Sunless Skies overhauls combat in latest update

In his 80-scored review, Chris praised Sunless Sea's "wonderful writing" but struggled with its "especially weak" combat. With this in mind, developer Failbetter Games has now overhauled fight mechanics in its Fallen London series follow-up, Sunless Skies. 

By "tweaking a lot of AI mechanics", Failbetter aims to make enemy behaviour "more nuanced and layered," the developer explains in this Kickstarter update. Likewise, a number of nips and tucks are designed to make combat more satisfying. 

Tells, for example, are visual and auditory indicators that alert players an enemy plans to attack. Aura Attacks, on the other hand, are a type of enemy ability which apply a Terror-inducing AoE attack, which do not produce projectiles. 

New ramming behaviours give a better sense of when players should initiate a ramming attack, and new recoil and knockback effects ensure baddies react in a more "realistic and satisfying" manner when attacked head-on.

All of the above is explained in greater detail in this design blog, penned by developer Liam McDonald. 

Whenever I write about Failbetter's games, I often have a: WHAT THE HECK IS THAT? moment. Here's today's:

And again:

(Those are Tells and Aura Effects, respectively. They give me the shivers nonetheless.)

Sunless Skies lives in Early Access, and is due to launch in full in January next year. Till then, here's Andy's words on sailing a space locomotive through the stars.