New week, new patch - seems like we’re on a roll. As promised a month ago, we’ll deploy the spark change and extension system upgrade patch this Friday (10-28). If you haven’t read the previous blog about the topic, I’d recommend checking it out, because I won’t repeat everything there, but rather focus on the new stuff.
Have you ever wondered what the tiny nanobots we call “sparks” look like? Well, now you’ll know :)
In order to give sparks a gameplay role, we converted them into passive module-like items, which provide small permanent bonuses and are interchangeable. The first pack of available sparks is already quite sizeable, with different types in terms of level, faction, specialization and price, but we intend to introduce new ones in the future too.
To get hold of a spark, however, you need proper authorization to use them (basically “unlock” them). This authorization process can either mean a one-time NIC payment, or reaching a certain level of relation with a corporation. Later on we’ll also introduce new sparks unlockable for Energy Credits (when that system rolls out), or a combination of these.
Once you’re authorized to use a spark, you have to install it, which costs varying amounts of money. Unlike authorization, which you only have to do once, changing between sparks always has an installation cost, even if you change back to one that you already had installed. There is also a 1-hour integration period, during which you can’t install another spark. Standard sparks which you choose during character creation are all authorized from the start, so you’ll only have to pay a small installation fee if you want to change to another standard type.
Again, pardon me if I won’t repeat all the details and reasons about attribute removal and the new calculation method of extensions. Please see the previous devblog for reference.
In short, extension downgrading will be the ability to downgrade extension levels (duh), and to get back the EP and NIC you have spent on them. This feature is mainly intended for new players, to give them a chance to correct their mistakes while they are learning the game, so downgrading will only be available for 30 days after you create your first character. Since this is a new feature, though, we’re also providing all veteran players a 30-day grace period. This grace period starts from the patch on Friday.
There are a few limitations to downgrading:
- It’s not possible to downgrade below your initial extensions.
- It’s not possible to downgrade an extension level which is a prerequisite for another extension that you have.
- There is a global freeze limit, which means if you go over it, you won’t be able to downgrade anymore (this also applies to old characters). This limit has been set between level 6/7, so if you have something on level 6, you'll still be able to downgrade it, but not level 7 and up. There will be a popup warning if you’re about to cross the freeze limit with an upgrade.
- There will be a rolling limit which will only allow you to downgrade a sum of 5 levels of any extension in the last 12 hours. (We call these downgrade tokens, and they are account-based, just like available EP.)
As you can see on the screenshot, the downgrade button will tell you how much EP/NIC you would get back if you decide to do it. The lower part of the window has also been extended with more info about your spent EP and on downgrading.
Last chance to do an account reset
As announced in the previous blog, we’re saying farewell to the account reset feature in this patch. If you have any reason to perform an account reset, you can still do so until Friday! You can do it without any repercussions, since all the EP penalty will be reimbursed during the patch, regardless how many resets you did so far. This is also your only chance to get rid of an unwanted extension that you upgraded beyond the above mentioned freeze level of 6.
As much as we would like to, we can’t promise that we’ll have a patch every week now. These patches are merely a culmination of our development work during the past few months, so these are special times :) Of course, we’re doing our best to finish some features that are still in the works as soon as possible. November will be a very exciting month. Two words: intrusion and anniversary.