Big changes are on the way to ghost hunting sim, Phasmophobia, including a full progression wipe in order to usher in a new levelling system.
In a Steam update earlier this week, Kinetic Games outlined what was ahead for intrepid ghosthunters when V8.1 “and onwards” roll out later this year, including new difficulties, challenge mode, and a shop update.
Noting that any and all information remains a work in progress and is subject to change at any time, Kinetic confirmed that “progress part 1; V9.0” will be the next “major” update, coming “shortly” after v.8.1 rolls out.
Acknowledging that the team has seen “a lot of players’ concerns about why we’re doing a wipe and what will happen to their current progression”, Kinetic said “the wipe is needed to make way for the new levelling system, including prestiges, and will fundamentally change how you progress through the game”.
“You’ll unlock equipment and upgrades in a specific order, and that needs to work from the start. Sadly we cannot translate the new system to the current one, so a reset is the only way to go!” the update explains.
The thought of going back to level 1 is hard enough for me, and I’m only level 400 or something, so I can only imagine how daunting this is for players who have invested thousands of hours. However, the team says that “your current level will be saved and in the future, we will give you a unique badge [with different colours and materials] for your player character to show off how far you made it pre-wipe”.
8.1 will also introduce the “much-needed custom difficulty values overhaul”. Reducing the maximum reward multiplayer down from 24 to 15 – yes, this includes the apocalypse challenge – will make “custom games much closer in rewards to our default difficulty counterparts” resulting in “fairer rewards”.
We’ll also get the new “insanity” difficulty level, too. Like Nightmare mode, there’ll be no set-up time, almost no hiding places and the fuse box starts off, but it’ll also have no cursed possessions, and ghosts will now hide two types of evidence instead of Nightmare’s one. You’ll get a six-times multiplier for your efforts, though.
Challenge modes are on their way, too. Described as rotational, you’ll get a different challenge presented in this difficulty slot offering unique custom modes made by the team that can be played at any location. Complete it three times in the specified location, however, and you’ll get “a large chunk of money and experience”, but – best for all – there’s no risk, as equipment is provided for free, so you don’t risk losing your gear if you’re hunted and killed.
Finally, the shop update. This includes faster loadouts and the ability to see what equipment’s ready to go in the van without exiting the shop. There’ll also be a third loadout slot called “all equipment”, which should speed things up.
Towards the end of last year, the team revised its early access roadmap for 2023 and beyond to “more accurately represent what we achieved this year, and what we plan to do moving forwards” following a longer-than-expected development period for Phasmophobia’s VR rework, which eventually arrived in April.