|Release Date||3 Nov 2020|
|Previous Version||Next Version|
Today's update focuses on improvements. SCP: Secret Laboratory is an asymmetrical game with many moving parts, and some parts of the game have begun to show their age. Additionally, some of our most recent additions, though well-received, show clear room for improvement, especially balance-wise. We've decided to do a polishing pass over different parts of the game to smooth out the user experience and make the game a little more fun for everyone.
So, without further ado, here's what we've been working on!
SCP-096 was the highlight of the Scopophobia update, receiving a full revamp in visuals, audio, and gameplay. So far, SCP-096's reception has been primarily positive. However, we feel that they currently aren't in a balanced state, and the poll we released on August 21 tells us that the community feels the same way. As a result, with 10.1, we've done a balance and polishing pass on SCP-096.
Going into this update, we've operated under the philosophy that SCP-096 was unbalanced, not overpowered. 096 performed far too well against groups of players, most of whom could inflict no permanent damage upon them, but they were too weak against small squads of experienced players who could easily kill them in a vulnerable phase without SCP-096 having any way to fight back.
Our goal is to shift some of this power around by allowing SCP-096 to remain powerful across the match, but never strong enough that they could ignore entire groups of people attacking them, nor weak enough that a small squad could terminate them without any way for 096 to fight back. As with all playable SCPs, we've endeavored to make SCP-096 feel like a powerful, threatening force in all scenarios, instead of having them being overwhelmingly strong in group fights and far too weak in smaller skirmishes.
- SCP-096's maximum rage time has been capped at 30 seconds.
- SCP-096 now has a HUD element that allows them to gauge how long they will remain enraged, as well as the remaining cooldown on their Charge ability.
Currently, SCP-096's baseline rage amount starts at 15 seconds. For every target they gain after they enter rage, that duration increases by 3 seconds. There currently isn't any cap on how long SCP-096 can be enraged for.
Our goal with scaling rage was to allow SCP-096's power scale depending on the size of the engagement they entered into, but in practice, this made them unstoppable in large fights, where 10 or more players seeing 096 meant that they would be enraged, in some cases, for well over a minute. In combination with 096's scaling shield, this meant that it was essentially impossible to inflict any real damage to SCP-096. It's our hope that our change to maximum rage duration will allow 096 to remain powerful in group engagements while still having to think about when to flee and when to fight.
We've also implemented a HUD element for SCP-096 that allows them to gauge how long they have left in their rage, as well as the remaining cooldown on their charge. Strategy is currently centered around 096's rage state, and SCP-096 currently doesn't have any way to know how long their rage will remain active except through intuition.
We feel that these adjustment will compensate for SCP-096's reduced survivability by allowing an intelligent player to handle engagements with more information, and granting them a better sense of when to decide when to retreat from an engagement.
- SCP-096 now becomes blind to non-targets as soon as they begin their windup phase, rather than once they become fully enraged.
- When you become a target of SCP-096, either by seeing its face or damaging it, you will receive a distinct audio cue.
SCP-096 is currently unable to see non-target players while enraged - this means that if you haven't seen 096's face or damaged them, then they will not be able to see you. However, even during their windup period, they can still see normal players, allowing them to kill humans who are hiding and looking away simply by looking around during the windup period to see where these players are moving to.
Our original rationale for SCP-096's target visibility is to make them a deadly threat to targets, but harmless against those who have not provoked it. 096 being able to see players during windup and kill them even while these players hadn't seen or damaged SCP-096 went against our philosophy, and it felt unfair to die to SCP-096 even when you had played correctly.
With SCP-096 becoming much more sensitive to sight in Scopophobia, we've seen many instances of players feeling that it's not obvious enough when they become a target, and in many cases, not even knowing when they provoked SCP-096. While it may not completely fix SCP-096's targeting issues, the audio cue should go a long way towards transparency to human players.
Health and Shield
- SCP-096's base health and shield have received significant changes.
- Base health increased to 1500 (up from 500).
- Shield regeneration reduced to 5 per second (down from 10/s).
- Shield scaling reduced to 70 per target (down from 200/target.)
- Maximum shield reduced to 350 (down from 500.)
With 096's rework, we introduced the concept of Hume Shield. This is a form of AHP (artificial health points) that absorbs all damage taken. SCP-096 currently possesses a maximum of 500 HS. With each new target, 096 immediately gains 200 current and maximum shield. Shield resets to 500 at the end of their rage.
Our intent with this system was to allow 096 to have a pool of health that would allow them to enter engagements with the certainty that they would be able to withstand some punishment, but it's become clear that our design fell short of this goal. SCP-096's shields are far too powerful against large groups, where they can gain over 2000 shields, and they're too weak against small engagements where the combined damage of armed players can quickly shred their defenses and kill them before they can fight back.
With this patch, we wanted to increase their baseline survivability while reducing their strength against large groups of armed players. SCP-096 should always feel some degree of threat from any engagement, regardless of size, but the large amount of shields received per target made this difficult. At the same time, human players should be able to inflict permanent damage to SCP-096 with coordinated fire and movement, but also shouldn't be able to kill them outright in a single rage cycle. A large baseline health pool is able to provide this balance adequately, and our playtesting has shown that it works well for SCP-096, too.
It's our hope that these health changes will allow SCP-096 to survive small and mid-sized engagements more consistently, while feeling more danger from larger-sized groups.
These decisions were made based on firsthand experience, player feedback, and the results from our survey on August 21. Many iterations were playtested, including every option presented in our survey, and we think this version of SCP-096 will be a substantial improvement.
As with all balancing, everything we've covered here is subject to change based on how well these revisions accomplish our intent of creating an SCP-096 that's more fun and less frustrating. We'll be keeping a close eye on the game and its community going forward, and making further decisions from there. Regardless of the result, we've learned a lot about how better to implement shield mechanics going forward, especially scaling ones.
Version 10.1 includes the following bugfixes and improvements:
- Players can now choose a ragdoll cleanup time in their settings, after which ragdolls will despawn. This system integrates correctly with SCP-049, who will see ragdolls for the entire time that they are eligible to revive.
- Ragdolls now teleport in elevators.
- Keybindings have been added for noclip and the client console.
- Keybinding names are now translatable.
- The Create Game button appears once more, but now only displays information about how to host a server. As with its initial removal, the tcs client console command can be used to show an option to host a local server regardless.
- SCP-096's swipe attacks no longer end early after breaking one window.
- SCP-096's legs are no longer stuck in the "falling" pose after jumping.
- SCP-096's ragdoll no longer gets stuck in the air, and correctly displays name and cause of death.
- SCP-096's mesh bounding box has been enlarged, and should now correctly render on all aspect ratios.
- Fixed items falling into the void when dropped between elevators and their connecting rooms.
- Fixed being unable to teleport to the Surface Zone's heavy gate when it's open.
- Fixed an erroneous anticheat death caused by the artwork in the Class-D cells.
- Fixed stamina depleting when aiming with the sprint key held.
- Fixed a graphical error on the player list when playing in a server with many people.
- SCP-049 can now correctly revive ragdolls after they've fallen a certain distance from their death point.
- SCP-049 can no longer revive old ragdolls of players who die, respawn, and then die again.
- Fixes towards doors occasionally appearing to be raised off of the ground.
- Re-implemented bullet casings ejected from fired guns.
- Fixed normal lighting remaining active in some rooms when it should be disabled for recurring October decorations.
- Fixed several issues in the facility guard ragdoll.
- Plants in the greenhouse no longer glow in the dark.
- This section is for plugin developers and server owners. You can safely skip this if you don't care about changes to the game's code.
- Added a RoomInformation component to every room in the game, which features data about the room's type and zone.
- The HitboxIdentity component now uses an enum, HitBoxType, to track hitbox identity, instead of a hardcoded string.
- Arms now have their own hitbox identity, instead of being classified as LEG.
- Updated several third-party assets.
- The Surface Zone can now be darkened.
- Added several new server configuration options to automatically display broadcasts when decontamination starts, as well as the warhead being armed or detonated.
We've worked extensively on this update, and we're hopeful that it'll improve balance in several needful areas throughout SCP: Secret Laboratory. With these aspects of the game now hopefully complete and refined, we can continue work on our next major updates, which we hope to share with you very soon.
Thank you for your support, and have fun!