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Marvin Kosh
Marvin Kosh July 21, 0:50 UTC

I updated Hunting Restriction again. There was a bug, it’s been fixed now. I also improved the safety of hunters attempting to shoot at boomrats or boomalopes (or anything else which explodes on death).

Status

Marvin Kosh
Marvin Kosh July 19, 23:38 UTC

I added Harsher Tundra and Really Toxic Fallout. I also updated Hunting Restriction here and on Workshop.

EA Game Review – RimWorld Alpha 17: On the Road

I thought that it would be nice to write a review of the latest update to RImWorld now that it’s been out for a while and I’ve had a chance to play it.

Freaking roads, man!

The first and most obvious thing about this update is that there are road systems. They add some flavour to a world map which was previously populated only by settlements. Using flagstones (also added in this version) you can build your own outdoor-styled paths. You can’t do any road-building with caravans, however.

The world map generation itself take a tiny bit longer because rivers are being run downrange in a more realistic way, and the building of ancient and modern roads are also being simulated. I think the result is worth the effort.

If you settle on a map with a river or have a hostile caravan encounter on one, you’ll find that there are parts which you can move across and some that you can’t. This can make maps more interesting as colonists and their enemies alike have to cross at particular places.

Improved modding is always a win

Also in this update are some much-needed improvements for modders.

Previously, if you wanted to override something in the game, you would need to either override the entire definition in XML, or make an assembly file to change just the one part you wanted to change. In Alpha 17, you can patch individual entries in an XML definition (with conditionality, if necessary). This is a major improvement and significantly improves scope for mod compatibility… if modders take advantage of it and mod users realise that it’s not a magic bullet.

Additionally, there is now support for mod settings and all sorts of other cool modding stuff. This is a game which has a very active modding community, so this is also a welcome change.

Game conditions can affect the whole world (kinda)

Also in Alpha 17, there are some changes to things like the Solar Flare condition, which would previously would only affect a single colony. Although multiple colonies are still a fairly new feature, the new update improves the multi-colony experience by making some of these conditions into Game or World conditions, which allows them to affect more than one settlement, and if the conditions are permanent, they should (in theory) affect all settlements until the end of the game.

However you can still escape these permanent game conditions by settling in another place via caravan. The new settlement does not get the game condition, unless it’s a game condition from a mod, in which case the mod maker can avoid this problem. As with all new features, there are usually some kinks to be worked out. Hopefully this will be fixed in Alpha 18.

They shall taste my steel!

Melee combat also got a bit of polish in this version. Previously, if an attacker would score a hit, the defender always took damage. Melee attacks can now be dodged, and particularly skilled melee fighters can dodge better. This makes it more favourable to hold a choke point against primarily melee opponents using melee weapons.

In my experience, your colonists will still take some hits, but if they’re skilled at melee may well come away from a battle with fewer missing extremities.

Nooo my armchairs got nerfed

Trading has a bit more of a random element to it, apparently. I honestly haven’t noticed, although with some new sell price penalties I have found that only superior quality furniture is worth selling. Which is good. I’m sure if someone tried to sell you an armchair which is only ‘good’ as opposed to ‘superior’ you would try to pay less money for it.

The carrot

What is very noticeable in this new version are the various opportunities which act as an incentive to get you on the road to somewhere. Whether there’s a stash of long-forgotten items somewhere or a raider camp which someone wants eliminated, or even just a lucrative trade offer (bring us a thousand of your finest shrubberies, and we will give you a legendary boomstick) there’s always going to be something new to keep you engaged with the world map instead of just hiding out in Castle Grayskull.

Meatier swarm

Additionally, it’s a bit more worthwhile to raise livestock for slaughter in Alpha 17. There’s a greater yield of meat. My latest colony, where I have domesticated snowhares, pigs, wild boar and alpacas, is almost never short of meat. The challenge is keeping the meat from spoiling, the animal populations controlled, and growing enough hay to keep them all fed. I’m still working on that last part, generally once I start feeding animals hay it disappears very quickly.

However, I’ve noticed that animals are still a bit dumb when it comes to finding food. Particularly if you have a Castle Grayskull colony, there are just too many walls and doors between them and some tasty grass. It’s too bad I can’t train my huskies to herd the grazers to a good spot.

Well, the game is still in alpha, so maybe that’s something worth putting on the list, and it’s a nice way of fixing the problem without making all animals really smart.

Dapper and defensive gear

If you like seeing your colonists walking around with new headwear, this new version adds a bowler hat, which can be crafted at the tailoring bench. Like the cowboy hat, it improves the effect of social interactions, and also keeps the heat off in warm weather.

If that wasn’t enough, shield belts (previously known as personal shields) can be researched and crafted, along with a new smokepop belt. Smokepops are single-use, but when they are triggered (this is currently when the wearer takes damage) they let out a blast of smoke which temporarily obscures the area from automated turrets and makes it difficult to be hit. I like the idea, it potentially makes things more interesting, but I’ve yet to see any raiders wearing smokepop belts.

When friendlies show up and you’re like, wat?

One of the unfortunate minor bugs in Alpha 17 is that friendlies will show up when they aren’t needed. As far as I know, this happens when you have mechanoids lurking in an ‘Ancient Danger’ room that hasn’t been opened.

These friendlies mean well, but they don’t react well to changing conditions. For example, if it gets really cold thanks to a Cold Snap event, they will attempt to leave the map, but then get stuck at the edge of the map for some reason. When I check in on them, well, let’s just say there was one guy left and a lot of headless frozen corpses, and he wasn’t too happy with himself.

As I’ve said before, this is a game that is still in alpha, so a couple of minor bugs are to be expected.

Bugged pathfinding

Colonists sure like to take some odd paths to get around the map, and this version is particularly bad for it. This means that if you’re playing in the tropical rainforest biome, you’re out of luck, as no matter how many paths you build over the tall grass, colonists will keep finding some kind of road block.

That’s all folks

Too long, didn’t read? There’s a fair bit of content in RimWorld Alpha 17, quite a few changes that I’ve taken notice of and have improved my experience, and good news for anyone who makes or uses RimWorld mods.

There’s also the usual little bugs that will probably be fixed in the next version.

What I probably like most about this version is (surprise surprise) the improved modding support.

However the pathfinding is inexcusably bad, and therefore I can’t recommend the game at this time. Unless you enjoy watching colonists moving in slow motion over chunks of rock, uphill through thick snow.

Status

Marvin Kosh
Marvin Kosh July 10, 19:14 UTC

Combat Readiness Check and Hunting Restriction have both been updated, here and on Steam Workshop.

I also added a mod called Harsher Tundra to Workshop.

More RimWorld mods added

I added a number of my RimWorld Alpha 17 mods to the site so that you can download them directly instead of using Steam Workshop, if you prefer.

Here’s the details for all seven of them.

Combat Readiness Check

Mod for: RimWorld Alpha 17

Latest version: 1.1.3

Last updated: July 10, 2017

Overall downloads: 349

Latest version:


Combat Readiness Check (349 downloads)

Uses Harmony to point at a new raid points calculation.

Raid points are used to ‘buy’ raiders from a list to make up the group that will raid your colony.

New! The default mod values listed below can be adjusted. Use the in-game Mod Settings menu, select Combat Readiness Check, and edit the values. They will stay in effect as long as you’re using the same saved game folder.

Wealth from weapons and armour counts at 0.25% of market value (much less for neolithic weapons).
Wealth from other items is not counted (vanilla: 1.1% of value)
Wealth from buildings counts at 0.15% of value (vanilla: 0.55% of value).
Colonists by default count for 99 points instead of 40.
Colonists who have impairment to their combat ability will count for less points.
Colonists who can’t fight at all will count for zero points.
Colonists who are suffering from an infection or disease which needs bed rest will count for zero points if they haven’t developed immunity.
Colonists who have enhanced capabilities (from bionics, trauma savant or mechanites) don’t count any more than 99 points.

(Combat Readiness Check)

Solar Apocalypse & Rogue Planet

Mod for: RimWorld Alpha 17

Latest version: 1.0.6

Last updated: June 29, 2017

Overall downloads: 350

Download:


Solar Apocalypse & Rogue Planet (350 downloads)

This mod enables two game conditions – Solar Apocalypse and Rogue Planet. These should be used in a scenario as a permanent game condition. Strange things will happen if you add both of them, so please don’t.

Solar Apocalypse

Solar activity increases at an alarming rate, creating a never-ending heatwave and runaway greenhouse effect.

This map condition slowly increases the temperature over the course of many years. At first this increase is quite small, but with each passing year the rise becomes more evident.

In addition, fewer animals will migrate into your part of the world, and plants will become scarce.

As even more time passes, your cooling systems will be unable to sink heat fast enough and this means you will be unable to grow crops or keep animals even indoors. Plants which are outside in the searing heat will die.

This necessitates eventually building a spaceship to escape the searing heat. You will need to acquire the materials to do so while continuing to fight off raiders and the like in ever-increasing temperatures.

Rogue Planet

Through misfortune, this rimworld has broken from its orbit and is steadily escaping its parent star.

This map condition decreases the temperature over the course of many years. Like Solar Apocalypse, the decrease starts out small but gets bigger with each passing year.

Again, plant and animal density will decrease as the temperature gets lower.

Because of the nature of the map condition, less light will reach the surface and you will get less power from solar panels.

The temperature will now eventually reach a point slightly above absolute zero, and solar flares will stop affecting the colony after a certain time.

(Solar Apocalypse & Rogue Planet)

Difficulty Expansion

Mod for: RimWorld Alpha 17

Latest version: 1.0.0

Last updated: June 29, 2017

Overall downloads: 223

Download:


Difficulty Expansion (223 downloads)

Alters the scaling of threats in a simple fashion, making raids at higher difficulties more difficult but making raids at lower difficulties slightly easier.

(Difficulty Expansion)

No Doomed Friendlies

Mod for: RimWorld Alpha 17

Latest version: 1.0.0

Last updated: June 29, 2017

Overall downloads: 423

Download:


No Doomed Friendlies (423 downloads)

Friendlies will only show up if the thing threatening your colony is unfogged.

Additionally, only friendlies with a moving capacity of 80% or above will show up. No more 93 year olds with Bad Back and Frail crawling toward your colony at snail-like speed!

(No Doomed Friendlies)

Hunting Restriction

Mod for: RimWorld Alpha 17

Latest version: 1.1.3

Last updated: July 21, 2017

Overall downloads: 373

Download:


Hunting Restriction (373 downloads)

Hunters will consider the current conditions before and during hunting.

Things which affect the decision to hunt:

Toxic fallout
Distance to target
Target’s size (big or small game)
Their own needs (food and rest)
Their own movement efficiency
Their own eyesight
Outdoor temperature
Current stocks of edible nutrition

If some of these in combination would make hunting more dangerous or much less efficient or negatively affect their mood, the hunter will skip that target or the job entirely. The reason why will be listed on the right-click menu.

In particular, if stocks of food are low, hunters will ignore their needs in favour of increasing the food stock level.

Also, hunters with sight worse than 55% will not do hunting until their sight is restored.

Things which affect the distance they will try to maintain when shooting:

By default, the distance is set to 3/4 of maximum weapon range.
If the target is not currently downed and would explode on death, the hunter will potentially add an extra four tiles of safety range to account for the target moving towards the hunter.
Weather (fog in particular) reduces the distance.
The Trigger Happy trait reduces the distance greatly.
If the target is asleep, the hunter will move to the same close range they would if an animal is downed.

(Hunting Restriction)

Peaceful Fixes

Mod for: RimWorld Alpha 17

Latest version: 1.0.0

Last updated: June 29, 2017

Overall downloads: 61

Download:


Peaceful Fixes (61 downloads)

Makes changes to some incidents so that they do not trigger on Peaceful difficulty.

(Peaceful Fixes)

Less Annoying UI Sounds

Mod for: RimWorld Alpha 17

Latest version: 1.0.0

Last updated: June 29, 2017

Overall downloads: 222

Download:


Less Annoying UI Sounds (222 downloads)

Makes changes to a couple of the UI sounds so they aren’t as annoying.

This currently affects Tiny Bell, which plays when a colonist is about to have a minor mental break, and Negative Message, which plays if a negative event occurs.

(Less Annoying UI Sounds)

Solar Apocalypse & Rogue Planet mod returns!

I just posted one of my favourite old mods to Steam Workshop:

Aside from the transition from map condition to game condition (which means that it persists across the entire planet) I cleaned up the code and made a minor performance improvement.

Previously, when the Solar Apocalypse condition raised the temperature to 85 degrees, it would slowly kill off all the plants on the map. However, because it was trying to kill all the plants at once there would be quite a bit of a performance hit. I’ve alleviated this by making the plant deterioration random. It’ll take longer for the plants to die, but at least your framerate won’t tank.

I will be uploading the new version of the mod here on the site as well along with a couple of mods that I’ve neglected to add.

In other news, I’m considering setting up a Patreon. As always, I will continue to make¬†mods without putting up any kind of paywall, but¬†I¬†anticipate that I won’t be¬†doing well financially over the next few weeks (possibly months), so¬†if that’s a¬†way that I can earn a few extra pounds to keep the lights on, I’m going to look into it.

RimWorld thumbnail tagging kit

Contains scalable vector graphics which can be imported into your painting program and used to tag your uploaded thumbnail for a RimWorld mod. Depending on your setup, they may need to be scaled up or down (I work at 2948×1658).

Credits to Marnador for the RimWorld font.

You can use SteamCMD with a customised VDF file to make the process of updating your thumbnails easier.

Potential incoming time suckage (also, mods updating to A17!)

I’ve begun the process of porting my mods from RimWorld A16 to A17.

First of all, I’m not completely sure that everything will work as it should. I haven’t run into any problems, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Secondly, I’m probably going to update as and when needed. In other words, if I run into a problem which requires one of my mods, then I’ll probably work on that.

Lastly, I’m expecting that next month (June) may introduce some time suckage. It might not happen, but then again it might, so at least I’ve forewarned you.