Changes are happening, fast. What’s up with the changes to the Arcade? What is the Arcade? Why am I wearing socks?
After a few good days of digging, it’s time to bring the first payload of gold to the surface. The next iteration of project Cobalt is going through the final phase of development, and I’ve found a few changes I want to share before the Kraken is released.
In my first writing, I hinted that there may be something unauthorized going on behind the scenes at Oxeye. While I still lack direct evidence of that, I’ve discovered something in the research file system that only serves to empower my suspicion: All of the arena sports we currently indulge in are being rebranded as Custom Modes, found in a section known as User Maps. A good part of the laboratory–produced fighting arenas are undergoing maintenance. Where do they go?
According to the system’s data sorting program, the answer is the Arcade.
Here, we’ll find Challenge, Capture the Plug, the revamped Deathmatch and Survival—and even the upcoming Team–Strike.
These two sections seem innocent enough, but the system lists a third option: Story. If the contents of this dark corner of the database weren’t heavily encrypted, I might have thought one the scientists at Oxeye Laboratories simply had a thing for writing. Unfortunately, the Story section is protected on a whole different level from the data I’ve encountered up to now. Until we have further intel, let’s take a closer look at some of the new Arcade modes!
“Focus the Sniper!”
In Oxeye’s latest official statement, we learned a little about Team–Strike and saw a picture of the equipment buying interface that appears in between rounds. I found another one! In the hunt for a secret message or some sort of robot cookie recipe, I analyzed every single pixel of the new image and discovered quite a few things. Spoiler: There was no recipe.
Dots. Beautiful dots. You may feel like connecting them, but in the case of Team–Strike, you’ll be picking just one. These dots represent gear packages with three levels each, and your chosen dot will decide what you bring to the battlefield. In the rare situation that you survive a full round, you’ll be given the option to either continue as you are, sell your package to buy another glorious dot, or repair your current one for a fee to remove those ugly scratches and replenish your mobile arsenal of doom.
What’s this “free” thing? Well, my investigations show that even arena robots suffer from economical issues sometimes, and as a result there’s the option to enter the fray with a pea gun and a distinctive lack of armor. Some people will inevitably use excuses like claiming it to be the new black or that it’s for pure pros willing to show off their skills with some handicap. I think you’ll be picking this option because you’re poor. That, or perhaps you’re aiming for the very best; That red dot in the upper right corner looks like the others, but trust me, it isn’t. In your valiant efforts to acquire this ultimate bundle of destruction, even your reputation as a gladiator of the new era is absolutely worthless to you.
I’ll admit, I don’t actually know what the upper right package contains. Not yet. What I can explain, however, is those colored bars to the right of thewreck’s Metalface. Surprise: They’re stats! Can you guess ‘em all?
- Deflected damage. This is exactly what it sounds like: When you deflect a bullet, this percentage governs how much damage you actually prevent—unless you reflect the bullet with a perfectly timed roll. More on that below.
- Attack power. Deal more damage!
- Defense. This is a combination of actual defense and health. Some packages will feature shields so you can eat even more bullets for breakfast!
- Speed. If you’re a hedgehog, you’ll fill this bar to the max.
- Stealth! Some packages contain items that allow you to turn invisible by crouching! The higher this stat is, the faster you’ll be able to vanish, and the faster you’ll recover your invisibility after shooting or getting hit.
Now, while the base class in the picture above has rather low stats, it has a surprisingly big amount of stealth despite having no stealth equipment. It seems that the current iteration in development also fills up the stealth bar based on how silent your gear is, as noise breaks your sneaky tricks. Fresh research notes indicate that this is being tweaked so that the bar only behaves like this if you actually have stealth equipment.
Also notice the difference between deflecting and reflecting a bullet. If you roll the exact moment that you’re hit by a projectile, the new battle droids will reflect it back in the very same direction it came from, being even faster than before. A perfect roll will even allow you to reflect all other bullets hitting you in that same roll, essentially letting you roll your way through an entire Slugger barrage without taking damage! There are a few catches though: The new robots may seem to sparkle with magic, but they can’t reflect penetrating projectiles like those of a Railgun. As an added cost of this ability upgrade, there’s also a longer delay between successive rolls now depending on the hull you’re equipped with.
While investigating Team–Strike, I also stumbled upon this image straight from the heat of battle:
When you’re done admiring the amazing fireworks show here, look at the top of the screen. Numbers! I’ve always liked those. Maybe you don’t right now, but you will the day you watch that score ascend beyond the skies! There’s a little red number beneath the round counter—it’s a timer. While planting a Thermal Bomb won’t secure you the win while striking the team, letting this number be your color when it reaches zero will! Since Team–Strike is always 4-on-4 (with AI filling in when a gladiator is celebrating a sick day in bed), the timer is initially gray. When you eliminate an opponent to give your team the advantage of outnumbering the enemy, the timer changes color to your team’s like a pirate hat at a wedding! Kill robots, get the color, get the win.
Modern Jazz of Death
Carp, the virtual guard dogs of Oxeye are on to me! Quick, take this!
See you next Friday!