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Ask The Devs 35 - Answers!


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#1 Bryan Ekman

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:36 AM

Ask the Devs #35

Community Consolidated Questions/Concerns

CCQ 1: Bryan, can you elaborate on you statement: “That's exactly the polarizing type of content we want!”?
A: We want there to always be a debate about whether something is too powerful or too weak. There’s a sweet spot where players from both sides of an opinion balance each other out. This means we have a mechanic or design that has the desired polarizing or competitive effect.

CCQ 2: You noted that Founder’s `Mechs can already be painted, but this is not true to the same degree as other `Mechs. Will we see additional paint options for Founder’s `Mechs in the future?
A: As mentioned before, you can change the pin stripe colour. We are looking into tweaking the texture a bit and allowing more customization options when we unlock colors for the Hero `Mechs.

CCQ 3: Why is Machine Gun damage so low?
A: Partly due to the nature of how MGs work in the TT rules, partially due to how we chose to make it useful. When equipping a MG, keep in mind that it is not meant to burn through armor but is very useful for tearing up internals (crits). Bumping MG damage will turn it into a laser that can be kept on with no heat penalty until it runs out of ammo. Now imagine the devastating effect that a 6 MG spider could do to the back of an Atlas! We are still investigating balance of the MG but don’t expect any significant increase in damage.

CCQ 4: When can we expect the backspace key to be able to be held to delete in chat? Currently you have to delete single characters, which gets particularly annoying when you die holding a key and your chat box fills up.
A: No ETA yet. We’re looking into how we can fix the input signals read by CryEngine and our implementation with Scaleform.

Community Warfare/Clans

Shively: How much effort has been going into Community Warfare, and could you briefly elaborate on what you expect it will bring to the game?
You said at PAX that, of course, every planet in the Inner Sphere probably isn't going to be represented (as it'd be too costly and too labor-intensive, most likely). However, in the past couple days, there's been a surge of forum activities from fans, pushing forth the question of user-created content. In order to fill the void, would PGI be willing to consider turning to the community for map creation? If not for CW maps, what about for Assault/Conquest matches? In addition, the CryEngine suite has the ability to randomly generate maps based upon certain parameters. Could this be a solution to the problem of CW map implementation? Could "unexplored" planets be represented by a randomly-generated map, or could battles on planets take place at different, randomized locales, with the best of whatever number of battles taking the planet/territory?
A: Randomly generate maps do not offer a quality gaming experience. A lot of design effort goes into planning each map for specific lanes, choke points, types of gameplay modes, match length etc.. etc.. Also performance is a major concern. A randomly generated map would still take months to bring from 0 to complete.
As for community generate maps or any content for that matter, we are always looking at ways to find synergies here. Right now the largest impasses are: quality of content, performance of content, distribution of content (remember this game is free to download, yet we still pay for the delivery costs up-front), installation size, rights of content, monetization of content, and tax laws.

Maverick01: As MWO is a military based game, would you guys consider adding faction specific uniforms that would display your pilot's medals and ribbons instead of a checklist of achievements? This would be perfect for Community Warfare!
A: Something along these lines will exist.

Team Leader: Has the development team put serious consideration on how to "balance" clan tech, without outright nerfing it? Or are they not at that bridge to cross it? Or, no questions on the clans yet either?
A: Yes. But we’re not ready to discuss clans until Fall.

CSLaoch: With the addition of the highlander, is there a chance that "death from above" may become possible, ex: crushing light mechs, or at least causing structural damage?
A: Yes when we re-introduce collisions after launch.

`Mech's and Mechbay

CarnifexMaximus: Can we talk about the Command Console? I have one sitting in my mech lab, it wants to be used. I, however, have no idea what PGI has planned for it. Can you discuss this?
A: This is something that we hope to implement in the near future. The reason we haven’t so far is that there are aspects of functionality that we would like to try giving it, but they rely on some systems that aren’t in place yet. What may end up happening is that the Command Console will have an evolving functionality. In order to give it some use, we’ll start with giving it any functionality we can at the moment, and then add to it as more systems come online.

Seth: I have over 2,000 units of standard armor sitting on a shelf, worth around 11 mil c-bills, and no way to sell them. Is that something I will be able to do in mechlab 2.0?
A: Yes! UI 2.0 will allow players to sell items from their “inventory” and also allow them to do so in quantity (no more clicking dozens of times to sell multiple of the same items.)

Spirit of the Wolf: Has there been any thought given, and/or are there any plans currently in motion, to allowing players to acquire mech bays via alternative methods, other than just purchasing with MC?
A: No plans currently.

Redshift2k5: Presuming the fancy non-stock trialHeavy mech of the month for April is a success, will MWO continue to offer non-stock trial mechs in the future?
A: Yes.

Featherwood: Regarding upcoming 'Heavy Metal' hero-Mech: Why LRM launcher with 10 tubes is smaller that SRM6 launcher with 6 tubes? Is that disproportion intentional or just 3D-modelers' quickie?
A: Purely an art choice.

Cockpit, HUD & Customizations

Booran: You've said in an earlier ask the devs that there'll be "garage kits" for the mech down the road, showing different arms/heads/etc. for customization. Will we see similar concept for the cockpits?(different "skins" like brushed metal, rusted, different panels, cables etc)
A: Definitely possible, no ETA.

General Maximus: Any chance on adding multi-monitor support? Like maybe we could have a second monitor for a tactical display or something. That would be pretty rad.
A: It’s technically possible, however we have to weigh the gameplay implications.

Murku: Any chance if seeing mouse wheel as bindable in options? Lots of people like it for zoom, others for weapon group swapping. Currently only way to set it is in action maps.XML, which has been declared off-limits for tampering in 'rules and guidelines' forum under 'custom modifications to mwo client'.
A: Yes.

Ryvucz: Are there any plans to implement an altimeter on the HUD?
A: Yes.

sayerszero: How exactly is damage applied to armor/structure/components from the various weapon groups? If I heat up armor/structure with energy weapons, will ballistic/missiles be more effective or no?
A: All weapons effectively deal the same sort of damage. The only real differences right now are that the explosions of missiles can deal damage to multiple locations within their radius, and weapons like machine guns are able to deal extra critical hit damage. The glow you see when you hit a Mech with lasers is nothing more than a visual effect and has no gameplay implications.

cjmurphy87: Would you consider releasing some data on elo? In particular I'd love to see a frequency distribution of the various elo scores, I'm curios whether the community has formed a bell curve, or if there are bands centered around several different modes.
A: There is a perfect bell curve. We are considering however, dropping the entry point ELO value for new players. This will help new players start at an easier play bracket and allow them to quickly move into their appropriate ELO bracket.

Maps:

TwigTech: Given the detail and strategic depth of Tourmaline Desert in comparison to the similarly-sized Alpine, will older maps ever be revisited for major geographic or structural overhauls to bring them up to par with newer maps?
A: We’re happy with all of the maps. They offer up a variety of different strategies. That being said, we have already made tweaks to Forest Colony, and continue to examine each map. 12 v 12 will change the landscape dramatically.

Levesque: Will my collection of mechs/purchased things transfer from server to server? I'm part of an international gaming group, so being able to painlessly cross borders and play with my pals on all sides of the Atlantic is really important to me.
A: If each region ends up with a server, you will be able to do a one-time transfer.

Snaloe: Can you make a Night version of Tourmaline Desert ?
A: We plan to make an alternate version. No details on time-of-day yet.

Weapons & Loadouts

Eddrick: Any possibility of us being able to mount our own Artillery Weapons like the Thumper Artillery Cannon and the Sniper Artillery Cannon?
A: No plans at the moment.

Maxx Blue: What is the desired role for machine guns, and do you feel they are currently working as intended? In casual play I'm having a hard time determining if they are hurting the enemy in any meaningful way.
A: They are working as intended. They do not pose a real threat to a fully armored `Mech, however once damage, machine guns are deadly against internal components.

SerEdvard: Any plans to buff Single Heat Sinks? For example, SHS could have lower dissipation rate but higher heat threshold, whereas DHS would have higher dissipation but lower heat threshold.
A: They will be under review again before we launch Clans.

GaiDaigouji: The Jager's aesthetics are a thing of beauty in the way that the cannons change depending on what is loaded into them. Will older units get similar treatments as time progresses? I can understand the difficulty in trying to mesh the short and chubby AC/20 into a raven or a cicada but what about the bigger boys?
A: We are overhauling every `Mech to feature a variety of visual customizations depending on loadout.

oldhasu: When ammo is destroyed by a critical hit, sometimes it explodes. Sometimes not. How does this calculated? What is the percentage of the probability?
A: There are two different times that ammo can explode. If an ammo bin is destroyed by a critical hit (each bin currently has 10 health), there is a 10% chance that the ammo remaining in that bin will explode. When a location, such as the right torso, is destroyed, each ammo bin in that location that had not already been destroyed by crit hits has an individual 10% chance to explode. There are two exceptions to this. The first is that, if you have ammo stored in your arm, and your arm falls off when your side torso is destroyed, there is no chance of the ammo exploding. The other is that Gauss Rifle ammo never explodes. However, all the explosion rules also apply to Gauss Rifles, except that they have a 90% chance of exploding.

Koniving: It was indicated that consumable firepower (artillery and air strikes) would use a smoke signal to indicate where it is to be delivered. How will we deploy it? Will it be a line of sight sort of thing where we deploy a projectile? A point and click so the signal just appears? Would we use the minimap?
A: Line-of-sight, and then a module that allows players to use the BattleGrid.

Koniving: There are mech weapons and dated (inferior but useful) equipment that are not currently available. These include but are not limited to: Rocket Launchers, Medium Range Missiles, Electronic Warfare Equipment, Remote Sensor Dispensers, and dispensible landmines. Their lack of existence prevents certain time-line friendly variants of readily available mechs from being tangible. Could we see these technologies after Community Warfare, and are any in development now?
A: If it makes sense and fits the timeline, we plan to add it. If it’s not overly useful, or very niche, it doesn’t not rank high up on the production priorities. In addition, several of the items you list, such as the Medium Range Missiles and Rocket Launchers, do not exist in the current timeline. They are not available until 3058 and 3064 respectively.

Taemien: Is there any plans to allow for units and/or groups of players to drop into a practice match against each other?
A: This would be a private match. It’s in review.

Matchmaking/ELO/Server

KinLuu: What is the rationale for hiding the players elo?
A: It’s not a statistic that players need access to.

Koniving: We now have the Jagermech, an anti-air mech. Does this mean we may be able to shoot down incoming airstrikes?
A: Not currently. The air strikes are not super powerful. If we up the damage, we may consider a skill based concept like this.

Lupin: Does your ELO score get reset at any point?
A: No. And I doubt we would reset it unless something major happened, or we completely revamped the system.

CMGrendel: In ask the devs 33 answers you confirmed you will need 2 accounts to play on 2 different regional servers. Why not a global account you can use to log in on every server?
A: Certain regional partners may require this.

Gameplay/Game modes/Issues

Scarcer: Will we ever see TDM with respawns? TDM and waves has existed ever since it was possible for Mechwarrior games. We need a longer more action packed game mode to play where we do not have to launch a new match to battle more. Alternatively, how soon will we receive something like Drop-ship mode?
A: We are still designing the next set of game modes, including any form of re-spawn mode (aka DropShip).

Lukoi: In testing grounds, can the Mechs used as target dummies be bumped up to maximum armor? That would be more closely aligned with commonly customized builds used by the player base (closer, not always maxxed I admit) than the trial Mech values currently used.
A: More tweaks and features will come over time.

BoPop: Will there be other game modes or the ability to exclude maps?
A: Yes. Maybe, if we find a major imbalance.

Asaru: Will we be seeing the return soon of the ability to drop in premade groups of various sizes and have pugs fill out the remainder of the team like it was in closed beta? Or has there been a conscious decision to not bring this back at all?
A: This is conscious to help balance out matches. The max team size in a public match is 4 and we continue to improve the matchmaker to create a more balanced experience. When 12 v 12 rolls out, 8 player teams will be replaced by 12 player teams.

Koniving: Will there be a possibility of more dynamic objectives that can change location and/or which side must do what?
A: Anything is possible. We are not actively working this currently.

Gregory Owen: How long till we see 12v12? (not asking for exact dates by any means, just a general idea ie : 1month,3month.6 months)
A: In the next 60 days~.

NiteCrawler: Could we get a change to the Assault Gamemode, to only allow capping once at least half of the team has been destroyed (or in general once, let's say 4 Mechs on either side are destroyed).
A: No changes are planned ATM.

No7: Is the Conquest Mode being worked on or is it working the way you want it to work?
A: It’s working as intended, although we feel it needs a little tuning.

Herbstwind: Are we going to see critical hits to the engine/gyro (or even actuators) in the future?
And if so, could you elaborate on the effects ? (reduced heat capacity, reduced speed, falling down more easily or on hard impacts...)
A: Yes. No details to report yet.

Vasces Diablo: Has there been any thought of making the bases in assault a destructible asset as opposed to just a "time in the box" capture?
A: Not for assault. We are working on another base capture mode for Community Warfare that features something along these lines.

General
StaggerCheck: Has there been any discussion into granting new players a start-up Mech as a way to enhance the new user experience/retention?
A: Trial Mechs take care of this aspect of the game. Future gameplay additions will enhance the new user experience.

MoonUnitBeta: This might be a silly question, but I'm really wondering. Will tessellation be available as soon as DX11 drops?
A: Not out the gates. We still need to do some work on our end.

SUBZERO8K: Is there any chance that a High-Res Texture Pack or something of the sort will ever be released as an optional download?
A: No plans currently.

Hellen Wheels: One of the perks for the Legendary purchase was to be listed in the game credits. When will we see that happen?
A: For launch.

ROPh03n1x: Any eta on the lobby where we could possibly choose/vote for the map that we want as well as the mech for that map?
A: Early to late summer.

Merchant: Can we be allowed to modify chat colors and fade in a black background so we can set up text chat to be readable by our own preferences?
A: It’s something we can look it in the future.

Joseph Djugashvilli: Do you have any in-house statistics on potential in-game hacking (so we know it's not paranoia) and if yes, are you planning of implementing something like punkbuster (althoutgh that particular program sucks badly)?
A: Yes we track and suspend/ban users for a variety of infractions. We have no plans to implement Punkbuster™ at this time.

Grotoiler: Seeing as the Devs have informed us that there's a musical score in the writings, would it be possible for you to divulge a bit more info on that? Would it be composed of full-length tracks, or just small snippets (~10 seconds or such) that would be played on certain events such as match start and what? Lastly on the topic, would there be any chance of seeing a purchasable version of said soundtrack for personal listening pleasure?
A: We’re putting together small short songs for use during start up and key moments of gameplay. They would for the most part, be short. As for releasing the soundtrack; anything is possible, but no plans at the moment.

Forum/Website/Sales:

Snaloe- Are you going to make it possible to change your password?
A: Yes. You can do this already.

Glowhollow: Will the Statistics in the Future include something like: Sum of Headshots, How Many DMG tanked, How long stayed alive or Wich zones are hitted on enemy mechs (for example, CT hitted nearly 90%, RT only 5 %)?
A: Over time we plan to add more stats, compile and display them in different ways, and make the public.

Jetfire: Given that your current weekend sales are likely very effective, are you considering your price points as far as lowering MC per item as more content comes online?
A: Anything is possible, we are not ready to reveal anything specific at this time.

Kanajashi: Can we have some sort of "First win of the day" type bonus like in League of Legends? (really any daily/weekly bonus would be awesome)
A: It’s coming in May.

M0rpHeu5: Do you check the suggestions and the game balance topics?
A: Regularly. We tend to look for trends, rather than specific suggestions. When we see many threads about something being too powerful, we examine the root causes and implement a fix or tweak.

SubRyan: Will there ever be a monthly subscription for premium game time and the ability to make it an automatic payment?
A: We’re trying to avoid recurring payments, as this implies a subscription, which we do not currently support or plan to support. Players have several options when it comes to premium time.

Viper69: Why the 180 on the 3rd person view topic? You stated to us last year you were not going that route but decided to go there any way. Why the change and were you ultimately planning to do it anyway from the start and were not straight with us from jump street?
A: At the outset we had no intention to support 3rd Person. However as with all design choices, it became clear we were limiting our audience and needed to explore ways to retain the core experience, while making the game more accessible.

Kazly: Can you separate stats into different tabs? Weekly, Monthly, All Time? Something along these lines - it would be easier to see stats for different configurations, strategies ....
A: Continued improvements to the stat system can be expect over time, including better sorting options.

#2 Steadfast

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:40 AM

thx.

#3 dal10

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:45 AM

damn, my population question wasn't answered... oh wells, will just try next ATD.

#4 jay35

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:45 AM

Thanks Bryan! Looking forward to Hero mech repainting. Would have been nice for this weekend where everyone was using them. ;)

Quote

CarnifexMaximus: Can we talk about the Command Console? I have one sitting in my mech lab, it wants to be used. I, however, have no idea what PGI has planned for it. Can you discuss this?
A: This is something that we hope to implement in the near future. The reason we haven’t so far is that there are aspects of functionality that we would like to try giving it, but they rely on some systems that aren’t in place yet. What may end up happening is that the Command Console will have an evolving functionality. In order to give it some use, we’ll start with giving it any functionality we can at the moment, and then add to it as more systems come online.


Would be great if that began by slotting Airstrikes and Artillery into the CC.

Quote

Glowhollow: Will the Statistics in the Future include something like: Sum of Headshots, How Many DMG tanked, How long stayed alive or Wich zones are hitted on enemy mechs (for example, CT hitted nearly 90%, RT only 5 %)?
A: Over time we plan to add more stats, compile and display them in different ways, and make the public.


Please ensure personal stats are only made public at the discretion of the player.

Edited by jay35, 08 April 2013 - 12:28 PM.


#5 Team Leader

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:47 AM

finally! thank you!

#6 dal10

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:47 AM

at least there was actual information. but can people please stop posting the easy are their plans type questions?

#7 Chavette

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:49 AM

Just an observation: the "mech bay alternative acquirement" method was given a yes via the form of possible achievement system unlock a few ATDs before.

#8 Morang

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:50 AM

So, no answer on my question about faction bonuses for mechs. I'll keep asking, keep mastering my already purchased mechs and won't buy extra mech bays until I'm sure on how to develop my accounts better.

#9 Team Leader

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:59 AM

View PostBryan Ekman, on 08 April 2013 - 11:36 AM, said:

CCQ 3: Why is Machine Gun damage so low?
A: Partly due to the nature of how MGs work in the TT rules, partially due to how we chose to make it useful. When equipping a MG, keep in mind that it is not meant to burn through armor but is very useful for tearing up internals (crits). Bumping MG damage will turn it into a laser that can be kept on with no heat penalty until it runs out of ammo. Now imagine the devastating effect that a 6 MG spider could do to the back of an Atlas! We are still investigating balance of the MG but don’t expect any significant increase in damage.

are you FREAKING kidding me?!
1) its not even good at getting crits anymore, an actual weapon will a take out the components faster
2) uh, yeah, thats kinda the point of the Machine Gun? Why is the ammo count so high anyway, just buff damage but greatly reduce the ammo I dont get how thats hard
3) The spider cant mount 6 MGs. And if you suck enough to let anything with 6 of anything get behind you, you DESERVE TO DIE
4) Why not?! Check the poll in my sig. Check your telemetry data. Who in their right mind likes machine guns the way that are now? Ballistic heavy mechs only mount them because they can. In the case of the cicada and spider, MGs are the only ballistic they can fit in their stupid hardpoints!

Edited by Team Leader, 08 April 2013 - 12:36 PM.


#10 Zyllos

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 12:00 PM

See that my question regarding pin-point accuracy issues went unanswered.

Guess I will just have to keep asking them. I am certain PGI is seeing the many threads and posts regarding this issue and the imbalances it is creating.

#11 Signal27

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 12:02 PM

Well nuts, they didn't answer my question. I thought that "will there ever be a 55 ton mech?" would be easy to answer. Anybody know if this was already answered before?

#12 Funkadelic Mayhem

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 12:02 PM

Posted Image

#13 Zyllos

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 12:03 PM

Why does ammo have 10HP?

Shouldn't it have 1 HP? That would extremely buff Machine Guns, LBX/10s...but would buff Lasers, SRMs, AC/2s, and LRMs.

I am really surprised ammo has 10 HP. This is why these crit seeking weapons never cause ammo explosions while these hard hitting weapons just outright destroy people by either placing a ton of damage on the target or causing an ammo explosion.

#14 Kanajashi

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 12:06 PM

View PostBryan Ekman, on 08 April 2013 - 11:36 AM, said:

Kanajashi: Can we have some sort of "First win of the day" type bonus like in League of Legends? (really any daily/weekly bonus would be awesome)
A: It’s coming in May.


WOOT! I'm so excited about this, thanks for answering my question this week. With this and ATD 34, that's 2 for 2 :angry:

#15 Adridos

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 12:06 PM

View PostBryan Ekman, on 08 April 2013 - 11:36 AM, said:

CSLaoch: With the addition of the highlander, is there a chance that "death from above" may become possible, ex: crushing light mechs, or at least causing structural damage?

A: Yes when we re-introduce collisions after launch.


...... :angry:

#16 Wolfyop

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 12:07 PM

they could atleast increase the MG range and give a little more DPS.

#17 KinLuu

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 12:09 PM

Detailed answers. ATD should be always like this.

#18 Vasces Diablo

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 12:09 PM

Q: "ETA on a lobby to choose a map?"
A: "early to late summer."

Soooo... Summer?

Anyway, thanks for the updates. Good stuff. Looking forward to daily bonus in May.

#19 BlackWidow

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 12:12 PM

I am, as I'm sure the rest of the community is, eagerly awaiting 12 v 12 drops. But, considering the variations in map size, the (unknown) features of CW to be added and possible dynamic objectives I am curious if there will ever be a chance to drop 4 v 4 and 8 v 8?

I guess this will be possible with the lobby/private matches but was more interested in actual CW drops. Not every resource needs a full company to attack/defend every time.

Thanks in advance for an answer if possible.

#20 StalaggtIKE

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 12:12 PM

Thanks for you answers.

View PostBryan Ekman, on 08 April 2013 - 11:36 AM, said:

CCQ 1: Bryan, can you elaborate on you statement: “That's exactly the polarizing type of content we want!”? A: We want there to always be a debate about whether something is too powerful or too weak. There’s a sweet spot where players from both sides of an opinion balance each other out. This means we have a mechanic or design that has the desired polarizing or competitive effect.

I can agree with this statement. However, I have yet to see anyone state that they felt ECM was under powered or too weak. It's alway been stated as either being fine as is or too useful and OP. Perhaps your proposed revisions will sway some opinions. Currently Information Warfare feels underwhelming and only dominated by ECM. I hope there are plans to further flesh IW out.

Edited by StalaggtIKE, 08 April 2013 - 12:15 PM.






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