Damn what’s that hammering on the door, I can’t co... oh, our players! Hi there.
Yeah, we’ve been pretty quiet recently, partly because we were busy improving the game, and partly because DEV Calvin locked us up in a cage to encourage that.
You might have noticed that we’re a little bit behind of our planned schedule, so let’s cut to the case. We’re closing up August with a big bang - unless otherwise noted, all of the following will be part of the patch today (08-25).
We’re adding 16 brand new level 1 assignments for all three main Alpha terminals: 6 combat, 7 industrial and 3 logistics ones. At the same time we say farewell to the old level 1 assignments, so this is basically an upgrade of all those assignments.
Well, actually a bit more than that - they are not only using the same elements that we introduced in the new storyline assignments recently, we’re also introducing a few new assignment types and revamping some old ones.
Mining assignments will ask you to exploit new experimental minerals that are acquired exactly the same way as the new rare mineral isotopes and variants that we have introduced in the last patch, and which you all seem to love. While you can recycle these new minerals too (like isotopes) if you happen to get them outside of assignments, they are much less valuable and pretty much only needed by those crazy professors at Syndicate Research Labs. But, the good news is that you can still keep the good old run-of-the-mill minerals that you dig up while you’re waiting for that rare bit to pop up in your cargohold.
Furthermore, these new mining assignments do not have a completion radius anymore, so you only have to find the right type of mineral field and you’re good. No more complaining that you can’t finish your assignments because that lovely Riveler blob has sucked it dry.
The long-awaited harvesting assignments will finally appear as well, and they will work much like the new mining ones outlined above. Harvesting plants will occasionally yield some new experimental minerals and you will have to deliver those. Since we can’t be sure where plants can be found, these assignments won’t have a completion radius either.
Manufacturers will probably welcome the new production assignments. They have objectives for creating calibration templates in reverse engineering, and they will also ask you to mass produce some nerdy machinery from components you have to collect on the field.
Combat assignments get some love too, instead of the bland “get here, kill 10 bad guys”-routine, they are spiced up with some switch activation and item delivery objectives.
Transport assignments will not send you from terminal to terminal anymore, but to item collectors or item suppliers out on the field. This marks the end of the legendary - and very profitable - “Triangle”.
Generally all these new assignments are (hopefully) much more interesting, their descriptions are more story-driven and closer to the lore too.
While today’s patch will only replace level 1 assignments, the rest of the levels will continuously get the same facelift during the next patches.
Relation system changes
As announced in the big revamp blogpost, from now on terminal facility relation bonuses will be only calculated from industry-related contractor corporations, so industrial players won’t have to do combat assignments to increase their relation.
We also felt that the current number of contractor corporations was a bit too much, players got lost in a maze of various NPC corporations and it was not easy to keep track of all their individual relations. So we decided to reduce (or merge, sort of) the current 27 (9 per faction) corporations to 3 per faction. Instead of half-breed combat/industrial or industrial/logistics corporations, there will be only pure combat, industrial and logistics oriented ones, and these will be the clear providers of matching assignments.
What will this mean for your current relation achievements? For every character, we’ll check their relations for all 3 sets of NPC corporations (for example one set being combat/combat, combat/industrial, combat/logistics) and take the current highest relation they have towards them within a set. Those 3 highest relation values will be applied for the new “pure” NPC corporations. In case you would end up having negative relations to any of them, you’ll be given a clean sheet and start from zero. (This process will take up actually the majority of our downtime.)
Random NPC spawns
“Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.”
With that in mind, we’re introducing new random NPC spawns, where you can’t really be sure what you’ll be up against next. Of course we didn’t want it to be a complete Russian roulette, so the NPC ranks in one spawn will only vary by 1 or 2 levels.
The real fun with them though, is that there is a small chance that they will spawn new elite NPCs. These have +50% health, but in turn have significantly better drop rates, 100% kernel drop chance, and they can even have up to 3 kernels instead of only one.
In this patch we’re only switching 3 normal spawns per island to these new random ones, but their numbers will grow in the coming patches.
The zombiepilot plan got ugraded to a homing robot chicken plan - we’ve decided to implement some basic pathfinding first. It’s still not very bright in finding the optimal route around obstacles, but it does the job.
Unstack by volume
Small feature but extremely useful, so it deserves its own paragraph. From now on the unstack window will have a dropdown menu where you’ll be able to choose whether you want to split the stack by item amount or volume. Optimally filling up your cargo just got simple.
Lastly, there have been many questions about the proposed account reset changes, and we’re long overdue with that too. The reason for the delay is that we’re not really satisfied with some important aspects of character development, so there might be some groundbreaking changes in order to make account resets not needed at all. More on this in a devblog later™.