Dead Cells Update 21 is now live & free for owners of Dead Cells on Steam with console versions to come in January. The update introduces several new shiny things to play with over the holidays along with some broader gameplay changes.
There’s a TLDR and an overview below, and if you want to get the full detail head here for the patchnotes. We've included the full overview text below for you as well so you dont''need to go hunting in the patch notes =)
Boom, everyone's attention span covered.
Colour scaling rework
New mob, weapon, outfits & diet
Hand of the King lore room
Usual QoL fixes
The reworks will need some explaining for people who haven't been keeping up to date through the alpha, so I'm going to run through all the 'minor' bits first!
The most requested weapon from the community is now in the game! The Katana allows you to chain a standard slash with a dashing charge attack by holding the button, for the full experience wear the Ninja outfit at the same time.
This is the first mob in the game inspired by a Discord community suggestion (many thanks to Leylite#4491)!
Using the Explosive Crossbow, the Demolisher will blast you from a safe distance (oh how the tables have turned). It can be found ignoring all health & safety rules and blowing shit up in the Distillery at BC0 and in several places later on, mostly as an alternative upgrade to the Knife Thrower.
You might have guessed from the key art, but there are some jolly new outfits introduced in this update, including 2 Christmas-themed ones. Enjoy!
Hand of the King lore room
The mystery man becomes [i]slightly[/i] less mysterious with a new lore room hidden somewhere in the castle...
No self-respecting French studio can pass up the opportunity to let you eat cheese, so we’re giving you the option to heal yourself with a nice smelly slice of Camembert!
So that’s all the shiny pretty stuff, now on to the major changes.
Weapon colour rework
Colours had lost a lot of consistency of playstyle between the 3 colours. So, we decided to change the colour scaling of a good chunk of items & mutations to refocus each statistic on its primary identity.
Tactics keeps all things related to ranged gameplay: turrets, range weapons, with some utility and damaging spells to support it. Dual scales with anything that wouldn’t fit in that category but is poison or electricity gameplay (e.g. Sadist’s Stiletto is a melee weapon so it shouldn’t scale with Tactics, but as it’s crits work on poison gameplay it is still a red/purple dual scaling weapon).
Brutality keeps its focus on fast melee weapons and everything related to jumping into the melee. Grenades stay mostly red. Dual scale with anything that wouldn’t fit in that category but is fire or blood gameplay.
Survival keeps its focus on crowd control, survivability, shields and slow, heavy melee weapons. Also supported by heavy damage skills with the long cooldown that goes with it. Dual scale with anything that wouldn’t fit in that category but is root or ice gameplay.
In addition, the health points scaling of Brutality and Survival has been decreased in the late game while for Tactics it's been very slightly increased. However, it's mostly felt at high scrolls counts, so you won’t feel it until late game at 3BC+.
The Backpack was introduced in the 19th update to support transitioning from 2-slots weapons to two different 1-slot weapons. It's now a meta upgrade unlocked at the Collector, like Recycling or the random starting weapon tubes, and can be used with any type of weapon.
You can store any weapons in your backpack, except 2-handed weapons and the Giantkiller (for obvious reasons), by pressing the backpack key (Y on Xbox controller, △ on a PlayStation one) when picking a weapon. Empty your backpack by holding the "use" key.
Because we're all-round lovely people, video settings have also been added to accommodate everyone's backpack preferences. You can choose to put the backpack slot to the right of your skill slots or in-between your weapons and your skills, plus a slider for opacity.
Five new mutations have been added, three were initially designed to support two-handed weapons through the backpack slot, but after some testing we've decided to let them be used with any type of build:
Acrobatic Preparation: Attacking with a ranged weapon also attack with the ranged weapon in your backpack. Roll to reload. (Tactics).
Porcupine Backpack: Rolling through enemies attacks them with the melee weapons stored in your backpack. (Brutality)
Tortoise Wheel: Rolling parry attacks and projectiles with the shield stored in your backpack. (Survival)
The fourth mutation, Fatal Cadence (Survival), increases your attack speed when alternating in-between primary and secondary weapon slot.
The final mutation, Ranger's Gear (Tactics) is like Scheme, but for ranged weapons, so your next ranged attack after using a skill will deal extra damage.
Thanks to all your feedback through alpha and beta, we think we've arrived at an improved Malaise mechanic:
The bar now fills with game time, but pauses in lore rooms, chest rooms, shops. The malaise contamination rate is tied to the number of enemies still alive in the level, the fewer enemies, the less quickly your malaise bar will fill. When only 10% of the enemies are left alive, the biome is considered "Malaise cleared".
The higher the malaise, the more dangerous the enemies (increased movement speed, quicker teleport, shorter reaction time and at the latter stages, increased damage).
Enemies will also randomly spawn around you and from time to time, an enemy will transform into an Elite. The spawn rate and Elite rate will also increase with Malaise.
Being hit doesn't increase your malaise anymore. Killing enemies, Elite, and Bosses decreases your malaise gauge.
Food looted in walls is always contaminated and will increase your Malaise bar, the "healthy" food looted on enemies doesn't decrease your Malaise bar. Healing with your flask does heal some Malaise too.
The "Malaise Cleared" event completely stops the bar from filling until the end of the biome, and even decreases your malaise gauge with the amount you would get by killing all the enemies left in the level. However, these enemies won't give you any more malaise reduction. Mobs and Elites will stop spawning for the rest of the level.
We're aiming to give a cycling nature to the mechanic, with a Malaise that should stay in-between 3 and 7 during most of the run (except boss fights). Currently, all mutations and items interacting with the Malaise have seen that aspect of their design disabled and future updates will let us tweak it slightly if needed.
Best of the rest
All biomes in BC3+ have less mobs overall.
An option to disable the gameplay slow-motion (most notably when elites die) has been added.
2-slots weapons can now have different affixes on each part.
Christmas & beyond
Christmas is four days away, so obviously most of the team is imminently leaving for holidays (and panic buying gifts) until early January. We will be checking in just in case anything happens, but our hands are going to be full of food and drink for the next week, so don't expect much news until early January.
Console players, due to the certification process and the upcoming DLC, we won't be able to add this update to the current branch until around February time, but it is coming.
That just about covers everything, happy holidays from Motion Twin and Evil Empire!