Dev Thoughts #29 – Risk of Rain Returns – New Survivor Abilities

Hello! Welcome to Hopoo Games Dev Thoughts 29

Before we get into the main topic of today’s Dev Thoughts, I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone for the amazing reception and reaction to the announcement of Risk of Rain Returns – the entire development team has loved reading all your comments and sharing in the excitement of the reveal of our latest game.

To keep discussing Risk of Rain Returns you can join me and the rest of Hopoo Games right on our Discord[], and don’t forget the rest of our Hopoo social media like Twitch[], Twitter, and Tiktok[], and the official Risk of Rain twitter account right here!

While you’re busy clickin’ links please visit the store page and give the game a wishlist – it really helps us get the game in front of as many new eyes as possible – with your support we’ve already made the top 75 most wishlisted games on Steam!

And without further ado, the subject of today’s Dev Thoughts…

One of our biggest new features in Risk of Rain Returns that breathes new life and replayability into the game are the new Alternate Abilities for each survivor.

Each survivor has three extra abilities to use as alternates – today I’m going to showcase one from each of the returning survivors leaving plenty for you to discover yourself when we release the game!

Let’s start off with the face of Risk of Rain – the Commando.

The alternate to his secondary attack Phase Round is the Combat Knife. The Combat Knife is a close range melee attack that deals 150% damage and also wounds the enemy – Wounded enemies take an additional 50% damage from all attacks.

Great when used in concert with the rest of his moves, slash your enemies with the Combat Knife, create some distance then blast away with your long range abilities for devastating effect.

Next up is Huntress (who, by the way, is now unlocked by default like in Risk of Rain 2) – the alternative to her Laser Glaive is the new Laser Cyclone. This large slow-moving attack deals damage over time before returning back to the Huntress. The trick with this ability is to carefully kite the Laser Cyclone in and around enemies that are attacking you while continuing to pelt them with your other abilities.

While on paper this ability is lower damage than the Laser Glaive – with skillful movement you can achieve near 100% uptime on this ability doing huge damage over the course of a full run.

Enforcer comes racing into Risk of Rain Returns with his new secondary ability Shield Tackle.

Starting to get overwhelmed by a group of enemies overrunning your defences? Put them back in their place and under your control by charging into them, knocking them back, stunning them & dealing 5 x 100% damage on the way.

One alternate ability we gave a short glimpse of in last month’s dev thoughts is Bandit’s new primary alternate – the Whip. This ability switches Bandit into a melee/ranged hybrid – the Whip deals 200% damage while pushing enemies back.

A more powerful alternative to Blast – use your evasive abilities to avoid damage while cracking the Whip then finish them off with Lights out.

Everyone’s favorite robot survivor, HAN-D, returns with an alternate to its special ability FORCED_REASSEMBLY called… DISASSEMBLE. Instead of a massive hammer HAN-D whips out a giant buzz saw which tears combatants apart and hits more times the more attack speed you have – perfect when used in conjunction with Overclock.

Another advantage of DISASSEMBLE is the ability to slowly move while casting which allows you maximum damage especially against conga-lines of chasing enemies.

Engineer returns with one of the strongest single abilities in the game – you can now replace his standard Auto Turrets with the experimental V.0.2 Prototype Laser Turret. You can drop one of these huge hulking sentries down, inheriting all of your items just like your regular turrets, which charges up over 8 seconds before letting loose with a huge 1200% damage laser blast.

Being able to 1-shot most enemies in the game does come with a drawback – firing this turret rapidly damages itself and will be completely destroyed after a single shot needing to be replaced to fire again – Unless you can find a Dios Best Friend!

The Survivor with the biggest amount of changes between Risk 1 and Risk of Rain Returns is Miner with his new heat meter that allows him to dish out more and more damage the hotter he becomes – On top of this new mechanic he has a new set of moves including a replacement for his primary where he throws his pickaxe towards his enemies.

When your heat meter is full and you start Scorching these Throwing Axes pierce enemies and are thrown more rapidly making Miner deal a huge amount of damage at mid range.

One of the trickier aspects of playing as Sniper in Risk 1 was hitting specific targets with your strongest abilities when the level fills up with enemies quite quickly on later stages. With the alternative to Steady Aim you can overcome this: introducing the Quick Scope.

While it does a lower but still impressive 600% damage compared to Steady Aim the biggest benefit of this shot is the ability to pick exactly where it lands by releasing the fire button when the aiming reticle is over your desired target.

Acrid returns once again to spread poison to the inhabitants of Petrichor V with the alternative to his secondary ability – the Toxic Bubble.

One of the most diverse abilities in the game, the Toxic Bubble does 60% damage over time to any enemy it touches and also does 600% damage to any enemies in range when it explodes after 5 seconds. Need to infect more enemies than you can kite into the bubble? Simply give it a whack with your melee primary and it’ll float through the crowd. Finally use the Toxic Bubble to help bridge large gaps or leap over enemies as you and your teammates can use it as a bouncy jump-pad!

Master of melee the Mercenary has a new way to slip around his enemy’s attacks with his alternate secondary Focused Strike.

Holding down this attack sheathes your weapon and places you into an immobile stance – release the moment an enemy strikes and you will completely deflect the attack doing a huge burst of 1000% retaliatory damage.

We’ve improved Loader as standard by now allowing you to grapple diagonally upwards regardless of the other abilities you pick. One ability that perfectly complements this newfound mobility is the new secondary attack – Short Circuit.

Crash down and stun enemies in a large radius for 350% damage. This move can be performed mid air for a diagonal downwards dash or on the ground for an immediate devastating slam.

Aaaaaand last – but by no means least – it’s Chef. Y’know what – for a robot whose only reason to exist is to cook stuff for people it seems to spend zero time in the preparation of delicious treats for us all. Selfish. Dumb.

This isn’t a problem in Risk of Rain Returns! Chef now has an alternative to his special ability: Cook.

After tenderising your enemies by getting them to low health, gather your ingredients by slicing and dicing any nearby monsters – any killed are turned into a buffet of delectable meals that you can save for yourself or share with your fellow survivors.

Each meal is its own special item that gives its own unique effect – but surviving the challenges of Petrichor V is hungry work – each of these items only lasts a short amount of time, so you’ll need to keep cooking to reap the benefits!

Thanks for tuning in to the Dev Thoughts again everyone! We’ll be back in touch soon to let you know exactly who you need to impress to unlock some of these alternate abilities…

Bye for now!

Community Manager
Hopoo Games

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