Space Clouds

Dev Blog – New Modification System in Progress

Space Clouds

blog_mod

Introduction

Greetings! I’m excited to announce a new project that has recently cleared the earliest stages of development (in other words, the devs have finally stopped arguing over all the little details). The main goal of the project is to make the item modification system more accessible to new players, while also giving endgame players greater ability to fine tune their setups.  While we’re at it, we’re also trying to make modifications more exciting.  As with any revamp of existing content, there is always the danger of throwing off the balance of the game. The purpose of this post is to share our plans with you at the earliest possible occasion; we’ll listen to your feedback and take our time with the next development stage in order to avoid any unintended nerfs. One other note: while this project is a whole dev team effort, enkelin is taking point on it so any feedback should be directed to him.

Discussion of Design Philosophy

Making Modifications More Rewarding

People play video games because they are rewarding.  One of the great UI improvements of the past few years was the Ship Window revamp, in which you can view all your exact stats.  This gave players a concrete way to measure the improvement of each new item they obtained, and has led to an improved sense of reward.  But while you may feel rewarded when your DPS goes up by 1000, this is not the most powerful kind of reward a game can offer.  What we are going for is a game experience where you KNOW you’re better even before checking the Ship Window. That’s a deeper level of satisfaction compared to unemotionally comparing two numbers after the fight.

The problem with the current modification system is that most mods only provide a small increase in stats, and the total effect is only noticeable because you have so many modified items.  We are making mods feel more rewarding by introducing new, powerful modifications on a limited number of gear types.  There’s a weapon mod that splits every shot into two, an energy mod that redirects some damage taken to your energy bank, and a radar mod that boosts your hostility by broadcasting rude messages to all your enemies.  The end result is that your gameplay will be noticeably altered (and improved) when you obtain one of these new modifications.

Stat Stick Discussion

stat_sticks

With the addition of these new, extremely powerful modifications, we are going to be toning down another aspect of your setups in compensation.  Part of the reason for this is that we would have to rebalance all existing dungeon content if we allowed everyone to get way stronger than before, but there’s a more fundamental reason too.  The nerf will target so-called “stat sticks,” i.e. any item that is equipped primarily for a stat bonus it grants, and is rarely or never used for its primary purpose.  In Star Sonata, examples of stat sticks include Mzungu Cloak, Point Defense Zeta, and high-tech tractor beams.  In many cases, well-modded items of these types are carried but never activated/used.  In a game like Star Sonata, stat sticks may make up over half of a player’s inventory.  This is sometimes taken to be a sign of customizability of setup, but it is actually the opposite, as I explain below.

One of the principal facets of game design is to give players interesting choices. Should your Shield Monkey sacrifice 500 shield regen for 2000 more HPS?  Should your Speed Demon sacrifice 100 speed for extra range?  These are examples of choices where there’s no clear answer, and that’s the kind of decision that makes for an interesting game.  But when an item’s value is exclusively based on its modifications, there’s no choice left for the player.  As a Berserker, you want to fill your hull with Evil-modified gear, and if you get the chance you won’t mind a few Radioactive or Super Intelligent mods on top of that.  The actual nature of the gear has no bearing on the decision, so long as it’s reasonably small.  In pushing back against the proliferation of stat sticks, the dev team is shifting the game in a direction that will give players much more interesting choices, which is what customizability is really about.  For specifics, see the Grand Table O’ Nerfs below.

Rundown of Changes

What is staying the same?

  • Any existing modified items will retain their modifications.

  • The stats of most current modifications will remain unchanged (see Grand Table O’ Nerfs for details)

  • Bindomite acts the way it always did on non-core types of gear (core types are Weapon, Shield, Energy, Engine, Radar, and Cloak).

What is changing?

  • Bindomite can now also be used to add modifications to neurobound, unmodified gear.

  • When using Bindomite on a core gear type (Weapon, Shield, Energy, Engine, Radar, Cloak), you will receive one new Primary modification in addition to a random number of Secondary modifications.

  • You may use Bindomite to add a Primary modification to a core item that gained modifications before this change. However, certain legacy modifications are being deprecated and will be removed in the process.  The client will warn you if any modifications would be removed in this way.  See Grand Table O’ Nerfs for a list of the deprecated modifications.

  • Primary modifications have a range of possible stats. For example, your weapon could gain x-y% AoE damage.

  • You can spend credits to repeatedly reroll your gear’s Primary modifications. Each time, you’ll be given three choices: pick one of two new Primaries or keep the one you already have.

  • Modifications that are randomly spawned on loot will only be drawn from the Secondary pool, but they won’t be overwritten when you apply Bindomite.

Grand Table O’ Nerfs

table_of_nerfs

We are aware that this project will cause a lot of concern in the community. This blog post will serve as the first step of many in ensuring that the revamp proceeds in a way that works for the players.  We are intentionally leaving all numerical values up for debate for now, which will allow us great flexibility in achieving the desired game balance.  Here are some considerations we will be looking at as the project proceeds:

The Nerf

The Reason

The Compensation

Weapon mods only work when weapon is active

See Stat Stick discussion

See next row.

The following mods will be nerfed: Super Intelligent, Evil, Radioactive, Angelic.

See Stat Stick discussion

Large amounts of DPS, Elec, and Hostility will be obtainable through powerful new Primary modifications various gear pieces.  If necessary, we will also buff Berserker Class hostility.

Transcendental and Mini mods are nerfed or reworked.

They are too strong for Secondary mods.

There is a new Primary modification available for those for whom space is at a premium. We are also considering buffing hull expanders and possibly increasing Recon Focus hull bonus.

Gyroscopic mod is nerfed.

It’s too strong for a Secondary mod.

There are new Primary mods for Engines that will make you turn on a dime, if you desire.

Resonating mod is nerfed.

It’s too strong for a Secondary mod.

There are new Primary mods that will give you plenty more Shield and/or Radar, if you desire.

The following modifications are NOT nerfed, but are no longer obtainable: Rewired, Extended, Amplified, Superconducting, Overclocked, Buffered, Dynamic, Forceful, and Scoped.

These are relatively strong modifications that don’t fit the theme of Primary mods.

Any existing gear with these modifications may be retained unchanged. However, you will overwrite these modifications if you add a new Primary mod with Bindomite.

Incoming Weapon Balance changes

Star Sonata is a game that has changed much over the past 12 years, including tons and tons of new content, both small and large in scope, and more are yet to come. But to avoid going off on tangents as I enjoy doing, let me skip straight to the actual topic of this blog post:

All content, new and old, relies on our balance sheets to be ‘balanced’. However, as the game evolves, the sheets need to be adjusted to better reflect how the perception of ‘balance’ has shifted. Sometimes, doing exactly that goes too far, while other times necessary changes are not done at all. Both extremes are unhealthy, as new additions to the game continue along the same flawed principles.

A big motivator of all these changes is to make less used weapon types viable. You should be able to pick a weapon that feels fun to use without sacrificing effectiveness. Currently, despite their shortcomings, the best weapons are so powerful that they are always worth using.

While it would be simple to give all underused weapons a buff, this is not practical. Many of these underused weapons, specifically Pulse Guns and Magcannons, are commonly used by AI. This is not the case for many of the weapons that are too powerful, which means that changing them would affect the game’s overall balance the least.

Changes to the most commonly used weapons will, of course, affect the relative difficulty of many AI. We are aware of that and have already adjusted a lot of them, often going as far as halving their effective shields.

In fact, a recent addition allows us to adjust the strength of individual AI much, much more easily, so keep that feedback coming and we’ll act on it!

Pulse Guns

Pulse Guns are the quintessential weapons of Star Sonata, but over time and over tech, they become lackluster compared to the alternatives.

There are two major issues:

  • Weapons have 4 parameters that determine their power: Acquisition Difficulty, Cost, Size and Weight. Size is, by far, the most impactful modifier of these 4.

Pulse Guns however get very, very big.

  • Due to the lackluster nature of most Pulse Guns, there haven’t been many new ones for quite some time.

The changes:

All Pulse Guns are getting their size effectively halved.

Looking forward:

Pulse Guns are meant to be the default weapon. Reasonable DPS, reasonable DPE, reasonable skill requirement. As it stands, they are not.

The change to their size will hopefully make them more usable, but it is likely that more work is required. Ideas include increased projectile speed, or smart tracking (i.e. the projectiles are fired towards where a target is going, rather than straight).

The Thorax Conundrum

The ‘Thorax’ type weapons have been part of the game since the very beginning. Their principle is simple: High damage and high efficiency, in exchange for being very difficult to hit with.

Sometime before 2013, Torpedo (and therefore Thorax) behavior was changed:

  • Their projectiles were made to turn towards their target while they were spinning up.

  • Rather than only tracking near the end of their lifespan, they now only tracked near the start of their lifespan

Jumping forward, there are now additional factors to be considered:

  • With higher techs come stronger augs. Range bonuses further increase the distance during which Thoraxes have tracking

  • Sniper projectile speed bonuses had the unintended side effect of further increasing the effective tracking of Thoraxes

All these little changes and synergies combined, a Thorax effectively became a “fire and forget” weapon. Their high damage and efficiency was no longer offset by being difficult to use.

And then, there’s also the fact that Thoraxes have not used a balance sheet since 2013. That issue is being rectified as well.

The changes:

Torpedo projectiles (and therefore Thoraxes) will no longer turn towards their targets during their spinning-up phase.

Torpedo projectiles will no longer get increased tracking distance from range bonuses. To compensate, their base tracking range was quadrupled.

There will also be some minor changes to their stats.

 Looking forward:

While the changes to the mechanics of how Torpedoes work are significant, they should still be very effective low to medium range weapons in controlled environments (i.e. against stationary, large or controlled targets), but far harder to hit with at longer ranges.

Due to the unintended effects of Sniper projectile speed bonuses also increasing the effective tracking of thoraxes, Thoraxes will not currently get any projectile speed bonuses while we work on a satisfying solution.

All Thoraxes are effectively Torpedoes, but the actual Torpedoes have not been addressed. Many of them are lackluster. In fact, the AI base torpedoes (Torpedo, Torpedo I, Torpedo II) are objectively the worst weapons in the game!

As mentioned before, the balance sheet for Torpedoes and Thoraxes needs work, which will be my (s_m_w) next priority. Torpedoes are fun to use, but there are only a select few that are worth using. (And fun fact: This is only because they completely circumvented the OLD balance sheets!)

 

Bursts are Magcannons

When Timotheus the Red was introduced, among his drops was the ‘De-Focused Plasma Particle Distributor’, a Sebastopol (or incinerator, aka ‘RNF Burst’) with slightly less power than a normal Sebastopol, yet a significant amount of tracking.

Initially, the weapon was not considered to be very good. Its range was increased significantly and with that change an entire new weapon archetype was created: The Burst.

The concept was continued at tech 22 with the Hazardous Oomping Burst and various other types.

There were, however, two problems:

  • The Sebastopol balance sheet works under the assumption that Sebastopols have NO tracking and SHORT range.

  • All Sebastopols receive a +15% DPS bonus PER TECH, for a total of +330% DPS at level 22. This means that Sebastopols were the only weapon type that had an exponential power scaling, rather than linear. (More on this in the next section)

The added range that the RNF Burst received caused the weapon to no longer fit into the Sebastopol sheet, since it no longer had any of the characteristics that Sebastopols were supposed to have.

The changes:

All Bursts have been moved into the balance sheet for Magcannons. While we have tried to preserve their position as some of the most damaging weapons in the game, we have had to make significant changes. We have attempted to keep their DPS and size as close to live stats as possible, but they will receive a significant decrease in DPE.

Looking forward:

Magcannons and Pulse Guns with self damage are a relatively new addition to the game. The self damage aspect has not been included in the balance calculations before. While it is simple to take the same calculations that we use for Sebastopols and apply them to Magcannons and Pulse Guns, the extraneous, tech-scaling DPS bonus Sebastopols receive makes it hard to know whether that formula is reasonable. There is still room for improvement, but it is impossible to properly judge a weapon by numbers alone. Time will have to tell.

 

Sebastopols (including Incinerators)

Sebastopols in our balance sheets currently receive a massive bonus to their DPS scaling by tech. Since pictures say more than a thousand words, here’s what that means:

For comparison’s sake, the graph uses ‘Power’, an intuitive number to judge how ‘good’ a weapon is, calculated by multiplying DPS with DPE.

Currently, at tech 0, a Sebastopol is roughly 93% better than a Pulse Gun (due to being a more difficult to use weapon while also factoring in self damage). At tech 22, a Sebastopol is roughly 731% better than a Pulse Gun.

Sebastopols are, in fact, the ONLY weapon type that scales exponentially over tech. This is not good.

 The changes:

The Cyan line shows the new scaling of Sebastopols. The extraneous +15% DPS per Tech modifier was removed. To compensate, their base power was increased by 33%. They are intended to stay very powerful, but they were magnitudes too strong.

 Looking forward:

The changes to Sebastopols are, unfortunately, massive but these changes are necessary. As with all things however, the numbers do not tell the whole picture. Neither does a graph.

While there is no possible justification to retain a DPS modifier per tech, there are other ways to boost Sebastopols up more, without affecting the lower techs. Specifically, the percentual self damage could be increased for the higher tech weapons.

 

New Universe, New Classes

New Universe

Attention Star Sonata, on Saturday March 11 at 1:00 PM Eastern / Server time, there will be a universe reset to a 1 week temporary universe.  That means that all deployed bases and the entire universe itself will be destroyed, but after a short delay, a new universe will manifest into existence.  All of your ships and bots will transfer over into the new universe, but be aware of the last ship that you are in before the universe implodes, because that will be the ship you will be flying in the new universe, and you won’t want to dock all your ships in the wrong place just to switch out of your storage Thatch.

New Classes

At the same time as the universe reset, we will be patching in the new class system.  The new class system moves away from all class skills being regular skills that you have to train at special locations.  Instead, upon reaching certain level milestones (5, 10, 20, 40, 65, 100, 150, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 1000), you will be able to train a new skill from the class skill tree inside the character dialog. Skill Tree In addition to the new class skills which don’t cost any skill points, there are new Zen skills for each focus and class which do cost skill points and roughly equal the old skill point costs of all the previous class skills.  The overall power and stats of each class is designed to be very close to the previous classes at end-game, but much more powerful and impactful at early game.  We do plan to do a class rebalance later, after this new system is in place and everyone has had a good chance to try it and give feedback. Advanced Subskill Selection When you first log in, all your old class skills will be automatically reset, and you can choose/re-choose your new class skills from the character dialog.

Another New Universe

Because of the way a lot of the AI use existing class skills, we needed to patch in the classes at the same time as a universe reset.  But we don’t want to force people to deal with re-classing and building on the same day, so we are doing a 1-week temporary universe to try out the classes and maybe some other random stuff.  There will be a new-new universe on March 18 at the regular time. If all goes well with the classes and the new universes, we will be announcing the official Steam launch date shortly thereafter.

Weekly Dev Blog – 22th February

blog_mlg_small

Pixel

Pixel’s been busy working on a new Cleft Claw to roam around earthforce and wildspace layer. Bringing abit more hell fire to the universe.

Cleft Claw

He’s also going to start working on the base extractor changes, where only one type of each extractor can be equiped for next universe.

Hober Mallow

On test are also some changes to a variety of Pulse Guns, Magcannons and Laser Beams. Many of these weapons that had less than 1 second rate of fire now have between 1 and 1.5 second rate of fire (this is especially true of the Speed Demon locked weapons like the Hell Raiser, and other weapons that impart parasites/fires). The reasoning behind these changes was to preserve their DPS (they have the exact same DPS listed on the weapons) while enabling Speed Demons and other fast rate of firing characters to use the weapons without wasting DPS due to the rate of fire cap. It should be very hard, if not close to impossible, to hit the rate of fire cap with them now. Weapons that chain or splash, have been increased to 2-5 seconds as well. This was to make the Gunner weapons feel more thematic and heavy hitting. Let me know how these changes feel, or what effects they have on your setup.

Dark Steel

Dark Steel, mainly went over with the rest of the development team what Augmenters should be given a unequip due to changes.

This also applies to the following ships to recieve a free Augmenter reset:

  • Prawn
  • Resistance
  • Hephaestus Machine
  • Wattage
  • Delquad

Q/A

Masterful: Reset? Still in the works sadly as we’re still sorting out issues. The current goal is sometime March but don’t take this as a solid deadline.

Chrono: Are termites being more buffed again ontop? Yes next universe they’ll be unleashed into the wild to test your resolve!

Upcoming Fighter Rework

titleimage

First and foremost, I want to acknowledge that I have taken the feedback that was given by the playerbase in response to the previous Developer Blog thread. I hear you loud and clear: the removal of power from Wild Bots, along with shifting that power into an Advanced Class Subskill that would lock you out of fighters if you picked it, in exchange for the reworked fighters is unacceptable to you. Thus, I have decided to do the following: Fighters will be released into the game in their reworked state, with no adjustments to Wild Bots. At a later date, when are ready to do a class rebalance, we will revisit this topic. For now, have fun with the new fighters next patch!

TL;DR:

  • Fighters will no longer need to be bought or built. They will instead be generated by Fighter Generators.
  • Fighters will always stay out for their entire duration, following the user through warp and transwarp.
  • Fighters will come in 3 different variants: 1 slot, 1 minute lifespan. 2 slot, 2 minute lifespan. 4 slot, 3 minute lifespan. (Numbers may change.)

With that out of the way, lean back and get ready for a nice and lengthy post about fighters!

Lice Fighters Destroying Infernal Darkness AI

Problems

Fighters have been in an odd spot, both in terms of balance as well as function. They have found their niche somewhere between missiles and drones, but they were neither as cheap and expendable as missiles, nor as big of an investment as drones. Especially with the (somewhat) recent changes to drones which made them break rather than disappear when destroyed, the position of fighters needed to be re-evaluated.

At the lower levels, fighters have very low energy costs for (in some cases) a substantial amount of damage output. On the other hand at the higher levels, many fighters were mostly useless, costing very little energy while doing negligible amounts of damage.

Fighters Blowing Up A Very Strong Test Target

Goals

While missiles will remain as high damage, high DPE consumable weaponry, fighters will fill the role of doing significant amounts of damage over a longer period of time with very high DPE. The drawback of course is that the longer a fighter stays deployed and active, the more likely it is to be destroyed. In order to offset the higher chance of them being destroyed, fighters need to become easier to replace. Just like Engineers no longer need to fear for their drones as much, no Fleet Commander should have to worry about their precious fighters.

Fighters Orbiting

Solutions

Fighters will no longer need to be bought or built. They will instead be generated by Fighter Generators. These Generators will be available through the same means that Fighters were. Blueprints that built Fighters will have their costs adjusted and build Fighter Generators instead, AI stations that sold fighters will sell Fighter Generators instead, etc. Generators will be relatively large in size, however the Fighters will be size 0, bound to the ship they were generated on and unsellable. Getting rid of unwanted fighters is easy, simply right click and “Destroy”.

(This also means that to make the transition phase from the old to the new system less inconvenient, you should move all your current fighters to the ship you want to use them on! In case you find yourself with misplaced Fighters shortly after the changes hit the live server, feel free to send in a Support Ticket or contact Bobbo directly. The changes we are implementing are significant and we’d like to reduce the inconvenience caused to a minimum.)

Fighters will no longer retreat as quickly as before. They will always stay out for their entire duration and no longer waste energy by docking prematurely. In fact, Fighters will now also be able to follow their user through warps and transwarps!

Fighters currently take a variable amount of slots, but with the rebalance, there will be 3 distinct categories.

  • 1 Slot: High damage over a short amount of time, they need to be constantly redeployed in order to deal with extended fights.
  • 2 Slot: Medium damage over a medium amount of time, they stay active for longer than 1 Slot Fighters and also have some interesting effects and/or more varied damage types.
  • 4 Slot: Very High damage over a long period of time. Out of all the Fighters, they are the most energy efficient, have relatively high upfront damage and are much more durable than 1 or 2 Slot Fighters.

Small Dachshund Light Fighter Generator and Dachshund Light Fighter

In addition, fighters now have a standard flight time based on the amount of slots they take.

  • 1 Slot Fighters last 1 minute.
  • 2 Slot Fighters last 2 minutes.
  • 4 Slot Fighters last 3 minutes.

This may be subject to change in the future, but these changes are meant to put fighters in a better place relative to the other deployables a player may use. These changes are currently on the test server, and I am ironing out issues as I find them. But fear not, you will be able to enjoy your new and improved fighter swarms on the live server with the upcoming patch!

Christmas 2016

blog_xmas_small.png
Christmas is here, or near enough, with our Christmas event kicking off this Saturday. Astro-Ginch better watch out, as those pesky terrans will seek him out for his tweak generator and other goodies.

Christmas will run from the 10th December for a bit over three weeks, extended from what we said in the weekly blog to avoid ending on New Year’s Eve. The Christmas event will now end on the 2nd of January in the new year.

The event this year will feature the normal festivities, including the return of Astro-Santa, spreading his jolly cheer and giving all the (nice, and definitely not naughty) citizens of the universe their presents. Rumor has it that the Gingerbreads have formed an empire and are lurking in the depths of space.

Missions and related content can be found from the Lapland system, which’ll appear from a new wormhole in Sol when the event starts.

Astro-Santa Letter Competition

This years competition will take a bit of a change from previous years, it’ll run as normal but the letters submitted will appear in next year’s Christmas event. This year’s event will feature all the letters we’ve ever had, going back around the last 8 years. In addition, all the letters will use the egg carton system, grouped by year, to save you from some tedious clicking.

Standard rules for the competition apply:

  • You are allowed to make multiple submissions.
  • Deadline for submissions is Friday 23rd December, 00:00 EST (05:00 GMT). Submissions after this date will be ignored.
  • Submissions to be posted in the topic for this post.
  • If you want your letter to be counted as from your player name instead of your account name, include it.
    • Ideally, put your letter in a [quote][/quote] block and leave other comments outside to make it clear what you want in your letter.
  • Submissions may be excluded for reasons we see fit (such as plagiarism).

Once the deadline has elapsed, a maximum of five winners will be chosen, which’ll have their letters created for the following year. They’ll also recieve a unique permanent holoprojector, Frozen Snowflakes, and various Christmas items.

Frozen Snowflakes

A rework of the Augmenter Tweaking skill

Currently

Augmenter Tweaking (AT) gives the player 4% increased effectiveness on his augs. This means that, at the max level of 25, augs are doubled in their stats. So if an aug gives +50% shield you’ll get +100% shield from this aug with AT 25.

Okay, so what is being changed?

What we will be doing is giving all the augmenters the values that they would have if they player had AT 25. What this means is that all stats on all augs will be doubled.

The new AT will increase the effectiveness of augmenters on your ship by 0.5% per level up to maximum of level 10. Players will be able to obtain the new AT skill just like the old one: through a chain of missions in The Acropolis.

Why are we making these changes?

We’ve come to realise that lower tech players are at an incredible disadvantage until they get their AT skill up to a reasonable level (often players would have far lower AT level than they would be able to acquire), especially because the AI in the early – mid levels do have AT. Missiles and Bots have been very popular in the early game and we feel that AT is partially responsible for this. Low tech augs already have low stat values, and the lack of AT makes it even worse. With this change, players will really feel an increase in their effectiveness after equipping an augmenter when they start playing the game.

What is happening to my current Augmenter Tweaking?

  • Players with Augmenter Tweaking 0 – 4 will have their skill reset back to level 0.

  • Players with Augmenter Tweaking 5 – 9 will have their skill lowered to level 1.

  • Players with Augmenter Tweaking 10 – 14 will have their skill lowered to level 2.

  • Players with Augmenter Tweaking 15 – 19 will have their skill lowered to level 3.

  • Players with Augmenter Tweaking 20 – 24 will have their skill lowered to level 4.

  • Players with Augmenter Tweaking 25 will have their skill lowered to level 5.

This will help players get through the missions without having to do content that is far lower than their current tech level (preventing largescale grinds).

Weekly Dev Blog – 24th August + Universe Reset

unireset_sept17_2016b

Universe Reset

Ahab has contacted us recently about the Space Rats he’s been observing. The AI attack patterns have spread to them! Before he could dispose of them, the rats have coordinated an assault on the fabric of space time itself! These tears in the fabric of space time have destabilized the universe, the universe will implode on 13:00 EDT (18:00 BST, 17:00 GMT), on the 17th of September. Fortunately in the rubble of the old universe, a new one will be created! All characters, their skills, ships and bots will be transferred over, but deployed drones and userbases will be lost, as well as anything on the userbases! You’ll have to re-explore the universe to map everything out once again.

Hober Mallow

I’ve gone through and redone all tech 20+ ubers to use the daily/weekly lockout timers similar to the current system used by The Serengeti. I’ve also gone through and improved some underused and underpowered class super items, and plan to do more for the rest of them. I’ve also adjusted the difficulty of the Daily missions in Olympus, they should all be of relatively similar difficulty now. Eventually the Subspace Daily missions will work similarly to the Olympus Dailies. There’s a lot of other little things I’ve changed, but they don’t need to be talked about in the blog. Look out for the post I made on the forums in regards to a Video Trailer Contest! Go here for the details!

SunDog60

I’ve been working some more on Iq’ Bana, connecting all the wormholes. Aside from that I’ve also finished up the new Completionist Missions, they will be available at Sai’s Retreat next universe and will require you to complete most mission chains in the game (such as the Paxian exploration chain and the 4 Subspace mission chains). As a reward you’ll be given the Completionist Holoprojector by Pixel himself!

CompletionistBlue Dwarf

The Emperor notification changes are done and are coming next patch, I’ve picked up a little bit of exciting stuff for next universe and been working on the event system save with the database.

Pixel

Pixel’s added a new boss to the Twisted Zone, to a total of 3 minibosses and 3 bosses. The boss is a giant eyeball with multiple mini eyeball guards. The items it drops are radar and cloaking based, including misc. items such as lighthouses with special bonuses.

Twisted Boss 3Jey

Jey’s been trying to track down an elusive bug on the beta client where the client would flash while on low graphics. This issue has been around for a while but only happens frequently with the new compiler, as well as other bugs and crashes allowing them to be reproduced and fixed.

 

Upcoming Revisions to Industrial Commodities

Hello all, this is a quick note detailing the upcoming changes to industrial commodities (effective next universe reset).  I have gone through and reduced AI base inventory size and consumption of all tier 1-3 industrial commodities. The new consumption rates are 50/day for tier 1, 15/day for tier 2, and 5/day for tier 3.  Inventory sizes are seven times these figures, across the board.  These changes were made in order to align the consumption rates of these commodities more closely to the actual extraction rates of tier 1-3 commodities.

The basic value of Metals, Nuclear Waste, and Silicon has also been adjusted. Steel Girders now price Metals at 15 credits.  Nuclear Waste is now priced at 75 credits, and Silicon is at 25 credits.  These changes were made in order to bring the credit sourcing of the system down somewhat from this uni.

The value of Promethium and Enriched Nuclear Material has also been reduced via the pricing of Sub-Shield Buffers and Reactors.  Promethium is now worth 10,000 credits and E-Nukes are worth 2,500 credits, down from 30,000 and 20,000, respectively.  Also, AI base consumption rates for these commodities have been changed to 25,000/day for Buffers and 2,500/day for Reactors.  These changes were made in order to rein in the amount of income from these particular commodities.  Our data from the current universe has shown that people were making a lot more profit than we had wanted from the Sub-Shield line of industrial commodities, so this change should rectify that issue.

As always, the calibration of industrial commodities is subject to change, usually on a once-per-universe basis. We will continue monitoring the market and make revisions to the system as needed. We welcome your input on this process.

The Emperor contest rework

First and foremost, this idea is still in its planning stages so anything posted here may change at any given time. The purpose of this thread is to give players a chance to weigh in at an early development stage.  We welcome any questions, concerns, and suggestions.

Why are we doing this rework?

Over the past few weeks I’ve been working on a redesign for the Emperor contest. The current contest hasn’t been very fun or competitive for some time now. Long ago, the goal of every endgame team was to become Emperor of the universe. Today, the Emperor contest is a shell of its former glory. What used to be a very cool system that rallied players together to fight against the team claiming the throne has devolved into a system where players do not feel it is worth their time to even bother with it. We want to give the title of Emperor meaning again.

What exactly is changing and why?

We are planning to move Anatolia, which will be surrounded by a cluster of galaxies (more on those later) to Wild Space. This means that the galaxies will all become buildable. We made this design choice because permanent drones have become less powerful compared to player ships over the years and a small squad can take down 30 permanent Drones without too much trouble. As such, Anatolia requires a 24/7 active watch from the claiming team. While there is nothing wrong with the Emperor system being dependant on a team’s activity to some extent, the current lack of interest in defending Anatolia makes it clear that the player base would prefer a new system.

Anatolia will still be the galaxy where the Palace rests and it will be surrounded by a cluster of galaxies. We haven’t settled on a layout of the zone just yet, but you can expect something along the lines of this:

All these systems, including Anatolia itself (which is in the center), will have multiple planets of a new kind in them that doesn’t allow the construction of colonies. The planets will also have no resources other than a small amount of Nuclear Waste (which is required for the bases that will be built to stay fully operational). We’re taking these steps to ensure that players do not take these systems to make profit off of them, but only if they want to compete for the Throne.

The lore behind this area is that the war for the Throne has annihilated all surrounding star systems, leaving only ruined worlds behind.

How do you claim the Throne and how do you dethrone another team?

Anatolia and its surrounding galaxies will become buildable.  This means that becoming Emperor will be a King of the Hill contest. At the start of the universe King Midas will be the Emperor of the universe. Anatolia (and likely its surrounding galaxies to a lesser extent) will be defended by a good amount of Midas-type stations that players will have to BvB. We’re doing this to prevent players from instantly claiming Anatolia when the universe resets.

Once King Midas has been dethroned and his galaxies laid to waste, players will be able to own the Emperor zone for their team. With ownership also comes the standard rules that apply throughout Wild Space: you must own an adjacent galaxy for 24 hours before you are able to lay BvB kits in the galaxy you want to assault. The only difference is that you can only own the galaxies in this area by using outposts. The reason we don’t want them to be ownable by linking them up to a team’s HQ is simple: we don’t want a team to absorb these galaxies into their teamspace, making it more difficult for other teams to assault. The only way to dethrone a reigning team will be to blow up their palace, which they will be able to defend with their own stations.

What will the rewards for becoming Emperor be?

A team will get absolutely nothing from owning Anatolia and the palace until they build a Crown ship and manage to dock it in Sol. The rewards for becoming Emperor will be as follows:

  • Ability to create one Unclean Imperial Seal every 24 hours on the palace. (already ingame)

  • A 10% tithe to the reigning team that applies to colonies, sales to AI bases and credit scoops. (already partially ingame)

  • A team-wide aura that will give a percentage boost the reigning team’s experience gained, shield, energy, speed and possibly an increase in hull space. We are still considering whether to apply these boosts to their bases as well (we haven’t decided on any values yet).

  • The director of the team that has successfully docked the Crown in Sol will be given the opportunity to create an item of their choice (keep in mind that we do not intend to create new item types, as that would take a lot of development time). If said person would rather not design an item, they will be given a custom holo projector (which will be awesome, we promise).

Closing words

Once again I’d like to remind you all that this is in its beginning stages and nothing is set in stone. Any and every kind of feedback will be highly appreciated so feel free to comment!

Also, this rework will not go live until we are absolutely sure that BvB is stable and will cause no lag. The last thing we’d want is another Anatolia that is unkillable not because it’s so strong, but because your client crashes before you’re be able to kill anything… *cough* old Andaman Drones *cough*.