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
The worst of it is, i've heard almost all of this before, and it just smells of more smoke and mirrors and delaying tactics to me.
I'll wait and see what these "Sweeping changes to weapons and armor" are that are meant to be coming this month but I have heard absolutely nothing in this post that convinces me this game is worth persevering with going into 2016.
Nothing on retrofits even though it's been 3 months now we can't get any update? January cm doom? I am excited for the new features but I am hearing nothing regarding retrofits here are they gone for good or are we waiting till January to hear more about them?
That said, I'd like to quickly point out two things that need more attention:
- Sector Threat
Unless you acknowledge/address the current problem with armada spawn/decay rate and address it, threat level orange will be a major fail
- Repair times
Here we need action, now, not more words about looking into it. This is the one thing killing the game the most.
I see a contradiction already in the post.
1. We will not be nerfing any weapons
2. Reducing the power gained by new hulls from VXP, while providing them a default reload bonus
One can argue that #2 is not talking about weapons but faster reload equals more damage per second. And if you cap the reload you are essentially nerfing the weapon.
It does look promising....BUT Grumpy is correct, telling us to give them 3 months but then only coming out with a plan seems sketchy. If they can't even get the alliance improvements or the orange sector threat out on schedule how the hell will they get these new things out???? I really hope they are serious but Kix has ZERO benefit of the doubt and a lot of these changes seem likely to piss off the whales who coined the newest uber fleets. Until I see Kix resist the urge to exclusively cater to the whales I will take a wait and see approach. First opportunity they have is the next raid, if it still only really plays to rhino w/blades and gives mid/low level players massively overpowered C targets I doubt many will hang in much longer,
Looks good... Although I am interested to see how kix rebalances weaponry without nerfing anything (or increasing power of not-so-powerful weapons)... It's as hard as it sounds....
Really, we will always have more powerful hulls and weapons. Why try and mess with this. This has not been the issue, it has been the quick turnover of them. MCX v Hellhounds longevity. 'Nuff siad.
Why mess with the VXP system now that you have solved it?!? Reaver 85's quarterly will make everyone happy.
Weapons build time... meh, they rarely have been an issue. Charons might be a bit high... but armor has been the things.
Changing the basis of the ship/f;eets power is also really rather full bore for something that needs some specific pellet shots instead.
Look, overall it is really simple. The 'fun' part of the game was being able to do many aspects of the game while still being viable in pve and having fun doing things like sector wars. 100+ ships sailing at each other all at once. You know why that worked?? Because it didn't take a week to repair a dock full of dead fleets. It still boils down to one simple overview...
It now costs, minimum 3x-4x or more to do the same things we used to be able to do. Go lad the first few betas and compare build and repair times and stop trying to find some fantastically convoluted way to do a simple thing. K.I.S.S
-Unknown Game Developer... or is it?
Also tbh the only solution to make VXP not so much of a necessity is to make this VXP weekend monthly (meaning lots of 85s). You reward players for "playing with their ships", and peeps can get rank without spending hours on salvs.
Ask us about the hellstrikes, rockets and reload. That was the first fleet I coined and after they boned us, the last fleet I'll likely coin. That is their conundrum. They need to convince us we want to coin again after getting burned so many **** times.
-Unknown Game Developer... or is it?
Is it really that difficult to just reduce repair times 50% permanently and reduce build times by 50% across the board?
Why bother with this "build time as a factor of weight added" crap?
Was it really necessary to quote dooms entire post to talk about something not in his post. Retrofits would be nice to hear about, but if everyone quotes doom this thread will be 100 pages long, 5 posts per page
First of all, thank you. A lot of thought went into what's going on behind the scenes, and the community appreciates whatever transparency you can give.
Many players feel that repair times need to be reduced, but many players make more economical build decisions.
I personally don't put armor on most of my DPS ships, and I employ a tank method. This keeps my whole fleet repair reasonable if I lose it.
If I just recklessly put armor on everything because weight allowed - sure, repair takes too long.
I think that reducing repair times is a step in the wrong direction. It allows players who don't think continue to not think.
2nd, a lot of players worked really hard (spent a lot of time and/or money) to rank up their ships. I hope that the impact max rank has on ships now doesn't get "nerfed". While it may not have been "working as intended" for 2+ years, players have still been working their butts off for 2+ years.
I am also concerned about base hitting changes. If you make rewards that are "must have" from hitting bases, then you are forcing players to hit bases. Do we really need a 3rd necessary way to get more tech? We already have a monthly raid and a weekly FM. Please don't add another to the list.
I agree that base hitting is underwhelming and this game is not a PvP game because there are no ways to progress from doing 'pvp", but is that really a bad thing? I personally don't want to participate in base hitting, because I don't feel that profiting from someone else's loss is a good thing.
I also don't want to fall behind because of my world view and personal morals. It would be sad for me if I feel that I have to leave this game because base hitting becomes a must.
I know that my thoughts are probably representing a very small minority, but still, I am thankful they can be heard.
How does the weekly fit into your goal of reducing chores? You have a vocal camp that says 50 mil is fine, a vocal camp that says 50 mil is too much and a vocal camp that includes me that says 50 mil is attainable but boring as hell and time intensive.
So is the person standing by the hose shouting 'Fire!Fire!'. Doesn't mean they are being productive.
-Unknown Game Developer... or is it?
No action definitive action on repair times was mentioned at all.
No action on hull build times coming this month.
No action on cheaters at all (beyond the standard company line) and doesn't address the double standards going on in some cases.
No action on VXP coming beyond a band aid.
Kixeye outlines "coming soon" plans to solve the power creep but in the next breath hints at new "mega hulls" coming this month.
Many components will get compulsory uranium costs this month (it'll end badly, I don't care how many people say it's a good thing, it's War Commander all over again)
Reducing the number of regular drac bases in our sectors
Now granted, some of the stuff in this post is coming this month, and if it's as sweeping and game changing (for the better) as this post makes it sound I might give Kixeye the benefit of the doubt going into 2016.
But i'm looking at this with a skeptical eye because Kixeye have made grand statements about these issues before so all i'll say on the subject is the ball is in Kixeyes court to prove me wrong.
I would happily come on here and apologize to all concerned if they do but right now as things stand i'm still not convinced that it's anything more than another delaying tactic at best or at worst some of these changes will actually do more harm than good.
Also, kudos on acknowledging cheaters are a big issue in the game. Has the fix you mention regarding illegitimately overpowered hulls gone out....or is coming soon and/or can't be discussed because it undermines your efforts in that space if you are transparent?
But on to my complaints and concern:
Gotta say Doom, these things sound really, really promising and great. Especially this:
One final thing I am curious about, is how hard will they be to obtain? I don't think we need another Protonemesis drop rate, I'd actually like to see some ships on the map from various players within the same year they are released.
It is boring and furthermore I had an idea to combat this but it got moved to wishlist when logically it would have made sense it is my sig. It is even more boring having to wait 2 months for your fleet to be done and then having to refit it after something come along to obselte already.
It's your entitled attitude of wanting everything the exact moment you want it.
No company that's out there makes all of its changes and implements them all immediately, and guess what - you don't either in your personal life.
In relation to the OP, I find some of the ideas interesting, but am skeptical on Kixeye's ability to deliver anything short of the clap. I guess we'll see.
50 mill x2 is doable for me. I am caught up If I take the TIME I can do it for very little damage, or I can 'rush' and do it for moderate damage and a little less time. Either way is BORING AS HELL and still takes time. Twice. For tech that is not elite and is required by Kix's coding in order to become/remain viable in the game. Knock this crap off.
If you want to keep the lie going about it being elite, up the points in an 85. If you want to be honest, halve the points requirement.
-Unknown Game Developer... or is it?
Either players who have no problem with it are much higher level, or they are similar level but have a problem doing it.
You... you stand alone...