Everspace 2 is cruising toward a 2023 full release, but before that arrives, developer Rockfish Games is delivering one more early access update. This update delivers a number of long-awaited features, including “Ancient Rifts,” which will provide a repeatable endgame challenge, and legendary items for the most serious fans of the game to hunt down. You can check out a trailer for Ancient Rifts update, below.
Here’s all the new content included in Everspace 2’s Ancient Rifts update…
Overhauled Level Scaling
“Let’s address the elephant in the hangar first! We’ve noticed a subset of pilots not being happy with level scaling, especially at the beginning of the game. While others appreciate having a challenge wherever they go and would find fighting underwhelming opponents that drop no meaningful loot just flat-out boring, some pilots just love to obliterate space baddies after they have advanced a few levels and are frustrated if enemies level with them. We get that.
We hope we found a fair solution that works for both sides: Instead of having enemies level with you constantly within a given level range per star system — there’s a lot more to the mechanic, but I’ll leave it at that — pilots can now over-level up to a certain point. These are events like reaching a specific player level, a major plot point in the campaign, or entering a new system. If a combination of conditions is met, previous game areas will level up, and you’ll get a message that is even woven into the game’s lore.”
New Stuff To Do, Fly & Kill
“New job types can be found on the new job board at Kato Palace in Prescott Starbase as part of a new side mission. Introduced via a new side mission, featuring an old and beloved friend from the predecessor, all racing events in the game received a massive overhaul to make them more appealing. For starters, pun intended, you can jump right back to the beginning anytime you fail the course somewhere in between, like missing a ring or crashing into an asteroid. Furthermore, racing events now offer incentives, and the benchmarks have been altered accordingly. You’ll also notice some graphical touch-ups here and there.
With the fall update, we also added a new wing set for the Bomber, aka the Titan, when equipped with this new wing type, as well as two new Outlaw units, the Raider and the Tormentor.
To give pilots a broader choice of tools to work with when fighting against enemies that dish out a ton of damage, we added the Front Shield Generator with this update. It’s an extremely powerful passive device that you can tweak to your liking: In Avenger mode, the FSG reflects blocked shots back to attackers; set to All Day, blocked damage is converted into weapon energy, and when using On Your Left, the shield is 25% smaller but will automatically turn towards the closest enemy facing you.”
“We’ve always envisioned Ancient Rifts to bring back some of the crazy mechanics and challenges and that “one-more-run-feeling” of the first Everspace. In Everspace 2, you can now have a similar experience by opening multi-staged rifts that become increasingly stronger with a chance of a legendary item dropping after you defeat the boss in the final stage. Much like in the predecessor, where you could increase the difficulty for each run and pick handicaps between sectors in Hardcore mode, you can now ramp up Lunacy before opening a rift and picking a portal with different modifiers leading to the next stage to define your individual challenge. Of course, bigger risks will yield greater rewards, like a higher legendary drop chance and better loot overall.
As the endgame activity of a fast-paced space shooter, we want you to dive right into the battle with an optimized build and unleash mayhem on your enemies rather than camping behind an asteroid and picking one target after the other from a safe distance. So, to avoid been thrown out of the rift, you must maintain your Resolve score by defeating opponents rapidly and keeping your hull integrity above zero. Sounds intimidating, but don’t you worry! You’ll get all your health and your consumables back no matter if you succeed or fail in a rift. Of course, failing means no rewards, so you better enter fully geared up because your equipment while in a rift is locked.
To prevent pilots from farming rifts like there’s no tomorrow, we’ll implement a system where you have to earn a particular resource to open rifts by completing other activities, beforehand. It won’t be too much of a grind, though, just enough against the inevitable rift cheese.”
“Finally, legendaries made it into the game! We know, many of you have been waiting for this since the tease of a legendary beam laser, the Agent of Redemption, from the EVERSPACE 2 prototype back in 2019. Well, now is the time to go hunting for some legendaries in the all-new Ancients Rifts. If you have watched Erik in the most recent gamedev streams, you already saw some crazy legendary weapons like Eye Of The Storm, Thundercore, Wrath of the Fallen, Bob, Pango’s Pride, or The Final Reckoning. We haven’t decided how many legendaries there’ll be in the final game, but expect to be able to find at least one per main item category.
Now, while Erik was able to equip several legendaries in his dev build, there are limitations in the official version. Since legendaries are intended to have a significant impact on your build and the playstyle they’re suited for, you’ll be able to equip only one legendary at a time, with a second coming in higher ship tiers or even another slot to be unlocked via a companion perk, maybe. For the time being, players are able to equip two legendaries until we implement the T4 ships with the full release.”
Of course, the new Everspace 2 update also includes the usual array of bug fixes and minor tweaks. You can check out the full, unabridged patch notes here.
Everspace 2 can be played on PC via Steam Early Access. The Ancient Rifts update is available now. The full 1.0 version of Everspace is expected to launch in early 2023.