New and better tracks have regularly been replacing old ones. There have been balance changes to have a more consistent difficulty level. But it fundamentally stayed the same.
In the next version, the current overworld will remain. Bringing a fully new one, up to par in quality with the latest tracks and making it easier to extend, is a huge undertaking. It will happen, but later.
There are, however, several exciting changes !
The most important one, long clamored for, is the introduction of SuperTux challenges.
Once you've unlocked the SuperTux difficulty, you will have access to an additional difficulty level for challenges.
Previously, the SuperTux difficulty was unlocked by finishing the story mode, no matter the difficulty you played at.
Now, the main way is to get a good number of gold and silver cups to have enough points to unlock it.
With stronger AIs, and more challenging time requirements, the SuperTux challenges will put your driving skills to the test.
Challenges in other difficulties mostly drop time requirements : you need to beat the AIs instead. The main exception are the challenges based on time-trial.
Another major change is an increase across the board of the number of AI karts to race against in challenges. In SuperTuxKart 0.9.3, races mostly had a total of 3 to 5 karts, including yours.
Now, and with some exceptions like the final race, the challenges will put you in 4 to 10 karts races. The number of opponents increases from the early challenges to those before the final confrontation with Nolok, ranging from 4 to 7 in Novice difficulty to 7 to 10 in SuperTux difficulty.
There are many other changes :
- The GP challenges give three times as many points as single race challenges, instead of the same amount in 0.9.3.
- The follow-the-leader challenge has been removed. It was very random, and didn't allow the player to make a difference by driving better as the speed of the leader was the limiting factor. FTL has been improved for the next version, but not enough yet.
- Some more tracks are unlocked from the beginning of the game. But there are more karts to unlock : some of them can be obtained by completing a specific challenge, some others by attaining a total of points. One of them requires completing some SuperTux challenges.
- The story mode now features a ghost replay challenge, where you're tasked to beat the time of a pre-recorded replay. The higher difficulties one can help you to learn how to drive better by showing you trajectories and how to make good use of skidding and nitro.
- The chest unlock cutscene has been improved : now, it will show you karts you unlocked, and elements are better centered.
- The tracks in GPs have been revised, in order to have easier tracks in earlier GPs and harder tracks in later ones. The last GP do not include Fort Magma anymore, fixing two issues which could occur : the last GP having only 4 races, or the possibility to race in Fort Magma before the final challenge. Instead, Candela City, which didn't appear in any GP in 0.9.3, is now featured in one.
- In higher difficulty GP challenges, finishing 2nd or 3rd will award a cup of an easier difficulty. For example, being 2nd in an expert GP challenge will give a silver cup, while being 1st still gives a gold cup.
- The possibility to access the final challenge earlier than intended ("gate skip") has been patched.
- The nitro challenges now use the time-trial mode as a base, giving zippers at the start rather than mostly useless random items in the gift boxes.
- Bugs which could cause the game to return to the single player screen after the end of a challenge race have been fixed.