Devblog Update: 25/11/2015

The past week I’ve been busy with more bug-killing and game balancing.

A few notables:

  • Player drones auto-return to player when damaged, dock on proximity to repair & launch a new drone.
  • Added target-lock tracking on the mini-map so players will be able to keep track of the current target off-screen.
  • Added stealth & sensor jamming mechanics for NPCs, hostiles will often “go dark”, disappearing from the sensor mini-map periodically. This was a much needed mechanic to increase tension and promote visual awareness. AI ships treat player ships as if there’s active stealth/jamming, so it’s more fair.
  • Added Pirate black-market for high tier weapons & modules. No Faction Reputation is required, but things cost more overall and they lack the top tier faction-specific weapons or prototype devices.
  • Added a Drone Corvette, for players who enjoy the playstyle, allowing early progression into that role.
  • Reduced effectiveness of some NPC weapons against player drones, it was very frustrating to engage them with Drone Carriers as they would melt your drone swarm too quick.

 

Two major features, pretty much the final features to be in before release time in ~15/12/2015.

 

  1. A Keybind UI & System. This was surprisingly easy & fast to implement, which says a lot about my progression as a coder. I was dreading this from the start, putting it off for as long as possible… but its done and its flawless! It only took me a few hours. 😀

 

Keybind

 

2. Achievement tracking & UI to monitor unlocks and progress. A much needed feature for some extra polish. Good for pure off-line players, as there’s function without reliance on Steam Achievements only. The game is DRM-free.

 

Achievements

 

Currently working on balancing the Pirate career start. It is difficult, more than Hunter and a lot more than Merchant, as the player immediately fight against the odds.

There’s no risk-free way to make credits for Pirates. They need to smuggle drugs & goods or they need to engage in combat against Major Faction forces, Bounty Hunters & Zerkers.

Even hunting Merchants is risky, as the starter ship without modules is at real risk of being destroyed in a fight against bigger Merchant ships.

Players will have to keep an eye on the Star-Map & SectorNet feeds and hit systems already under siege by fellow Pirates, join them to plunder and sow chaos.

Or even go to Zerker infested systems, let them fight faction fleets, with both weakened, you can move in for the kills & loot. Being a Pirate, players need to be very opportunistic and fight clever, else they’ll end up in a lifepod.

Overall, I feel that it is working as intended, it’s a career choice for hardened pilots who seek a challenge from the get go.

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