We're proud to announce that our next patch will actually be an expansion. Don't look so surprised, it's only logical really. If expanding the world of Perpetuum to twice its size is not worthy of this title, then I don't know what is.

Of course calling it an expansion will not make it something you have to pay for, in this context it's free to download like every other patch we have done and will continue to do.

We have the date as well, so to make it all official:

Perpetuum: Terra Incognita will be released on 2011.05.04.

Perpetuum: Terra Incognita

Now that this is done, let's see what's in it for you:

Doubling the game world

Drastic terraforming on Tellesis

The Syndicate Army's heroic offensive resulted in the conquest of 6 new islands. This is a major success, since the area where Perpetuum Agents may operate is practically doubled. As our forces push towards the Nian Empires' hearts, the islands have significantly more infrastructure and the Nians have done some drastic terraforming on them. Three of the new islands will be under tight Syndicate supervision (Alpha zones), but the other three fall beyond its ability to provide policing (Beta zones).

Although they are not explicitly called alpha and beta in the game since they have their unique names, we’ll make it simple for you and tell you that this is their official designation. Keeping this naming convention is beneficial for two reasons: we plan to have many more islands, and the greek alphabet is not infinite. Also we felt like the association of alpha=carebears and beta=here be dragons burned into everyone’s minds, so we didn’t want to mess with that, and this way we can easily assign for example “gamma” to different map types in the future, like terraformable ones.

The new islands will of course include all the features as the current ones, like harvestable plants, mineral fields, artifacts, and so on. NPCs will be higher in ranks, you will be able to fight heavy mechs on the new Alpha islands, and the weakest NPCs you'll find on Beta ones will be rank 4.

Contrary to our previous statement, a few missions will be also available from the start, but more will come shortly after.

We'll also have a little event when the new zones open up:

When the teleports are operational, Agents will be allowed to enter the new zones. Beware though, they might be crawling with special enemy guards, especially around the main terminals and outposts. Take extreme caution and move in large forces to be ready to take out these hostile groups. Once they are destroyed, our jammers will go online and you will be able to safely reside around those terminals from then on.


One of the greatest scientific discoveries of the new territories is a kind of energized highway network, called ElectroMagnetic ACcelerator Strips (EMACS). These help robots traverse at faster speeds - an additional 36 km/h to be precise - while using these paths. These highways link some of the most visited structures, and the Syndicate will use this newly found technology to build these strips on the old islands as well.

Thelodica Electromagnetic Accelerator Strip

Event notification system

Event notification system

NIC gets transferred, Agents come and go, production gets finished, someone buys your ammo on the market - a lot of stuff can happen in the background, which you were not necessarily aware so far. The new event notification system will help with this, by showing you informative but non-intrusive popups for many types of events. As you can see on the screenshot, you will be able to select which events you wish to get notified of, and even set how long they should be visible.

The system brings some new features along with it, for example you will now know immediately when another corporation changes their relation towards your corporation.

Explosion damage

Destroyed robots will deal area-of-effect damage to their environment within a certain radius. This includes other players, NPCs, and even plantlife. The explosion will have a relatively small "full effect" radius, and a falloff radius as well, and both damage and falloff depend on the size of the robot. Damage will also be modified by the exploding robot’s accumulator status: the peak recharge rate is at 50%, thus the higher the reactor’s performance, the higher the damage will be. Similarly to missiles, robot explosions will have an explosion radius parameter which ties into hit surface size, so smaller robots can practically "dodge" the explosions of larger robots (or at least reduce the received damage). To avoid griefing, this feature will only work on beta (PvP) islands.

New modules

Thermal ERP

We'll be intruducing two completely new modules in this patch. The first one is the Energy Recovery Plating (ERP), and as the name suggests, this is an armor plating which will absorb a portion of the received damage and transform it into energy, directly injecting it into the robot's accumulator.

The second one is the Weapon stabilizer, which will reduce the hit dispersion and explosion size of your equipped weapons, raising their effective firepower.

Both modules go into leg slots, and will be available via kernel research.

Internal corporation markets

A player requested feature, this will allow you to put up items and adverts on the market that only the members of your corporation will be able to see and use (this will not work in NPC corporations of course). Corporations that didn't take the communist way of life can use it to supply cheap ammo for their soldiers, put up buy orders for raw materials to automatically pay their miners, or any other purposes we can't think of but surely you can.

Mineral and mining changes

I'll start with the good news, so maybe we can sell this off as a good thing™: we'll increase the mining yield of one cycle for every raw material by 50%. And we'll reduce mineral regeneration rates accordingly. Sounds bad at first, but this only hurts those grinding at the same mineral field every day, while the rest of the island is like an untouched mining paradise.

We'll also remove titan ore from beta islands. There's been many discussions about how all the beta corporations are too self-sufficient, which hurts the economy, and alpha corporations don't really have anything they could offer for them. Hopefully this change will start some goods exchange between alpha and beta islands. It's important to note that we will only stop the regeneration of titan ore, so current minerals will stay in the ground until they are all fully mined out.

New player love

I’m sure we agree that joining a player-run corporation takes gameplay to a whole new level. With Corporation recruitment panels we’d like to make it much easier for our players to find a suitable corporation they can join. Corporation leaders will be able to set up a profile based on simple selections including primary activity, location, time zone, what kind of players they are looking for, are they combat or industry oriented, and so on. Based on this, other players can do an advanced search and find the perfect corporation for their playstyle.

We’ll also extend our ingame help with a career tips section, sort of “what the hell am I supposed to do in this game”-guide. You select an occupation from a list, and we’ll show you a collection of useful snippets for that particular topic, filled with links to our current extensive help pages.

The character creation process will also get some much needed guides about what effects and consequences your choices will have there.

Account reset revamp

Resetting accounts has been a bit complicated so far, since if you wanted to do a reset but didn't have enough EP to delete your characters, you had to wait up to 6 days for practically nothing. Players suggested that we should allow negative EP, so we did just that. This way you don't have to wait for EP to accumulate and can immediately do a reset if you wish.

Furthermore we are dropping the 45-day limit for the reset, and you can do a reset as many times as you want. This alone would of course pretty much destroy the persistence of the game, so it comes with a price: the first reset on every account is for free, without a time limit, but every consequent reset will put 20% of your actual total accumulated EP into a cumulative penalty pool. This effectively means that the older your account, the higher the actual penalty will be. Since this is a new system with different rules, we decided to give everyone one last chance to fully utilize it, so those who already had a reset will start with no penalties as well.

We'll be adding an information popup for the character selection screen where you will be able to check how many resets you have done so far, and how much EP you'll get back if you decide to do one.

Of course these won't be the only changes in the patch, you can expect the usual small fixes and improvements as well.

But but... where are my geoscanner folders and assignment system changes? - you might ask. They are coming of course, but we had to draw a line somewhere, otherwise you'd be looking at no patch till summer. So we'll bring those in some 1.1 patch shortly after this one is out (and we have fixed all the new bugs that we're no doubt putting in).

What more to say, we hope you're as excited about all this as we are, and hope to see you taking the new land for yourselves next Wednesday!

So, in keeping up with the tradition of footbulleting via announcing things and not adding them, we only realized today that we never actually enabled the remote corporation storage browsing in the live client, even though it was in the patch notes as a ZOMG MUCHOS IMPORTANTOS feature. D'oh. (That said, in our defense, none of you complained either. No, shut up, you didn't.)

But yeah, sorry about that. The hotfix is out, restarting the client will apply the fix and as an added compensation we also added secondary sorting to datagrids.

While most of us are working on the upcoming six new islands, we are of course still keeping an eye on what's happening on Nia. Based on your feedback and our own ideas we assembled a list of a few small but rather important changes, which we intend to implement in smaller patches before and around the world expansion patch.

Listed in no particular order, have a look around in our candy shop:

Global storage listing

Or as you call it on the forums: asset list. Probably one of the most requested features, this will allow you to browse all your items and belongings not only locally in a terminal, but also for remote terminals. Of course you will be able to do this also while you're outside on the terrain, all shown in a nice tree structure.

Removing NPC orders for kernels

Currently kernels are one of the two main sources of NIC income in the game (the other one being assignments). The problem is, kernels are also used in technology research. At first this seemed like a good idea, but due to how the economy developed so far, players quickly found themselves in front of a dilemma: "should I research those kernels and have no funds to manufacture the acquired technology, or sell them and fall more and more behind in the production race?". There is of course more to it, and I wouldn't want to go into details here, but you are welcome to discuss the issue in the comments or the forums.

To remedy this economic pitfall, we plan to introduce a new loot type which all NPCs will drop, and the Syndicate will buy them for a fixed amount. In line with this we will remove all NPC buy orders for kernels, so the kernel market will be completely controlled by players and their research needs.

Geoscanner folders

Yes, the current geoscanner result system is not very convenient, to say the least. You scan a tile, get a result item, upload it to your map, and in 99% of the cases you destroy the result items because they are not good for anything. We want to change this, so you will directly upload the results to your map, and you can create an item from there if you really need it.

We will also introduce folders for the result list, so you will be able to organize your results by mineral types, island locations or anything else you can think of.

Market rates graph

That abomination that you see on the rates tab of the market is probably one the oldest pieces in the game that we didn't get around to yet. The wait is over, the next patch will include the new and upgraded graphs, complete with daily high&low bands, traded amounts and global averages.

Event notification system

Another age-old fossil in the game is the so-called event log, that you can sometimes bring up if you click the little money icon in the lower right, only to never see it again. Originally this was intended to notify the player when something happened, received money, finished a manufacturing, and so on but sadly it has always been that poor little stepchild.

But soon it will receive some much needed love, since we intend to implement a notification system which most of you are probably familiar with. Small non-intrusive popups will notify you of everything important that may be of interest: friends coming online, market and production events, news and corporation bulletins and so on. Of course you will be able to individually set which events you want to be notified of.

CT trading

Direct trading of calibration templates (CTs) was disabled so far, because the system was not able to show the parameters of remote items, so you couldn't have checked the efficiency values of the CT you were about to buy from Mr. Scammer Guy. Now the system has been upgraded, so trading will be enabled again soon.

Market order modification

Price modification of your own market orders. I guess this doesn't need more explanation, coming soon to a rightclick menu near you.

Trophies/Losses details

Trophies and losses will get a details window, where all involved parties will be listed together with individual damages. This will be in a simple copy/paste-able text format, so those of you who would like to start some killboards will probably find this a useful addition.

Explosion damage

Robots exploding upon their destruction will deal area-of-effect damage to all other surrounding robots within a certain radius. Only on beta islands though, no cookie for griefers.

Spark teleport

The rules for this are far from final yet, but we plan to give you an option to teleport your spark (yourself that is, without any robots or items) to alpha terminals. You will probably need to pay a fee for this, but we believe this will be a useful logistics tool.

Performance-based assignment rewards

Why the fuss to shoot 10 Grunts when you can just hop in your trusty Arkhe, do some transport assignments, and get pretty much the same money in less time and with less risk? Over and over and over again? Can I have a "boooooring"?

Yep, the current missioning system is in dire need of a revamp. We'll introduce dynamic rewards based on average completion times, and also bonuses if you're faster than the average. Risk and distance covered will be much more rewarded than they are now.

Last but not least, check out our new feature site which launched just now in line with our free trials campaign! And of course, state your likes or disapprovals in the comments below.

Yay, it's 303 today! (You may disregard this if you don't get the reference.)

Anyhow, I thought it's about time to provide some updates about what we've been doing in the past week or two, because we've certainly been busy enough not to say anything so far. As you may remember we posted earlier about what we're planning to add into the game in the coming weeks, with which we've been progressing steadily, but there were also other developments on other fronts, which might be of interest.

Reaching out to another world

The most apparent update we have is that we've been in cooperation with the wonderful people at CodeWeavers to bring Perpetuum to OSX and Linux, and finally we can present you with official Crossover Games support, which will allow you to enjoy the game on those two platforms just as good as under Windows, and you even get a discount if you purchase through that link! We ourselves have been using the game through this method on a MacBook Pro, and it seemed to work flawless as far as we could see. The gist of this essentially means that we'll keep an eye on possible bugs caused by the emulation, while the Crossover developers will continue to pay attention to your reports for the bugs you find seem to be platform specific. Before you ask, we're not excluding the possibility of a future native client for those platforms, but right now the game itself (as a game, not as a piece of software) needs way too much care internally for us to be able to shed any assets or resources on porting, and especially maintaining it afterwards. Right now, we feel really strong about Crossover as a means to deliver our game to a wider audience, so spread the word if you know someone who remained stranded on the OS-fringes until now!

Arrr, treasure!

Moving over to actual game-features, most of the artifact scanning is implemented (save for the usual minor GUI-related swashbuckling) and has proved itself eyebrow-raisingly fun for such a cynic as myself, probably due to the notable simplicity of the mechanic itself. The whole concept boils down to this: You get a normal geo-scanner, you get some artifact scanning ammo, load it, go out to terrain, scan. If there's something cool within range, you get a distance reading. You move around, scan again, you get another reading, with a delta calculation to show you whether you got closer or not. From this point on, it's an entertaining little game of "hotter / colder", which starts out as relatively simple when the distance is still large and any movement toward the general direction is considered as advancing, and gets gradually more and more tricky once you get closer and smack headfirst into either the "It says it must be here SOMEWHERE!"-run-in-circles-scan-like-a-maniac-syndrome, or the unfortunate occurrence that the artifact is likely to be in the middle of a bunch of angry NPCs. Either way, scanning within a given range of the artifact will finally result in the reward to appear - this can be a container with munchies in it, or a trigger to a variety of other things, depending on the type of that artifact. (This is helpfully specified for you along with the distance, just so you don't go cheerfully dowsing for Pandora's box.) There will be additional factors on how efficient you'll be able to geocache yourself to riches, but I'll leave that up to you to discover once the patch is out. The preliminary estimate for this patch is March 9, 2011, but this is still just what we're aiming for and there's still a lot of testing and balancing to do.


We've also initiated the process of adding more zones to the game, a considerable task that's gonna take us quite some time to finish, hence it will probably not appear in the next patch yet. We're finished with the basic layout of the maps themselves, we've already placed the terminals and teleports, what remains is the actual level design: flattening the grounds to walkable paths, painting mineral fields, placing NPCs, placing decoration, stuff like that, as well as coming up with absolutely ludicrous new names for everything, the part of the process we admittedly enjoy the most. The plan is to provide six new zones, literally doubling the area available inside the game: three new safe zones (the ones with only a single terminal on them) for general activity, and three unsecured zones (with two outposts each) for unrestrained territory-knuckling. The teleport network has already been laid out, and though I won't go into detail here, we're hoping to provide easy access to each map from most of the current ones.

Some minor additional bits that have been done: We've changed the datafile handling so the local settings (keyboard, sound, window positions) will be saved separately from the large datablob, so deleting that will never cause your settings to be lost again. (Whoo-hoo!), we also added a free-look button so you can rotate the camera around the robot even when it is moving, we've made tabstrips squishy so now you won't have the problem of channels not fitting on the chat window, and last but not least we're in the final stages of adding direct credit card payment to our store. (About time, really.)

So that's about it for now, and we'll update you with details as soon as we have time to take a larger breath.

Time to talk about the next update to Perpetuum, as per usual we have a few interesting changes and new features coming to the game.

First of all as I've written previously, we're updating the roaming NPC system. Roaming NPCs will travel in caravans around the islands, and we're adding new flocks of NPCs for more varied random encounters on the terrain. This is only a very first step in our plan to bring a whole bunch of new content to the game for more stuff to do "between PvP sessions". We'll be adding a whole lot of new features to this end in later updates, which will be revealed a bit later. Various areas of the terrain will go through some small rearranging in this patch. Changes include new decorations around teleport stations, terrain updates here and there, and even a teleport station moved a bit farther away from a terminal.

We're bringing in a feature that was originally suggested in a very early brainstorm by a player during the beta. We liked the idea very much and had everything ready for it for quite a while now, but other priorities meant that this had to wait. The paintjob on your robots will now get worn down gradually as you engage in combat. This change is only aesthetic and will be undone as soon as you pack your robot together, however it's a small thing you can brag about and show off.

So now for the more interesting updates :)

A new type of plant will make its debut with the coming update. The special thing about this plant is that on its own it won't be growing anywhere, it can only appear in the game world if players plant it. This plant will contain a new harvestable material for use in the manufacturing of high end items. Beware of people trying to harvest or even destroy your crops!

One of the most fixed things in Perpetuum up to now was the constant, fixed distance of 1000 meters players could see each other. The upcoming update changes this. First of all: how far you can see and how far you can be seen from will both vary based on the robot you use, and the two will not necessarily be the same anymore. This alone would be an interesting change, but we're also adding modules to help modify these values during gameplay: The detection type module will allow you to see farther away. The flare type module will make the target show up for people farther away. And of course, the stealth type module will allow you to be seen from a shorter distance. These changes will bring the PvP on the beta islands to a whole new level, and we're excited to see how players will be using the new features to give them a tactical edge over their enemy.

Let us know what you think about the upcoming update in the comments!