Patch Notes 0.5.0

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Good health to you, Rune Knights.

2020 sure has been…something…so far, huh?

Even though it’s taken us a bit longer than we would have liked, we’re finally ready to promote our 0.5 Beta to the live Release Channels. For those who have been helping us test this Beta, thank you so much for your bug reports and feedback!

For those that are just joining now, 0.5 is an update that primarily focuses on quality of life changes, bug fixes, and overall game feel /​balance.

High­lights of this update include the newly remas­tered version of our Sound­track, a new Battle Tips system to teach you (at least) one neat trick, an overhaul to all in-game text for clarity, a rebranding (and tweaking) of our Diffi­culty Modes, and a suite of first time user expe­ri­ence updates.

This is all on top of many smaller changes, ranging from improve­ments to our Dodge detection, to bug fixes, to Weapon balance updates — the Katars and Spellsword’s Charm key among them. Also, this update also adds the frequently-requested feature of defining your dominant hand when creating a new profile. Lefties rejoice!

Speaking of the sound­track, you can also download the OST on Steam, or listen to it on most streaming services. As of writing, it’s currently up on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and it should be rolling out to many others in the near future.

With 0.5 wrapped up, the entire team is now focusing on the next release. As I outlined in our end-of-year post about what’s in store for 2020, we’re still looking to release a solid 1.0 version of the game before the end of this year (even with all the craziness currently going on).

To that end, the team has been hard at work making opti­miza­tions and improve­ments to perfor­mance on lower-end machines, while still main­taining our visual fidelity and gameplay. We’re also updating our engine (Unity) to a much newer version, which should hopefully bring a variety of bug fixes and perfor­mance improve­ments nearly out of the box.

Other work coming down the pipe includes Achieve­ments, Cloud Saves, and (you guessed it) even more bug fixes and opti­miza­tions. Again, the hope is to get Until You Fall to a solid 1.0, giving us the best foun­da­tion to let us add addi­tional content in the future.

We’ve also heard your feedback about certain types of enemy attacks (lunging, in partic­ular) and some of the finick­i­ness with enemy projec­tiles. Because these issues are deeper, core combat systems, we weren’t able to address this stuff for 0.5. While I can’t 100% promise that we’ll be able to fully address these issues before 1.0, we defi­nitely want to try and make the combat feel as fair and consis­tent as possible.

Well, that’s about all I have for this update. As we continue to work out more specifics for the rest of this year, we’ll be letting you know as soon as we can both here and on the Discord.

Stay tuned for future updates, and above all, stay healthy, Rune Knights.

- Dave, Project Director

Release 0.5.0 Changes & Additions

Remas­tered Sound­track & Audio Level Adjust­ments

This release features a remas­tered version of all music currently in the game. Conse­quently, we also took a pass at the audio levels in-game to account for the new music.

  • Sound­track has been remas­tered in-game!
  • Sound­track is also available for download on Steam, and will be rolling out to most major streaming platforms!
  • Audio levels have been adjusted to accom­mo­date for the updated OST
  • Added SFX for when the player first mate­ri­al­izes at the start of a new game
  • Added SFX for the new Abyssal Pulse Trait (see Spellswords Charm section for details)
  • Added unique audio loops for the different Diffi­culty versions of the Forge Portal

New Feature: Battle Tips

We’ve been getting a lot of feedback about where/​how to learn various bits of infor­ma­tion about the game’s deeper mechanics. We didn’t want to keep adding tutorials, because past a certain point they’d get annoying and over­whelming. So, we’ve added a system for showing Battle Tips at the death screen that can give Rune Knights helpful hints, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions.

  • Death Screen Battle Tips — A wide selection of community-suggested tips, sensitive to where the player was in the run when they died.
  • Knight and Captain Battle Tips — We’ve added a new popup for battle tips appearing in-room for players who do not defeat the Knight or Captain on their first attempt.
  • Spell­weaver Intro­duc­tion Battle Tip — There is now an in-scene Battle Tip to better explain the mechanics of blocking the Spellweaver’s projec­tiles in the Spellweaver’s intro­duc­tion room.

Dodge Updates, Part 2

We’ve revisited some of how dodging is handled in the back-end, looking to further reduce instances of unfair and inac­cu­rate Dodge detection. As always, keep letting us know when you think a partic­ular attack (or sequence of attacks) feels…off.

  • Rapidly Dodging in sequence should now be more accurate than it was before.

New Comfort Setting: Screen Flash

For users who expe­ri­ence photo­sen­si­tivity, we’ve added a new toggle in Comfort Settings to disable full screen flashes that occur in combat. This is a piece of feedback that started coming in more recently, so thanks to everyone for letting us know!

  • Added a checkbox that enables/​disables the brief, full screen flash effects that appear during combat. This can be changed at any time in the Comfort Settings, accessed from the pause menu

First Time User Expe­ri­ence Updates

As we get closer to our 1.0 release, we want to make sure that we’re ramping new Rune Knights into the world of Rokar in a way that minimizes gameplay confusion and frus­tra­tion. Based on feedback, analytics, and obser­va­tions from various confer­ence demos, we’ve made the following tweaks.

Choose your Primary Weapon Hand — Lefties rejoice! When creating a profile, you can now define which is your Primary Weapon Hand. This will determine which hand your Arming Sword starts in. Once you unlock new weapons, you’ll be able to swap your weapons as normal.

Aether Horror Tutorial Encounter — While it’s still not possible to defeat the Aether Horror in the tutorial, we got a lot of (under­stand­ably) confused feedback on the Aether Horror’s roar. Killing the player with a mechanic they don’t under­stand and never see again left many players confused about if they’d missed something important from the tutorial.

  • Aether Horror no longer cheats, bringing you to Death’s Door at the beginning of the fight
  • Added addi­tional messaging to the player that they should try to fight until they fall

Diffi­culty Selection Beat — We want to make sure players know where & how to change diffi­cul­ties. Before entering their first run, new Rune Knights will be asked to specif­i­cally select a diffi­culty.

Weapon Unlocking Tutorial Beat — Similarly, we saw that some users would be so fixated on re-entering a run that they’d miss Agatha’s prompting about buying weapons. When these tutorial moments unlock, the portal will now be disabled until the player has purchased a weapon.

Weapon Upgrading Tutorial Card — Like the weapon purchasing tutorial, we added a beat here to let players focus on Agatha’s good news about upgrades. Unlike the purchase tutorial, the player doesn’t need to upgrade to continue.

Text Color-Coding & Clarity Pass

In addition to new players, we wanted to ensure that our deeper mechanics were being clearly commu­ni­cated through our in-game text. So, we’ve taken a pass at not only cleaning up any ambiguous language with regards to Traits and Supers, but we’ve also color-coded important terms to (hopefully) make the game’s text slightly more readable.

  • All in-game text has had a copy pass for consis­tency and brevity
  • Key terms, bonuses, penalties, and other important infor­ma­tion has been color-coded to make the text more readable

Diffi­culty Rebranding

Based on community feedback, in addition to a variety of diffi­culty tweaks at a mechan­ical level, we’ve also taken a pass at giving each game mode a more fitting name. Don’t worry, Nightmare is still Nightmare.

  • Easy ⇒ Relaxed
  • Normal ⇒ Chal­lenging
  • Hard ⇒ Relent­less
  • Nightmare ⇒ Nightmare (See? Told you)

Diffi­culty Adjust­ments

The team received a ton of great feedback from the recent community survey about diffi­culty across all modes! Thanks everyone that took the time to reply. As a result, we’ve made some targeted changes to try and better match each diffi­culty to their intended purpose. For each change, we’ve tried to include a brief in each diffi­culty to explain our reasoning.

RELAXED DIFFICULTY ADJUSTMENTS — According to the Diffi­culty Survey, most respon­dents felt that Relaxed (previ­ously Easy’) started off right, but ended up scaling sharply, partic­u­larly in Tier 2. Tier 2 is when we really want players to learn how to juggle multiple enemies at once- and it’s something that (until recently) didn’t change much between diffi­cul­ties.

To help flatten the diffi­culty curve, we made some tweaks to the aggres­sive­ness of enemy arche­types — espe­cially their empowered variants.

  • Decreased the aggres­sive­ness of surrounding enemies when the Rune Knight is mid-combo
  • Decreased the Speed and aggres­sive­ness of Empowered Knights
  • Greatly decreased the aggres­sive­ness of the Tier 2 Bosses when the Rune Knight is mid-combo
  • Slightly increased the Ranged Attack Cooldown of Spell­weavers
  • Increased the Ranged Attack Cooldown of Empowered Spell­weavers
  • Increased the Global Ranged Attack Cooldown for all Spell­weavers
  • Spell­weavers will no longer throw multiple projec­tiles at once on this diffi­culty mode.
  • Empowered Spell­weavers will throw multiple projec­tiles at once only when they are the last remaining foe in the room
  • Slightly decreased the base Attack speed of the first and third Boss Fights
  • Reduced Guard regen­er­a­tion rates across all enemies

CHALLENGING DIFFICULTY ADJUSTMENTS — As many survey respon­dents pointed out, UYF is a roguelite. That creates some expec­ta­tion that the Default’ gameplay mode is difficult, and over­coming that challenge is rewarding.

That said, there has been a general feeling that the diffi­culty scaling of this mode, espe­cially in Tier 3, felt very sharp- to the point where it became indis­tin­guish­able from the Relent­less’ mode. The tweaks to Chal­lenging’ and Relent­less’ should better help distin­guish these modes from one another, and smooth out the diffi­culty curve of this diffi­culty, espe­cially into the later parts of Tier 3.

  • Slightly decreased aggres­sive­ness of surrounding enemies when the Rune Knight is mid-combo
  • Slightly decreased the aggres­sive­ness of the Tier 2 Bosses when the rune Knight is mid-combo
  • Slightly increased the Ranged Attack Cooldown of groups of Spell­weavers
  • Slightly increased the Global Ranged Attack Cooldown for all Spell­weavers
  • Slightly reducing the base Attack Speed of the Empowered Knight
  • Slightly reducing the Attack Speed of the Empowered Knight’s Special attack
  • Slightly reducing the aggres­sive­ness of Empowered enemies to help soften the diffi­culty curve of simul­ta­ne­ously fighting multiple Empowered combat­ants

RELENTLESS DIFFICULTY ADJUSTMENTS — Relent­less is meant to be the diffi­culty mode for someone comfort­able with UYF’s mechanics, and looking for a more fast-paced expe­ri­ence. The aggres­sive­ness and base attack speeds of many enemies are increased, resulting in a generally fast-paced game from start to finish.

So far, Relent­less hasn’t been deliv­ering as such. Part of this is because the Chal­lenging mode was scaling a bit too hard into Tier 3, and partially because of some content bugs affecting the overall speed of the Empowered Knight.

  • Slightly increased the Aggres­sive­ness of Empowered Knights
  • Fixed a bug that caused Empowered Knights to have a lower base Attack Speed than intended
  • Slightly increased the Aggres­sive­ness of the Tier 2 Bosses when the Rune Knight is mid-combo
  • Slightly Increasing the Enraged Attack Speed of Empowered Captains
  • Increasing maximum Guard of the Tier 3 bossfight to 300 (from 275)

NIGHTMARE DIFFICULTY ADJUSTMENTS — We want Nightmare to be a good endgame” diffi­culty for players that want a long term goal for Until You Fall. So far, it’s been looking positive, but because of the issues above Nightmare mode has only been attempted by a fraction of UYF’s total player base, and only 20% of Rune Knights responding to our survey have attempted it. Because of this, we’ve left Nightmare mostly untouched, and have decided not to add any addi­tional diffi­cul­ties to UYF quite yet.

That said, we did make some tweaks to ensure that Nightmare remained as a logical progres­sion of diffi­culty from Relent­less’, and fixed a few HP /​Guard values. The intent is not to force you to slog through piles of enemy Health as much as it is to make it a bit harder to create a broken build that bypasses all mechanics on Nightmare.

  • The Nightmare diffi­culty mode is now unlocked upon beating the game in any mode (previ­ously required Normal/​Challenging or higher)
  • Slightly increased the Speed and Aggres­sive­ness of Empowered Knights
  • Slightly increased the Aggres­sive­ness of the Tier 2 Bosses when the Rune Knight is mid-combo
  • Slightly Increasing the Enraged Attack Speed of Empowered Captains
  • Increasing Maximum Guard of the Tier 3 bossfight to 350 (from 300)
  • Slightly decreased the Global Ranged Attack Cooldown for all Spell­weavers

Spellswords Charm Updates (+ 2 New Innate Traits)

The Spellsword’s Charm was iden­ti­fied by the survey as being a weapon in need of some love- being only a few people’s favorite weapon, while simul­ta­ne­ously being rated as the most under­whelming.

This was for a few reasons: First, the Spellsword’s Charm has a stats issue. Its early identity as a utility weapon with a lot of Trait sockets didn’t make much sense, since there are compar­a­tively few traits you’d actually want to put on the charm. Secondly, the theme for the charm was rela­tively weak, since it relied on a single Trait to define it, and only leveled up with secondary stats.

To address these issues, we’ve redone the Charm’s level progres­sion and redefined it as a more thematic Void’ weapon, giving it two new Traits completely unique to the charm in addition to Arcane Focus’.

New Trait: Abyssal Pulse (Weapon Level V)

  • Every 20 seconds, striking an enemy with the amulet’s gem repels the target force­fully.

New Trait: Call of Oblivion (Weapon Level IX)

  • While at (0) remaining Health Crystals, grant your other weapon x2 Super Charge and +25% Damage

Secondary Stats at Weapon Level I:

  • Dash Charges +1

Secondary Stats at Weapon Level X:

  • Max Health +1 (Down from +2)
  • Combo Limit +2
  • Dash Charges +2 (Down from +3)
  • Weapon Sockets +4 (down from +5)

Gemini Katars Balance Updates

Handling and Respon­sive­ness Improved

The Gemini blades were treated as daggers under the hood, for the purposes of deter­mining legal swings & stabs. The community felt that, given the strange orien­ta­tion of the weapons, it was often difficult to get Normal/​Big swings and legal Stabs with the Katars, and we agree.

  • The Katars have been tuned so that it should now be easier to land full damage stabs and swings.

Base Stats Improved

We like the unique challenge that Rending & Alter­nating strikes pose, but agreed that the effort required to master the fighting style of the katars wasn’t really rewarded unless the Rune Knight put several Guard/​Health Damage bonuses into the weapons during the run.

With these stat tweaks, Gemini Esper will swing for 6 to 11 Health Damage (based on weapon level) when Rending Strikes is active, and Gemini Stranded should swing for 9 to 18 Guard damage when Alter­nating Strikes is active.

  • Gemini Stranded: Base Guard Damage increased 46 (Now 12 at Level X)
  • Gemini Esper: Base Health Damage increased 34 (Now 7 at Level X)

Duelist’s Edge Balance Changes

The Duelist’s Edge is a favored weapon among Rune Knights that have the utmost confi­dence in their ability to avoid damage. It’s handling is on par with a dagger, with the reach to rival the arming sword — while its baseline stats are lower.

We felt that the Duelist’s Edge is very close to being perfect — but its baseline stats were a hair too low for the playstyle the weapon demands. Slightly increasing the Guard Damage should put it in a place where it’s easier to start reaping the benefits of keeping Untouch­able’ online earlier, without needing a Guard Damage buff to make it break even.

  • Increased Base Guard Damage 45 (Now 9 at level X)

Engraved Arming Sword Balance Changes

The Engraved Arming Sword is meant to be a reliable, well rounded weapon that is equal to the task of defeating the Aether Horror. Based on responses from the survey, it seems like the Arming Sword is doing every­thing just a bit too well, leading many players to feel forced” to take it if playing seriously. We didn’t want to nerf the arming sword too much, but we shifted some of its endgame power away from getting big damage with combos to help make room for other weapons.

  • Level X Stat upgrade now rewards +5 Dash Impact instead of +1 Health Damage /​+1 Guard Damage
  • Bulwark Super has been Adjusted (See the following section for more details)

Bulwark Adjust­ments

Bulwark is a powerful super- but we felt that so much of its power was front­loaded that it rarely was something worth upgrading compared to other traits. This adjust­ment should shift some of Bulwark’s power into its upgraded levels

  • Bulwark I now grants 2 Temporary Armor, instead of 3
  • Bulwark Rank III now grants 4 Temporary Armor & lasts for 25 Seconds
  • Bulwark Rank IV now reads: Blocking with this Weapon while Bulwark is active deals +75% Guard Damage

Shard­storm Adjust­ments

We caught a bug that prevented Shard­storm IV from dealing health damage to guard broken enemies. When we fixed that bug, the health damage on Shard­storm became excessive.

  • Shard­storm III now grants 60 Guard Damage per second (down from 80)
  • Shard­storm IV now deals 3 Health Damage per Second (down from 4)

Quality of Life Improve­ments

  • (SteamVR) Updated default thresh­olds on Joysticks for Turning vs. Dashing
    • It should be less easy to acci­den­tally Dash instead of Turn (or vice versa) with the default control scheme
  • (Index Controllers) Added Dash” to the trackpad on the right index controller
    • Clicking Up or Down on the trackpad will now do the same thing as pushing Forward or Backwards on the Right Stick
    • This is an additive change, so both controls should work
  • Relabeled the Room Scale” option in Gameplay Settings to 360 Degree Tracking Mode”
    • The func­tion­ality of this button remains the same, but we wanted to try and clear up the purpose of this feature
    • Longer term, we would like to change how we’re handling the initial cali­bra­tion step and defining a world forward” while in-game, and how this fits into that will be examined before we launch 1.0

Notable Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a bug that caused Tenacious not to activate when 1 health crystal is remaining
  • Fixed a bug that caused Empowered Knights to be unusually fast on easier diffi­culty settings, and unusually slow on harder diffi­culty settings
  • Fixed an issue that allowed a Captain-type enemy to execute a Charge-Attack against the Rune Knight even if they were visibly inter­rupted by an effect such as a super impact
  • Fixed an issue that prevented the game from saving the fact that the Captain had been encoun­tered until the Rune Knight defeats the first Captain
  • Fixed an issue that could, occa­sion­ally, have the player be locked in place while the Captain is aggroed during the Dodge Tutorial
  • Cinematic appear­ances of the Aether Horror can no longer steal soul burn projec­tile targeting from active enemies
  • Fixed an issue that was preventing certain enemy encoun­ters from appearing during a run