A letter from the lead designer: The future of VEGA Conflict.

«1345678
LXC
LXC
Master Tactician
Joined Jan 2014 Posts: 2,241
edited 21 Dec 2015, 3:31AM
Heya rebels!

With the end of the year rapidly approaching, we'd like to take this opportunity to share with you our plans for the new year and possibly beyond. Who better to lay it all out than our lead designer. Without further ado:

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Hi Rebels,

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?

No.

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.

Crafting also allows us to make improvements to the Black Market, such as allowing you to use crafting materials as currency. This then gives us new ways to introduce content outside of blueprints or straight blood amber, which in turn allows us to re-balance blood amber and make it more worth the hassle of collecting it.

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.

Wait a second. You just said before that the future isn’t crafting, then you went on to talk about crafting!

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.

The system of events and riots is something that has been working well for us, but we’re acutely aware that this isn’t something we can continue to run in their current form forever. So we’re looking at a very different approach.

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>!

We’re looking at pretty much everything. This means hull roles and their balance against one another, such as frigates (who uses frigates?) and battleships (who doesn’t use battleships?) - but not exclusively those two. Yes, carriers as well. It means build times, repair times, refit times, weapon balance (even the Vector Torpedo). It means the Black Market is getting a total facelift, because wow does it need one.

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).

It is important to stress that just because we are looking at everything, that doesn’t mean everything is going to change. It means everything is going to get looked at. Carefully. With consideration for how it fits into the game as it is today, not the game as it was when that thing was put into the game. In fact: the less we can change, the happier I’ll be. But some things are going to have to change, because as they are right now they’re just not doing their job.

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.

Sector War / Civil War

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.

PvP Co-Op

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.

This will adhere to the same gating rules that already exist in the game.

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.

Those sound really awesome! Why aren’t they in the game right now?

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.

  • One-to-One messaging, or direct messaging if you prefer that description
  • 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

On top of all of this, there are Quality-of-Life changes we’re going to keep making to the game. Everyone has their favourite part of the UI to hate, or their favourite thing that just annoys them intensely. That train never stops.

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.

Maybe I should write another one of these then?

The TL;DR version

Really? You didn’t read this?

Okay, fine. Here’s the really short version.
  1. Crafting is not the new focus.

  2. PvP is the new focus.

  3. You should really read the full post.
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That's everything. Feel free to ask questions. I will be answering them, but I will be bouncing these questions to the lead in order to get his responses.
  • Adamantine Zoroark
    Adamantine Zoroark
    Force to be Reckoned With
    Joined Feb 2013 Posts: 1,677
    edited 21 Dec 2015, 3:42AM
    CM LXC said:
    ZEDTHECAT said:
    i REALLY dont like the idea of fighting two players at once

    this gives a unfair advantage to coin spammers because they could send 11 cutters and a carriar at me at the same time


    plus, what if im on my own for whatever reason? then two people can fight me at once and just wreck me because they have twice the capacity of my single fleet. this is massively unfair to individuals
    As stated in the post, this is a work in progress. It purposely doesn't go into how the feature works. Things like that will be worked out in playtesting. Rest assured I brought that very topic up during the kick off meeting. One (proposed) solution was to not allow co-op if the defending player is not in an alliance. Another (in my opinion, better) solution is to have the option of co-op fall on the defenders (person who was attacked) side, so an attacker cannot call for reinforcements until the defender does.

    Don't get too concerned over small details yet. This is just an idea of where we want the game to go, and where we envision the game being a year or two down the line. How does that expression go? Don't miss the forest because you can't see past the trees.
    i like the idea of the defender making the choice.

    still though, lotta things in that post that seem rather spooky, lotta things that seem cool too though

    cant wait for non carrier flagships, also dreading the thought of having my dreads rebalanced

    i will be VERY annoyed if i actually have to learn how to fly a cruiser, ive been using battleships since i started and have no idea how to fly a cruiser right


    frigates though, well im the best eagle pilot there ever was
    it takes an anvil to make an anvil, begs the question where the first anvil came from
  • rab68w
    rab68w
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined Jun 2015 Posts: 608

    Yeah...gotta agree with zed on this one, that should not be sonething yiu just let happen. Think there needs to be a que for that. It's called double teaming in basketball because its way overpowering. Big alliances will always have the advantage and the individual players will never win fights no matter how good they are. Everything you guys have done so far has been to take the skill out of flying, yet again you fail to disappoint our expectations...


  • John Jones22
    John Jones22
    Unicorn Overlord
    Joined Feb 2015 Posts: 3,291
     Why is crafting so unbalanced in favor of battleships and carriers? The cruisers get so little bonus from crafting and get so little mass removed compared to battleships and carriers. And they get a bonus against frigates but there are no really big frigates. Why dont cruisers get a bonus against cutters instead of frigates? Frigates also get so little mass taken off from crafting. They just get less thruster mass but there is only one thruster and it is lightweight on frigates. And frigates get bonus against destroyers but no one uses destroyers in high level pvp. Why dont frigates get a bonus against battleships like cutters do?
     When can we expect crafting for the iron star corporation hulls like python, heretic and osprey? Will Osprey get another weapon slot at mk4?
    
  • rab68w
    rab68w
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined Jun 2015 Posts: 608

    And I do think you can really tip the balance in favor of bigger alliances or players forever by allowing these new events to be how new tech is given in game


  • Jorge Narvaez
    Jorge Narvaez
    Potential Threat
    Joined Jun 2015 Posts: 85

    Thats jot what he meant he meant that another llayer can help control the ships in play not add more of his iwn ships that would be stupid and unfair

  • Adamantine Zoroark
    Adamantine Zoroark
    Force to be Reckoned With
    Joined Feb 2013 Posts: 1,677
     Why is crafting so unbalanced in favor of battleships and carriers? The cruisers get so little bonus from crafting and get so little mass removed compared to battleships and carriers. And they get a bonus against frigates but there are no really big frigates. Why dont cruisers get a bonus against cutters instead of frigates? Frigates also get so little mass taken off from crafting. They just get less thruster mass but there is only one thruster and it is lightweight on frigates. And frigates get bonus against destroyers but no one uses destroyers in high level pvp. Why dont frigates get a bonus against battleships like cutters do?
     When can we expect crafting for the iron star corporation hulls like python, heretic and osprey? Will Osprey get another weapon slot at mk4?
    
    when the game is rebalanced they might be useful
    LXC said that they would make frigates better, so they may end up being the counter to cutters (idk how though since a cutter is a modded frigate)
    it takes an anvil to make an anvil, begs the question where the first anvil came from
  • Jorge Narvaez
    Jorge Narvaez
    Potential Threat
    Joined Jun 2015 Posts: 85

    Sorry bout the typos

  • MarkMasterMason
    MarkMasterMason
    Minor Nuisance
    Joined Dec 2015 Posts: 133

    I'd like to hear a bit more on the repair time and build times if at all possible. Any numbers at all roughly?

    Thanks

  • Revann
    Revann
    Master Tactician
    Joined Jan 2014 Posts: 2,344

    So @CM LXC whats happening with the Mk E ships we already have? Are they stuck there for good, or are we going to get a method to convert them to the new system?

    -Git Gud 
  • GDIAX
    GDIAX
    Unicorn Overlord
    Joined Mar 2013 Posts: 3,096

    Also, uve broken promises many times. How r some ppl going tk believe u will do what u say in the future?
    Here r some highlights

    1. The supply run frigate fleets, balancing huh? What's with the extreme range on the carriers? I'm fine with using bombers but the indestructible squadrons n range is a real pain.
    2. U said the BM is purely for BA? Why all the coins????????
    Admiral and Head Intelligence Officer of the Frontier Liberation Army.

    VEGA Conflict Wiki: vega-conflict.wikia.com
    NPC Target Infographics Database: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B3hqSMJekKIfNmtsa2NTMUl2QWM?usp=sharing

    Practically all the information you need for the game.

  • LXC
    LXC
    Master Tactician
    Joined Jan 2014 Posts: 2,241
    Revann said:

    So @CM LXC whats happening with the Mk E ships we already have? Are they stuck there for good, or are we going to get a method to convert them to the new system?

    Current plan is still to allow players to convert them to mk III (Read: Allow, not force).

    GDIAX said:

    -Cut for length-
    Close on those event predictions. Not 100% though. Especially the one we "know".

    One thing that most people seem to get the wrong idea about: Sector Wars/Civil war is NOT a replacement for PvE Events, it is an addition.

    I'm covering the Warfront event in my next post. Try to keep this thread about this topic, so we can have a proper conversation about the event tuning over there.

    blinkyyvx said:

    TL DR
    I read whole post and lol'd all the way. Read mine please.

    Btw give a edit feature on mobile and a way to get back to the general forum without having to hit the x and get taken all the way to main page it's just the dumbest thing

    You can request features about the site here. The game teams and the people that run the site are different studios.

  • Jumble1
    Jumble1
    Potential Threat
    Joined Jan 2015 Posts: 86
    The game can do without the invincible squadrons
  • fpqjffpdltus
    fpqjffpdltus
    Greenhorn
    Joined Sep 2015 Posts: 24
    @CM LXC Plz improve PC version as mobile. Add info button. I wanna read about ships and equips like on mobile.
    And I need also turning when strafe moving as mobile.
  • DesuChan
    DesuChan
    Potential Threat
    Joined Jul 2012 Posts: 43
    @CM LXC Plz improve PC version as mobile. Add info button. I wanna read about ships and equips like on mobile.
    And I need also turning when strafe moving as mobile.
    What If I told you the cutters were made for mobile players, and they are the very source of the imbalance of this game?
  • flaming arrow
    flaming arrow
    Skilled Warrior
    Joined May 2015 Posts: 350

    Umm bogus.. So if I went to fight one guy. The other joins in I,m quite out numbered then ey.. Besides they'll probably cutter hold you till a team mate arrives to finish you off.. So thats bogus

  • sleuthyRogue
    sleuthyRogue
    Incursion Leader
    Joined Jun 2015 Posts: 1,144
    Definitely appreciate getting a statement straight from the lead designer, however little good it might do to assuaging fears many have round these parts.
  • Radiatedmilo
    Radiatedmilo
    Minor Nuisance
    Joined Nov 2014 Posts: 289

    the only problem I have is with sector versus sector Warfare events in other words in the fact that mega coiner factions or alliances will be far superior to more non coiner alliances and highly unfair on those of us that play it free to play and or on their own and not in a giant Alliance or coalition.

  • Long duck dong
    Long duck dong
    Skilled Warrior
    Joined Jun 2015 Posts: 460
    sector warfare will be competely imbalanced by coiners and cause mass rage quitting like nevr seen before
  • flaming arrow
    flaming arrow
    Skilled Warrior
    Joined May 2015 Posts: 350

    Kix fail lol

  • flaming arrow
    flaming arrow
    Skilled Warrior
    Joined May 2015 Posts: 350

    @getyaz said:
    Kixeye financial department: "No coin december hurts, how can we make more money"

    Kix Devs: "We'll do PVP events featuring OP ships that make all previous ships obsolete. This should double our revenue for events"

    Hahahaha

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