For the brand new players around and those who are not quite familiar with the inner workings of character advancement in Perpetuum, attributes are what determine the extension point (EP) cost of extensions. The higher an attribute, the less are the costs of a connected extension, hence the less time is spent on achieving the next level.

The problem with attributes has always been that you have to make important choices at the very beginning of the game. However, at that point you usually don’t have the slightest idea what they will mean for the future, and you don’t even have any chance to make adjustments later on. Obviously this can be a very frustrating experience for our new players. The account reset system has been created to alleviate this frustration, but it has many drawbacks and it affects the persistence of the game in a negative way.

Farewell attributes

We’ve been internally debating the issue for a long time now and we have finally come to the conclusion that attributes are not necessary. They are pretty much an unneeded annoyance, and while they seem to make the game more complex and deeper, they do not contribute to it in an entertaining or useful way. We have realized that while we’re advocating that you can be anything within the game, we’re in fact penalizing it if you decide to do so.

So we’re removing attributes from the game. Those who fear that this will reduce the diversity of the characters should take a look at the number of extensions one can install: currently there are more than 160 different extensions in the game and their numbers will grow in the future. We’re confident that they alone are more than enough to create specialized characters, where no single one is like another. (Not to mention that currently the trend is to blindly specialize your attributes towards either of the three career types, mostly combat or industry - not much diversity if you ask me.)

The removal of attributes will mean that we’re simply omitting them from the formula that we use to calculate the EP cost of extensions, and the cost will simply depend on the level and complexity of them.

To compensate the loss of the attribute bonuses, we're reducing the base cost of extensions from the current 100 EP to 60 EP. (This is the cost of a complexity1 / level1 extension, and all extensions are built up from this base amount.) In the name of fair play, this change means that we have to recalculate the available EP of every account, since the cost of every extension will be different. A side effect of this is that everyone will end up with a varying amount of extra EP (woohoo!), and that maxing out all extensions will only require around 16 years instead of 20 (or something like that...). Just to add another interesting bit here, getting all current extensions to level 5 only requires 393 days, so you see the level 5 barrier is really notable!

If this is all too complex for you, it’s enough to know that after this change you’ll end up with the same extensions and a bunch of extra EP, and some of the extensions will be cheaper than before.

Changes to character creation

Since our current character creation process is mostly based on selecting your starting attributes, obviously removing those will make its mark here as well.

In the future, creating your character will simply decide your starting point, your initial extensions, and your first spark (more on this below). You will no longer have to suffer the drastic consequences of your choices, since all of these can be changed or improved during the game.

Due to the removal of attributes and the recent reorganization of Syndicate corporations, we’ll take out the step of selecting your starting corporation. Instead, it will be simply determined by the school of your choice. (Existing characters will be unaffected by this.)

Extension downgrading

The attribute system isn’t the only thing that makes the life of new players hard. The plethora of available extensions can be quite daunting as well, or trick you into spending all your starting EP on Convergent Electrostatics level 10, just because it sounds cool.

Our plan is to give new players an option to downgrade their extensions, and get back the spent EP and NIC. This option will only be available for 30 days after the first character has been created on the account, and with a few limitations, like not being able to downgrade below your initial extensions, heeding prerequisites and a freeze level for extensions which is yet to be determined. (The freeze level means if you upgrade to a certain level you won’t be able to downgrade anymore.) Lastly there will be a rolling limit which will only allow you to downgrade a sum of 5 levels of any extension in the last 10 hours.

We don’t want our veteran players feel they are left out of the party, so after the patch everyone will get a 30 day grace period, during which they also will be able to downgrade considering the limitations mentioned above.

Removal of the account reset

Together with these changes we will remove the account reset feature, as it won’t be necessary anymore for the purpose we originally intended it for. We have decided to return all EP gathered in penalty pools due to the resets, so everyone will start with a clean sheet regarding accumulated EP.

As mentioned earlier, the changes will not affect anyone negatively. However, you can of course still do an account reset until that patch, for whatever reasons you might have. We wouldn’t recommend it though, as you will still lose all the faction relations and knowledge you’ve gathered.

It’s full of sparks!

For those not familiar with the lore, a spark is basically the tiny nanobot that the Agents are using to infiltrate the “minds” of the native Nian robotic lifeforms and remote-control them. When you’re upgrading your extensions, you’re upgrading your spark’s abilities.

So far sparks have not had much of a role in the game, you simply chose one during character creation, it gave you some attribute points, and you’ve been stuck with it ever since.

Now that attributes are being scraped, we see an opportunity to give them a function they deserve: sparks will provide small permanent bonuses (pretty much like extensions), and they will be interchangeable.

The initial 9 sparks that are currently selectable when creating an Agent will become the standard basic types, but later on you will be able to unlock and buy more advanced models, for example by reaching a certain relation with the Syndicate corporations.

TL;DR

  • Attributes will be removed from the game, character diversity will purely depend on extensions
  • Character creation will only determine your starting traits, you will not be forced to chose a specific path
  • New players will be able to downgrade extensions for 30 days
  • Sparks will give small bonuses and will be interchangeable
  • Account reset will cease to exist
  • Surprise EP for everyone \o/

When?

If we could somehow separate the sparks from the rest of the system, we could deploy the rest of it already next week, but unfortunately it’s not possible. So while all this won’t be part of the next patch, we’re still anticipating it to be in the next after, probably within a month from now.

We’re of course quite curious what you think all of this, so you may now express your happiness or dismay here or on the forums as usual!

Comments for this post

1 Kroth

Sounds really good and I'm glad you've chosen a lower base EP value than the original 75 mentioned last week.
Really looking forward to the interchangeable sparks, I think that's a cool idea.

All good changes. :)

2 Line

Yay for extra EP! :D

3 Scyylla

Not sure how all the formulas for EP work so you will have to indulge my ignorance when I ask:

So there is no possible way for a toon to actually lose EP due to being highly specialized?

4 Dazamin

AWESOME!!!!!

Although I'd love to know about spark jumps and Intrusion 2.0 also :)

5 Alexander

EP from lowering attributes is good.
EP from resetting accounts is bad.

Other than that this will effect new players more than older players. If you only trained "Needed" extensions to level 5 it's a lot shorter than 393 days as well. (Things like corp management and some of the trade extensions aren't needed for some characters looking to cross train).

6 DEV Zoom

Scyylla: EP doesn't get lost since they either stay spent on extensions or get added to your available EP. However there is a theoretical possibility that if you spent ALL your EP on extensions that are based on ONLY your 2 highest attributes, your available EP will be somewhat lower after the patch. Since combat characters need extensions with industrial related attributes too, and vice versa, characters affected by this are really rare, if any.

7 Alexadar

All changes good.

8 Warbucks Munro

Fantastic news. A win - win for new players and old.

9 Snowman

the 30 day grace for vets to downgrade is sweet news.

The only depressing news is that its going to be a month away... still thats not too bad, at least this advanced notice gives us some solid information on which to plan EP spend.

I would suggest that when the patch comes in that you notify every single account about this, an email or something.

otherwise it seems unfair to those who just happen to not keep up to date with perpetuum news at the time when this 30 day window of opportunity arrives.

10 Alexander

Snowman: You raise a very valid point. If they go ahead with the very badly thought out reset system they've proposed they should make it from first login after the patch. Not 30 days from patch day.

11 Alkanys

Basically we can use it like a reset when this patch will be out.
Reset before the patch for changing the megacorporation (if need), and get a penalty EP ( if we already did a reset). Then the penalty pool will go away(give back EP).

Right ?

12 Snowman

Yea, 30 days from logging in after the patch would be the most perfect solution.

But an email to every single account would also have the added bonus of maybe..y'know.. increasing the population for a bit :D

13 Triglav

Good stuff. Thumbs up.

14 Sid from mining

Awesome changes, I really like not having to worry about cross-training and its (old) penalties.

I would also recommend sending out a Newsletter to every active and inactive "username" and inform about the changes and their 30 day grace period!

15 Steeldragonz

great blog, love how sparks are going to play a role now. i tink alot of players forget that we arent in our bots its our spark in them.

16 Steeldragonz

ZOOM FTW

17 Baal

Seems like a step in the right direction!
Complex is good, confusing is bad! =D
Extra cred for the way the DEVs write the news, funny stuff indeed =)

18 Ghorasia

Pleased your all liking it personally all I see is delays and excuses intrusions - delayed / All this blog content - delayed.

Sounds to me like Devs promising lots in the future but delivering nothing currently but maybe that's just me and my buisness way of thinking.

19 Steeldragonz

Ghorasia : i guess i see yuor point there with this delayed for spark balance/features, and the intursins, also the long forgotten/unknown by new players build your own bot system [with its inherent balance issues]. But without being to fanboi'ish its getting things in priority while annoucing news and making progress thats the key thing.

20 Arga

We asked for more visibility and we got it. Looking at everything posted as a 'promise' leads directly to the 'Dev's Lied' internet meme. Getting more information means that some of it will end up being inaccurate, that's just the way the world works; nothing ever works out exactly as planned.

There's also the issue of relative space-time. When you're waiting for something, it always feels like its taking too long :)

21 Ghorasia

This is the problem with MMO players really we are too easy to talk down for example if a customer comes to me with an order and I promise a date do I get to deliver it late without repercussions ?

I here you say yes but they are giving us more visibility well I say the same if the customer wants visibility of us ie audits etc they get it.

22 Inspiration

Me likes, nuff said :)

23 Lucius Marcellus

As the veterans get a 30-day grace period as well, does that mean we're subject to our high level extensions being frozen straight away? (the ones currently spent)

24 DEV Zoom

Lucius: That is correct. This feature isn't meant as a way to convert your miner character to a combat one, but rather to get rid of a few low-level extensions that you might have bought, maybe upgraded some levels, but never really liked it.

25 Joph

Good stuff.

26 Sundial

No complaints here, sounds like an ideal system to me for newbs and veterans alike!

27 Tupha

Sounds great much better system

28 Karos

Any idea if the Intrusion 2.0 Outpost ownership relation bonus will give the ability to buy sparks, or will we have to do missions to get the standing, or will there be some other method of obtaining these advanced sparks?

29 Obi Wan Kenobi

some good changes in here looking forward to em coming in :)

30 Beasty

Bravo to EP changes good job DEVS !!!
Is there any room to work out a better way of upgrading sparks over forcing the PVE missions down our throat? I totally understand the need for PVE content in the game but for people who just like to PVP isn’t there another way to gain standing with NPC corps? Like add something similar to plasma that you can farm or turn into the NPC corps to show your loyalty. Or generate a “token” like the current trophy records already in place when you kill a player in PVP. Also are these upgraded sparks going to be sell-able / trad-able?

31 DEV Zoom

There will be more options to get sparks, reaching certain relations was just an example.

Sparks won't be tradeable because you can't ever lose them, so with time there would be an oversupply.

32 Jelan

Could we get more details on what the spark bonuses are likely to be so i can work out whether its worth grinding the mission standings for :p

33 Godri Rise

Great news. The game becomes more interesting and varied.
Sparks will give small bonuses and will be interchangeable... If a spark to attach to the corporation of agents, it will be interesting really. Agents will be very useful. If the beta of the island will give your spark, it makes sense to be there.

34 Radix Salvilines

can i have the option to nae my spark? :)

35 Gremrod

I like this new approach. Awesome!

36 Marlona Sky

This is good stuff!

37 vanFrozit

Sounds good. This has been one of the areas about Perpetuum that I have been concerned about. The complexity of extensions is high, and making a good choice at the start was hard.

38 Serpens

Excellent approach and delivery was a solid 8+ GJ. Now keep moving forward and be a dreamer and an idealist go BIG with your next patches and you will continue to receive my hard earned money for all my accounts. ;)

39 Zex Maxwell

uuuhhhh, thats what a spark is. I always thought it was your mind in digital form. that makes sense now.

40 Eng Daniel

To late for me, already make the reset :P

That happens when dont follow the news :(

Well there is only one thing to do, keep playing and grow xD

41 Naralh

Any news of when the patch will be ready ?

42 DEV Zoom

Likely next week.

43 Babaika

WhEn!? =((

44 Wraithbane

Most of this looks good. But having to grind missions for faction would quickly become s serious PITA, if the mission rewards remain so slight. I opened up level three missions, and then because of the lack of decent mission rewards, switched to just farming for kernals (and later plasma). Can something be done about the mission rewards please?

45 Gasoline

ATTRIBUTES ARE GONE!!!!!! I WILL SEND CASES OF BLOOD-WINE AT YOUR OFFICE!

Attributes were so damn terrible from the day I started playing. I am very happy!

46 DEV Gargaj

Our address can be found below on the "Contact Us" page, thank you.

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