Developer’s blog (December)

Discussion in 'Dev Blog' started by Solid_Eye, Dec 12, 2014.

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  1. Solid_Eye

    Solid_Eye Board Administrator Team Darkorbit

    Hello space pilots!

    As the end of 2014 is near, I think it is time to sum up what we have accomplished this year, and also take a deeper look into the future.

    Looking back, I’m really proud, that we have managed to live up to our intentions to focus on quality of the game, increase its fairness, make it more accessible and friendly for the new players, while providing our veterans with more interesting mechanics and worthy challenges.

    Highlights for 2014

    We have changed all the missions in game to make progression faster and smoother, moved contact list to the client, reworked the auctions by making them a lot more convenient and offering more premium items for sale. We introduced new event mechanics with the “Battle for Influence” and “Domination”, and also made sure that players saw their longtime favorite events, such as Football Festival and Halloween again. We introduced a Training Arena, which finally provides equal opportunities for fair PvP fights to all players at any time. We have lifted the Ammo cap and, finally, have started to experiment with prices and discounts to make game more affordable and fair.

    While I do enjoy talking about our achievements (and who doesn’t), I have to admit that we have made a few mistakes over the course of the year and that there are still things, which I’m not happy about. For instance, we needed to make sure that Demaner Freighter shows up a lot earlier during the Domination event, and the rewards need to be a lot better, but we’ve learned from it and brought you the Demaner Hunt. We should have reacted faster on the community requests, like with the Battleray and LoW, and should have shifted our focus on our veteran players’ needs a lot sooner than we did. In general, we learned to be a lot more responsive and agile over the course of the year, and I have to say that starting this designer’s blog was a great idea, because it really helped the design team to get better perspective on player needs, thoughts and ideas.

    I can already hear those players, who complain that some of the game’s problems have been on the table for years, but in some cases this is the exact reason why it is so hard for us to find a proper solution. Sometimes the problem goes so deep into the core systems that it is almost impossible to fix something without breaking something else. That doesn’t mean we are ignoring the problems, rather we have to be consistent, careful and patient. I will be asking for your perspective on our new ideas in my next posts, and I hope that we will maintain and enhance communication we manage to establish.

    On that point I want again to thank all the players, who participate in discussions with me on the forums, share their ideas and thoughts, and, naturally, complaints and criticisms. I want to remind again, that even if don’t have time to answer every comment, I always follow English, Russian and nowadays even sometimes German threads, and our Community Managers pass on all the additional info from other languages forums.

    Look into the future

    In this extended blogpost I wanted also to give you some outlook on the things we are working on currently, as well as reveal some of the details on what’s coming to DarkOrbit in 2015.
    As I have said earlier, the fixes for LoW Gate and Battleray are now being prepared for release. I have to note, however, that it doesn’t mean that those fixes are carved in stone. That is why we are asking for feedback and your ideas, because we are committed to make the game better, not just release fixes for the sake of releasing fixes. If our current ideas will not work or will not be approved by you, the community, we will look for other solutions. As these issues are among the main concerns, we want to make sure that at least the majority of our players are satisfied with the fixes, before making any irreversible changes.

    During the course of the discussion, I have noticed that players liked the idea of seeing a new gate, which would be accessible from the basic maps. Originally I wanted to replace the LoW, but as we now have a hope of making it better, we may actually just add another gate. We actually have a few ideas about that, and we are currently working on an idea of special gate which players would be able to charge with resources from the Skylab to get to a few secret maps. This might involve a few changes to the Skylab as well, as we want to make sure that players would still have a steady flow of Seprom.

    Another feature that I hope will be coming in 2015 is “Loyalty”. Loyalty will be based on the influence mechanic, so players will be able to get loyalty points for almost every action in the game. Loyalty points will enable players to unlock special unique faction skills, so factions will receive a lot more meaning and distinction. Naturally, if one would change faction, all the loyalty points would be lost. In future factions can even provide some special gear and ammo to their most loyal followers.

    We also plan to adjust the “Domination” and “Battle for Influence” events, so that we can repeat them more often and reward not only factions, but also players based on their results. Those rewards will include, for example, Premium subscription, booty keys and extra energy. There are also a few new event mechanics currently in design, and they look really exciting.

    Training Arenas are going to be another highlight next year, as we are planning to introduce monthly seasons. At the end of the month the ladder will be reset and the top ranking players will get special rewards, including unique titles and ship designs, so it will be a lot more exciting and rewarding to compete there for our veteran players, while newcomers will still enjoy a soft introduction to PvP.

    Also, as I have mentioned before, we want to bring more meaning to group and clan PvP. Firstly, we want to make the Domination mechanic of territory control permanent.The dominating faction, on top of all other bonuses, will receive a special gate to the secret map in their territory. Other factions will be able to use it, but the dominating faction will have a lot of advantages on that secret map. Secondly, we want to enhance the Clan Battle Stations, introduce new modules, possibly allowing some customization and bring more meaning to CBS rankings, so that top-clans can really demonstrate their status, so that we can begin moving away from cross-faction clans.

    Finally, a major graphic update is coming to DarkOrbit! Although I can’t share any details, because a lot still has to be done, it will be stunning!

    Small Conclusion

    This was an exciting and eventful year for DarkOrbit, and I am really grateful to our wonderful players for your support, your faith, your criticism and concern. It’s amazing how deeply you care about the game, its future and its development. On 11th of December we celebrated the 8th Birthday of DO and I hope you enjoyed all our surprises, had an epic Battle with Skoll and saved our Universe! I must say, I really believe that with all the support and inspiration you give us, we will celebrate many more anniversaries to come.

    Enjoy holiday season and the rest of the Cold Wave event! As always, I hope to hear from you in the feedback thread!

    Yours truly,
    Lead Designer, DarkOrbit

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