This release introduces a huge amount of changes into the game. The main focus is on the shiny new player antagonists - they're called The Group. From the first moments of the game the group acts as player nemesis. Judging the parasite threat a priority (pretty low at start, though) they're actively assigning dedicated agent teams to seek and destroy missions. You can stumble on the agents on the streets and you're probably better off running from them.
The team distance will get lower and lower until the team will resort to active measures which might or might not result in a deadly confrontation (and I seriously mean it, you have no chance of winning). Area interest has been removed (it never did anything anyway). Upon learning about the group's existence you will be able to read the manual detailing the ingame logic. You can also find it in the wiki. The difficulty setting for the group controls only the amount of information available to the player. On easy difficulty you can always check how close the team is and what's the group priority. On normal setting this is described in vague words and on hard difficulty you have no information at all.
Evolution has been significantly reworked. There are no evolution paths now, you will receive a fixed amount of starting improvements plus the maximum improvement level now depends on the difficulty setting with the exception of the brain probe (more on the difficulty settings below). Evolution process will also degrade the current host until it dies. This ensures that you can't evolve to maximum in the safety of the microhabitat. This also limits the player power. Unfortunately, I did nothing to improve the improvements themselves, so to speak. This will have to wait until the future (probably next release). Also the body feature growth is still safe, you can grow organs in the microhabitat fast without any danger apart from the usual energy loss (this will change in the future, he-he-he).
Work on marginally prettier UI and mouse support has started. Another important thing is that at some points the game will ask you to select difficulty for some specific aspect of the game. I decided against selecting overall difficulty at start, instead opting for giving the player smaller choices when it becomes necessary. You can choose from one of three difficulties and each choice is described in the selection window.
Summary of changes:
- The group and active team logic
- Evolution reworked
- Difficulty: The Group - controls the amount of information about the group
- Difficulty: Evolution - limits the starting number of improvements and their maximum level
- Difficulty: Timeline - controls the speed of clues gathering
- Limited mouse support (mostly for movement/attacks)
- New UI support (limited for now but at least you get "Close" button in every window)
- Biominerals will now restore parasite energy and health with unused energy
- Console (press ; to open, type "help" to see available commands) is now available in normal mode. Specifically, in HTML5 client you can use it to change the font size ("cfg fontSize 16", for example). Config changes are saved only in HTML5 client for now.
- AI can now wear armor (parasite cannot attach to AI in full-body armor)
- Stun rifles on some AI
- Always spawn dog on entering area if the player has no host (this makes the habitat construction process much safer, some might say even too safe)
- Dogs cannot enter the sewers now
- Assimilated hosts count as hosts with body features
- Mouse cursor is now drawn on top of everything
- Changed default tileset to 48x48
- Number of AI spawned is now based off the amount of empty cells on screen, so do their sight and hearing. This should fix the static number of AI not depending on window resolution.
- Area alertness now increases much faster, previously it was somewhat useless due to the slow increase speed.
- You cannot enter areas with high alertness now.
- And a whole lot of other tweaks and fixes.