Over the years we have spent on Nia, we have learnt to hijack Nian technology, turn it against themselves, and even managed to reprogram their bases and facilities to produce more weapons and hardware needed for our cause.

Now, by salvaging and disassembling Nian robots and combining them with good old Earth technology, the Syndicate hopes to surprise the enemy by fielding something they haven’t seen so far.

Syndicate robots

Soon, the Syndicate will become a full-fledged 4th faction (or 5th if we count the Nian Industrial Trust as one) with its own line of specialized robots that you can use.

Currently 11 new robots are planned, which are assembled from existing Nian robot parts, but each of them will have their own unique stats and bonuses. As you might have already guessed, a common trait, being their faction specialization, are machine guns.

Beyond mirroring the standard line of combat bots of other factions, we’re also trying to fill some roles that we didn’t have robots for thus far, like a light transport or a robot specialized for artifact exploration.

Here is a general list of what you can expect:

  • Vektor: light combat robot
  • Helix: light robot specialized for electronic warfare
  • Locust: assault-class combat robot
  • Echelon: combat mech
  • Callisto: mech specialized for electronic warfare
  • Legatus: heavy combat mech
  • Ikarus: fast light transport
  • Cronus: assault-class industrial robot suitable for both mining and harvesting
  • Hermes: assault-class robot specialized for artifact exploration
  • Daidalos: mech-class transport, aimed to fill the gap between the Sequer and the Lithus
  • Metis: heavy mech specialized for remote support modules

Introducing these robots into the game will happen through the Syndicate Supplies shop. First and foremost we’re planning a direct purchase for a combination of Pelistal, Nuimqol, and Thelodica faction tokens, plus a NIC fee. These robots are not indended to be rare, so the cost will be more or less in line with the other faction’s robots, and the triple-token requirement should liven up the market a bit.

Over the next few blogs we will take a detailed look at each of the robots, dive into their stats and bonuses, strengths and weaknesses, and everything you'd want to know about your new best friends.

Many patch notes, forum wars, and misplaced croissants ago, Perpetuum’s time-based skill progression system was created with the premise that it should create equal opportunity for everyone to progress their characters, regardless of playtime.

Be that as it may, an often recurring fear that potential new players have is that they can never be competitive enough to take on old players who have gathered hundreds of thousands or even millions of Extension Points over the years.

Both us devs and a lot of our players try to convince these newcomers that they can quickly become as skilled as old Agents in a specific field, and that veterans only have the advantage of being more versatile, and of course this is true to some extent. But as the years passed by, this argument started to become more and more weak, up to the point where even we didn’t believe in it, as the differences started to become really apparent.

Thus, we recently made it a priority to provide a solution that would try to address these concerns. We have come up with an upgrade to the EP system that has two main components.

EP rewards

The idea to give players EP as a reward for ingame activities isn’t new, it’s been popping up on the forums for as long as I can remember. From a financial viewpoint, the idea wasn’t really feasible as long as the game was subscription-based, but since we dropped that, it slowly started to turn from “why not” into “this might be even good”.

Nowadays a lot of our players quickly log in and out of the game every few days with the only intention of getting their daily EP packs, probably in the hopes that they’ll be useful one day, when they have time to play, or it’s worth to play. Naturally, if a lot of players do this, the game becomes a ghost town of secret agents on standby, which is less than ideal for an MMO.

EP is probably still the most valued “currency” of Perpetuum, so ultimately it makes sense to incentivize it with the hopes of getting these standby players to actually play, and be rewarded with Extension Points by doing so.

Long story short, the activities that we currently intend to be part of the new EP reward system are:

  • Assignments: EP is given per objective, modified by the assignment level. Every assignment participant is rewarded equally, regardless of their contribution.
  • NPC kills: EP is given based on the rank of the destroyed NPC. Everyone on the aggro list of the NPC at the time of its destruction is rewarded equally.
  • Mining/harvesting: similar to how rare minerals work, mining and harvesting modules have a small chance of rewarding you EP with every actively working cycle. The chance is divided by the number of working modules, so it doesn’t matter how many you use.
  • Artifacts: finding an artifact rewards you with a fixed amount of EP straight up, regardless of level.
  • Production: factory, prototyping, and reverse engineering processes will reward you based on how long the process lasts without time bonuses.
  • Intrusions: everyone contributing to an intrusion event will receive a fixed amount of EP. Participants on the winning side receive multiple times more than the others.

Note that EP rewards will be doubled on Beta islands.

Of course we are open to ideas on what other mechanics we could use, but let me say up front that we gave some thoughts to including PvP, Gammas, or the market into the system in some way, but ultimately we decided against it because they would be too easy to exploit.

EP handicapping

While the EP reward system works equally for old and new players, the other mechanic that we’ll introduce is specifically aimed to favor newcomers.

EP handicapping is built upon the EP reward system, and as the name suggests, it will help those with low EP.

The way it works is that we designate an EP value that is deemed to be a “desired amount” that every player should have. To give you an idea, this will be probably somewhat less than the total EP that could have been accumulated since the launch of the game, and since this changes by the day, it will be a rolling amount.

Then, we compare this target EP amount to your account’s total accumulated EP. The less EP you have (ie. the further away you are from the target), the higher bonuses you will get for activities that reward you EP. This means that when you start the game, you’ll receive a lot of EP coming from rewards. But as time passes and you gather more and more EP, the amounts you get from killing NPCs or mining ore will slowly start to decrease towards a minimum amount.

EP handicapping

It’s important to note that the existing method of accumulating EP by either daily packs or EP boosters won’t change in any way, but those amounts will not be modified by the handicap mechanic.


  • You’ll get extra EP for certain ingame activities, on top of the daily packages.
  • The less EP you have on your account, the more EP you will receive from these activities.

All of this will be in our next patch, but we still have to work out some details, so it will hit the server probably around early June. Until then, feedback is welcome, as always.

So shortly after setting up our roadmap for the remainder of this year, we dived right into its development. Well, right after figuring out what to do first (with your help), putting out some server fires (not literally, don’t worry) and trying to not die in the summer heatwave (managed). Anyway, here’s what we have in store for you in our upcoming patch.

Beta 1 reworks

After the rework of Alpha 2 islands, Beta 1s are next in line to receive the teleport and highway network treatment, and of course the new assignments and field terminals. Those of you who follow the relevant testing topic have already seen the new network proposals, and provided some useful feedback too (thanks!).

So here are the before/after maps for Hokkogaros, Domhalarn, and Norhoop. These will soon hit the test server (with a few smaller changes based on your feedback) and be part of our next patch.

Hokkogaros teleport/highway reworks
Domhalarn teleport/highway reworks
Norhoop teleport/highway reworks

Distress beacon changes

In the last patch we have temporarily disabled the deployment of distress beacons, in order to allow us to finally remove some much hated mechanics that have been implemented a long time ago to battle the unwanted tricks players could do with beacons.

Distress beacons will be re-enabled in our upcoming patch, although with some significant changes:

Teleport anomaly
  • New teleport anomalies will start spawning on all zones, which are a side effect of enemy teleport activity. You will only be able to deploy distress beacons in the close vicinity of these, which will basically “hijack” enemy teleport jumps and pull them out at your location.
  • Once a beacon is activated, the anomaly will despawn and enemy NPCs will start spawning like before. So one anomaly, one beacon.
  • Teleport anomalies will have 3 levels, which will limit the type of beacons that you can use with them. Level 1 beacons can be used anywhere, level 2 only on beta and gamma, and level 3 will be gamma only.
  • Levels are the equivalent of stripes that we’ve had so far too on the icons. Beacon names and icons have been already updated to be more straightforward, so you don’t have to wonder anymore whether “platoon” or “commando” is the higher one.
  • Teleport anomalies will also emit significant interference (on beta and gamma), so it will also affect PvP a bit. They are destroyable though.
  • The multiple activators requirement will be removed, all beacons can be activated solo.
  • The volume of distress beacons will be reduced from 1 to 0.1 U.
Updated distress beacons

Reworked artifact scanning

Another mechanic that we wanted to give priority to is artifact scanning, mostly due to the relatively high amount of help requests and reports about players getting stuck with it or not really understanding how it worked.

The new artifact scanning breaks away from the triangulation method, and is much more similar to directional geoscanning:

New artifact scanning

As you can see on the screenshot, the scanner provides a list of the artifacts in range like before, but additionally to the range it also gives you a bearing indicator which will guide you to the scanned location. Note that I wrote “scanned location”, since the results can have a significant deviation, depending on your distance from the actual artifact and the accuracy rating of your equipment.

In practice this mechanic still requires multiple scans to narrow down the exact location (unless the random gods really love you), but it should be much more straightforward and intuitive than the old one.

Both the new distress beacon mechanic and the new artifact scanning method will hit the test server in a few days, so you'll be able to get a feel for them soon.

Terminal facility balancing

This is also coming in our next patch, involving some number juggling around terminal and outpost facility efficiency points. Currently there is not enough difference between Alpha and Beta facilities to warrant serious Beta-based facility usage in light of the much higher risk, so we’d like to balance this out a bit. (relevant forum discussion can be found here)

Here is how the new facility points will look like:

Alpha 1 main terminals:

  • All 0 (no change)

Alpha 1 outposts:

  • Current: 0 / 50 (higher on selected facilities)
  • New: 0 / 25

Alpha 2 main terminals:

  • Current: All 50
  • New: 25 / 50

Beta main terminals:

  • Current: All 50
  • New: 50 / 100

Beta outposts:

As you know the facilities here can be manually upgraded 3 times each, using a maximum of 10 points at the highest stability (1 point per 10 stability).

  • Currently the levels are: 0 - 50 - 100 - 125
  • This would be changed to: 50 - 100 - 125 - 150

(Meaning even if you don't spend any upgrade points, all the outpost facilities are at 50)

We’re also working on a facility downgrade option for Beta outposts, so you won’t have to destabilize your own outpost if you want to change around your facility points.

And last but not least, we’ll boost the relation factor in facility efficiencies. With the rebalanced relation progression in assignments, its current influence feels like not enough gain for all the fuss, so we’ll more or less bring it in line with the facility and extension factors.


So all the above mentioned stuff is coming in our new patch, which is currently slated for around early/mid October.

Our internal robot template editor

I’ll leave you with a picture of our freshly updated internal tool, which we’re using to create robot templates by mixing around their body parts. (You don’t want to know how the old one looked, it didn’t even have a 3D preview.) This is in preparation for the new Syndicate robots mentioned in the roadmap blog, and it really speeds up figuring out the good/useful combinations.

We’d also like to put this this tool into the test client so you can play around with it and show us your ideas, possibly even create a contest around this.

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.