I know it's been a very long time since we've posted anything, but the project is still being developed.
Anyway, here are a bunch of the gameplay changes so far:
The inventory has been overhauled to the point where I'm finally confident that it won't bring down the rest of the pack. Some weapons have been changed, others have been replaced entirely.
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1. The raziks are now genuinely useful. The projectiles move like the regular skaarj projectiles do, making it easier to hit lone enemies. Equipping the raziks increases your mass, which makes you harder to knock around. Melee attacks are now performed in a set pattern now - a single swipe, followed by two swipes or a heavy swipe, and lastly the spin attack. Successful melee attacks heal you based on the damage you deal. Lastly, the raziks have a new rage system - damaging enemies in melee increases your rage level (which increases your damage resistance and firing speed), while using the projectiles decreases you rage level. Upon reaching maximum rage, your bonuses are increased and aren't affected by your rage level, and you also move 40% faster. This feature has a cooldown, so it's wise to weave in projectile use with your melee attacks so you don't end up wasting your rage. The skin has also been changed, and the spin attack's camera spin effect has been removed.
2. Switching from the stunner to another weapon is now very fast, and the stunner's fully charged shots knock down skaarj, dragons, and hawks (and will eventually work on the kraal).
3. The stinger now behaves similarly to how it does in the books. Shooting an enemy charges them with poisonous tarydium, and overcharging their tarydium or hitting them with an explosive makes them release a powerful shockwave that damages them and other nearby enemies. Other charged enemies that are near an exploding enemy with explode as well, making the stinger great against groups.
4. The impaler has been redone. Primary fire shoots a crystal that shatters into chunks, secondary fire shoots the beam. The impaler loads a crystal before firing, and each crystal has a limited charge. Using the third firing mode, up to 6 crystals may be loaded at a time, which allows you to shoot a rapid volley of crystals or use the beam for extended periods of time.
5. The brutemag replaces the eightball. It's basically an automag that shoots rockets. It's actually pretty fun!
6. The lavagun/canister gun is a new weapon that replaces the flak cannon. Primary fire crushes a tarydium barrel, spraying globs of lava at your enemies. Secondary fire launches the barrel, which may bounce a few times before exploding.
7. The hunting razorjack has been redone. Primary fire shoots a blade that bounces once before sticking into surfaces, secondary fire recalls all of your blades within a certain distance, which is great for getting a lucky kill or just conserving ammo.
8. The warlord gun has a new secondary fire. Now it can lock on to up to 4 targets, and when it fires, its rocket shoots out 4 seeking mini-missiles.
9. The skaarj rifle now has a melee attack when using the secondary in close range. It poisons enemies, slowing their movement speed for a few seconds.
10. The minicannon is now a beast of a weapon with a modified model. The primary fire shoots very fast bullet projectiles, but it needs time to get started. The secondary fire rotates the barrel so you can more easily use the primary.
The pawns have had their fair share of changes.
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1. The izarians have been nerfed into the ground and are much less annoying as a result.
2. The bigman now shoots grenades when in close range.
3. The dragon now performs a new lunging animation to get close to the player.
4. The slithling spits an acid spray when in close range.
5. The kraal have had their original vertex mesh replaced with skeletal meshes. They can now be equipped with different staff types and can dual wield staves. Most of them will drop their staves when killed. Dropped staves can be picked up by other kraal, but I haven't figured out how to make the AI actively seek them yet. The standard kraal have a new rage mechanic in which they start running and shooting instead of taking those leisurely steps like they usually do.
6. There are now more skaarj hunter variations, including a fairly challenging type that protects himself with a tarydium shield and launches his shield at your face if you don't shatter it in time.
7. Kraal, skaarj, and bigmen have a new melee frustration mechanic. If they miss a certain number of melee attacks, they will switch to using ranged attacks even at close range.
Other general changes:
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1. The player character is now a skaarj warrior instead of a trooper. Currently he uses the regular warrior model rigged to use the Unreal 2 skaarj's animations, but this may change.
2. Health pickups (excluding the superhealth) you touch while at full health will be stored in your inventory for later use.
3. The combat shield can now be activated by quickly crouching twice. This only works if you successfully crouch twice, so be careful around enemies that knock you into the air.
4. The extra-large HUD has been removed. The regular and large options remain.
5. The HUD now has a charge bar for the combat shield, as well as a bar for your current weapon. The weapon charge bar displays things like your rage level when you have the raziks equipped or your target's tarydium level when using the stinger.
The maps have also had some optimizations and fixes, and the pack will be a bit more stable as a result. The player gets the full arsenal by map 4. A few of the maps had some changes to make the sky island setting more apparent.
Map 2b has had some big changes and map 5 is nearing completion. The other maps have had some stability improvements here and there. With how long it's taken us to get this far, in all likelihood, Part 2 is never happening. That said, if Part 1 ends the way we hope it does, it will be on a high note.