Welcome back to another State of the Game update for VEGA Conflict. Let's go through some of the key topics I want to cover.
Stillfront & KIXEYE: How does this affect VEGA Conflict?
KIXEYE and it’s four core titles (VEGA Conflict, Battle Pirates, War Commander, War Commander: Rogue Assault) were acquired by Stillfront Group around the end of Q2 2019.
With this acquisition we gain access to shared knowledge and resources which helps us improve each of our current titles in various ways. For the VEGA Conflict team, it's business as usual and we are planning a big list of new features and game improvements for the coming year.
We mentioned in our previous State of the Game post that we want players to be spending more time playing the game than waiting on builds and refits. To action our goal, we made several updates related to Build Times, Crafting Times and Refit Times. There’s still more content in the game and we will make sure that we continue updating existing content to align them with this objective.
Build Time Update:
Updating each faction’s build time to match a new model was a big task and we are excited for all the reduced build time changes that went live with July’s release. All current T7 build times are capped at 1 day for an empty hull (from previous 5 days) except the Carriers which are now reduced to 3 days. Factions below the current RPS cycle also got their build times reduced based on the current cap of T7 hulls.
Crafting Time Update:
We reduced Upgrade Token Crafting times along with the build times last release. We also reduced Dreadnought crafting time by a significant amount. Research times for hull upgrade recipe were also removed along with this update.
Refit Time Update:
End of last year, we introduced an 80% refit discount based on the equipment being replaced. Earlier this year we also reduced some of the AXIS and Xeno weapon and component’s original fit times by 20-85%.
We released a new activity framework system for VEGA Conflict this July called Deep Space. Deep Space is an ambitious project and we are cautiously rolling it out in increments so we get the opportunity to track feedback and action on it. We are aiming to unlock Umbra and Pharmakon sectors in Q4 2019.
In general, travel times are a significant barrier to game play, which were even more pronounced with Deep Space’s launch. We believe this should not hamper one's ability to participate in the activities and events. With Deep Space’s launch, we introduced an instant warping feature for fleets that are destroyed in combat. We also re-balanced the Prophet Flagship’s Wormhole Drive Type-1 to jump multiple sectors and reduced its cool down time.
Additional jump drives are planned for the near future which would make inter-sector travel for the remaining jump ships easier. We are also working on increasing Sector Speed for all ships and removing escort restrictions from Dreadnoughts, based on community feedback.
Another key goal for Deep Space is to address target availability during events. Over the next few releases, we’ll be focused on this goal by expanding event and activity zones. Currently, event and activity sectors can be chained one after another, but we plan on splitting off event sectors into multiple faction sectors for both Cargo/Supply Sectors as well as event targets themselves. We are also working on revamping target spawners to prioritize target re-spawning based on popularity.
Deep Space will allow us to rework our game’s system to create an experience for you where you have new and interesting things to do and explore. Our 2020 roadmap has many plans around expanding the Deep Space feature further by introducing new event and activity formats for both PVE and PVP gameplay.
New User Progression Campaigns:
VEGA Conflict continues to get a steady stream of new users each day with majority of those players continuing to play the game regularly. We are also planning on increasing our player base by investing into new user acquisition in the near future.
The current meta of VEGA Conflict is quite different from where we started 7 years back. A lot has changed since then, and we have been reworking a lot of the old systems over the last year. We want new players to experience what VEGA Conflict has to offer now; its current metagame, new ships, and new mechanics.
The New User Progression Campaigns help players to accelerate through all the classic factions, bringing one to the start of XENO in 12 days. It also assists with a lot of research and upgrade unlocks, allowing XENO to be experienced at their full potential.
As a natural progression from Campaigns, the recently reworked Alien Strikes help to progress through AXIS, giving a first taste of an event and also preparation for the current RPS gameplay.
From older and newer players alike, campaigns were received with overwhelming positivity, but some of our older campaigns weren’t fun or engaging, and were removed with haste. We plan to bring back campaigns for all users in the near future.
Ship Skins are a brand new feature we are planning to introduce in late 2019. Skins will work similar to a paint job. Once a skin credit is acquired, it can be equipped to any Tier 8 ship of your choice. Some of the skins will be available via gameplay while others will be exclusive to premium purchases. Skins will be locked to Tier 8 and above, and each Tier will see a new season of Skins released.
We have heard your feedback loud and clear about the current state of bases. We have been releasing smaller incremental updates to bases this year, starting with resistor slots, then an increase to the number of mines that can be placed at once, and the Hangar Module gained an upgrade; even more improvements are scheduled. The next update planned for bases will focus on Terminus Mine upgrades.
Re-balancing Bases is one of our tent pole projects for early 2020 where we will be reviewing XP, mass, DPS, and many other stats which affect a base’s combat effectiveness.
We want to thank all of you who participated in the various surveys and gave us your honest feedback on T7 factions and their mechanics. Many important lessons were learned and the provided feedback is helping us design T8 in a way we believe you will enjoy.
Some of the designed counters in the RPS system weren’t fun to interact with or weren’t able to properly counter mechanics in place, so we want to revisit the core RPS mechanics, namely Phasing. We also want to recognize good piloting skills, which is a critical feedback we’re listening to - by having mechanics which can perform even better by controlling ships with finesse, we hope to achieve this goal.
We want to provide a more dynamic combat experience with T8 by breaking away from hard-set restrictions and moving away from existing hull class definitions. The Zeus, Omega and Aerico were the first step into that direction.
T8 hulls will emphasise specific characteristics in the battlefield and battles can be optimized by selecting different combinations of these hulls to tackle the challenge faced.
We will also be introducing Equippable Triggered Abilities late 2019 which allows you to manually trigger devastating abilities that can turn the tide of a battle in your favour. Triggered Abilities will be available for T8 hulls.
A topic that stood apart in almost every survey and feedback thread is regarding negative gameplay experiences around the Pharmakon’s Phasing mechanic, both when fighting with it as well as when going up against it. With the launch of Tier 8, we will be reworking how phasing works for both current and future hulls, addressing constant de-synchronization between multiple Pharmakon ships in a fleet, chaotic micro-control Phasing demands, and generally making Pharmakon more fun to fight against. We will be releasing a detailed post soon going through the new rework system in detail.
Repair Time Update:
Continuing on our goal for players to spend more time playing than waiting, we want to revisit how repairs are calculated. This includes repairs incurred from individual encounters as well as maximum repairs for individual hulls and entire fleets. We have been experimenting with new repair models and we’ll give you an update once details are finalized.
Player Insight Group:
We launched the Internal Feedback Server (IFS) last year which helped us identify a lot of game balance and Quality of Life improvement requests forwarded on your behalf by the IFS team. This year we expanded the circle further with Player Insight Group, establishing an even stronger communication channel with the player-base.
The Player Insight Group gets access to details of features and content being planned for release as well as participate in Dev Q&A and Brainstorming sessions. However, Player Insight Group does not have access to the IFS game server. Similar to the IFS team, please use the Player Insight Group as messengers for your feedback.
Limited-Time Offer (LTO) purchases have always included gold, which created a unique challenge of maintaining the integrity of offer content in respect to the gold included in the offer. We discussed plans to offer more value from purchases in the latest State of the Game post - to reduce offer prices, we plan on introducing LTOs which focus solely on content. Separating coins from content allows us to offer certain packages at a much lower price point. For example, a pre-fitted hull LTO without including coins could potentially be reduced by 30-50%.
VEGA Conflict over the last year has undergone an array of various changes focused on providing an even more fun gaming experience. This post doesn’t cover all the areas of the game we hope to change, but rest assured, we are paying close attention to feedback and requests. The amount of play time required to keep up with current content cadence, requests for more community contests, unique gameplay, and unique challenges are all noted as we move to another era of VEGA.
Stay safe! Have fun! And enjoy the journey!