This post is intended to provide you with an overview on what we are planning for Perpetuum during the remainder of this year. Before we venture into the realm of tl;rig (too long;read it goddammit), some general notes:

  • Our goal is to do smaller but significant updates, and a lot of them.
  • The list that you see here is in no particular order. We still have to prioritise it, and we also consider your feedback on what you would like to see first. UPDATE: We now have a poll for this.
  • The listed features and changes are in varying states of development. Some have a pretty solid concept that only needs to get done, but there are some where details are floating in the air. I’ll point these out individually and probably take them for a spin on the forums.
  • The list does not mean that we won’t do anything else if something more important comes up, nor that we won’t take any of these ideas back to the drawing board if some serious concerns arise. Your feedback is very welcome.

I’ll try to be as concise and to the point as possible because this is a long list. When we select to do a batch of these or make any progress, we’ll have detailed individual posts about them. If any particular feature or change catches your interest and would like to know more about, feel free to post a forum topic and I’ll try to answer it the best I currently can.

Roadmap, get it?

New features & significant reworks

NPC reworks

  • Static spawns will be replaced by free roaming spawns of roughly the same sizes everywhere
  • A few larger caravans will probably stay too, if they are not interfering too much
  • We will make good use of the random NPC system developed for assignments here
  • Alpha 2 and upwards will have red (aggressive) NPCs only
  • We are looking into the possibility of enemy NPC groups fighting each other on the islands

Loot rework

  • The current loot table system in unmaintainable
  • We are developing a new random loot system
  • This will also bring some significant loot balance changes, like drastically reducing the amount of “trash” items dropped, and a rebalance of kernels

Distress beacon rework

  • Distress beacons have caused a lot of headache for us which have resulted in the introduction of some pretty nasty mechanics
  • The new system would start with the introduction of “alien teleport anomalies”, which would periodically spawn and despawn in random locations on all islands
  • These anomalies would be visible objects (no scanning needed), and distress beacons (which would be repurposed into “teleport hijack beacons” basically) would need to be deployed and activated next to one of these. They wouldn’t work anywhere else.
  • Activating the beacon will spawn in the enemy NPCs just like now, and close the anomaly (so one beacon per anomaly)
  • Currently existing beacons can be used in the new system, you don’t lose anything
  • Multiple anomaly types that limit which beacon can be used, to be able to differentiate alpha/beta/gamma usage
  • Makes us able to remove the “no loot when NPC is destroyed by explosion” and “NPC teleport” mechanics

Artifacts rework

  • The current artifact scanning mechanic is not intuitive enough, a lot of players struggle with it
  • The new mechanic would be a bit similar to directional scanning
  • Instead of the artifact result list showing distances, it would instead show you realtime bearing indicators (the small compass thingies that we have in the landmarks list too)
  • These would lead you directly to the scanned coordinates, you only need to keep your compass straight while moving
  • The catch is that depending on your scanning efficiency and your distance from the artifact, the scanned coordinate might be somewhat off, so once you arrive at your result, you’ll probably have to do another scan, and repeat this process a few times
  • This mechanic will always have a certain amount of inaccuracy, to not make it too easy
  • You’ll probably be required to find the exact tile, being just near to it when scanning will not spawn the artifact like now

Field rescue

  • Losing robots once and for all is a bit too hardcore
  • We’d like to introduce a mechanic that would allow you to keep your robot when it’s destroyed
  • It would stay unusable, unless you repair it using either materials or NIC
  • The robot would keep track of the number of destructions, and each repair would be more expensive than the previous one, up to a point where it’s not worth to repair it anymore and scrap it for good
  • Basically “number of lives” for robots
  • Makes insurance obsolete
  • Industry concerns: given that this would probably make players take more risks and encourage PvP, ultimately the number of robots lost for good and consequently manufacturing demands should not change significantly
  • Details still need to be worked out, especially what would happen to modules

Syndicate supply drops

  • Big loot containers dropped in random but pre-announced times and locations
  • Probably beta islands only, to encourage PvP events
  • Loot will have a relatively large spread regarding value and volume too
  • Plot twist: you can only loot it while you’re not in combat
  • Possibly could work on Alphas too if the location is not preannounced, but instead putting a visible beacon on the location that can be seen from afar

Geoscan result sharing

  • Automatically share your tile-based geoscan results with squad members
  • We’re looking into the possibility of each mining cycle updating the results on the terrain, so you would only need to scan initially, or when you move to another location

Steam trading cards

  • Trading cards, profile backgrounds, emoticons, the whole package
  • Helps with game discoverability

Buddy program

  • If you invite someone and he/she buys the game, you both get extra EP or credits (to be decided, maybe both)
  • Account buddy-linking and confirmation will happen ingame due to Steam not having support for this before/while purchasing

Field terminal courier services

  • Get your items sent instantly from a remote field terminal storage anywhere in the world to the terminal you are in
  • Convenience service - pay with credits
  • Price is based on volume and distance - sending a full Scarab load of goods across the world instead of actually using a Scarab will be expensive

Tier 5 modules

  • Completely new tier of items
  • Production only - randomized module stats on manufacturing, using predetermined min/max stat values
  • Resulting modules are NOT always better than lower tiers due to the randomness
  • 3 new gamma-only minerals (1 for each faction), 3 new commodities using the new minerals plus epriton and colixum, required for the manufacturing of tier 5
  • If the system is a success we will consider reworking all tiers like this, of course all using different min/max values and spreads

New market system

  • The current market system works only with uniformised modules, this won’t work with tier 5
  • A new, auction house-like service is needed, which will allow the trading of unique items
  • Current market system may be removed once this is done

Syndicate robots

  • Hybrid robots “lite”
  • We were never really able to turn the idea of hybrid robots (mixing around different robot parts to create new robots) into reality due to balancing issues
  • Basically the story is that over the years on Nia, the Syndicate was able to research alien robot technology, and create a new line of custom robots using various parts, combined with Earth technology
  • Literally a fourth faction - a whole line of new robots, but using existing robot part models
  • Specialized roles - better in something, worse in something else, you know the drill
  • Obviously bonus for machine guns
  • Only way to acquire them is through the token shop, by purchasing CTs
  • Still very early in development, ideas for roles are welcome

Syndicate News Central

  • What’s going on on Nia and with the Perpetuum Project - at a glance
  • Statistics, player and corp level toplists
  • Advertisement space for players or corporations
  • Intrusion event news
  • Helps promoting the feeling of being part of something big

Robot paint

  • One of the oldest items on our todo
  • Still intend to do it
  • Really

Balance & smaller improvements

Industrial facility balance

  • There is not enough difference between Alpha1/Alpha2 and Beta terminals, so we’ll dive into the balance of facility efficiency points and make some changes

Robot speed balance

  • Robots received a large speed boost in the past, now with the teleport and highway network changes we’ll revisit this, and probably reduce base speeds a bit across the board (about 10%)
  • Mechs and heavy mechs will receive special attention here, as their current speed capabilities are somewhat more than it would be warranted for their class

Mineral field balance

  • More mineral fields on Alpha islands, but with reduced mineral amounts (we won't remove any mineral types from Alphas though)
  • Intended to cut back large scale mining operations on Alpha without hurting newbies or casual players

T1 prototyping

  • T1 modules are special because they don’t have prototype variants, but prototyping them still employs the heavy material multiplier, which doesn’t make much sense
  • We’ll remove that multiplier for T1 items, but still make sure that mass-producing them stays a bit more efficient than prototyping

Corporation production folders

  • Much requested feature, you’ll be able to select source and target storages/folders for corporation production processes

Financial divisions

  • The other much requested corp feature, to be able to create multiple corporation balance divisions and manage member access to them

NPC restricted areas

  • Due to the switch from static NPC spawns to free roaming ones, we’ll create areas where they won’t go, to prevent nasty surprises when deploying or arriving on the zone
  • This means mostly the vicinity of terminals and teleports
  • Note that this will only prevent them to pick a roaming destination inside these areas - if you aggro them they will still follow you inside these areas

Gamma turrets vs NPCs

  • You’ll be able to set gamma turrets to shoot NPCs
  • Note that when turrets are set like this, NPCs will also attack them
  • Relevant forum topic

Squad assignment issues

  • We’re aware of the squad membership issues regarding assignments, where you always have to leave your squad if you don’t want to get the negative relations from others
  • Our solution is that we’ll try to modify reward distribution so that it will only include the members who actually contributed to the assignment in some way

Module diminishing returns

  • Look into ways on how we can battle the current trend of cookie-cutter fittings like 4 tunings/4 ECMs/etc.

Lighting reworks

  • Some visual updates to lighting, make it all look a bit more pretty
  • Possibly update the skydome too

External main terminal usage

  • Make it possible to use main terminals and outposts externally, like field terminals
  • Storage/assignments/equipment change

Remote market transactions

  • This depends on how exactly the above mentioned new market system will be implemented, but the intention is to make you able to create and modify market orders remotely

Intrusion changes

  • Pair up intrusion times, so selected outposts/SAPs will always open at the same time
  • Makes controlling multiple outposts much harder for one corporation
  • Possibly make intrusion times public for everyone, remove intrusion scanning - feedback needed
  • Relevant forum topic

Specimen processing SAP rework

  • You hate this
  • Rework it so that it would require you to deliver items from the SAP to a randomly chosen item delivery point nearby (or the other way around), similar to transport assignments

Equipment in killmails

  • Include robot equipment in the killmail API

Log pagination fixes

  • Fix the pagination of various logs and stop the “click through endless empty pages because nothing happened” silliness

Item linking in chat

  • Be able to link items into chat for bragging rights or referencing


So this is it for now, our plans for this year - although some of them could seep into 2016 already, we’ll see. We hope there are many things in this list that make you excited for the future, we certainly look forward to them.

Again, feel free to open forum topics for any of the features or changes above, voice your concerns, make a suggestion, or simply express your approval - your feedback is important.

Those of you who follow the random assignment testing forum topic already know that the next batch of islands is ready. This time it’s the Alpha 2 islands (Hershfield, Tellesis, Shinjalar) which get the highway/teleport network rework treatment, along with the new field terminals and of course the random assignments, ranging from level 0 to 5.

For those who didn’t know, the good news is that the package will hit the live server this Friday, the 24th of July (together with a few fixes, as usual).

Next up in line is the package of Beta 1 islands, but more on this below.

And as a bonus, we have some nice pictures for you. For a few weeks now you have been all around Alpha 1 islands thanks to the new mission system. We're happy to present you with some heatmaps of where exactly the new system took you. It's a pretty visual proof that the new system indeed works as intended.

New Virginia assignment heatmap
Attalica assignment heatmap
Daoden assignment heatmap

Coming up

Beta 1-2 island reworks

As I mentioned above, with Alpha 2 islands done, we’re immediately moving on to Beta 1 and then Beta 2. There are a few things to consider when doing Beta islands: teleport placement, teleport connections, and highways can have considerable effects on PvP and outpost warfare, so we need to have a clear concept before making any changes there.

We already have some discussion going on about this here, so if you have good insight on Beta warfare, you’re more than welcome to share your thoughts.

Spark teleport removal

Once we’re done with all the islands, we will remove the spark teleportation mechanic from the game. Spark teleports have been introduced in the past as a band-aid for long walk times, but now with the teleport and highway network improvements, their negative effects (instant power projection) will ultimately outweigh their benefits.

Token shop updates

The Syndicate Supplies shop will receive some long awaited additions:

  • The new requisition slips, discussed in this blog post
  • Direct purchase options for T2+ and T4+ items
  • Industrial distress beacons
  • A new feature that will limit the purchase of selected items to a minimum faction relation

An important note here: most of you probably know that the old assignment system allowed a few easy shortcuts to gather a lot of faction tokens over a relatively short time. We didn’t want to remove these from players cause they haven’t been exactly exploits, but we still need to get the token economy to a healthy status before we introduce new items.

In order to achieve this, we will increase both the token prices in the shop and the token amounts given as assignment rewards by a factor of 10. So in simple terms, this means an artificial, one-time inflation.

This will happen in about a month from now (we will post additional notifications once we’re close), so we advise everyone to spend their stored faction tokens on currently available items before that.

Roadmap blog incoming

On Tuesday we had a long internal discussion about where we want to go from here. It is clear that we need to make a switch from our very long development phases lasting over multiple months to more frequent updates with relatively small but significant features and improvements.

So we have assembled a list of over 30 items, including new features, actual new content, and various improvements and balancing changes. Expect a long blog post in a few days.