Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving and PTS

Hey everyone,
In case you haven't heard, we've got some fun stuff going on for Thanksgiving right now, namely our in-game event and Turkey Piñata. More info from the website:

Prairie Turkeys are breeding like mad and have inundated the Wasteland! Help your fellow Wastelanders get a handle on the epidemic by looking for any new faces in Embry, Needle Eye, Sunshine corners, Trader’s Flat and Los Alamos. They’re working to get to the bottom of the situation, and need your help! Expect some twists and turns along the way, but you will be rewarded for your efforts!

If you are more in the mood for celebration and gifts, head to the Fallen Earth Marketplace for our Thanksgiving-only Turkey Piñata, which offers you the chance to win the exclusive and unreleased-until-now Chopper, along with a slew of other prizes. Bust open the Turkey Piñata as many times as you like (1 Piñata per purchase, no purchase limit) and keep winning!


ALSO, PTS Faction Territory Control testing round 2 starts TODAY, at 3 PM PST (23:00 GMT), and completed Monday, Nov. 28 at 12 PM PST (20:00 GMT). Patch notes can be found below, and remember to post feedback via /bug or the PTS forum.

Art:

Fixed an exploit in the wall of the southern keep in Territory Control based on PTS feedback.
Fixed the sunken door archways based on bug reports from PTS.
Fixed the destructible wall collision based on bug reports from PTS.
Added an underground bunker to central keep in Territory Control based on PTS feedback.
Added more cover objects throughout Territory Control based on PTS feedback.
Added a spark particle to overhead powerlines in Territory Control.
Smoothed out collision on ruined piles in Territory Control.
Removed ruined piles from central keep in Territory Control.

Fixed custom colors on female Dreadnought armor.

Faction Territory Control

Harvesters:

Test Harvesters have been added to the PTS. These are currently available via cheat merchants in each Faction Camp around the Territory Control Area. The final harvesters may not work the same way. The harvesters must be placed within a certain proximity of a Control Point that your Faction is in control of.

Keeps:

Per player feedback, a 15 second cooldown has been added to the Keep Teleporters.

The central keep now has a teleporter on all four sides of the keep, allowing the players who control the keep more ways to get inside.

The LifeNet Generators are now upgradeable:
(Note: These values subject to change)

Tier 0 – Broken

Tier 1 – 25x Keep LifeNet Repair Kits

Players of the controlling faction are respawned at +25% Health, Stamina, and Gamma (capped at 100%)

Tier 2 – 50x Keep LifeNet Repair Kits

Players of the controlling faction are respawned at +50% Health, Stamina, and Gamma (capped at 100%). The Generator has more health than Tier 1.

Tier 3 – 75x Keep LifeNet Repair Kits

Players of the controlling faction are respawned at +75% Health, Stamina, and Gamma (capped at 100%). The Generator has more health than Tier 2.

Tier 4 – 100x Keep LifeNet Repair Kits

Players of the controlling faction are respawned at Maximum Health, Stamina, and Gamma, and also receive a buff to those stats as well as Melee and Ranged Defense. The Generator has more health than Tier 3.

All LifeNet Generators should be vulnerable to attack from outside the keep, including the central keep.

Per player feedback, the keep doors and walls take longer to respawn after they are destroyed (and they will not respawn at all if the flag is being contested). They will also take longer to be fully repaired after a ceased attack.

The doors and walls will more accurately update the “Under Attack” icon on the map to properly reflect an ongoing attack.

The main keep now has an underground respawn area the same way the smaller keeps do.

Death Toll Gear:

New Death Toll gear has been added. There are 3 custom-color suits that are available for purchase on the Death Toll merchants inside the 7 FTC keeps. Certain suits are available at certain keeps. Obtaining this gear has been simplified for testing purposes.

Other Bugs/Fixes:

You no longer have to go /PVP to capture a control point. The whole area is in a PvP zone (except for the Faction camps), so you should now be able to contest a flag without needing to enable World PvP

There was a bug that was causing you to be mailed rewards for taking a control point, similar to in Faction Control Points. This was not intended and has been disabled.

You are no longer able to place the Faction Control Guard Bundles from Faction Control Points near Faction Territory Control flags.

Map Icons:

Icons have been added to the map for Progress Towns, non-timed Conflict Towns, and Town Events.

World Events:

A few world events have been enabled for testing. They include random nodes throughout the world and one event in each Sector 3 Faction Town.

And for those who celebrate it, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy November (and Factions)!

Happy November!

It’s been a while, but the PTS is now back in action! We’ve got the first version of Territory Control up for testing, and we’ve been reading all your feedback and having some really great design conversation, so keep testing and keep posting!

Next week we will be starting our Thanksgiving event. There will be questors in Embry, Needle Eye, Sunshine corners, Trader’s Flat and Los Alamos, so be sure to talk to any new faces you see hanging out in those towns. They’re eager to reward clones with a new trinket and Achievement for helping them out.

In addition to the PTS and Holiday events we’ve also been working on changes to the way player get faction. To explain the technical aspects I’m going to hand this over to Affa:

The Future of Faction

We will require players to choose a "main" faction if they want to participate in Territory Control or Conflict Towns. This choice will affect which titles you have access to, which faction channel you belong to, how you appear to other players, and what faction you give when killed. You cannot change this choice easily. You can choose to officially join any faction you are friendly with (not just your current highest faction) by visiting a mission giver in each faction town. Once you've made your choice, you can only change it by going negative with that faction. At that point, you no longer have a chosen faction and can choose again from your current friendly factions. We want players to be able to choose a new faction, but we don't want it to be easy.

You will not need to choose a faction to run missions in Faction Towns or do any PvE content. Your chosen faction will only affect PvP systems.

We are also removing shoulder factions. If you do a mission that gives you Enforcer faction, you will only lose CHOTA faction. If you kill a Tech, you will only gain Vista faction. This will open up more content to players who have maxed two factions instead of having all three. This prevents players from being punished for running missions for both shoulder factions, and it will open up the possibility for players to have unusual alliances. If you want to max Tech, CHOTA, and Lightbearer, you will be able to do so. But as far as PvP is concerned, you are only one of those three factions. This will also fix some bugs where players who have maxed two factions are sometimes treated as one faction and sometimes treated as the other faction.

Because these are large changes, we will add new faction respec missions, each of which resets one axis (i.e. one mission will reset just your Traveler and Lightbearer factions to zero). Just like the existing faction reset missions, they will set those factions to 0 and each one can only be used once. Since players will no longer be receiving extra points from shoulder factions, we will increase faction rewards to match.

So, that will be showing up on the PTS before too long. We know it’s a large change, and we want to get plenty of feedback on it.

Hope everyone has a happy and safe November!

See you in the Wastelands

Aro Sei

Friday, November 11, 2011

It's a Comin'...

Wastelanders!

We have some news that should incite a brief sensation of joy in the dedicated. The PTS (Public Test Server) is coming back next week, complete with Faction Territory Control!

This means two things:

  1. You get to take part in testing and providing critical feedback on Faction Territory Control. This feature (and sector) forms the basis of our work over the next few months. Global Faction Territory Control will launch early next year everywhere, so this is an awesome chance to help us improve the foundation the future Fallen Earth content will be built on!
  2. If you want to join us, you need to be prepared! Below is some info that should prove useful to getting yourself up and running on PTS come launch.

So, first things first: When will PTS be open for business?

Well… We’ll be opening up the PTS on a limited time basis to test major updates to Fallen Earth’s content and balance. ALL players will have access to the server during these dates and times, but we will only keep the PTS up for about a week at a time. This first round of testing, our first round of public testing on Faction Territory Control will start next week and run about 4-5 days, depending how things go. We’re looking at a live date of Wednesday 11/16, but that could move slightly.

How do I get access to PTS?

You will need to install another instance of the Fallen Earth client that points to the Public Test Server. The easiest and fastest way to do this is to copy your current Fallen Earth folder into a new directory, and simply download our PTS updater, which will “convert” it to a PTS client. Full instructions on how to do this are available here. Note, the FETestUpdater file will be posted on 11/14.

How do I login to PTS?

Simply login with your GamersFirst account and password, the same one you use to access the live servers. All of your characters will be there waiting for you.

I am still a newbie, can I help test Faction Territory Control and future high level content without grinding on PTS?

Yes! There will be trainers in each newbie town that will level you up and grant you all the AP and gear you need to succeed in the Wasteland.

What about World Events? Will those be on the PTS too?

Our World Events testing will commence in the weeks following Faction Territory Control testing. We’ll keep you posted on the blog and forums about those dates as we get closer.

So, with all that said, Neverender is here to tell you a bit more about Faction Territory Control, how it works, how you can get involved, and stuff you should look out for while playing.

Anyone can participate in Faction Territory Control, although it would probably be best to be higher level as most players in the area will be max level. You will be identified as belonging to whatever Faction you are the highest in. Each of the Faction camps in the FTC area will have cheater NPCs that will level you up, give you chips and Death Toll, sell you respecs and faction-altering items, etc. To reach these camps you can use the Personal Bus Stop 4 ability. There is an option there to travel to the Territory Control camps.

Once you are there, you can view the Strategic Map of the Territory Control area. There are 13 control points, all clearly indicated on the map as well as which Faction currently controls each point. You can buy a vehicle key from the cheater merchant to help you get around more quickly.

Each control point has a flag, similar to the existing Faction Control Points. To take control of a point, you click on the flag and then have to stay alive and in range for 5 minutes. 7 of the 13 control points are located inside of keeps throughout the sector, with one of the keeps being much larger than the others, located in the center of the map.

There are teleporters on the inside and outside of each keep that players belonging to the controlling Faction that they can use to easily get in and out of the keep. If anyone else wants to get in they’ll have to break down a door or wall. The 6 smaller keeps have a single door, while the larger keep has 2 doors and 2 walls.

Each keep has a Death Toll merchant inside that will sell items that allow you to upgrade the doors/walls. Upgrading the door tier will increase the amount of health the door has, while reinforcing the door will reduce the amount of damage it takes. The upgrade items are sold in stacks of 10, and should be used directly on the door or wall you want to upgrade (have it targeted).

Here are the current costs to upgrade the Doors/Walls:
Upgrade Tier 1 Door to Tier 2 – 25x Keep Door Tier Upgrade
Upgrade Tier 2 Door to Tier 3 – 50x Keep Door Tier Upgrade
Upgrade Tier 3 Door to Tier 4 – 100x Keep Door Tier Upgrade

Costs to reinforce the Doors/Walls:
Reinforce a Tier 1 Door – 5x Keep Door Reinforcement
Reinforce a Tier 2 Door – 10x Keep Door Reinforcement
Reinforce a Tier 3 Door – 20x Keep Door Reinforcement
Reinforce a Tier 4 Door – 50x Keep Door Reinforcement

When a door is upgraded to a new tier, it will need to be reinforced again (A reinforced Tier 1 door will no longer be reinforced once the door is upgraded to Tier 2). For the main keep in the middle of the area, each door and wall must be upgraded individually. If a door/wall is destroyed or control of the keep changes hands, the door will reset back to Tier 1 (and not reinforced).

The keeps also have a LifeNet Generator that starts out in a Broken/Disabled state but can be repaired and made operational. Currently it takes 25x Keep LifeNet Repair Kit to repair a broken LifeNet Generator, which allows players of the controlling faction to regenerate at that keep. Also, there will be additional bonuses for upgrading LifeNet Generators once things are finalized. The LifeNet Generators can be destroyed, which disables regeneration at that keep until the generator is repaired. You will always be regenerated at the nearest active LifeNet that your faction controls. That could either be at a keep where you’ve repaired the LifeNet Generator or back at your Faction camp on the outskirts of the area.

All players of your faction will receive a buff based on how many control points your faction owns for as long as they remain in the area. If your faction controls 1 of the 13 points, you get the Tier 1 buff. 2 points gets the Tier 2 buff, and so on with maximum buff coming at Tier 4 (for 4 or more points held). The buff boosts your offensive abilities (Melee, Pistol, Rifle, Power, Precision) as well as the Experience, Faction, and Death Toll you earn.

One of the main things we’re interested in getting feedback on at this point is balance. How hard is it to take or defend each type of control point (Free-standing flags out in the street, the 6 smaller keeps, and the larger keep)? There are not currently any Faction NPC guards at the control points, but that is something that will likely be added. We’d also like to hear more generalized feedback as well, and of course any bugs that are encountered during testing.

Once PTS is up for all of you I’ll be popping in from time to time to check on things. I hope to see you all on PTS!


Regarding not-as-exciting-but-equally-important-stuff news, we want you to know that we ARE spending a lot of effort and working hard on resolving some of the more annoying issues that are affecting players every day. Namely, effect/consumable bugs, the dreaded “paused” crafting queue and of course, general server stability, are top priority, and we have fixes for each of this issues on the way in the coming week(ish). You have probably noticed us doing maintenance to apply “server hotfixes” quite frequently. These are directly tied to improving stability and weird bugs that cause lag or can (and do) disrupt service. While we know downtime is an inconvenience, we also know that you (and we!) want to be able to enjoy Fallen Earth uninterrupted on your weekends, evenings etc.

I also would like to introduce myself for those of you that don’t know me. My name is Asa Reed and I am Linus’ right, and often left, hand when it comes to Fallen Earth (aka the Producer at GamersFirst). You may sometimes see me post on the forums as Napalm, and I tend to spend my time working with the Reloaded team on future content plans, building functionality on the GamersFirst side, and counseling Tiggs to maintain her sanity.