The reason why I split this post in two parts was because the remaining features I promised to write about were either unfinished concepts, or not that solid on our list, so they could be pushed around in case something more important turns up. (Well that, and the fact that it would have been terribly long.) A lot stuff happened since Part 1 that can influence our priorities in the development of Perpetuum, most importantly: player feedback.
Apart from the forum, which probably plays the most important role in this, there was Episode #7 of the Incoming Transmission podcast (thanks again Gremrod & Kalsius for doing it!). Gremrod asked me beforehand what topic I would suggest for them to discuss, and since there have been some talks about when Alliances/Conglomerates will be implemented, I told him this would be something we’d like to hear about before we do it. So, among other topics, they talked about a proposed alliance feature and while everyone throws around their ideas and suggestions (noted!), the majority seemed to agree that currently an alliance feature would be premature with the current playerbase, and we should rather focus on improving current corporation features. We also discussed it and agree, so that’s what we’ll do.
Unfortunately this will delay artillery and second-generation weaponry, but I think we can agree that it’s better to improve current features first, rather than drop another variable into the complex formula that is PvP combat, creating even more balancing issues to deal with.
Corporation management improvements
In the last patch we’ve made remote production processes visible on monitoring panels. This was only the first step, and we intend to merge all your production jobs in one common monitoring panel. This in turn will pave the way for the much requested corporation-created production processes, complete with production rights, logs, and source/target storage options.
Another relatively complex idea we have in store is a system where corporation leaders have a place to plan jobs, operations and events for their members. We call this corporate projects.
It will sortof work like an agenda: you think of a goal for your corporation, and optionally set a deadline. Members can then opt in to help the cause, and their efforts will be of course logged and displayed for everyone in the corporation to see. Goals can be anything from mining a hundred million titan ore, to delivering a few kernels for your research department, reaching a simple income goal, or even a number of PvP kills. Naturally you will also be able to set rewards for these goals.
I’m sure with the right tools you guys can be much more creative than what we can think of right now. If it turns out as it should, the system will be loose enough to simply use it for organizing any kind of corporation events, or keeping track of salaries as well.
Account reset changes
Again? Yeah, admittedly we overshot a little bit with the last account reset revamp. Sure, it was a bliss for those with a “misplanned” character, but in the wrong hands it’s a dangerous tool which hurts the persistence of the game.
So we’ll try to bring you a solution, where beginner players who realized their mistakes they made at character creation don’t have to delete that character in order to refine their attributes or extensions.
As mentioned earlier, the spark teleport system will allow you to teleport yourself without any robots or equipment from one terminal to another.
The system will work with the help of spark teleport nodes: at any given time you can have a maximum of 3 of these nodes placed at the terminal or outpost of your liking. This creates unique teleport channels which you (and only you) can use to move your spark from any other terminal to those locations. Of course both using a spark teleport and changing the configuration will have a cooldown limit in order to make it not too overpowered and you can also expect it to be a small NIC sink.
Waypoints and routes
Hot on the trail of the geoscan result folders, we’ll introduce the same system for waypoints as well, with a little twist. You will not only be able to organize them, but with the proper sorting they will make up waypoint routes.
In its first iteration, these routes will probably be used by a not-that-bright autopilot system which will simply walk a straight line between waypoints, so its uses will be pretty much limited to highways and main roads without any blockings. (Later we might bring in some pathfinding AI as well.) Using the pre-made and stored routes will be as simple as selecting one while on the terrain and activating the autopilot, which will then start to walk towards the first or nearest waypoint of the route.
Of course this won’t make you travel faster, but it will help those doing the same transport routes over and over and allow them to do something else meanwhile, like checking the market, or trolling on general chat.
We heard you like pink robots
Some of you may think that this seems to contradict the “more important features” statement I made above, but since the core mechanics which make robot paintjobs possible have been in the game for a while now, it doesn’t really take away much development time. We just missed a sensible game mechanic for it, which I’ll be presenting now.
Painting robots will be as simple as fitting a module on them: the equipment window will get a second tab, where you’ll see 8 color slots. There you will drag&drop paint items of different colors and mix them how you like - the result will be instantly visible on the 3D preview of your robot. Drop a red and a green paint, and you’ll get yellow. Drop another red after those and you’ll get orange. Add one black and you’ll get brown. Pretty straightforward I guess.
The paint color items itself will be available in the energy credit shops soon to come, and will include the basic red, blue, green, black and white colors that you can mix freely. However, beyond the paint colors you’ll also need a paintjob token if you want that color to stick to your robot.
As mentioned in the first part of this blog, this will be a microtransaction feature: for a small fee you’ll be able to purchase packages of multiple paintjob tokens that you can use to finalize colors on your robot. The exact pricing is yet to be announced, but since robots are pretty short-lived and packing one will also make it revert to its default color (just like paint decay), it probably won’t be too heavy on your wallets. (And refreshing an old paintjob with the same color will be probably for free.)
This system has also the advantage that those players who don’t care about the color of their robots can still participate in the economy of paint items, even if only to sell them on the market.
All the small things
Of course these are not the only plans we have, but at this point it would be too early to write in detail about them, simply because we have to collect all the ingredients before we can present you the full meal. Some of these already reach beyond our summer-list, but in order to make room for some healthy theory-crafting, here is a short menu: geoscan result trading, dynamic mineral nodes, free camera and other camera improvements, persistent (SQL-based) field containers, improved NPC AI with different behaviors, random assignment objectives, titles/achievements and more.
Bah, again nothing about player-built structures *grmbl* - I hear from the back rows. Yes, thank you for your question, that concept is alive and in the works, but still has a long way to go. While it’s one of our priorities, we don’t want to leave you with nothing in the meantime. But as mentioned in an earlier post, the target time for that is still the end of this year.