Nova Drift is gearing for the beginning of Early Access on March 27th, and then I'll be churning out regular content again! As a living game, Nova Drift will be getting a steady flow of updates during and after Early Access. You wishlisted it... right?!

I'm excited to present an in depth preview of more upgrades for our favorite bio-luminescent celestial being:

You would not believe how many people have asked me for a beam weapon over the years...

Weapon Mutations

Above, you're seeing a new weapon with two possible mutations. Mutations are a new system being introduced to Nova Drift some time during the early access. They were first previewed early last year, though the bar has been raised for the quality of these divergences since then, along with the standards of the game.

These are a few deprecated weapon mutation ideas from early 2018. You can find more if you dig around on the Discord

The Weapon Mutations System

At level 20, you will be presented with the option to mutate your weapon where gear is normally offered. You are given three choices: Two mutations and and a third option to keep your weapon and enhance its raw stats. When you have chosen, your weapon will be locked in and other weapon gear options will no longer be offered.

The goal with weapon mutations is to alter the core behavior of the weapon in a way that is meaningful and interesting, ideally inspiring new ways to build around it. Perhaps one day mutations will be possible for body and shield gear?

Moving on, here are the Thermal Lance stats. Keep in mind these values are speculation, as they tend to change as we get a feel for the weapon during development.

Weapon Gear: Thermal Lance:

Thermal lance creates a searing ray of heat which ignites targets on contact.

  • Deals 240 burn damage per second, and ignites targets for 80 damage per second for 4 seconds
  • Enemies held in the ray gain ramping vulnerability to all damage while they are held in the beam. This vulnerability steadily wears off while outside of the beam
  • Modifiers to rate of fire affect the frequency at which burn damage is dealt, while modifiers to blast radius affect the size and length of the beam
  • Creates a twisting secondary projectile at a rate of 12/s
  • Secondary projectiles deteriorate over time and converge toward at the ray's end point
  • Modifiers to projectiles affect the secondary projectiles
  • -50% turn rate and thrust while firing

Mutation: Thermal Beam

  • +200% maximum beam length
  • +75% ignite duration
  • -25% burn damage
  • Secondary projectiles spiral up the beam
  • 50% less rotation penalty while firing

Mutation: Kinetic Lance

  • Accumulate kinetic energy proportional to your speed as you move
  • You can no longer sustain-fire Thermal Lance, and no longer suffer any thrust or rotation penalties
  • When you fire, rapidly discharged stored energy as a sustained, powerful blast and flurry of secondary projectiles
  • While energy is discharging, the damage, blast radius, and ignite damage of the ray is proportional to the remaining energy. You can not fire again until all energy has been discharged and more has been accumulated

Personally, I'm excited to try combining the Viper body's Caustic Barrier with Kinetic Lance to set up massive "stings" and then pile on the damage vulnerability! Oh.. and then add the Skirmish mod..!

In case you missed it:

These caustic themed powers all deal "burn" damage, so they share the same synergies with traditional burn builds as well as Thermal Lance

You can read more about these powers in last month's update, here.

Thanks, all. Please don't forget to wishlist Nova Drift on Steam, even if you plan to play the DRM free version. It'll make a huge difference on launch week. We must sacrifice to the Steam-algorithms for a prosperous harvest!

Nova Drift thrives off of community balance discussion, requests, and feedback. Click!