Hello, friends. It's been a while since we talked about NOTD 2. Let's do that. Why have there been no updates? As of right now, the NOTD 2 team consists of Arcane, Commlink, and myself. Arcane has been busy working on NOTD with StanK and other community members. Commlink has been elsewhere, although the art assets he has created are more than sufficient for us to work with for the forseeable future. As for myself, I've been busy with keeping things together from day to day - a couple friends of mine and a family member have passed on since my last update, and I just haven't had the motivation to interact with the community in any meaningful manner. It was a rapid-fire, one-disaster-after-another kind of thing, and I offer my most heartfelt apology in not communicating about my situation sooner. On the upside, even though I've been unavailable, I never stopped working on NOTD 2's designs (although I do admit that I slowed down for a time). In the coming weeks you'll be seeing a lot of updates from me, outlining the finalized versions of many classes and game systems. When will game updates happen? When we get someone to work on them. Currently, I am using my level design experience to provide the Undead Assault Chronicles team with overhauled terrain. In exchange, when I am finished, they will lend some of their developers to the NOTD 2 project to get it out of Alpha and into Beta, possibly even Version 1. What will the design updates be? I will be going into greater detail in the actual design documents themselves when they are posted. However, for the time being, this is a brief overview of what I'll be covering: Armored System Due to an editor function that allows unit tags to be applied as behaviors (for example, a unit could be tagged as Light temporarily), I'm overhauling the Armor system for NOTD 2. Armor Points and Damage Reduction for Weapons are being done away with for a simpler system: Player weapons and abilities will deal less damage against Armored enemies, dependent on the weapon used. The Laser will retain its anti-armor role and deal bonus damage to Armored, the only exception to this rule. Armored Player units will take 30% less damage from enemy attacks, with higher damage reductions for special cases (such as Slashers). Player classes designed for soaking damage will have abilities that give them the Armored status under certain conditions (for example, the Stormtrooper will be Armored when he has Shields). Both Players and Enemies will have access to abilities that grant the Armored status for limited times or under specific circumstances. Experience\Leveling System To reduce killwhoring and increase focus on objective completion, NOTD 2's experience and leveling systems are being overhauled. Kill experience is being removed. Player levels are being standardized to require exactly 100 experience per level. Players will start at Level 1. Each Level provides the player with a Talent Point to upgrade their character with. Upon reaching Level 7, the players will also be able to choose their Ultimate ability (this will not cost a Talent point). Players will gain experience passively over time, with the timer based on how often they gain experience being based on the current difficulty. Completing Missions, Side Missions, and Sub Missions will provide experience. Failing Missions will provide reduced experience. Failing Side Missions will provide no experience. Individual Character Classes Not much to say here other than "they're coming". I have the designs fleshed out, I just need to write and format the posts. As a reminder of what IC Classes are, if you've forgotten: Legacy Talent Tree classes are being converted into one class per Talent Tree IC Classes will come with four abilities out of the box, typically three Actives and one Passive, although higher tier classes (such as the Commando) will have four Actives to increase complexity and difficulty Talent Points can be spent on non-linear upgrades to improve abilities A few classes (SMM and Mobcon, for example) are being condensed into a single class due to overlap The IC Class Rework will ultimately produce 27 classes, with 3 secret/joke classes being added later on New Sidearms Pretty straightforward: every class gets a default weapon that costs no ammo to use based on what class type they are. Later on, Sidearms will be customizable, and you'll be able to trade out the basic option for more interesting weapons (Machine Pistol, Magnum, Crowbar, Chainsaw, ect). Light classes (aka standard power armor) will use Pistols or equivalent weapon. Heavy classes (aka big boys) will use hand-to-hand. This includes weapon specialists, such as the Gunner or the Flamethrower. Players will still be able to Reload their equipped weapon while their Sidearms are active, albeit at a 30% penalty. Ranged sidearms will have an equip time, Melee sidearms will be instant-switch. Weapons Weapons are being overhauled in response to the Armored System and the New Sidearms. The Pistol, being relegated to a Sidearm, will not be part of the standard pool Melee Weapons, being relegated to a Sidearm class, will removed from the standard pool Unequipping a weapon will discard any currently loaded ammunition, to prevent Round Count issues when swapping between weapons that use variable Rounds per shot Equip Times will be based on Reload Time, as Equip Time will now involve loading the weapon Items Consumables and Accessories and Ammo Mods are all getting updates to coincide with the new systems. Of particular note are Armor Items, which are being simplified along with the Armored System: Armored Plates will provide the user with the Armored unit tag. If the user is already Armored, it does nothing. Reactive Armor reduces the damage taken by the user by 10%. Shield Boosters increases the user's Shield count. By how much is still undecided. There are currently Health, Energy, and Speed armors that have yet to be detailed. This will likely include the removal of items like the Combat Mobility Augment and Power Generator Augment. Updated Bestiary Not much to say here other than updating enemy units with the Armored tag as appropriate and updating their Weapons to match. Updated Enemy Spawning System Moving Ambient Spawns to their own AI and updating Horde events to be significantly less laggy. Updated Boss Encounters Rather than the "higher difficulties have a randomized chance to spawn XYZ mutation of boss", bosses are being simplifed. Recruit Difficulty will face a basic version of the boss, rarely with any significant active abilities to speak of. Veteran Difficulty will face an advanced version of the boss, introducing new mechanics that build on the basic version to make the fight more difficult. Nightmare Difficulty will face an empowered version of the boss that has vastly increased stats and dangerous new abilities. Updated Accolades Once all of the stuff relating to armors, weapons, classes, and enemies is all finalized, I will be re-visiting Accolades to provide more relevant bonuses. Updated Terrain NOTD 2's terrain was mostly done when Heart of the Swarm was the most recent expansion. Since the terrain's first pass was completed, Legacy of the Void, Covert Ops, and a handful of Co-Op Commander missions have provided new assets and tilesets to take advantage of. Many areas, such as the Military Base and the Starport, will be getting overhauled to provide a better aesthetic value and improve gameplay experiences.