So shortly after setting up our roadmap for the remainder of this year, we dived right into its development. Well, right after figuring out what to do first (with your help), putting out some server fires (not literally, don’t worry) and trying to not die in the summer heatwave (managed). Anyway, here’s what we have in store for you in our upcoming patch.
Beta 1 reworks
After the rework of Alpha 2 islands, Beta 1s are next in line to receive the teleport and highway network treatment, and of course the new assignments and field terminals. Those of you who follow the relevant testing topic have already seen the new network proposals, and provided some useful feedback too (thanks!).
So here are the before/after maps for Hokkogaros, Domhalarn, and Norhoop. These will soon hit the test server (with a few smaller changes based on your feedback) and be part of our next patch.
Distress beacon changes
In the last patch we have temporarily disabled the deployment of distress beacons, in order to allow us to finally remove some much hated mechanics that have been implemented a long time ago to battle the unwanted tricks players could do with beacons.
Distress beacons will be re-enabled in our upcoming patch, although with some significant changes:
- New teleport anomalies will start spawning on all zones, which are a side effect of enemy teleport activity. You will only be able to deploy distress beacons in the close vicinity of these, which will basically “hijack” enemy teleport jumps and pull them out at your location.
- Once a beacon is activated, the anomaly will despawn and enemy NPCs will start spawning like before. So one anomaly, one beacon.
- Teleport anomalies will have 3 levels, which will limit the type of beacons that you can use with them. Level 1 beacons can be used anywhere, level 2 only on beta and gamma, and level 3 will be gamma only.
- Levels are the equivalent of stripes that we’ve had so far too on the icons. Beacon names and icons have been already updated to be more straightforward, so you don’t have to wonder anymore whether “platoon” or “commando” is the higher one.
- Teleport anomalies will also emit significant interference (on beta and gamma), so it will also affect PvP a bit. They are destroyable though.
- The multiple activators requirement will be removed, all beacons can be activated solo.
- The volume of distress beacons will be reduced from 1 to 0.1 U.
Reworked artifact scanning
Another mechanic that we wanted to give priority to is artifact scanning, mostly due to the relatively high amount of help requests and reports about players getting stuck with it or not really understanding how it worked.
The new artifact scanning breaks away from the triangulation method, and is much more similar to directional geoscanning:
As you can see on the screenshot, the scanner provides a list of the artifacts in range like before, but additionally to the range it also gives you a bearing indicator which will guide you to the scanned location. Note that I wrote “scanned location”, since the results can have a significant deviation, depending on your distance from the actual artifact and the accuracy rating of your equipment.
In practice this mechanic still requires multiple scans to narrow down the exact location (unless the random gods really love you), but it should be much more straightforward and intuitive than the old one.
Both the new distress beacon mechanic and the new artifact scanning method will hit the test server in a few days, so you'll be able to get a feel for them soon.
Terminal facility balancing
This is also coming in our next patch, involving some number juggling around terminal and outpost facility efficiency points. Currently there is not enough difference between Alpha and Beta facilities to warrant serious Beta-based facility usage in light of the much higher risk, so we’d like to balance this out a bit. (relevant forum discussion can be found here)
Here is how the new facility points will look like:
Alpha 1 main terminals:
Alpha 1 outposts:
- Current: 0 / 50 (higher on selected facilities)
- New: 0 / 25
Alpha 2 main terminals:
- Current: All 50
- New: 25 / 50
Beta main terminals:
- Current: All 50
- New: 50 / 100
As you know the facilities here can be manually upgraded 3 times each, using a maximum of 10 points at the highest stability (1 point per 10 stability).
- Currently the levels are: 0 - 50 - 100 - 125
- This would be changed to: 50 - 100 - 125 - 150
(Meaning even if you don't spend any upgrade points, all the outpost facilities are at 50)
We’re also working on a facility downgrade option for Beta outposts, so you won’t have to destabilize your own outpost if you want to change around your facility points.
And last but not least, we’ll boost the relation factor in facility efficiencies. With the rebalanced relation progression in assignments, its current influence feels like not enough gain for all the fuss, so we’ll more or less bring it in line with the facility and extension factors.
So all the above mentioned stuff is coming in our new patch, which is currently slated for around early/mid October.
I’ll leave you with a picture of our freshly updated internal tool, which we’re using to create robot templates by mixing around their body parts. (You don’t want to know how the old one looked, it didn’t even have a 3D preview.) This is in preparation for the new Syndicate robots mentioned in the roadmap blog, and it really speeds up figuring out the good/useful combinations.
We’d also like to put this this tool into the test client so you can play around with it and show us your ideas, possibly even create a contest around this.