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Ask The Devs - 44 - Answers!


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#1 Kyle Polulak

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:27 PM

Greetings MechWarriors!
You asked and the Devs Answered!
Here's ATD 44!




Question from ShadowVFX: Some users on this forum are suggesting giving more elaborate quirks to each mech (or variant), rather than just tweaking it's movement ranges. Have you considered adding any quirks similar to these?:

-Because it is a canonical energy boat, AWS-8Q gets a slight boost to it's heat draining capacity of ~ +5%.
-Because it is a dedicated support missile platform, the CPTL-A1 could receive a lock-on time reduction bonus of ~10%.
-The Raven-3L could have reduced sensor range ability due to the interference of ECM with the rest of the mech's systems.
-Spiders with faster JJ recharge and/or reduced falling damage.
-Jagermechs getting a 5% reduction to the cooldown time on ballistic weapons.

These are just a few examples of the many ideas thrown out by the community. Are more specialized tweaks like these something that is coming to MWO?

Answer from David: This is something that I would definitely like to see. The current quirks are all movement related because, when we decided to first implement quirks, those were the variables that could easily be tuned. Since then, we’ve been working on so many other features and improvements that we haven’t had time to properly go back and readdress the quirks system. Unfortunately, there’s no timetable for this at the moment, though it probably won’t appear until after launch.




Question From Maxx Blue: What does PGI consider to be the top three problems with the game right now? We all have our own opinions, but I am curious what PGI considers to be the biggest problems the game has currently.

Answer From Paul:

Hit Detection – It is imperative that this improves for launch. Not only does it affect how the game plays right now but it also creates issues with weapon balancing.

New User Experience – An upcoming tutorial is about to hit our testing builds and we will be pushing this out as soon as possible.

Game Balance – There are still a number of Mechs and weapons that need to be looked at prior to launch.




Question from Druidika: When do you plan to allow your players to create groups of sizes other than 2 to 4 and 12?

See Paul’s answer to StalaggtIKE’s question below




Question from Mechiro: What will happen to Command Console component and Advanced Zoom module on the launch date, will they stay as they are right now?

Command Console does nothing other than taking place and weight when mounted.
Advanced Zoom does not work as expected:
* current zoom level returns to 1x and shows blurry image where almost nothing can be seen, and after being turned off zoom level remains 1x (does not return to previous level).
* mechs are indistinguishable, triangles that show friend or foe are constantly moving back and forth to match zoom levels of 1x and 4x.

Answer from David: The exact nature of how the Command Console will work keeps changing and evolving. It’s possible but unlikely that it will be updated before launch. Hopefully we can get it in not too long after, but it’s currently not scheduled.
Regarding Advanced Zoom, that has admittedly gotten left by the wayside. It’s still too expensive to properly render a picture in picture zoom like that, but we probably should take another look at that module, and find some ways to make it more viable.




Question from Chronojam: Are there any plans to increase internal health to capture that stubborn resilience we're told mechs have, to capture the feel of wrangling a giant war machine as various weapons and support systems shut down over time, to diminish the impact of the high-alpha long-range dominance over short range builds, to reduce the odds of a lucky snap-shot or bad maneuver insta-killing lighter mechs, and ultimately to increase time to kill so we feel we're playing a mech sim where strategy and maneuvers (plus a commander's quick decision-making) matter more?

Answer from Paul: We currently have the ability to do this on a global scale (i.e. all Mechs are affected by the same multiplier.) However, it wouldn’t be pertinent to set this number yet as we are still waiting on HSR improvements. Depending on the amount of time HSR fixes will require, we MAY bump IS health by a small percentage to hold us over until the majority of HSR issues are dealt with. We are going to be looking at this on 2 levels. We need to make sure we don’t end up with a bunch of Mechs running around with no weapons/ammo and we need to make sure we don’t make the armor destruction time shorter than the IS destruction time.




Question from BP Raven: Right now the Awesome is arguably the worst assault mech chassis in the game (it posted the worst scores on the Assault vs the world tournament) and they are a compative rarity in game. It takes a dedicated pilot to drive one, and while some people can shine in them, the same people will probably do better in other, more powerful mechs.

Various improvements have been discussed on the forums, ranging from altering the hitboxes to make them less vulnerable to CT coring (ie, make the arm hitboxes bigger, STs lower and more inwards and the CT thinner - zombie awesome anyone?) to chassis bonuses to energy weapons/cooling to a complete redisign of the model.

Are we likely to see any love for the Awesome to make it a more viable choice, and if so, what type of love might we expect?

Answer from David: The Awesome is a Mech that we need to take a look at. Recently, we’ve started a new pass looking at improving the balance between the Mechs. (Look for improvements to Medium Mechs coming in the August 20th patch.) As we do this, we’ll be sure to take a look at the Awesome. This will involve, first of all, making sure that there’s nothing weird or buggy about the hit boxes, and then seeing what we can do to improve the Mech. Exactly what form those improvements come in will remain to be seen.




Question from Solis Obscuri: Why do you consider the 2xPPC+Gauss high-alpha build which nearly everyone has been using for the last three months a lesser balance problem than firing three Large Lasers or four SRM-4s at the same time?

Answer from Paul: The assumption that we think the 2PPC+Gauss is a lesser problem than any of the other high alpha builds, is incorrect. We have looked at what we can do with the build in question and have come up with a plan to de-sync the firing times of PPC and Gauss and keeping the Gauss as a primary long-range weapon. More information on this will be made available as soon as we get the feature ready to test.




Question from Levi Porphyrogenitus: Have you considered implementing a system of graduated heat penalties to the heat scale?
We currently have hard penalties when over 100%. This works well for what it is, but there is virtually no incentive to keep your heat low so long as you don't go past 100%, and even there if you aren't too far beyond it then it's not that bad.
Have you looked at adding soft penalties to the heat scale, below the 100% marker. For instance, have a % reduction in top speed, turn/twist/arm reflex rates, sensor range, and accuracy. This would scale up as your heat climbs, and would drop as your heat dissipates.
Implementing such a system would encourage better heat management, would make the recent heat-boost system for excessive similar weapons more meaningful, and would reduce the ability of high-heat-high-alpha builds to put repeated precision attacks into the same location with perfect accuracy.
The penalties would not need to be all that harsh to be impactful, either. You'd have all kinds of room to balance it, from the starting point (I tend to favor the 25% heat marker myself) to scaling rate, and more.
Further, any change like this adds skill to the game without making it prohibitive for new players. More involved heat management, so long as it is straightforward, predictable, and without any random death mechanics or other elements that would make it arbitrary, would give players who are skilled at heat management an edge, would encourage more balanced builds, and would reduce or in some cases eliminate the most egregious examples of one- or two-shot kills.

Answer from David: This is another thing that I would like to see make its way into the game. Unfortunately, there are some synchronization issues that would need to be sorted out first. This isn’t impossible, but it would be a significant undertaking. Hopefully we can find some time not too long after launch, but that’s going to depend on fitting in in and around all the work that has to be done on other aspects of the game.




Question from DirePhoenix: Has any consideration been made for a "replay mode" ala 'BattleROM', where players can review the last battle with playback controls and a free-roaming camera (similar to what is offered in HALO 3 & 4)?

I feel such a tool would add a great amount of value to players and the community as a whole as it could be used to review tactics and satisfy the desire for players to 'see their 'mechs in action' without providing tactical advantages inherent in a 3PV gameplay mode, in addition to providing an opportunity to create machinima from the recorded footage.

Answer from Brian W and Karl: A replay system is one of those features that has long been on our list of things to do. Unfortunately there are many challenges that we still need to address, such as the size of the replay file, building a system that can read in a replay and play back the file correctly, future integration with AI and scripted bots, and the ability to efficiently scrub the replay file. We currently have no time frame for when this feature will be released due to the amount of work involved, and our current commitments to essential launch and post-launch features that are considered higher priority.




Question from 3rdworld: Have you considered a time frame for which bases cannot be capped?
IE bases can't be capped until 7 minutes left.

Answer by Paul: By the time you’re reading this, 12v12 is live as are the new timing values for capturing a base. Base captures take a lot longer to happen and that will give defending teams more time to return to base. Conversely, if a team plans on winning by capture, they’re going to have to plan this quite a bit earlier on in the match. Since the process of capture is much longer, the fast cap is no longer an issue if you have people watching the base capture notification.




Question from StalaggtIKE: In one of the previous ATD, you stated that there are plans of accommodating 5+ player group drops. Is this still in the works and is this something we can expect to have available before launch?

Answer from Paul: Yes it is still in the works. What is required is our tonnage limit system to be implemented so we don’t have to do crazy stuff in the match making system to get groups assembled. The tonnage limit system will put Mech balance in the hands of the player and the match maker then only has to worry about Elo and team player counts. With this system in place, players will be able to launch in groups of 1-12 inclusively. I cannot give a time estimate on this yet. My GUESS would be shortly after launch.




Bonus Question from PoLaR: What current maps Is the team working on? Are the "Cave" and "Moon Base" levels still in the works?

Answer from Paul: The next two maps involve an Island City and a Moon Base.

#2 Stormwolf

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:35 PM

i'm somewhat disappointed, I was hoping for answers for these questions:

Quote

Question# 4- 174 votes
Destructicus: Dear PGI, do you plan to address the points made in the #saveMWO open letter to Russ, Paul, Bryan and the rest of the studio staff?
Points that the community feels negatively impact the game
Very slow iteration of simple gameplay balance
  • Decisions made contrary to constructive community feedback
  • Segregation of 8 man and 4 man player queues in a social online game, a system made obsolete by implementation of Elo ranking
  • Design decisions often failing to account for high level gameplay
  • Using canon Battletech systems despite their unsuitability for PC games
The point that most echos my own concerns is that I strongly feel that the community's feedback is being ignored. Why does it feel that our feedback means virtually nothing?

For example
3rd PPOV
Why are you so intent on forcing a feature such as this on us?
Why are people against the game's direction dismissed as a "vocal minority"?
Why are you ignoring your promise made to the founders and why have you not acknowledged this?
Can we expect your response (if at all) to the letter in command chair post or something else?

tl;dr Why is PGI intent on taking a game we want to support and see succeed in a direction nobody wants to go?


Along the same lines, with 100 votes
101011: Are you (PGI) going to make an official response to the #savemwo event that occurred a while back? It seems kind of strange that a group of players (what, 700+?) can all go out of their way to discuss the game without being acknowledged at all.


#3 Gwaihir

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:35 PM

Ahahahaha, manually desynching the firing of Gauss rifles and PPCs, that is absolutely great.

Seriously, has no one considered that they're fine without all this artificial messing around, and that they just need their numbers changed to be balanced sniper weapons?

If it was absolutely fine and balanced to have them work without any ghost heat, crazy convergence, cone of fire, or "Manual desynchronization" in MW:LL, why won't it work for MW:O? I've yet to hear any good reasoning on this point.

e: For real, because this is getting in to serious and utter comedy time: Why would you waste precious, precious programming time on something that would be an utter non-issue with perhaps 5 number changes in one XML file, at most? Roll back the PPC projectile speed buff, to something other than the exact same speed as a Gauss slug. Drop PPC RoF to 5 seconds. Anything like that would be better than this. Literally anything.

Edited by Gwaihir, 12 August 2013 - 01:44 PM.


#4 MisterFiveSeven

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:37 PM

View PostNiko Snow, on 12 August 2013 - 01:27 PM, said:

Question from Solis Obscuri:[color=#959595] Why do you consider the 2xPPC+Gauss high-alpha build which nearly everyone has been using for the last three months a lesser balance problem than firing three Large Lasers or four SRM-4s at the same time?[/color]

Answer from Paul:[color=#959595] The assumption that we think the 2PPC+Gauss is a lesser problem than any of the other high alpha builds, is incorrect. We have looked at what we can do with the build in question and have come up with a plan to de-sync the firing times of PPC and Gauss and keeping the Gauss as a primary long-range weapon. More information on this will be made available as soon as we get the feature ready to test.[/color]


But seriously no comment on ghost heat? B)

Edit :: or just ppc heat in general? or recycle times? or ANYTHING other than new mechanics!?

Edited by MisterFiveSeven, 12 August 2013 - 01:38 PM.


#5 Homeless Bill

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:37 PM

OVERALL:
Mostly no new information. Medium tweaks coming on August 20th sound great, whatever they're doing with Gauss/PPCs sounds scary, and everything else is coming after launch. It's particularly disappointing that they totally ignored #saveMWO. I'd praise them for answering more than five questions, but they really didn't have much of anything to say; I'd call it even.

TL;DR:
Q: Better 'mech efficiencies (per-chassis basis)?
A: Sounds cool, but no plans.
Bill's Thoughts: Expected.

Q: Top three problems with the game?
A: Hit detection, new user experience, and game balance.
Bill's Thoughts: Good answers.

Q: Command Console and Advanced Zoom?
A: They will continue to be useless until after launch.
Bill's Thoughts: Boo. Just temporarily make Advanced Zoom a 4x zoom. What? Like a 4x zoom would be totally OP and wallhacks are just fine?

Q: Increase internal health?
A: Probably not until HSR is fixed; maybe, though.
Bill's Thoughts: Acceptable. HSR isn't something I want them to dance around.

Q: Fix the Awesome?
A: It's bad, and we'll take a look at it. Medium buffs coming August 20th.
Bill's Thoughts: Its hitboxes aren't buggy; they're huge. Seriously guys, you need to accept that a lot of 'mech scaling is wrong, and you need to do a pass to rescale a lot of chassis (Awesome, Quickdraw, Stalker, Trebuchet, Kintaro, etc.). If it's difficult to do, you guys should figure out a way to make your asset pipeline support re-scaling. It keeps happening, and it needs a quick solution.

Q: 2xPPC + 1xGauss?
A: "We have looked at what we can do with the build in question and have come up with a plan to de-sync the firing times of PPC and Gauss and keeping the Gauss as a primary long-range weapon."
Bill's Thoughts: What the hell? If this is just recycle time, it'll have no effect. But what it sounds like is "one of these weapons will no longer fire when you click." If that's the case, I'm absolutely dumbfounded. Quit making new, confusing systems!

How can you possibly answer "New Player Experience" as the second biggest problem in the game, while simultaneously pushing through a bunch of unnecessary, convoluted changes that will do nothing but irritate and confuse the hell out of new players?

If it's not some new, weird system, you can disregard that. But that's sure what you're making it sound like. The last thing we need is a new, arbitrary mechanic.

Q: Graduated heat penalties?
A: Maybe eventually, but requires a lot of work.
Bill's Thoughts: Whatever.

Q: Replay mode?
A: Would be cool, lots of work, no time frame.
Bill's Thoughts: Hoping for it eventually, but I understand it's a lot of work.

Q: Have you considered a time frame for which bases cannot be capped?
A: 12v12 / capturing pace changes in the last patch.
Bill's Thoughts: Whatever.

Q: Groups of 5-11?
A: In the works, all group sizes accommodated, waiting on tonnage restrictions.
Bill's Thoughts: Hurray.

Q: What maps are next?
A: Island City and a Moon Base.
Bill's Thoughts: **** yeah.

Edited by Homeless Bill, 13 August 2013 - 01:36 AM.


#6 Druidika

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:38 PM

I wonder what would happen if you changed the projectile speeds of PPCs a bit. Maybe they would be harder to aim and not hit the same spot as a gauss rifle. Crazy stuff, I know.

#7 Lemming

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:38 PM

View PostGwaihir, on 12 August 2013 - 01:35 PM, said:

Ahahahaha, manually desynching the firing of Gauss rifles and PPCs, that is absolutely great.

Seriously, has no one considered that they're fine without all this artificial messing around, and that they just need their numbers changed to be balanced sniper weapons?


Come on man, use your head. Without Ghost Fire: The Magnum Opus 2: The Double Down, how else could you balance it? By tweaking values that are already in the game? How could that possibly make any sense?

#8 Stalkerr

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:39 PM

Welp, I guess PGI doesn't care about #saveMWO and valid community concerns after all. Maybe it's time for #sayonaraMWO.

#9 Monsoon

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:39 PM

Finally! I hated waiting the weekend for new answers.

#10 Crazyeyes244

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:41 PM

Really sad to see Advanced Zoom currently abandoned by the wayside. If it's impossible to get a better PIP window why can't we just get a new zoom level? Even that would be way more useful than what it is right now. B)

#11 Effectz

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:42 PM

View PostStormwolf, on 12 August 2013 - 01:35 PM, said:

i'm somewhat disappointed, I was hoping for answers for these questions:



The questions about ignoring the community gets ignored.de-syncing the firing times is bad.Only good news to come out of this thread is the new map environments.

Edited by Effectz, 12 August 2013 - 01:52 PM.


#12 Chronojam

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:43 PM

View PostNiko Snow, on 12 August 2013 - 01:27 PM, said:

Question from 3rdworld:[color=#959595] Have you considered a time frame for which bases cannot be capped?[/color]
[color=#959595]IE bases can't be capped until 7 minutes left.[/color]

Answer by Paul: [color=#959595]By the time you’re reading this, 12v12 is live as are the new timing values for capturing a base. Base captures take a lot longer to happen and that will give defending teams more time to return to base. Conversely, if a team plans on winning by capture, they’re going to have to plan this quite a bit earlier on in the match. Since the process of capture is much longer, the fast cap is no longer an issue if you have people watching the base capture notification.[/color]

That's a big difference. "Delay before you have to worry about backcapping/must either fight or avoid the enemy" versus making it harder for a pair of survivors to hassle the enemy midgame via a credible capture threat. 3rdworld had the better idea, I feel.

View PostGwaihir, on 12 August 2013 - 01:35 PM, said:

Ahahahaha, manually desynching the firing of Gauss rifles and PPCs, that is absolutely great.

Seriously, has no one considered that they're fine without all this artificial messing around, and that they just need their numbers changed to be balanced sniper weapons?

If it was absolutely fine and balanced to have them work without any ghost heat, crazy convergence, cone of fire, or "Manual desynchronization" in MW:LL, why won't it work for MW:O? I've yet to hear any good reasoning on this point.

Ghost delay.

#13 DeathofSelf

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:45 PM

View PostStormwolf, on 12 August 2013 - 01:35 PM, said:

i'm somewhat disappointed, I was hoping for answers for these questions:


No kidding, I'm a little more than disappointed.

Edited by DeathofSelf, 12 August 2013 - 01:46 PM.


#14 DemonRaziel

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:46 PM

I do believe by de-synching they mean changing they cooldowns so they don't "recharge" at the same time, not introducing a new mechanic. Maybe also tinkering with the speed of the projectiles.

#15 Gwaihir

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:46 PM

Ghost delay, I like it.

Also, from our internal jabber server:
(5:46:41 PM) gwaihir|w: for posterity
(5:46:42 PM) gwaihir|w: called it
(5:46:45 PM) gwaihir|w: (1:34:32 PM) gwaihir|w: "Firing your PPCs disrupts the gauss rifle's charging capacitors"
(5:46:54 PM) gwaihir|w: 4 hours ago

If they just mean changing the cooldowns to be out of synch, and changing projectile speeds I will be both surprised, amazed, and very, very happy.

The way they worded their answer sounded like they needed time for some new code or something, though.

Edited by Gwaihir, 12 August 2013 - 01:48 PM.


#16 Graufalk

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:47 PM

So Paul is thinking about adding yet another obscure mechanic to nerf the build rather than, you know, balancing the weapons themselves.

.

Why is this guy lead dev

#17 Oderint dum Metuant

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:49 PM

Quote

Answer from Paul:[color=#959595] The assumption that we think the 2PPC+Gauss is a lesser problem than any of the other high alpha builds, is incorrect. We have looked at what we can do with the build in question and have come up with a plan to de-sync the firing times of PPC and Gauss and keeping the Gauss as a primary long-range weapon. More information on this will be made available as soon as we get the feature ready to test.[/color]


This sounds like another overly silly lazy way of balancing rather than fixing the actual problem

#18 superbob

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:49 PM

View PostNiko Snow, on 12 August 2013 - 01:27 PM, said:

[color=#959595]We have looked at what we can do with the build in question and have come up with a plan to de-sync the firing times of PPC and Gauss and keeping the Gauss as a primary long-range weapon.[/color]


This sounds kinda bad. I really hope we'll get a follow up explaining what kind of de-sync we're talking about here, because a simple, artificial firing delay seems like an awful idea.

#19 DemonRaziel

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:50 PM

View PostGwaihir, on 12 August 2013 - 01:46 PM, said:

If they just mean changing the cooldowns to be out of synch, and changing projectile speeds I will be both surprised, amazed, and very, very happy.

Surpised, amazed, very happy. That's three things :D

Also, if they meant introducing a new mechanics I will be kind of shocked and very, very unhappy. Though I might also be amazed.

#20 MisterFiveSeven

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:50 PM

"desyncing" needs to be clarified.

But I wonder why all of our minds jumped to the worst possible conclusion... :D





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