Upcoming Events! Community Event Calendar
Social Media Follow us, or not!

Reverse the Verse: 2.09 - U.K. Written Thursday 29th of September 2016 at 07:00pm by CanadianSyrup, Erris and

After an incredible episode of Around the Verse, it’s time to end it off in the U.K. with Reverse the Verse, check it out!

As is with any information on our transcripts and summaries, everything posted is subject to change by CIG and in some cases may not always be 100% accurate at the time. While we strive for accuracy, mistakes do happen so please let us know if you find something amiss that we didn’t catch. Enjoy the show!

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

  •  Today’s RTV was in the UK featuring Technical Designers Jonny Jacevicius(Ducavious) and Andrew Nicholson in part one, and part two featured Lead Technical Designer John Crewe, and Technical Designer, Will Maiden.
  • First part discussed the flight model changes which they clarified does not affect the actual physics of the flight model itself, but rather the numbers that go into the algorithm itself.
    • In testing, they’re slowing down the SCM speed of ships, while not changing the Blackout and Redout levels to promote less jousting gameplay and a more playable experience.
    • They’re also working towards making the Afterburner having a bigger impact in combat by giving it more fuel and tweaking it in other attributes.
    • Weapon ranges are being lowered in some cases to see whether or not that impacts gameplay in a positive way, slower missile speeds are being tested as well.
    • Every weapon is being tweaked in order to better define their intended role, feedback from the Evocati and eventually backers will solidify the stats.
    • As per usual, anything regarding the balance changes is subject to change and is not final and should not be assumed until it has been declared as such.
  • Second part featured Radar and Scanning and how it will pan out down the road.
    • They stressed this heavily before the discussion that the Radar and Scanning is only a first iterative pass. I will paraphrase briefly their explanations on a lot of what they discussed, but if this is an area you’re interested in or had concerns about the “Golf swing” please read the full summary where applicable or watch the Youtube video
    • The “Golf Swing” as some have toted is designed as a short range mechanic using Radar, it can be used to seek out targets within visual range that are hidden on radar. The more you charge the “Pulse” the more ground you’re going to cover, this in turn allows the hidden to be found. The catch is that if you charge your system too much, you might overload your radar and be “Blind” for a period of time with the hunter now becoming the hunted.
    • Radar before this was only you either see them, or you don’t, no inbetween. Item system 2.0 allows them to do much more in terms of what can be seen and how. You’ll be able to cross scan via physical signature and EM/Infrared scan based off those parameters.
    • It is possible to fake the size of your ship by producing a larger EM/Infrared signature, but via cross scan it’s not.
    • Scanners will be like how powerplants, coolers, and other modules are tiered and how some are better than others. An example being a Freelancer will look at an asteroid and see, hey that’s a rock. A Carrack will go, I can see that Asteroid is composed of X, Y, Z, of this amount. A Prospector will go, that’s where X is on the asteroid.
    • They have lots more planned for Radar and scanning so what you saw from ATV is only a first pass of the system in general.

Full Transcript

  • We’ve got Video – showing off the new flight model dogfighting as a Work in Progress.
  • And now we’ve got Jared in the bottom screen, and above him we’ve got Jonny Jacevicius(Ducavious) and Andrew Nicholson, Technical Designers from Foundry 42 UK, to talk about the new flight model.
  • They do everything centred around ships, from concept stage where they work with Concept Artists and Ben and writers to make sure the ship will do what it needs to. Once they start getting art in, they start putting in engines and weapons, making seats work, making sure everything that moves and shoots work. They set up the moving parts of the ship.
  • Jonny’s more traditional, working on the setup process, where as Andrew is working on tuning flight and balancing weapons.

[What have you been working on recently?]

Johnny’s been working on system design, looking at missile and weapons systems and refactoring them a little, especially in the case of missiles, and making some tweaks to weapons to make them feel more unique. Andrew’s been working on weapons as well, defining their roles and working out ranges and factors like speed, lifetime of projectile, damage, etc…

They put them in game, figure out how they work, lots of excel work, getting into game, trying it out, going back, etc… lots of back and forth testing.

[What’s the flight model and what are we doing with it?]

They’re not making changes to the flight model per-say, the flight model is realistic physics based as much as it can be. It’s about opening up the flight model to designers to change some parameters of ships, to more easily modify some aspects of ships, speeds, stop times, etc… The model is the program that takes all the numbers, crunches them, and outputs results. They’re changing the numbers that go into the flight model, not the flight model itself.

They’re doing everything live, changing things around to see what works best. They try to get a lot of the testing out of the way in studio. They’re not changing the work that John Pritchett and others have done on the flight model; they’re changing stats that go into the model; speeds, stop times, weapon damages and such.

[Will the new flight model be different in AC than in the PU?]

No. Everything’ll be the same across all modes. Something they didn’t have before was cruise speeds in Arena Commander; with the changes, making things slower, and making AC areas bigger eventually, cruise speeds will be important, as will spawn points. They don’t want to have much of a disconnect between the two modules.

[Were different controller setups taken into consideration with the rebalance?]

Andrew’s desk is covered with all sorts of peripherals. Steering wheels, HOTAS, mouse, controller, etc… they have all kinds of feedback.

[Flight speeds are slowing down across the board, to make combat less about jousting, make it a little more immersive. Will missiles also be slowed down?]

They’ve halved the SCM speeds, but you still have access to afterburner speeds, you can still cruise, they’ll have to playtest missile speeds. They don’t want people to be able to escape from missiles too easily. They’ll probably come down a bit, but they’ll have to do testing.

[Seems like there’s barely 10 seconds of boost fuel, will this be updated?]

They are making some changes to how boost and afterburner work. They want to give more fuel so you can use afterburner a bit longer; they want it to be more important in a combat situation. They’ll probably give it less of a draw rate and a slow climb back up.

[Have changes trickled down and impacted larger ships; Idris, Javelin, etc…?]

Not so much, because of the sheer mass of the ships. When they’ve had them flying it’s been ‘lets push it to the extreme’, longest acceleration, slowest rotation, etc… it’s still like moving a juggernaut through space.

[Do the new speeds affect blackout or redout thresholds?]

No; they’re still where they were. Afterburner covers those areas. You’ll still black out if you’re pushing too hard. They want to make it more playable. It’s a normal part of game dev. They’re trying it out; they’ll get it out to Evocati, PTU, and live, and they’ll get feedback from everyone, and if changes are still necessary, they’ll make them. Nothing is final.

[How will weapon ranges be adjusted?]

In general they’ll change on a per weapon basis. Weapons used to have very similar fire rates and ranges. Range wise, Cannons are long-range options, they’ll be increased, repeaters are in the middle, and gattlings are at the lower end. They’re still going back and forth on the ranges required; they’re putting the values in and testing them today. Ranges were coming down; combat is slowing so they’re trying out ranges lowered to test if they still feel right. The Cannon’s still 4-5000 range, and that’ll get larger as the gun gets larger as well. s5 cannons would have greater range for example.

  • That’s it for Johnny and Andrew. They’ll be coming back with John Crew and Will Maiden.
  • John Crewe – Lead Technical Designer, and Will Maiden, Technical Designer. John’s been on AtV and RtV before, back when they did the first Starfarer tour. Will’s done a few AtV’s but it’s his first RtV.
  • [Will, why are you trying to change the game to Golf Citizen?] It’d be more relaxing.

[Will – scope of work?]

Will’s been looking at cargo and radar scanning. Before that he was designing the Terrapin and doing the Q&A for that, but that’s because it’s an exploration ship and he hopes to look at exploration and data gathering soon.

[John?]

Working lots on Cit Con, looking to do Star Marine stuff, 2.6 balance changes, etc… it’s gone from just being John to being a team of 8 over there in the past two years.

[Seems lots of people don’t agree with the golf swing style of scanning. Why golf swing?]

The ‘golf swing’ is a first-pass implementation. The thinking is they want a way of exposing hidden ships. You’ve got a sabre hiding, the idea is to charge a pulse and release it, and you can find the ship for a few seconds, then the ship fades. There needs to be some gameplay where the hunting ship can expose the hiding ship. The system shown yesterday is a first pass. What they want is a system that will build the energy you’re putting into a radar, and the longer you hold it the more it’ll generate and the wider it’ll fetch information from, but there’s a risk of it blowing up in your face. They want a system where you can fail. You thought you were the hunter, but you’ve just blown your radar, and can’t see anything for two minutes.

  • They want a system where it’s not a done deal; you don’t just press ‘ping’ and everyone’s available.
  • One thing that separates SC from other projects is they’re showing the first implementation of systems. This is the first implementation of a non-combat system on a combat ship. It’s how it’d work on a dogfighter; not necessarily if you’re in a crew station on a Connie or Idris.
  • In a single-seater, you control everything. You control scanning, radar, guns, everything. There’s lots to do so they simplify things. The Terrapin has utility mounts and separate scanning stations. their job is to use the tools. Combat ships don’t need those, they need a simple, approachable system that combat pilots can use that they can build upon for bounty hunting and exploration etc…
  • Lots of people are worried it’ll just be sitting at a station pressing a button, but that won’t be it. There’ve been suggestions of being able to scan really far away, using long-range sensors to see beyond limits. Radar is just what’s around you; they have plans for long-range sensors that regular equipment can’t pick up. They’ve only shown the earliest glimpse of an implementation of a larger system.
  • It’s only possible now with items 2.0 coming soon, because ships now have thermals. Before it was either ‘you can detect it or you can’t’, now you can maaaybe detect ships, maybe not, etc…
  • It’s only been in the last few weeks that they’ve been able to start implementing the scanning system. When it’s fully implemented, it’ll be a measure of finesse, because the guy being hunted maybe doesn’t know where the guy hunting him is. It’s like submarine warfare. If you ping, you give yourself away, etc… When you charge the pulse it’s going to leave you exposed, your radar’s gone because all your power’s going to the pulse, etc…
  • Item 2.0 setup in ships will start allowing a lot more systemic gameplay in multicrew ships. The whole, “why can’t I slave my turret to the pilot seat”, that stuff will come directly out of this. It’s almost here.

[How will stealth, ECM, and anti-scan devices work?]

Stealth – They covered it a bit on AtV. In space, infrared, electromagnetic and cross-section will make you visible. How large your ship is is a factor in that. Maybe you have hull plating that, even though you’re a big ship, it disguises you. Same with heat-masking your equipment, same with power draw. Buying the specific stealth items, tailored for stealth but maybe they don’t pack the biggest punch. Powerplants that are shielded but don’t put out as much power, so you can’t run as much. Lots of trade-off in the equipment for ships.

  • Stealth will be driven by items. For anti-scan stuff, when you get a contact; before the scanner was ‘everything’, radar now detects contacts and scanner allows you to get information from it, it’s why staying quiet is so important. You’ll be able to place sub items so that it takes longer to scan the item. If you don’t want someone to know about your cargo container, you can put items on it that will slow down the penetration of scans.
  • You can also break line of sight to stop a scan, etc… hide behind asteroids. And the ship trying to scan you needs to be aiming at you, etc…

[If i’m scanned while on foot, will running serpentine help me?]

Depends who’s scanning you. If there’s a ship hovering above, maybe not. If the scanner has eyes on you, they’ll have an easy time. But if you hide behind things, if you’re not getting seen, then it’s about hardening the gear you have, etc… maybe they can scan you, see your name, but they can’t tell if you’ve got a criminal record or a weapon. There are ways to get around getting scanned.

  • There’s also a possibility of not knowing you’re being scanned in the first place though. If I’ve got a really good scanner, you might not be able to know that I’m scanning you. Though you maybe have some sensitive equipment on your ship that’ll detect my scans. Lots of variations.
  • One of the goals of ships like the Terrapin, ships that can do surveillance on other ships, is they might jump in and stay far back and scan everyone in a fleet, then leave and sell that information. If you’ve got secrets, maybe you’ll have scan protection.

[Can you fake a larger EM or cross-section. Could a small ship pretend to be a larger one?]

Cross section would be harder to do; it’s physical size. EM is definitely possible; lots of items have pools they fill up. EM is normally a multiplayer of how much is in those pools. If you emptied and filled those pools repeatedly, you’d look like you have a big pulsing EM. Same with heat. Shields and power plant are the biggest EM signatures. If you toggled them on and off, you’d be lit up in EM.

cross-section is actually 3 dimensional. If you’re looking at a Sabre head on, it’s tiny. If it rolls, it’s larger. cross-section is realtime based on how you’re looking at it.

[How does scanning work with other objects like asteroids?]

Asteroids have a huge cross-section. Stars and things will have heat. You’ll already be able to detect them, then it’s a case of getting them lined up and scanning their information. You look at an asteroid, and you scan it. If you’re in a fighter with a standard scanner, you’ll see it’s an asteroid. But if you get a mining scanner upgrade or exploration, you’ll get more signals, because this is a mineral, this is a gas, etc… you can specialise your ship to scan asteroids or other things.

  • Lets say you’re in the prospector, you scan asteroids for days, tells you instead of guns and cargo, it shows x amount of diamonds or coal or whatnot. Or it shows x pockets of hydrogen. You could have a freelancer saying hey, this asteroid’s a rock. You’d have a Carrack saying ‘this asteroid has x rock, x coal, x diamonds’, and you’d have a Prospector saying ‘the diamond is here’. Now, you can also give better scanners to different ship; you could give an aurora a mining scanner, so it could go out and find great pockets of ore. Components, engines to powerplants, scanners to weapon, will be swappable, to change things like flight characteristics, scanning characteristics, etc…
  • What people have now are default loadouts. Once the items are in, two auroras flown by two different people might be hugely different.
  • If you’re near something that’s very hot, hiding by a sun or something, its IR generation is going to completely obscure a ship. That’s a place you could hide. But if you have a military grade top of the line scanner, you might be able to pick out a ship hiding against the sun. They don’t have that in the immediate future to implement, but they’ll be looking at it as a ‘why should I buy this scanner vs. this one’

[How will scanning work within a party? On a cap ship, will the scanner be able to share results with other players or other ships?]

Definitely within their ship. If you’re in the same party very likely. They’ve been talking with matt Sherman the idea of transferring info between ships (working on the Herald). they want players to be able to transfer information. They want to be able to have two ships each scanning an area, and seeing each other’s areas, even if there’ s a bit of a delay.

And they want a Herald to be able to listen in, then go off and sell the information before you can stake a claim, or whatnot. Opens up opportunities to find and steal information.

[Will scanners have the same tier systems as weapon systems and coolers?]

Yes. They haven’t talked much about it, but there are different ‘grade’s, a-d grade, and they have different categories as well; military, stealth, competition, etc… Stealth shields would have less emissions, but less power. Industrial would have large output but large emissions. Competition would be for racing and such; best of what they do. Competition thrusters are great for racing. They want to use the same universal system for scanning.

  • Remember, the stuff you see on AtV every week, scanning and everything else, it’s all the earliest stuff off the press. It’s what they can do with open development, but the stuff they show is by no means ‘final’. Flight balance changes, scanning first implementation in a single ship, etc… they’re all first implementations, they’re all early work.
    • Let CIG know what you think, they’ll continue iterating.
  • This week is Twitch Con. Ben, Tyler, Disco etc… will be heading there. Next week is CitCon. There won’t be an AtV, but tune into Twitch Friday and Saturday for some community streamers. Then tune in on Sunday for CitizenCon itself. Broadcast starts at 3pm, there might be a preshow, might want to tune in before then if that’s your cup of tea. Lots of stuff coming up next week.

CanadianSyrup

Director of Transcripts

A polite Canadian who takes pride in making other peoples day brighter. He enjoys waffles with Maplesyrup, making delicious puns and striving for perfection in screaming at the T.V. during hockey games.

Erris

Founder

Erris is Canadian. He does some random things for Relay, no-one really knows what, but still they're stuck with him. He’s also written one Young Adult novel that he can’t stand, which can be found here.

You can find him on Twitter too, if you want.