The Seasons of DRG

5 months ago

It's been a long time since I've written up a "proper" blog post; the last one (Letting Go of Special Powder) was published 15 months ago! This entry will be different than my normal style; usually I write about DRG's mechanics, analyzing and understanding them, and trying to use them in creative ways. In contrast, today's topic will be an opinion piece -- specifically, some constructive feedback on DRG's Seasons. Brace yourselves, this feels like it's gonna be a long one.

  1. Overview of DRG's Update History
    1. Updates 1 - 18.5
    2. Updates 19 - 33
    3. Updates 34 - 38 (S04)
  2. Constructive Feedback about S01-04
    1. What they did well
    2. What they did poorly
  3. Actionable Suggestions for Future Seasons
    1. For the DRG community
    2. For Ghost Ship Games
  4. Conclusion

Overview of DRG's Update History

Something that I've noticed in the community's discussions regarding Seasons is that the "Early Access Updates" get lauded without really explaining why they're remembered so fondly. A lot of the active playerbase probably got started after the 1.0 launch (Update 30), so it feels appropriate to give a brief overview about the Update History of DRG. This way, it forms a basis for comparison to the Season patches later in the post. Also, I couldn't help but play into the motif of "seasons", so I got a little cheeky with the sub-header names!

Spring: Updates 1 through 18.5

First, a disclaimer: I started playing DRG in Update 18, so most of the next paragraph will be a recitation of the wiki article I linked above.

At the start of DRG's development, GSG had a clear vision of the game they wanted to create. They spent about 2 years in closed alpha (2016-2017), and when the game released to open alpha on February 28th, 2018 (Update 7), it was already recognizable as what we play today. It had the four classes with their different weapons, half a dozen biomes, Mining Missions, Egg Hunts, Point Extractions, Eliminations, an enemy pool of glyphids, and procedurally generated levels. Over the next eight months, GSG would release twelve updates to the game adding all sorts of content: balance changes, more procedural generation options, more cosmetics (splitting beards, headgear, sideburns, etc), more environmental features, new enemies (like Macteras), the Salvage Operation mission type, Warnings, Anomalies, the terrain scanner, the Glacial Strata biome, the Abyss Bar and jukebox, the Oktoberfest event, new perks, Assignments, Promotions (originally called Retirement), buff beers, and the Halloween event -- and those are only the highlights!

It's clear to see that the year of 2018 was one of flourishing growth for the game; GSG had all of these ideas in their head about what they wanted to add or where things could be improved, and the only thing that was slowing them down was that they couldn't do it all at once!

Around this same time, my friend Royal send me this YouTube video by Uncle Dane (of TF2 fame) about DRG, and it got me hooked. I bought the game on Sep 23, 2018 and have been playing since.

Summer: U19 through 33

With GSG "in the groove", they started releasing some incredible updates. From November 29th, 2018 (U19) through November 21st, 2019 (U26) -- less than one calendar year! -- they poured out a deluge of content:

  • The first set of alternate weapons: Cryo Cannon, EPC, SMG, Breach Cutter, Autocanon, BRT, M1000, and Zhukovs
  • Lots of balance tweaks
  • Changed Bosco to have mods, to let you customize what you want in Solo mode
  • Revamped the difficulty scaling system into what is still used today
  • Added Hazard 5
  • More and more cosmetics, including the first DLC pack (The Supporter)
  • More cave tiles and procedural generation options
  • Weekly assignments that randomize missions each week
  • A large quantity of enemies:
    • Q'ronar Shellback & Youngling
    • BET-C
    • Glyphid Menace
    • Glyphid Warden
    • Glyphid Bulk Detonator
    • Nayaka Trawler
    • Glyphid Slasher
    • Glyphid Guard
    • Radioactive variants of Swarmer, Grunt, and Praetorian
    • Reworked the OG Glyphid Dreadnought into what we still fight today
    • Naedocyte Breeder, Hatchlings, and Shockers
  • 10 new grenades (in addition to the HE Grenade and IFG that had been around for a long time)
  • Deep Dives, Matrix Cores, the Forge, and weapon Overclocks
  • Cargo Crates
  • More Warnings and Anomalies
  • Machine Events
  • Craft Beers and more Buff Beers in Today's Special

Updates 27 through 33 continued this trend for the next fifteen months, adding things like the Glyphid Oppressor, the OMEN Machine Event, Pickaxe customization, Lost Helmets, the Miner's Manual, lots of QoL updates, more secondary objectives, the Korlok Tyrant-Weed, On-Site Refinery and Escort Duty mission types, the Dreadnought Hiveguard and the Dreadnought Twins, Azure Weald and Hollow Bough biomes, and the Mactera Tri-Jaw and Brundle. They even revamped the Perks system into what we use today and released the two Soundtrack albums!

This period of the game's life could only be described as "verdant". The playerbase was growing, a lot of the features we still use today were added, and it was still clear that GSG had a deep well of ideas that they were drawing from. Although the game officially left Early Access in Update 30, for my money I would call it "fully realized" in U33.

Autumn: U34 through 38 (aka S04)

Early in 2021, GSG already knew that they had big ambitions for S01 later that year: a new mission type, 4 new weapons, their version of a battle pass, plus all of the Rival Tech enemies and seasonal events. As such, they intentionally made U34 and Modding Support smaller updates than normal. U34 added Elite Enemies, two new Warnings, the ability for missions to have double-Warnings, and arguably the largest weapon balance patch seen to date. Later that year, official modding integration was added to the game. At that point, GSG announced that they would be changing from more-frequent Updates into less-frequent Seasons. Here are some of the highlights of content released for each Season 01-04 (each Season added tons of cosmetics, and S02-04 had weapon balance changes):

Season 01: Rival Incursion

  • Season Pass
  • Industrial Sabotage mission type
  • Rival Tech enemies (Patrol Bot, Shredder, Burst Turret, Repulsion Turret, Sniper Turret)
  • Seasonal events: Data Deposit and Prospector
  • New primary weapons: Sludge Pump, Lok-1, Hurricane, and Drak-25

Season 02: Rival Escalation

  • Rival Tech Nemesis
  • Seasonal event: Comms Router
  • New secondary weapons: Wave Cooker, Shard Diffractor, Coil Gun, and Crossbow
  • Phazyonite, and the sysytem to unlock cosmetics with it

Season 03: Plaguefall

  • Rockpox enemies (Larvae, Grunt, and Praetorian)
  • Seasonal events: Large Meteor, Smol Meteor Shower
  • New cave tiles
  • New grenades: Ripper, SSG, Leadburster, and Stun Sweeper

Season 04: Critical Corruption

  • Rockpox enemies (Naedocyte Breeder, Mactera Bomber, Glyphid Spitter, and Exploder)
  • Seasonal event: Rockpox Corrupter
  • Normal enemies: Glyphid Stingtil and Septic Spreader
  • Jet Boots

Constructive Feedback about S01-S04

Now, with all of that historical context provided, let's get down to why I'm writing this blog post. So far, the Seasons have not been as well-received as previous updates, and I think something needs to change for DRG to continue thriving. I want to emphasize this point first and foremost: the game is still fun, I still enjoy playing it, and the Seasonal patches have added good things to the game. I don't want to diminish or ignore the positive things -- rather, I want to look the negative things square in the eye, understand why they weren't received well, and use that knowledge to improve future Seasons.

I'm fairly confident in the claim that I'm not the only person who feels this way. There have been numerous posts on the subreddit echoing these feelings, and even a few YouTube videos on this topic. Because I want to use this platform to speak for the community, I reached out on Milligin's community Discord server in September 2023. I posed the question "What would you all qualify as good seasonal content [for DRG]?". There were over a dozen people who responded, and they brought up a lot of good talking points. As I read through their responses, I was able to glean several themes that encompassed most of what was said. I won't repeat every response word-for-word, but I'll try to cite the correct person for direct quotes or primary credit behind an idea.

What they did well

The concepts are interesting and the content is cool

The concepts of "How can we expand the lore of Hoxxes IV?" and "What would be in-universe responses to DRG mining this rock?" worked really well! The idea of a rival mining company sending their robotic drones to scout ahead and determine viability just works; of course someone would do that in this world. It's totally believable that there's a plague-ridden meteor passing by, infecting the wildlife of Hoxxes. Beyond that, the art direction and aesthetics of the new seasonal content was great, too; the new enemies look cool! These were good starting concepts for why something would start now and end later (a season), and they helped stoke our imaginations about the universe the game is set in. By making the starting concept believable, it helped players buy into the story and start thinking about what will happen next season as a result of their actions.

The evergreen content that comes with each season has been well-received

Although each of the Seasons have had their own themes and unique gameplay, several people noted that the stuff they liked the best was the evergreen content. Things such as the new weapons and grenades, the Stingtail and Septic Spreader, and even the concept of a Season Pass. By providing new content that players can enjoy right away as well as far into the future, it raises player engagement and excitement.

The Warnings provide a good changeup to normal gameplay

I think Rival Presence was done pretty well: adds a constant and different threat through the entire mission you can build for, adds a unique-ish encounter in the form of turret room, and segregates it from the normal game. Lithophage Outbreak does most of that too. - gago

This point is particularly interesting, because even though the responses focused on the Rival Presence and Lithophage Outbreak warnings, I think it also applies to the Elite Threat warning from U34. I'll come back to this point later in the post, but I want to highlight that what makes these warnings fun to play is a combination of knowledge and agency. By knowing that you're about to face a different type of threat than normal before you launch the mission, you're able to change your build accordingly.

Provided lots of free content with no FOMO

I would be remiss not to point out the exorbitant quantity of cosmetics that comes with each Season. Not only are there tons of cosmetics unlocked just by leveling up the free Season Pass, but there are also cosmetic trees that get unlocked by spending Scrip. And the best part is, even if you don't complete the Season Pass in time, the content gets distributed into the Cargo Crates, Lost Equipment, and other places to acquire. By removing the "limited time only" constraint of those cosmetics, it doesn't force players to grind missions if they don't want to. There's no "fear of missing out", aka FOMO.

What they did poorly

After a season's theme finishes, its content feels "out of place"

When the Rival Tech seasons ended and the theme switched to Rockpox, keeping the Rival Tech content was at odds with the narrative of "the rivals have been defeated" at the end of S02. If Rival Tech was pushed off of Hoxxes IV, why is there a Nemesis lurking near these Lithophage Spikes? Similarly, with S04 claiming that the dwarves have pushed Rockpox back enough to effectively defeat it, what will happen in S05 and afterward? After the meteor is no longer in orbit of Hoxxes, will fragments still rain down randomly "for no reason"? Seeing content from previous seasons denies players the narrative closure that a season end ought to bring.

With no resolution to any threads, it becomes easy to dismiss any world-building as a passing thought. - Milligin

The random nature of extra events can undermine the game's cohesiveness

When you launch a new mission, there are a lot of RNG rolls to determine which content you'll get: minibosses (BET-C, Crassus, Korlok, Nemesis), Machine Events, cosmetic events (Cargo Crate, Lost Helmet), and Seasonal Events all have a separate chance to occur. Because there's such a large pool of random content to encounter, it can start to make each mission feel cramped with lots of things to do beyond the objectives. Not only that, but because these random events can pull from any time period in the game's history, it becomes really glaring when they don't fit together conceptually. This is most noticeable when content from previous Seasons appears alongside content from the current Season. By allowing RNG to dictate which events happen in a mission, it can feel like there isn't any "direction" that the game is taking, which is antithetical to the narrative nature of a Season.

The Season patches are perceived to be smaller, less frequent, and less polished

The normal expectation of game development is that fast changes are small and unpolished, but large or polished changes take more time. For S02-S04, it seemed like the amount of new content and new gameplay was not proportional to how much time passed between seasons.

The Seasonal Events are cool at first, but through repitition become a chore

By making the Seasonal Events spawn so frequently (by comparison to minibosses or Machine Events), as well as requiring to complete them numerous times to complete the Season Pass, it rapidly burns up the novelty of the new content. The first few times getting a big Meteor to fall into the mission were cool, but having to do it dozens of times for the sake of getting the Plague Hearts soon turned it into a source of "well, I guess the next 5 minutes are gonna be spent repairing the rock crackers... again." This effect becomes amplified when the Season's theme gets extended, like Rival Tech in S01-02 and Rockpox in S03-04.

DRG's Seasons last too long to be called "seasonal content"

This is a bit of a meta point, but a few of the responses indicated that other games' seasons lasted a few weeks to three months. By taking 6 months between seasons (and an even longer wait for S05), it makes them feel like normal updates instead of actual seasonal content.

Seasonal enemies have design & balance issues

The enemies introduced are more dangerous or require more time and effort to circumvent than comparative counterparts. Is the purpose of this to make new content stand out from old, or is it because there is a need to continue to make the experience more challenging to keep a players attention? If either of these questions are answered with a yes from a design standpoint, then there is a disconnect with the audience. - Milligin

This is probably the part that I want to talk about the most, but it might need to be expanded upon in a stand-alone post. This entry is already getting really long, and I'm genuinely worried it won't all fit in one post. The balance of the seasonal content was probably about half of what people were saying S01-04 did poorly. For the sake of brevity, I'll just list the bullet points of this feedback:

  • By making the enemies "bullet sponges with an Achilles' heel", it made the content unfun to interact with. During S01-02, the perception was that Rival Tech enemies could only be effectively dealt with via Fire builds. Even now, after their changes, unless you're bringing an element that they're weak to or some high Weakpoint damage, they can still feel laborious to bring down. Similarly, for Rockpox enemies taking 20% damage but having weakpoint boils that need to be popped, if you were using a weapon that couldn't score hits on those boils then the Rockpox enemies become a large ammo sink. I think that GSG's intent was to have the playerbase use builds that specifically exploit the seasonal enemies' weakness, but the end result felt more like being punished if you were caught unprepared by it (such as on a Deep Dive stage).
  • The mechanics used by the seasonal enemies had very little counterplay for the players. Specifically called out were things like Nemesis' undodgeable grab attack, Corrupter's damaging trails being active before the fight started, and the way that the Rockpox status effect on dwarves built up and effectively "stunned" the player at the worst possible moments (when fighting Rockpox enemy waves). Additionally, several enemy types are resistant or immune to players' crowd control effects such as slows, fear, or stuns.
  • The big enemies have low interactivity with the players. Specifically called out was the Caretaker being a "non-interactive, rotating damage sponge", and the Corrupter "barely has any attacks and it either runs away or sits there while you foam it and die." - [NULL]

Seasonal content was imbalanced until after the theme has ended

For both Rival Tech in S01-02 and Rockpox in S03-04, the original versions of the seasonal content were poorly balanced, had a lot of feast-or-famine, and were unfun to fight during their active seasons. Then, after their two seasons were over, a balance patch came through and vastly improved their interactivity and fun level. It was a little frustrating to see that the positive changes were possible, but the community had to endure a year of the imbalanced versions before the changes were made, and only when it was no longer the primary theme.

Actionable Suggestions for Future Seasons

So, here we are in the hiatus between the end of S04 and the start of S05. Presumably, soon we'll start to see teasers about the upcoming Season 05, and its tie-ins to GSG's new game Rogue Core. As far as I'm aware, GSG still intends to keep using the seasonal model for DRG, so what can be done to make future Seasons be received better by the playerbase? From my perspective, I see some improvements that could be made on both sides -- both the playerbase as well as the developers.

For the DRG playerbase/community

Recognize how much content is already in DRG

As I spent a few hours looking back through the Update History to write the first third of this post, I had a realization. Part of why each of those earlier Updates felt bigger wasn't because they had "more content" than the Seasons, but rather because the game was smaller. Proportionally, adding Salvage Operation to the game in U14 added more "mission types" (+25%) to the game than Industrial Sabotage in S01 (+14.3%). Adding Overclocks to 16 weapons in U25 was proportionally more "new weapon options" than adding 4 new Secondary weapons in S02.

Because GSG has already spent over seven years adding content to the game, from a design perspective it's really full. Obviously there's "always something that can be added", but it would be at risk of adding something too similar to what's already in the game. Every time something new gets added, there's less room for more things later. Remember the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, and its corollary made famous by Muse: "endless growth is unsustainable."

Be kind to GSG

Over the years, I've had the privilege of talking directly with the devs; most often with Dagadegatto. During one of those conversations, he shared this with me:

Updates simply take more time then they did back in the old days. All the content we release now is created from nothing whereas previously we had a backlog of prototypes and features on the backburner that we would select for completion and release. - Dagadegatto

GSG was pleasantly surprised with how popular DRG has become, and they weren't really planning on its transition into a live service game. They've prolonged their support for the game, and continue to create new content for it each Season just for us, the players.

Speaking for myself, GSG still has my trust for S05. Even though the first attempts at Seasonal content weren't perfect, they're still my favorite game developers in the industry. That's why I took 10 hours on my day off to write up this post; because I still care about DRG and GSG, and I want them to be successful.

For Ghost Ship Games

If there was one unifying theme behind these suggestions, it would be this: prioritize players' agency when engaging with Seasonal content. Rival Tech and Rockpox enemies took away agency by "requiring" a subset of weapon builds to handle them effectively. Prospector and Corrupter took away agency by affecting the mission independently of the players' actions. The Rockpox status effect took away agency by freezing the player with no counterplay until you were already incapacitated.

For future Seasons, emphasize Quality and Polish

Given how much time passes between Season updates (6-12 months), when a new Season gets released, it should have a lot of polish on it. Even if the quantity of content stays about the same, having high-quality releases would make the long wait easier to bear. One potential way that this could be done is to have a public Experimental branch open for the 6 weeks leading up to the Season's release date, instead of 10 or fewer days. That way, more of the community could find bugs and give feedback, and the content would have time for final tweaks before releasing to the main branch.

Changes to future Seasonal Events

  • Seasonal Events should only be opt-in content, and it should not affect players that opt out. The original formula for Machine Events is a great example of how this could be done. An event that just spawns somewhere in the cave, the players need to find it and activate it, and then they have to complete some kind of challenge to get the reward. Examples of what not to repeat would be like Prospectors activating from environmental damage and spawning Rival Tech enemies in the level, or Corrupters leaving behind their damaging trail until killed. (primary credit goes to Dora)
  • Seasonal Events should have multiple difficulty tiers that can be opted into. Previous events all seem to have their difficulty set such that players of any skill can complete them and get their reward. Although it's good to focus on inclusivity of all players, it leads to a situation where players looking to be challenged by the new content are often disappointed. If the event was challenging for greybeards and modded players, then it ended up being nerfed (Data Deposit, Comms Router, and Corrupter to some degree). Perhaps a compromise would be to give players a way to choose which difficulty they want to opt into. On the terminal that players interact with to start the event, add a UI element to select the event's difficulty. It should default to easy, have an intermediate difficulty, and then the hardest setting should be "if you mess up, you could fail the mission". This way, it's no longer on GSG to set one difficulty for all players, but instead the players can both choose whether they engage with the content, and if so how hard they want it to be. I would recommend having the rewards for the seasonal event scale proportionally with the difficulty level completed.
  • Reduce how many Seasonal Events need to be completed to finish the Season Pass. I mentioned it earlier in the post, but one of the contributing factors that makes DRG's Seasons feel like they drag on for a long time is having to repeat the same events over and over, just trying to grind up to Level 100 in the Season Pass or get that last Scrip from a daily challenge. By reducing how many times you have to do an event, then it could be more rare to find, and it would "stay fun longer" for the players. This could also tie into the opt-in difficulty setting in the previous bullet point, where doing it on harder modes advances you further on the Season Pass. Because it would be less common, there would be incentive to opt in and try playing it on intermediate or hard if they feel confident in success.

Changes to future Seasonal Enemies

It's ok to design the new enemies to have a massive weakness that players can exploit, but that weakness shouldn't be the only effective way to kill the seasonal enemy (Fire to Rival Tech, Boils to Rockpox). If a player takes agency to change their build to hard-counter the seasonal enemies, then reward them by making the encounter trivial. But don't punish players that don't have the right tool by making an unfun experience vs "tanky" seasonal enemies.

Following up on the "Quality and Polish" suggestion: if there are new Seasonal enemies with new mechanics, take the time to make them fun to interact with upon release. Don't wait 12 months and then implement the changes after the season/theme is already finished.

Add a new Warning that's based off of the Season

Elite Threat, Rival Presence, and Lithophage Outbreak were some of the best-received parts of Elite enemies, Rival Tech enemies, and Rockpox enemies respectively. As mentioned previously, that's because it's something that changes up the normal gameplay, the players can know in advance what they're getting into, and they have the agency to respond by changing their loadouts at the Equipment Terminal before they launch.

Additionally, this could even be a way to keep the Seasonal content separate from each other; by preventing the Seasonal Warnings from occurring on the same Double-Warning mission. This hearkens back to the idea of preventing content from different seasons creating dissonance with each other thematically.

Create a system that manages which random Seasonal content is active

The November 2023 Maintenance Update added a toggle that can disable Rockpox content after reaching Rank 100+ in the Season Pass. Starting with that feature, combining it with players opting into Seasonal content, and remembering that multiple themes colliding with each other disrupts seasonal narratives, it leads to an inevitable suggestion: add a way for players to choose which Season's content can randomly appear in their missions. I'm imagining something like a list of checkboxes with options labeled Rival Tech, Rockpox, and the future themes as they get added. By default, it will only have the current theme enabled, but it lets players add any or all of the previous themes if they want. Then, after reaching Rank 100 on the current season pass, they would be able to uncheck the current theme and potentially play with no random Seasonal events if desired.

To me, this seems like the best compromise:

  • It keeps all of the previous Seasonal content in the game so that the effort to create it doesn't get wasted.
  • By defaulting to only the current theme's random events it reinforces the narrative direction of the season, prevents clashing concepts when content from multiple seasons collides, and limits how many "extra" random events occur in a mission.
  • It gives players total agency over what content they want to engage with. Players that want to keep interacting with previous seasons' content can enable it at any time, players can choose one particular theme if they want to curate which random events they find in the caves, and players that want to opt out of random Seasonal content will be able to do so after completing the current season pass.

I want to clarify that these checkboxes would only affect the content that has a random chance to occur, like the Prospector, Data Deposit, Comms Router, Nemesis, Rockpox Meteor, Smol Meteor Shower, Corrupter, and Rockpox swarms. They wouldn't disable things like the Industrial Sabotage mission type, the Rival Presence warning, or the Lithophage Outbreak warning. Those are examples of content that the players would know in advance they're about to encounter, so they would be able to adapt to it. Similarly, future mission types or "season warnings" wouldn't be affected by the checkboxes.

Additionally, from a narrative perspective, it would make sense that all of the Caretakers and Rival Presence warnings would remain, as those are entrenched bastions of the Rival Tech. Similarly when S05 starts, it would make sense that there are some lingering infections of Lithophage Outbreak warnings. But because the driving force behind that content has been defeated in previous seasons, it makes sense that their presence would be reduced down to just their "last strongholds" instead of randomly appearing throughout the whole moon.

Change the approach of how cosmetics are being created/distributed

This idea was originally suggested by AxisKronos. Fundamentally, the Seasons are creating such a large quantity of cosmetics that it's becoming a problem for new players who want to collect all of the Cargo Crate, Lost Helmet, and Cosmetic Core rewards. After nearly 6 years of constantly adding new cosmetics with most of the major patches, there's a massive backlog. If you already have most of it, then it's possible to keep up with each Season's release, but anyone who's starting fresh can't get them all in a reasonable amount of time. By increasing how quickly new players can unlock these cosmetics, it would hopefully prolong their engagement with the game because the completionist goal is actually achievable. Also, it's just a good feeling to get small rewards more frequently.

There are a few potential ways to address this issue:

  • Add a new system to acquire cosmetics, giving new players another way to acquire them. This could be as simple as adding a third type of random cosmetic drop in the caves like Cargo Crate or Lost Helmet, to increase the rate at which the existing content can be acquired.
  • For things like beards, mustaches, and headware (cosmetics that all classes can use), instead of only unlocking each cosmetic one class at a time, change it to award it for all classes at once. This would effectively reduce a large chunk of the backlog cosmetics by a factor of 4.
  • Reduce the quantity of cosmetics being produced each Season, and instead focus on quality. It's a lot easier to get excited for crazy new headwar like the snowglobe or armor sets than for "beard number N+1". Potentially, you might even go as far as creating sets of cosmetics with quality rivaling the paid DLC packs, but delivered via Season progression instead?

Players want evergreen content, because it will outlast the Season

Over two-thirds of the suggestions of "how to make S05+ excel" were variants of evergreen content. Arranged in order of how frequently they were suggested, here are some categories of what people are keen to see:

  • New mission type that isn't specific to the season, with both short and long variants. Or perhaps even a new game mode entirely; something to add more gameplay.
  • New enemy types that aren't specific to the season, like the Stingtail or Septic Spreader.
  • More biomes, or more premade cave tiles to add variety to procedural generation.
  • New weapons, new Overclocks, and/or more balance changes to existing weapons. By making more of the existing content competitive, it gives players more to do without adding more content.
  • New Warnings or Anomalies that alter the gameplay of existing missions (potentially in addition to the "Seasonal Warning" mentioned above)
  • Add new systems to the game, similar to what Matrix Cores/Machine Events/Deep Dives were. In addition to the seasonal content manager and cosmetic distribution systems already detailed above, here were some of the other ideas pitched:
    • A system to customize your cosmetics even further; perhaps something like choosing colors for a weapon Paintjob from a palette wheel?
    • A system to "choose your adventure", where you can choose the biome, mission type, warnings, minibosses, and events. Some way to customize or increase difficulty without the use of mods.
    • Any kind of system that provides a "resource sink" for greybeards. Perhaps this could be integrated into one or more of the previous suggestions as a way to pay in-game resources to use another new system.


So, those are some thoughts on DRG's history of updates, how its Seasons have been handled in the past, and some ideas about Seasons could be improved in the future. Thank you for reading all the way to the bottom; I know this one was really long! Hopefully it was worth your time, and it gave you some things to think about. If you want to get in contact with me regarding this, feel free to reach out in the DRG Community Tools Discord server.

Rock and Stone; -MeatShield