An eye on the future – 2

Posted by Storm On January 28, 2015

Gods-eye

Here we are, with our second episode of “our future plans for GoH”. (You may want to read the first one, if you missed it).

In the last months, we collected a very large number of great feedbacks from our players. (Did we already say that we love them? :) )

We obviously have our own vision of how the game should evolve, nonetheless this helped us to better understand which areas needed to be developed, reworked, or polished, using both our own ideas and some great ideas that came from players and that we really loved.

So, here are some of our current plans:

A.I.

This is the area that, at the moment, is receiving most of our attention, and that probably will take the most to be fully developed.

We basically have three goals here.

Our first step will be the automation of the most repetitive tasks, like mining and hunting. We’re working to let the A.I. manage the routine work, leaving the players to actively monitor what’s happening to avoid being ambushed or shot down by a stronger enemy.

Then, we really need to make more clear when the A.I. is actually controlling the ship. Looking back at our design, here, we have to admit we could’ve have made some better choices. Anyway, we’re going to improve it: it will be possible to selectively turn the A.I. on and off, and this state will be clearly shown. Also, we want to add a bit of customization to how A.I. will act, choosing from different profiles.

Finally, we want to make NPC A.I. much more complex than now, to be able to create Instanced Events. We already talked about these in the first post, and we still consider this as a priority.

FLEET MANAGEMENT

With a proper A.I., fleets should be easier to manage. You will be able to somewhat “prepare” your fleet companions AIs to assist you, and switching between ships or issuing fleet orders should be not always necessary.

Apart from that, there are other small things we want to improve.

First of all, we’re working on many small but important things that can definitely simplify game experience while in fleet, like adding some hotkeys to quickly switch between ships and execute the main commands, or adding some special additional reference boxes for the fleet member current target.

Also, we would try to also improve the fleet interface while playing with other players. Here, even simple things like a way to “mark” an enemy in a way that can be seen by all players in fleet can have a dramatic impact.

Finally, we are working on a formation system that could improve ship coordination and movement. We still are sorting this out, so we have no details for now, but we’re on it, and we’ll try to keep everyone updated.

STATION CONQUERING

As we said in some recent posts on Steam forums, we’re working to find a balance between PvP and PvE. This is a complex matter (and the posts are still there for whoever wants to go in depth and give his feedback), but basically what we want to do is give PvP lovers something to fight on.

Station Conquering is something that we already (somewhat) prepared months (years?) ago, but we’re revisiting it to include the great feedbacks we received. It will for sure include external and internal modules, and a way to “declare” the assault so that there is enough (real life) time to organize a defense.

Also, we want to use the (Planetary, probably) Station system to allow a holding to exert some sort of control on the system, like having NPC ships at gates with a holding defined access white- or blacklist, or something like that.

Finally, a system to reclaim a Station owned by a dissolved Holding will be something to care about, too. Depending on where the station will be located, we’ll need to have a different way to do it.

We’re still in the process of defining the actual conquering system; when it is ready, we’ll post all the details.

MAIL AND NOTIFICATION SYSTEM

With the upcoming client update, a Notification Mail system is being added. Players will receive a message when specific events happen, like when a ship is destroyed, a trader order is fulfilled or a manufacturing task is finished.

We want to extend this Mail system to allow players to send messages to each other, and have the ability to “attach” money or items to these messages. Also, when sending items, there will be a chance to set a “Cash on Delivery” option, so that the recipient will be required to pay a price, set by the sender, to collect it.

Every message with attachments, depending on the item or on the amount of money sent, will have a cost, to prevent commerce tax evasion.

STANDING

A couple of notes on Standing, too.

At the moment, the only way to gain reputation toward a faction is to fight in their systems and/or against their enemies. While this will always remain our favourite way, we are preparing to introduce a way to also collect some reputation in other ways, for example trading and manufacturing. This will take some time, as we want to be sure to maintain a correct balance and probably it will need some adjustments before reaching its final form.

Also, we noticed that the actual standing formula is not right, as it doesn’t take into account how much a killed target is actually hated or revered by the faction you’re gaining reputation toward. We’re then going to change it, and the major consequence of this change will be that killing another ship with high standing with a friendly faction (like in PVP) will have a strong drawback on both corporations’ and holdings’ standing. This is because we have no problems with corps and holdings choosing to go “rogue”, but we feel that it’s right for them to feel the consequences of these acts, being somewhat unwelcomed (and maybe at some point even hunted) in the “friendly” sectors but maybe absolutely and happily welcomed in the Smuggler / Pirates ones (where maybe other corps would not be so welcome).

For now, we have no real details on these changes, but we feel this is something that needs to be addressed as quickly as we can (without rushing, as usual, that could lead to bad mistakes).

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