This update introduces new alternate bosses, updates old bosses, adds 21 new Steam achievements, a glossary, several mod overhauls, and many balance changes and fixes.

Complete List of Changes

New Nemesis Bosses

Now, each boss encountered at waves 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100 has an alternate version that may be encountered if the Challenge Mode: Nemesis is enabled. Additionally, these bosses can all be encountered "in the wild" at high enough waves.


Dweller is immensely tough, but shares its vitality with its minions. Pare them down and know victory.


Dreadnought will challenge your reflexes and positioning as you find a safe angle of attack and choose your moment. Each of its guns that you destroy limits its attacks and strips its defenses.

Additionally, we've given some of the older bosses (Spitfire, Scion, and Warbringer) a fresh coat of paint. Spitfire even learned some new attacks.

Guardian Overhaul

We recieved a lot of feedback that the Guardian should better compete with its Interceptor alternative, so it has risen to the challenge. In addition to being more capable in combat, the Guardian has received upgrades to its mods.

Echo Strike has been replaced by Nanotech Dissemination, providing a means for it to redirect the damage you and your constructs receive to itself. Then, based on the amount of damage redirected, it creates a shower of power-ups when destroyed. Also, Echo Strike is now less needed since the Ally basic attack now deals innate splash damage.

Medi-Charge has been updated with a new power that allows the Guardian to also redirect self-damage from you or your advanced constructs. Fire at will!

Saturation Fire Upgrade

Sustained-firing builds needed a little something to compete with alpha-striking builds. Saturation Fire can now reward you for keeping those bullets flying.

Buffs and Balance

Some other notable balance changes include:

  • Split Shot base damage +9%
  • Split Shot splash damage 40% -> 50% of shot damage
  • Vortex base damage +11%
  • Vortex base self-damage -10%
  • Thermal Lance base damage has been increased ~8.7%
  • Adjusted Vortex decay formulae: Reduced the linear decay component and introduced a percentile decay component (with a maximum) for large Vortexes. Adjusted Rancor-Vortex interaction, which massively favored Vortex over other charged weapons. Overall, Vortex should be much stronger "self-charged", and less abusable with Rancor
  • Reworked Orbital's size scaling: Introduced diminishing returns on Orbital size scaling to prevent very large orbs. Significantly increased size scaling at lower sizes. Reduced Orbital decay, especially at small sizes. For orbs after shield break, added a slight decay proportional to orb size. Overall, Orbital should be much stronger "out of the box" and with low-moderate investment, but shouldn't get so out of control when fully invested into
  • Turret base damage 35 -> 40

New Achievements

This update also introduces 21 new Steam Achievements!

I can only do this when I'm not trying. At least it's better to die laughing.
Shoutout to Ultra C gaming on Youtube :)

What's Next?

We've updated the road map to match our latest understanding of the game's needs.

The only real obstacle to full-releasing the game is creating the final boss, and the game's ending, so that we can finally allow "Endless" mode to be disabled. However, there's still polish that we'd like to add before we call the game complete. We'd like to make at least one more update before we tackle the ending. Here are some of the things we're considering addressing:

  • New Weapon Gear: Swords
  • New Weapon Gear: Flail
  • Gear adjustments: Spectre
  • Mod Adjustments: Ally Interceptor mod tree
  • More mods compatible with Ally Interceptors
  • Mod Rework: Antimatter Rounds
  • Mod Rework: Displacement
  • Enemy spawn improvements
  • Visual effects iterations

New Weapons Sketches

Swords and Flail have been requested for a long time. I drew a sketch a while ago, but never found time to attempt to implement them until now.

I'm confident we can get swords feeling good and released for the next update, though I'm sure the final result will be quite different to what was proposed. Flail's viability I'm not so sure about. We've already attempted several iterations that just did not feel good to play. Getting the physics right is a challenge. We've determined it needs to be a semi-rigid chain so that rotating the ship actually swings it, otherwise it's too restrictive on your mobility. We can try a few more things, but no promises.

Discord Upgraded! Come Hang

We've got quite an active discord with a very chill and inclusive community. The dev team is also pretty active there. We recently opened up some new channels like #weekly-discussion, #ask-the-devs, and #feedback. The latter allows you to submit feedback to a bot that lets players upvote or downvote the suggestion. I'm also quite proud of the #game-dev-help channel, which is a space for current and aspiring developers to learn and collaborate. So... come chat with us!

Want to help Nova Drift grow?

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Thanks for reading. Best wishes,


Jeffrey Nielson