The probe is a great example of changing a core system to improve gameplay. When you watch the dev team explore one of the more dangerous planets, they use the probe launcher extensively as a scouting tool. Our players, however, used the probe far less often. Why?
Well for starters, there was no tutorial section in the old village to demonstrate how and why to use the probe. With our newly designed village, there's a practice probe launcher to launch into a crater so players can best understand how to use the tool. (Plus a friendly Hearthian miner to give you a few tips). This structured playspace lets you try out different ways of launching the probe to discover areas both near and far. So far, we're excited by the results!
While the tutorial area will go a long way to showing players why the probe is useful, we also wanted to add functionality to make players want to use it even more. Previously the probe would display a static image once it attached to surface, but now the player can rotate the camera view 360 degrees. So where the main use of a probe was the send it soaring and watching its path, now it has an additional functionality of tossing it into recessed spaces to scout ahead more easily. The range of the tool has greatly increased, and we look forward to playtesting it with a larger crowd at the Day of the Devs!
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