Nova Drift as... a Rogue-lite...?

Interestingly, there is some discourse over how Nova Drift should be classified. I see people often refer to it as a "rogue-like" or "rogue-lite". Or perhaps it's an action-rpg with some non-deterministic elements. With this decade's glorious panoply of indie treasures, the definitions have become increasingly blurred. The good news is that I believe Nova Drift is in a good position to provide both experiences, thanks its modular challenge modes.

Where I'm going with this: Some people want to play Nova Drift and be able to create a deterministic build every run. Others want there to be greater limitation, such that they are required to adapt, overcome, and build on their toes. I'm keen to provide that extra "roguelite" element for those that want it. And so, I have concocted...

Wild Metamorphosis: Challenge Mode Unlocked!

Challenge modes can be enabled at the game start loadout to provide additional challenge and rewards. Players who can withstand the greater difficulty are awarded more experience, and thus are able to potentially push farther into the game where powerful defensive synergy and high damage is a hard requirement. Wild Metamorphosis is such a mode.

This mode was born when Twitch streamer Celerity expressed his desire for less deterministic gameplay elements. I set out to design a challenge mode which would provide surprising twists and turns and exciting synergies that wouldn't be possible in a game where you had total control over your upgrades. By adding an element of "grab bag" unpredictability, a new layer of strategy reveals itself. After all, the game avoids traditional skill trees for a reason...

With Wild Metamorphosis enabled:

  • Every level up, 0-2 mods offered in the mod pool will be "wild". Wild Mods do a huge range of things, and come in a wide range of power levels and rarities  
  • Wild Mods can provide rare bonuses, manipulate the mod pool itself, and even affect the game rules
  • Because the player can never count on encountering a specific Wild Mod, they can be very powerful or even create the potential for entirely new builds
  • Wild Mods are not part of a tree and have no requirements
  • If you pass on a rare Wild Mod or reroll, you are very unlikely to encounter it again during that run
  • Rerolls become rare and precious

This mode is being created to serve several purposes:

  • It creates exciting moments. Getting a rare mod that is perfect for your build is a joy that does not yet exist in Nova Drift. At least, not if you've unlocked everything and have memorized the mechanics
  • It creates incentive to build reactively, or even pivot entirely, changing your weapon, shield, or body type. This occurs because Wild Mods both restrict the number of mods each level that you can count on, and also because some Wild Mods will be good enough that you'd want to take full advantage of them
  • It adds a huge amount of diversity to the game. No two runs will be the same, because you won't have had the same opportunities and choices to make. This should greatly increase the longevity of the game, especially for veteran players

Here are some (speculative) examples of Wild Mods:

  • Onslaught:  +10% experience earned, enemy waves advance 10% faster
  • Polar Inversion:  The knock-back direction of your weapon and abilities is reversed
  • Heavy Caliber:  +15% weapon damage and size, -25% total projectile velocity
  • Niche:  Remove all (construct / weapon / body/ shield) mods from the random mod pool. 5% improved base stats (This can roll in 4 variants)
  • Specialization:  +1 (Ally / Mine / Drone / Turret) construct assembly limit (This can roll in 4 variants)
  • Hypermetabolics:  +75% total regeneration rate, -30% hull strength and shield durability
  • Defiance:  +1 flat hull damage reduction, +12% self-damage resistance
  • Inspiration:  Lose all rerolls. Add two random super mods to the random mod pool
  • Twin Strike:  +1 projectile, -25% weapon spread
  • Solar Heart:  +25% burn damage, +10% global damage taken
  • Bravado:  +20% experience earned. 8% improved base stats. Enemies are always Elites or Champions
  • Predation:  -50% total regeneration and recovery rate. Experience Orbs recover hull strength and shield durability over 1 second
  • Regression:  Remove all currently offered mods from the random mod pool
  • Double Tap:  +1 burst fire, +5% rate of fire
  • Outrage Module:  When you take hull damage equal to or exceeding 15% of your maximum hull, you automatically fire your weapon in the direction of the offender

Crazy, right? This challenge mode, like the others, is a toggle, as it isn't for everyone. For people who like to build exactly what they want, or people who don't want to read and learn dozens of new mods, the good old settings are always available.

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

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!