FEATURES. Dev Blog: 'Command The Colossal' Combat Balance
Greetings! I’m Matt Witter, a senior designer at Six Foot. I wanted to introduce myself, share a few upcoming balance changes and give everyone a bit of insight into how we approach combat balance within Dreadnought.
Combat balancing is best accomplished by making data-driven decisions, then implementing those decisions in a clean, methodical way. You don’t want to approach it haphazardly—like a bull in a fine china shop. This can create an unbalanced system with long-lasting negative effects on a game’s balance, economy and progression. For Dreadnought’s combat, our goal is to have a system that offers counterplay (where one strategy can effectively counter another) and makes sure that no one strategy becomes the “winning” strategy. This can be a fine line to walk as we strive to offer a range of ship loadout options and minimize the chance that you’ll make a bad loadout choice.
Any change to the combat system takes a variety of data and factors into account. For example, take officer briefings. Issues are generally discovered via our QA team, in our internal playtests or by our amazing community. We start by collecting data on the officer briefing to identify problems. Is it too strong? Too weak? Does it encourage a negative playstyle? Some data points that we collect about an officer briefing might include how many players use it, what modules it’s used with, and the average win rate and score of players who use it (to name a few). From there, we can begin to determine if the officer briefing is balanced—or if it needs more work.
Now for a more specific example: the “heal ball.” We dubbed this strategy after noticing that it was possible to use a combination of modules and officer briefings to create endless health and energy regen. After diving into our data, we discovered that a core piece of this problem stemmed from an officer briefing called Adrenaline Shot. In combination with other healing modules, Adrenaline Shot could make tactical cruisers extremely hard to defeat. To stay competitive, a player on the receiving end of an opponent’s heal ball had no choice but to create their own. Our goal in this situation was not to prevent the heal ball strategy, but to reduce its effectiveness—and ensure that other strategies could adequately counter it.
This brings me to some of the changes that you’ll see very soon. After looking at Adrenaline Shot, we sat down and discussed other officer briefings, how balanced they were as well as the roles we wanted them to play. The first thing we found was that some officer briefings had values that varied across ships. One example is Desperate Measures. We noticed that some ships activated this officer briefing at 50% remaining health, while others saw it activate all the way down at 12%. With the Command the Colossal update, this officer briefing will fire at 25% for all ships. We look forward to bringing similar changes to Survival Instinct, Get My Good Side and Nerves of Steel.
We also found a few officer briefings that did not create the intended gameplay experience. Tip the Scales is a prime example. Our data indicated that players rarely used this briefing, which we realized didn’t complement any ship loadout in a meaningful way—so we’ve added Last Resort in its place. Last Resort will activate when your ship reaches 0 energy. While active, you’ll receive a 15% reduced reload time and a 10% boost to your rate of fire. However, these bonuses go away once you gain 1 point of energy. Overall, we think this change will encourage a more tactical playstyle, and in combination with other briefings and modules, it will present an interesting option when building your ship loadouts.
As you might expect, we’re very excited as we progress toward Steam. We have a lot in the works for Dreadnought that we’ll discuss down the road, like better defining the roles of individual ships by adjusting their movement and weapon properties. Several of the weapon ranges have been adjusted with the Command the Colossal update. This is a small design step in our larger plan that will be rolling out across several updates. Our goal is to *further* define roles and play styles *offered by your ship selection* As you increase in tier these play styles and roles will be more critical to your success on the battlefield.
There are plenty of balance changes coming to the game with our launch on Steam, and we hope that you’re as excited as we are. Our team is always listening, and we cannot wait to get your feedback once the game is live.
Until next time!
. Bonus XP Event: November 20th - 27th!
** This event is live! The Predator Retrofit is available under the "Bundles" section of the Market for 0 GP!
Get ready to rack up extra battle rewards! Beginning the morning of Tuesday November 20th, we will be overclocking XP systems on PC and PS4.
Play in any game mode to earn additional Ship XP and Free XP. Even better, all your Battle Bonus and Elite Status bonuses will benefit from this boost too!
Be sure to stop by the Market and pick up the elusive Predator Retrofit, available free for the duration of the event! Stalk your enemies in style with these unique ship cosmetics for all Jupiter Arms Corvettes.
Everyone who logs in during this time will also be granted a new iteration of the Community Event Decal and the community-created Wisdom Decal shortly after the conclusion of Bonus XP Event.
Ready to grab that sleek, shiny module or that tier-IV ship you’ve had your eye on? Now is the perfect time to make them yours!
. Dreadnought is live on Steam!
We are now live on Steam folks! Hit that sweet "Download/Play" button and get ready to take off! DLCs will be available shortly after!
With that being said, do keep in mind that this is the first time we've launched on Steam, let alone PC with all of the new UI and changes. So, it's safe to say there WILL be issues.
To help keep track of said issues please observe the following...
To see our current known issues list, go here: https://www.greybox.com/dreadnought/en/forum/topic/140055/
If you're experiencing new issues, please let us know here: https://steamcommunity.com/app/835860/discussions/0/
Continue to bear with us as we tweak and tune Dreadnought to improve the experience across the board.
As always, we appreciate everyone's patience and support. See you out there!. 10/19/18 Command The Colossal Hotfix
This hotfix resolves a number of player-reported issues. Close the launcher and game client to get the new patch!
- Fixed a rare issue that could cause all players in a match to crash back to the hangar.
- Weapon effects should have a better balance in the mix of battle sounds
- Cleaned up an issue where some players would hear far too much reverb audio during battle
\\ This is a first pass at the critical issues surrounding audio. We will continue to iterate and refine the sound mixing in future updates.
- Players should no longer see Steam Names in matches. Your Grey Box account name should now be visible in the hangar and in matches.
- The expanded Notification UI will now minimize automatically when you reach 0 remaining notifications and when you enter the Fleet screen.
- The ESC - Back in the upper left of the hangar UI is now clickable
- The Squad button will now take you to the social screen when you are in a squad.
- Fixed an issue where modules would sometimes show a credits purchase cost of -1 credits
- Subtitles for voice over in videos should now be localized
- Fixed an issue where some text strings were displaying in the wrong language
- The Elite Status string in the upper right of the hangar should no longer be displayed in English for all other languages
- Fixed an issue where if the Market is empty, returning to the main menu will reload it.
. Oberon: Helping the Future Return
By blending science with the unknown power of a past foe, Oberon hopes to lead humanity over the bleeding edge.
For Oberon the manufacturing process is more creative than technical - more mystical than scientific - sparking ingenuity that leads to truly wondrous spacecrafts. The inspiration of their design originates from reverse engineering acquired Transhuman technology, establishing an otherworldly appearance. The form of the ships is fluid and resembles creatures and plants from Earth’s environment, similar to oceanic animals, insects and other chitinous creatures. Combining the form with the unusual metal like shell material of the ships creates the ethereal design of the Transhumans technology.
As this manufacturer delved into more research of the Transhuman tech, they became mesmerized by the sheer magnitude of complication discovered. Although their understanding of the tech is minimal, they are able to create some of the most compelling spacecrafts in the Solar System. The tech is a mixture of Transhuman technology and 21st-century contemporary design and these innovations are driven by a mixture of faith from before and fear during the Great Solar War.
The pilot house is the nexus of the ship - the nucleus of activity and command. It is where the captain, navigation crew and essential command personnel navigate and strategize during battle. The pilot house is located at the center of the lateral axis of Oberon vessels, allowing those inside a commanding view of their surroundings. The windows mimic the curved forms of the ship and have an ocean blue tint to emphasize the intellect that is pursued to fabricate these ships. Large windows present throughout the designs of other manufacturers, are wholly absent from Oberon’s schematics. Instead, these ships utilize advanced scanning technology in place of visual reference when in combat to avoid any human error. There are small vessel windows throughout the pilot house, but more for aesthetic purposes than purely function.
In keeping with the stylistic design of Oberon, the weapons show the innovation and tactical advantage of technological advancement. A good example is the Missile Repeater Transhuman tech located on most front-line ships. The Missile Repeater targeting computer fires medium-range fragmenting missiles at the selected enemy, but will seek new foes nearby if the original is destroyed. This advanced homing algorithm ensures no ordinance is wasted. Although such tech remains largely outside of humanity’s grasp, Oberon’s employees do their best to incorporate whatever knowledge they can glean from the lost Transhumans into their designs.
Oberon panel lines follow the contours of the ship and break up the shell to create functional segments of the ship. Some of the panels fold back to reveal weapons and others provide structural protection for battling the Transhumans when they inevitably return to reclaim their technology. Additional needed accessories for the ship include, intakes, small esoteric panel lines, mechanical punch-ins, vent slits, emissives, windows, or small blister nodes.The inner skeleton is more densely detailed than the outer shell, giving a sophisticated and commercial feel.
The thrusters on an Oberon ship resemble the the arms or web of the elegant cuttlefish and open and close to optimize the power needed, the way a squid would to control their movement through the water. The ship is littered in smaller thrusters, which give off an unnatural green hue due to their advanced grav dampeners and have a V or Y-shape to maintain stability. The technological advancement of these thrusters produce a ship that has the upper hand in maneuverability over more clumsy opponents. The green color of their emissions has been embraced by Oberon as company symbols of nature and new development.
Oberon accommodates for anyone who wants their ships but they heavily lend their designs to the Enyo nation. There the manufacturer enjoys a fair amount of latitude in acquiring, studying, and experimenting with Transhuman artifacts accumulated after the Great Solar War.
The Enyoans believe that holding a position of power is taking on a sacred trust. To them, leadership is a matter of faith - whether that leadership is governmental, military, or spiritual. Equally repelled by Federal Earth’s inequities and Troja’s might-makes-right attitude, Enyoans are determined to foster a culture of transparency, moral accountability, and spiritual enlightenment. While the adaptations of the Transhuman tech may be undesirable to the other nations, outlaws of the elusive Scum Belt couldn’t care less and are glad to have such advanced technology at their fingertips. Only through reverse-engineering the technology of Transhumans can the human race gain the knowledge needed combat this otherworldly threat should it return.
. Missed the stream? Catch up on the latest Dreadnought news!
Kyle sat down with Game Director Chris Owen and others to talk about the future updates coming to Dreadnought in the next month and beyond! You can watch the full VOD here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmABnu0xTZc#t=48m08s
Here's a summary of what you can expect in the next major updates coming to the game:
- We are reworking the tiers in Dreadnought. Veteran queue will now only consist of Tiers II and III, while Legendary queue will house Tiers IV and V. Tier IIIs will no longer play against Tier IVs.
- You will be able to again equip modules from previous tiers on your higher tier ships.
- Significant balance improvements
- More features like long-term rewards and a new competitive game mode
There's more on the horizon we will get into at a later date!. Developer FAQ with Matt Tobiason (12/14/18)
: Lead Game Designer Matt Tobiason answers some of the most common questions about Dreadnought’s recent game update and plans for what’s coming up next!