Some of you may have already seen my ID pop up in both the VC Discord chat room and the forums recently commenting and making claims of a ‘change’. I thought I should formally introduce myself and expand on the changes I have been talking about.
I have been part of the VEGA Conflict development team for almost 2.5 years and have recently stepped up as a Lead Product Manager for the game. As a Product Manager I am responsible for determining our priorities and planning the development and release road map as well as ensuring that all the different parts of the game - progression, art, difficulty, sounds, design and economy - fit together. The primary goal behind everything I do is for you to experience a fun and enjoyable VEGA Conflict every time you login to play the game.
Let's go through some of our main objectives. Some, you’ve already started to see, but most of what we’re working on should fall into place over the next few months.
We understand that spending time on building and crafting upgrades for your Marauder faction steals the time you could have been spending on your PVE hull progressions. To encourage more active PVP and reduce the upkeep cost of maintaining the Marauder faction set, we removed build times and crafting times for all new Marauder content starting June 2018. You will now be able to craft Marauder hulls by combining hull fragments (which are available as target drops currently in Alliance War) or by winning pre-built hull instances from event stores.
Waiting for 5 days to build the brand new hull you just earned from the event store, before you even add any weapon or tech, is way too long. We would rather you played the game using the brand new hull than spend that time waiting. We introduced the reduced build time with the Umbra Medusa Destroyer, reducing it’s original build time from 5 days to around 1.5 days. We will also be reducing the build times for Ogre Battleship, Phoenix and Wraith Cruiser, which will be effective after our expected scheduled downtime on the 22nd October PST.
We want to encourage more active refits. changing your load-out more frequently to optimize your combat strategy, be it for PVE or PVP battles is a big part of what makes VC fun. Having long refit times for components doesn’t help achieve this goal. We are currently evaluating all refit times across the board, and will be looking to start rolling out changes soon.
We know that the Workshop queues can often get overwhelming. We are currently evaluating the items and the time they take up. Once we have more information, we will broadcast our plans with you. Overall, the same theme applies here: we want you to have minimal downtime waiting for things and have you spend more time playing the game.
Resources were expensive, either for buying top-ups with coins or to exchange in the event store for points. Since September, we have increased resource claim cap for events to 99 and reduced the coin cost to top-up resources by 95%. We have also been constantly monitoring the resource supply run activities to make sure the payouts match the effort you put in to farm them.
Accelerated Player Progression to XENO:
I currently see VEGA Conflict’s gameplay split into two eras: pre XENO and post XENO. Players (new and existing) who are still stuck behind the XENO Faction are not able to actively participate in any of our main events and activities. The current build and refit times of the legacy factions and their module upgrade times make it a really slow journey for them. We will be introducing new ways for players to accelerate to XENO.
Since September, we changed how we look at event targets. We wanted to give you a variety of new puzzles to solve each and every event. We are putting more effort into developing fun target challenges for you, instead of a single target with just different load-outs or modifiers.
Constantly changing target difficulty is a bad player experience. Just like you, I don’t like those ever-changing target tunings. However, some targets at some point do need to be tuned, either to block off an exploit, to align them with their correct audience of players, or to nerf them if they are too harsh. Since July, we have drastically reduced our tweaking of targets once they go live. We are also improving our communication by broadcasting any changes we make. In most cases we will broadcast the intention BEFORE we make any changes on Live. Targets that have been used in an event will not be re-tuned for any subsequent runs. If we need to make changes to a target after the first event, then we will instead scrap the target and use a new one.
Legacy Tech Availability:
We will be updating our Supply Runs and Grind targets to contain materials up to AXIS and with increased drop rates. Items from the previous faction will go into a Catch-Up event where they become easier to farm (both tech as well as crafting materials).
Along with a big balance on the time walls, we are also planning a big change on how VEGA Conflict progresses through each season. From Q1 2019, we will introduce the Rock-Paper-Scissor format. A short summary of how it works: Umbra is a counter to Altairians, Faction X is a counter to Umbra, and Altairians are a counter to Faction X. We will rotate between these factions each month through the next half of 2019, allowing a player’s fleet composition to use a variety of tech and open up to new strategies to defeat your foe. This will also help in retaining the value for hulls and tech you have invested so much time on.
We have introduced Dreadnoughts, a mega-hull class which players can obtain progressively outside the rush of events. There will be more of them in the future
We don’t have to adhere to the known old school hull classes of Battleships, Cruisers, Cutters etc. We will be adapting dynamic hull classes which would behave differently than the classic hulls you have interacted with before.
I will leave the rest of the details about our Game Progression for our Lead Game Designer to walk through with you.
Coin and Real Money Offers:
VEGA Conflict supports microtransactions and uses that revenue to cover all operational costs. Spending money in VEGA Conflict should always be a good experience and you should feel that you gained a significant value from your purchase.
We believe we can offer a better value for our spending players while still introducing offers at a price point that appeals to variety of spend levels. We have been experimenting with Crafting Upgrade token offers since September where it now gives you upgrade credits for 2 of your new ships all the way to MK5. This saves time, coins, and resources, required to research the crafting upgrades. For players who prefer to mix with smaller amounts of spend with some coin or queue time, we have started introducing single MK5 boxes which contains all the crafting materials required to upgrade 1 new hull from mk1 to mk5 for 2499 coins. The pricing for these deals provides a much better value than our older crafting deals where you would get materials to upgrade 2 hulls to MK5 and then had to spend coins and/or time to use them.
We have also started introducing lower price points for a lot of our offers, including the $20 time token deals and $10 Punisher deals.
The VC Team have signed up for a big task, re-balancing the game to make it more approachable as well as fun, while still maintaining a balance of new tech and features for you to enjoy. All the changes listed above are slotted and allocated to our current dev timeline and we expect them to be progressively rolled out through Q4 2018 and Q1 2019. The feedback we have been receiving from you guys has been incredible. The support we get from our Preview players is beyond recognition that my words would not do justice to. I would want you all to know, the team here in VC are as passionate about the game as you are, and we will make sure we give it our 110% so that you can enjoy the game you love!
Stay safe! Have fun! And enjoy the journey!