I had a heck of a week, sick in bed for most of it. However, Tim was quite productive. Here's what we got done for build 43:
* Add VP tank unlock system * Remove Cobra, Scorpion, Pegasus & Peacekeeper * Reset everyone's victory points and augments * Remove XP indicator * Rearrange HUD just a bit * Reduce Hurricane's "infinite" target limit to 8 * Take target radius into account when deciding what target is closest * Make shotguns work even if center of target is not hit
Due to illness I did not get a chance to investigate the performance problems we experienced last week when we had 6-10 people online at a time. Because of this, I am not planning to release many more invite codes this week.
Next week I'm going to be at GDC, so there will not be a build. Tim is going to work on revamping the loot system in preparation for some new loot mechanics we're talking about.
As always, please post your thoughts here. Thank you for your help.
Awesome! Although I'm gonna miss my scorpion while its gone (but seriously, will we be getting an ETA for the return and revamp of those tanks?), I massively appreciate the shotgun patch, being a massive shotgun user, and the new VP unlock system makes progressing through the tanks far more rewarding, which I like a lot, given that when I joined, one major flaw imo was the lack of this, and now that flaw is solved .
And on a side note, you feeling any better, rob?
Well, I have a lot of invite codes and nobody to throw them at, so I guess pm me if you want one ^^
We are aware of a bug with the new tank unlocking - If you skip over a tank (say, unlock mustang without unlocking corsair) you will not be able to drive that tank using the tank menu or /drive. This will be fixed tomorrow, and any purchases made will still be valid.
The most frustrating thing right now is that your VP isn't available right away, so you can't unlock any decent tanks for a long, long while. Having the VP in the bank but not being able to spend it is annoying; while I agree that endgame has to be made desirable for the game to work, holding the player's VP hostage until game end proves to be more frustrating than it's worth.
And seriously, 1000 VP for most of the end tanks? Yes, I think there has to be some form of endgame content, but right now the only way to get 1000 VP is by endless, boring grinding. Either the cost should be reduced, or better yet, some extremely difficult enemy should be introduced that drops way, way more gridshards than current enemies (300k or so) to offset this. Besides, I'd rather augments/modules be endgame than just more tanks, since endgame players, having more experience with the game, will probably find additional customizability more interesting than just more tanks.
I know that hypevosa already got 1k vp so I doesn't seem like it should take too long. I've spent about 500 now already in just a couple of hours. The thing that bothers me is related to what tar said, in that every single city is now level 7-8 (I contributed) because that's the only way to get vp now as opposed to clearing a grid or finishing the game. I heard you planned on having a free rotation eventually, so that would fix the problem. Also, please remove the phantom if you are taking away ships that have little use. That thing is not good in its current state.
I like the system, bought all 3 three before avenger so I could use it, not too much trouble.
ALSO: Avenger is very very good now that it aims at large things easily. Maybe a little too good, as I can take out one tower in a drill then the main body in one go. I enjoy it though because it works as if I was the one choosing the targets .
I played grid from 5 to almost 9, killing exclusively drills, deltas with people, and leveling up as many towns as I could. Doing that, it took 4 solid hours to get 1k victory points for a wildfire, 30 points for each of the beginning tanks, and enough extra to get all level 5 and 2 level 6 on my wildfire.
However, at this point I'm an excellent player (only deaths today were 100% lag related, never lost shards to death). A new player who dies regularly with any amount of gridshards, doesn't optimize their time killing only big enemies and connecting/finding towns and leveling them, will potentially take at least 10 hours to get to 1k victory points if there's no game ending scenario. Once we have players regularly clearing the grid and getting all their potential victory points, it'll take around 4-5 hours period.
So to unlock everything, we're looking at around (4+2+.5)*4 hours = 26 hours total in game time to unlock all tanks. I think this is acceptable.
All right, with a bit of further experimentation, it seems that VP acquisition rate is quite reasonable right now (100 vp in about 15 minutes of two-tank altboxing, nobody else on). The price of the avenger (100vp), which allows players to get an excellent tank which they can use to farm shards for the other tanks.
On the city-leveling thing: if you're not on when a city levels, do you get your VP?
If you are online when a city levels, you are awarded 5% of your earned but not awarded VPs. The city-leveling thing doesn't give you extra VPs; it gives you your VPs early.
Sorry, Rob, but this doesn't make any sense to me. Why is just being online the requirement for getting spendable VP? Either you should be rewarded for actually being a part of the city leveling process, (e.g. depositing at least 5% of the shards into a city for levelup) or you should just get your VP when a city levels up, regardless of whether you're online or not.
Personally, I'd prefer it if the whole "banked vs. spended" VP was removed, and endgame rewarded you in a different manner. Why? Imagine you're a newbie. If you join at a new map, and get a few VP, you're not going to be able to spend them, and you're going to get frustrated and maybe leave. If you're lucky enough to join as the map's closing, your gameplay experience is going to be much better, since as the map closes you get your VP and your game begins to progress as you get to unlock the (much better) 100VP+ tanks. This kind of disparity based on when you start the game seems pretty unfair to me.
I agree with the others, requiring people be on to reap VP at the right time when people aren't clearing worlds is counter productive and will result in people using programs or methods of allowing them to stay logged in without actually playing.
Instead, early VP reward should assume you've donated a modicum of shards to a town that is leveling (or its facilities). If the town is leveled while you're gone you get that 5% of your current VP potential repeatedly. This encourages people to level up multiple towns and actually invest in facilities more often, and doesn't encourage AFK of any sort.