Developer Blog #37 - Major Changes Ahead and Hull Blocking

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Developer Blog #37 - Major Changes Ahead and Hull Blocking

Postby Sypheria » Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:50 pm

I’m going to lead off with what everyone wants to know about:
Persistence, FTL, research, alliances, and working cargo on relog will all be put back into the Live server later this week, no matter what.
*throw confetti now*

Also later this week, we will also be bringing the Infiltrator server back online with the volatility system in place.
Changes on the Infiltrator server will move to Live when it is deemed stable.
Our workflow will continue in this fashion, new changes arriving on infiltrator first before moving onto Live.

We will begin “Design a X” backer rewards within the next 4 weeks and it will continue for several months; there is nearly 1000 “Design a X” rewards to be redeemed.
We will be doing them in several stages.
More details about that will be provided in a future dev blog.

Within the next 2 months we will be making dramatic changes to combat, trade, our game framework, graphics, tools and race mechanics.
In the past I've said there will be no modding at all, but we will be introducing some limited modding, and possibly extending it further than what is currently planned for it.

In addition to the 4 special volatility effects mentioned last week in the volatility dev blog, there will be kinetic volatility whose field causes damage to all units at randomized intervals and knocks units around.


Hull blocking
Hull blocking is my most favorite element of combat and provides great tactical depth for players.

This version of hull blocking only refers to weapons against hulls and not preventing hulls from passing through other hulls.
In the future we may implement hull versus hull blocking which would open up ramming as an option.
Another possibility we may implement is a special component which slows/stops units that attempt to pass it.

There will be 2 categories of weapons; direct weapons which go directly to the target and tracking weapons like missiles.
Tracking weapons can hit any unit on the battlefield, as long as the target is in range.
Direct weapons will hit the first opposing unit between the attacker and target.
Direct weapons will not hit your own units and we may extend this to allied units in the future.

Image

A human dreadnought is one of the larger hull sizes in the game.
10 human corvettes can be lined up side by side and still be smaller than a human dreadnought on its side.
Veru'nas units will be larger than humans.
Some Acean and Azendi units will be larger than human dreadnoughts but most will be smaller.
Cauldron born will also be smaller than human units.
Some players have stated that they feel the camera is too close, but once all the other races are in game players will have to zoom in from the current max zoom just to be able to see them.

In the future we will allow players to construct “space walls” which can be positioned and used as a shield.

This system will allow players to escort other players merchant fleets and soak up damage while they flee or defend weaker support ships as they repair, resupply and dish out supporting fire.
Hull blocking also makes escort missions possible as before a player could just attack an escorted fleet without having to deal with the guard.
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Re: Developer Blog #37 - Major Changes Ahead and Hull Blocki

Postby NameAceSNIPER » Mon Jan 12, 2015 5:18 pm

This is really exciting news, can't wait to get back in the game seriously! Congrats on the progress you've made!!!!
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Re: Developer Blog #37 - Major Changes Ahead and Hull Blocki

Postby Therianwolf » Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:08 pm

There is a long list I would like to address in relation to this update, but first and I know it's merely a place holder but... "Space walls"? Can we get a little clarification on what's its classification or perhaps a definition or manifestation on what this actually is? There are some really cool ideas that spring to mind but also some not so awesome images
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Re: Developer Blog #37 - Major Changes Ahead and Hull Blocki

Postby ELECTROVAMP » Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:11 pm

Can't wait to try it ingame :)
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Re: Developer Blog #37 - Major Changes Ahead and Hull Blocki

Postby verdiii » Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:55 am

so what about persistancy? did i miss it or wasnt it mentioned? :D
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Re: Developer Blog #37 - Major Changes Ahead and Hull Blocki

Postby Aetherblade » Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:33 am

Therianwolf wrote:There is a long list I would like to address in relation to this update, but first and I know it's merely a place holder but... "Space walls"? Can we get a little clarification on what's its classification or perhaps a definition or manifestation on what this actually is? There are some really cool ideas that spring to mind but also some not so awesome images


They are going to be different from race to race most likely, but they are likely going to be massive shield emitters that are build in space.
Guide to the game:
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Game tutorial videos: viewtopic.php?f=33&t=2901

Want to keep up to date on the playtesting / server status, or just talk to the developers? The steam group is a good way to get in touch! We are always in chat on Thursdays and often on the days as well to talk with you guys about whatever :). Link: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/NovusA ... filtrators
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Re: Developer Blog #37 - Major Changes Ahead and Hull Blocki

Postby Huginn » Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:29 am

Novus Æterno wrote:What are you most excited to hear about from future dev blogs?
A) combat
B) trade
C) race mechanics
D) game framework
F) graphics
G) tools


A) Combat still needs more immersion.
B) Trade is going to be very interesting. thousands of components, thousands of people, everyone trying to get whatever tech other people got. It's a good way to instigate trade.
C) Race mechanics are important. We pretty much know 3 of the 5 race's somewhat mechanics, but to be fair, we need more information in the community.
D) Game Framework needs alot of work. Interface.
F) Graphics are horrible. They really need a update. Ship models need updates. Weapon particle effects really need to be improved. Overall what i am most excited for, and overall the point where the game is worst at. Textures, models, particle effects.
G) Define tools. Modding tools? Very interested to see how it will be.

All in all, F, D or A. The 3 points which need alot of work.
Last edited by Huginn on Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Developer Blog #37 - Major Changes Ahead and Hull Blocki

Postby Therianwolf » Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:35 am

Aetherblade wrote:They are going to be different from race to race most likely, but they are likely going to be massive shield emitters that are build in space.



...eh good enough, lol my mind went pseudo realistic with areas where the laws of physics are "disturbed" acting as a wall or shield to any. But shields could work too, but it would have to be an alliance born project due to the power requirements of blocking passage to a massive object... Or perhaps magnetic fields would work or a twisting storm of magnetic fields... I'll stop now
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Re: Developer Blog #37 - Major Changes Ahead and Hull Blocki

Postby Silligoose » Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:06 pm

This dev blog brings truely welcome and exciting news for me. I've been looking forward to persistence the most and seeing it will be implemented along with research, alliances and cargo working properly is very welcome!!

The changes coming to the game in the next 2 months regarding combat, trading, race mechanics, game framemwork, etc are also very interesting. To answer the question posed with regards to what I'm most excited to hear about from dev blogs in the future would be:
a) Combat
As it stands right now, the combat in NA feels a little jittery, a little to stop-startish: As a result of ships stopping in order to change heading, the flow of combat feels too interrupted and it can be very frustrating. I am looking forward to seeing how combat changes and I'm hoping that future changes will improve the feel of combat and improve the fluidity of it. I would like to see ships be able to alter heading without having to stop and would also like to see strafing be an available player command given - there are times when it would be an immense help to my tactics to have ships maintain heading whilst moving in a direction not equal to heading. Perhaps it could be a mechanic for some races only, to increase diversity.

Hull blocking is another feature I'm excited for - speaking from past experience a feature such as this improves the tactical depth of combat and makes for more varied and exciting play in terms of tactics and strategy (which includes build strategy), some of which was touched on in the OP.

Tied into hull blocking is of course the news of direct hitting weapons - a big plus in my book!!

Modding I am a little wary of - it can be a double edged sword, depending on how it is implemented. On the one hand there are people out there who are great at modding and their efforts can improve gameplay experience, but on the other hand there are also people out there who would use it to exploit the game and decrease game enjoyment.

The screen zoom I have to agree with others - it simply feels a little to close. This has less to do with actual ship sizes and more to do with the max zoom out vs weapon ranges and potential battlefield positioning. I would personally prefer to see the zoom transition more smoothly from 'battleview' to 'tactical overview', instead of having the jump it currently has.

Finally, the addition of mechanics that may slow/stop units leave me a little wary - mechanics such as these can be very frustrating to play with depending on how it is implemented.

Overall this dev blog brings exciting news and I am looking forward NA's growth. If you need an additional player to join infiltrator to test mechanics prior to going to the live server, feel free to throw an infiltrator code my way ;)
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Re: Developer Blog #37 - Major Changes Ahead and Hull Blocki

Postby PerfectDeath » Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:16 pm

Silligoose wrote:As it stands right now, the combat in NA feels a little jittery, a little to stop-startish: As a result of ships stopping in order to change heading, the flow of combat feels too interrupted and it can be very frustrating. I am looking forward to seeing how combat changes and I'm hoping that future changes will improve the feel of combat and improve the fluidity of it. I would like to see ships be able to alter heading without having to stop and would also like to see strafing be an available player command given - there are times when it would be an immense help to my tactics to have ships maintain heading whilst moving in a direction not equal to heading. Perhaps it could be a mechanic for some races only, to increase diversity.

When we originally did a tech demo for this game about, 4 years ago in our first PAX you could strafe ships, they could slide around in a more fluid manner. However, it was VERY hard to micro manage when you had 6-8 ships!
However, ships could only move in one direction, we later added 4 movement directions, that worked for a few years, but now that we are optimizing our movement code we uncovered some issues we need to fix in the code itself (which you see as ships "facing the wrong direction" after giving a movement order.)
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