Risk of Rain 2 released its first main content update – Scorched Acres – 2 weeks ago and we’ve played it fairly exhaustively since then. The game got 1 new unlockable character, 9 new items, a new stage and respective boss as well as a whole load of balance changes.
New Risk Of Rain 2 Survivor REX
The newest addition to the Risk of Rain 2 roster, REX, is a plant infected robot with a similar model to MUL-T. REX utilises both his robotic abilities as well as his parasitic abilities to deal damage and steal his enemies’ life force. He is the first character in the game to use his own health to deal damage.
REX is unlocked by getting the “Power Plant” achievement which is completed by taking the Fuel Array equipment out of the back of your drop pod and giving it to REX’s unpowered body in the Abyssal Depths stage. Be warned though, if you go below 50% health at any point with the Fuel Array equipped, you will explode and the run will be over.
REX’s passive “Natural Toxins” makes his primary fire and utility abilities apply a debuff to enemies called “Weakness”, decreasing their movement speed, armour and damage.
REX’s primary fire “DIRECTIVE: Inject” fires out a burst of 3 syringes that each deal 80% damage, the last shot fired heals for 30% of the damage dealt and applies weakness.
“Seed Barrage” is his secondary fire. REX uses 15% of his current health (not max, current) to shoot out a mortar that deals 450% damage. This is a really special ability as, unlike the description, the mortar fired can’t prematurely hit walls or ceilings, it’s a targeted explosion as compared to a mortar. Also, it is impossible for REX to kill himself with any of his abilities that damage him, but they can get him down to 1 health.
REX’s utility skill “DIRECTIVE: Disperse” is his primary movement skill where he sends out a pulsewave in any direction that sends him backwards and launches his enemies forwards, this ability also inflicts “Weakness”.
“Tangling Growth” is his ultimate ability. REX shoots out a flower that sends out roots to pull enemies into it and holding them in place, dealing 200% damage and healing on every enemy hit. This ability leeches 25% of REX’s current health on use.
Overall, REX’s main tools are his secondary fire and ultimate as they deal incredible damage for a small price. When playing a run, there are a few items that greatly benefit REX’s playstyle such as the new Legendary item “Aegis” which allows REX to overheal past his max health and “N’kuhana’s Opinion” which stores healing as energy that is then fired out as exploding skulls.
There are also a few items that will absolutely kill a run as REX that should be avoided at all costs, these being any item that gives shields ie. Personal Shield Generator, Wake of Vultures and Transcendence as shields cannot be healed back and must regenerate over time. Shields also count as part of max health as opposed to the new barrier mechanic which just overheals past max.
Scorched Acres Balance Changes
Along with REX, the new update gave us a whole load of new mechanics and enemy types, the first being the new Elite type, Malachite. Malachite elites only appear in late game, around Stage 8, they host a whole new range of abilities to kill your run, the main one being disabling healing for 8 seconds on hit.
Just like the other 3 Elite types, bosses can be Malachite enhanced as well, the scariest part about this new Elite type is actually the weaker, faster enemies that, when Malachite, deal huge amounts of damage.
Along with the introduction of Malachite, a load of balance changes occurred that resulted in some serious power shifts in survivors and their builds.
The most notable change was the fix of on-hit proc items like Sticky Bombs dealing upwards of 4x the damage they were supposed to when being procc’ed on a critical strike.
To compensate for this loss of DPS, on-hit items now deal damage scaled off of Total Damage, instead of an apparently complex additive formula. Hopoo have stated that this is pretty much a buff or neutral change to items and survivors, yet characters that deal slower, harder-hitting damage such as Artificer will greatly benefit from these changes.
Speaking of everyone’s favourite mage, Artificer got a new passive, ENV-Suit, this allows her to glide slowly to the ground indefinitely whilst holding jump. She also got some new bloom affects for her flamethrowers and a new crosshair.
As an Artificer main, I’m absolutely loving the new passive, as well as the changes to on-hits that make her Nova Bomb even more powerful. Large parts of the community commonly regard to Artificer as the worst survivor in the game due to her low mobility and health, but now I feel that she’s on par with other survivors’ skill ceilings.
Mercenary fans will also be happy that his Ultimate now has proper invincibility whilst entering and leaving his attacking state.
Engineer’s turrets got hit with a base damage nerf of 19-16, MUL-T now drops from orbit in a new unique pod, Huntress’s Arrow Rain got a few changes on its shape and speed.
Scorched Acres Nerfs And Buffs
A fair amount of items got hit by buffs and nerfs, along with a Frost Relic rework:
- Frost Relic’s size grows with each kill, up to a limit that is increased by stacking, along with some damage scaling increases.
- Ceremonial Daggers no longer gives more daggers on stack, but damage now increases by 150% per stack.
- Monster Tooth got a tiny buff from 4 to 6 health on pickup but it’s still really not good.
- AP Rounds used to give the player 20% (+10% per stack) damage to bosses and now it gives 20% (+20%).
- Chronobauble’s slow effect now lasts for 2 seconds per stack.
- Sticky Bomb’s damage no longer increases on stack, but now has a 5% (+2.5% per stack) chance to proc.
- Gesture of The Drowned’s scaling has been reduced down to 50% (+15% per stack).
New Features In Risk Of Rain 2
The Scorched Acres update also brought along 9 new items/equipment.
- Topaz Brooch
- Old Guillotine
- Halcyon Seed
- Little Disciple
- Eccentric Vase
- Fuel Array
- Spinel Tonic
You can find these new items inside the 3 brand new chests! There are 3 new chest types that can be found on every stage, they cost slightly more than a regular chest and feature specific categories of items so players can choose more focused items. The new chest types are Healing, Utility and Damage. The names are pretty self-explanatory, the healing chest drops healing items like Cautious Slug, the damage chest drops DPS items like Soldier’s Syringe and the utility chest drops movement or ability based items like Paul’s Goat Hoof and Fuel Cells.
Scorched Acres New Area
A new stage “Scorched Acres” now can appear in rotation as the 3rd stage instead of “Rallypoint Delta”. It is a stage set in a similar environment to “Wetland Aspect”, except it features a beautiful orange background and overall glow to the stage, fights take place on a collection of floating stone structures with jump pads in between.
This stage also includes the new enemies Clay Templar and the Grovetender boss. Clay Templars are deadly if you don’t know what to expect, they use a minigun that has some really high knockback and damage but have a long windup time and can easily be dodged if you can pay attention to their startup.
The Grovetender is a new boss that summons explosive wisps to blow you up, as well as a hook shotgun spread that does some crazy damage and brings the player into melee range.
The Grovetender has a chance to drop the Little Disciple item if killed when it’s the teleporter boss.
Fresh and Interesting RoR2 Content
Overall, Scorched Acres seems like a great expansion for a great game, the new items and balance changes have made playing through runs a new and fresh experience. They have also created opportunities for new endgame builds and vast new playstyles, some of which have emerged in the 2 weeks of playtime we’ve had.