There is a new update available for There Will Be Ink. It involves some neat things like a new “Hardcore” game mode, land mines, cover adjustments, a new campaign mission, and a general rebalance. This update seemed significant enough to bump the version up to beta 2.0. Here we go!
Many aspects of the game are adjusted in Hardcore mode. It’s probably easiest to write them out in a list:
- All units start with 1 health and 50% of usual stamina
- All units start with -10% evasion
- Bullets are no longer visible
- Sight lines and “aiming cones” are no longer visible (sight cursor remains visible), except for snipers, who retain faint sight line
- Enemy spawn rates (in Barracks) are doubled
- Enemy units can activate powerup crates (eg. T-Rex!)
- Enemy units also get “Basic Training” ability once it is unlocked (making them more accurate, smarter about taking cover, etc)
- Upon passing a mission in Hardcore mode, missions are labelled with a red star sticker (to join silver & gold stickers for Arcade/Sim victories)
The gif above shows the HMG in action in Hardcore mode (the grey sight cursor is jumping all about due to recoil). In testing things out, I found Hardcore mode to be a pretty good challenge. It’s generally easier to get kills, but also easier to die. There are also a lot more enemies to face with the doubled spawn rate. Further adjustments will likely be made once more testing has been done.
While playing around with Hardcore mode, I discovered that the game was actually more fun when units had less health. Who knew! As a result, I’ve reduced all unit health from between 25-30 down to between 8 and 12. Most weapons do between 8-12 damage, and now there is a modifier of +/- 2 points each hit, to add some variability. The result is that many more hits than before are lethal, making cover even more important. On the topic of cover, units now gain a cover bonus when next to cover (sandbag, rock, etc). The bonus is 5% when standing and 10% when prone. As a result of the hit point reduction, body armour (30% damage reduction for Assault Infantry) and the Longevity ability (+1 hp every 10 seconds for player-controlled units) become more significant. In order to make Medics and Engineers more effective and worthwhile to play as, each now heals/repairs/constructs 50% more hp when player-controlled. All player-controlled units now also get an evasion bonus of 10%. I’ve also added a new Medic ability, “Fortify”, which gives Medics the ability to grant allies a 10% armour bonus.
Engineers can now lay mines once the “Mine Deployer” ability is unlocked. Once a unit comes within a close proximity to a mine, there is a brief delay and then the mine goes off (there is a ticking sound during the delay, during which time it is advisable to roll to safety!). Friendly mines are visible, while enemy mines are not. During a vs. multiplayer match all mines are visible. Additional abilities unlocked once “Mine Deployer” has been enabled include “Mine Sweeping” (enemy mines become permanently visible once an engineer gets near to them), “Mine Defusion” (Engineers will remove hostile mines), and “Mine Recapture” (defused mines are added to the Engineer’s mines). To deploy mines, simply swap weapons with the engineer. Non-player controlled Engineers will lay minefields on their own behind battle fronts.
For the sake of thematic consistency, player highlights are now, well, highlights instead of circles. That’s to say they look like a little scribble done with a highlighter instead of just a circle. I’ve also replaced smoke (from fires, explosions, RPG trails, etc) with little clouds that look drawn instead of the more realistic looking dark clouds of yore. They do indeed seem to fit better, despite being less fancy, though I have some scaling issues yet to work out.
Those are the main changes for this update. I’ve also added a new campaign mission, “Hold Steady”, which features the HMG and is more of a continuation of the previous mission, “The Retreat”, though it plays quite differently. For more info on smaller items, check out the complete list below. As for what’s next, there are many things in the queue, including more campaign missions, additional rebalancing, more unit types and abilities, additional graphic variations, new music, a “Tips” page, a random map generator (for quick battles), a campaign editor, possibly some Halloween themed content, and who knows what else! Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. I’m curious to hear how people find the rebalance and the new Hardcore mode.
- New Game Mode: “Hardcore!” (details above)
- Mines – Can be deployed by the engineer once unlocked
- Cover Bonus – Cover objects (sandbags, rocks, trees, etc) now provide more cover when a unit is next to them: 5% when standing, 10% when prone
- Engineer Ability: Mine Sweeping – Allows Engineers to flag hostile mines
- Engineer Ability: Mine Defusion – Allows Engineers to remove hostile mines
- Engineer Ability: Mine Recapture – Allows Engineers to collect defused mines
- Medic Ability: Fortify – Allows Medics to give their comrades a 10% armour bonus
- New Campaign Map: “Hold Steady”
- Added end-of-battle stats for “Mines Defused” and “Damage Repaired” (Tab on keyboard or d-pad left/right will switch stat pages at end of battle)
Changes & Enhancements
- Rebalanced hp and damage values for all units and most weapons
- Added a red ‘H’ star sticker for missions completed in Hardcore mode
- Modified star sticker placement and varied their angle for a more natural look (the outcome provided me much more joy than it probably should have)
- Player-controlled Medics & Engineers now heal/repair 50% more health/damage than do their non player-controlled counterparts
- Player-controlled units are now granted a 10% evasion bonus
- Created a new “highlighter scribble” for player-controlled units
- Created new art for smoke, to match doodle-style art
- T-Rex powerup now granted at 1% chance for first 1,000 kills (same as before) and 0.1% for each additional 1,000 kill (instead of 1% for each additional thousand)
- “Mines Defused” now count towards Engineer ability points
- Building construction now counts towards “Damage Repaired” stat (and in turn goes towards Engineer ability points)
- HMG points are now granted at a rate of 1 per 200 kills instead of 1 per 100
- Engineers will now rank up during battle based on damage repaired & mines defused
- Fixed bug where units would sometimes get non-stop Longevity powerup at the end of countdown style missions
- Fixed bug where crates were sometimes activated while they were parachuting in