Spelunky 2 is no stroll through the park. In my review, I pointed out how even the early levels filled with enemies like bats, snakes, and spiders also toss in a few new monsters that make the sequel feel much harder than its predecessor. Now, creator Derek Yu says he's working on changes that may make the beginning of each run a bit less treacherous.
In an update to Spelunky 2's Steam page, Yu promises that changes to the first few levels will "arrive in a patch some time soon." In particular, Yu and developers BlitWorks are focusing on three levels: 1-1 and 1-2 are being tested for "some changes to the spawn rates of enemies and traps" while 1-4 will receive some other tweaks to "make it more interesting."
Just a few days ago, Yu made a joke on Twitter about rebalancing the first area by posting an absolute nightmare of a screenshot (seen as this piece's header image) filled with moles, horned toads, and arrow traps. As absurd as it looks, it does get at the heart of the issue lots of people are having with the first area: those enemies and traps can do a lot of damage to the player very quickly, and Spelunky 2's procedurally generated levels will quite happily toss a few of each at the player all at once. If it's not enough to kill you, getting hit hard that early may be enough to make you want to restart your run anyway.
Of course, Yu says that Spelunky 2 is still "designed to have some sharp edges in it," so don't expect the platformer roguelike to become a breeze post-patch. Hopefully, the changes will make the first couple levels a tad easier while shaking things up for 1-4, which currently has a pretty static layout to accommodate a miniboss.
When Spelunky 2 launched for PC a couple weeks ago, it did so without support for online multiplayer. That's still on the way, Yu says, but he's not yet ready to give a firm date on when to expect it—there are still performance issues to iron out and deploying more servers should help improve the stability of the rollback netcode. When Spelunky 2 does gain online multiplayer on PC, it'll also get cross-play with the PS4 release.