It's the week before pax and all through Muse.
Not a dev was sleeping, especially not those who schedule press interviews.
Others were working on fitting the alpha into a USB with care
In hopes that everything would work on first try when they got there
With computers tucked in all tight in the back of a van
Devs were on their way, rocking out to Dvořák's 9th symphony in a four door sedan.
To be the first to hear about our plans for PAX and get to ask about the upcoming alpha, join us for our weekly dev fireside chat at http://www.twitch.tv/gunsoficarus. We'll be taking questions and talking about the massive push into alpha coming to a con and computer near you!
This week in Muse:
Planning for Pax East! If you're coming to Pax, come by booth 7212 to visit us and play some Alliance!!!
More Arashi Cloud-Breaker work.
Implementing the code bits for a new Alliance title scene, and making the "missile circus" guns behave themselves.
Tutorials and bug fixes.
Updating the way we produce content from the Muse team, choosing the next batch of CAs, and preparing for PAX!
For our player of the week, big congratulations to:
"Lead a crew of AI to victory after our allies dropped from the game"
"For always helping me out when I need it and teaching me so much."
So much violence has happened and will happen for this little square of land.
We're excited about a lot of upcoming things. We have PAx East coming up where we'll be showing off a mountain of new content which will make its way into the player prototype shortly after and just as exciting is the revamp of balance testing a procedure.
We're coming to you today with what we hope will be some reassuring and exciting news about how we balance Guns of Icarus Online and our aims for the future of how we play the game together. Let’s talk about it!
After the last balance cycle, we can totally understand why everyone is frustrated - us included. Having reviewed the process, a lot of things were done wrong and communication across the board left a lot to be desired. We want to change that because these changes ought to benefit the players and community instead of causing developers and players unnecessary grief.
In order to help everyone out, we are going to change the way that we handle balance. The hope is that this will make changes less intimidating and keep everyone better informed as to what our goals are. Here’s a brief summary what we’re going to do.
Instead of making many changes at once, we’re going to deal with problems on a more regular basis, but balance changes will be made one or two at a time instead of in lumps of nine changes once a year. This will mean that our balance changes don’t fight each other as hard and will create a more regularly updated game environment.
The changes will be less significant in general so they will be less risky to implement. This will help the ease of adapting to the new balance and will ease the tracking of changes.
We will be tackling a confirmed problem statement during each cycle. This will be determined based on player feedback with corroborating data as we already do. We will be discussing with the community which statements we tackle and do our best to communicate our aims so that everyone is on the same page.
The hope is that the changes we’re making to our method should help everyone out. In order to get the ball rolling, we’re going to have a discussion about the first problem statement that we’re going to tackle for this first cycle. At the moment, we’re looking at the effectiveness of the Meta Mobula. We’ll take some time to gather data and think about it and see what we can do!
In the meantime, please send us your balance feedback. It doesn’t absolutely have to be related to our current problem statement by the way - we want to know all about the things you’re seeing in our balance so that we can generate new problem statements to prioritise and work on for future cycles. Go ahead and tell us what you think!
Team's Weekly Progress
Been doing some testing, some outreach for Pax and Alliance previewing!
Has been testing and fleshing out new modes.
Battle Arena - Each team has a fortress that must be protected. If a fortress is destroyed, the other team wins. (no creeps or anything else)
Skyball - A soccer / basketball-like mode. Drag the floating ball-barge into the opponent's goal to score.
VIP - A deathmatch variant, where only killing the enemy team's VIP ship counts towards the score.
Protection (working title) - Coop VIP mode. One player ship must be escorted through the map and to the exit without it dying.
Escape - Players race against the clock to the map exit, destroying numerous obstacles in their path.
Testing, finalizing things for PAX, and making slow but steady progress on upgrading GoI to Unity 5.
Working on the ability for Boss guns to charge before they fire.
Working on Ambush and tutorials, with some minor bug fixes.
Lore, new game modes, old game modes, and planning data collection for next balance cycle.
Player of the Week
Our player of the week is:
"A-Star Level Leadership"
"Helped us out when our captain left."
"Truly a 100% decent pilot."
An amazingly player, Atruejedi, made this for us. I bring it up for no reason.
And happy April 1st. As you may know, this is classically a day for pranks and tomfoolery. On that note, the patch that went out today has no gameplay changes.
Beyond that though we'll be talking about Guns of Icarus and Alliance while answering your questions at https://www.twitch.tv/gunsoficarus at 3 pm eastern. Can't wait to see everyone there and get to hang for an hour!
Going to be a short update today, because news on April 1st is always a frustrating prospect. So last and never least, our player of the week!
DiemExDei, who will receive a free muse-made item of their choice!
They have apparently been sharing their musical talent and many players have enjoyed.
"Great at piano!"
"Playing INSANE LIVE MUSIC!"
-Outer top guns fanned out 5 degrees
-Inner bottom guns fanned out 10 degrees
-Reduced turn acceleration to 10d/s2 (from 15)
-Reduced top turn speed to 10d/s from 12
-Back gun turned inwards (towards right side of ship) 40 degrees (from 0)
-Increased forward/backward acceleration to 8m/s2 (from 6.66)
-Damage moved to direct hit for a 70/30% split between direct and AoE (from 45/55%)
-Higher clip capacity to 4 (from 2)
-Damage per shot reduced (115/50 explosive, from 150/180 explosive)
-Increased RoF of 2 shots/s (from 0.8 )
-Reduced reload time of 4.5s (from 5)
-Reduced camera shake
-Reduced clip size reduction to -50% (from reduction to 1 shot)
-Reduced rotation speed reduction to -80% (from -90%)
-Changed damage-to-gun model so that is deals proportional damage per shot until gun is destroyed (e.g. if gun has 2 shots then each shot deals 50% damage vs a gun that has 4 shots were each shot deals 25% damage)
-Reduced projectile speed to 250m/s from 400m/s
-Decreased camera shake
-Added right click and hold to reel in
-Increased harpoon force to 1,500,000 (from 230,000)
-Hull health increased to 700 (from 550)
-Ship mass increased to 300000 (from 200000)
-Ship propulsion increased from 283500 to 675100
Now that we're past our teenage texting title we can get into the nitty gritty of this weeks update. We'll have some finished balance notes coming out soon and into the game, but for now you can hear it and have all your questions answered first at 3 pm eastern at http://twitch.tv/gunsoficarus.
Keep reading for what the team has been working on and our player of the week!
At GDC, and with the help of Steam and got Alliance pre-order up on Steam finally!
Cheating in World Progression, breaking events, ruining balance, and building walls.
Working on the new Ambush game mode for Alliance.
Wrangling engine versions and fixed a couple of odd networking glitches.
Hooking up some lights (see above.)
Has been prototyping new modes, including Capture the Flag for skirmish and a couple VIP modes. Also, created a new "Debug" tab in the world map that allows more control over cheats related to world progression and viewing more data about the world.
Buying the worst computer possible to test min spec for alliance mode along with community work and balance testing and feedback.
And our final part of Mayday Friday, our player of the week!
Air Admrial Sean
He will be receiving any muse-made item of his choice for getting the most applauds this week including:
"Great leader, would crew for again 11/10"
"Maintained a fun yet efficient attitude as captain, contributed to the overall humor of the crew, and led the charge with atypical ship types."
"He's nice man"
Unity 4 lightmapping sat on a wall, Unity 5 made it have a great fall, and now all the Alex is putting it back together again.
We've been hard at work in the office with everyone's feedback on our massive changes for "When Ambush Comes to Shove." We've made a lot of progress and we think we have it right this time. To be a part of the (possibly) final balance testing follow this link.
Planning for GDC! We'll be at the Intel booth demoing Guns of Icarus Alliance!
Reinventing the (lightmapping) wheel in a way that will actually work for us in Unity 5, in support of eventually upgrading the game engine and tweaking miscellaneous highlighting/damage display things for Alliance.
Wrapping up Tutorials.
Cleaned up World Progression screens and working on HUD improvements/clarity.
Getting up to speed with everyone's tasks and solving the many sounds in Coop problem.
Preparing for GDC as much as I can and moving forward with the Arashi player ship.
Balancing (or possibly unbalancing,) Lore, Progression, and new Game modes.
Choosing the next batch of CAs and developing press materials.
And last and possibly most: Our player of the week.
Congratulations to Psaltery he has earned a free muse-made item of his choice!
"One of the best players in the whole game, always ready to help other players."
"Great pilot and has great sportsmanship, Round of applause for him"
In this new update, we’re excited to unveil another big batch of new and major things for your testing enjoyment! In addition to a new map in the retrieve mode family, we’ve also added a new faction ship and 2 more faction weapons. Another major system added is dynamic weather and time of day effects that vary across different map climates. Bases are now more threatening, with defenses and a more dynamic weak point design.
We're now hosting regular group test sessions every Saturday at 12pm EST, and we'll be collecting feedback afterwards. If you have questions or issues with the update, you can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you haven’t pre-order Alliance yet, you can do that on the Humble Store, and we’re working on getting pre-order up on Steam as well. Thanks for supporting us!
Once you pre-order, just send us an email at email@example.com. We'll give you a code to join us in the prototype, and you can have an exclusive first look at everything yourself and give us feedback!
NEW FACTION SHIP: Chaladonian Shrike
The Order of Chaladon have been known as peaceful and reclusive, but the pull of war and the planet’s dilapidated state are starting to change traditional Chaladonian values. Being the mad scientists, the Shrike uses heavily modified balloon gas technology in order to support the ship’s heavy armaments on such a small frame. If you look closely, you may see some of this gas leaking from various pipes on the ship—a common issue with this new substance. The Shrike’s movement is and durability comparable to that of the Squid’s but with additional firepower.
NEW MAP: Oblivion Approach
Similar areas like this one lay scattered across the world, but no route is more deadly than Oblivion Approach. Its deep ravine cuts a narrow passage that’s too risky for most traders to fly in. The low traffic and multitude of nooks makes it an ideal place for marauders to hide or even be used as an escape route. There have been tales of robbers successfully making their getaway through the approach, using the jagged terrain to lose their pursuants. Must feel terrible to get robbed and crash your ship in a single day. Hope that doesn’t happen to you anytime soon.
NEW BARONITE WEAPON: Heyoka Guided Missiles
The Fjord Baronies have always had a distinct flair to every aspect of their culture from their attitude, dress, and even weaponry. Taking a cue from this tradition, the Heyoka Guided Missiles not only provide a spectacle to behold but also excellent support capabilities. The missiles’ movement are known to trick enemies into thinking that shots have been missed, but with a guided aim the missiles will travel to its intended target despite taking a few detours along the way.
Use its unique aiming mechanic to dodge obstacles and hit enemy mechanical components to disable them. If the enemy’s armor is down, the Heyoka Guided Missiles also do substantial damage to hulls.
NEW CHALADONIAN WEAPON: Charybdis Gas Mortar
Even though Chaladonian researchers tend to not exclusively focus their work on war applications, many of their experiments have unintended side effects. When trying to find new ways to disperse aerosols, and new environmentally safe pesticides, something went awry. The dispersal method worked fine, but the pesticide didn’t work as intended. Instead of killing deadly insects, it was better at corroding metals and gunking up intricate mechanical parts.
When the specially designed shells make impact, chemicals are released in the form of a deadly green cloud that will slow down any ship that gets caught. The cloud will slowly eat away at metal armors, engines, and weapons. There’s even a handy early detonation function on the shells too.
Improved visuals and behavior for dynamic storms. Sky and lighting changes give a clue to coming weather, and storm behavior varies across different map climates - dust storms on desert maps, thunderstorms on wet ones, snowstorms on cold ones.
Time-of-day lighting variants for some Alliance maps (Parous Glen and Devil’s Eye)
Escape Pods now escape! Catch them for bonuses before they disappear.
Enemy outposts and bases now have weak points arranged around their structures. Keep an eye out on which is active to deal damage to them. Watch out for mines!
Tip for how to pick up and drop off Barge
Travel sound effects (wind noise) for bullets/projectiles/airplanes/destroyed airplane parts
Oblivion Approach now features breakable walls. Choose your shortcuts wisely!
Apollo Lens Array: Reduced range to 1500m (from a lot) and added damage falloff starting at 750m range at a rate of 1% damage reduction per additional 1000m.
Better AI plane maneuverability to handle narrow spaces
Change flavor text to bulleted objective list on Loading Screen
Faction switching at match startup
The brief version of debug overlay disables the "prototype" banner
Debug text is under the gradient background on the match end screen
Beam cannon fire sound effect doesn't have 3D positioning
Match end UI is zoomed in way too much
Hand positioning on the beam gun
End match sequence failed on Parous Glen
Directional hit edge indicators in the new ui get stuck center-screen
Misplaced smoke on boss ship
AI ships don't deal with mines well in clearing them
Boss Ship Guns Particles missing for destruction
Captain command UI looks too stretched on structures
Deploy screen effect remains on screen
Medium gun factory is missing Stand, and Launch Point for config
Exit button on loading screen doesn't work properly
Numerous performance improvements, particularly with regards to enemy aeroplanes
Though I walk through the valley of forum comments...
It's been a busy week for us and we need to start it off with major thanks to every player that came out on Saturday and Sunday to help us test a crazy new balance patch that affected so many ships, guns, and physics itself. The feedback was vicious, it was brutal, and it was unrelenting and we couldn't be happier to receive it. "When Ambush Comes to Shove" is one of the largest balance shifts in Guns of Icarus since we fixed the way mass was calculated in our game over 2 years again.
As always we'll be talking balance, Icarus, and Alliance on twitch.tv/gunsoficarus at 3 pm eastern. We'd love for you guys to come hang out with us!
NeedNoLife is our player of the week and will receive any muse-made item of his choice.
Players had this to say about him:
"he taught me"
"Helping out the newbies in global, cool dude."
Welcome to the first large scale balance testing and style change since the mass rework of 1.2. We’ve decided to take larger approach with many smaller changes on numerous systems rather than targeting single weapons or ships directly. This wide lensed balance update provides for you as players and us as developers new opportunities and challenges, so we want you guys to be talking to us every step of the way and we’ll do the same so we can improve how we approach balance and the game as a whole.
We’re going to be communicating our reasons, and what you can be expecting next from this set up every step of the way. We will still have blind testing where exact figures aren’t released, so that we can try to get a better idea of the “feeling” of our changes, but the day after, we will also have informed tests, so you can attempt to take full advantage of any numbers issues you see.
If you don’t already have the Dev App and want to help us test, grab a key.
As always firstname.lastname@example.org is the where we want you to tell us everything so we can file, digest, and discuss the data you bring up.
February 24th Balance Plans Announced
February 27th 11 am eastern- Blind Data Test
New skirmish match-end with crew stats and match summary
Notification for being autokicked
More video options:
- Soft Particles (was part of Postprocess Effects, improves cloud/ground intersections when enabled)
- Shader Quality (older GPUs may see a performance improvement if set to Limited or Low)
Captain target mark is now visible offscreen too
More information for Need Help button
Tutorial text improvements (overheated guns, gun info)
More tools for practice (showing projectile path, spawning targets in different distances, switching guns ingame)
Clan level 11~15 with new rewards
Added tooltip help for why the guns are locked for novice players
Added game mode rules in the lobby too
Added clarification for the way most active clan leaderboard works
Active helm skill icons shown on affected components
Recommended loadout would save just like other loadouts.
Notification when pilot leaves/comes back
Score panel is now available on the deploy screen too
New workshop items:
- Decal: Oculosprocket (free)
- Decal: The Bounty Hunters (free)
- Decal: 1812 WarHawk
- Male goggles: Green and Gold Aviators
- Female hat: Dapper Dame's Veiled Hat
Players are default switched to pilot when they’re in captain seat. Novice players can’t change class if they’re in captain seat.
Hats and outfits of the same type now stack in character customization inventory UI
Rematch map vote would at least have one CP map as option
Ship kills will stay longer in match news feed (at top left)
Steam client will be used for achievement notifications from now on
Different colors for un/completed achievements
Running water effect removed during rainstorms (due to performance, quality issues)
"AFK" changed to "Inactive"
Deployed mines for Mine Launcher is easier to read
Shorter component names in kill feed so there will be less messages cut off
In-game store will charge USD, Steam will handle currency convert
Spectators are not allowed to vote map
Clan chat is now visible in all chat tabs
Report window doesn’t disable chatbox
Match system changes
- Novice are put into regular queues automatically after waiting for 85 seconds
- Team balance logic fix
Changed the way character hair is rendered slightly (it gets shadows properly now, but lost some subtle soft edges)
Client connection times out less quickly under unstable networking conditions
Add smoke trail at hull break
Several achievement descriptions on Steam
Light sources on ships (lanterns etc) are now disabled by distance/settings rather than flickering weirdly
Flares (and other light sources) no longer stack brightness as crazily on clouds
Guns being fired by other players aren’t played
The carpets of the traveller theme have strange light smears
Hitmarkers are now shown as your own if you get off the gun after firing
Fixed display/music issue where buffing the hull was interpreted as damage+repair (triggering drums)
Start screen’s "Play" button not clickable in some aspect ratios
Friends should not join tutorials
Character loadout doesn't get updated if accepting recommended loadout while being on customization screen