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!
[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.
[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.
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.
[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.
[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.
[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.
[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.