If you missed State of the Game this week you missed baked goods word problems, Rasmus looking adorable in a new t-shirt and problematic necklace, some really cool insight into the reasons behind game design choices, and a fix for the end game loot gear score issue:
Hamish Bode and Rasmus Kunstlicher (Game Designer) presented the State of the Game today, which focused primarily on the PTS and what they’re hoping players will focus on while participating. There was not a lot of concrete information in this broadcast (compared to say, the incredible depth of updates we got last week), but we need to not under appreciate the fact that regardless of how many bulleted lists they have to present, we asked for transparency and now we have it.
Quick updates before we hit the main highlights:
Apparel event is entering last phase. Maintenance incoming tomorrow – after which players will no longer be able to get invasion keys from projects or drops. Black tusk uniform can only be obtained until May 2nd (next Thursday).
PC slow loading times is a known issue, think cause has been identified and will update when the fix is being deployed.
The Pies Have It…
One of the interesting/really cool but also challenging things about this week’s SotG is the amount of time spent on the design theory that supports the way game elements function. I’m the first to admit that even when we started talking about balancing in terms of “pies”, I had to watch the section three or four times and still came away feeling equal parts anxious and hungry.
The community across all social platforms has been locked in a very loud “PVE vs PVP” meta and any time a change occurs for the good of the game but not for the good of a small but vocal player subset, there are inevitable tweet storms about how “stupid” the change was. Or, comments about “how dumb they were to implement the mechanic in the first place”. So I appreciate UbiMassive’s attempts to give developers a platform, but I’m worried that all of the explanations about why things are a certain way are lost on players who don’t actually want an answer to their questions, they just want to watch the world burn.
What would be cool, is if there could be some time and resources dedicated to having these one-on-one sit-downs to discuss the game’s development but positioned as a separate video series. There’s already been this sort of content produced from NGON, and maybe having it separated from the “here’s what you need to know” content might be better? Or maybe not. All I know is that I would encourage everyone to take a look at the original video.
Rasmus has a central role in this process, looking at what’s happening in the PTS, along with player feedback, and using the data to make changes not only to current systems but also looking at how planned additions to the game may be impacted by these changes. He’d like for PTS players to focus on the following gameplay mechanics:
- Calibration and looking at how to do a slightly different approach/ improve things.
- Please test gear score progression through WTs, please test recalibration
- Added cache at vendor which gives you tons of crafting materials so you can recalibrate a lot.
GEAR SCORE CHANGES (But not the cap-increase kind)
Hamish confirmed today that 515 gear is not a dark zone exclusive. Sources of this non-dz will be discussed at a later date.
Changes are being implemented to fix an issue players had with end game gear dropping with a lower GS than what was equipped. Now as you near 500, gear drops will have current gear score average at minimum, up to 500. There may be some rare incidents where gear is slightly lower because it’s based on the average but in general the gear score should be improved significantly overall. And for players at 500, all drops will be at GS 500 for high end, and 490 for purples.
Rasmus wanted to remind players that Purple drops are still viable :
-They offer really great stats via recal
-They can allow for activated talents when you may not have spec’d as much into a particular area
-Great for selling
-Fun and helpful to deconstruct (especially when this is up as a weekly clan project)
-Donate them for project completion
RECALIBRATION and CRAFTING
Rasmus and Hamish did an admirable job of trying to explain an incredibly complex system theory by likening it to pies. Please watch the original video for this segment as all I could figure out after watching was that different pies have different amounts of space for different ingredients.
Players have been frustrated about certain recal situations such as they following: You have something purple then recal onto a high end and you see the number lower because it caps out. For example, a set of superior gloves with 10% AR damage are recal’d on to a high end item with potential AR rifle damage ceiling of 6%, then the recal value will cap at 6%.
This is because each item has a budget and can only grow so much. The whole system started with core idea what if a player take one stat and relocates it to another place, it would be simple. A simple idea but a lot of balancing issues made it non-viable. Now, instead of increasing gear score, there is a separated recalibration score independent from gear score. Recal score increases but not gear score won’t, and the recal score can be increased to 100 per item. Cap can still be hit if you try to recal items with really skewed rolls.
Recalibration will not increase gear score above 500. Recalibration score, however, because it is independent from gear score, can still improve the “quality” of the gear above the official 500 gear sore due to the separate recal score.
Grey crafting mateirals currently capped at 400, but will be increased to 600. Looking at material caps in general.
Hardwire gear set – now when crafted, gear range has been increased from 450 minimum to 480.
How do the devs see people using mods in-game? Players have gravitated towards purple and blue mods because of the singular attributes attached to them whereas with high-end mods it’s more difficult to find one that has a helpful combination of attributes. Ideally, high-end mods are “better” than purple and should be used generally unless a purple has a specific desired attribute.
A problem with not having enough skill power to equip high end mods is resolved with purple mods. For players not spec’ing into skill power may find it hard to find mods. Aux batteries are being introduced which allow equipping to a specific skill even with lower skill power. Aux batteries will be available through crafting as well. Purple and blue mod blue prints would still cap around 490 (slightly lower for blue mods) or so max.
Blueprints being introduced for blue and purple mods to accommodate low skill power bills and they can be bought at the new crafting vendor at the BoO. Should be available now. All blueprints will be removed from other vendors and relocated at the crafting vendor.
There’s a limited number of blue prints in game, divided into primary pools. One pool being control points, the other pool being vendors. Previously could only get project blueprints from weekly projects which was very slow, so 2 additional weekly projects added plus daily shade requisition project at BoO where you donate crafting materials (2 green and 1 blue type) and you get a couple of items and a blue print and can do this every day starting with TU-3. The end result being there will be a chance to receive up to 10 blueprints a week (3 blueprints per week + 1 per day.)
Increased ammo drop chance from enemies.
So will the community at large be super excited about these changes? Honestly they should be, because while they're very specific quality of life improvements and not the show-stopping "overhaul" that some community members have determined is necessary, it's continued proof that the developers are listening to feedback, and implementing it in a way that does not compromise the integrity of other complex elements in the game. The fixes being deployed now are what create the integrity of the foundation on which the rest of the game will be built. We need to remember that it's been less than two months since the game released, and we still have several more content drops yet in the first year alone.