We’ve still got one more update coming this year, and while a lot of it has to do with overall balancing, small improvements and under-the-hood things, there are also a couple of bigger changes underfoot. One of them is a complete overhaul of talents.
Talents vol. 2
While we have made some changes and fixes to the talent system over the past year, it’s largely remained the same since it was first introduced. Even in the short time we’ve had talents – just over a year – they’ve proven a very important part of gameplay, and we’ve been happy to hear your feedback, both encouraging and constructive. Now that we are moving towards the end of early access, we want to iron out the wrinkles in the original design to make the most of Barotrauma’s character progression system.
The most obvious change is that there are more talent levels, and more talents, making the talent trees much larger. That means more for you to choose from, and we’ve worked on making all the choices better balanced, more thematically consistent, and weightier towards the end. In particular, most final talents are becoming more impactful.
Additionally, we’ve worked on making all talents usable in singleplayer by bots as well as human players, and toned down those talents which allowed players to approach godhood a bit too easily. Let’s take a more detailed look at what’s changing!
Additional talent levels
Talents used to consist of four levels for each job, which we’ve come to find wasn’t suited to the length of an entire campaign, as you would often reach the end of a talent tree fairly early in the game. To remedy this, we’ve added more levels to talents, starting with generic perks and then moving on to the more specialized ones.
Thus, each job’s talents now begins with two rows of more generic talents. You will need to unlock a few of these before being able to pick a specialization (and you can pick as many of these early talents as you like). The purpose of this extra step is to give you time to figure out your preferred play style before becoming specialized… as you can only have one specialization. Choose wisely, and experiment with different builds in later campaigns!
Adding this generic level to the bottom also helped us make specialized talent trees properly specialized, rather than focused on more basic things like experience gain later down the road. The overall length we’ve added to the talent progression means that the final talent will be unlocked later – and to much greater impact. We think you will appreciate the bigger boosts and special items the final talents now grant!
More streamlined trees
Another aspect of the original talents we had come to find less than ideal was how some talents had lots of disparate effects bundled together, description texts were often on the long side, and some talents were less clearly connected with their respective jobs than others. We’ve worked on streamlining the talents in each tree to make them more clearly belonging together as well as easier to read on the whole.
This all put together gives the different jobs stronger identity, and the increased readability should make talents easier to approach and experiment with. (All the more important now that the talent system becomes a bit more complex!)
Talents for everyone
The final big problem we found with the original talents was that many of them were not available for bots, putting singleplayer at an unintended disadvantage. Now you will be able to unlock talents for bots in singleplayer.
To make talents bot-compatible, we had to redesign just about all of them partially and many entirely. This resulted in various changes here and there, and coupled with the addition of many new talents, there is now a lot of new talent content for our existing players to explore. We’re quite happy with the end result, and we can’t wait to hear what you think!
New talents now in Unstable
The bulk of the talent rework is now available in the Unstable test version for you to take an early look at, and the public release of the talent rework will follow shortly before Christmas. Stay tuned!