Intel Report: The Empire Strikes Back

February 7th, 2014, Cobalt, Intel Report, Trif

Quit asking every day, please. You know that the answer remains the same.

…Hold on. I just felt a great disturbance in the Oxeye download repositories.

There’s a new update for your favorite warranty–voiding robot combat simulator, and if you’re still reading this instead of playing, chances are that you want a quick briefing of the major changes. Chances are also that you’ll get one.

Last Friday, we stole a sizable chunk of Arcade and Team–Strike intel from Oxeye’s bottomless pit of secrets. I also got the honor of meeting their overprotective firewall, leaving you with just a picture of the new Deathmatch hotness. Naturally, witnessing the power of their dignity–destroying army of virtual killer robots getting up close and personal, I decided to do the only reasonable thing: Post more information!

They hired a test team, a brutal force of veteran gladiators mercilessly trampling through the forest of in–house prototypes. Features were evaluated, malfunctions were blown to pieces. I considered disguising as a knight of honor to sneakily acquire a copy of the prototype version, but I decided that simply stealing it while laughing maniacally was far more entertaining. Enough epic tales of Robin Hood style heroism for today; let’s jump in.

The Winning Advantage

Almost like they want to bury my disillusioning writings in a sudden outburst of publicity, Oxeye started a radio show this week. A closer look at the fresh vein of propaganda shows us the things that aren’t in v123.

Ah, the wonders of cut material.
Ah, the wonders of cut material.

The idea of Advantage was that upon reaching the score limit in Deathmatch, a timer would appear to taunt you while waiting for that sweet win. If you got killed during the period of extended playtime, you’d lose a point—and the advantage.

I thought it was a cool feature, but the laboratory’s guinea pigs had a fair point—It was an anticlimactic and confusing way to end a match, especially one with a low score goal. Maybe Advantage will return in the future in a more refined shape, maybe not.

Advantage wasn’t the only revolution of the game mode, however. Let’s take a look at that jazzy screenshot again.

A sparkly orb! Green boxes and circles! What does it mean?
Click to affectionately embrace the image!

In an attempt to spice up long games of Deathmatch some more, dynamic pickup spawns were implemented. Three different types of pickups are visible in the picture:

  • Weapon crates, the very heart of dynamic spawns. As seen to the left in the picture, these contain a specific type of weapon waiting for some love. Once picked up, the crate remains, slowly spawning another weapon of the same type. Players cannot pick up a weapon they’re already holding, but contrary to a previous statement, they can hold up to three different weapons.
  • Throwable spawner orbs. Two of these green spawners are visible in the screenshot, in the process of spawning throwables. Similar to weapons, a Metalface can now only carry three different throwables. This is a global change in the update—see, this is what happens when you don’t exercise.
  • Upgrade orbs. Pick up an orange blob to power up your weapon. For each death, at least one of these sparkly beauties will spawn—more if the victim had collected a bunch of these!

They don’t last forever, though. Each minute, the contents of the crates cycle to other tools of destruction. Furthermore, you want to be fast when you see an upgrade orb—they only last for 15 seconds before disappearing for good!

Why am I going into detail about a feature that was scrapped? Here’s the deal: It wasn’t! While it’s not on by default on all maps, delving into the settings before starting a round of Deathmatch will reveal a few neat toys to mess with, including pickup spawns.

We must go deeper!
We must go deeper!

For the arena designers out there, you don’t have to worry about adding you need to add loot spawns for the new fanciness. If your map has pickups, the game will use those as dynamic spawns when needed. However, should you so desire, you can set dynamic pickup spawning as the default system for your map. (Strikes by thewreck, bug that does indeed sound like a good feature! thanks for the suggestion!)

Fresh Prey

Everyone loves bleep bloops. Fortunately for your inner achievement hunter, Cobalt now features a solid set of achievements! Yay!

Rolling Simulator: Now with 42% more bloop!
Rolling Simulator: Now with 42% more bloop!

Disclaimer: I lied. Not everyone loves bleep bloops. If you’re one of those disturbed extraterrestrials, you can turn off achievement notifications in the settings menu.

Gotta Go Fast

Game mode changes and achievements are nice, but v123 has more tricks up its sleeve. The little brain exoskeletons have been upgraded with improved agility—double jumps are always available now, although you still get a height bonus for running before leaping.

The Metalfaces aren’t the only things that are faster now: Sluggers are now faster than ever, although they have less ammunition. If you’re a police officer, you’ll be able to transfer those mad pepper spray skills right into Cobalt! Shouldn’t you be blessed with a job featuring fancy uniforms and kitchen ingredient weaponry, you’ll hopefully be able to adapt soon enough. Be aware, however, that Slugger bullets are now deflected in a manner closer to Matter projectiles.

With these changes, the Sluggers can be devastating against opponents caught in the barrage of death, but think twice before picking these weapons against players who know their game: A perfect roll will not just reflect the first bullet perfectly but also all other projectiles that hit during the same roll. If you’re confident in your timing skills, spinning your battle droid at just the right time facing a barrage of fast Slugger bullets will throw them all back at the sender at even higher speeds! Gladiators, if you’re feeling competitive, now’s the time to start practicing.

The Silent Announcement: Cobalt for PlayStation

Are you thinking that Oxeye Laboratories are being completely innocent here, adding cool new features for pure entertainment? Think again. Reading the description of the first episode of Radio Cobalt teaches us that Oxeye is planning a large–scale invasion of living rooms all over the world! While Xbox users have been targeted for a while now, PlayStation 3 owners have reason for great concern too—Cobalt is coming for your console, further expanding the dubious empire of Oxeye.

Deserter for a Week

It’s time to wrap up for this week, folks. Before we do that, I have good and bad news for you: I’m on a secret alpine mission next week and will not be able to continue my quest for supremacy exposing the evil business going on at the lab. However, this means you’ll have two weeks with v123 to come up with the crazy things this community does, and if you’re crazy enough, you’ll earn yourself a free advertisement spot in the next Intel Report! Here’s some inspiration:

This is possible now!
This is possible now!

Make me proud, mysterious people of the Internet. See you in two weeks.

5 Responses to “Intel Report: The Empire Strikes Back”

  1. Janeator :

    So cool! :D
    Hope you do well in the alpine secondary mission, Agent Trif!

  2. Trif :

    Bonus note:
    Some maps have been removed, some maps have been added. Bounty is temporarily missing from Arcade because the developers are considering how to revamp the game mode.

    I’m quite sure some maps will be added back, but quality is more important than quantity. Remember that you can always add old maps to Documents/Cobalt/maps/ and access them via User Maps.

  3. OtherOtter :

    not everyone loves bloops? what kind of herersy is that? BUUURN them.

    either way. it will be great playi- i mean researching this evil conspiracy

  4. J-man :

    Please add the old survival back, the new survival is basically what I thought waves would be like, if so you add back survival but still want to have a goal to it, add a time limit, and the player has to survive till the end of the timer. also please add customization to shops in New Survival (what I call waves survival) and Team Strike.

  5. Jeff :

    WOOO! I am happy to see Cobalt coming PS3! Nice work guys keep up the grand awesome work :D

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