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Project Update - Dec 2/2013

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#1 Paul Inouye

    Lead Designer

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 02:20 PM

Project Update:
Community Messaging:
We are currently changing some of the avenues for community information updates and plan to get this stuff out ASAP. One of the changes is to the Ask the Devs format of Q and A.

Current plans are to shift the regular forum updates to a video format which will hopefully be a little less time consuming as the current method of communication. Our first video is targeted for mid-December if everything works out as planned. Stay tuned for updates around that time.

UI 2.0:
We are currently working toward a release candidate of UI 2.0 which is to bring the functionality of the current UI with the improved flow and experience as well as the new store interface. A large part of the dev studio is involved in this process and the hard work of all involved is now showing a better polished version of the UI as each milestone is put up on the Public Test Server. The upcoming Public Test Server build of UI 2.0 will include the updated Pilot Tree screens, Mech Efficiency screen, the XP>GXP conversion tool and the preview version of how Artemis will be working in MechLab.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the community for the feedback so far on UI 2.0 and with each new build, we have been implementing a lot of the community’s feedback into UI 2.0. With each release we put on the Pubic Test Server, we gather both detail metrics from the servers as well as valuable feedback in the feedback thread. It is this information that allows us to make sure we are hitting key points in the delivery of UI 2.0 to make sure we’re on target for its live release.

Our target is to launch UI 2.0 as soon as possible and iron out the kinks over the next few months. I can tell you this, it will be buggy (not game-breaking) and we’ll be addressing both internal requirements and your feedback on a week by week basis. This means we’ll be splitting the UI2.0 team to have some people working on nothing but bug fixes, and the other group will be working on core feature items and updates. The bug team is the team that will be doing to a weekly cycle and we’ll be able to track updates a lot faster as we push the fixes into the normal patch process.

Community Warfare:
The first set of features for Community Warfare have been broken down and reviewed by engineering. The systems engineers have a roadmap and schedule in which they will start addressing the needs of all new systems required by Community Warfare and are working on the core layout for faction/unit gameplay. What this sums up is… engineering has done all project management breakdowns and specs for the upcoming feature and code clean-up and preparation is being worked on in a special new branch build (much like PTS). Some of the core new features, like database sharding for improved load handling, have been completed and are in that branch now.

We will update as each feature of Community Warfare enters development so you will know what order to expect things to start appearing. Right now all development is heavily, under the hood.

Another feature that will be updated is the Match Maker. A full analysis has been performed on the current system and fixes/updates are now planned. This is not a trivial update and may be included with the release of Phase 1 Community Warfare. Tonnage limits, grouping, Elo calculations are all reliant on these changes and we will fill you in with more detail, as these tasks move into production.

A new game mode is being added. Skirmish will be released mid-December which is essentially Team Death Match. The inclusion of this mode is the first game mode specific step toward Community Warfare and the game modes that will be required for planetary control and community conflicts. It’s also a way for us to gather metrics on what may eventually turn into a Solaris game mode further down the line.

The Attack/Defend Mode is in progress and we have some functioning turrets that will be fortifying Forward Operating Bases in the mode and the game mode is being investigated for any retrofit issues with the older maps. This game mode in particular will have to take into consideration special rules or functionality for Community Warfare and how defensive positions operate and are possibly upgraded. This will be the first game mode to see a potential “respawn” system. We will update when we prep this mode to go live.

All BattleMechs are going through micro-tuning in terms of their hit boxes, quirks and abilities. We have just completed the first draft of upcoming new modules and pilot talents that will allow us to further refine the roles that the various BattleMechs partake in. We are also looking at chassis/role specific module slots being added to BattleMechs so that they do not occupy general module slots which can be considered as generic modules. As an example, players who equip a specialized Scouting module may receive higher XP/CB gains when performing scouting actions and players who equip a specialized Brawler module may receive higher XP/CB gains when performing support actions etc. Our plan is to start ramping up generation of these new modules and talents as soon as possible.

Design has started to focus on Clan Tech. It is at this time that we must stress once again that we will not be bringing Clan Tech into the game as it was originally written. Game balance is going to take precedence over any values/behaviors found previously in other MechWarrior/BattleTech titles. Yes, there will be growing pains but we will make sure that Clan Tech does have a unique flavor when compared to InnerSphere Tech but not to the extent of everything just being over powered out of the gate.

Currently on the hot-seat is a discussion as to how Clan BattleMechs will be customized. We will update everyone once the final call has been made and who knows, maybe one of the planned BattleMechs will be announced soon™!

Map Gameplay Elements:
New layouts have been done for spawn locations and base/resource collector locations across all maps. The motivational drive was to keep the spawn locations fair and at the same time have players able to enter combat sooner. This is more evident on the larger maps.

Player Experience:
The art team has proven technically that cock-pit glass is now functional. This means a little more immersive effect when you’re sitting in the cockpit of your BattleMech. I’ve seen the effect and it’s very cool and non-intrusive so expect to see this coming soon with the next few new BattleMechs appearing on the battlefield. Previously released BattleMechs will be retrofitted over the coming months with their own glass treatments.

The Next Map:
The new map HPG Manifold has gone through some major polishing since you last saw a sneak peak of it and is ready for release.

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Please provide your feedback at the following thread: http://mwomercs.com/...22013-feedback/

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