Experience sci-fi tactical combat and exploration in a procedural world that combines traditional roguelikes with an immersive modern interface like no other. Build yourself from components found or salvaged from other robots. Attach power sources, propulsion units, utilities, and weapons to become a slow tank bristling with weapons, or a fast-moving flier zipping past enemies before they even have time to react, or a stealthy sword-wielding assassin/hacker, or whatever else you can come up with from the salvage you find. The situation can quickly change as you lose components and rebuild yourself from enemy remains. You are the Cogmind. Discover what that means as you explore a living, breathing world ruled by robots.
Fat changelog? CHECK. Lots of new toys to play with? CHECK. It's time to hack the planet!
The all-new robot hacking system creates new ways to play, and is expansive enough to integrate with existing strategies. Plus Beta 7 comes with more combat buffs and a heavy dose of QoL features, requested and otherwise.
Today the years-old, mostly marginalized placeholder robot hacking system is finally history. Now things get real, with a proper huge range of options for stealing data, influencing AIs, or otherwise getting creative. With over five dozen hacks there's something in here for everyone, and twice as many non-combat hacks as combat hacks means plenty of AI-specific hackery, especially outside of combat when sneaking around trying to accomplish various goals.
Although serious hacking works only on non-prototype 0b10 bots, datajacks can still be used on any bot, an important need for parse_system which'll help you fill out your gallery faster (all parsed components are identified and added to the item gallery if not already there), especially if you meet up with any NPCs you'd rather not antagonize.
Even more importantly, using a Datajack isn't considered a hostile action, so you can pull off all kinds of shenanigans from the shadows completely undetected if you like, or otherwise sit around ordering 0b10 bots to do stuff like give you info without repercussions.
To take full advantage of the new system, however, you'll have to visit a RIF Installer... and doing that requires entering a Garrison! The first and probably easiest opportunity is in -8/Materials, so hack open the entrance and dive in. Hopefully prepared to blow away the inevitable unwelcoming defenders :). The RIF Installer isn't too hard to find, it'll be by the entrance or one of the exits. While you're in there, make sure to destroy some relays, as what you'll get is better than the usual stuff and this'll make the trip extra worth it. And remember to pick up at least one Datajack early, that and maybe a decent amount of storage capacity to help carry all those couplers.
Most players avoid Garrisons so aren't too well-versed in dealing with their challenges, and at first I imagine we'll see a fair bit more deaths there than usual, but lower Garrisons aren't too dangerous when you're prepared. If you are keen to start robot hacking but unprepared for a Garrison dive by the time you hit it in -8, there are a bunch more Garrisons to be found in -7/Factory.
The manual robot hacking UI has gotten an overhaul to include autocompletion and a fully-featured command buffer, too, for those who prefer typing for that extra hacker feel. (Data is stored in the new /user/buffer_robot.txt file.)
Check out a large collection of hacking demos and read about all the hacks on the blog, where there's also an in-depth introduction to the system and its design.
Note there are no bothack-related achievements being introduced for now. Those will come later when the system is finalized, in case there are some tweaks down the line. The existing handful of robot hacking achievements do still apply, though, as per the changelog.
A small sampling of fun stuff you can do with hacking:
- map_route -
- generate_echo -
- map_earth -
- overload_power -
- link_fov -
- link_fov + show_paths -
- ignore_targets -
If you're not sure what a hack does, right-clicking on it (or shift-letter) opens context help with a description.
Well the new robot hacking system is basically a big collection of unique buffs itself, but we already covered that... No wait, there's more! Datajacks themselves all got massive stat buffs, making them much faster and cheaper to use. As the key to hacking bots, they'll be much more flexible and reusable now, allowing you to pull off numerous hacks even in a combat scenario. (Note that Remote Datajacks can only be fired solo now, but that's not a drawback, just a way to prevent cheesing the delay system :P)
For a new buff unrelated to hacking we turn to GUNS. Since Beta 1 we've had the somewhat useful gunslinging mechanic, which allowed gun-only volleys to attack additional targets if the first target is destroyed, but it only took effect half the time, or more frequently if using targeting computers. Now it always does that--no computers required, so stock up on guns. This makes a gun-heavy play style even more reliable and effective in the early game, and gives another reason to consider evolving weapon slots over utilities.
The melee equivalent, where multiwielding follow-up attacks after destroying a target might switch to another adjacent target, is now also guaranteed. (Another related buff: All melee follow-up attacks incur no additional time cost aside from the weapon's halved time delay, making it quicker to get in more hits.)
Knockback has always been a thing with impact melee weapons, but now it's come to kinetic cannons as well! The chance of knocking a target back is a function of damage, range, and target size, and is checked for each projectile, so melee bots might have a hard time reaching you if you're sporting Flak Cannons :).
This pair of assault cannons does a nice job of implanting the target in an expoding reactor:
Knockback mechanics have also been updated to allow a bit of a chain reaction, where knocked robots can slam into other robots and both displace and damage them as well. This applies to both impact weapons and KI cannons, so firing a penetrating KI round down a busy corridor will make an even bigger mess than it already did :D. Technically knocking targets back will make it harder to hit them since it now counts as a "move", but they'll also have a harder time shooting at you while being knocked around, so with some targeting utilities you'll have a bigger advantage overall.
Among the new parts we have a new range of Kinecellerators, utilities for buffing your KI weapons. Entry level:
Kinecellerators are especially effective when combined with multikinetic volleys, although they could also be brutal combined with certain cannons. As with other weapon modification utilities, while active their effects are reflected in the info mode summary.
And technically this last one is a fix, but bringing it in line with the original intent is basically a buff compared to what it was before: Your first allied Operator will now give the proper full +10% to machine hacking, so \o/
The global alert level slowly decays over time as long as you're not causing trouble, and in the past you could repeatedly find places to hide and wait it out, eventually resetting it to zero. That won't work anymore, at least not forever, because alert decay now has diminishing returns. This will mostly be noticeable from the mid-game onwards for players who go through entire floors destroying everything. You'll have to use other methods of lowering alert, of which there are many, or just leave the floor, preferably into a more secluded floor.
That said, note the effects don't even start to kick in until after you've been on the same floor for at least 800 turns, and only if you've been causing mayhem, and even then the changes are quite minor and gradual. The main point of this change was to head off farming strategies.
In any case, it will probably still be tweaked again (alert has been tweaked in various ways throughout the years...), but let's see how the current settings play out. I'd like to do some typical combat runs myself to get more of a feel for it, but so far I've been more into playing with the hacking system since that's the Big New Thing.
Also these alert changes only affect the default difficulty level, easier modes behave as before.
Another change also meant to prevent farming is the addition of a sort of map-wise global timer for Z-hacking. You'll see. Don't worry, Z-terminals are still the optional OP crutch that system was built to be :P
The main true nerf of Beta 7 is to Sensor Arrays, and it's a situational one at that. If you use sensors you're probably aware that Watchers can jam them if close enough. Previously they had to have better sensors than you in order to achieve this effect, but now they can do it regardless of their sensor type, as long as they're in range. Sensors have always been an amazing utility, and still are, though the new rules will make certain areas more challenging. Especially in tighter late floors, players who like to rely on sensors will need to find some alternative strategies under certain circumstances (both machine and robot hacking can help here).
One-shotting ARCs was nerfed by letting them do an emergency deployment right before they're destroyed. Not many players are capable of fielding builds with enough firepower to reliably take out ARCs prior to deployment, but for those who do it won't mean an overly easy way to wade through assaults, since at least some of the bots will likely be somewhat intact to fight. The contents will generally not be in great shape, but they'll still be there :P
Putting the quality in life!
You'll now see a little glowing blue '@' marker indicating the direction of Cogmind when offscreen.
More ALERTs! All 0b10 bot calls for reinforcements that didn't already have one now display that notification as an on-map ALERT message. Even Garrison Access points which are activated in response to calls for backup will now also display that notification as an on-map ALERT message. These things existed in the message log before, but they're kinda important so making them flash and beep will make it extra obvious that Very Serious Things are happening.
The ability to tag an item with custom text as a memory aid is a rather common feature among classic roguelikes. Tagging is usually a part of the item identification process, and due to the nature of Cogmind's items and ID system it's almost never useful, hence the absence of a tagging feature all these years. However there are a handful of special cases towards the end of the game where you may know what a particular unidentified item is (based on where you found it) but not want to immediately attach-ID it. So now you can.
To tag an inventory item with a text note, press Shift-Alt-t followed by its inventory number. This feature is generally used to tag unidentified prototypes and alien artifacts that are known based on other factors or meta knowledge, so that they're not lost in the inventory later, indistinguishable from other unidentified artifacts. Erase an existing item tag by entering an empty tag for it. An example of tagging a serious item with a non-serious tag:
(Currently it's one of the rare keyboard-only commands, but we'll eventually get mouse access as well once there are enough of these rare commands so I can find a suitable UI scheme to include it.)
There are already a ton of methods for keyboard players to interact with items, but hey we can always use one more, right? This one is another feature found more often in classic roguelikes: modal item management. Some players prefer a fully modal approach to item interaction, rather than requiring the use of Ctrl/Shift/Alt key modifiers. The new 'p' key is the answer. It opens a menu that gives access to any part-related action, so [p] -> [action] -> [letter or number of part]. Here's the reminder that appears on entering the mode:
'p' was originally used to toggle the Part Auto-Activation feature, a key I'd always planned to replace when we needed it for something more vital, and it turns out 'p' for parts is perfect for the new modal menu :D (The old hotkey has been switched to F10 so it's still available if anyone really needs to toggle it in realtime.)
We have a number of feature requests in this section, too, which I'll point out here in case they'll help others as well...
Normally the map automatically pans during movement to keep Cogmind in the center, which is important for a number of usability reasons, but if you don't like that it can now be dectivated via advanced.cfg by setting viewFollowsCogmind=0. Here's a demo comparing the two methods using more or less the same scene:
There have been several requests to not autocenter on quitting mapshift mode because players who prefer scrolling with that method then can't follow drones very far. I've made that the default behavior and there's currently no option to change it back, as this technically brings it in line with all other scrolling methods--you can use either Enter key to recenter when you need to.
For fliers, non-forced melee attacks now require confirmation, since the intent may have been to jump a bot but you forgot to deactivate your melee weapon. (This can be turned off via ignoreFlyingMeleeConfirmation in advanced.cfg, though keeping it on will probably save you a facepalm or two in the long run.) Also mainly to benefit fliers, heat flow errors due to corruption temporarily block movement (as with part rejection), otherwise long moves could suddenly be hit with a heat spike and continue along happily until something burns out xD
A quick mention because I don't have anywhere else to put it: There were a few achievements that couldn't be earned in Beta 6, but now everything is available!
Fun extra #1:
With a single command you can export a full-sized PNG of the current map as you've explored it. Images are placed in a new /screenshots-maps/ directory and named with the map's name, depth, and the number of turns spent on that particular map when the export was made. This process may take a few seconds because it needs to sequentially render numerous frames across the entire map, compiling them together into a single huge PNG.
Being a collage of screenshots, image exports use whatever font and size you've currently set. The example above shows an export using size 20 tiles.
I'm interested to see what people do with it, and I imagine it'll be useful for things like certain types of guides, creative endeavors, and strategy research. We've already been seeing some really cool exports shared by players during the prerelease testing phase.
Map exporting is currently keyboard-only: Shift-Alt-m. Like the Shift-Alt-t for item tagging, this one should eventually be mouse accessible as well, but not for now.
Fun extra #2 you probably don't want to do but here we go:
There are already a ton of ways to get data directly from Cogmind, or indirectly through the wiki or about leaderboard player performance, but one of the external pieces of data we don't yet have is robot stats. I certainly don't want to make players record individual data points from the game to populate the wiki, so for that and other uses I've added a command line option that automatically generates a CSV file containing all the robot data. The item gallery CSV export has already been used to generate the wiki's item pages, but there's been no corresponding feature for robots, until now :)
Here's a sample excerpt of the export, which in its entirety includes 179 lines and over 8,000 data fields o_O
Obviously there are going to be massive spoilers in the complete file, but I imagine anyone who does this will be aware of that fact... Note you don't need any of this to play since object data is available in game, but some players like to have it around as an external reference.
This feature isn't even documented anywhere but here for now. It's command line only. Run the game with the "-exportRobots" argument, then once it starts up you have to actually move one space for the export to happen :P
Special thanks to all our Beta 7 prerelease testers, who helped iron out a few issues and also sparked some tweaks before today's full release.
And thanks to everyone for your Steam reviews! In case anyone missed it, there's a pre-1.0 medium-term goal you can help with which could affect the future of Cogmind development. Check out the original announcement for more info. Reviews are very helpful for increasing Cogmind's visibility on Steam and by extension make it possible to keep bringing the updates :D. So many plans...
There is currently a 10% discount on Cogmind to coincide with the Beta 7 release. As a heads up, this is the largest discount Cogmind will have during Early Access unless at some point Valve decides to again offer exposure for a larger discount like they did in December 2017, in which case I might take them up. (But I wouldn't count on them doing that again, there being so many games out there these days :P)
For Linux users, Cogmind may now be installed through Steam. Read more in the last section of SITREP #35.
As usual, this weekend will not have a SITREP so soon following a new release. The next will come the week after when we'll take the usual look at player stats from Beta 6, our first release with [256!] achievements.
Now that Beta 7 is out I will, however, start streaming again, in fact starting shortly after this release announcement--let's play with these new hacks!
Beta 7 saves are not compatible with previous versions, but even if you're on Steam and have autoupdates enabled, Beta 6 is still available via its own legacy branch and you can roll back to finish a run in progress first if you like.
Getting into the details of dozens of robot hacks under the new system, looking at effects, distribution, and design.
Designing an all-new robot hacking system from the ground up to create a new play style, or augment existing ones.
Beta 6 stats, community guides, and a new robot hacking system begins taking shape.
Building Cogmind's various achievement-related UI features and integrating with Steam.
No articles were found matching the criteria specified. We suggest you try the article list with no filter applied, to browse all available. Join now to share your own content, we welcome creators and consumers alike and look forward to your comments.