If managing an unruly colony of idiots on an alien planet filled with hostile wildlife, raiders, aliens, and robots has somehow become easy for you: good news, you can now make RimWorld more difficult. Thanks to this week's free patch, you can fiddle with over two dozen difficulty settings to create your own 'playstyle' - everything from trades prices and friendly fire to the rates of disease and nasty enemy spawns. Some of the settings can make the game easier, but mostly this has been added for serious super-survivors.
"For many years, some specific balance changes have been requested repeatedly by dedicated players, but I didn't implement them because I thought they would harm the game for more casual players," RimWorld lead Tynan Sylvester explains. "Now, we added a custom playstyle system. You can adjust a couple dozen different settings like threat scaling, colonist instakill chances, and crop yield. This means advanced players can set up the game exactly as they prefer. All the old playstyle settings are still available; I expect custom difficulties to be a feature mainly for experienced power gamers looking for something just for them."
As well as making the game more difficult, you can use these to make it a bit different. Fiddle with enough settings and it'll kinda make a different scenario. See the update 1.2 patch notes for everything you can tweak with custom playstyles.
The update also adds to the Royalty expansion. New quests can have you defending an Imperial shuttle against raiders until a rescue group arrive, or hopping in a shuttle to clear a bandit camp in a pure combat encounter, or taking in a group of refugees who might act in all sorts of ways. New spells for spacewizards are in, from psychically influencing people's emotions to casting a 'neuroquake' that drives most creatures "violently insane". Also new gear, new traits for persona weapons, new... lots of things.
Our Nate's RimWorld: Royalty review said the expansion "isn't jaw-dropping in terms of the raw bulk of features it adds to the game, what it does for the game's atmosphere – for me at least – is properly magic." Big fan of Dune-esque space dynasties and wizards, that Nate.
Here's Sylvester to explain and show more of the update, which is out now: