So gamma islands are back, you’ve been busy there for 3 weeks already. With the expected small hotfixes out of the way we can say that we’re happy with how things went down, we hope you’re having a good time too.
This brings me to the main announcement of this blog. As outlined in the previous status report, once we’re looking at a stable gamma system, we’re ending our Early Access phase on Steam.
Originally the EA phase was meant to be quite short, basically to make sure that our new servers work as they should and our integration with Steam is flawless. But because of the removal/revamp of gamma islands the game has lost a large chunk of its content, we decided to extend EA until it’s finished. Of course we could still wait until we’re done with the mission system revamp, and with new PvE content, and the new engine, and and and… but that would be a vicious cycle and we’d be stuck in there forever. With the new changes of the Steam UI it has also become even less desirable to stay in Early Access for longer than absolutely necessary, simply from a visibility standpoint.
So with that said, we’re officially launching on Steam this Friday, the 17th of October. And as it is the case with all newly launching games, Perpetuum will be -10% off for a week.
Of course this won’t really change much from a development perspective, we’re continuing on the road we have laid out and keep improving the game.
New mineral system
We’re also planning a small patch for this Thursday (version 3.5.2), with a few bug fixes, and something that we wanted to do for a while now. This is a reworked mineral spawning system, which won’t mean too much difference in gameplay at first, but it makes our lives easier and it’s also more optimal for the server and the database.
To get a bit more technical, mineral fields so far have been generated and stored in raw bitmaps, and “fields” as a concept did not actually exist. Minerals in ground tiles had no connection to each other, and we couldn’t tell whether two tiles belonged to the same mineral field or not. This made it practically impossible to create rules and mechanics that would affect a whole mineral field.
With the new system, fields are node-based and are stored hierarchically in the database, which makes it very easy to let a whole field despawn without any residue after a certain time for example.
The system is very different compared to the current one, which will result in all the mineral fields being reset, so please be aware of this.
From a balancing standpoint we’ll also take this opportunity and make the faction-specific mineral difference even more significant, going from a 1:1.5 ratio of non-faction:faction minerals on an island to a 1:2 ratio.
Intrusion and gamma changes
Two relatively small but very significant changes will happen here, based on forum feedback and our observations, which will be deployed in the patch after the next one (3.5.3).
The change related to gamma islands is that we’ll be lifting the limit of 3 terminals per island. We have anticipated this change and mentioned before gammas were opened that we’re playing it safe but this might happen, but now we’re sure it has to go. The remaining terminal-to-terminal range limit and the red no-build areas should be enough to provide a soft limit for the number of terminals on an island.
The change to intrusions will bring an end to the automatic stability increase of beta outposts, and will require the owner corporation to complete their own SAP events as well. This will be the only way to increase the stability of outposts; if an event happens without any interaction then the stability will remain unchanged. Attacking corporations completing SAP events will of course still reduce stability, like they do now. As a result of this change, intrusion events should be more fast-paced and straightforward as defenders won’t have to stand around for two hours waiting for someone to come, but it will also require more effort to keep an outpost stable.
We’re preparing a larger balancing patch that affects pretty much every robot in the game. The general aim is to boost light and assault class robots, and to stimulate or rather make room for a larger variance in weapon and module choices for all robots.
Listing all the changes specifically would be too much for this blog, but here are the main points:
- Light and assault bots get additional head and/or leg slots.
- They also get a slight CPU and reactor boost...
- ...and a 25% mass increase, so equipped modules don’t affect their speed that much.
- The current faction-specific weapon damage bonus of all combat robots will be changed to a combination of a larger general weapon damage bonus plus a smaller faction-specific weapon damage bonus. This means that your robot will be less “crippled” when using weapons other than its faction-specific ones.
- Weapon-specific bonuses of assaults and mechs will be size-independent, so assaults will receive bonuses for medium weapons, and mechs for light weapons too.
- All robots will receive an extra bonus that is either connected to their intended role or their faction.
- We’d like to emphasize the scout role of light combats, so they receive a detection bonus.
- Combat assaults receive an optimal range bonus in order to take on longer-ranged mechs more easily.
- Light EWs get a small bonus to their faction-specific weapon cycle times to increase their combat capabilities a bit.
- Combat mechs should be as agile as possible on the battlefield, so they receive a bonus to demobilizer resistance.
- EW mechs’ main role is to disrupt from the distance, this means an EW module optimal range bonus for them.
- Combat heavy mechs, being the slow fortresses they are, receive a small survivability boost with the help of armor resistance bonuses.
- Industrial light robots get an accumulator capacity bonus giving them more working stability or even survivability, depending on their loadout.
- Industrial mechs will be pushed more towards a combat support role with remote support module and sensor strength bonuses, while still retaining their primary mining and harvesting bonuses.
- We’re also making indy heavy mechs a bit more sturdy with a bonus to their armor amount.
- It’s not all that bright of course, so don’t be surprised if there will be also nerfs to some robots’ specific bonuses.
Mk2 robots have special bonuses and those will stay as they are, but basically Mk2s (and other special variants like prototypes) will get the same treatment as their normal counterparts.
These can still change as we will still go through all of these modifications again in the coming week. It will also hit the public test server first since we’re of course curious about your feedback too, so we don’t have an exact schedule for this other than “soon”.
Although this report is mainly about the impending and shortly upcoming changes, don’t forget that the larger updates outlined in the September and May status reports are still in effect. So the next blog post should tell you more about the incoming second stage of our mission system revamp. Or maybe another one inbetween about the teleport and highway network revamp?