Summary: Everyone deserves some Arcade Mode changes!
Recommended level: N/A
About the Update
Arcade Mode used to be a hellish and monotone experience for most players - even those who usually enjoy roguelites. One might've beaten Story Mode on Hard and then struggled to make it past Pumpkin Woods in Arcade Mode.
While we do think the toughest challenges of Arcade Mode should be brutal (and Triple Catalyst runs with curses surely still are), we needed to do a better job of easing people into the pain, like frogs being boiled slowly alive. Wait, what were we talking about?
Anyways, the base difficulty of the mode has been lowered, and a lot of unfair situations mitigated! By beating the mode (currently this means beating Tai Ming), you'll unlock the higher difficulties.
As for addressing the feeling of every run being the same, we've introduced a mechanic called "Pins" that grant a plethora of modifiers to empower the player in many different ways. Play a few rounds and they'll unlock, changing the mode drastically!
More details of the changes and their reasoning is pretty well described in the Frontline post, so check that out!
So far the feedback has been largely positive, though there are some people that mourn the old version and the length of each run! We'll think about ways where players who want to might get some of that feeling back - though this would be in the form of optional modifiers, since most players seem to greatly prefer the new, shorter experience.
Note that this update does not include the Desert or Lost Ship floors! They'll arrive a few patches down the line, after we've focused on Story Mode for a while again.
Those following the blog will have seen a lot of Story Mode related graphics, and now that there's a sizable chunk of that we'll switch focus to Story Mode for a while!
For those who aren't in the loop, before we begin implementing the final dungeon we're going to plug in the holes of the world (the growable plants, inaccessible areas, unfinished quest lines, etc).