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The Infected- What Can We Expect on Friday?
That fresh map smell!
Disclaimer: I manage many aspects of the community for The Infected, including the Steam forums, social media, and Discord.
The end is almost in sight! Assuming no last-minute delay, the newest patch for The Infected will drop this Friday, March 31st. The eagerly awaited update will include a new map, a complete overhaul of the enemy AI in looks & function, and many other changes. A new save file is required, but you'll still be able to hold on to your current save for another week or two- the patch is being rolled out to the public test/beta branch before being moved to the live/stable branch in the future.
While teasers have been posted - as a dev log, as images to social media- a comprehensive look at the final product was previously under wraps. However, with the patch in a more stable state, the limitation was lifted on the 27th to allow creators in the test group to stream & release videos of the upcoming content.
Since plenty of footage is available to scrutinize- and again, the patch is being released tomorrow- I'd like to drop this quick breakdown of a few features for folks. Remember that an extensive set of patch notes will be posted when the patch goes live to break down new features, changes, and bug fixes.
New Map & Vehicle
There is a brand new map, entirely different from the previous one. Change is good! I enjoyed a lot of the detail in this new environment; it just feels more alive. As always, there will be those who love it... and those that hate it. There's more leeway regarding access to resources, with fish included in most bodies of water and caves now dropping all three ore types (cobalt, aluminum, copper) versus just one type. The points of interest (POIs) are great spots to stock up, especially with the enhancement to the looting system.
The new all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is a neat addition to the mobility arsenal added to the tutorial at the beginning of the game. Traveling along the roads and taking in the views was a pleasant pastime in this zippy vehicle. While early images of the ATV shared with the community included no accessories, players will note the small storage crate affixed to the back of the vehicle- an addition included because of playtester feedback.
Crafting in The Infected has always been a bit of a polarizing subject. If you're active in more than a handful of Early Access survival titles, you've probably experienced most crafting variations; you have one upgradeable workbench, you have a hundred workbenches, you have to precisely add each ingredient to a table or bench to craft, your game magically crafts it from a pile of ingredients, etc. Overall, the developer has wanted to stick with keeping things as more of a precise process, but the newest update does bring a tweak or two.
You'll have access to two interactive books - one for technology and one for your familiar Itempedia. You can craft directly from the Itempedia, provided you have the materials in your backpack. Click the item image, and the required materials will automatically be added to the crafting table. There's a filter tab system to navigate alongside a new tab specifically for medical-related items.
Land Claim Pole and the Noise & Light Mechanic
The most confusing item mentioned in some of the original info dropped on the update. A more detailed explanation will be included in the patch notes tomorrow. Still, in a nutshell: it's a new item required for the construction & placement of some 'placeable' items within the game, used to calculate the Noise & Light settings that trigger the AI to attack your base.
You interact with the pole to show or hide two new meters that track light and noise or to turn on a visual radius indicator. The overall design of the noise and light mechanic is as follows: placeables will generate noise or light, which you can track via the claim pole meter display, and when the meters are maxed out, a base attack is triggered.
Overall the feedback (testers, creators, creator communities) has slanted positively, especially compared to the current Mini Boss+group base attacks in the live branch of the game. For some, it's a way to really take control when they suffer an attack. For those that play with the AI turned off, it's business as usual, minus remembering to place the claim pole. Tweaks or changes may occur to the mechanic as feedback is provided from the public playtest.
There's a lot to be excited about in tomorrow's patch!
If you CAN'T WAIT, hit YouTube for new content from the creators in the test branch- you'll see familiar faces like GameEdged, ThatFoolishGrrl, Deftspider, Kage848, and more.
Otherwise, watch for the patch notes with full content details - and the announcement that the patch is live!