As mentioned, here is a missive from our Lead Designer on the state of Battle Pirates and what direction we want to take moving into 2016.
Read and discuss below.
Thank you for your participation in keeping Battle Pirates great!
State of the Game
In our ongoing effort to improve transparency and improve the game itself, we plan on presenting quarterly state of the game posts to open up a discussion about the direction of Battle Pirates. This is the first of these missives and we have a lot to talk about. We’re excited to share with you our plans for next year and discuss what you’ll be seeing in the future, starting right now, in December.
We are most excited about the future of Battle Pirates, and the features coming in 2016. In preparation, and in response to the community, it is essential the game is in a healthy state. This is true now, more than ever. The team is embarking on this essential mission right now.
Here’s what we want to focus on, moving into the new year.
Overpriced Builds and Refits
Because of the increased fleet size, increases to costs per component, as well as an increase in the number of slots on ships, build and refit costs have become inflated. Since no one singular feature will fix this problem in the short-term, we’ve come up with a solution that we believe will reduce costs and see to it that they never get wildly out-of-control again. Here are the changes:
Weapons, armors, specials, and tacticals are assigned build time based on the weight they add to the ship (no more Negotiator Mortar problem).
Components that are often refit will be given a lower time cost and a Uranium cost.
This is intended to lower refit costs and allow for more active refits.
Includes light weapons, specific resist specials, countermeasures, armors, and role-centric specials (including sonar)
Hull build costs will be based on ship weight capacity with two exceptions:
Some older ships have higher-than-normal capacity and will be discounted
Ships with unique effects (such as the Aegis) will have the hidden value of that effect factored into its build cost
The new research system will offer multiple opportunities to lower shipyard build costs with the intention that build costs fluctuate around a current standard cost while also lowering the cost of old hulls and tech automatically.
Return of Research
Starting at Outpost 6, players will have the opportunity to complete new in-game objectives provided by Harlock, Brennus, and Zoey. These new objectives unlock research options that provide permanent global bonuses. Here’s an example:
Critical Technology: Draconian Shipyard
“The Dracs seem to have an endless supply of new ships. Raid their bases and destroy their shipyards. Bring back enough salvage and steal their tech.” - Brennus
Salvage Draconian Shipyard Shards: 0/10
Research Time: 24 hours
Effect: Shipyard Build Times Reduced by 2%
Most objectives will come out in December with additional objectives to follow quarterly. Each permanent effect will stack, helping to stop escalating costs and reduce costs as hulls and components age.
2015 has seen extreme jumps in the power of weapons, most notably the Arbalest, Antipode Launcher, and Blade Missile. This has left many weapons well behind the power-curve, causing many players to have larger than intended repair times from more recent targets. We’re conducting a game-wide weapon rebalance to bring more weapons and weapon categories back into use, so that the targets we build for don’t feel impossible for those with less recent weapon tech. Basically, if you don’t have the hottest new weapon, you can still be competitive in the game.
We will not be nerfing any weapons!
Top tier weapons will still be at the top.
Weapon weight will be more important to understanding the power of a weapon than it is today (especially on older components).
Damage and reload will be structured so that weapon categories exist for roles such as:
Weapons that are not as dependant on VXP
Weapons that can penetrate high defenses
Weapons that overload countermeasures
Cheaters and Exploits
We’re continuing to identify and solve cheats and exploits within Battle Pirates. While some of these cases are design related (such as the use of multiple rockets to kill an outpost), many are due to the nature of BP’s code base and may take longer to solve. Creating a fair playing field is critical as it allows us to better tune the experience for all players. We’re committed to identifying and making fixes as efficiently as possible.
Most recently, this includes a remedy to prevent players from using illegitimate ships and illegitimately overpowered ships.
One of our goals is to reduce the need to schedule your life around Battle Pirates and create more dynamic gameplay based around player activity and interest rather than creating “chores”. With Reavers leaving the sectors and a return of Draconian control, we’ve taken the opportunity to replace scheduled Dredge fleets with player trigger-able Draconian Armadas and the soon-to-be released Uranium Bases.
Sector threat will also be a gateway to new blueprints, including a new line of Draconian Mega-Hulls that players will be able to unlock and build.
The original goal of VXP was to reward players for playing with their ships, but it has become one of the most important stats in the game. In the short term, we plan to run VXP events more frequently to allow players access to the much-needed veterancy experience. We’re also working on new ideas for VXP including:
Reducing the power gained by new hulls from VXP, while providing them a default reload bonus
Allowing newly built hulls to start at a higher VXP level based on objectives
Altering the bonuses that VXP provides to be per hull
With these changes our goal is to return VXP to being a bonus rather than a necessity.
Arguably, the largest pain point from the community has been the cost of repair in the game. We have been exploring this problem from every angle and have several proposals for how to tackle it. All of our data confirms what you already know: the cost of repair is too **** high!
We are looking at this data to formulate a specific and actionable plan to reduce the cost of repair in the game. There are a number of different approaches we are looking at for this topic. Here are some examples:
Reducing the time cost for armors
Purchasable reductions to repair
Increasing VXP specialist packs and reductions
These are just a sample of some of the directions we are considering at this time. We want to make sure that we are addressing all concerns regarding this topic. We are currently discussing how best to implement these changes and hope to have more specifics on this announcement very, very soon.
Base Attacking Rewards
The cost of base hitting is too high and the rewards for base attacking are too low and it often feels unfair to lower level players. We plan to use the new research system to motivate competitive base attacks and competitive base defenses while lowering the cost of both. More details soon.
This State of the Game is focused primarily on core balance issues and system improvements for the health of the game. Currently, this is the most important priority for us. This missive focuses on what we know needs the most work, hence its size and scope. Future State of the Game updates will shift to a focus on upcoming features and roadmap discussions, but this message, we wanted to let you know that we are working very hard to get Battle Pirates to a balanced state. Again, this is what we are most excited about as we prepare to go into 2016 and we think these changes will bring Battle Pirates to a whole new level.
Your feedback is crucial to the design process and we always appreciate the feedback you provide. We’ll continue to update you on our progress towards a renewed, more exciting, and more fun Battle Pirates and keep you in the loop through the forums and previews moving forward.
Thanks for reading and good luck, Captains!
-Battle Pirates Team