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!
- 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!
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.
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 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.
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!