Monday, December 12, 2011

2.27 – Faction Territory Control, World Events and More – Wednesday 12/14!

Hey everyone!

After several weeks of PTS testing, we are ready to roll out version 2.27, which includes Faction Territory Control, World Events, our overhauled map, better group XP, our initial Steam F2P integration and much more. We will be taking the servers down at 8 AM PST, 16:00 GMT this Wednesday, 12/14 to update to 2.27. We expect to be down for roughly 2 hours, and will be sure to keep you updated on Facebook and the forums regarding uptime.

This is a big patch for Fallen Earth, and we are excited to hear your feedback, so make sure to let us know here or on the forums. For full patch notes head here, and if you are still curious about Faction Territory Control, we’ve got some more details from Neverender below:

Map Icons

A huge part of how players will be given information about the current state of Territory Control will be the dynamic “objective” icons we place on the map. These will be icons representing the Faction that currently holds each control point. Flames are added to the icon if that point is under attack or the flag is contested, and a shield is added if the control point has immunity (more on that later). If you mouse over these icons, their names and descriptions will provide additional information about what is going on.

Control Points

There are 13 total Control Points in the Territory Control area. These are represented by flags that players click on to take over control of an area. If your highest faction is different from the faction that currently holds the control point, clicking on the flag object will put the control point into a “contested” state. If the specific player that clicked on the flag stays alive and close enough to the flag for 5 minutes, their faction will take over control of the point. During this time, the name of the icon when you mouse over it will update each minute reflecting the time left before control changes to a new faction.

Keeps

The 6 control points farthest away from the center of the map are just flags out in the open on the street. The inner “ring” of 7 control points (including the center point) all are inside of “keeps”. 6 of the keeps are basically identical to one another, each with a door that enemy players have to break down to gain access to the keep (where the control point flag is). The 7th keep is much larger and is in the very center of the map. That one has 2 doors and 2 walls (a destructible barrier on each side of the keep).

Keep Teleporters

Each keep has teleporters on the inside and outside of it. They allow players that belong to the Faction in control of the keep to get in and out of the keep easily. Using a teleporter will put an effect on you that keeps you from teleporting again for 15 seconds. The main keep has 4 teleporters on the inside and 4 teleporters on the outside. If anyone from a Faction other than the one in control of the keep clicks on a teleporter, it should tell them in chat “Only the keep controllers may use this.”

Keep Amenities

All of the 7 keeps should have the following things in them:

- Sector, Barter, VIP, and Utility vaults

- Mailbox

- Auctioneer

- Crafting Facility

- All-Purpose Vending Machine

- Death Toll Keep Upgrades Merchant

- Death Toll Merchant that sells the old Death Toll Gear (Gunslinger’s, Marksman’s, Pulverizer’s, and Rejuvinating)

Additionally, there is a third Death Toll merchant that each keep has, but the merchant is different depending on which keep it is. This merchant will always have ammo, vehicle-related items like fuel and repair kits, and a Death Toll Assembly recipe book that teaches the recipes for crafting all the new Death Toll gear. The part that is different about each keep is that they sell a different Death Toll Tradeskill Component. Looking at the Territory Control map, the top left and bottom right keep merchants should sell the “Kinetic Amplifier” item. The top middle and bottom middle keep merchants should sell the “Revitalizing Matrix” item. The top right and bottom left keep merchants should sell the Alloy Plating item. The central keep merchant should sell all 3 of those items and also the Dynamic Grip Tape item.

Keep Upgrades

The keep doors and walls (main keep only) can be upgraded, as well as a LifeNet Generator that will enable keep respawning capabilities. The Death Toll Keep Upgrades Merchant mentioned above sells items that are to be used on whatever you want to upgrade.

There are now NPCs that stand next to each upgradeable object and will provide the current upgrade status if spoken to.

Keep Barrier Tier Upgrade items, when used on the door or wall of the keep, will increase the progress towards the next Tier Level of the door. This will significantly increase the door’s health. Keep Barrier Reinforcement items will “reinforce” the door, giving it more defenses and effectively lowering the amount of damage it takes from attacks. Each time the tier level of the barrier changes, it will lose any reinforcement status it may have had. Additionally, as the Tier Level of the door increases the door model will change. Each of the 4 Tier Levels has a different appearance. There is a known bug that causes the model change not to show up for anyone near the door at the time of the upgrade. If you log out and come back in or just run far enough away and back, you’ll see the correct model. The wall only has two models. It will appear one way for Tiers 1-3 and then another way for Tier 4 (max).

The LifeNet Generator will start out as a “Broken LifeNet Generator”. While in this “broken” state, players are not able to respawn at the keep and the LifeNet Generator should not be able to take damage. The Broken LifeNet Generator cannot be upgraded for 5 minutes after it spawns in. This is typically only a factor when enemy players destroy the LifeNet Generator and then it should very quickly respawn as a Broken LifeNet Generator. The LifeNet Generator should never be missing from the keep for more than about 10 or 15 seconds.

When the LifeNet Generator is upgraded from “Broken” status to Tier 1, the model will change to a repaired version and players will respawn inside the keep with 25% health when they die. They also should not lose any consumable buffs like they would if they respawned in a normal LifeNet facility. Upgrading the LifeNet Generator to Tier 2 will allow players to respawn at 50% health. Tier 3 is 75% health, and Tier 4 respawns at 100% health and also grants a small buff. Gamma and Stamina levels are affected similarly, but they are never lowered below the value they’re at when you die.

The LifeNet Generators are visible from outside the keep and can actually be damaged by players from outside the keep if their weapon has enough range.

Immunity

For 60 minutes after a new Faction takes over a control point, that point will have immunity. This prevents any opposing player from taking control of the flag and also prevents them from attacking the keep doors, walls, or LifeNet Generator. A control point’s immunity status will be reflected on the map icon with a shield and mousing over that icon will reveal the approximate time the point will remain immune for.

“Under Attack” Icon Status for Keeps

The map icon for a keep will go into “Under Attack” status if any door, wall, or LifeNet Generator gets attacked. It should stay in “Under Attack” mode as long as any of those targets have player aggro on them (this can potentially last for several minutes after the target is no longer being attacked). Also if a door or wall is destroyed, the “Under Attack” status will remain for as long as the keep is open and vulnerable to being lost (because anyone can run inside now that there’s no door/wall). The icon will just say “Under Attack” during this time. The countdown “timer” will only show up if the actual flag for the keep is being contested.

Control Buffs

If a Faction is holding one or more Control Points, all players in the Territory Control area belonging to that Faction will get a buff that raises their Pistol, Rifle, Melee, Power, and Precision skills, as well as how much Experience, Faction, and Death Toll they earn. There are 4 ranks of the effect. You gain one rank per control point your Faction holds, and that caps out at rank 4 (4 or more control points held).

Keep Defense Missions

A Faction quest-giver is inside all 7 keeps. They give out a Keep Defense mission that only players of the controlling faction can take. The defense mission requires you to stay in the vicinity of the Keep and make sure your Faction doesn’t lose control of the keep. The mission will fail if you lose control of the keep. If you stray too far away from the keep you’re defending, the timer will stop ticking down and you’ll be told to return to the keep area to continue defending. These missions should be repeatable, and once completed they can be turned in at any keep your Faction controls.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December State of the Game

Hey Wastelanders,

Before I get to release dates and upcoming features I wanted to take a minute to talk about some of the less sexy but ultimately critical things we’ve been working on. Game stability has been a major issue for us since the conversion to free-to-play (players!) and every relevant resource has been working on isolating and fixing the issues that led to crashes, strange attributes for players and mounts, and the rare but still impactful chickening. Fixing these issues has taken much longer than we would have liked, but as of this STOG, we feel that we have eliminated the major issues allowing us the opportunity to address some of the legacy issues and “pre-existing conditions” such as rubber-banding and frame rates . Programming will address the rubber banding, while the Art team works on frame rate issue starting with the town that affects the most players – Embry.

In order to fix the Embry issues Devo and his team have redone the majority of the assets for the town, replacing older high-poly, high-batch buildings with newer ones that will improve performance and the overall aesthetic appeal of the town – in short the town looks and functions better. During this process Devo has developed new methods of town-building that will allow us to quickly address other towns that have similar frame rate issues, we have our list of known offenders, but we also want to hear from you. Post towns that you regularly experience issues with in the comments or on the forums!

So, while programming and art have been working on stability and frame rate issues – along with some other projects Devo may have been hinting at on the forums, scripting and content have been continuing to work on improving and developing new features. Neverender has been testing and tweaking Territory Control on the PTS – huge thanks to everyone who has gotten on and tested with us -while Affa has been working on…well everything from World Events and Faction Mechanics to Harvesters for Territory Control. He and Maenad and the whole team really have also been working on a ton of future content in the form of Farms and my personal favorite new system…the augmentation system! We started preliminary work on this earlier, but its back and better than ever. More details once we get closer to a release date.

Fafnir and the content folks have been putting the X-mas event together as well as working on some missions for that dreadful 30-35 gap. We’ll be taking the opportunity to get into some more LifeNet and Global Tech storyline as well as start to get to know one of our favorite villains a bit better. Our goal with content is to parallel track the addition of more sandbox features with more storyline and lore. There are some plot threads we want to pick up and run with, so the next few months we will be gearing up for some major stuff on the plot side cumulating in what will be one of our biggest events ever.

Okay, so - dates. Territory Control, a more useful Map, the first World Events and New Embry will be mid-December along with any other features we can ninja in before the QA cutoff date.

Early next year, we will be taking Territory Control Globally and making the shoulder faction changes , check out the last blog for more details.

You guys know how much I hate to give dates so from there things get a little less specific, but shortly after Global Territory control we will be adding more progress towns, farms, the augmentation system, and a few systems still too new to mention.

It’s going to be busy around here, but we always try to find time to read the forums and be in game to hear what you have to say.

See you in Territory Control!

M