Many of you have probably been seeing some of the new features and direction for VEGA Conflict over the last few months and are wondering what the future holds for the game. This is a fair concern to have: there have been a large number of changes to the game structure lately, and with that is going to come both hopes and concerns for the future direction of the game.So let’s talk about the game as a whole, and the future of the game as a whole.
So is VEGA Conflict now all about crafting and farming for materials?
I don’t believe you.
Crafting and farming isn’t what we want VEGA Conflict to be famous for. What we want VEGA Conflict to be about is war. Lots of players, all online, all warring. Sometimes with VEGA, sometimes with each other.So if that’s true, why all this effort on crafting?
The intent of the crafting system is to create something that lets us extend the longevity of our existing content. Why is that so important? I’ll cover that further down. For now, just trust me.
Crafting provides us with a range of different components and materials that can be fed both into improving existing hulls, as well as opening up new ways of delivering other content without relying exclusively on coins, blood amber and resources. This gives us the necessary framework for a content chain that can take us far into the future without needing to rush out new tech every four weeks.
All of this means we’ve got a longer and larger content chain that requires less direct maintenance from us, which then means we can do more cool things with it rather than focusing on the delivery mechanism itself.
Fair call. I’ve said what I wanted to say about crafting, so let's talk about the real future of VEGA Conflict. Where we are going next.
We’ve got new event hulls coming out over the next few months that will complete out the set for all the existing factions, specifically V-Sec and Iron Star Company. Once the last of these hulls is out, we aren’t going to be releasing a new faction - at least not for a while. Iron Star Company is the end of that line for standard hulls for the near-term future.
So if you aren’t adding a new faction then what are you doing?
Firstly, we’re taking a much harder look at flagships. There’s a fair number of ideas we’re playing with here, and we’re looking at making flagships a fairly integral part of the game’s future. The future direction for flagships has a very clear primary focus in mind: PvP. Yes, you read correctly. The primary purpose for flagship balance moving forward is all about crushing other players. Effectiveness against VEGA fleets is a side benefit.
Secondly, we’re looking at doing some fairly chunky rebalancing to the entire existing game. A big part of this means making the game as a whole clearer with regard to what you are getting and what you are getting into. For example, letting us make sure that when fleet says it is level 40, it means level 40 and not ‘somewhere between 20 and 100.’
Some of these changes are things we’ve already started working on. The ISC Frigate and ISC Carrier both represent a different design direction than what you’ve seen to date. CM LXC will be releasing more information about those hulls when their respective events come closer, but you should expect something different than what you’re used to in both cases.
Stop a second. You can’t just write a couple of sentences about rebalancing without giving me details. Give me the details! Especially the details about <insert pet peeve here>!
With a re-focus on PvP comes necessary re-focus on game balance everywhere. VEGA Conflict is not a small game, so this isn’t going to be a quick process. This is why having something that lets us extend the longevity of our existing content is so important. (This was the bit you were holding that trust for from earlier, just in case you were wondering).
Like the Vector Torpedo. That one we are definitely changing.So everything means the Rapture and the Mk E upgrades as well, right?
No. Well, the Rapture may get reviewed, but that doesn’t mean it is definitely going to get a full suite of crafting upgrades. I recommend not holding your breath. The Mk E upgrades are, however, not coming out again. We’ve got the new upgrade system now, that’s the one we’re going to focus on.Why would you do this now?
Because what we want the game to be is one of the best free-to-play cross-platform MMO wargames. And wargame means player vs. player, alliance vs. alliance and sector vs. sector. It means building your war-fleets and grinding your enemies into space-dust. It means that VEGA are a fun group to hate, but your real enemies are other players.So with that said, let’s take a look at some of the big ticket items we’re working on right now.
This is one of our new event formats we’re looking to run next year. Simply put, you get your event points and prizes not for hitting a variety of V-Sec targets with points values, but for inflicting as much hurt on players who are not part of your sector as possible. Fleets and bases are both fair game, and you get points not for the level of fleet you destroy, but for the amount of damage you do. This means that the more skill you have, the more points you will earn. It really is that simple.
Rewards for Sector War aren’t just based on personal performance, either. There are rewards for the best alliances and the best sectors as well. It is called Sector War, after all. Or, at least, it is currently called Sector War.At this point I’m not going to go into a lot of detail on how Sector War works, but simply say that this is what is coming. There’ll be more posts on this in the future as the feature itself matures.
So is it Sector War or Civil War?Probably neither? We haven’t settled on a final name for it yet. Stop asking.
This is the other big lynchpin feature of the game direction in the new year. Initially only during the Sector Wars event, and then perhaps opened up in future, you will be able to warp your fleet into a fight to join an alliance-mate, and both of you will be in battle together. Of course, your opponent is able to do the exact same thing.
Initially this will be limited only to fleet vs. fleet; bases won’t be included in this equation. You will also not be allowed to join your own fleets; only those of alliance-mates. However, there is no requirement for your alliance-mate to be online. What this means is that if you deploy a fleet to guard your base and someone attacks it, one of your alliance-mates who is online at the time can send a fleet to join the defence.
I’m going to ignore that question, because it is a silly question. You know how games dev works, right?Right. I’m totally cool with how games dev works, and I understand how much time these things take. I’m actually not that impatient. I respect that these things don’t happen overnight. I can wait. But even so, what comes after all that?
At this point it gets woolly, because you’re asking me to talk about the distant future. I can say these are what we’re thinking of right now, but it’s only thoughts right now so it’s almost definitely going to change. In fact, you should probably ignore everything in this list.
New alliance features, such as alliance coalitions
Alliance crafting: being able to contribute resources to help your friends
Different PvP events, such as the ability to capture and hold certain key areas/facilities
Cool! So this is definitely what is coming up in the game. Thanks!
Wait, no. Stop. I just told you that there’s a huge amount of subject-to-change on all of this. This is just me explaining where we’re intending to go. This is almost definitely all going to change; this is just the future plan as of December 2015. The whole plan will probably look different by the middle of 2016.
The TL;DR version
Really? You didn’t read this?Okay, fine. Here’s the really short version.
Crafting is not the new focus.
PvP is the new focus.