Friday, March 9, 2012

March State of the Game

Happy Pi Day!

For this month’s State of the Game I wanted to recap the recent changes and upcoming features and talk a bit about some things we are doing to help new players find their role in the apocalypse a bit more easily.

The next major feature you will see is Global Territory Control. We’ve talked a bit about this and it’s been good to see the discussion about it in the game. So while we will be getting it on PTS at the end of this month, I want to give you a bit more information about the extent of the changes.
Neverender did an awesome job of running down the system in the last blog we did, so I’ mostly going to fill in the left over details.

Where Can I Play?

To give players an alternate method of taking conflict towns we will be adding keeps to several of them, including Tinkersdam, The Dump, Fender’s Gate and Park City. Keeps will also be added to the open PVP areas of Feral Boughs and Office Park. Other conflict towns and PvP areas (Blockade, Terminal Woods, Haietta, Waste Farm, Wind Farm, and Hollister Point) will have Faction Control Points that provide significant bonuses toward capturing the town itself. All “timed” conflict towns have been converted to regular conflict towns.
Controlling these towns and keeps will contribute points to your faction. The central keeps and conflict towns are worth the most points and the faction with the most points gets a buff which improves crafting and harvesting speed as well as Random AP, Death Toll, Faction, and Experience gains. This buff replaces the current game-wide faction control buffs. You will have to choose a faction to receive this new buff.

Who Am I Playing Against?

While Neverender has been working on Global Territory Control, Affa has been working on the core faction system. As mentioned, this update will see the elimination of shoulder factions.Completing faction tasks (ie killing a faction-aligned mob) will only affect the specific faction you completed it for, and its opposite on the faction wheel. Additionally, players will have to choose a single faction to ally with for the purposes of PVP. This allows for a clear definition of who you are fighting for and against. You can choose any faction that you have a positive reputation with (even if it’s not your highest), and the only way you can change to a different faction is to get a negative reputation in your chosen faction.

The formula for how many faction points players gain has been adjusted as well. The current system on Live reduces the number of faction points you earn as you gain ranks in your highest faction. The new system removes this penalty but gives a lower amount of faction overall. The amount of faction gained for a particular target remains the same regardless of your current rank. Overall the new system should require a bit less time to get to the highest ranks.

Experience and Faction gains in PvP have been changed to work more like Death Toll. Currently, each time a player is killed in a short period of time, they give 20% less Faction and Experience until they eventually give 0%. In the new system, each kill in a short period of time reduces the amount in a triangular progression down to a minimum of about 5% (1/21).The amount of faction gained from PvP kills will be closer to the amount given by PvE kills.

The faction-based harvesting knowledges will also require players to choose a faction, meaning you will only be able to harvest nodes owned by your chosen faction.

When Can I Play?

We will be putting both Global Territory Control and the faction changes on PTS towards the end of the month. It’s a huge system so get in there and hammer the hell out of it! This is one of our largest patches in recorded history, so we will need all the feedback we can get.

New Players

You may have noticed a few small changes to the radar and map while wandering around the wasteland. Recently, we’ve added mouseover tool tips to the radar and a scrolling function to the overhead and sector map. In the near future we will allow players to track up to five missions at once so players can better chart their path through the wasteland.

We’re also going to be looking at how to improve the skill and mutation interface. Rather than using books to learn combat knowledges (crafting books are unaffected), we are switching to a system that allows the players to talk to trainers and have the abilities applied directly to their characters. It’s a more streamlined system that will show players more information about the skills they are purchasing. Along with these changes, we have several other smaller tweaks designed to make Fallen Earth a less cumbersome experience for new and existing users alike.

So that’s what we’ve been working on lately (well that and Steam integration, server stability and a whole lot of bug fixes). See you on the PTS!

M