Jump to content

- - - - -

Community Warfare - Phase 2 Update - Oct 22Nd

2 replies to this topic

#1 Paul Inouye

    Lead Designer

  • Developer
  • Developer
  • 2,815 posts
  • LocationVancouver, BC

Posted 22 October 2014 - 03:13 PM

Community Warfare - Phase 2 - Update Oct 22

Hey folks, back again with some fairly big news about CW. As per discussed in the previous update, I'll organize the information as follows:

1) New Stuff/Updates
2) Changes (Actually included in New Stuff this week)
3) Questions

The big change is the way you will be able to align yourself to a Faction on a temporary or permanent basis.

1) New Stuff/Updates

Faction Selection by All Players

On day 1 of Community Warfare release, all player accounts will be reset to a neutral state. All Faction Units and players will be reset to Merc Units and Lone Wolves respectively. Clan Units and Dagger stars will also be returned to Merc Unit and Lone Wolf status respectively.

Following the reset, all Lone Wolf players and Merc Unit leaders (all players in a Unit will be aligned to the Unit leader's choice) will be presented with a new Faction Alignment flow when entering the Faction Tab.

The first part of this new flow will ask players to select a Faction. Lore information will be given to assist new players in their decision as to which Faction to join.

Upon selecting a Faction, the player is taken to a new screen which will display contracts offered by the selected Faction. These contracts will include the following:
  • [1] Month Alignment to a Faction
  • [2] Month Alignment to a Faction
  • [4] Month Alignment to a Faction
  • Permanent Alignment to a Faction
*Please note these time periods are purely for example purposes only.

Players can back out of this screen and look at other Faction options until they accept one of the contracts.

Let's look at this firstly from the perspective of a Faction loyalist player. Someone who never wants to change Faction. Any of these players can simply select the Permanent alignment to their chosen Faction. The same applies to a Unit that chooses the permanent alignment option. Upon CW going live, there will not be an in-game option to change Factions if you choose this path. We may look into a solution for changing a permanent alignment but that will not be included in CW Phase 2.

Next, the way Merc Units, Lone Wolves, Clan Units and Dagger Star players interact with this system. These players can choose to align themselves to a Faction for a specified amount of time. For example, a Merc Unit selects a [1] month alignment to House Steiner. For the next month, this Merc Unit can only participate in combat either defending Steiner territories or attacking in the name of Steiner in neighboring Faction territories. The Merc Unit can (like anyone in the game) participate in the Clan/IS border invasion conflicts. Lone Wolf players, Clan Units and Dagger Star players behave the exact same with with the exception that Clan Units and Dagger Star players will be aligning themselves with a Clan.

With this system, it IS possible for a Merc Unit to align to House Steiner for [1] month and at the end of that month, switch to a [1] month alignment to Clan Jade Falcon. Note that this will NOT bypass technology locks. When the Unit is aligned to Steiner, only IS 'Mechs can be used, and when aligned to Clan Jade Falcon, only Clan 'Mechs can be used.

This feature means that we can do away with the initially proposed "Season" system. However, we do reserve the right to reset the IS Map if we find major problems in the system.

We feel that this new system allows greater flexibility for players to be able to play for a given Faction for their choice of duration. Keep in mind, we do not want players to be flipping Factions between matches or every day for that matter. Taking a contract for a House/Clan means that players will be fighting for that Faction for a while. This system also allows the more hard-core Faction players to permanently align themselves to their favorite House/Clan.

Loyalty Points

First off, upon inclusion into the game, Loyalty Points (LP) will be rewarded with an initial, lump sum injection into player accounts who own the Phoenix Package: Loyalty Point booster. From that point on, all players will be rewarded LP based on their actions and their Faction alignment.

What can affect LP gains? Killing opponents of lore based enemies. For example, a Kurita player killing a Davion player will be rewarded Kurita LP. At the same time, that same Kurita player will be losing Davion LP for the same action. Faction LP totals will not drop below 0.

Another means of gaining additional LP is by winning CW Faction conflicts. From the above example, the Kurita player partakes in the Clan/IS conflict and the IS team wins, the Kurita player will earn Kurita LP.

A bigger means of gaining LP is by completing contracts for a Faction. For example, the Kurita player is on a [2] month contract with Kurita, Kurita will reward a large amount of LP at the end of the contract period. The longer the contract, the more LP rewarded.

Special case: If a Lone Wolf player (or any player for that matter) switches Factions after completing a contract, they will lose LP for the Faction they just left. Depending on which Faction the player switches to, this LP loss for a Faction would continue depending on the Factions involved. For example, if the Kurita player from above switches to Davion after the Kurita contract expired, all kills/wins/contracts with Davion will reward Davion LP but will also reduce the LP total they had with Kurita.

Any rewards gained through LP will be retained, but cannot be used unless the LP total for the Faction is at the reward's LP requirement. For example, if the Kurita player unlocked a rank 10 skin, that rank 10 skin is only usable if their Kurita LP is at rank 10 level. In the case of titles, let's assume the Kurita player earned the title of "Gunsho" at Rank 8. If the player has an LP total of Rank 8 requirements, then they can freely use the title "Gunsho". However, if the player switches to Davion for example, and they fight for Davion against Kurita and the player's Kurita LP total drops below Rank 8 requirements, they will no longer be able to set their title to "Gunsho" even if they switch back to Kurita. At this point (we're still debating this one) the player can select "Gunsho" as their title but it will be prepended with "Honorary". The title will become "Honorary Gunsho" until the player gets their LP total back to Rank 8 requirement.

Faction LP rewards can only be used if the player is aligned to the Faction that gave the reward. In the case above, the Kurita player who switched to Davion will not be able to use any of the Kurita rewards they've earned until they switch back to Kurita.

Some planned LP rewards include titles, Faction specific skins, Rank specific skins and other novelites. The full list of rewards will be listed once we have them ironed out with both the design and art teams. On a side note, we are investigating on locations where we can have titles appear in the game and not just on the website. More on this when I have more concrete information for you.

Feedback can go here: http://mwomercs.com/...ct-22-feedback/

#2 Paul Inouye

    Lead Designer

  • Developer
  • Developer
  • 2,815 posts
  • LocationVancouver, BC

Posted 22 October 2014 - 07:27 PM

These are most of the questions I'll be answering.. I'll just post the questions and fill in answers as I hammer through them tonight. I put the feedback thread up so you can start commenting on this update. Take a read through these questions before asking your own to avoid duplicates.

I don't like this result. Having matches/planets determined by forfeitures is not productive... like in league play. Why not just increase the Assault window or reduce the token rate (as in it isn't a full token, maybe like a half token)?

Planet takeovers will not occur based solely on forfeitures. This situation should be a very rare occurrence and is part of the reason we have CW time windows. The number of planets up for attack/defend also help remedy this situation. We will be starting with a select few planets in each Faction space available for attack/defend. If we have an overwhelming number of players partaking in CW, we will both increase the time windows and the number of planets up for contest.

Any examples of the benefit a unit/faction gets beyond having it's banner hanging over the planet it just won?

Higher Loyalty Point rewards is a big kicker and there may be some C-Bill incentives to drive this even further.

You mentioned players will still earn most of their Cbills in the public queues we have now. Will the CW matches have similar rewards something completely different or none at all?

Due to the CW time windows, you would probably be playing more in public matches than CW. This does not mean that CW matches will not be profitable (depending on outcome).

Do we have to change our unit faction in the Unit Leaders profile to say Davion for example or will this be a modular in cw that we select our faction.

The setting of Faction (as described in the update above) will be in-game and not done through the web profile interface.

Though, realistically, considering the way you put it... Paul, am I right in thinking there isn't going to be an animation? Is there possibly any way a first person animation, or at the very least a pod flying up from the destroyed 'mech, could be implemented?

We are going to try to make ejections as dramatic as possible, but with our current timeline and resources, a full on 'holy poop!' moment probably isn't in scope. However, we will be able to advance on this feature when CW Phase 2 is out the door and have time to address it.

Will we see the cbill rewards be adjusted since it's going to cost us money to actually participate in cw?

C-Bill rewards will be determined though play testing, observing the mode when it's live and adding additional kickers (destroying a base, destroying a power generator etc) to the mode.

When will my unit be tagged Clan Loyalist ingame? Tag works here on forums, still not showing us as such ingame. Any help coming on that (admittedly minor) item?

Good question... I'll ask around and get you an answer soon.

It would be nice to get a sneak peak at the UI for it though :D Can't you just cover up the actionscript vars?

I'll talk to the UI designer and others about screens that I can show you. I'm always hesitant about releasing information too early and having preconceived notions about what the UI will be like come up when the whole interface could change between now and release. If I'm able to get you some images, I'll post them at the bottom of this thread.

If we are stuck with whatever faction we have now by the time CW start - will we be able to get any loyalty points transferred or at least refunded in some way when we change to the allegiance we specifically want? Or will it be fixed by this point?

This is something we're still discussing. We want to give you your Loyalty Points and be able to choose which Faction you want them applied to. It's up to engineering to come up with a clever way of doing this without having to write a complete new system for a 1 time injection. Will update as we figure out what we can do.

Just a simple question.. ATM is there only the one map to be used in CW? Well a couple more..... Will the gate control (building) be able to be Narced (Narc) or targetable? Will the building take damage from Arty or airstrikes?

Right now "Frost" is the only map being tested. There is another map in progress but you didn't read that here.

The gate control building will be targetable just like the current turrets in Assault mode. As for NARC, it may or may not work. Will have to test this out tomorrow. Yes, the buildings should take damage from Air/Arty strikes.

Have you considered that the opposing player last to shoot the ejecting pilot's mech the moment before he ejects is ACTUALLY the FINAL BLOW?

This is something we could do but the actual Eject system is still being thought through in terms of timing and people trying to exploit the system to "deny a player a kill".

Isn't that supposed to be VTOL?

These are not the 'Mechs you're looking for... move along.... move along...

Will there ever be a PVP game mode that will be designed with the goal that you are more likely to win in a different manner, like capping for example.

Sorry about the confusion over my last response. Game modes that do not rely on total enemy annihilation is stuff that is being investigated right now. The chances of them being included with CW Phase 2 is not likely but it is something we are looking at in terms of design as a must have feature soon after.

Is PGI looking at any additional new resources for consumables for this DropShip mode? Possibly in the sensor or advanced forward deploying UAV?

We are always open to ideas and investigation into new consumables/modules and DropShip mode will probably need a few new ones. Open to suggestions from the community if you have some ideas.

Just two quick questions, any chance that you will be implementing a "spectator mode" for CW and will you be allowing Trial 'mechs to be taken on the dropships?

Spectator Mode is something we really want to iron out for our competitive players as well as people wanting to create videos of MWO. Right now, as Russ has mentioned, we are all hands on deck for CW Phase 2 and Spectator Mode is currently not on the table. This too is considered a must have feature in the future for MWO.

Can you get more than 10 tokens to have a "lead"? Does it matter if you have one person/group attack an undefendet planet, or 120 players at once, if there is no defender?

Yes you can get more than [10] tokens for a lead buffer. (Note: Anytime you see [ ] around a number, it means we have defined it as a variable that can be tuned.) There are talks about making some planets be harder to take over so that [10] might be [20] for a specific planet. A single player cannot trigger an attack on a planet. They can choose to attack it but unless 11 more people show up to help him/her, there will be no attack made. If 120 players show up and attack, the call to arms of the defending Faction will be sent out as the CW queuing system starts building 12-player attack teams. If no one shows up to defend (and that should be rare as mentioned above) then a zone or two on the planet may be lost.

How are Mech going to reload ammo in prolonged fight ? I don't think it should be prohibited because it's kind of sad to eject just because you're out of ammo. And if it's available, i don't think it should free either.

This is a very delicate discussion in the office. We are talking about the possibility of having reload stations in the map but this is not 100% decided yet. I'll post more on this as we make the final call.

Were the 10 seconds just an example or have you locked that amount of time? If not, may I suggest 2-3 seconds? Another thing, what happens if the player doesn't eject in time?

[10] seconds is a tunable variable that we are using for testing purposes. This could change to any value as we see how it plays out. As for the player not ejecting in time, do not think of this as your pilot's life. If you get destroyed without ejecting, you still move into the drop ship queue just as you would if you ejected.

Have you guys ever thought of creating a map generator using different parameters such as max and min: altitude, temperature, water on ground, building (city, industrial), destruction of the objects (if they are almost all brand new or mostly destroyed), etc; so you can create a base for lots of maps using existing objects in a quicker fashion and possibly generate all maps like this? Also, have you gave any thought of applying specific maps to specific kinds of planets? For example: Hot maps to notoriously hot planets as they are described in sarna?

Random map generators do not create well balanced multi-player PVP maps. They do generate some cool co-op and single player maps. Things random map generators do not take into account are sightlines, pathing, timing/pacing of gameplay and the dynamically changing battlefield in terms of player locations and activities.

We have Randall Bills going over the planets and giving us write-ups about each of them. If we can adopt a map/planet combination that is suitable, we will do it.

Please specifically indicate if you are planning on letting us change out modules between mechs in drop ship, during respawn or not.

Right now there is no plan to allow you to take modules off a destroyed 'Mech and put it on a 'Mech in your drop ship.

I would highly recommend that you add a new restriction preventing new players (those who have not finished their first 25 cadet matches) from participating. This will prevent much rage from competitive teams.

This is something we can discuss and has been mentioned. I'll fill everyone in if anything comes of this. We do think it would not be ideal for a brand new player to drop into CW.

My only question is are you still on target for release this quarter? What's the ETA?

Mid to late Dec. So yes, we're still tracking for that time.

Will we be allowed to use a Mech twice on the dropships? Maybe with two different variants?

You can use any individual 'Mech only once. If you create a Jenner and call it "Maybe", you can only use it once. If you have 4 individual Jenners, you can drop in each of them once. Think of it this way.. if you take a 'Mech into the fight and it gets destroyed, you cannot warp it back to your drop ship all fixed and new and re-drop.

Which maps & modes will be used in CW? Just Frost or will we see assault, conquest, skirmish as well.

Right now "Invasion" (Frost is the codename of the map), is the only mode that we have targeted for CW. But that is right of this moment. We may include some of the other game modes if necessary.

Are there going to be different tonnage limits for IS/Clan units, or will there be a unified tonnage bracket? Or are you planning on using tonnage caps as another way to bring balance to the Clans?

Current plan is 140-240 for both IS and Clan. This does help balance the Clans out a bit, but we will adjust as needed and as more Clan 'Mechs become available.

When we die and are about to respawn, do we get to select which mech we drop in next, or does the game automatically pick the next mech in the dropship queue?

When you are destroyed and returned to your dropship, you will have a limited amount of time to choose the next 'Mech you take into the match. If you miss more than 1 consecutive drop/respawn, the game will automatically select the next 'Mech for you in a left to right order.

#3 Paul Inouye

    Lead Designer

  • Developer
  • Developer
  • 2,815 posts
  • LocationVancouver, BC

Posted 23 October 2014 - 03:52 PM

See Kay Wolf's original post in the spoiler. My answers will be below.


Will there be a drop statistic recorded for these things, when a ‘Mech is dropped off. I ask because I have a HALO Achievement for each of the weight classes, but each requires a certain number of HALO drops to earn the Achievement.

Will will be tracking drops just like any other action in the game. As for separate low altitude drops vs high altitude drops, that will probably fall under one stat if we do implement both types of drops. We have to be very careful if we plan on doing high altitude drops because depending on the height of the Drop Ship, players may see beyond the modeled world space of the level. The latest I've heard from rendering and art teams is that they're leaning toward the low altitude insertions. No concrete confirmation on which direction has been made quite yet.

I don’t know how a defense will be mounted against aggressors on worlds where my players are not able to be present?

I'm not sure if you're assuming that only 1 unit can attack a planet or not. There will be plenty of units attacking/defending planets and not every single border planet will be up for conflict at all times. For day 1 of CW we're planning on putting 2 planets on each side of a Faction border up for conflict. (2 inside Davion space and 2 inside Kurita space for example and for every border between the other Houses) Any number of units can attack and any number of units can defend as long as they're aligned with either of the two Houses involved in the conflict. As mentioned in other answers above, the time windows we're working with (prime times with highest player counts) should ensure that there are always plenty of attackers and defenders available. If these time windows are opened too wide or the number of planets in conflict is too high, then and only then would stalls start to happen and that's when we would adjust as needed.

I would request that the maximum of 4 ’Mechs remain, while the minimum number is removed. My reasoning is this... a player bringing too many ’Mechs can really upheave a match, because they can come from multiple directions, at great speeds, and build extraordinary disruptions over the course of a drop period. However, someone bringing fewer than four is simply putting themselves at a disadvantage, as higher numbers on the other side could be used to still overwhelm the fewer numbers of available ’Mechs for the field, but not to such a great degree that better pilots will discontinue being able to drop more ’Mechs with their fewer. As well, if both sides took fewer ’Mechs to the field, the battle will be completed more rapidly, anyway.

You kinda talked yourself through the process of why we are requiring 4 'Mechs in your Drop Ship. Everyone should be bringing as many 'Mechs as they can or you'd be doing your team a disservice by not bringing the additional firepower to the battle. Keep in mind, not all teams going into a conflict consisting of 12 players in a single group. Smaller groups and solo players will also be dropping. Players bringing less than 4 'Mechs, again, are doing nothing but denying their team additional support even if their skill isn't as high in other weight classes. In a mode that will be as long in terms of playtime like Invasion will be, every single point of damage on target is going to help a team achieve victory.

Is EVERY MechWarrior presently engaged in a single mercenary unit required to join the SAME House? If I have fifteen active people in Armageddon Unlimited, would ALL of us have to be registered with House Davion, or would EACH MechWarrior be allowed to select their own alignment, and then the compiled Loyalty Points be the overall calculation for the mercenary unit, as was discussed in the first posting concerning Loyalty Points?

Hopefully this answer will not only cover your question but a lot of questions I've seen popping up again.

When a UNIT decides to align themselves with a particular Faction, everyone in that UNIT will be automatically aligned to that Faction. If a player leaves a Unit, and joins another Unit, that player will be automatically aligned to the Faction that the new Unit is already aligned to. There will not be a mix of alignments within a Unit. If you are a part of a Unit, you fight for that Unit and its cause/contract alignment.

If at the end of a contract, a Unit switches Factions, everyone who is still inside that Unit will be automatically aligned to the new Faction.

Thank God! However, if this turns out to NOT be at the three fixed times per day you were talking about, recently, will we be able to opt-in to email and/or text notifications?

This is something we have considered. It is not off the table in terms of opt-in email even though we do plan on keeping conflicts restricted to the time zones. It's a fairly cool feature and adds a level of fun to the call to arms feature. However, when it comes to texting... that's something we'd have to do further investigation as not everyone has free texting with their phone service providers etc.

With the current population of this game, that is not fair in the LEAST. Please consider allowing unit commander’s to set up times and days for this? Three separate times/dates, three for each Commander, as proposals for the other Commander, should work. If the two commanders are incapable of getting people to any of the proposed times, there should be proxy units proposed by each Commander, and then each Commander can try getting a game together, the first to reach that goal being the winner, by each negotiating with the proxy unit proposed by the opposing Commander. It’s simply extremely UNFAIR and wrong for a group to work hard to gain control of a world, only to have it taken from them, without a fight, because they can’t get anyone there. Now, get the population back up to what you had in pre-Beta 2011, and then that won’t be a problem, anymore. And, don’t try to tell ANYONE here that the population has exceeded that, because we already know it doesn’t. That’s not me being negative, that’s just the truth.

I think we have some crossed wires here. First and foremost is that what can be considered 'fair' for your Unit can be considered 'unfair' to another unit. Remember, as mentioned before, your Unit is not the only Unit that will be attacking/defending any given planet. If you work hard gaining a lead on the planet zones, and your Unit logs off because they're going to a party or something, there are still other Units from your Faction attacking/defending that exact same planet. It later time zones when your Unit is asleep, there are other Units from the other peak time zones also helping capture/defend the same planet. The bigger lead you provide, the easier it is for other Units in your Faction to keep that lead.

There's a common misconception out there that our player counts are far below Closed Beta. This is not the case. Every day we cycle through hundreds of thousands of players worth of games. Two weekend events ago we ran out of dedicated servers (match servers) which caused people to get the "cannot find server" error. Our concern when creating these timezone windows is not based around not enough people playing CW... it's about starving the public match queue if too many people swing over to CW. If it does start to starve out the public queue, at least it will only be during those CW windows instead of the entire 24 hour day. Conversely if, to our surprise, the majority of players do not swing over to CW, we will have a case of planets not being fought over at all. We just don't know what player behaviour will be until we see how it rolls out. We are choosing these timezone windows to be during peak player times so that even if a large majority of players swing over to CW, the public queue will still have enough players to keep kicking of public matches. If not enough players swing over to CW, then we can adjust the planet conflicts, time windows to fit whatever solution works best for everyone participating in both queues.

Then don’t make them immediately available. Make it so they’re hidden until a pilot does more than collect enough GXP to purchase the skill, and then allow them to ONLY see what is available to them to spend as a result. Right now, they ARE NOT REMOTELY end-game content, should not be anywhere near as expensive as they are –GXP for each module type/skill is fine, but C-Bills are entirely too much–, and it’s ridiculous that these are available from the get-go, if they’re end-game content.

My use of the term "end game content" has been interpreted in too many ways which is my bad. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused and I'll clarify my statement. All modules, skills and efficiencies are behind fairly high cost walls. Whether it be EXP, GXP or CBills, there is a barrier to entry to get to them. The only way of acquiring these items is to play the game. The more a player plays, the more of these items become available to them. The costs of the weapon modules, for example, are set fairly high as they are meant to be for advanced players who have worked their way through basic 'Mech operations and loadouts and are now able to specialize their builds to suit their play style and 'Mech builds. They are not meant to be an instant gratification item in game where they're easy to acquire and use. They are meant to be items that require some thought into which tech tree do you want to finalize first.. work your way through that tree, get your modules (the lower tier modules are meant to ease your way into the process instead of the high cost top tier being your only option) and equip as desired. This is why each weapon system has its own modules instead of a global "Energy Range +10%" type of module. The cycle ends up as: put your time in, learn your 'Mech and play style, then streamline your customization using the modules, efficiencies, skills and consumables.

Okay, so the unique factions you have set up are, indeed, not unique at all, except in a very notional fashion? I understand the population is low, right now, but when it picks up, will you be looking at greater faction separation? When I say faction, as a veteran BattleTech player, it’s not just Clan on one side, and IS on the other, but it’s Clan Wolf, Clan Jade Falcon, Clan Smoke Jaguar, etc., and it’s House Davion, House Marik, etc., Magistracy of Canopus, Lothian League, etc., Wolf’s Dragoons, Armageddon Unlimited, etc., St. Ives Compact and Free Rasalhague Republic. Methinks y’all better get your heads out and understand the importance of these factions, and that it’s NOT just Clan vs. Inner Sphere. You opened an amazingly HUGE can of whoop-ass, and now you gotta live with it, guys, hehe.

From the very start we stated to the community that we were going to reserve all canon Units/Factions from the very start. This allows us to roll in these Units/Factions as we start developing the intricacies of CW and overall Faction gameplay. Will you be able to align to Wolf's Dragoons? Possibly. Take control of that Faction? No. This is all stuff that will be added to the game as we keep developing CW as a whole.

This is all fine and good and dandy, but it’s bass-ackwards. Contracts should be made between the Employer and the Merc Unit, the money goes to the Merc Unit, and then is dispersed per a system set up by the Unit Commander and/or their Command & Staff.

The Unit Coffers are meant to cover costs of operations. The Contracting Faction would have nothing to do with it. Further plans for the coffer come into play after we start adding logistics to the CW feature but that is not part of CW Phase 2.

What about those of us Unit Commander’s who keep track of our MechWarrior’s? This might really just put a boot straight in the ass of all the work we’ve done.

The way the members of your Unit behave is completely internal to your Unit's organization. Politics, tracking participation, standards of gameplay are completely in the player's hands. If players within your Unit decide to change Factions, that is entirely their call and up to you how you react to that situation.

Will we be able to have any input, whatsoever, on what we would like to see in the Faction Management interface? Will we be able to select plug-in/module items to build our own management interface?

Either I mis-read the original question or you are assuming there may be something there that will not be. :)

I think it was me reading the question wrong. Either way, let me clarify. No there will not be player councils governing Factions.. there are WAY too many variables there and it would be near impossible to set up something that would be considered fair when it comes to player to player interaction at that level. For example, for every player that supports a given "counsel" member's idea, there are just as many who do not agree. This opens a political nightmare and also starts to cater to special interest groups and that is something we'd rather not put our player base through. To that end, no, there will not be a Faction Management interface.

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users