Star Nomad 2 Patch Notes (v 2.22.07)
Update (August 03 2022): This major update will be released as an Open Beta (accessible & opt-in) for Star Nomad 2 on Google Play store due to issues with changes to the Android SDK & API. Please do not opt-in and install the 2.22.07 update if you want to keep current save data or you are still playing current Pilots. More info here:
This update contains a lot of changes that I have wanted to do for a long time, but the “don’t change working code” worry kept me from doing it. It will be rolled out at the end of July, or early August, after I’ve tested for bugs. Firstly to Android (Google Play), then PC Steam* and later iOS if Apple allows my old MacBook to use their newer software to build apps for iTunes.
The changes are as follows:
- Difficulty modes are changed to Easy, Normal & Roguelike to accurately reflect design goals. Originally, the game was designed with only Roguelike mode as the default, with the additional two difficulty modes (Normal & Hard) added from beta testing suggestions. It is my intention that the best play experience is had on Roguelike, challenging from early to late-game.
- Each system has increased from 15,000^2 to 24,000^2 pixels squared. The playable area is more than doubled. Jump wormhole position remains relative to the port or planet, with travel time unaffected by the increased system size. NPC Flight AI updated to take advantage of the larger flight area.
- The Emergency Warp module can be re-calibrated by your Ally (when you join the major factions), to always safely return to their capital Homeworld.
- Faction fleet battles are larger, with each side sending more ships to the fight. On Roguelike mode, the enemy faction to the player receives a bonus to their forces. Prepare for epic battles!
- Roguelike mode, Pirate activity is increased, with larger incursion forces sent to plunder the inner systems. As the player gains reputation, more Pirates will come seeking glory and bounty.
- Roguelike mode, NPC pilots will rank up and upgrade their ships more often. In the mid-game, NPCs will come equipped with better armor, shields and weapons. Bounty Hunters will upgrade the most, given their Elite status. Zerkers remain dangerous in the mid & late-game.
- NPC Combat Drone AI re-coded, to optimize flight patterns enabling more shots on target. Previously, NPC drones would enter evasive spins too often, reducing their firepower. Now they are more aggressive, seeking out their targets and staying on target. They are also more likely to team up vs a target, rather than split on any target. Also improved CPU cycles for Drone AI, improving performance on lower end devices.
- Player & Squad Combat Drone AI re-coded, reducing CPU cycles used to improve performance. Help to keep frame rates smooth during bigger fleet fights with carrier builds.
- Squad Repair Drone & Life-Drone AI re-coded, optimized to improve performance.
- Merchant trade missions and Smuggling bonus XP should now apply to max level. Merchants and Smugglers should be rewarding activity at end-game too.
- The Omni Fleet ships are using upgraded Firefly plasma torpedo launchers, with 15% increased damage & increased tracking speed. Data over the years show the Omni Fleet under-performs during player in-system combat. This is related to their lack of DPS, particularly against smaller vessels that can evade Firefly tracking. Many Fireflies are wasted off-target, reducing the fleet firepower.
- Starborn Federation corvettes & destroyers will now correctly deploy their torpedos in combat. They were holding back. On the PC version, they correctly deploy their torpedo, a bug prevented their use on the mobile build. Because of this, they’ve been under-performing in fleet battles when the player is in system.
- Corsair (Squad Recruit) mission re-designed. Made to be more active combat, something I have wanted to change for a long time. The original design story is fine, but the “sit there & watch it unfold” did not feel right.
- Improve Merchant NPC Flight AI. They will correctly respond to events, such as trade with ports and when attacked by hostiles. Reduce CPU cycles for their AI, improving performance on lower end devices during busy systems.
- When selling your ship or putting it into hangar storage, equipped weapons will be sold back at 100% value. This is to prevent incidents where players forget to move modules into the storage beforehand.
- Added some new NPC coms chatter, edited some potentially rude messages to be more civilized.
- Fixed Active Ability Icon, will correctly light up when it’s ready, and alert cooldown timer remaining on use.
- Fixed NPC weapon AI to avoid issues with incorrect targeting vs the Player & Squad when they should be neutral or friendly.
Ship re-balancing: The goal is to make lighter ships more viable longer towards the mid & late-game, by improving firepower.
- Typhoon I [Frigate]: Now has 3x M-Launchers, making it a step-up in non-faction firepower for the early to mid-game.
- Typhoon II [Frigate]: Changed the 2x S-Launchers into 2x M-Launchers, giving it more sustained missile pressure.
- Phobos [Corvette]: Added 3rd S-Launchers.
- Banshee [Corvette]: Added 2nd S-Dronebay.
- Crusader [Corvette]: Added 3rd S-Launchers.
- Saviour [Corvette]: Added 3rd S-Launchers.
- Virtue [Frigate]: Added 3rd M-Launchers.
- Conqueror [Frigate]: Added 1x M-Dronebay.
- Revenant [Frigate]: Added 3rd M-Dronebay.
- Deimos [Frigate]: Added 2nd M-Dronebay.
- Justice [Corvette]: Upgraded the 2x S-Dronebay to M-Dronebay.
- Legend [Frigate]: Added 3rd M-Dronebay.
- Ghost [Corvette]: Added one extra S-Dronebay (2x M, 1x S-Dronebay).
- Templar [Corvette]: Increased turning speed from 90 to 100 degrees/s.
- Devastator [Frigate]: Increased turning speed from 60 to 70 degrees/s.
- Revelation [Cruiser]: Increased turning speed from 40 to 60 degrees/s.
The special Empire Hull-Flare ships are intended to be used to “sweep” across enemies with their Particle Beam, multiple times to inflict 2x or 3x hits. Having extra turning speed helps their damage potential. The Templar in particular, despite being a Corvette, is agile enough to get 3x hits on target, thus it has high dps when played well.
Firefly (Plasma Torpedo Launcher): Range increased from 2000 to 2200 for the M-Class. The L-Class range is increased from 2200 to 2400. The extra range will help them shine in stand-off distance, if you have a target lock on, they can engage beyond visual range (especially with Turret range skill upgrades).
Stalker (Heavy Combat Drone): Evasion changed from 60% to 75%, speed increased from 450 to 500. It’s speed & agility remains less than the Hunter variant, which is a drawback already. Having lower evasion made them very vulnerable during large fleet battles with weapons flying all over space.
Boomer (Plasma Cannon): Increased damage by ~15%, giving it more punch to balance the slow projectile and limited range.
Hobo Maker/Sweeper (Plasma Shotgun): Increased range from 1000 to 1200 for S-Class, 1100 to 1300 for M-Class, and 1200 to 1400 for L-Class. Just to help it stay on target a little longer during fast flying combat.
*Currently I am focused on getting the next space epic out (Star Nomad 3 or Orion Syndicate?) so I will re-work the PC version when I can get around to it. It’s a separate build compared to mobiles, so unfortunately, I have to basically repeat all the changes manually for the PC build.