We’re going to deploy the first patch of the year tomorrow, and it brings a number of changes to the client and the gameplay.

We’re very happy to announce that the client will be available in two new languages, French and Slovenian after the patch. We’re delighted to see the French community grow so rapidly and hope to see more of you guys online after this update.

Now for the stuff more interesting to most players, the gameplay changes:

One for the money

Be prepared to activate your prototype facilities, as with the patch we’re introducing a new heavy mech class robot, called the Lithus. This robot can be thought of as the big brother of the Sequer, and will satisfy all your hauling needs.

Two for the show

Due to popular demand we’re also introducing a trophies and losses section in the character screen that will show your kills and deaths, and the parties involved in the fights.

Three to get ready

Since the launch of the game the number of people involved in Intrusion events and PvP fights has been constantly growing. We really like this trend, however as the number of players reaches a critical mass in a single fight, tactics seem to go out the window and the fight turns into a simple numbers game.

Our aim has always been to create a PvP environment where tactics, smart maneuvering and coordinated teamwork get you superior results, so we’ve discussed the issue in length over the holidays. We traced the core of the problem back to a simple fact, and that is that for a variety of reasons Perpetuum employs a limited simulation of the real world. The main factors at play are that we don’t have robot collisions or friendly fire, and these two factors allow for large numbers of players to move as a single, small unit and one-shot-kill anyone they see. Fixing this issue is quite a tough challenge, as robot collisions and friendly fire are missing from the game for good reasons. Introducing robot collisions would severely limit the movement of players and give rise to a whole lot of possible exploits with people standing in each others way just for the laughs. We’ve explored the possibility of friendly fire, but all the solutions we looked at would have had a huge performance impact on the server, so this side of the issue can’t be fixed either.

We decided to look at the problem from an other angle and discourage the kind of behaviour we’ve seen. There will be several changes coming in the future, all of which combined will make big fights a lot more tactical than they are today. We’ll be introducing area of effect weapons, and robot explosion area of effect damage/debuffs, but tomorrow's patch only brings the very first of the systems designed to combat the problem: Interference.

The Interference system simulates the effects safely fighting in a close group would have on the combat effectiveness of the group in the real world. Basically members of the group would have to be more careful not to shoot any of their comrades, and thus be slower to fire and would have to devote a lot of their attention to working together with their unit. The Interference system simulates this with locking time and sensor strength debuffs on large groups of robots moving in close proximity. Each robot in the game has an interference range and strength, and emits an interference level which affects each other robot within this range. The interference accumulates and as it reaches critical levels (different for different robot types) it manifests in the mentioned debuffs. This mechanic, coupled with later area of effect mechanics will discourage the one-shot-kill setup that has mostly taken away from the gameplay experience above a certain number of people involved in a fight.

Comments on the patch and the above mentioned issues are welcome!

Now go, cat, go.

Comments for this post

1 Ulviirala

First!

Wow, I like this. Let me do it again, please. FIRST! :D

And now I think I go and do naughty things to me while waiting for the heavy hauler :]

2 Zorac

Looks like a nice patch in my eyes. Interference system is only things in my eyes. :-)

3 Zorac

is only good* things

4 Ajtony

Well, we will see the effects of Interference, but I'm afraid it'll need serious balacing in the coming months. I think there can be several balance issues with that ranging from just equiping 2 sensor amps (which we usually do anyway) and making 1 eccm obligatory to crippling the ability to fight of a 20 man squad if the debuffs are too strong. And I think we'll see some 'creative use of game mechanics' of this system. We'll see.

5 Vorador

Congratz for the dev blog website. Can't wait to log in tomorrow and see this new interference system, smart move to have tactics in mind before numbers when it comes to game design.

6 Zhyntil

Nice! love the blog, helps to keep people informed. Can't wait to see what it will take to get into the Lithus, hehe....
Love the idea on interference, and that you put the thought process involved in getting to it.
It looks like a great idea, and will actually tempt me to try some PvP here....

7 Cestus

Keep up the good work !
Interference is a really interesting approach for solving blob problem.

8 Reefpirate

Cool surprise in the interference system! I heard rumors about such a system, but had no idea it would be coming in before AoE.

Also, thank you for the 'trophies and deaths' feature! Finally an accurate way to check people's PvP histories. Should encourage more competitive PvP.

Keep up the good work!

(And release the goddamn Gamma islands already!)

9 Blackomen

Anti-blob and killmails in the same patch. Nice. Can't wait to find some "unintended mechanics" in the new system. Mwa ha ha ha.

10 Macabre

Very original and creative solution to discourage blob warfare. I look forward to seeing it in action!

11 Wraith

Very nice patch notes. Can't wait to see how the 'Interference' system will affect PvP Battles.

12 Alexadar

Maybe its better to implement Lithus as mech, not heavy. But else things in the patch is good!

13 Siddy

crap change, boo hiss

14 Getafix

Have these changes to game play been tried out on a test server?

If so, then fine.

If not, then it's all theory until we (the players)test if for you.

Game world is still too small.

And you haven't addressed the POS issue yet, or even hinted at when you might do so.

Without POS's, unlimited entry into an 'owned' outpost, if not addressed soon will be a game breaker.

15 Outlaw

the time will tell if this is a good change or not

16 Mars Volta

Let it grow my friend... let it grow

17 RandomHammer

Nice idea on the Interference introduction - it is novel and refreshing.

Can I make a suggestion. New Players / characters under 30 days get a 100% increase in generation of extension points. Note that it would still mean the standard 20K EP on start-up but for the next 30 days a 2EP/min generation. This would of course be a once-off bonus.

This will allow a lot more new players to get into the game at a decent level (prior to PVP ops) instead of being stuck in the newb centers for a fairly long period of time.

18 FUZ3

The new Medium EM sounds are aweful!.. why oh why have you made them sound like an old rusty catapult slinging a stone? And if you Alpha strike its even worse.

Their not futuristic atall, they dont sound like a slug being accelerated to incredible speeds... they need to be a Crisp and Precise sound, maybe with a slight "charging" noice just before firing. The ones before werent bad, but they were abit too "Twangy" for my liking.. plz plz revise these again.

19 GLiMPSE

"Anyone not really excited with these changes? I believe it will bring a hole new dynamic to the beta islands. Scouting off-island teleports will be a bit more dangerous (from the beta side) and life on beta should be a little funner now that we don't have arkhes undocking to scout constantly."

This would allow players that started today to have as much EP as someone that started a month ago. While I agree that this is needed... it isn't needed now, give it a month or two...when they decide to advertise...this should be part of the announcement.

20 Gremrod

Appears to be an interesting patch.

21 wert668

Lithus *love*

22 Seren10pity

Ohh I would love a collision system and friendly fire between fire.

I hope this good alternative will only be a "quick fix" for you to take time to add collisions and ff in the right way, without pressure.

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