icarus week seventeen custom difficulty, reworked timer, new mission, new orbital items, and more
Content Type: Gaming News
Date: April 1, 2022

Sometimes life can get in the way of our prospecting plans, but with the new in-game timer those real-world distractions will be contributing just a little bit less to the adrenaline of the harder missions. That’s right, fellow players — now the hardcore missions will no longer make you choose between the well-being of your level-45 prospector and that of your own bladder! Furthermore, you will be able to set your own Hardcore missions with the new and shiny tiered mission difficulty system!

Well, at this point I am just spoiling all of the highlights, without the important juicy details… so, how about we jump right into it?

We already started this news post with the mention of this quite major change: the real-world/server timer we have been used to since the Beta days is now officially becoming the in-game timer — in other words, the timer for the mission will be counting down only when there is a player on the prospect. Yes, that does count your friend who stayed on the prospect, peacefully enjoying their dinner and watching a stream on the second monitor with their character camping out at your base. Why? He didn’t think about it.

The change may be quite disappointing to the players who enjoyed the additional pressure created by a real ticking clock, but the change targeted those who can’t afford multi-hour mission marathons in particular. Players who had to go to bed at a reasonable hour and couldn’t play for the rest of the week could have logged in to their character being dead, and probably felt like not even bothering after that point.

Oh, and don’t worry, if you happened to leave a character on a mission before the update, they should be totally fine… well, you might have lost them because of some complications with the initial rollout, but now everything is fixed and fine and everyone’s mission timer got refreshed! (Um… if it’s not fine, definitely contact support.) So, you should now have extra time to complete whatever mission you started earlier this week.

You may notice that the current mission timers are a little bit inflated to ensure no issues caused by the update, but the devs are planning to cut some of that extra time down in the upcoming updates. The absolute upper time limit is still based on server time in the Online mode, 90 days. This is something the developers have to do to ensure they have enough storage to host all of the missions, but should be more than enough to complete even the most time-consuming of the missions!

And speaking of which…

Want it extra casual or extra hardcore? You are now in control!

You can now set the mission difficulty between Easy, Medium, and Hard, with additional options to make the mission Hardcore (additional challenges, can’t self-revive) or to Insure it (character is not lost if the timer expires). Anything that makes the prospect easier will decrease the rewards, while taking on the additional challenges will increase them!

icarus week seventeen new mission difficulty options
With the DEEP VEIN you can pick the Hard difficulty and the Hardcore variant to double your Ren rewards!

The difficulty options will affect the Enemy Health, Enemy Melee Damage, Enemy Speed, Enemy Perception, Player Experience, Specific Creature Spawn Rates and Number of Respawns. For now, however, the mission timer will remain the same no matter what you pick.

Another thing to consider here is the added split in rewards: you may want to tackle pure Hardcore missions with some friends to allow for respawns, but the goodies you get will have to be shared.

Note: while it’s not mentioned in the official announcement, you will also notice that the new mission UI will point out unique Unlocks that come with some of the missions both in the general overview and under the objectives in the Mission Briefing window (they will be orange).

Last week’s update featured the new temperature extremes created by the compounded effect of what you wear, what you consume, and whether you choose to take a shortcut through a lake on your way to the Arctic. Simply put: it has never been this easy to get a heat stroke or hypothermia. In fact, it really, really has never been this easy — try carrying a Canteen in your water slot while in the Arctic!

Yeah, the body temperature effects would get added up too fast, especially if you start stacking too many of the “auxiliary” status effects (as the devs put it), so the team had to bring back the “safe zones” for the armor from the previous system, as well as manage some of the unintended extremes. Sounds like there might still be some work left to do for this new system, so RocketWerkz welcomes all of the feedback!

icarus week seventeen temperature rebalance

RocketWerkz described this mysterious supplier as the “long-standing player in the defense industry,” that offers potent tools and weaponry that may lack in quality and durability (hm… that sounds familiar.) Whatever your opinion is on the rest of the wares, one unique item from Larkwell Martinez to be excited about is the Orbital Sickle!

Devs also promised us some Larkwell “high-tech experimental” arrows in the upcoming weeks, which… may or may not make me think about unstable explosives. Oh yeah, bring them on!

Let’s wrap up this sizeable update by looking at the new mission, PRESERVATION: Stockpile. Similarly to other recent missions that incorporated a newly introduced mechanic, this mission makes use of all of the extensive variety of dried meats introduced in the Week Fifteen Content Update, tasking you with collecting and drying an impressive lineup of mouthwatering hunter jerkies.

Of course, expect to organize some extended expeditions to “collect” the required variety of meats — sounds like some of the new Larkwell items may be helpful in speeding up this endeavor.

icarus week seventeen new mission preservation stockpile

As usual, we will leave you with a full list of the changes added by this update. While the list of the featured updates this week seems to be longer than usual, the rest of the changes appear to be mostly fixes. There is quite an important one in there, though! A better-looking Bacon mesh and icons! Oh yeah, this one could have been worth an update on its own.

  • Added new Mission Difficulty System & UI to the Prospect Select Screen.
  • Added new Larkwell items: Axe, Pickaxe, Hammer, Sickle, Knife, Spear.
  • Added new mission: ‘Canyon: Stockpile 2’.
  • Converted mission timer to be played time instead of real world time.
  • Updated Mission End Screen.
  • Fixed New Temperature System:
    • Frostnip – Heatstroke occurs after 5 minutes in cold at a 10% chance every 2 minutes thereafter.
    • While in Grace Period, Players are not longer effected by temperature afflictions.
    • Resistances now shift the safe zones.
    • Added new stats for direction temperature shift via modifiers (both internal & external).
    • Another Pass on Armor to adjust to new system.
    • Small adjustment to safe zone base definitions on the player.
    • External temp shown on UI now takes into account water/wet external sources.
  • [CRASH] Fixed crash that could occur when the player receives a new quest objective.
  • [CRASH] Fixed crash that could occur when terrain gets generated.
  • [CRASH] Added safety check to D3D12Texture as a temporary fix for the DirectX 12 crashes until we get a response from UDN.
  • [CRASH] Fixed crash that could occur when a player hits an object in a cave.
  • Fixed culling of the Ice Shader at a distance on the Frozen Mammoth asset.
  • Fixed grenade ballistic settings so that it doesn’t launch upright.
  • Fixed memory dependencies caused by sprinkler system.
  • Fixed memory dependencies caused by light slot items.
  • Fixed concrete roof corner pieces having stone icons.
  • Improved Bacon icons, mesh, and fixed 4k textures.
  • Fixed memory dependencies caused by weapons.
  • Fixed Heat Bandage having same mesh as Basic Bandage.
  • Fixed the physical material of the stone arrow to be Wood and not Voxel Stone.
  • Fixed an issue with the player not being able to interact with items dropped in a dropship.
  • Fixed an issue where aggressive fish would not attack clients.
  • Fixed a bug where fish were attacking hosts but not clients.
  • Revised meshes/textures for metal ingot items.
  • Changed the prospect text from friends to steam friends only to make things clearer.
  • Added a button to watch the No Rescue video on the title screen.
  • Fixed an bug where audio wouldn’t play when some creatures were not visible.
  • Fixed an error where some subtitles didn’t match Sols dialogue in the Waterfall Expedition mission.
  • Fixed the Portable Beacon icon unable to be seen by clients.
  • Added max retry count to prospect expiry request to backend.
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