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Announcements post #247: A shocking development.

From: Neritus
Subject: A shocking development.

Sector, it's me again!

I told you we were giving a Heartbreaker a fresh look. Well, as it turned out, there just wasn't enough there to really make it stand out as something fun and interesting without a deeper dive. The burrowbot is a truly terrifying bot and it deserves better.

This isn't just about Heartbreaker. It's all about providing an optional playstyle to up the tech feel of Engineer. Clawing people and shooting them with shards is fun, but Engis should also get to live their best tech junkie fantasies.

As with the previous changes, we will be closely monitoring for imbalances and imperfections. This has a lot of different things going on, and therefore a lot of places where numbers can be adjusted. There's quite a bit going on here, so let's get started!

Static Buildup replaces the old EM residual effect and works like this:

- 10% of all Electric damage dealt is converted to Static, which sits in the target's wetwiring and has no effect other than turning your victim into a glorified battery pack for Engineer abilities. Essentially, this is a new, optional class resource.
- Static buildup disperses periodically on its own, during wetwiring ticks, or actively with SKIRMISHING DISCHARGE (now a channeled ability).
- All Electric damage scales off of static on the target to a minor degree.
- STATIC is now an option in WW MESSAGES.
- Nano Counterzap now retaliates to static with a small amount of Cellular Tech damage when static is applied.

EM damage, on the other hand, has simply received a sharper definition on what it was always intended for: killing mechanical targets. The non-EM resistance of mechanical targets has gone up, and an EM vulnerability has been introduced. That means your class-based EM abilities like Lightingblade, Arcing, Zap, and EMShot should be more effective when hunting mechanicals, and your other abilities should be less effective.

Now on to Engineer!


DEGAUSS: Moved to the taser in Gadgets: OPERATE DEGAUSS <target> [gadget|turret|bot] is used to shift 30% of the target's current static buildup onto a gadget, deployed turret, or bot. Static pools on objects as on players and mobs, but decreases less rapidly. It now only costs 1s of balance.
* All gadgets, bots, and deployed turrets can hold static. Only the Taser, Gaussfield, Stimjector, and Turret have special effects from static. Otherwise, static on a source amplifies damage from related abilities.
* We've added a static column to the tables in BOTS LIST and the new GADGET LIST!
* We've also added CONFIG EXTERNALSTATIC, which if on will report static dispersing from your objects.

STIMJECTOR: When stimjector is used actively or passively on yourself or a target, it will consume any static on it to boost its heal.

GAUSSFIED: Electric resistance of everyone in the room is set to 0. No resistances are taken into account, including from defs. Its duration has gone up considerably to 90s.
* When empowered with Static, the gaussfield also negates non-Electric damage in the room, consuming static on the Gaussfield to do so. Damage can only be reduced up to 50% this way.

SHOCK: Now deals electric damage and still interrupts.
* When the taser is empowered with Static, it places all static in the Taser back into the target.

GAUSSIFY: deals electric damage with a higher static conversion rate, on a cooldown.
* When the taser is empowered with Static, Gaussify also takes all static stored in all your own gadgets/turret/bots in the room/inventory and applies the static into the target.

SPASMS: Same as before, but when taser is empowered with Static, converts static in the Taser into a balance knock, the duration depending on the amount of static consumed.

HEARTSTART: Same as before, but when the taser is empowered with Static, the target is revived with more health depending on static consumed.


- The Forcewave barrel has been replaced with the Shock barrel. This barrel deals Electric damage and gives a new affliction, Electrified, to targets without it already. When this affliction is cured by wetwiring, no Static Buildup will dissipate.
* When the Shock turret hits cover instead of the target, it still deals a portion of the static to the target.
* When any turret is empowered with Static, it's firing rate increases. This consumes 25 static on the turret when it fires.
* Note turrets lose all their static when RECALLed. There should be no way to have turrets with static in your inventory, bugs notwithstanding.


All of these changes were all about bringing to life the little terror, the Burrowbot. Seriously, have you ever LOOKed at a Burrowbot? So what's happened to the Burrowbot?

BOT WORM: Sends the Burrowbot into the target. And now it stays in there if the target moves around. It will leave the target if the target makes it to another area or planet or if there is no static remaining on the target (or BOT RELEASE, see below).
- Homeport does not return a burrowed burrowbot.
- Engineers can now build 2 burrowbots, but you can only have 1 burrowbot in a target at any time. 2 Engineers can have 1 each inside them, and 1 Engineer can have 2 Burrowbots buried in 2 different targets.
- "Burrowbot Depth" is no more. Instead, every 5 seconds, it passively worms through them dealing internal damage depending on the amount of static in their system.
- Burrowbots remain in mobs so long as they have static, but shouldn't do any damage unless the owner is in room.

BOT RELEASE: Consumes all static on the target to deal a burst of damage depending on the static and returns the bot after a delay. Engineer can trigger this from any room on same area/planet. Doesn't damage mobs from a distance, obviously.

HEARTBREAKER: condition is a bit different now, requiring 100% internal damage, but less depending on the static on the target. Check AB HEARTBREAKER for more detail.

BOT DISRUPT: The electrical damage on this ability as it was before simply could not exist in this new reality, so it has been tweaked a bit. It does slightly less damage during REPEAT now and its scaling is now only to muscular, not both muscular and internal. We'll be watching damage numbers on Disrupt especially for its interaction with static and gaussfield.

BOT PULSE has replaced WEAKPOINT. This is the Engineer's new EM attack.

That's everything! I had a lot of fun working on this, and I hope you have fun with it too. I'm looking forward to seeing all the ways it breaks. There will absolutely need to be a lot of tweaking of numbers done here to make it both balanced and fun. I'd also like it if static numbers converted at different ratios for lower level players. But we will work on it!

Shout out to Thorne who originally posted the idea of marrying the Burrowbot with the old EM buildup, and a big thanks to the SCC for sanitizing a lot of this. They helped me a lot, but any flaws are of course my own... and we'll work on ironing those out :)!

For Burrowbots,
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