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Ask The Devs 47 - Answered!


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#1 miSs

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:11 AM

Hello MechWarriors! Here are the answers from the dev team, they answered 9 questions this time:






Question form van Uber: Could you please stop spreading detailed information about the game across the internet without posting the relevant information on mwomercs.com?

I think most here understand the need to deliver new information to other sources, no one wants to deny you that possibility. It's just that whenever you do that, it would be extremely appreciated if you could do a writeup or summary of that particular information, ie a bit more than a link to a podcast.

For instance, there is roughly three hours of verbal interview with Bryan at NGNG, but none of that vital information is available here, unless you count the valiant effort from the community (thanks to Peiper) to create a transcript.
mwomerc.com should alway be the primary source of information, it does not have to be published here first, but it should always be, to some extent, published here.

Along those lines, Bryan mentioned in the NGNG interview that he wanted to know what PGI did wrong in communication (not sure if completely accurate, I've just read second hand information of this). Not posting information revealed trough other sources is one of those things. Another would be the silence. There should not be a contest between "getting the game out" and "communication", you need to start seeing them as equally important. Not communicating is potentially even more hurtful than missing deadlines. As IqfishLP puts it in regards to the recent PGI post about UI 2.0 history:

View PostIqfishLP, on 11 September 2013 - 02:24 PM, said:

Why don’t you get an employee to write down a page of stuff that he is working on every week?


It's a reasonable suggestion to ask one of you to share some information once a week and would have very little impact on your ability to deliver your product, but it would have an significant impact on the expectation management towards the community.


Answer from Bryan: Different messages require different forms of communication. A podcast is a great way to communicate emotion, or complex ideas that require the intonation of verbal speech. Often written words lack this context and can be misconstrued, and the messaging around those recent podcasts was far too delicate and tricky to be expressed in a written form.

We do continue to post regular, detailed information via these ATDs, and Command Chair posts, more than could be conveyed in a podcast for example. And we plan to release all of the glorious details touched on in the podcasts via posts here on the forums when we are done writing them up. I like to use our UI 2.0 threads as a great example of how forums should be used to communicate information.








Question from Timuroslav: What Future Game modes can we expect? (~about~ mid Next year)
In example:
Asymetrical Warfare
Convoy
Drophship Hunt
Espionage & Escape
Protect the Ambassador
Search & Destroy
Tug-o-War


Answer from Paul: We are actively investigating various iterations of Attack and Defend. One team defends an objective while the other tries to conquer it. This is meant to help promote the feel of planetary conquest in Community Warfare.

Another “mode” per se that we’ve been looking at is the ability to chain a series of matches together in a gauntlet style of gameplay. For example, and yes, this is an example and not a promise... imagine dropping into a best of 3 matches, match 1 is against Team A, match 2 is against Team B, match 3 is against Team C. You get repaired between matches but you do not win anything until you defeat Team C. Think planetary conquest on this one too.

Many of the modes you have suggested rely on a respawn system which is something we’re not truly supporting. You may have heard of DropShip mode where players will be able to take up to 4 Mechs into a match. This is something that is still on deck but will require a rather significant amount of resources on all three fronts of the game (gameplay, UI, backend Match Making) There is no ETA for this at the moment.








Question from MizarPanzer: When are you going to implement a more diversified pilot tree, for instance replace speed tweak from Atlas and instead replace it with an armor tweak?


Answer from Paul: The pilot tree was designed with the mindset of what could a pilot do to his neurohelmet interface that could boost his interaction with his Mech. Think along the lines of chipping a car. You can get better HP, handling, fuel performance, etc. by chipping a car, but it’s not going to make your car any tougher. That being said, we will be adding more skills to this tree as soon as we can.







Question from SaJeel: When/How do you guys plan on implementing role based rewards. I'm not asking for a specific date, just some insight into how this aspect is coming along, if its a priority, will it be in before lets say the end of the yea Currently there is no C-bill/exp incentive for a scout to scout, or for a player to defend their base, or for a player to attack, the only thing the game seems to reward heavily is component destruction. If you could also discuss how you plan to i guess encourage role based behavior, i wouldn't mind =D


Answer from Paul: This is currently a priority for the designers. While I can’t give you an ETA, I can tell you that it’s being looked at on a daily basis. We are putting together the stories (design requests in agile development) and prepping them for engineering review. We want to make sure that what we implement can focus on the various roles of combat instead of by-chance rewards. We will update you on this as it moves into development.








Question from Butane9000: Since you confirmed the Timber wolfs/Mad Cats existence within game as well as having the design, concept art and modelling work done. What can you tell us of how the missile pods will work in regards to the damage skeleton? Will it have additional skeletal points or will the missile tubes be counted along with the arms and or torso?

This particular question has been on the forums for quite some time. The easiest solution would seem to give them additional damage modules on the skeleton. However that would make it unique in having what one could consider "additional health" as well as other issues. What exactly have you looked at in regards to this issue?


Answer from Bryan: I would love to give a longer answer, however we are working to solve many of the technical challenges associated to Clan technology. If you look to my answer below, we’ve allocated time very soon to solve these challenges. I look forward to addressing this question in the near future once we have an answer!








Question from FactorlanP: Role Warfare - Recently, while explaining the adjustment in C-Bill earnings, an Atlas was referred to as a"Top Tier Avatar"
This language doesn't seem consistent with your previously stated design pillar that Every Mech Class would be viable on the battlefield and that MW:O would not be a race to the largest most powerful mechs

Has that design pillar changed, are Assault class mechs now considered to be "End Game Content"?

(Hopefully this tees you up to discuss plans to make each and every role viable and important on the battlefield. And by "viable and important", I mean... What are you doing to make it so a team actually WANTS every role represented when they drop into battle. It isn't enough to simply give additional bonus xp or c-bills for particular battlefield actions. There must be reasons why a team focused on winning would want or need that mech type included in the drop. Tweaks such as more torso twist don't seem to be doing much to improve Medium mechs, for instance.)


Answer from Bryan: An Atlas is the top end of the Assault spectrum. Assault class starts at 80 tons and go to 100 tons. With that logic in mind a starting Assault `Mech is not the Atlas, rather the Awesome or some other 80 ton assault chassis. So no, we’re not redefining, and saying there is a linear progression from Light to Assault, rather that every weight class should be viable AND still have a progression with that class range. By virtue of how our economy works, there CAN be a natural player progression from Light to Assault, which is not necessarily a bad thing, however it’s most definitely not a requirement with our Trial `Mech and Cadet Bonus systems.

As we continue to add more `Mech content each month, there are more options for players to buy entry level class `Mechs. With future updates we plan to continue adding more developmental content that feels like player progression within a class, role, and overall as a pilot.








Question from Sojo: As a new player I am finding it tough to upgrade the chassis that I buy because of my C-Bill income which equals about 300k-400k an hour (not a great pilot yet and a bit off the stated average). What I'm finding hard to do is getting the basically required, for the most part, DHS and Endo (or Art) for mechs that I am trying out or working on eliting 3 variants. Much less extremely costly different engines for testing and fits.

The problem I'm finding, along with others in my group of new players, is that the investment of the structure upgrades (DHS/Endo/FF/Art) does not add to the sell factor of the mech and cannot be switched freely after purchase (Endo/Standard) for different build testing. If you don't take these upgrades during your elite grind you're severely gimping yourself/team and the grind becomes worse. Ex: No builds use SHS and DHS is basically a required 1.5mil tax on each new mech. Add to that the costs of equipment/weapons/engines and trying experimental builds makes this a mind numbingly long and painful grind-like experience.
If you have solidified the current state of C-Bill gain and the costs of upgrades, engines and weapons does not relate directly to MC profit for the company. Why not leave the cost of mechs the same and adjust C-Bill costs of weapons/upgrades? This would lead to more diversity on the battlefield and more enjoyment of the overall game experience while removing some of the grind.
  • Is there any plans to adjust the price down for these upgrades, engines & weapons since most are pretty much required purchases to be competitive? Or to allow the switching back and forth of upgrades for no cost after being upgraded.
  • Any plans to look at the minimum earned per match since new players can have games back to back of around 27k a match. Increasing the minimum gained for players that stick around to learn from spectating would overall be better for the equipment grind as well as the playerbases' knowledge of the game. Also this would possibly entices people to purchase premium time more since it's currently not worth it for people with alot of low paying matches.


Answer from Bryan: The pricing design for upgrades was based on a labor model. We wanted to simulate the cost of a technician adding a removing these upgrades and the associate costs of doing so. Rather than make these and item that the player owned. Upgrades are advanced technology, and our goal was to make it mid to end game content for players that have experienced over 100 matches.

I can say we are definitely looking at the costs of upgrades right now. They are not indicative of where the economy is as a whole. We have not come to a final decision, however we believe the costs may be out of line with the progression of player development.

Also it’s important that we’ve never hidden the fact that our economy balances a fine line between too much grind and too little in an effort to encourage players to purchase a variety of MC items. Item pricing takes this into account.








Question from Redshift2k5: Will November, December, etc see more than one mech released per month? With all four primary Project Pheonix mechs coming out in October, plus reinforcements in December.. If those mechs are all completed months ahead of their c-bill release date, will we see any additional mechs released during that time (ie, mechs being created during the span from October 2013 to Feb 2014?)


Answer from Bryan: We’ve created a nice little 3 month buffer to get ahead of our `Mech of The Month (MOTM) releases. This window was created and designed to allow us some time to experiment with Clan technologies and `Mechs. Our goal is to have the Clan starting lineup (4-6) `Mechs ready and completed for launch in the first two quarters of next year. So while we could focus on doubling up MOTM releases, we feel this time is going to be spent on Clan technologies.









Question from ACfromDC: Have you thought about replacing the 2x XP Daily with a 50% extra C-bills/50% extra XP Daily instead?
With the recent adjustment to C-bill income, I believe a 50% extra C-bills/50% extra XP would be more beneficial for new and old players. Plus, it is the same bonus one would receive with premium time and would help show players the advantage of buying premium time.


Answer from Bryan: Honestly, we haven’t thought of changing the DXP bonus. The reason is mostly due to the why DXP is there in the first place. The goal of DXP is to encourage daily play across as many `Mechs as possible, without impacting the economy. Encouraging daily play helps players develop their skills and stay engaged over a longer period of time.

It’s also designed to encourage exploring the Pilot Lab and developing the each `Mech to a Master state. Don’t forget new players have access to nearly 8m in CB earnings across 25 matches, in addition to their regularly earnings. With the new UI, we’re going to be introducing Premium Time concepts via a training system.

I think this will be more effective in teaching players the value of Premium Time, which IMHO is a must have. From a personal side, DXP is really addictive. I jump on and play every day to grind out XP to unlock more potential in my new MOTM `Mechs.

#2 Homeless Bill

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:19 AM

Thanks for giving us a heads up about pushing the answers back to today.

TL;DR ATD



Answered:
Q: Will you post all communication (like the Podcasts) on website?
A: No. More detailed posts are coming eventually.

Q: More game modes?
A: Attack/Defend being investigated. Best-of-three matches is another thought. No ETA on dropship mode or anything else.

Q: Diversified pilot tree?
A: We'll be adding to it "as soon as we can."

Q: Role-based rewards?
A: It's a priority, but there's no ETA.

Q: How will the Timberwolf's hitboxes work (the missile pods)?
A: Words [no answer].

Q: Atlas is a "top-tier avatar?"
A: It's top-tier within the assault class. There's always choice.

Q: C-Bill nerf / lowering cost of upgrades?
A: C-Bill nerf is working as intended. We're looking at upgrade pricing.

Q: More than one 'mech per month?
A: Nope. We're working on Clans for Q1/Q2 2014.

Q: Double C-Bill bonus?
A: No.

Unanswered:
Q: When will separate queues be enabled? Glad they didn't answer it.
Q: Voting utility attached to client? Apparently the answer is no.
Q: Can we have the ability to turn Premium Time off? They've said no before, so I imagine that answer hasn't changed.
Q: Place to vote on small feature / fix prioritization? Apparently not.
Q: Community Warfare for Founders? Like the queues question, lots of entitlement and glad it wasn't answered.
Q: Reconnect button? They've been promising this for six months. I imagine it's about as low as you could get on the priority list. Don't hold your breath.
Q: Since you know NARC is broken, why not fix NARC? I'd like to know, but I know the answer would probably just make me unhappy, so whatever.

This was pretty depressing. Thanks for the answers, but there's really not any new information here. Again, I suggest getting rid of AtD in favor of a bi-weekly update on something of your choosing. Show us UI 2.0 in action. Make us as two-minute video of some new feature. Hell, it was awesome when someone released a video of the new missile pattern ages ago. I'd rather have that sort of communication than the frustrating stonewalling we get out of AtD.

I'm not even saying it's your fault - you have things you can and can't talk about, and most of the answers you gave are the only ones you could. But man it gets old seeing "no ETA."

Addendum: Atlas is top-tier within its class. So the Awesome is meant to be ****? Or...

Edited by Homeless Bill, 23 September 2013 - 01:18 PM.


#3 Hellen Wheels

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:26 AM

Danke schoen!

#4 Deathlike

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:28 AM

The answers were more or less disappointing and all I've really learned that they have finally looked into the 1.5m C-bill DHS "tax".

Also, I think the Clan Mech ETA is a bad carrot that's hanging at this very moment. This is only because they have yet to properly balance IS Tech in the first place.

Edited by Deathlike, 23 September 2013 - 11:30 AM.


#5 Destructicus

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:28 AM

No clans till 2014.....
See you then...

#6 Scromboid

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:32 AM

:)

Edited by Scromboid, 23 September 2013 - 11:41 AM.


#7 Roland

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:33 AM

Quote

Answer from Bryan: I would love to give a longer answer, however we are working to solve many of the technical challenges associated to Clan technology. If you look to my answer below, we’ve allocated time very soon to solve these challenges. I look forward to addressing this question in the near future once we have an answer!

Why did you pick this question to answer, if the ultimate response was going to be that you didn't have an answer?

I mean, why not just pick one of the other questions that had received a high vote count?

#8 Saarna

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:35 AM

Quote

our economy balances a fine line between too much grind and too little in an effort to encourage players to purchase a variety of MC items.


Except those MC items are so absurdly over priced you won't be seeing another cent from me at least. Nerf C-Bill earnings all you like, I'll sooner switch games than pay a retail game's worth for a single 'Mech.

#9 chiXu

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:38 AM

Nothing in these responses tells me I need to re-install the game any time soon. I should thank PGI, however, for motivating me to study more than game :)

#10 CyclonerM

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:39 AM

wow this is the second time they ignored my question.. They really don't like to talk about hot matters like founders, casual players and Hardcore fans.

#11 Cimarb

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:40 AM

Thanks for the answers. I foresee a lot of complaints though, since most of the questions are longer than the answers to them. Many of the answers are 2-3 sentences long. For waiting a week to get them, that is very underwhelming.

I love the game, and pray to God that it succeeds, but more time needs to be put into these answers. For instance, the answer for Butane9000's question was simply saying "I don't have an answer, but I can't wait to give one." That is a cop-out answer, lol.

That being said, the little bit of info regarding a timeline to get Clan mechs is awesome! Make that timeline so people don't use it against you, PLEASE!

Edit: What HomelessBill said. It's frustrating to get non-answers. Is like we are dogs begging for a treat and you just keep saying "Wanna treat?! Huh, wanna treat boy?!!", then smacking us with a rolled up paper for jumping...

Edited by Cimarb, 23 September 2013 - 12:29 PM.


#12 Deathlike

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:41 AM

View PostCyclonerM, on 23 September 2013 - 11:39 AM, said:

wow this is the second time they ignored my question.. They really don't like to talk about hot matters like founders, casual players and Hardcore fans.


You are not the demographic they are looking for.

View PostRoland, on 23 September 2013 - 11:33 AM, said:

Why did you pick this question to answer, if the ultimate response was going to be that you didn't have an answer?

I mean, why not just pick one of the other questions that had received a high vote count?


Well, this was the designated week where answering the question is technically optional. Maybe next week.

#13 JudgeDeathCZ

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:41 AM

View PostDeathlike, on 23 September 2013 - 11:28 AM, said:

The answers were more or less disappointing and all I've really learned that they have finally looked into the 1.5m C-bill DHS "tax".

Also, I think the Clan Mech ETA is a bad carrot that's hanging at this very moment. This is only because they have yet to properly balance IS Tech in the first place.

yea they gonna change it now when ppl who played OB have almost all mechs with DHS(like me) and they are thinking about increasing that tax..I see new players will love them xD

#14 aniviron

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:42 AM

Answer from Bryan: An Atlas is the top end of the Assault spectrum. Assault class starts at 80 tons and go to 100 tons. With that logic in mind a starting Assault `Mech is not the Atlas, rather the Awesome or some other 80 ton assault chassis. So no, we’re not redefining, and saying there is a linear progression from Light to Assault, rather that every weight class should be viable AND still have a progression with that class range. By virtue of how our economy works, there CAN be a natural player progression from Light to Assault, which is not necessarily a bad thing, however it’s most definitely not a requirement with our Trial `Mech and Cadet Bonus systems.

As we continue to add more `Mech content each month, there are more options for players to buy entry level class `Mechs. With future updates we plan to continue adding more developmental content that feels like player progression within a class, role, and overall as a pilot.


What I am reading here is that the intention is that a light should be as useful as an assault if the game was designed to play exactly how the developers want it, but also that the heaviest mech in its weight class is always supposed to be the most useful one? I'm not sure what make the Victor/Awesome 'entry level' mechs compared to an atlas. This is especially perplexing, given that some assaults like the AWS-9M cost significantly more than an AS7-D, etc.

Edited by aniviron, 23 September 2013 - 11:52 AM.


#15 Monsoon

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:43 AM

Thanks for the answers!

#16 Jetfire

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:43 AM

View PostDestructicus, on 23 September 2013 - 11:28 AM, said:

No clans till 2014.....
See you then...


Honestly with how little is out on CW and new game modes and dropship mode... I am not sure how Clans aren't out to Q4 2014 at least.

#17 Deathlike

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:43 AM

View PostJudgeDeathCZ, on 23 September 2013 - 11:41 AM, said:

yea they gonna change it now when ppl who played OB have almost all mechs with DHS(like me) and they are thinking about increasing that tax..I see new players will love them xD


If they manage to increase the 1.5m DHS upgrade, I guess destroying the new player experience is the new goal.

#18 Jakob Knight

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:44 AM

Interesting selection of which questions to answer.

#19 Deathlike

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:45 AM

View PostJakob Knight, on 23 September 2013 - 11:44 AM, said:

Interesting selection of which questions to answer.


Here's the real question, what exactly did they tell us? I can only decipher only 2 things, and many non-answers.

#20 Jakob Knight

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:55 AM

View PostDeathlike, on 23 September 2013 - 11:45 AM, said:


Here's the real question, what exactly did they tell us? I can only decipher only 2 things, and many non-answers.


Which is, no doubt, their intent. Note also that, in addition to selecting at least two entries that had multiple questions each, they answered one of with 'see our answer on another question', which is no answer really.

Oh well. Actually, I'm not surprised this team is refusing to put more info here than on podcasts, as evidenced in the first answer they gave. It's fairly obvious these guys don't have any understanding of technical writing, and can more easily speak in an interview where they don't have to actually think about their answers, but can use emotion to cover their shallowness ('What kind of beer do you like' questions are more important than 'When are we getting chat lobbies'). Since they lack professional skills, we just have to accept they cannot do the things professionals in their jobs would be expected to be able to do. That answer, at least, cast more light on why this 'team' is having so many problems when it comes to basic competency in corportate management.

Edited by Jakob Knight, 23 September 2013 - 11:56 AM.






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