Beneath the Nexus: Primary Weapon Designs

Before we get started with this week’s devlog, let’s pay a brief tribute: at the time of writing (although perhaps not at the time of publication), exactly two years ago today, Revenge of the Fallen vanished. Ever since, we’ve been working to take the knowledge and experience we’ve obtained—as players, as modders, and now, as regular old game devs—to this new game that we call Beneath the Nexus. We’re still learning, still gaining more experience and knowledge, and still discovering how to be better, so as we continue to work on this thing in the years to come, we hope you stick with us all the same. For those of you that have stuck with us to this point, I want to convey our sincerest thanks. Game development is hard, and your support is what enables us to move forward.

Now that we’ve had a little nostalgia trip, let’s take a look at the primary (heh) focus of today’s devlog: our new approach to Primary Weapon Design.

In our last devlog, we talked about our emphasis on item swapouts as a core gameplay mechanic. We said that we’re hoping to give each equippable item more identity, drawing inspiration from games like Enter the Gungeon. We want the rarest loot to be incredibly powerful, but situationally, encouraging players to rapidly swap through their arsenal of items to find the best tool for the job. But what does this actually look like?


The example above is an early testing version of Whistling Artillery. We use M1 to mark several strike areas, then target one of the strike areas with M2 to detonate it. Nearby strike areas are also detonated, allowing for some pretty bonkers chaining.

bigger boom.

You can leave traps around the world, swap to another weapon, and when an enemy is in the perfect position, swap back to detonate.


Since Whistling Artillery is a primary weapon, it’s affected by things like Dexterity and the Frenzy status effect. With the right build, you can go pretty nuts. Check out how many strike zones I can create just by popping my quiver.

above: using frenzy to mark strike zones significantly faster

Admittedly, this weapon might not seem as strong as some of the other primaries that you might have seen during Closed Testing. This is deliberate! Collectively, primaries are going to be weaker than they were in legacy + testing, but they’ll have specific situations where they’re significantly stronger than anything that existed before. Whistling Artillery, for example (the item demo’ed in this post), won’t be too useful against monsters that move unpredictably, but it’s great in tight spaces, and crazy good against anything stationary.

In legacy, all of a class’s tiered items were functionally identical—the only changes from tier to tier were in stats. This won’t be the case in Beneath the Nexus, and it’s the reason that our Basic-ranked items don’t even have a numerical tier. Once the game is released, you should instead expect to see most items have specific use-cases and distinct identities.

We’ve got a lot of other stuff cooking, but we’re not quite ready to show it just yet. In the next few weeks, we’re eager to showcase some fights from a new Hard-rank dungeon. I know that the silence is deafening, but there’s just so much to do! Try to stay cool while you wait.

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