Hey everybody. Before I get into the defailts of this new patch, I would like to take just a bit of time to explain where we are in the development process and where we are heading in the coming months.
As you may have noticed, we have recently released a new major update to the game. This update revamped the entire match loop, progression system and introduced asymmetry in the battles through battle staging. Each faction has to accomplish a number of objectives (attacking or protecting various structures around bases) to lead their team to victory. The feedback we have received from players on the new battle staging system has been overwhelmingly positive, but we are still fighting against a number of issues, mostly related to balance. The new update has introduced a lot of new factors to the equation and balancing has become much more difficult than before. We feel like we still have ways to go (probably until the whole 1.0 release, to be fair) before balance is in a good place, but we’re doing progress every day, and that is why players feedback is very important.
We haven’t posted a full patch note for the new 0.9 version, as there were too many changes to be listed. However, starting from today’s patch we’ll resume posting patch notes as usual. If you haven’t played for a while and want to understand the big picture about what has been changed in 0.9, you can still read the update that we posted a few months ago:
So where does that lead us ? First of all, the 0.9 gameplay revamp version took a lot of effort (and continuous crunch for many months) so we’re using summer to slow down the pace a little bit, recharge our batteries and finish various gameplay experiments (for example, in today’s patch we’re introducing shield crossing penalties).
In parallel we’ve been working on the Cruiser’s spinal weapon canon, which should be available in a patch before september (we’re also aiming at finishing the carrier revamp and AI coordination/improvements by september). Once september comes, we’re going to shift our focus towards shipping the game. That means a lot of development related to the database systems/backend (the progression system working accross servers for example), more UI improvements, and starting the work on tutorials/sandbox/solo mode.In parallel, our artists will start working on progression-system related rewards (medals, skins, bobbleheads, statues etc…) and we’ll integrate them into the game.
We are looking at a 1.0 release some time in the first half of 2023.
Patch 0.9.3.0 (Wednesday 10 August 2022)
There are three big changes in this patch. The first one is a change in the targetting behavior of turrets, to increase their efficiency. They will now pre-rotate towards their target even if it’s out of view
(below the turret’s view horizon, or slightly out of range) to be ready to fire at it the instant it becomes hitable. In practise, this means that turrets deal damage sooner than before. AMS were already powerful, but this change to turrets behavior made them even more overpowered, so we had to nerf AMS. As a consequence, we also nerfed a little bit torpedoes by reverting some experimental changes we did in earlier patches. Please provide feedback on the new balance of AMS versus torpedoes and whether the bomber is in a good place versus capital ships.
The second big change introduces a penalty for attackers crossing an enemy base (or carrier’s) spherical shield. The penalty instantly drains shield points (more for bigger ships) as a function of shield status, and also causes the shield generate rate to go down while staying within the shield.
For example, if a station’s shield is at full capacity (100%), an enemy interceptor crossing the shield will lose 20% of its shield points, while a cruiser will lose 100% of them. As the shield gets damaged, the penalty gets weaker as well. This will give an edge to the defenders in the early stage of the battle which might help to balance the victory odds between attackers and defenders. It is possible that attackers are still favored, so please let us know if the balance of attackers vs defenders during battles is going in the right direction or needs more drastic changes as we suspect.
Finally, the rewards system was rewritten. Objective points now get rewarded for accomplishing objectives, and the player will receive a credits bonus when the battle ends. Objective points are also given as a reward for protecting objectives (by destroying enemy ships that were previously attacking the base and damaging it) or as support for repairing/resupplying allies. Here again please let us know if it is too easy or hard to obtain objective points depending on your actions.
- Multiple turrets targetting behavior changes that should make them more reliable, and prioritize more than primary target that was selected (also: turrets will pre-rotate towards their target even if it’s out of view or slightly out of range.
Previously, the turret was resetting its orientation to idle the moment the target become out of view or range, which made a lot of turrets ping-pong between idle orientation and a new target). Overall, turrets should now anticipate their rotation towards their target before they start firing at them.
- Laser AMS turrets will now pre-oriente towards an enemy bomber before it has fired a torpedo, maximizing damage time on fired torpedoes as soon as they’re launched
- Repair field is no longer interrupted when target is using its weapons
- Resupply field is no longer interrupted when target is being damaged
- Note that these two last changes also apply to spawns/hangars. This change should make the repair/resupply fields more reliable as they tended to easily get interrupted. This also means that you can use your weapons while you’re getting repaired
- Missiles and torpedoes no longer detonate on death (only on direct impact or near their target) (Note: mines still detonate on death and cause splash damage). They simply explode, causing minimal damage, instead of causing massive splash damage as before
- Implemented shield interference system (shield points and regen rate are reduced when crossing an enemy base’s shield)
- Revamped behavior of “G” key (select nearest threat) to priority ships attacking or targetting you (hopefully this time it’ll be more in line with players feedback);
Rewards / Battle reports
- Revamped reward system to give objective points when accomplishing objectives (and also a credits bonus when the battle ends)
- Protecting objectives (killing enemies that have been attacking objectives) now provides objective points
- Repairing/resuppling allies now provides objective points for support
- Revamped battle reports graphs (now showing attack vs defense power momentum, but there’s also a graph for objective points earned, and differen colors)
- The battle reports dialog is now modal (takes priority over the rest of the UI)
- Updated default cruiser hardpoints layout (especially the position and orientation of MK4 hardpoints);
- Doubled HP of station core reactor (to make it more difficult to get destroyed by attackers)
- Reduced HP on missiles
- Torpedo changes: small reduction of thrust power; decreased activation time to 3s (from 4s)
- Added Phalanx MK4 CIWS turret (high DPS but low range)
- Reduced damage of Railgun MK4 turret to 6 (from 8); reduced its turn rate to 25°/s (from 30°/s); slightly increased its lifetime to match the range of the fixed railgun variant
- Reduced bomber’s default torpedo capacity to 10 (from 14)
- Increased Repair crew’s mass to 10% (from 5%) and added a negative effect on energy recharge rate (-10%)
- Increased carrier’s Heavy repair field’s range to 2 Km (from 1.5 Km)
- Increased Flak MK4 turret’s DPS (fire rate and burst damage) and reduced its mass to 30t (from 50t)
- Reduced Laser AMS MK3 turret’s damage by half; incrreased its turn speed to 60°/s (from 45°/s) (Note: AMS became too powerful with the turrets targetting/behavior change)
- Increased Repair Beam MK3’s turret rotation speed to 45°/s (from 25°/s)
- Tweaks to Heracles MK7 Turret: reduced yaw range to 50° (from 60°) and increased its DPS (also reduced heat generation)-
- Tweaks to Thunderbolt MK7 Turret: reduced yaw range to 50° (from 70°) and increased its DPS significantly
- Fixed chat box that could be opened through escape sequence conflict ctrl+m
- Fix for respawn countdown with large value (hours of waiting) upon ship refund, after the match has restarted
HUD / UI / Controls
- Added weapons descriptions to ship menu
- Weapon DPS showed in ship menu now takes into account damage rate (for lasers/beams)
- Counter-measures count is no longer displayed on HUD when CMs are not available (like on capital ships)
- HUD now displays the amount of mines left below counter-measures (will also flash orange when under cooldown)
- Added new Thunderbolt MK7 and Heracles MK7 projectiles effects