it be like if there were Creepers in Barotrauma?”. What the mother hammerhead’s Spawns lack in size, they make up for in numbers!

To answer another question that nobody ever asked, “Where do Mudraptors come from?”, we’re adding a giant egg that you can grow, for instance in the ballast of your sub, for fun, profit or personal satisfaction.

And then about unleashing the beasts within, there are going to be six new traitor missions. One of them even ties in with the new monster content! We don’t want to spoil the rest of them, so play the backstabber to find out.

Another aspect of this update is showing what kind of a beast you are, and to that end, we’re adding a lot of character customization options, such as job gear variants and 30 new faces with new hair, beard and accessory options for all of them. Bit by bit, we’re getting closer to where no two players will look the same in Barotrauma.

Beast jokes aside, this update also includes a new sub. It’s called Kastrull – can you guess what that means? Here is how the submaster describes our newest vessel:

“The Kastrull is a dependable attack sub class bringing plenty of firepower to any fight, and although not very nimble, they do sport a drone gunship as standard. Keep in mind that with its experimental open ballast tanks, low tolerance to flooding, and numerous crew stations, a large experienced crew will get the most out of these subs.”

The Kastrull submarine in Barotrauma

Last but not least on the list of new content are new math/logic components. These will allow players to take their own creations to the next level. We’ll let you be the judge of whether automated turrets and the like are a good or a bad thing!

Gameplay improvements

The update includes several new features and improvements concerning the server browser that will make it easier to find servers that suit your taste. This includes more extensive server filtering options, the option to save a list of favorite and recent servers, and the option to see where your Steam friends are playing and to join them directly from the Friends list.

The server lobby has received a minor facelift as well. It’s not just a visual overhaul – it also includes tons of little quality-of-life improvements: character faces can be freely customized, you can see which jobs others have selected before starting the round, the submarine preview is visible directly on the menu, several server settings that were previously only editable in .xml have been added to the server settings menu…take a look inside and see what you can do now!

Beasts Within lobby improvements for Barotrauma

Those of you who have delved into building more exotic electrical grids or power systems have probably run into issues in the current electricity system. The system used to have tons of bugs in the way power is distributed through a grid, particularly when relays and batteries were used. We’ve rewritten most of the power distribution logic to get rid of these issues. The new system is also much better optimized, so complex electrical grids will no longer cause as large a performance hit.

The job assignment logic has been overhauled to make the job distribution a little more balanced. Now each player gets assigned one of the spawnpoints (and its associated job) according to their job preference, which means that if the sub for example has twice as many engineer spawnpoints than medic spawnpoints, there tends to be twice as many engineers. We would love to hear your thoughts on the new job assignment logic: does it seem fair, are people generally getting the jobs they want?

We’re happy to say our bots are also getting a fair bit smarter with this update, which includes several human AI improvements. Without any big new additions, they’re simply better at doing many things that they’ve been intended to do all the time, such as placing and using items or making repairs. They also shouldn’t shoot with the ship’s turrets anymore when you go swimming, or get stuck as often. You can find out more in the changelog under “Human AI”.

A surprise!

Finally, there’s an element of surprise to next week’s release. A hint: it’s absolutely non-essential to the game, in fact it’s not really a part of the game, and hopefully it will be a lot of fun. Find out more when the Beasts Within update hits Steam.

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