It’s time for another Roadmap update, as well as more detailed info on Update 21!
We’ve redesigned the Roadmap to better reflect the reality we are working in - which is that, generally, the only thing we’ve planned in detail is the next Update (in this case Update 21). To illustrate this, we decided to jumble the future updates we know we want into one big box rather than attempt to lock down specifics. The way we look at the Roadmap internally is more like a weather forecast than a solid plan - we have some inkling of what’s going to happen next, but the further ahead, the more uncertain the specifics become. We also chose to remove the “And then maybe…” box, since it muddied the discussion. Those features are in no way gone from our minds or our backlog, but they are not part of the immediate update schedule. We’ll continue to keep a watchful eye out for wants and dreams voiced in the community, of course.
Our hope for this Roadmap is two-fold: We want to provide as much insight into the foreseeable future of DRG’s development as we can, while still allowing us to be flexible and agile without breaking too many promises.
As you might be able to see, we’ve also made some changes to our priorities. Most of the recent updates have focused primarily on introducing new systems into the game - upgrades, new weapons, Assignments, etc. While these have done wonders for the game in terms of retention and the overall game loop, we want to focus a bit more on cave content going forward - that is, the things that actually go into the caves and provide the bulk of the game experience.
Adding new enemies is an example of this. But so are new mission types, new types of cave rooms and improvements to our cave generation, random mission events, boss battles, new biomes, and new weird stuff to encounter in general. Our initial hope was to work on these while we developed the essential background- and meta-systems, but as our scope and staff (up from 6 to 20!) has grown, so has our ambitions, and that means two things: We can and want to deliver better and more ambitious stuff, but those things take longer to finish and get right. An example of this is Daily Adventures - a feature we definitely want, but which has been delayed several times now, because we simply did not have the overhead to get it right. And we want to get this right because we want it to be awesome, but that also means we can’t promise precisely when it will be ready.
Update 21 Info
As of writing, the target date for Update 21 is the 6th of February (ON STEAM, Microsoft Store version (Xbox and PC) is minimum 1 week later). If all goes well, the Experimental Branch should go up very soon, perhaps even next week. Watch this space for further information.
This is the flagpole feature of Update 21 and is more or less a full rework of how we handle Difficulty in the game. Initially, this was supposed to just be a new Difficulty - Hazard 5 - but as we dug deeper, we realized we had a lot of untapped potential here that we could utilize better - as well as some critical bugs to fix! So - in short, this is basically a complete revamp of global difficulty balance, which will likely have a fairly profound impact on the game experience. To this end, we want to mobilize as many of you as we can to give us feedback. If anything sticks out to you as too hard, too easy, or just plain weird or wrong, let us know. This is just a first implementation of the system and will be continuously tweaked as we move along.
We’ve been hard at work at a bunch of new enemies, and the first few will go in with Update 21. The exact number depends on the final testing phases, but expect two, perhaps three new enemy types. These are all new enemies, with their own models, animations, sound, AI behavior, and gameplay impact.
As a follow-up to Update 19, we are working on adding Modifications (upgrades) to the rest of the gear (traversal tools, grenades, armors, pickaxes, etc). We’re aiming to pack most of these into Update 21, with the last few stragglers arriving in Update 21.5 a bit later.
This is a new feature aimed mainly at all the completionists out there, but everyone should be able to get a tasty piece of this pie pretty easily. As you unlock Mods for a given piece of gear, your Weapon Mastery bar for that piece of gear goes up, and at certain intervals, you will be given a prize. This system is not necessarily done and may be expanded on later, but for now, it will get you your first taste of our brand new Skins system - new color schemes for your gear. The Skins system is still pretty early in development, but we have lovely plans to expand on this later.
Finally, Update 21 will also introduce some a few new pieces of headwear to unlock and a few new types of flora for the caves. There’s also a handful of sexy UI enhancements, such as an enhanced mission overview while on the Space Rig, and an all new and more intuitive Health Bar system for enemies.
Update 21.5: Year One Anniversary
On February 28th, it has been a full year since Deep Rock Galactic hit Early Access, and we have a lot to celebrate! It’s been a crazy ride, with more than half a million copies sold, and a level of reception for the game we hadn’t even dared to hope for. It’s going to be party time on the Space Rig once more, and we plan to run events in the community, provide developer streams, and do everything we can to make this an event to remember. We’ll also add some new goodies to the Supporter Upgrade, just to show how grateful we are for your continued support of the development. Current owners of the Supporter Upgrade obviously get this for free.
Update 22 to 24
A bit further into the future comes the next Updates - 22 to 24 - and there’s not that much to say about them just yet. The Roadmap should give you some indication of what the planned focus for them is going to be, and we’ll have more to say on it soon.
ROCK AND STONE
From Ghost Ship Games