Greetings, Rebels! Welcome to 2018.
The team has been working through the end of December and the beginning of January to evaluate 2017, collate feedback that we heard from the community, and begin to plan our roadmap for the new year. Without further adieu, let’s dive in.
Target Variety - Entering the Xeno season, we hadn’t seen anything new when it came to targets in a long time. With the Reapers, Barrage Hives, Harvesters, Outposts, Blitz Reapers, and more, 2017 was marked by a tremendous amount of new targets to learn and conquer.
Alien Decimation - While this activity started at the end of 2016, it grew into its full form in 2017. This was one of the first events we ran that offered greater functionality outside of simply hitting fleets out in space, and its escalation process opened a lot of doors for design, including boss targets and loot drops.
Alliance War - In the latter half of 2017, we turned our attention to the creation of Alliance War. This feature was massive, and it took us until the end of December to deliver it. But, similar to Alien Decimation, we’re pleased to have brought it to life as yet another new type of event with greater functionality than just hitting fleets on the map, and we’re equally excited to see where we can take it in the new year.
Lore Developments - While the story of VEGA Conflict is not in itself gameplay, there were several big milestones that were passed in the narrative that sets the stage for an interesting 2018. General Geir was exiled from VEGA, rose to new heights with his Xeno Division, then was summarily claimed by the very power he wished to control; Queen Keres VII was lost to the Void; The Rebellion took power back into their own hands with the A.X.I.S. Project and its various system improvements. The Project has factioned off now due to several mutinies, and its been revealed that a hacked SYBIL mainframe is behind it all. We’re looking forward to sharing how the story develops!
Enemy Ships Are Not Your Own - Unlike previous years, the enemy ships you encountered in most of 2017 were not the same as the ships you obtained. This meant more variance and unknown in the enemy’s strategies and composition.
Base Targets - Prior to 2017, PvE in VEGA Conflict had been all fleet vs fleet. Once Base Targets were introduced, a different type of combat was opened up, with players having to identify the best way to solve these ‘puzzles’ and pilot in very specific ways against a stationary target. We’ve already expanded on these targets slightly in Alliance War and are looking forward to even more developments in 2018.
Harmonic Fleet Bonuses - In the AXIS Season, we introduced Fleetwide bonuses, providing in-combat benefits based on the gear you equipped. These bonuses shifted the balance of power in combat immensely, and applied to any ship in your fleet, new or old.
Enemy Spawning Mechanics - One of the more engaging parts of the AXIS Season was the ability for enemies to spawn additional reinforcements should they take too long to be destroyed. This created a brand new sense of urgency and strategy when it came to prioritizing certain targets over others, and the introduction of this feature has opened several doors for the future of VEGA Conflict when it comes to what combat elements we can implement when creating fresh and exciting new targets.
QUALITY OF LIFE IMPROVEMENTS
Time Tokens - Time Tokens was a feature desired for a long time, on both the community and the game team side. We were finally able to carve out time for it and it’s added an exciting new currency into the economy - one that reduces your project times!
VIP Ranks - One key piece of community feedback we regularly heard is that our spenders felt their investment into VEGA Conflict had little permanency once their purchased coins were gone. As such, we decided to take a page from the book of other popular mobile titles by providing a VIP Ranks system that slowly progressed with rewards for those who choose to make regular investments in VEGA Conflict.
Crafting Redesign - We heard player feedback about the randomness of crafting drops and had our design team formulate a new method of dropping crafting materials that ensured guaranteed and measured progression over time to earn the amount of materials anyone would need to undertake any crafting upgrade they choose. This crafting model will be carrying forward into T7.
XP Balances - With the help of our Community and our Preview Program members, there were several XP imbalances that were brought to our attention, and we took time to address these with XP balance changes, which corrected the representation of power levels for Player fleets. This was a large undertaking, and there’s certainly more work to be done, but we’re pleased that we were able to make this initial change for our Community.
Free-for-all Gating Changes - One of the elements that stagnated end-game play was the free-for-all barrier that many players chose to hide behind rather than progress beyond. So, we put one of our best minds on the analytics team to work and he devised a system that allowed for harmonious up-and-down level gating in PvP combat.
It may not be an easy system to communicate, but it certainly works, and it resolved nearly all of the level stagnation and free-for-all complaints we often received in one swift move.
Blood Amber & Expanded Markets - Another piece of Community feedback we received was that Blood Amber as a currency did not have enough value, and that the Market was growing stagnant. Our Product team was able to devise a strategy to open several new Markets that all served specifics purposes towards the end-game meta, allowing players to get exactly what they were looking for, including items with more immediate relevance for our late-game Rebels.
Weekly Cadence - An unfortunate communication breakdown between the community and the game team took the form of what purpose each event served, and how often you actually needed to compete in each activity. We decided that the issue could be corrected in the format of a calendar change, and the team devised the new Weekly Cadence. This new cadence put in place a very clear delineation between Support Events which run on a short duration several times over the week, and the highlighted Feature Events, which are the true focus for those that want to play.
Trickle-Down Content Cadence - A regular request from our Community is that there is always an avenue of some kind for players that choose not to spend money and stay up to date with the current meta. The VEGA Conflict team was able to come together and provide a plan around this piece of community feedback for new and exciting content to trickle down into easier targets and events over time, ensuring that no matter who you are or what pace you wish to play at, you will eventually have access to items that you want to use.
Preview Program - The Preview Program is a Community initiative that allows our valued community content creators early peeks at upcoming content and targets, in turn providing a path for these users to make strategy guides and recommendations that helped the larger community be even more successful in VEGA Conflict.
The entire VEGA Conflict team would like to extend a thank you to TopGear, GDIAX, Cyrus, and Qlacko for participating in this initiative and dedicating their time and effort to helping their fellow Rebels succeed. We’re looking forward to continuing the Preview Program soon!
We’d also like to extend a thank you to the VC News Team, who ensure that our announcements make their way out to mobile users on other external community channels!
Community News Feed - Towards the end of 2017, we released the Community News Feed. This feature allows players to receive news updates and event briefings without having to navigate to an external channel like the KIXEYE Forums. So far, the feature has been met with positivity, and as additional updates are applied to the News Feed, players will see their feedback taken into account regarding additional categories, as well as various art improvements.