Developer Updates: Developer Blog #37 – Major Changes Ahead and Hull Blocking

I’m going to lead off with what everyone wants to know about:
Persistence, FTL, research, alliances, and working cargo on relog will all be put back into the Live server later this week, no matter what.
*throw confetti now*

Also later this week, we will also be bringing the Infiltrator server back online with the volatility system in place.
Changes on the Infiltrator server will move to Live when it is deemed stable.
Our workflow will continue in this fashion, new changes arriving on infiltrator first before moving onto Live.

We will begin “Design a X” backer rewards within the next 4 weeks and it will continue for several months; there is nearly 1000 “Design a X” rewards to be redeemed.
We will be doing them in several stages.
More details about that will be provided in a future dev blog.

Within the next 2 months we will be making dramatic changes to combat, trade, our game framework, graphics, tools and race mechanics.
In the past I’ve said there will be no modding at all, but we will be introducing some limited modding, and possibly extending it further than what is currently planned for it.

In addition to the 4 special volatility effects mentioned last week in the volatility dev blog, there will be kinetic volatility whose field causes damage to all units at randomized intervals and knocks units around.

Hull blocking
Hull blocking my most favorite element of combat and provide great tactical depth for players.

This version of hull blocking only refers to weapons against hulls and not preventing hulls from passing through other hulls.
In the future we may implement hull versus hull blocking which would open up ramming as an option.
Another possibility we may implement is a special component which slows/stops units that attempt to pass it.

There will be 2 categories of weapons; direct weapons which go directly to the target and tracking weapons like missiles
Tracking weapon can hit any unit on the battlefield, as long as the target is in range.
Direct weapons will hit the first opposing unit between the attacker and target.
Direct weapons will not hit your own units and we may extend this to allied units in the future.

A human dreadnought is one of the larger hull sizes in the game.
10 human corvettes can be lined up side by side and still be smaller than a human dreadnought on its side.
Veru’nas units will be larger than humans.
Some Acean and Azendi units will be larger than human dreadnoughts but most will be smaller.
Cauldron born will also be smaller than human units.
Some players have stated that they feel the camera is too close, but once all the other races are in game players will have to zoom in from the current max zoom just to be able to see them.

In the future we will allow players to construct “space walls” which can be positioned and used as a shield.

This system will allow players to escort other players merchant fleets and soak up damage while they flee or defend weaker support ships as they repair, resupply and dish out supporting fire.
Hull blocking also makes escort missions possible as before a player could just attack an escorted fleet without having to deal with the guard.