The next update is getting closer, and a large part of it has to do with submarines. As part of preparing for our eventual 1.0 release (which is not terribly far anymore!), we’ve been evaluating and reworking the vanilla submarine roster to make sure each sub has a part to play in getting you from the Cold Caverns to the Eye of Europa.
We’re also improving the submarine upgrade system, giving it some new complexity and depth, and adding new submarine-mounted weaponry. Let’s take a better look at all the sub-related changes coming in the next update!
Welcome the Camel
A new Transport sub, the Camel, is being added to fill a gap in the vanilla roster: the other classes have affordable early-game subs available, but the Transport class lacks such an option.
All the current Transport subs are also rather large, so the Camel is designed to be a more maneuverable vessel. It has its own strong and weak suits, notably being relatively well-armed but poor at handling flooding. We look forward to hearing what you think about this sub in action!
Goodbye Deep Divers
Up until now, only Deep Divers were able to get through the last few levels of the campaign, because even the fully upgraded hull of a ship other than a Deep Diver did not offer enough pressure resistance. Needing to switch to a Deep Diver just for the purpose of getting through those last few levels (as the class didn’t have any clear advantages beyond that) wasn’t really fun, so we’ve decided to remove this class altogether.
Existing Deep Divers, both vanilla and custom, will be re-classed as Scouts. Sub builders can easily select a different class in the Submarine Editor if you so choose, but this automatic re-classing ensures your creations remain playable after the update without any extra work on your part.
We have reworked the submarine upgrade system to better balance the cost and efficiency of upgrades. Two things in particular were a little off kilter: some upgrades were vastly more important than others, and upgrades were acquired in such small chunks at a time that an individual purchase was not always very impactful. Now all upgrades should yield noticeable effects and be worth your hard-earned marks, making submarine upgrading a more important and interesting part of campaign gameplay.
To this end, we’ve reduced the number of upgrade levels per upgrade type while significantly increasing the effects of each level. In addition, the cost now scales more steeply as you acquire higher levels: the first upgrade levels are pretty affordable and cost-efficient, while higher levels become much more costly. Some more niche upgrades have been bundled together to keep them on a par with the rest effects-wise.
Submarines can also be upgraded beyond the normal maximum in their key areas, giving more identity and purpose to submarine classes. For example, since Scout-class submarines should be fast, their engine’s max speed can be upgraded to a higher level than engines of other submarines. The available upgrades will also be determined by a submarine’s tier – the next new addition introduced just below.
In addition to upgrades, we wanted to bring another dimension to submarine progression by making it more advantageous to buy new submarines as you advance through a campaign (instead of simply upgrading the same old ones). To this end, we are introducing submarine tiers, which together with submarine class determine the maximum upgrade level for each submarine.
In other words, different boats will have different upgrades available depending on their combination of class and tier. There will be three tiers of submarines, and as a general rule, Tier III subs can be upgraded three times as much as Tier I subs. Higher-tier submarines will usually cost more and be better equipped, with amenities such as fabrication benches, cargo capacity, reactor efficiency or stronger weaponry more readily available. Submarine tier is displayed in the shipyard purchase menu.
Submarine tier will be automatically assigned to existing submarines, both vanilla and custom, based on their price. Custom sub creators don’t need to update their work to keep their subs playable, but you are able to adjust the tier of your subs to your liking in the Submarine Editor.
Lastly, we’re diversifying and fine-tuning submarine-mounted weaponry. We wanted to better justify the size and power level disparity of the railgun compared to other submarine armaments, and so we have split submarine weapons into two categories: large and small, with their respective hardpoint types to place them in.
In the past, we have buffed and nerfed the weapons to give them comparable power levels, but now we’re doing the opposite: recategorizing the weapons allows us to bring the railgun to the power level it deserves without needing to worry about it outclassing other weapons. To flesh out the new large weapons category, we’re introducing a couple of new gun types that fit in large weapon hardpoints only:
- A double coilgun, which offers all the versatility of a regular coilgun, but with more than double the damage. High-tier Scout submarines will usually start with one of these.
- A flak cannon, which is unparalleled in defending against swarms, thanks to its sharp fragments blanketing a large area upon proximity-based detonation. High-tier Transport submarines usually start with one of these.
Railguns are now found most often on higher-tier Attack submarines, but they can still be mounted onto the large weapon hardpoints of the other classes too.
See the new double coilgun in action:
Coming in early October
We hope you’ll find these submarine-related changes as exciting as we do! All the new submarine content is now available in the Unstable test version for those who want a head start, and the public release of the update will follow in the early days of October.