It’s been a little while since we’ve had a chance to talk about what’s going on behind the curtain, so this State of the Game is a little longer than usual. We’ve heard your requests for clearer communication. The goal of this post is to help you understand the direction we’re going this year with Battle Pirates and what you can look forward to in the next few months.
The following is a missive from our Lead Game Designer, GD Aruspex regarding the current state of Battle Pirates and our plans moving forward.
Let’s take a look.
Event Season Transition to Assault, and two new PVE hulls: Phoenix and Skyfire Carrier
FM target transition is spread out to help you ramp up to new targets
Call to Arms TLC will show you new FM targets and give you tech to destroy them
PVP Focus: Rivals and Seven Deadly Sins Conquerors, plus new Defenders
New PVP Event: Bounty Hunt
Rogue Crew Update
World War is Coming
A new season is upon us! We’re moving off the “mostly buildings, some fleets” gameplay of Garrison to the faster-paced “mostly fleets, some buildings” gameplay of the Assault line. Dust off your Apollos for the B-set T5 targets in the upcoming raid cycle!
With the new season we have two new Tier 6 Assault hulls on offer. In addition to stronger stats, we’re going to be bringing back some gameplay that has been a fan-favorite over the years.
For our “skill” hull line, we’re offering the Phoenix: a solid missile hull that carries a built-in point-defense system that shreds close-range threats. For players who enjoy driving, the Phoenix specializes in mitigating Reaver target threats so they can race into missile range and take care of business.
The “auto” hull line has gotten a lot of feedback over the last two quarters, so we’re going to escalate the benefits of investing in this hull further than before. We want to accomplish this and bring back carrier gameplay with the new Skyfire Carrier. The Skyfire also can wipe out close-range threats while its Banded Hornets take to the skies and rip up targets from a distance. This hull is a premium target-shredding experience, far surpassing the escalation you saw with the Icebreaker and Ironclad.
Each quarter, we transition the old T5 world map targets from the last year into new T6 targets. This quarter, we’re updating the Garrison targets to play similarly to the targets you have been fighting in the Cold War. Based on a great deal of feedback from players, we’ve pulled back from simply ripping out all the targets and replacing them. Instead, we have rolled out a more gradual replacement over several weeks. This allows you to test yourself against the new FM targets and optimize your FM fleet builds. These targets are going to be hanging around on the world map for some time to allow you to ease into them smoothly.
Simply put, the FM is one of the key paths to power in Battle Pirates. If you’re behind, the FM is your highway to getting the tech you need to take on the raid and stay powerful. For this reason, we’re scrutinizing the data from players and watching closely to ensure everyone from the highest level token hunters to the up-and-coming tier climbers have good targets to fight and the tech they need to succeed.
You can find the details of the FM target transition here: https://www.kixeye.com/forum/discussion/697163
We want to prepare you for success in the FM, so this week we’re rolling out the “Call to Arms” TLC, which contains the new FM targets and the tech we believe will allow you to effectively fight them. If you are behind in your Garrison tech and looking for a leg up, this is the TLC for you. If you want a sneak preview on what the FM targets are like, stop by. We’ve got tokens and cookies for you.
2017 in many ways has been the “Year of PVP.” We rolled out the “Rivals” line of hulls: faction-themed ships that both stack well together and also “Voltron” into a powerful combinations of different hulls. The beauty of the Rivals line is they get stronger with each new hull you acquire. You’ve seen these specialists in action with the Liberator, the Oppressor, and the brand-new Survivor. Look forward to the final two hulls “Incinerator” and “Inquisitor” later this year. By the time you put all five in a fleet, they will each approach the strongest fleets possible in Tier 6.
Alongside the Rivals we’ve been releasing our “Seven Deadly Sins” hulls, each centered around a brand new game mechanic. Each of the Seven Deadlies rewards skill, smart builds, and crafty driving. Each of the Seven Deadlies also changes the battle in big ways.. You’ve seen the Pride, Gluttony, and Sloth. With the Pride you get increased power when it sails apart from the others. With Gluttony you can heal your other ships, making it a stealthy back-line ace-in-the-hole. And the Sloth — “ignore me” makes it the very last ship to sink in your fleet, opening up a ton of fleet compositions. Look for more of these this year: the “love me” of the Lust, the super-powered Rage, and the Avarice (we’ll tell you about this one later, so you have something to look forward to).
With all of these new Tier 6 Conquerors, we’ve now unleashing the Tier 6 Defenders with Justice in June and Hope later on. Alongside those are the unsung heroes of base defense — our Tier 6 turrets and specials which we’re now seeing wreck attackers in the hands of the best base builders.
Why all this focus on PVP? Well…
PVP needs competition and rewards, so we’re just about ready to let you all loose on our new PVP event system, the Bounty Hunt season.
Bounty is an opt-in system that puts you into the ultimate PVP event. Over the course of multiple days, your goal will be to defend your Vault and blow up other players’ Vaults. Your Vault will protect your Bounty, a PVP currency that you can spend at the end of the event in a special PVP Bounty Store.
When you opt-in to Bounty, you gain the ability to build a Vault in your base. Expanding the Vault increases the amount of Bounty you automatically generate, but more importantly it prevents more and more of your Bounty from being stolen.
Worried about being stomped repeatedly? You’re protected by the primary rule of Bounty Hunting: you must hit up. You can only get Bounty from a player who has more Bounty than you, meaning repeat hits are pointless. Target accordingly.
Oh, and bubbles are disabled for the last few hours before the end of the Bounty season, so no turtling at the end.
On the prize side, if you opt-in and join the Bounty Hunt at all, you are guaranteed a pretty sweet PVP prize. The very very best PVPers who manage to hang on to tons of Bounty at the end of the event can redeem our newest and best PVP equipment in the Bounty Store before it gets broadly distributed.
There’s a lot to say about Bounty, and we’re going to give you plenty of information before we roll it out. Look for a long forum post and an in-game tutorial tl/dr.
Rogue Crews are one of the more interesting parts of Battle Pirates and there’s been a lot of conversation about how you all acquire them, what they are good for… and how broken some of them are. Rather than spackling in fixes here and there, we’re going to be taking all the Rogue Crews back to design and rebuilding them for the modern world of Battle Pirates. Instead of “Favored Hull: Hammerhead” we’ll be matching these rebuilt cards with the hulls you’re using, the resources you’re actually needing, and the ways you want to “break the game” for a few minutes.
We will NOT be removing the existing crews in your inventory.
We’re also planning something a little more exciting, but we’re not ready to unveil anything else except to say we are currently evaluating an idea we’re internally calling “Permanent Captains.”
None of this matters unless there is frequent adjustment to these crews, with new ones coming to the fore when you need them and older ones being retired. This Rogue Crew update comes packaged with a once-per-quarter adjustment plan that we’ll tell you more about when we roll it out.
Look for much more on the Rogue Crew update soon.
In Quarter 4, we’re unleashing one of our largest player events yet. As our year-long story arc comes to a head, players will take sides to win control of “The Continent” and earn powerful bonuses for their faction loyalty… and rewards for betrayal.
While this war rages on, it’s will eventually be time for Outpost 10, which is best described as “Weaponizing the Outpost” — perfect for a world war!
For those wanting to get into the heads of the faction leaders, the story of our World War is being told in the short-stories of Homeland, Endgame, Plunder, Hunger, and Forever. Watch for them in the forums as the year progresses.
We’ll leave that there, but look for more details about this large-scale event in our next State of the Game.
That’s a lot of detail about what’s to come. Battle Pirates is on track for one of its most innovative years yet — new content, new mechanics, and a laser-focus on listening to the players as we put tools in your hands to wreck your enemies and gaze upon their flaming hulls!
Until next time, Captains!