Alpha V Release Notes
First of all we want to thank you all for your feedback and suggestions in the last few months! Based on your feedback in Alpha IV we changed, fixed, and improved plenty of things in Alpha V. To give you an idea:
Squad credit sharing rate has been reduced
Feedback circles on map and minimap from sprinting or shooting was removed.
We reduced weapon power inflation.
Spawnzone camping was tackled and spawns for squads randomized.
We improved weapon and movement SFX.
We re-ordered the exit menu buttons so that the bug reporter is at the top & added "Leave Match" prompt.
Quest thresholds in Loop modes were re-balanced.
We also re-balanced Kit level-up stats putting the focus on survivability (movement and health) and remove "damage against players" or similar bonuses.
The Zeus Beam received a balance pass.
Mods were re-balanced.
And finally, we fixed 60(!) bugs which were reported by you, our awesome community!
Thank you once again for your feedback and your contribution! As mentioned in our latest newsletter, every alpha tester will get a reward for playing the game :)
How do you like the changes we made based on the community feedback? Do you like this kind of feedback loop or do you see room for improvement? Let us know on Discord or our other social media channels!
And now, to the juicy part:
Alpha 5 tests schedule
Friday the 14th of December from 17:00 to 23:00 CET
17:00-18:30 - Solo Loop
18:30-20:00 - Solo List
20:00-23:00 - Squad Loop
Saturday the 15th of December from 15:00 to 23:00 CET
15:00-17:00 - Solo Loop
17:00-19:00 - Solo List
19:00-23:00 - Squad Loop
Alpha 6 is planned for the first half of February
New features and content
Brightcap Harvesting quest
Harvest Brightcap mushrooms and deposit them in one of three stations, scattered across the map, but watch out - both Ticks and other Prospectors will be after you!
Taking too much damage while carrying them, will make them fall out of your Brightcap Canister.
High concentration Brightcap fields come with more rewards and greater risk.
Squad & pact mates can now communicate in-game via voice chat.
New player costumes - Hunter & Scout
We've added two new outfit sets to the game, the Hunter and the Scout. Players' avatars will wear pieces of these new costumes at random in matches. As soon as we have our character customization ready, you will be able to mix and match them to create your favorite outfit!
The Basilisk, a rapid fire sniper rifle, has been added to the Osiris faction. Its quick firing rate and control makes it ideal for the long-range Prospector on the go.
Stim Boost - On activation the Stim boost provides a quick health boost, and temporarily improves health regeneration and speed.
Trench Grenade - This a traditional grenade is an ideal addition to your weapons loadout. Its shrapnel explosions are particularly effective against the hostile creatures of Fortuna III.
Surveillance Ward - This static surveillance device scans for hostile Prospectors in its vicinity every 5 seconds. Up to three can be active at a time.
New enemies - Blast beetle variants
Acid Tick (toxic green) - After exploding, their entrails covering the ground will create an area of effect for several seconds, that causes acid damage.
Brood Tick (white) - Tougher than average and immune to the explosive damage of other ticks.
New weapon mods
Volatile Blast - Increases area of effect for explosive weapons.
Heavy Needles - Increases damage of Flechettes, though they're more affected by gravity.
Explosive Rounds - Bullets tipped with explosives cause additional damage, at the cost of rate of fire.
Booster Needles - Replaces Flechettes with rockets, for a third of the magazine capacity.
Fractal Lens - Splits phase weapon projectiles in three spectrums, at the cost of magazine capacity and optimal range.
Toxic Shards - Adds toxic damage to Shard weapons, at the cost of optimal range.
Don't forget to sign up for newsletter using the new in-game button (if you haven’t registered for the game before).
The south east Uplink area has been polished, to bring all three uplink bases to the same standard, while using unique assets.
Uplink arenas have been reworked to allow for approaching and disengaging both stealthily and in full-force.
We increased the overall cover variety in Uplink areas.
Level polishing pass
Improved mobility across the map.
Improved and added new mid-level landmarks (collapsed mine, beach waterfall).
Several performance improvements have been implemented.
Storm phases are clearer now, featuring 3 unique mood states.
We added a new and menacing end of storm phase with reduced visibility and altered gameplay experience.
We enhanced visuals for the storm with new graphic effects like puddles and reactive emissive lights.
Central area rework
The exterior of the central area has received an overhaul, with the interior overhaul coming at a later date.
We added exterior assets unique to the central area.
Similar to Uplinks, the arena has been reworked to allow for approaching the evac ship and its vicinity both stealthily and in full-force.
We have iterated over the look of the female Prospector - let us know what you think of the changes!
Comm Wheel Iteration
The Comm wheel now offers interactions for all main activities of the game, both for combat and quests, as well as emotes.
It can be quickly accessed and used, without disrupting gameplay, even in hectic situations.
It's now prettier and sounds better
Quest thresholds in Loop were re-balanced so that there is no single dominant objective.
Improvements to existing quests
Gas Refiner Quest
It's no longer possible to 'steal' refiners from Allies
We improved the spawning logic of minerals in the Squad modes, allowing for more 'Medium' minerals to spawn.
The UI color of the tracking quest is more distinct to differentiate it from others when started.
Squad Mode Scoring
Refiner and Uplink quests are now giving points for obtaining them, even if the player that captured them died (until of course captured by someone else).
Formerly, captured refiner deposits and uplinks were marked as belonging to the team, but the points from it were not counting towards the Squad score. The fix solves this issue, and even the death of the capturing player, the points are applied to the Squad as intended.
The Zeal Shard no longer clips in front of player camera when sliding while holding it.
Exit menu was reordered.
Chat is back to the game!
In addition to the squad channel, chat has three different communication channels (English, German, Russian) that can be enabled or disabled in the settings menu.
Comm Wheel was added to the tutorial.
Unused features were removed from the tutorial.
Improvements to movement audio and minimap
Circles on the map and minimap that appeared when a weapon was fired or when a player sprinted, were removed.
We have iterated over the movement audio of Players, so now you can better hear other Prospectors approaching.
We hope that these combined changes improve your experience playing The Cycle, and we are eager to hear your feedback on them!
VFX water interaction
More believable water that reacts properly to players' and monsters' movements
Feedback button on server status screen
feedback can be left even if servers are offline
Spawn zone camping
We have randomized the spawns of Squads, so it is not as easy to camp a Squads spawn point.
Heal domes are also added to the escape pods at the spawn points, to counter Prospectors who do camp at a spawn point.
"Leave match" confirmation prompt was added
Launch screen visual improvement
Looks way prettier now!
Number of players in a match queue is now displayed.
GPU & Render thread performance improvements
Drastically reduced landscape shader cost on Epic setting.
Implemented LOD optimizations
Optimised imposter material.
Reduced amount of distance field generating objects.
Tuning / Balance Improvements
Reduced refire: 0.35 → 0.32
Increased damage: 22 → 24
Reduced radial falloff penalty: 0.25 → 0.35
Tightened spread pattern
Reduced falloff penalty: 0.42 → 0.45
ASP Flechette Gun
Reduced damage: 28 → 24
Increase gravity effect
Increased damage: 30 → 34
Reduced spread increase: 1.25 → 1
Reduced spread decrease: 35 → 30
Renamed to Lacerator
Switched from 3 shot burst to single shot
Increased damage 30 → 42
Reduced magazine capacity 30 → 20
Falloff damage multiplier reduced: 0.25 → 0.35
Tightened spread pattern
Increased Refire: 0.095 → 0.09
Reduced magazine capacity: 40 → 30
Reduced damage: 47 → 44
Reduced damage: 36 → 28
Increased shots per burst: 5 → 10
Reduced interval per burst shot: 0.08 → 0.05
Increased charge-up: 0.4 → 0.6
Fixed beam still showing after last shot fired
Reduced AoE damage against AI: 300 → 200
Increased AoE damage against players: 30 → 200
Increased AoE falloff starting point
Reduced magazine capacity: 2 → 1
Increased damage: 300 → 400
Increased direct damage: 0 → 20
Reduced AoE damage: 70 → 60
Increased AoE falloff penalty: 0.35 → 0.25
Increased AoE radius by 60%
Increased self damage AoE multiplier: 0.5 → 1
Increased missile interval per bust: 0.09 → 0.12
Added slight gravity to missiles
Direct damage increased: 0 → 250
AoE damage reduced: 400 → 250
Direct damage falloff penalty set to 0.75 for long range
AoE damage multiplier for AI increased: 1.15 → 2
AoE damage multiplier for self increased: 1 → 2
Reduced ammo: 200 → 100
Increased movement and turn speed penalties
Increased equip times
Removed weak zone damage bonus
Increased AoE radius
Reduced AoE damage falloff penalty: 0.2 → 0.4
Increased AoE self damage penalty: 0.8 → 1
Reduced movement speed penalty: 1 → 0.95
Reduced damage against players: 200 → 175
Increased damage against AI: 150 → 175
Reduced activation time: 2 to 1
Squad economy iteration
Base line share lowered from 40% → 25% for a squad of 4 (33.3% for squad of 3 etc)
Mod bonuses reduced overall, mod penalties increased
All reload times shortened by 10% to 15%
Ensured magazine-in time matches visual and audio feedback for sprint-reload canceling
Gearstore weapon and kit level-up upgrades balanced to reduce damage spikes
Refiner friendly fire off
AI health pools have been lowered
An upgraded ability can lose its upgrades after dropping & picking up
It's possible to shoot during equip animation after a melee attack
Kinetic shield doesn't protect from close range melee attacks
Voice Chat - Push to talk does not work during intro sequence
Stim boost doesn't apply damage reduction buff (but other attributes of the ability apply speed, regeneration, instant health work)
Other players didn't receive chat messages from the [Match] channel in the Prematch Lobby
Drop pod animation is out of sync; the door is already open, while the animation still plays
it can happen, that the interaction bar stays on screen, when 2 player try to interact with e.g. a mineral
Performance drops can occur
performance can degrade when switching graphics settings (Low, Medium, High, Epic) - a restart of the client is recommended
performance can degrade seemingly randomly - when this happens, please report a bug using the performance quick bug button. Adding additional information (how many matches have you played in the session, etc.) is appreciated
we're still investigating this and added more logging - please report if you get kicked out of a match using the bug reporter
We will update this section on Friday as the final list is still getting compiled.