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Community Warfare - Phase 2 - Update Oct 8

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#1 Paul Inouye

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 04:34 PM

Community Warfare - Phase 2 - Update Oct 8,2014

Let's see... how can we organize this a little better?

1) New Stuff/Updates
2) Changes
3) Questions

All of the next updates will follow the above. Makes it easier to organize and give you all the new, neat stuff up front.

A couple of quick notes. Most of the work for CW-Phase 2 is currently behind the curtain back-end/database stuff. There's nothing visual to show unless I show screen caps of code (and no.. I'm not going to do that). I've included an image that is work-in-progress down below showing how to open a gate without jump jets.

The other note is that the amount of information with each update will more than likely decline as most of the major information is released early and it switches from announcing new stuff to more updates on progress.

New Stuff

We are implementing the ability to eject from your BattleMech for Drop Ship mode. This will prevent running around on the field as a pogo stick if you don't want to be in that situation. The implementation will be as follows:
  • An assignable key [O by default] will trigger the eject sequence.
  • The player must HOLD this key down for [10] seconds in order to eject. The amount of time will be determined based on "denying the enemy a kill" mentality which would be rather poor to have happen all the time.
  • Upon ejecting, a large pulse of damage is sent to the 'Mech's head component and the 'Mech is destroyed.
  • The ejecting player is sent to the standard "death" screen and eventually to the drop ship selection screen.
  • Attacking players will still get assist and most damage kill stats, but the final blow stat will not be given.
The Leopard Dropship is now VTAL
The Leopard Drop Ship is now a VTAL (Vertial Take-off And Landing) ship. It will be used to drop 'Mechs off at various respawn points on the map. This specifically allows us to either swoop the Leopard into the game space to drop 'Mechs off at low altitudes, or do high altitude/near hover drops of 'Mechs into the game space. The animations involved are in our test level at the moment and is visible in debug builds. We will probably be doing some video capture next update.

New Map/Mode Update
We completed our first play test session of the new map codenamed "Frost" and game mode codenamed "Invasion". Both of which are in early iteration but the core mechanics are all working. Gates open when their power generators are destroyed. If the attackers destroy the defender's main installation building, the match ends in attacker victory.

The Drop Ship functionality of dropping a new 'Mech into a match is now ready for testing and will happen later this week.

Back End/Server Update
The gameplay logic that drives the overall Faction Warfare loop is near completion. This is the loop that involves looking at the IS Map, selecting a planet, selecting attack/defend and entering the match lobby. There are still few points to finish up but it is tracking on schedule.


Drop Ship Mode
Drop Ship mode is being changed to a minimum and maximum tonnage limit rather than a strict 1 Light/1 Medium/1 Heavy/1 Assault limit. For example, we might set the Drop Ship limitation to [140] tons minimum and [240] tons maximum. You MUST take 4 'Mechs meaning you cannot take 2 100 ton 'Mechs and leave the other two slots empty. The available tonnage is restricted to your personal Drop Ship. This means if you take under [240] tons, the remaining unused tonnage is NOT shared with the rest of your team.

Merc Units/Lone Wolves
It will still be required that Merc Units/Lone Wolves (MU/LW for the rest of this explanation) align themselves to a House. However, they can switch alignment after a specific amount of time has passed. For example, if a season is 3 months long, at the end of each month, MU/LW's can switch alignment. This alignment switch will come at a Loyalty Point (LP) cost and that cost varies depends on which House is chosen as the new House of alignment.

Invasion Gate Clarification

Players were concerned about being able to open the invasion gates without having jump jets. The image below shows how the level has been designed with side paths that give non-jump jet 'Mechs the ability to shoot over the gate.

Posted Image

#2 Paul Inouye

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 05:50 PM

I'm not seeing the benefit of forming a larger unit at all. Being that there are no other benefits to maintaining a unit coffer, it would seem best to just break-up our units and make lonewolf groups. We can then coordinate joining attack/ defend queues for a cheaper drop cost. Are there no longer any plans of using collected funds for planetary defenses?

Larger units will be able to direct more forces to a conflict on any given planet. Remember, the unit with the most wins on a planet will have their unit tag marked on the planet. Having smaller splinter units will mean your chance of having your primary unit tag assigned to the planet is reduced. As for the planetary defensive upgrades, this is currently on hold with more technical investigation needed. It is not guaranteed for CW Phase 2 but it something we definitely want for CW as a whole.

What about a few sweet animations/short vids before/after a planetary fight? You know, stuff like turrets aiming in the sky, shooting at dropships or hangars where pilots climb in their mechs. Just to add more style and eye candy.

This is something we'd love to do but they're expensive to create and very time consuming on the dev team. Yes we could reuse in-game assets but some of those assets would have to be re-modelled (the pilot for example) because they're very low poly or missing big chunks of geometry. While we explore PVE content in 2015, this may return as something we could do to really sell the feeling of a planetary battle about to kick off.

It would be really cool if each "faction" (Marik, Kurita, Wolf Clan, etc.) had SPECIFIC modifiers (plus and minus) during combat to encourage different play styles and mech configurations depending on the faction you are oriented with.

This was discussed early on when talking about CW. The limitations on what we can dynamically change in the game show that this type of behaviour would be a huge overhaul of key game systems and that is not going to happen in our current time frame. On a side note, we probably wouldn't go to 'Mech subsystem levels for modifiers but more along the line of global economy changes. I will update if we do implement anything along these lines.

How will the date advance if you reset the CW map/season?

The change we made to allow players to control the outcome of the IS/Clan invasion changes the restrictions we'd have for timeline advancement. The thought process behind seasons is a chance for us to make any necissary changes to the planetary systems depending on the outcome of player behaviour and participation. We do not want to see the IS Map get locked down permanently by one faction and never see it change again. However, we are not against seeing one faction dominate the IS, we just want a method of resetting to give everyone a chance again. This also touches on the ability gained by players to change factions between seasons.

The coffer wont get reset at each season right?

Wow.. that would be reallly bad. *writes a note* ;) No, we will not reset coffer balances between seasons.

Can you just do a 3 minute promo/trailer video showing (WIP) of all of the CW features? That's a lot of detail that is hard to associate with how it actually applies in the game.

I will gladly do this when we have more visual stuff to present. We are still finalizing layouts and mock-ups for the UI part of CW and the map/mode is near a point of doing captures for display at a WIP level. This will probably happen next update.

Maybe we can see attack and defend mode have different modes or scenarios to give each planet a flavor or symbol likeness to it so that players know that they are invading or defending that particular planet.

It will be very clear as to what is happening on a given contested planet. You will only be able to make choices based on the factions involved and your personal alignment.

One thing that strikes me about the proposed system is the sheer volume of notice spam that is going to occur every time the engagement timer clicks off.

Current plan is a scrolling marquee along the bottom of the FE. This will have prioritized messaging calling out attacks that have been triggered. It will not be a wall of text spewing across your screen. The Call to Arms is more of a "go check out the Faction Tab now" system rather than "Match 10984 is kicking off now".

Will there be new maps for different planets?

For each individual planet? No, that is logistically not possible. However, we are going to start process refinement to get as many maps out as quickly as possible for CW.

Will we have different models of dropships that we can buy depending on our alignment to a faction?

The Drop Ship is currently just a game mode element. It is not something that you own. Further down the road however, when we decide to put logistics into the game, then yes, drop ships, jump ships etc will start making a difference in how you move around the IS Map and into battle.

As was mentioned earlier... single players queuing up for a drop don't have any logistics placeholder costs that units seem to have, so aren't you essentially taxing the ability to drop with your fellow unit members?

A single player will have a drop cost, it just won't be as high as a Unit.

How do you intend to handle increasing wait-times for matches if there are not enough attackers / defenders for a planet? Would you consider Training Ground like "PvE" filler missions?

If a planet is attacked, and no defenders show up within a reasonable time frame, the attackers will automatically get the win on that planet.

Is it possible to add a little faction icon maybe to every mech in the store / the mechlab, so that one can see at a glance all the factions that use that specific 'Mech?

With Phase 2 focussing on Clan and IS separation only, there is no need for this icon. However, as we move forward into future features like historic or specialized battles, we will indicate which 'Mechs will be valid for which types of conflicts at that point.

What are LPs supposed to be other than a numerical representation of how loyal you are to a faction?

LP will accrue based on your faction alignment and activities in the Planetary Conquest conflict. The higher you go in a faction's loyalty status, the more rewards you will be earning. Rewards can include anything from specialized faction titles to special in-game items to personalize your 'Mech. (Cockpit items, decals, colors, patterns, etc).

What will happen if the attacker receive 10 tokens and decide to not defend against any further counter attacks from the defenders? Can planets be taken without a shot fired if no one is willing to defend a planet vs unit "x"?

Tokens do not belong to a Unit, they belong to a Faction. If Davion forces attack a Kurita planet and get 10 wins in their favor, Kurita can still issue counter attacks. If no-one defends against the counter attack, Kurita will take one of Davion's tokens back.

Is the design goal of planetary conquest to give a match based more on objectives than taking out the enemy forces? To give an exampe, Conquest mode as it exists currently is still primarily focused on taking out the entire enemy team as opposed to winning on capping. Capping is the secondary objective and is the least likely victory condition.

MWO is an online multiplayer game that is always going to be focussed on the PVP aspect of a battle. PVE campaigns have been talked about and will be investigated in the new year.

We have to be able to swap ALL modules between ALL 4 mechs between the spawn periods, otherwise this will be a huge disincentive to all pilots, especially those who don't own that many! You don't want that greenhorn that just bought his first module to feel disadvantaged after he lost his first mech!

Remember that modules are considered end-game content. They are hard to unlock and relatively expensive to purchase which means the decision making behind what you spend your CBills on is a very consious decision that you make on a case by case basis.

Is dropship mode the only mode available for CW? Will there be any way for people who do not want to play respawn mode to not play respawn mode, and still take part in CW?

As stated last time, Drop Ship mode is slated for CW use only.

Are there set number of battles that can occur for a single planet to determine the outcome or is it as many battles within the 24 hour window?

It is many battles in a 24hr period.

Any plans to make respawns that still feel like we are playing a simulation game instead of an arcade?

Since Drop Ship releases 'Mechs in waves and the way it will be presented, it should add greatly to a simulation feel rather than arcade. We are not doing instant respawns like Unreal Tournament. It is a set of 3 relatively intense waves of re-enforcements.

Isn't every battle just plain old IS vs clan? if a planet is contested, does it matter if the IS players dropping on a single planet are a mix of davion, kurita and liao, etc? or the clan players are a mix of different clans?

The invasion conflicts between Clan and IS forces will be supported by all factions under each force. This means any clan can participate in an attack on an IS planet. Any IS faction can participate in defending an IS planet from the Clans. Border conflicts between factions however will only involve the factions that share the contested border.

Why such small drop windows? why can't the planet be available to battle for 24hrs (or 12 hour segments or 6 hour segments) so every player in the world gets a chance to attack/defend that planet during a real day?

We will adjust the conflict windows as needed. We just don't want to strain the public gameplay, where you will be doing most of your C-Bill earning, for the entire day. We will be choosing however many peak player times as possible to accomodate players from all over the world. Again, this is all adjustable based on the number of players participating.

Are you going to be able to give us the ability to set a tithe for our guild?

Taxation for a Unit is something we can add at some point. We just want to make sure we cover the basics first. This is why there's a journal for coffer donations available to the Unit leader.

So for setting up our dropships for CW; could we "favorite" 'mechs so that we can just jump right in and not have to select them each time.

This is something we hope to have ready for CW release.

How strongly are you tied to seasonal resets?

We will be monitoring how the whole CW aspect plays out and will make adjustments as needed. As mentioned above, it also allows players to switch factions at some point so they can play both sides of the Clan Invasion.

Can you make the new invasion map(s) available in the testing grounds and private lobbies so both solo players and units that want to play Community Warfare can try them out and practice on them?

We yet to make the call if we are going to put invasion maps into private matches. Will update when we do.

Are there going to be any governing councils/bodies of any type in CW with real staff playing key roles in their chosen factions? Marik is a representative democracy, Davion a constitutional monarchy etc.

Not for Phase 2. The more we look at true faction role-playing, the more it becomes apparent that this is Phase 3+ content.

Will different planets impact the likelihood of getting different maps?

Our map rotation process is still being planned. Will update as soon as we iron everything out.

Why should we defend our planets? If we don't defend the enemy cannot take them because they can't get 10 tokens.

A non-defended planet will reward the attackers with wins if defenders do not respond within a reasonable timeframe. [10] minutes for example.

Thanks for your questions!

If your question wasn't directly answered, again, please feel free to repost in the next feedback thread. It will get answered eventually.

Feedback can go here: http://mwomercs.com/...oct-8-feedback/

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