Content Type: Gaming News
Date: May 28, 2022
Usually, the 25th anniversary gift is silver, but this week ICARUS fans, who crave exploration and each new mission, struck gold. This week, RocketWerkz dropped a new, free DLC packed with a giant new map, a fresh mission tree, and several new creatures.
As was teased and promised months ago, the developers felt motivated to reward their loyal fanbase with a huge chunk of new content (and also to apologize for an admittedly rocky start for ICARUS).
New Styx Map Doubles Playable Area
The brand new Styx map is the same size (64 square kilometers) as the original “Olympus” map, which doubles the playable area while providing a fresh backdrop for new missions, grandiose builds, and stunning vistas for all your selfies!
All of the familiar biomes will be there–dense forests, harsh deserts, and glacial expanses–cut across by the namesake of the map, the Styx River (named after the Greek mythical river that separates the Earth from the Underworld).
To the developers, this familiar setting is also a way to demonstrate everything they’ve learned over the first 6 months since the Betas, on familiar ground, before they move on to create the more alien features of ICARUS.
Styx DLC Adds 16 More Missions
Okay, this is a bit of a misnomer. Indeed, the new map pack comes with 14 missions, with another two added next week. However, 5 of them are exploration missions; depending on how many exotic veins you can easily find, those may not feel much like missions at all.
Nevertheless, the new missions bring more challenges to overcome with your friends, your wits, and, let’s just admit it — your thirst for the grind. The in-game timer will still be driving your progress.
There is a new feature that was not really developed on Olympus: missions that permanently change the map, specifically by opening up shortcuts between biomes. This is an interesting change from the Expedition missions on the Olympus map, which forced you to break through geographical barriers to open up new sections of the map.
New Styx Creatures: Adolescent Caveworm, Kea, Komodo Dragon, and Crocodile
For the adventurous prospector, the most compelling revelation coming out of the Styx are never-before-seen creatures, including ICARUS’s first bird! Gamerunner Dean Hall seems particularly proud to introduce prospectors to the Kea, a colorful and apparently mischievous avian native to New Zealand (of course).
If you remember the debut of scorpions on Icarus, it should come as no surprise that each new creature brings a unique personality and a capacity to make trouble. The Kea is said to doggedly raid your food stores (though that might just be rhetorical), and Crocodiles are heavily armored sentinels patrolling in and out of bodies of water. Meanwhile, the Komodo dragons may come at you with a nauseating bite when disturbed from their meal. And it wouldn’t be Icarus without more Caveworms, now grown up into ornery adolescents intent on menacing prospectors even outside the cave nest.
New Frontiers After Styx
The new free Styx DLC is a gift to the community, and is a milestone for the developers. They have been holding off development on the paid DLCs “New Frontiers” and “Dangerous Horizons” until now. Nevertheless, Hall says RocketWerkz remains dedicated to the weekly update schedule.
Along with this comes a push toward features and mechanics that fans have been craving: vehicles, alien biomes, more threatening creatures, and performance improvements. With the Styx benchmark firmly in place, the developers say it’s time to blaze a trail toward new content that brings expansive changes and improvements to Icarus.
Check out more details in the patch notes below.
⠀⠀•⠀A new 8x8km map to explore, based around a large central river network.
⠀⠀•⠀Find and repair lost drilling equipment.
⠀⠀•⠀Scan for new potential drop locations to unlock more missions.
⠀⠀•⠀Discover more about the worm species native to this planet.
⠀⠀•⠀Investigate the Shifting Sands
⠀⠀•⠀Setup a Self Sufficient Powered Research Base
⠀⠀•⠀Investigate Signs of an Oasis
⠀⠀•⠀Investigate Increased Polar Bear Presence in the area.
⠀⠀•⠀Adolescent Caveworms – Once they grow beyond their larval stage prevalent in Icarus’ caves, they become significantly more dangerous and can venture beyond their subterranean nests.
⠀⠀•⠀Kea – Icarus’ first avian addition. Colorful in both appearance and character, these mischievously clever parrots will take advantage of any undefended food-store they can get to.
⠀⠀•⠀Komodo – Typically distracted by food, these will likely not bother you unless you come between them and their meal. They have a nasty bite that can leave prospectors nauseous at best.
⠀⠀•⠀Crocodiles – Ever-present around the water bodies of Icarus, they’re most at home in the water but can still be a notable threat on land. Their thick hide make them resistant to projectiles.
- Improved way player loadouts are handled to reduce chance of players losing loadouts/items. Modifying the way players loadouts are granted, the players dropship now controls and stores the state internally of whether or not it has granted the loadout to its inventory, no more passing of items from player. This allows disconnections to occur during the dropship sequence and players will still be able to get their loadout upon reconnecting.
- Fixed issue where the player could be considered ‘in a cave’ while still outside the voxel entrance.
- Fixed the Drill power quest step incorrectly checking whether the drill was active or not and progressing without the drill having biofuel in, slightly tweaked the worm respawn timer on the second stage of the quest
- Fixed the Drill power quest step incorrectly checking whether the drill was active or not and progressing without the drill having biofuel in as previous fix also broke the quest step, both fixed now.
- Improved game performance degradation after extended playtime due to AI getting stuck in loops constantly executing expensive GOAP action precondition checks.
- Fixed another instance of NPCs getting soft-locked when trying to pick between multiple incomplete actions that caused large performance drops until they died or despawned.