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Old 22.12.2011, 01:29   #1
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Join Date: 26.05.2011
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Default Producer Newsletter #2

Attention on deck!

It’s been a while! We’ve been hard at work getting ready for our holiday release, and it was a while before I was able to step back to have a detailed chat with the community. On that note….

Let’s step into the Briefing Room.

First I want to address some of the issues that you, our community, have decided are the most important. Then we’ll talk about what we’ve got in store for the holidays and the first part of 2012.

Hot Community Issues
Thank you for the extreme passion regarding the inaugural Nemesis Tournament. I posted on the boards that the ability to use boosters was intentional – and we felt at the time that, by saying the scoring was calculated simply as XP accrued in event sectors, the rules were clear. Player feedback has enabled us to more clearly communicate the rules of future events.

The topic of paying vs. non-paying players continues to be a hot topic. As noted in the discussion thread, a significant portion of the top-20 players, including two of the winners, were non-pay players. Tournaments are designed to bring a new spin to the core PvP gameplay that makes BSGO great.

Nemesis was our first live in-game event. We have always intended the tournament system to expand into having many different options, including whether or not boosters are allowed. We are currently finalizing a few new scoring methods (no-booster, mining, kill:death, damage), and will continue to add still more in the new year (different tiers for ship class, player level).

Brimir and Surtur
Unfortunately, our push to make sure that tournaments would run well over the holiday has put the new Carrier ships too risky to add this month. It is now our top priority for January. This is, by far, the largest piece of functionality we have added since rolling onto the project earlier this year. Mobile respawn points bring up all kinds of nasty questions about sector count limits, DRADIS sharing makes us think about tactical spies (which could be a good thing), and what do strike players see when they’re docked in a jumping carrier, anyway?

A lot of your questions remain unanswered around their functionality. Here’s a quick rundown – the rest of the details will be unveiled with the release notes when the ships are ready:
  • Carriers will be available for pilots level 40 and above, for a cost of 400,000 Cubits AND 90,000 Merits.
  • Carriers can serve as docks and respawn points for strike pilots in their squadron.
  • While a strike pilot is in the DRADIS range of a carrier in its squad, it shares the DRADIS range of the carrier.
  • A computer system available for the carrier ships allow the pilot to designate a target on a single enemy player – this target is visible for all pilots in the carrier’s squad, and increases accuracy, critical hit chance, and other stats for those targeting this ship.
  • Another new computer system for carrier-class ships can repair and recharge any friendly ships in close proximity (AOE).
  • Strike pilots docked on a carrier will have a tactical space view as if they are flying the carrier – although they will only have camera control. They will be able to repair and resupply their ship from this view, then undock to get back in the action.

Hull Repair in Variant Ships
Another hot-button issue with you all has been our decision to make variant ship hulls only repairable with Cubits. We carefully weighed your feedback – looking at what the long-term consequences would be either way – and came to the realization that you were right. In order for players to get into a variant ship, they must have already upgraded twice. They are clearly invested in the game. Why would I jeopardize that?

Paint Jobs
We are very happy with your reception of the first set of paint jobs. This is another system that will evolve over time, so don’t worry if your ship doesn’t have a ton of options available yet.

You’ve already noticed that we have revamped several of the ships. This process is actually being driven by the technical requirements of the paint job system – we are rolling out the skins as the ships become ready. While we’re tinkering with the existing ships, we’re taking the opportunity to make them more visually coherent, so they look like they might have come from the same ancient civilizations. We hope you like the updates themselves, but they are really secondary to our goal to deliver a good way for you all to customize your ships.

Our first batch of paints was specifically geared towards upgraded ships only – but this is absolutely not going to be the pattern for 2012. We’re targeting paint jobs available for all ships, both base and advanced versions, including limited edition versions to be released around holidays and other events, and ones you have to earn or win!

Holiday Plans
In addition to the new tournament types and another handful of new paint jobs, our Elosha release will include:
  • New items
    • Experimental FTL Overdrive System – buffs FTL cost and range
    • Experimental Mineral Analysis System – AOE asteroid scanner
    • And more!
  • Advanced versions of the Marauder, Rhino, Spectre, Glaive, Fenrir, and Aesir. All of them.

Look for tournament announcements in the coming days – we’ll be running several over the holiday break, in a variety of flavors.

Once the Elosha release is out the door, we’re going to be grinding away on bugs until we kick off the next development cycle in January. We’ve got a long list of polish items that we’d like to address before hitting the ground running on the 2012 roadmap. Speaking of which….

Roadmap for early 2012
Number. One. Priority. We are close to finishing these babies up, and just need to make sure they’re good and stable before we let them loose on you all.

We’re bringing a lot more to the Wing System in terms of management and social features. Kendricke in particular is personally invested in this one, and will make sure the new version delivers exactly what you need for guild management.

You heard it here first! We are working on a brand new system to take your salvage materials and turn them into things you can actually use! Details will come out as we finalize them and nail down a timeline.

Ship Rental
Buying a new ship is a big investment – and especially when you’re upgrading to a new tier of ship, you may want to take one out for a test drive before you commit. We’re adding a way for you to rent ships for a short period to accomplish just that.

AI, PvE Encounters, Events
While the core of BSGO will always be PvP, it’s just not interesting to fight the same battle over and over again. I touched on this topic a bit in the last newsletter as part of the balance discussion, but I want to bring it up in the context of variety – we will be working on PvE encounters in the coming months. This has to start with smartening up our NPC ships a bit, and will grow into boss battles, level- or item- gated content, and more.

There’s a lot in here. We’ve got a crack team of designers who have been diving head-first into all of these new systems, and I personally can’t wait to see what happens.

Battlestar Galactica Online

Last edited by Ellipsis : 22.12.2011 at 01:39.
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Old 22.12.2011, 01:42   #2
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