March 04, 2013

Answering a few questions

I previously mentioned the leveling system and went on to explain some of it. Apparently I may not have clarified some points that while I mentioned previously I did not re-iterate or emphasize. Namely that the grid and nodes effect primarily abilities and secondary or derivative stats. That is to say none of the nodes will directly alter your strength stat which levels up naturally through use or similar. For example if you do a lot of running or climbing your strength and endurance both go up, in particular if you do so while overburdened by weighted objects. For example all of your guns have a weight, and therefore if you're holding a lot of weight it will slow you down and once your stats go up and you remove that weight you'll move faster than before. Some nodes might effect the rate at which you level your strength or provide multipliers under the pretense of synthetic augmentations but those are based on the primary value of the attribute itself. Substantially more powerful nodes like the strength modifier are the kinds of things you can expect on second tier grid for example as I also previously explained how significant the cost increase is, however as you can see it's also equally rewarding.

The entire system has been carefully designed for character balancing. Early on the weight limits are fairly small and you can only carry a select few weapons and a limited amount of ammo. Provided you put in the time to level up those limitations do go away and during that process the game is effectively changing and adapting as you'll see, and it's also part of why I implemented the concept for multi tiered multiplayer to avoid having god like characters just dominating low level games. As such I also disable certain abilities and restrict characters slightly when they're playing in lower tiers to accommodate players, however there is also an unrestricted play playlist for people wanting that challenge however it is unranked. The unrestricted however refers to characters and not to tech and as such tiers are still limited by the nature of the tech you'll see in each, again spanning from classics and modern, through advanced futuristic. For example one ability you learn on the grid is actually a tech accessory unlock to the HUD in which you get a target lead that shows you were to aim if you want to hit a moving target based on how fast it's moving and in what direction. This tech is restricted from tier 1 play but is readily available in tier 2 and up.

I once again made another revision to an old idea and put it back in the game then promptly removed it due to the fact I still can't find a proper way to fit it. Most of the players I have testing agree that they like the idea and it would help balance the game and yet none of my implementations of it thus far are anywhere near satisfactory and inevitably result in the players asking for it's removal and adjustments, however no agreement can be made as to how it should be changed. The feature I'm talking about is a kind of money and market system where by you essentially have a stock value players can invest in based on performance and each player earns their own funds the end result of which is each of your respawns cost a given amount of $ based on what you have for equipment, and is somewhat limited as to how much a given loadout can cost based on average income per game and estimated value. The core concept being to balance loadouts with limitations based on skill which I will say I'm quite generous about and at no point are you forced out of play even if you can't afford to continue. The game merely adjusts accordingly in a number of ways which has changed so many times I can't innumerate.

So far all of the weapons and attachments are immediately available while various accessory items require the grid to unlock their use such as colored smoke grenades or advanced body armors. Though I am considering also making some of the guns unlocks as well and some of the attachments. For example the dual sided tactical light to remove shadow effects from targets in dark areas, doesn't need to be an unlock however could work very well as one. Some of the higher velocity assault rifles could be restricted to players that invest enough in a class that favors assault rifles. I am still working on balancing, thankfully I've done a good enough job so far that while everyone can go around as juggernauts basically it's been balanced enough that it won't put a player that isn't a jug at a total disadvantage, jumping in on game 1 they would still have a reasonable chance at placing in the top ranks. Each class setup has it's weaknesses which is part of how I encourage multi classing and experimenting and even so there's no overpowered unstoppable character builds as of yet.

My next test will try allotting a value based on level as to what your setup can cost. The pretense of which would be that proven track records earn the right to access more equipment. I'm also adding special unlocks for harder achievements such as having an overall K/D ratio over 2 and various other stat based challenges. This hopefully will also encourage playing all the tiers so their added level bonuses will help you out in the other tiers with increasing your budget. 

One last note is that I also recently added two new game modes. The first is a derivative of king of the hill mixed with one of the target assault modes. Target assault was designed for learning teamwork and essentially your goal was taking on a given target with your teamwork in various ways. With king of the hill added it's like testing your practice, you have a constantly moving target area you have to hold. Not one of those moving points that jumps around rather a path you follow, you literally never stop moving, and your KoH points increase not only by how close you are to the moving path but also what you do while in or near the moving path such as assists, kills, clearing obstacles, following squad captain orders, etc. So far it comes in two variants, one where it roams the map till a score limit is reached, or the other where it moves around the map until it reaches a certain point and victory is based on team cumulative time in the zone. I haven't fully decided on a final name however in testing it's labeled as path attack. I'm open to suggestions on the name. The second game mode also has no name and is currently just listed as dev mode on the playlist. It's designed to replace a different teamwork based mode previously removed. Basically you and one of your squadmates are required to both shoot at the same target to deal damage. It doesn't matter which squadmate it is however you must have at least 2 people if not more shooting at the same target at the same time. It's a team deathmatch derivative however I may add it as an option to other game modes.


  1. Sounds a bit complex. I'm sure it makes more sense after playing a few rounds.

    1. yeah it's one of those things that sounds complex on paper but makes almost perfect sense once you see it in action