The development of our new assignment system is approaching its final phase, so I wanted to give you an update and list a lot of things that the previous blogs missed. To recap, the first one explained the basic mechanics behind the new assignment template system, and the second one talked about the new assignment categories and the island reworks connected to the new system.

This one will be about the little things that make it all work together, but most importantly we’ll also have a look at how squad assignments work in the new system.

Field terminals

I’m happy to report that one of the larger features of this patch, field terminals are finally alive and working. When you get in range to them on the terrain the 3 buttons for storage, assignments, and equipping will show up.

A field terminal storage works pretty much like a private storage in a terminal - it permanently stores your items and only you can access them. The only difference is that this can be accessed from the terrain.

You can of course also request assignments from the terminal, which will hopefully drastically reduce the time you used to spend moving to and from terminals between assignments.

Finally, it allows you to equip your robot right there on the terrain. It uses the same equip window that you are used to, and you can equip items from both your cargo or the field terminal’s own storage too. There are of course certain limits to when you’re allowed to do this - having a PvP flag, being in combat, or having an activated module will all block usage.

Assignment NPCs

When we wanted you to kill something in the old system, we could only set the exact type of NPCs and the quantity that you had to destroy... anywhere. This had the consequence that we had to create artificial objective radiuses to make sure that you destroyed the NPCs at the location we wanted you to do it, and not 2 meters next to the assignment request location where it’s the most convenient. Ultimately this created a lot of problems when the NPCs wandered out of the objective area, and when you killed them outside, the objective wasn’t triggered.

The new system works very differently:

  • We don’t use the fixed NPC spawns anymore - NPCs are spawned by the assignment when you get there, basically as a hidden "reach position" objective.
  • It also allows us to spawn an NPC group that isn’t necessarily made up of a uniform type of robots.

UI improvements

This in turn made it necessary to explicitly mark the NPCs that are the targets of an objective. So now they conveniently have the objective letters on them, and similarly in the landmarks list as well. This way you’ll know exactly which ones are involved in your assignment even if there are other similar NPCs around.

Objective markers in action

We have also made the same improvement for building objectives, like item dispensers and switches. Hopefully this solves the occasional newbie confusion about clicking the objective letters which do nothing.

Assignment summary (concept image)

There is also a brand new assignment summary panel when you successfully complete one, listing all the rewards in detail. The picture of this panel indicates a few other changes which I’ll explain below.

The return teleport

As mentioned in the first blog, we’ll provide a return teleport option when completing an assignment with the aim of loading off your loot at a terminal or generally finishing an assignment-running session, without the need for boring walks.

The current plan is that the teleport option will be available for 5 minutes after successfully completing an assignment, for all members of your squad, and it will place you near a main terminal or outpost of your choice, on the same island. You won’t be able to select an outpost that you are not allowed to dock in, standard no-combat/no-PvP teleport usage limits apply, and furthermore you’ll also lose the option when you leave the island where you got it (which includes docking).

This is a very delicate issue because we neither want it to compete with mobile teleports, nor have an impact on beta island PvP, so extensive testing is needed here.

Improved objective mechanics

We have a new objective type which is basically a rework of the old and rightfully hated “scan this enemy with your chassis scanner”-task. The new mechanic doesn’t involve any modules - you simply need to complete a target lock on an NPC, which will "scan" it, and drop an intel item into a container that you can pick up. This is further improved by the objective marking feature that I mentioned above, so in the case of multiple scan objectives, once you "scanned" a target the objective letter will disappear, letting you easily keep track.

Kill objectives will track the actual destruction of the target, not the kill. This makes sure that even if someone else kills your assignment target for you, your objective will still progress. Assignment-related NPCs are also tagged upon spawning, so loot will always drop for the assignment owner.

All assignment-related items will now drop into a special container indicated with a blue icon, so you’ll easily find the required items even during a massacre. More importantly, since the NPCs will be specifically spawned by the assignment itself, you won’t see assignment-related items in random loot anymore.

Production objective mechanics have undergone a massive overhaul in order to make them work in random assignments. Mass production objectives and CTs used as an objective target will all scan through the whole assignment and properly include the items that you gather during the assignment as actual production components. Assignment CTs in the factory will wear off after the objective is completed and the production line will be automatically cleared, so you won’t have to extract the CT and deliver that too, which caused a lot of confusion in the old system.

Item dispensers are more intelligent now too: in the case of multiple items they will now try to give you as much as possible and hold on to the rest, instead of simply telling you that the whole batch won’t fit your cargo. This is important for higher level assignments where item quantities scale up to increase difficulty. There you’re supposed to use robots with large cargo holds, but it’s also possible to complete the transports in an Arkhe, if you’re willing to do multiple rounds between the supply and the delivery location. It’s even more important that this way multiple players in a squad can complete the objective in cooperation.

Assignments in squads

Squad assignments

Doing assignments in a squad has always been gimmicky at best, sometimes even detrimental. The new system allowed us to make some long overdue upgrades, hopefully to the point where you will want to do all of them with your friends.

  • No more “Request for squad” button. If you are in a squad, any assignment that you request will also show up for all your squadmates.
  • If an assignment is provided by another squad member, it will say so right before the assignment name, complete with the provider’s name.
  • Only the assignment provider can abort an assignment.
  • The assignment owner/provider has to be online and present in order to do it. Otherwise the assignment will be put on hold and no objectives can be completed as long as this is the case.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY: everyone present and in the squad can contribute to any objective and complete any assignment that is shared through the squad. Objectives that require multiple kills or multiple items can be cooperated on freely.
  • We will have separate assignment categories that are designed to be done in a squad. (Though you will be able to solo them if you have the patience or need the challenge.)
  • NIC and relation rewards will be shared among any squad members present, but all item rewards will go to the assignment provider (this includes tokens).

Relation rewards

We would like to create a proper way of progression through assignment levels, since currently there isn’t much difference between going from level 1 to 2 or level 4 to 5. This is mainly due to the fixed way of giving out relation rewards, but in the new system it’s much easier to create reward scaling based on assignment levels.

As a result, your relation toward a particular megacorporation will progress faster on low assignment levels, but will gradually slow down as you go through the higher levels.

Relation rewards and penalties

We’ll also re-introduce relation penalties towards a competing NPC megacorporation when doing assignments. This will happen in a rock-paper-scissors method, so the 3 megacorporations will be paired up and an assignment will provide positive relations for one and negative relations for another. Due to this, the “Diplomacy” extension will return to provide a way to reduce negative relation hits.

Syndicate Supplies

As a final bullet point, I’d like to tell you that we do have plans on improving the offers in Syndicate Supplies along with the new assignment system.

One of the plans includes an iteration of the lovely boxes you got to know as AIDs. The new items are called Requisition slips, they would be purchased with faction tokens, and in principle they would work the same way like AIDs, but limited to certain item tiers and categories, in order to not make it all that random. Say, a "T3 Pelistal weapon requisition slip", which would give you a randomly chosen pelistal weapon from tiers 1 to 3. Or an "ICS Officer requisition slip" which would include T4+ items, but the purchase of which would also be tied to a minimum relation towards ICS.


Well this post got a lot longer than I thought, but I hope you can see that we worked on a lot of stuff. Unfortunately some things that need to be done only come up once you’re in the middle of doing the features, even when you laid down the concept and designs beforehand. And then you think "we need this to make it right", while trying to avoid a serious feature-creep. So this might delay things a bit into April, but we really want to make this as good as we can, as it will be a pivotal part of the PvE experience.

Devs reporting in - hope you all had a good start of the new year. We took some time off during the holidays, but we’ve been back to developing the new assignment system since a few weeks now.

This is a continuation of the previous blog, so if you haven’t read that, I recommend to do so before you go on.

New assignment categories

Currently we have 3 main assignment categories: combat, industrial, and transport. (Plus training and “special” assignments, but those are not really common.)

A lot of you have voiced your frustration about sometimes having to shoot in industrial assignments, or searching for artifacts in transport assignments. We’d like to clean this up, so when you request an assignment from a category, you will know exactly what kind of tasks you can expect and what objectives will most certainly not show up. Furthermore, we want you to be able to stay out on the field and complete assignment after assignment, and reduce the time spent on logistics and refitting. To this end, we’re splitting up these categories into a few more specific ones.

Thus far we couldn’t really do this, because most of the time we would have been left with 1 or 2 assignments in a category, and that can’t really make up a random pool. But now with the new template system we don’t need to worry about that anymore, since even with only one template in a category we should have enough randomness.

So below you’ll find the new list of categories and what they can contain. I have also included the type of robot that the assignment category is meant for, and the method on how the category will scale through the difficulty levels.


Straight-out killing, sometimes combined with looting specific items and their delivery. Nothing else, no artifacting or toying with distress beacons.

  • Recommended robot: combat bots
  • Level scaling: We have created a point-based system for ranking all our NPCs based on difficulty. We’ll use it to spawn the appropriate type and number of enemies that you should encounter for the requested assignment level.

Mining, Harvesting

Mining and harvesting will be two separate categories. Although the new field terminals let you refit your robot, it’s unrealistic to expect that you’ll always have the needed modules in them (or in your cargo), if they would be in the same category and a harvesting assignment would come up after a mining one.

Another important thing to note here is that we'll give up the assignment-specialized mineral variants - they cause confusion for a lot of players anyway. So assignments will ask you to gather normal minerals, but now you'll have to deliver those too instead of keeping them.

  • Recommended robot: miners or harvesters, respectively
  • Level scaling: similarly to NPCs, the system also ranks minerals based on their availability on the island. So low assignment levels will ask you for a few units of an abundant mineral, and high levels may require lots of rare ones.


Pick up stuff and drop it off, simple.

  • Recommended robot: haulers
  • Level scaling: Higher levels may require larger volumes to carry, which requires robots with large cargohold, or multiple delivery rounds.


Includes scanning for minerals and non-combat artifacts, so the only thing you need here is a geoscanner and multiple types of ammo for it.

  • Recommended robot: anything that’s fast
  • Level scaling: In the case of minerals it’s the same as with mining, and for artifacts we’ll play with the “pop range”.

Hazardous exploration

This means searching for guarded artifacts or artifacts that will spawn enemies. In either case, you’ll need weapons and a geoscanner for this one.

  • Recommended robot: combat bot
  • Level scaling: NPC difficulty and artifact pop range, as explained above


Transport objectives combined with reverse engineering or mass production. Only available in main terminals and outposts.

  • Recommended robot: haulers
  • Level scaling: item volumes

Complex production

A complete industrial process, which may include everything from raw material gathering to the final mass production and delivery, with transporting the intermediate products in between.

  • Recommended robot: miners and haulers
  • Level scaling: raw material rarity and item volumes

Reward calculation

Due to the randomness of assignments, the old method of simply giving a NIC value to the templates wouldn’t work. There are a lot of factors that would make some assignments not worth doing and others overly lucrative if we did that.

So in the new system we’re assigning the base rewards to individual objectives, and apply a few situational multipliers to them. And this is where the system really comes together, since we have a lot of variables that we can work with: NPC rankings, mineral rarity, quantities, item volumes - we can even calculate the distance between objectives and assign a reward to that. In the end all these will be summed and result in the final assignment reward.

This calculation method also allows us to show you where you stand with the rewards while you’re doing the assignment, and update it in real time - this should give a nice additional feeling of progress.

Island reworks

You already got a little taste of the island rework process in the last patch, where we included a search function for the world map - and trust me, you'll need it.

Since we’ll need to place a lot of field terminals and new objective buildings on the islands, we’ll use this opportunity to do the promised teleport and highway network revamp, and be done with all the island changes in one go.

The governing ideas behind the reconfiguration are as follows:

  • Make traveling between islands and terminals as painless as possible, but not instantaneous - traveling should be fast, but you should still have the feeling that you went to another part of the world.
  • Try to give the currently deserted outposts more exposure by leading the main transport routes through them.

Below is a reconfiguration concept for the island of New Virginia. Exact teleport positions could still change, but I hope the general idea is apparent:

Teleport and highway network reconfiguration concept of New Virginia - click for a larger version

A final note here: once the rework is done, we’ll consider reverting the speed boost change for robots, or at least slow them down a bit - we’re open to your feedback.

Current status

The programming part is more or less complete, we have a working field terminal which gives us a random assignment, and we can complete it. What’s still left is the configuration/content work where we need to create the various templates and fill up the islands with field terminals and objectives, and assign a reward value to everything.

In order to bring you the new features as fast as possible we are planning a staggered release of the reworked islands, starting with Alphas. This means that once we’re done with filling up Alpha 1 islands with the new assignment templates, random objectives, field terminals, and reconfigured teleports, we’ll deploy them to the test server and shortly after that to the live server. Fortunately the islands are (mostly) isolated regarding all the changes, and the random templates can also work alongside the old assignments, so it shouldn’t be a problem to have “new content islands” and “old content islands” coexist for a while.

When that will happen mostly depends on how fast we can fill up the islands with content, but we hope to release the first batch towards the end of February. Of course once we’re done with the first islands it will be easier to predict how long the next ones will take.


We know that quite a few of you are still having connectivity issues. While there isn’t really any news on this at this time, know that we are handling this issue as a priority, and we’re considering all possibilities to resolve it - after all, any new feature is useless if you just can’t play at all.

...know then, that it is time to talk about how new Perpetuum players will experience their first hours in the near future. As you may know, this will be the third feature patch that we have planned before launching on Steam, after the already finished revamp of the research and assignment systems. I wanted to write "final patch", but we’re going to have an extra one, which will contain features and changes connected with our entry to Steam. Details for that will be announced during January - expect a few surprises. But for now, let’s see how the new tutorial stage will look like.

Welcome to Perpetuum, you screwed up

For the veterans who don’t remember how our current start of the game looks like anymore, a quick recap: create your avatar, select faction, school, major, starting corporation, and spark. All that without the slightest knowledge of what your selections actually mean in a game that you haven’t played yet.

We put a quick band-aid on this process recently by providing a selection of only four presets to the four factions with some general descriptions of what you can expect when you choose one. Still, looking at some shiny robot pictures and a few hints still isn’t up to par with experiencing the game itself.

This became really apparent from the number of requests we get from new players who ask for a character reset after a few weeks of play, because they have realized they screwed up their character (although that is mostly a misperception, but that’s another story). And the only thing we can do is advise them how to bring out the best of their characters (read: let them rot in their misery), because any special reset would be unfair towards the rest of the players.

Split personalities

So to remedy this problem, we’ll let you play before you actually play for real, and give you the opportunity to experience what this whole thing is about before asking you to make irreversible decisions.

The initial character creation will consist of nothing else than creating your avatar (shh, it’s okay...) and giving it a name. That’s all, right after this you’ll find yourself in a terminal. Which is no ordinary terminal of course, but part of a virtual training program. Yes, that’s virtual reality inside a virtual reality. Perfectly normal stuff.

Obviously, the Syndicate would never send the expensive spark of an Agent through a wormhole to the wilderness of Nia without proper in-house training. No Sir, that would be very irresponsible of them.

The island of noobs

That’s why they have created a whole virtual island, where every wannabe-Agent is sent to at first, cybernetically speaking. Being only virtual, the island is almost completely sealed off from the main Earth-Nia network. I say "almost", because the lovely Syndicate programmers managed to interlink the basic communication lines, so new and old can still chat about their experiences together. But other than that, nothing gets in and nothing gets out.

Sidenote: initially our plan was to create solo instances for this, but as it turned out that would require too many core changes throughout the game, and we have decided that this is not the right time for such experiments. In some aspect there will be multiple instances of training islands, but these will be "hard" instances that we’ll use in conjunction with queuing and load balancing. However, this is not something that we could use for missions for example. But fear not, proper instances are still on our todo.

So the island has some very special rules to make the learning process faster and more optimal:

  • As they are only some sort of husks yet, all Agents are created uniform in their skills, meaning level 5 of all extensions
  • Plenty of NIC to experiment with them too (and possibly EP - that’s still a question due to its account-based nature)
  • Most standard items are available on the market at virtually no cost
  • Robots and equipment are not lost upon destruction

It is literally a virtual playground where you can try almost anything without any second thoughts. We can do this without compromising the actual economy because as said, nothing gets out.

How do I get out though? Well, I’m glad you ask, I even have a screenshot of it:

Choose your destiny

What you see here is a part of the training island, with a central in-zone entry teleport, and four exit teleports. Each one of the exit teleports represents a faction preset selection: choose one to go through, and the selected preset (extensions, starting location, etc.) will be applied to your character and you will be transferred through the wormhole into the real world. While that happens, your character will be stripped bare of everything you gathered or did to it while on the island. Except for the real-life experience you gathered of course - that’s something you should keep.

Prepare for liftoff

Even though you’ll have nothing to lose, we won’t just simply throw you into the sandbox and let you figure everything on your own. Although I’m sure there are some who prefer it that way, we’ll provide some guidance in the form of a rookie-checklist.

This checklist, as the name suggests, will contain a number of tasks that you should do to become a useful and successful Syndicate employee. This checklist will basically replace our current sequential tutorials, but it will cover much more than the current basics of movement/camera, targeting, module activation, equipping, etc.

It’s pretty similar to an achievement system and the best thing is that you’ll be able to easily track and review all the tasks you have already completed. Reviewing them will even work after you have left the training island, so it’ll be a handy collection of quick how-to’s.

And the part where I wrote "you should do them" actually means you have to do at least a percentage of them to get out of training. I know, alt characters and stuff, and we’ll try to make the limit as painless as possible, but there will be actually a reward for completing the tasks too.

There will be a few milestones for specific stages of completion, and if you reach those milestones, your final character (the one on Nia) will receive some useful starting supplies, based on how well you did during training. This could mean some ammo or module packs for the first milestones, but it could be even light and assault robots for higher milestones, or when you complete the checklist at 100%.


I think it’s apparent that of the three, this patch is the most content-heavy, so that’s why we are a bit late with it. Testing of this new tutorial is slated for January, but that means a very tight schedule for us. Which brings me to why we didn’t really have time to prepare anything for Christmas.

A good percentage of why we are late with something can be attributed to things that are sidetracking us (critical bugs, server crashes, exploding toasters), and we really want to get you more ingame buddies already. But once we’re there, I promise we’ll have a party. So apologies, crossed fingers, and last but not least, Happy Holidays for everyone!

By now you should know that we have three updates planned before we can somewhat confidently launch on Steam: the revamp of the research system, the first stage of the assignment system revamp, and the reworking of the tutorial/new player stage. The research revamp has been successfully deployed in July and you don’t really complain about it a lot, which usually means it’s awesome.

Since then we’ve been working on the assignment system, which has now arrived at a state where we can share the details with you.

What’s wrong with the current assignment system?

Well, most of it. The current system was put into the game way before sentient robotic beings have evolved and Nia was still ruled by pink rainbow-puking ponies. So it’s old, really old. It was basically put in to have missions in some way, any way.

The player is presented with a long and stale list of a gazillion missions which just gets longer and longer the higher he gets on the relation ladder. With time he finds out which missions provide the most rewards for the least effort, and then he does those over and over, degrading the whole assignment system into a glorified grindfest.

Assignment levels and categories

So instead of presenting you a long list of assignments, they will be gathered under clickable boxes which are arranged by level and category, as it is visible on the picture below. Categories currently mean combat, industrial, transport, and training assignments, but this may be expanded in the future. The level system is pretty much the same here too, ranging from 0 to 6 as of now.

New assignments interface

In this first stage of the assignment system revamp, we are using our existing assignments, and gather them under the boxes so the system can randomly select one upon request. For the most part this is doable, but there are a few location/level/type combinations where we need to push some assignments up or down a level to have enough assignments in the random pool to choose from. This also means that some locations won’t have some levels that they do have now. This is a transitory solution until we do stage 2 of the revamp, which will introduce true random assignments.

Requesting an assignment

By clicking on a box, the system will then give you a random assignment with the appropriate category and level of that particular box.

Doing so will bring up an assignment information just like now, but with one important change: there is no accept option after you click on a box - the assignment is already active by then. This is necessary to prevent players from cherry-picking from the random assignments. Aborting is of course possible, with a penalty (see below).

Once you have requested an assignment from a box, you cannot request a new one from the same box until you either complete or abort it (or let it expire). In other words, you can only have one active assignment from a particular location, level, and category combination.

Parallel assignments

Due to the above, we will remove and reimburse the Parallel assignments extension from the game as it will lose its usefulness. However, you will be able to freely request an assignment from every box at every location at once if that’s what you desire.

The new panel on the right of the assignments window will help you keep track of your active assignments all over Nia, as it will sort them by the locations where you have requested them.

Remote assignment discovery

The current "all assignments" tab which lists available assignments in remote terminals will be removed as it wouldn’t work in the new system. Instead we’ll include the available levels and assignment types in terminal and outpost information windows which can be opened for example through the world map (and which are already used for facility infos too).

Chained bonuses and penalties

A brand new feature coming with this system is the concept of reward multipliers and penalties.

You can get a positive bonus by successfully completing assignments one after another without failing. The bonus means an increasing multiplier to the NIC and relation rewards of the assignments, so with every successful assignment, you’ll get increasingly larger rewards for your next assignments than you would normally get. However, if you fail to do just one assignment and break the chain (by aborting it or letting it expire), the multiplier will immediately fall back to zero.

Likewise, you can also get a negative bonus. If you keep aborting assignments one after the other, you’ll get an ever increasing negative multiplier to the rewards of your next assignment. Like in the case of the positive bonus, it is enough to complete just one assignment to get the reward multiplier back to normal. (After you get your reduced reward for that one of course.)

These bonuses are not global: every location, level, and category combo (so simply said: a box) has its own bonus tracker. Both positive and negative bonuses will have an expiration time, so they will slowly crawl back to the zero point if you don’t touch that box for some time (technically after their last bonus update).

Relation changes

We’ll make things more simple and straightforward here by abandoning relation gains toward subsidiary NPC corporations and instead you’ll only gather relation points toward the three big megacorporations: Truhold-Markson, ICS, and Asintec. As you can see on the above picture, these will be now shown on the top of the window for easy tracking. We’ll retain the current NPC corporations in the game, but they will only serve a lore function as the contractors of the assignments.

This change has the consequence that we will have to convert all your current NPC corporation relation points to a single value per megacorporation, and this will happen by averaging the subsidiary corporation relation points within a megacorporation. For those who have only gathered relations toward one particular assignment type contractor (e.g. combat assignments), this might result in that you won’t be able to do the same level assignments like now, because the zero relations will drag down the average. However, we think this is the right way to make this change fair for everyone.

Level relation limits

Currently the relation points necessary to unlock a particular level of assignments are all over the place. We’d also like to make this more straightforward by simply assigning relation 0.00 to level 0, relation 1.00 to level 1, and so on. Some relation reward balance changes will be necessary here in order to lessen the grind between some levels (level 0 to 1 in particular).

Testing and release

We’re still right in the middle of implementing all of this, but we’ll have a short testing period for the new assignment system on the public test server as soon as we are done with it. The deployment to the live server will probably happen somewhere in the beginning of October.

The next blog will talk about the final major stage before the Steam launch, the tutorial revamp.

I know, I know, I'm late with this. I could tell you about the reasons for this delay, our mildly excessive optimism regarding the timeframe, and the bugs we had to fix instead of developing, but I think you would rather hear about how's the new stuff going.

So as I wrote in the last blog, we're working on the new research system. This will use a fixed tech-tree system instead of the random lottery thing we have now. Consuming kernels won't yield direct research results, but research points, which will accumulate and can be spent to unlock items in the tech tree. Pretty standard stuff I guess.

What we have done so far is working out a concept how the trees should be built up, and did an internal tool for this which works directly from the database. So once we have all the tree layouts, it's just a matter of some proper UI skinning to get them into the game.

Here is a picture of the tool featuring the complete Nuimqol tech tree (still work in progress):

Work in progress layout of the Nuimqol tech tree

And these are the main concepts that we have laid down so far, additionally to what I already wrote about in the previous post:

  • We'll have separate trees for the 3 main factions (Nuimqol, Pelistal, Thelodica), one for the modular colony system, one for the industrial items/robots, and one for the common stuff. The latter two might be even merged, this is yet to be decided.
  • Each tree will have multiple subtrees with their own root points from where you can start out your research. In the case of the main factions, this looks like one tree for offensive items, one for defensive items, and one for EW/faction specific items, with robots intermixed.
  • The trees are laid out on a grid: you work your way from left to right, from the standard items towards the high-tier items. The grid columns also determine the point cost of the items in that column. (Research points are discussed in detail in the previous blog.) This is the reason why the T1 ECM root is placed further to the right as you can see in the picture.
  • We'll possibly have some multiplier for the points required for robots. (i.e. they will cost more than the modules in their column)
  • We'll introduce prototype versions for every standard robot in order to give another reason to research them. This also means that you'll only be able to reverse engineer and create CTs from prototype robots.

Once we have worked out all the trees, we can start integrating the system into the game client. Obviously it won't look like this in the game, the tree nodes will be square and use the proper icons and tier markings.

Extended combat logs

I'd like to quickly touch this topic too. Some of us who are waiting for the others to finish their research system work had nothing better to do and started working on an extended combat log system. "Combat log" stands here not for the realtime log that you see in a window while shooting each other, but the history that we save to the database for further use and datamining.

The interesting thing for most of you here would be a whole new level of trophies/losses logs (or as you better know it: killmails), which would be tapping into these logs and include anything you want starting from repaired armor points to transferred energy amount and yes, even EW usage. Not to mention that this also paves the way for an achievement system.

Our plan for the first step is to set up the detailed logging and make the current format killmails work from that, and then expand from there. We also intend to send out all of the raw logs via our API, so the nice killboard-hosting guys will be able to create some battle statistics like damage dealt over time or ECM accuracy or whatever you can think of. Of course we also intend to do some fancy graphs and stats of our own in the game once we're done with the more important things.

This is it for now, I promise you won't have to wait another 3 months for the next update.