I'm excited that Devblogs are back after missing the last one. We try to keep a regular schedule but sometimes we are just too knee deep in development or planning that it doesn't make sense to do a post.
It's a monumental step for us that the war that ended yesterday lasted for 3 weeks. When we started this project we said we wanted long wars with hundreds of players working together and for the first time I can say with confidence that this is completely happening. That's definitely not to say that things are perfect (far from it in fact), but the possibilities that these long wars can enable really excite me. For example, the Tech Tree currently lasts about 1-1.5 weeks and then the end game begins. There's an opportunity now to extend that late war with all kinds of cool tech. It's easy to let your imagination run wild with the possibilities like super weapons and higher end tanks.
There's three big areas of the game that we're currently working on in the background: Logi, Communication Tools, and Town Environment Revamp. There's also less flashy things we're working on that we think will impact players a lot.
Disclaimer: Any feature or piece of content shown here is a work in progress and subject to change in the future.
This feature will be the first part of a large puzzle we're solving for logi. We actually spent a lot of time in the last few months planning out the roadmap for logi. At one point it was a bunch of fragmented ideas, but we recently were able to tie a lot of it together into a cohesive long term plan. The initial feature we're going to be releasing is Resource Mines.
Scrap Mine concepts
Resource Mines allow Scrap and Sulfur to be gathered automatically using Fuel. It works very similarly to ordering items from a factory. Orders are private and go into a queue. Resource Mines will exist in most regions of the world, but will require a Tech Tree unlock to build. There are also some additional features for Resource Mines that we have planned for the future, but the initial version will be ready to go in the near future.
Sulfur Mine concepts
The goal of Resource Mines was to help add a sense of progression and choice to the logi game. We want logi to go from inefficient and limited at the start of a Conquest to efficient and flexible by the end. To that end, Resource Mines will NOT be replacing traditional Hammer gathering, which will still be relevant at all stages of a Conquest. While Hammering will still be the fastest way to procure resources in the game, Resource Mines could be the most efficient if you are running multiple logi tasks at once. This allows for more choice and opens up an opportunity for logi players to make some meaningful decisions when planning out their supply lines. Remember that this is just one part of a larger logistics machine we are planning for the future. Stay tuned!
A 3D render of the Sulfur Mine model
World Conquest Map Changes
We aren't doing a full revamp of the Conquest mainland yet, but there are some changes we are making in our ongoing evolution of the world.
First, Mooring County is getting a decently sized refresh. All the trenches have been relocated in such a way that makes them a bottleneck in the North-South orientation. We hope that they will be more useful now for the Wardens in the same way that the Bulwark is for the Colonials in West Gate. Besides that, there's been some pretty cool changes to the environment in certain parts of the region, including a "no man's land" style environment in the center. We've always felt that Mooring County was rushed out the door so that we could have a complete 3x3 region grid for the Conquest mainland so we're really happy that we're finally revisiting it.
Trenches have been relocated in Mooring County
We're also making some other changes including opening up the east coast to amphibious landings, which will impact the layout of Umbral Wildwood the most. We're also going to be relocating certain towns that are too close to region borders like Vulpine Watch and Terra. A bigger effort will also be made to block the "partisan highways" with more natural obstacles, though these changes will be rolled in through iteration.
No man's land in the refreshed Mooring County
We know this has been a hot topic for a very long time and it seems on the surface like we haven't done anything to address it yet. We totally understand the magnitude of this problem, which is why we're taking the time to find a right solution. Given both the technical and game design complexity of this issue, we are treading very carefully. We have a longer term solution partially figured out, but there's still some issues to sort through. If we sense it will take a significant amount of time to work through all of it, then we'll try to implement a shorter term measure to help deal with some of the frustration players are having over this.
Network Code Revamp
One of the big tasks we've been undertaking behind the scenes is a big revamp of our network logic, specifically the code that deals with player actions like equipping items and reloading weapons. In the short run, this may produce some more bugs (hopefully minimal) since the scope of work touched many areas of our code base, but the huge benefit is that we've been able to fix a lot of the older issues that have been stumping us for a long time like player desyncs and the age old reload bug. In time we hope that the overall number of bugs in this area will be drastically reduced. The general responsiveness of actions from players with higher latency should be improved as well. We should be seeing these changes roll out in the not too distant future.