January 2019 Community Diary

CM Chris
CM Chris
KIXEYE Community Manager
Joined Mar 2014 Posts: 3,741
edited 30 Jan 2019, 3:05AM

JANUARY 2019 COMMUNITY DIARY


Hello, Pirates! CM Chris here to do a brief look-back at all things January, then a sneak-peek at what’s coming our way in February.


LOOKING BACK ON JANUARY

The Start of a New Year

January marked the start of our 9th calendar year (official 9th birthday in May) and that’s an impressive feat for an MMORTS Flash game. Most other games in this space aren’t around anymore, and Battle Pirates’ longevity is a testament to our passionate community. Thank you!


Balance Patches & Refactors

As the PvP Refactor settled in, feedback and exploit reports cropped up, which the Design team was able to work through and resolve. Balance patches will continue to go live quarterly to correct any outstanding issues that are devaluing certain pieces of content or overvaluing others.

To ensure we’re setting expectations correctly, it’s important to note that Battle Pirates is a live game. The expectation we should all have is that balance changes and tuning are regularly taking place to ensure that the landscape provided to players is engaging. Much of what we need to balance is surfaced through community feedback - so make sure to continue letting us know if any hull or item in particular is overpowered or underpowered based on how it should be performing in the tier it’s in.


Activities & Events (The Good!)

The improvements made to Bounty 17 have helped refresh community interest in the activity. We’ll continue to hone in on making this activity the best it can possibly be, but we’re off to a good start!

The other positive addition to activities has been additional Blitz and Leaderboard options. While these aren’t features that we plan on tuning events around, providing more options to Blitz and get through the grind of an event, or stack additional prizes by placing on the leaderboard, is the type of agency we like to put in players’ hands. Engagement with those features has been healthy, so you’ll likely continue to see these options available in activities.


Activities & Events (The Bad)

Something I’m optimistic about for the future, but was not well-received at the time, was VXP Battlegrounds. For now, this was considered a one-off activity. However, structuring a VXP Weekend in a way that doesn’t involve suiciding empty hulls against targets is a clear goal we have on our list of things to improve about the game - and VXP Battlegrounds was a step in that direction. The issues encountered during that activity primarily had to do with confusion around what targets to hit and what to expect in terms of payouts - both of which are easily resolved concerns. Expect future iterations to VXP Weekend that take those recent learnings into account and move us closer to a more engaging way to earn VXP for hulls.

The major rough spot with events was sentiment surrounding the January Raid. While it saw high levels of engagement, there was concern about a lack of readiness that was voiced leading up to the start of the Raid and throughout its duration. Lack of readiness was one part of what made targets difficult, another part having to do with the PvE Defense Update work that WrongThinker spoke to recently in his dev diary (more on that later), and the last part being the learning curve of engaging with new targets.

By the end of the Raid, videos and strategies were being shared for how to knock out the targets fairly easily, which is something we expect each time we release a new target, and I was glad to see the community supporting each other in that fashion. We’re taking on board the rest of the feedback that was voiced during the Raid and seeing what we can do to alleviate some of the concerns for future events.

Performance Problem...Problems

The last several months have seen increases in lag reports or performance issues while events are running. This is considered the current top community issue - as it is the most immediately disruptive roadblock to playing the game. We are continuing to investigate and alleviate problems wherever we can find them.



LOOKING FORWARD TO FEBRUARY

Battle Report

The first big change coming to Battle Pirates, scheduled for the 9.08 Update, is the Battle Report. The goal behind this feature is to provide greater levels of insight into where your build/defenses are working and where they are not, based on how much damage you are taking or avoiding.

WrongThinker discusses this in greater detail in his WrongThinker Thinks post - but the gist of it is that we are doing what we can to equip you with whatever information you need to make an informed decision about strategy and builds. Hopefully it helps!


PvE Defense Update

Over the last 8 years, the PvE Defense stats have been modified in ways that were deemed necessary for short-term health but have since resulted in immobility and volatility on the design side of the game.

The result - and crux of the issue that we are trying to correct - is: a single piece of equipment should not mean the difference in hours of repair, or complete failure in running a target.

The difference in one or two pieces of equipment should have an impact on efficiency that players can experiment with, and should allow for different gameplay styles, but it should not be a binary difference between an unconditional win and a blistering defeat.

The design team is working through some changes to Defenses that will help stratify the experience a bit better, and this change is also slated for the 9.08 update. More details are in WrongThinker’s recent post.

For the initial pass, however, if our playtesting and closed previews suggest that we need to delay the feature to make final tweaks, we will do so. Much like the PvP Refactor, this will likely be a change that sees ongoing balance adjustments in response to community feedback.


February Raid + Valentine’s Day

February’s Raid, Molten Fury, contains both Eradicator and Shrike targets, which you can battle to unlock a powerful new T8 PvP Conqueror hull, called the Basilisk.

As part of this Raid, there is a special Valentine’s Day Leaderboard offering a Valentine’s themed Breacher Dreadnaught skin - and a brand new Rogue Crew called “The Siren”. Keep your eyes out for more details!

Molten Fury begins Wednesday, February 13th @ 3:00PM PST and runs through Sunday, February 17th @ 3:00PM PST.

Performance Improvements Push

Throughout the month of February, our Engineering team will be working on identifying areas in which performance improvements can be made to the game. This is a major focus for game improvement, so it’s all hands on deck!


Forsaken Mission Refactor

The team is currently in discussion on incorporating the Forsaken Mission activity into the event cycle rotations. This would see event targets first appearing in monthly Raids, then moving down to the Forsaken Mission when the cycle changes over, then eventually moving down to the World Map (as usual).

Approaching target transition in this manner would extend the life of your fleets significantly, allowing you to continue to use all your latest content in the FM to get content and tokens long after the season ends. Not only will this add value to your Hulls, it will also add more variety to your daily play experience, without adding to your to-do list. This change will likely land after the next cycle (in May or June), but we wanted to present as much notice as humanly possible!


AN UPDATE ON HTML5

While this is not a change slated for February, the work for converting Battle Pirates to HTML5 has moved past consideration phase and is being actively worked on by our central engineering team at KIXEYE. We expect it to be completed before the end of 2019.

As an aside, this work speaks directly to a point that is sometimes lost amidst the chaos of changes we throw at you. The point is this: we want Battle Pirates to have a long life. Longer than it would have if we just let it be.

Decisions were made in the past to evolve Battle Pirates in ways that assumed the game only had one or two years left. This not only hurt Battle Pirates at the time by making it more exclusional and convoluted, it also put the game in a position where there’s little room to move forward in a healthy way. Our Design and Product teams are unwinding those decisions and getting the fundamental balance and formulas of the game back to a point where the game can grow and be easily understood. The PvP Refactor, Sector Consolidation, Global Chat, World Map Fleet Manager, Battle Report, PvE Damage Formula Change, Event improvements to Bounty/FM/VXP Weekend, and conversion to HTML5 are the core of this effort. They are not change for change's sake - they are part of a full-scale effort to get Battle Pirates back on its feet and ready to run another marathon, rather than barely crossing an arbitrary finish line.

For those of you who ask us to focus on bringing the fun back to Battle Pirates, to keep Battle Pirates going, that is exactly what we have set out to do. First, we must build the foundation that will ensure the game has many years to come. Once that foundation is built, all eyes turn towards quality of life improvements and turning the excitement in the game up to 11.


We’re looking forward to doing that with all of you. Good luck out there on the high seas!


  • CM Chris

KIXEYE Director of Marketing
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  • Dave Martin
    Dave Martin
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined Sep 2012 Posts: 680
    and with it being a garrison raid cycle, dragons will be nerfed in favor of 2 new hulls that can only do targets...followed by fm being tuned to new hulls also making dragons obsolete... thx...

  • eye101
    eye101
    Greenhorn
    Joined Jun 2018 Posts: 21
    realy i mean  insert a few swear words here since they not allowed in  here your going to fix the game wow when is this going to happn since you started the refractoring it is not better lots of old parts of game dont work replay for one as fro lag well KIX THAT IS ALL YOU AND YOU ALONE not players as for raid hulls going to fm hulls why the hell are you srcrewing the player more  and please some KY GEL if you dont mind even a kiss befor you screw us would be nice 
  • Alpha__Wolf
    Alpha__Wolf
    Incursion Leader
    Joined May 2015 Posts: 1,049
    While you (kixeye) sees the blitzing and top leader boards as good I do not.You set forth events that require umpteen bazillion points making it one huge **** boring grind.While there are still a few out there that will pay not to play most won't or can't.I dunno when you are going to realize that.I get you need coin to keep the lights on but the players willing to do this 3 and 4 times per month are dwindling.It also creates another issue,those that can't or won't pay not to play fall further behind.Case in point the very first raid of the siege cycle.This leads to frustration,even animosity for some.Do what you wish with the pay not play idea but I completely disagree with that model.

    Now back to garrison events added back to the cycle.We have been down this road before and we know how it ended up.Why try it again?Just go back to 4 month event cycles for crying out loud,the harder you press us to build 2 fleets per cycle in 3 months the farther we fall behind.Eventually it will catch up to and not many will be playing the raid let alone blitzing it.

    Now to bounty.This was one bright spot imo,for once you all got it right.Maybe it didn't suit all but I certainly enjoyed it and typically I didn't enjoy it,what with grinding reps and all.So my advice is not to tweak it much or it will go right back to where it was (not much fun).

    The lag is a game killer though,I sincerely hope you all can get a grip on it,as much fun as I had in bounty the lag almost ruined it.
    TFC Rocks
  • Clive Hill
    Clive Hill
    Potential Threat
    Joined Sep 2015 Posts: 52
    Yet another FAIL this AM now with the popup for Plunder cannot move, attack or do anything with fleets other than recall. Yes Cash cleared and all the usual done no mater how meany times I refresh. 
  • Angus_B
    Angus_B
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined May 2012 Posts: 976
    just a query on first paragraph regarding "birthday" in May:

    it has been stated on many occasions by mods and staff over the years that the game started in march 2011,  which would make the games birthday in March the 8th.

    I am going to assume that the 10 months previous would have been "development time"

    I have been playing the game since July 2011 and seen so many changes;  some good but sadly most in my opinion terrible;  so heres to the next several incarnations to come, in the hope it can return to a fun strategy game.
  • Max_H604
    Max_H604
    Potential Threat
    Joined Apr 2014 Posts: 42
    Thanks for adressing our concerns the Game was closing down later in the year. The regular updates is welcomed to keep us interested. Regarding the game,, ONE thing only;; ADDRESS THE HUGE WEAKNESS OF BASE DEFENCE.. All players would like to feel all their months of builds & refits are worth something.  We constantly  see our base destroyed by fleets that receive 3 to 10% damage .  This is the biggest disappointment of this game.
  • carol.roberts.988926
    carol.roberts.988926
    Minor Nuisance
    Joined Aug 2013 Posts: 221
    Please slow down the extra content/changes and concentrate on removing the legacy code and bugs, Having a good proportion of the player base unable to join in cannot be good for revenue generation
  • Nick Heath
    Nick Heath
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined Oct 2012 Posts: 1,000
    Max_H604 said:
    Thanks for adressing our concerns the Game was closing down later in the year. The regular updates is welcomed to keep us interested. Regarding the game,, ONE thing only;; ADDRESS THE HUGE WEAKNESS OF BASE DEFENCE.. All players would like to feel all their months of builds & refits are worth something.  We constantly  see our base destroyed by fleets that receive 3 to 10% damage .  This is the biggest disappointment of this game.
    base defence has for the most part been very, very strong apart from maybe twice I can think of a few years back.

    I went for months with NO guard and still kept 99% out

    Snoopy
  • Neil Crosby
    Neil Crosby
    Minor Nuisance
    Joined Sep 2011 Posts: 121
    make 1 of the 5 world a everything can be hit sector, sniping what ever you want to call it, their is really no flt vs flt any longer, game is at a stale with me

  • carol.roberts.988926
    carol.roberts.988926
    Minor Nuisance
    Joined Aug 2013 Posts: 221
    Is Wrong Thinker really Nero ? fiddling as BP burns
  • soloshooter
    soloshooter
    Skilled Warrior
    Joined Dec 2012 Posts: 595
    All I can say is we'll see! Been here long enough to go through all the changes and still somewhat hanging in there. The Breacher Dreadnaught Skin "CUTE" - Out of good gesture they should be given to all Lady Captains as a Valentines Day Gift! I think most of them would love that.
    born in 495
  • Spider Retired
    Spider Retired
    Skilled Warrior
    Joined Aug 2013 Posts: 319
    Well all this talk about things we players do care about, but not making a dent in how to make it happen. We see words about GOOD about Bounty, There is nothing good about the bounty for avarage players its just there to give the 1% players enough targets so they are happy and coin repares.

    Have seen CM Chris also talking about a change in FM and if Kixeye make another change to lower the numbers of tokens for the avarage players im sure you will loose the targets you need there for the 1% community you so much make this game be about.

    Nothing Kixeye has changed lately has made the game better, we see lots of new errors in dayly play and when its reported its not adressed. So go figure why it so. Only valid reason i see is that errors make Kixeye coins so they dont want to fix them.

    Last bounty you released the last 2 dreads into the gameplay for alot of players, so i guess you would like them all to coin alot more by getting sunk in current base defences.

    All the new changes we see is to make it more coin dependents just to play in a normal mode. 

    I hope it realy blow up in Kixeye's face bigtime, thats how theyr are heading with this game.

    Just keep on alianate the avarage players and make game harder and you will no longer have a game with player base numbers.


    Regards
  • The Hooligan
    The Hooligan
    Potential Threat
    Joined Apr 2013 Posts: 52
    I am a returning Player that sat out the last year and a half after playing non-stop for 5 and a half years. I returned a couple months ago to some major changes that were actually quite refreshing to me. The direction you are speaking of, makes me excited for the future of the game. There will always be players who disagree with me on that, but I can guarantee you that there are much more who agree. 

    If Kixeye can fix common issues with Lag / connectivity with the introduction of HMTL5, I believe that the Player base AND Kixeye will benefit. I also like the progression of the game. I hear a lot of people say I remember playing during the Black Water days, and it was awesome. It was awesome, but the game graphics were not. It's like going from the 1950's to 2035. Big Difference in not only Graphics, but A huge difference in Strategy, Competitiveness and Story Line. I for one am happy to see these changes, because no game can achieve true longevity without adapting.

    So thanks Kixeye for the changes and a future that looks brighter than it has in a while. Only criticism I have is that Customer Service has to be a priority. No one should ever have to wait for a response to a ticket "with resolution" for more than 24 hrs. 


    image
  • With all the changes to the game, leave the FM the f'  alone.  the only change needed in the weekly FM is the prize lists, sorry some of the tech+ tokens r getting so very long in the tooth.  
  • TraderJack
    TraderJack
    Incursion Leader
    Joined May 2012 Posts: 1,105
    Crunchy1 said:
    I see alot of potential going to html5 but if kix goes to steam for this I'm out. I'm not letting steam run my pc over playing a game

    I Dumped Steam for this very reason...
  • Bob of the North
    Bob of the North
    Skilled Warrior
    Joined Apr 2013 Posts: 317

    @carl.wear.3 said:
    Every bounty we get complaints of lag. Then we find out during bounty the replica bases are being updated constantly in realtime. Why can't someone in kix put 2 and 2 together and realize this is the most likely cause of lag as when bounty is over the lag complaints (mostly) go away.

    And to expand on this, the sector consolidation has caused LAG. This is a flash game and with the higher number of on screen targets(cargo,bases, FM, etc) the consolidation has created LAG. Maybe turning the target icons for FM to a smaller one similar to the glowing nav relay size and doing the same for base parts and titanium might reduce the LAG.

This discussion has been closed.