EVERSPACE 2 1.0 PC Launches Today!
V1.0 Out On PC | Looking Back | What’s New in 1.0 | Outlook | Scope Changes
Pilots, brace for impact! Launch day is here!
After more than five years of development, with over two years in Early Access, v1.0 is finally ready to download on Steam, GOG, and the Microsoft Windows Store! What a ride it’s been… and we’re not done yet! More on that below!
We’ve put together an absolutely amazing EVERSPACE 2 PC Launch Trailer. Longtime EVERSPACE 2 players might spot new scenes in already-seen areas. Let’s see if you catch them all.
With 1.0, we’re adding the final chapter of the campaign, which lets you explore the new star system Khione, unlock tier 4 ships, find the best trading deals for commodities, and face new bosses, plus a whole host of other neat additions. But before you start a new game (strongly recommended) and delve in, let’s stop for a moment and take a look back at the very beginning to appreciate just what an insane journey we’ve been together on.
Boy, oh, boy did we look young… In fact, things started even earlier than August 2019. Our Creative Director Uwe created the EVERSPACE 2 page on our internal documentation system, Confluence, on January 26, 2017. However, pre-production started in November 2017 when the entire team sat down together to define the core features of the massive game we’d all be working on for the next six-ish years—really amazing to see that pretty much everything that we envisioned back then made it into the final game:
For those of you with really good eyes, here’s the high-level concept, last updated June 30, 2020, mostly due to changes in the story synopsis (SPOILER WARNING):
Now, reading through my interview with Gamesindustry.biz right after the 2019 announcement about “Everspace 2: Rockfish’s not so difficult second album” again, I do have to smile, I was NOT wrong. Piece-by-piece over the last few years, EVERSPACE 2 has fallen into place. Throughout development, we’ve had articles published on all our favorite sites, seen amazing content creators show EVERSPACE 2 to space fans all over the globe, and read through fantastic suggestions from the community, much of which helped us shape the game as we headed towards 1.0.
Throughout, the team has released update after update containing massive new star systems, new ships, additional companions, story and side quests, more languages, gameplay features, and so much more.
Not to say that we didn’t have the occasional hiccup. While we had massive success on Kickstarter, it was a very tight photo finish—so close that the top German media outlet had us written off already! But beyond any stumbles, we had a dozen pumping gameplay trailers, 150+ game dev streams, a global #1 selling Early Access launch, six major content updates, and a massive GamePass deal! Now here we are!
This is a humbling moment for our entire team; we’re incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished and extremely grateful for all the amazing support we’ve received from our fantastic community. So thanks again! We could not have done this without you!
New Star System
Khione, the new and final star system in EVERSPACE 2, is all about frozen water, from vast iceteroid fields and massive space glaciers to ice caves deep underground. As if that environment wasn’t harsh enough, the system’s cold sun emits devastating solar flares that deplete shields in no time in locations close to the region’s central star. This makes the new treasure hunt mechanic particularly interesting, as pilots need to take cover from those bursts to get around while following specific electromagnetic pulse signals.
Final Story Chapter
Pilots who’ve played every story mission in EVERSPACE 2 so far still have a ways to go. The plot leads back to Drake, where you must convince another companion to join your party. His special combat ability will come in very handy in large-scale battles of the final main missions. Before Adam gathers all his allies for the final fight, he’ll be stranded in the new Khione system and has to figure out a way back all by himself. This is also where he’ll be confronted with his past, the very place where everything began.
New Boss Fights
As we’ve teased in the PC Launch Trailer, there are new boss fights in EVERSPACE 2 to go along with the story’s final chapter. These unique challenges will throw everything you’ve learned so far back at you and even introduce new mechanics at the same time. These are our favorite moments in the game; the whole team is particularly excited to see how you all handle these. Let us know in Discord and the Steam community hub, but please do use spoiler tags!
It just wouldn’t be the endgame without new Legendary items! We’ve added a bunch of new gear that can be earned as mission rewards and through Ancient Rift challenges. Last week, our Community Ambassador showed off a powerful Legendary shield that spawns two holographic decoys when depleted—there are a host of other Legendaries for the community to find, each with a unique perk that can completely change the way you play. Thanks to all our backers who provided ideas for this top-tier gear!
New Player Perks
With v1.0, pilots can rise to level 30 and unlock three new player perks. Pilots should be able to complete the campaign at level 25, give or take a few levels depending on gear and skill. This final set of perks is aimed at going super aggressive in Ancient Rifts and was deliberately designed to add some new VFX and SFX—unleash mayhem and let the fireworks begin!
Tier 4 Ships
Investing in Tareen’s Ship Dealer perks will provide access to the highest tier ships at the ship dealer at Kato Palace in Prescott Starbase. We’ve still got a few models in the works—watch out for those in the free update coming later this year.
A much-asked-for feature over the course of development has been improved Commodity Trading. We’ve added features in 1.0 that help make the universe’s market seem more alive. Different trade goods now have varying values in different places. Once you’ve figured out a few trade runs, earning credits can now be easier than ever.
Some pilots wanted an even greater challenge, and we’re happy to give it to them, BUT they’ll have to finish EVERSPACE 2 first to unlock it. Nightmare difficulty cranks enemy stats way up, so beware, but with this risk comes great reward. Players on Nightmare will occasionally see Legendary gear that is usually only found in Ancient Rifts drop during regular play.
We know that some pilots also wanted New Game+, but that has never been a viable option because it would simply be impossible to balance properly due to the endless combinations of builds and loadouts pilots can have after beating the campaign. We know it’s not the same, but we hope Nightmare mode satisfies some folks asking for New Game+.
What Comes Next?
We’ve made no secret that there will be more EVERSPACE 2. We’ve got big plans, but for now, let’s talk about the year ahead.
First up, now that 1.0 is in the hands of all you PC players, our immediate focus is to ensure there are no reports of critical or game-breaking bugs. In the event there are any, or we see a slew of fixes we can make in a short timeframe, we’ll release a patch to take care of the problem.
Beyond any immediate hotfix needs (the game is in a great state, so we don’t anticipate a need for a hotfix, but EVERSPACE 2 is a very complex game, after all), we’ll be turning our sights to release on Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5. We don’t have a release date to share just yet, but we are on track for launch on these platforms this summer.
We’ve partnered with Maximum Games to produce a physical edition for both platforms, which will come in a Steelbook case along with a small artbook and digital soundtrack download.
As development progresses on the console edition, we’ll be planning out the contents of EVERSPACE 2’s major free update and what will be in our first paid expansion.
Major update 1 will bring any additional voiced languages we produce for the console edition to PC and new gear, bug fixes, and more customization options. The team is busy planning this out, and we’ll be sure to share more on this ahead of time.
The German government has been very generous with its new grant program focused on supporting the video game industry in our country. Back in January, we shared that we were given 1.65 million Euros to help produce the first major expansion for EVERSPACE 2, and we plan to match that with our own funds. While our creative team isn’t yet ready to share what this new adventure will be, safe to say this will not be a small expansion.
Now, with all those great additions, we also need to talk about features that didn’t make it into the final game. This might ruffle some feathers, but this is always part of a multi-year-long development where things can change due to unforeseeable technical issues, budget constraints, or changes in the creative vision.
While EVERSPACE 2 became a much bigger game than we initially anticipated, there are still things we would have loved to have more of or be included at all, like more item sets, more catalysts, cockpit customization, and difficulty settings affecting not just stats.
While additional item sets and catalysts are planned for the free major update later this year, we decided to add the option to change the tint of the cockpit windows and engine trails as well as put a pilot model body in the pilot seat even though we now might get complaints that the character is not animated—but it looks much better when taking screenshots, so we think that’s a significant plus overall. The visual impact of the external effects is far greater than we could have done with mere cockpit customization.
In the original EVERSPACE, we had difficulty settings that went way beyond tweaking enemy hit points and damage output, so we wanted to have that in the sequel, too. However, since we dropped the linear roguelike formula for an open-world action RPG approach with looter-shooter mechanics and nine player ship classes instead of three, game balancing became by an order of magnitude more complex, so we had to cut a few corners here. However, we’re very happy with the end result, so not a loss, at least in our book.
However, the biggest change is that the Leviathan and the Dreadnought that we teased with concept art will not come with the free update but the paid expansion in the second half of 2024. Both have been rough ideas at the beginning that turned out to be really hard to implement in a meaningful way without having a proper storyline in place and also come with proper boss mechanics and/or worthwhile replayability.
In other words, instead of adding just two very expensive set pieces to an already meaty base game, we rather turn them into iconic endgame activities in the paid expansion that we’ll be working on for at least another year (it’s also the only way to make those part of the German government grant covering 40% of the development cost of the paid expansion as their rules say we must not have started with development of what’s going to be part of the new product).
The latest change is that we won’t have native Linux support even though we’ve committed to that many times. We did spend quite a lot of time and effort on a native Linux build. Still, it turned out that due to the broken and incomplete nature of the Vulkan implementation in Unreal Engine 4, our graphically complex game runs at 50% – 80% performance compared to simply running the DX12 Windows version in Proton. At the same time, some features like SSGI cause frequent crashes due to video RAM leaks.
After talking to our friends at Epic Games, there’s little hope that these issues will be fixed in UE4 since all their focus is now on UE5. As probably everyone will understand, fixing source code of the engine ourselves is completely out of question for us—even if we had the development resources, it would make future updates even more cumbersome as we’d have to build a custom engine while maintaining two separate code bases (a painful lesson we had to learn from native Linux support in the first EVERSPACE).
However, we’re still working on optimizing the experience using Proton for Linux pilots nonetheless. Any backers who pledged on the PC version not being happy with this solution can request a full refund on Kickstarter, no questions asked (refunded keys will be revoked). Native Mac OS support is next on our list, followed by Steam Deck optimization.
Last but not least, we also have a few features that the community begged us to have in the game over and over again, but we turned those down for various technical and/or game design reasons; until we didn’t, and now they are in the v1.0 release: the aforementioned pilot body in the cockpit, naming saves (on PC), and the possibility to continue old saves even though we cannot offer technical support and pilots would miss out on certain content/features that have been added between the Early Access launch and now—use at your own risk, you have been warned!
With all that out of the way, enjoy the full changelog below!
Changelog – 1.0.33479
- Added new main missions (completing the storyline)
- Added new star system: Khione
- Added new ship customization options (ship modules, engine trails, window tint)
- Added level 30 perks
- Added achievements
- Added codex
- Added markers that can be placed in locations to tag points of interest
- Added Tier-IV player ships
- Added backer rewards: Legendary items
- Added backer rewards: Stranded Pilots
- Added backer rewards: Special backer-compiled ships with unique names are now occasionally offered at ship dealers
- Added backer rewards: NPC names chosen by backers (used in “Hitman” jobs)
- Added new enemy type: Outlaw Teleport Drone
- Replaced all remaining Text-To-Speech audio with proper English voice recordings
- Added German voice recordings
- Added Color Vision Deficiency modes
- Made keybinding screen navigable with controllers and updated look
- Added a few more stats to the data/player stats screen
- Added option to configure auto-aim strength for mouse+keyboard (previously only available for gamepad/joystick)
- Added better commodity availability, new price ranges, stack sizes, and price information for improved trading opportunities
- Added a feature to acquire jobs occasionally on the map
- Re-enabled collisions and atmospheric drag in supralight
- “Nightmare” difficulty is now unlocked after having completed the storyline
- Added force feedback effects (vibration) for controllers
- Manual save games can now receive a custom name
- Added loot drop at the end of a faction battle event
- Added more situational dialogues
- Added more variations to NPC pilots’ background chatter
- UI: Added animations and transitions to ingame, main, and pause menu
- UI: Added difficulty selection menu when starting a new game
- UI: Added savegame info widget to load and save screen
- UI: Added gamepad controls scheme selection when starting a new game with gamepad
- UI: Added new screenshots gallery for every “The Story So Far” plot point entry
- UI: Added start screen before the main menu
- UI: Added team credits to the main menu
- UI: Added “Mark all as read” feature to data tab and codex subcategories
- UI: Added “Mark all as seen” feature to crafting tab affecting crafting resources and blueprints
- UI: Added gamepad controls overview action to pause menu when opened with gamepad
- Replaced or refined all ingame sequences
- Tweaked some main and side mission base levels and XP rewards
- Levels of NPCs in random supralight encounters are now determined by the average location level of the system region in which they appear
- Don’t offer jobs with difficulty higher than the highest current location level of the respective system
- Random encounters except for shooting challenge now won’t grant XP anymore (depending on type renown and/or credits are given)
- Time-sensitive events and puzzles are now made easier on lower difficulties
- Sort missions in missions screen depending on the time of activation or completion
- Black Market Dealer now sells Signal Decoders
- Tweaked mesh, cockpit window, and trail colors of elite and normal G&B fighters to distinguish them further
- Hardened ore patches, plasma harvesters, and location challenges will now count toward the location progression
- Improved plasma harvesters’ visibility and interaction
- Time is now slowed down when selecting equipment via gamepad or when key is assigned (can be turned off in options)
- “Play It Safe” perk will now only trigger with warfare devices
- “Relentless” perk is now based on the number of installed support devices
- Register resource for map info the moment it is registered by the ship’s sensor, not only when mining it
- Improved Flak radial damage hit registration
- Slightly reduced number of enemies during “Scavenger Baiting” random encounter
- Increased amount of attackers at Nepthys Plains during “Spares & Scrap”
- Enemies in Ancient Rifts now show an “ancient-possessed” graphical effect
- Balancing: Increased Flak energy consumption and slightly decreased fire rate to compensate for improved efficiency
- Balancing: Reduced Vindicator drone base damage
- Balancing: Reduced Homing Missile fire rate
- Balancing: Slightly reduced Gunship Coil Gun Turret base damage
- Balancing: Ancient Rift stage mutators are now stacking
- Balancing: Reduced Annihilator explosion delay and increased its infection rate
- Markers are now added to the last two remaining targets of a “destroy base” task
- Prevent stacking of consumable effects by applying a cooldown after use of at least 3 seconds or the consumable’s effect duration
- Redeemer turrets are now immune to EMP
- Photo Mode camera can no longer clip through geometry
- Added pilot model for third-person view
- Added optional task to tutorial mission to use the cruise drive
- Lots of performance improvements
- Axis dead zones and sensitivities are now working on “logical action axes” instead of physical ones (different settings can, for example, now be used for the right stick for “Pitch” and “Camera Pitch”)
- Let AI ignore player during jump gate activation and also grant invincibility
- Spawn some Elite Squad ships instead of regular G&B ships during “Into The Forest” side mission, as they are mentioned in dialogue
- Show consumables in HUD with low opacity when they are disabled (just like for devices)
- Removed “work in progress” and “early access” banners
- UI: Optimized ship customization navigation, including animations and sfx
- UI: Customization tab – Changed style selection to better communicate custom editable styles
- UI: Customization tab – Locked decal color selection as long as no decal was selected
- UI: Added mainframe expansion invest info glow animation
- UI: Removed modify action for legendary items since they can’t be modified anyway
- UI: Added, tweaked, and fixed numerous menu sound effects
- UI: Added currently selected difficulty to pause menu and game over screen
- UI: Added new indication marker logic for shop tab to better highlight mission-relevant items during campaign
- UI: Improved widescreen support for many ingame menu tabs and sub-screens
- UI: Re-enabling “new” indicator animations
- UI: Removed crafting inventory from modal crafting widget
- UI: Enabled multi-item select for loot container screen
- UI: Implicitly turn on companion perk tracking after upgrade in case it was turned off
- UI: Added “new” indicators for reward items (job and renown) that were just claimed
- UI: Added feature to get back from a data subpage by clicking on the data tab again while it’s opened (instead of pressing back)
- UI: Removed “shine” icon animation from already unlocked device items
- UI: “Remove level restriction” option is now pre-selected for restricted items when opening the modal modify widget
- UI: “Buy and equip” of level-restricted items won’t show an options dialog first but an error banner right away
- UI: Optimized button hold durations in ingame menu and consistently block input while held
- UI: Changed some default key bindings of ingame menu actions to be consistent across all menu screens
- UI: Gamepad – Increased dead zone for right analog stick to avoid unintentional scrolling
- UI: Fading background music when loading a savegame or going back to main menu
- Fixed that turrets of revived enemies would still attack the player
- Restrict opening of ingame menu while being pulled into a rift
- Fixed a problem in which temporary “Lost Cargo” job locations could show up in space again as invalid locations shortly after having left them after task completion
- Fixed that Destabilizer, EMP, and Web Missile durations were not reduced when fired automatically by special weapon attribute on critical primary weapon hits
- Fixed cases in which during an “Item Retrieval” or “Destroy Base” job a HIVE line could play even though HIVE wasn’t unlocked
- Fixed that Fusion Hook could not be used when having no primary weapons installed
- Fixed “Shadow Strike”/”Pango’s Pride” cloaking conflict
- Fixed Retaliator Bomber front shield not getting disabled by EMP
- Fixed that damage modifiers were twice as effective on instant-hit weapons
- Fixed Vindicator Re-Animator special not scaling correctly
- Fixed Vindicator Re-Animator buff not persisting after docking at a station
- Fixed mines launched by weapons persisting after re-loading or re-entering locations
- Fixed that Clerical Corvette was invisible when loading a save that was created when docked there
- Fixed Bloodstar Raid Booster not being dropped by Bloodstar units
- Fixed that changing the difficulty in rifts affected hitpoints of already spawned enemies
- Fixed Redeemer bosses in high-risk areas dropping too few items
- Fixed side missions not correctly leveling up with locations
- Fixed multiple issues related to ingame sequences
- Fixed Quantum Tether indirect damage triggering critical hits
- Fixed that Fusion Hook could not be used when no primary weapon was installed
- Fixed Interceptor “Crit chance on energy orb collect” passive not triggering under certain conditions
- Fixed “Omni Manus” legendary attacking targets behind obstacles
- Fixed async-firing weapons sometimes omitting a fire sound
- Fixed Outlaw Damage Boosters applying too many damage buffs that would not get removed after the booster was destroyed
- Fixed proximity mines launched from weapons restoring in a broken state after leaving and re-entering locations
- Fixed EMP not disabling front shields of Zurilia Bombers
- Fixed that there was auto-aiming on a “center point” of a jellyfish swarm
- Fixed some camera issues that could occur when switching between ship dealer and hangar screen on stations
- Fixed that inertia dampeners could be turned off/on remotely steered drones which made ramen drones easy to steer
- Fixed that during “The Emissary” the emissary’s Corvette was invisible when loading a save that was made while docked
- Fixed that “lock target” tutorial could remain onscreen indefinitely if enemies in tutorial were killed too fast
- Fixed that damage bars were sometimes longer than max hitpoints bars
- Fixed that when encountering Coalition units while having accepted but not finished the “Becoming Invisible” side mission they were friendly, and their HUD markers were hidden
- Fixed that for neutral low-level “harmless” enemies that turn hostile a wrong “harmless” marker (a square) was shown
- Fixed that shield bar in cockpit was sheared after a shield break
- Fixed wrong opacity of health bars of damaged enemies that are neither hovered nor targeted and less than 2km away
- Fixed that Kato Palace was showing “jobs” indicator at HUD marker and map info widget even before job board was unlocked there
- Fixed that location entry dialogues for unknown signals would repeat for manual saves made at the location after task was finished
- Fixed that it was possible to save during some still active tasks at random encounter locations
- Fixed that one of the locations in which The Flying Dutchess could be called was missing the shop indicator on the map
- Fixed that button labels for “Left Ctrl” and “Pg Up” where overlapping button
- Fixed that “input smoothing” setting in menu had “percentage bars” shown, although it is an on/off toggle
- Fixed axis inversion problems when using the right stick with left-handed gamepad schemes
- Fixed that menu was invisible when having opened pause menu on top of ingame menu and adjusting gamma, and quickly closing the pause menu
- Fixed a problem when trying to bind Gamepad Left/Right Trigger to menu actions that are internally defined as axes with two actions for positive and negative scale
- Fixed a few typos
- Fixed a few cases in which dialogue text did not match recordings
- Fixed some audio issues related to the ship’s engine SFX
- Fixed enemy-mounted turrets not receiving damage buff from lunacy in Ancient Rifts
- Fixed focus loss with gamepad when opening a loot container right after another has been closed
- Fixed missing ship dealer offer refresh in case there are multiple in one single location
- Fixed that the autonomous cargo perk did not work in some cases right after upgrading Tareen’s storage extension perk
- Fixed explicit reset of all active device cooldowns after docking
- UI: Fixed numerous overlapping text issues when using languages other than English
- UI: Fixed multiple alignment issues and inconsistencies across all screens
- UI: Fixed that the ingame menu could become invisible or transparent in some cases
- UI: Fixed that the location info widget could flicker or resize in an ugly way right after hovering a location in the map screen
- UI: Fixed that photo mode button was shown in pause menu during supralight even though the feature is not available there
- UI: Fixed a bug where perk actions like “invest” could be opened repeatedly even from other tabs
- UI: Fixed that scrolling with mouse sometimes wasn’t working properly in data sub-tabs
- UI: Fixed a bug that crafting a lot of items through the inventory tab could lead to memory issues
- UI: Fixed that perks could be shown as completable even though resources were still missing
- UI: Fixed that the player perk unlock banner did not open the player perks panel but companions instead
- UI: Fixed a bug that prevented players from claiming job rewards even though there was enough cargo space available
- UI: Fixed that restricted items could not be properly marked in expand cargo view due to accidentally showing “equip” action
- UI: Fixed a bug where a broken compare info widget could be triggered for devices in some cases
- UI: Fixed that the discard confirmation modal widget in the options menu was triggered twice and led to wrong destination after confirm
- UI: Fixed that the “craft missing components” action was shown for locked blueprints as well
- UI: Fixed that affordability of items within shop tab wasn’t updated in some cases
- UI: Fixed that setting waypoints to under-leveled HRAs was possible using double mouse click
- UI: Fixed that the game over screen was interactable even before it became fully visible
- UI: Fixed that some items restock costs could be negative in some cases, which led to unavailability of the whole restock functionality
- UI: Fixed multiple issues and inconsistencies of the action buttons within the tutorial box
- UI: Fixed confusing UI states in case a blueprint was found and shown before crafting was even unlocked
- UI: Fixed some visual hiccups of the item info widget right after selecting a new item slot in some cases
- UI: Fixed a bug regarding the “equip” action that was accidentally shown for unqualified items in ship cargo
- UI: Fixed that the location info widget wasn’t properly updated when reopening the map in some cases
- UI: Fixed that the scrolling indication handle of a scrollbar could be shown as distorted
- UI: Fixed some issues regarding display of already-known resources in the crafting inventory
That’s a lot of changes! We hope you all decide to create new save files and begin EVERSPACE 2 from the start because there’s so much we’ve added since our original Early Access launch. Experience new cutscenes, added V/O, new puzzles, and most importantly, MORE LOOT as you play through the final version of EVERSPACE 2’s story.
Michael and your dedicated ROCKFISH Games Team