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I can assure you that new cosmetic items in the store have no bearing on bug fixing or the timing for getting the DLC out. The DLC is coming in August. We have an exact date internally for the DLC but we will not share it until we have near certainty so that we are not in a position where we have to publicly move the date again.

 

To the original post prioritization involves quite a few inputs. At the top of that are issues which block a large percentage of players from playing through the game content and things like high impact crashes. On the other side of the spectrum purely cosmetic sound and video issues don't get that same level of weighting when we are making fixes. We also have to take into account how complicated it is to fix something. For example, although it might take longer it might be better to address some problems by rewriting some of the underlying system. This is a decision between getting out something fast versus something more robust. I think we have made the wrong choice on this one a few times in the past. Some fixes touch more systems and require more testing than others. Some are server side that are easier for us to get out to you guys quickly versus changes deep in the client executables. For the previous reasons there are cases in which something has a really high priority for us but you, as players, still do not see those changes right away.

 

Originally posted here.

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Not to mention, code fixes and skins for pre-existing armor are two entirely different departments. It really doesn't matter what the art department is doing when a complaint is about code related issues. Sadly, and most likely, all the skins they are releasing were actually done before launch and are just being released in increments.

 

Just food for thought to expand a bit on that dev statement.

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Sorry for the magical disappearing post... Now posted from my dev account!

 

Aside from some errors which were patched out shortly after release, enemies will never drop legendary weapons. (There may be some rogue loot table out there which does, these things happen, but it is not intended.) We always want to encourage players to seek out and complete events. As such, legendary weapons only come from lock boxes and from large events which reward gear. Major arkfalls are the obvious events to do this, but sieges do as well. Eliminating high level gear from random drops prevents some kinds of undesirable play (such as farming an infinite spawn) and prevents very valuable items from plummeting into locations a player cannot reach. You have not seen rage like when a legendary falls between two crates.

 

Now, for a peak behind the curtain regarding Zoranth’s clever experiment:

 

Not all enemies are created equal, and, particularly, the biggest difference exists between “weenies”, “grunts”, and “elites.” After that, there are varying levels of elites, but the distinction between these three is most important. Weenies are enemies like skitterlings, drones, and mongrels. They do not drop valuable gear. Ever. They primarily drop ammo, scrip, and salvage.

 

Grunts are a little different. They have a chance of dropping gear, but that gear is capped at green. These enemies make up the “meat and potatoes” of any combat encounter with an enemy group. Since killing one of them is never a particularly significant event, they similarly never drop exceptional-quality items. Enforcers, Mattocks, and Blasters fall into this class of enemies.

 

Elites are a bit special, and they can drop higher-quality weapons, but they still never drop a legendary.

 

Okay, peek over. Shoo.

 

Zoranth’s experiment was clever, and I’m thrilled to see someone doing SCIENCE! to our loot drop system. However, due to the target he chose, the experiment was also flawed. To get a better idea of our loot distribution, you should do a survey which uses a full event as the test environment. Enemies which spawn repeatedly in a single event, particularly infinite spawns, have reduced loot tables. (Specifically, you should have found a lot of ammo.)

 

One of the major systems we are working on going forward is to make this distinction more obvious and to make the methods of earning awards more concrete and explicit. We’re going to be calling out enemy classes with HUD elements and other serious quality of life improvements. That promise does not help you optimize your play right now, so I’ll give you a bit of optimal play advice.

1. Complete events – ark keys are the quickest way to earn lock boxes, and they can be earned in arkfalls, coop maps, sieges, and conflict sites. (The repeatable combat areas featured in most missions.)

a. Also, MOST experience comes from event completion, and that is important to know for folk who have not reached max EGO rating.

2. Focus on elites and other large enemies – these are the ONLY guys who will drop rare gear.

3. Complete major arkfalls – that equipment you get at the end IS a lock box. (They are special lock boxes, but lock boxes none the less.)

 

Originally posted here.

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Guest Axios

The new dev said "SCIENCE!"

 

He is off to a good start. I like this guy. (so far)

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Got some answers for you!

 

 

 

We were shown UI updates, to pretty much everything and told about a salvage matrix overhaul, I assume these were left out because as you said on the live stream that this is an earlier build and it wasn't meant to be released yet and you're giving us a chance to check on some things before the test server really went live. I hope this is the case?

 

Very limited salvage matrix updates are present in this DLC. What is on the test server is what is being released. It’s a very big change to improve it. On the upside, the delete button on the inventory screen has been changed to a breakdown button.

 

 

Also, will there be more weapons in the DLC when it goes live? specifically, I remember an assault rifle in the E3 video, what happened to that weapon?

 

There are the 9 new charge weapons. There are variations in stats. We need more info on what rifle you are talking about, too.

 

 

Will charge blades have an ego level, or bonus stats? or is what we got in the alpha test server what we're going to get in the live game? The way the damage increases by rarity from green to blue to purple to orange is just lovely and that's how you should eo all the items in the game. Also, we were under the impression that charge blades would have a skill set, like the other weapons, this isn't present in the alpha test, is this still happening, or were we given the wrong info or intercepted things wrong?

 

Charge blades do not have an ego level requirement. Pending feedback, the damage increases by rarity are what we intend to go live. There is no skill line for charge blades with this release.

 

 

On the topic of weapons, will there be more than the 3 pistols, 3 sniper rifles and 3 shotguns we got?

And will the volge LMG (which I might add is one of your most brilliant guns on top of some of those charge sniper rifles) be a drop and have bonus stats?

All of the new charge weapons can be dropped, although only at lower rarities. Higher rarities require lockboxes or drop on the completion of larger events like siege.

 

 

Is there a reason why the outfits in the pursuits do not look different on castithan characters? the starter outfits (veteran, machinist, survivalist, outlaw) they have variations, but the pursuit ones, and the ones you earn in game and at least some of the store outfits appear to be the same as human outfits. Is this unfinished, or is this how it's going to be? also, the castithan armor looks the same on every race, is this intentional or will there be some slight differences to it in the final version of the DLC?

 

The goal is to be consistent with the outfits so that if you choose to change your species, you still can maintain roughly the same look with your acquired outfits – whether you have bought them or unlocked them. The Castithan outfits are intended to be Castithan themed: any ark hunter in the world of Defiance can choose to wear different outfits of different cultures. You’ll see this moreso in future outfit releases.

 

 

I hope this isn't the final version of the raptor, it handles worse than the diaper truck. In fact I just redid the mission with the diaper truck (the titan) and it actually handled, accelerated and felt better than the raptor. That's a big problem, heh. So yeah, is this it? This doesn't have anything to do with the turret end of things because we've already beat that horse to death. I'm still pissed about that but I would still like to know if there's more to it outside of the turret.

 

The raptor’s primary purpose is for four players to travel in the one vehicle and not to be the best handling vehicle around. Having said that, all feedback from test will be looked at seriously.

 

 

The DLC was advertised with story missions, but it seems all the story missions is, is the arena. Was the rest of the story mission not included so we could test the arena, or is this it? if this is it, then this is actually less story content than the episodic content that was already pretty lackluster and even a comment from trion acknowledged that it was pretty bland and they need to do better. Can we expect more story? you don't have to give a specific number of missions, but I really hope that what we got isn't all there is.

 

What is on test is the story content provided. There are also side missions associated with the siege events.

 

 

Speaking of Arena, is this it for Arenas? or is there more to it?

 

Yes, this is what Arenas will be with DLC 1.

 

 

The bugs present in the DLC, are these already fixed, will our feedback about these bugs help get them fixed? or is this going to be like the other alpha/beta where a lot of our bug reports go without response or unfixed for weeks or months on end?

 

Some are fixed, but many are not. Please keep reporting bugs you find - that will definitely help get them fixed.

Originally posted here.

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Hey guys,

 

Last week we promised to start going through a long list of questions you guys had sent to the team and we hadn’t yet answered. This is Part One of that list. I’ll be updating this post every so often as I get more answers and when I run out of room in the OP, I’ll start Part Two. Also: all these questions were answered by the dev team and in many cases rewritten by me. Also also and I am bolding this because it's important. There is always a chance things will change and something I say will happen here will end up changing or not happening in the future. If and when that happens, I'll tell you, but please remember that the probability of things changing goes up the further into the future we look. Please don't burn me in effigy if that happens down the road.

 

Please note: not every single question will be answered because some were basically duplicates and some we don’t have good answers to yet. However, I am including ones that have “I don’t have info for you right now” in there because there are some big questions out there that will keep getting asked if we don’t address it – so please don’t take it personally that we don’t have info on everything. This is an effort to be as transparent as possible. As always, when we do have updates, we’ll be posting them for you, so don’t expect these TBDs to be TBDs forever. It just might be a while longer.

 

 

1. EGO cap: Will it be changed so that the cap can be reached without doing any pursuits? If not, why?

 

Not currently. The bulk of the player character’s progression isn’t dependent on the additional EGO rating that the pursuits earn you, but the EGO points generated through leveling and the individual weapon and vehicle class skill. EGO rating equals how much of the game you’ve completed. Removing pursuits from this equation would diminish what those players who have completed many pursuits have achieved.

 

 

2. Are new EGO powers in the works for the future?

 

Not in the near future. We do have some plans in the works but they aren’t finalized enough for public consumption, so stay tuned for details.

 

 

3. Will it be possible to trigger open world events, like arkfalls?

 

Maybe. Okay, how about yes. But that’s all I can say. Seriously.

 

 

4. Any chance of extending the weapon skill cap or removing it?

 

If you mean the amount of skill able to be generated by an individual weapon, you can do this with the salvage matrix and reset it. If you mean adding higher tiers of skill for each weapon class, we have longer term plans but nothing final yet.

 

 

5. Can Charge Blades be modded?

 

The only mods we have in the first DLC are to change the color of the blade, but we’ve heard you might be interested in other kinds in the future.

 

 

6. Lore related: because I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around just how many stage 4 Infected we've seen, what's the approximately population of Paradise, of the North Bay area altogether?

Hundreds? Thousands? Is Paradise more populated than Defiance, or vice versa? And what fraction of the local population of the North Bay area is Votan? A third? A tenth? Only a scattered few?

 

For this special event, we indeed sacrificed canon for gameplay. Paradise is more populated than Defiance, but not by several orders of magnitude. As for the Votan question, I’m going to punt on that one on behalf of the team – they’ve asked me not to muck anything up for them as they scheme.

 

 

7. Will Major Arkfall events be released for Raiders and 99'ers?

 

Yes, in the plan for Raiders and TBD on any others.

 

 

8. Will the Volge Helmets (maybe an alternate version) become available as rare loot drops from the Volge and/or Volge Sieges?

 

Outfits will not be dropping as part of sieges.

 

 

9. Are there any plans or thoughts to make an ability to queue up for a "Hard Mode" Co-op map? Bosses more like Nim?

 

This is something that is already on our list of stuff we think is awesome, but I don’t have more concrete info and I’m not going to promise anything quite yet.

 

 

10. Are there plans for adding dirtbikes or other motorcycles to Defiance? They're in the show!

 

Hang tight on this one and refer to answer #9.

 

 

11. Plans to improve player reporting (easier to report cheaters in PVP, etc)

 

Not right now but we are across the board looking at ways to improve your experience. So refer to #9 again.

 

Originally posted here.

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Damn, DLC2 info coming soon.

 

I am very excited to let you guys know that this Friday's livestream (which will be on the official Twitch channel) will feature live gameplay of some new DLC 2 stuff straight from our alpha servers.

 

We've been telling you recently that something we're trying to change going forward is bringing you guys more information sooner, and this is definitely one big result of that change. We haven't even shown this new content to any press or talked to anyone about it. It'll be the first time anyone outside the company has been shown or even told about this stuff.

 

(Somewhat) specifically, we'll be showing off a big new coop gameplay "event" (think Sieges, Arkfalls, etc) as well as a few small but substantial changes/additions to how pretty much all fights in Defiance will go down in the future. I know it's cheesy to use the term "game changer", but this is a case where it's appropriate. We're going to show you some things that are truly game changers. I'm not going to spoil what it is here but feel free to guess ;)

 

Again, the show will be at 1pm PDT this Friday on the official Twitch channel: http://twitch.tv/twitch

Originally posted here.

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Regarding grenade mechanics and conversion:

 

So, I have a longer discussion incoming, but I figure this clarification is important:

 

When a stack of grenades, or any consumable, is reduced to zero, that stack remains in your inventory unless it is salvaged or sold. You may visit most vendors to get that stack refilled.

 

Additionally, enemies will drop spikes, stims, and grenades with greater frequency based on the stacks in your inventory. So, keeping your orange grenades will still be important.

 

Originally posted here.

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Some general stuff on sieges, BMGs, weapons, et cetera.

 

Oh, the BMG. It is such an odd bird.

 

So, there are a few distinct issues being discussed here:

 

Contribution

The invisible, insipid contribution system which governs rewards in arkfalls and other events drives players to use sub-optimal strategies with the BMG. We are changing that contribution system to make it both visible and more consistent with the playstyle of the game. Sadly, this contribution update will take some time to go public, as it requires a significant update to the UI. Current contribution is weighted towards healing, reviving, and crits which causes serious problems when coupled with our weapon balance. We are shifting the preponderance of rewards towards teamwork and defeating enemies. (Currently, this is greatly undervalued.)

 

BMG balance/effects; Weapon balance in general

We’re doing a major pass on weapon balance as we speak. Certain weapons, like the VBI Assault Rifles and the FRC SAW, perform really well and are the measure of effective weaponry. We are going to keep those the same, but bring the underperforming weapons up to meet them. (Rocket launchers, semi-auto sniper rifles, and magnums are the key weak weapons in this balancing.)

 

The BMG is also getting looked at, and reducing the size of its visual effects is certainly on the table. (Particularly the protector effect.) As a tool in the ark hunter arsenal, the BMG currently encourages some sub-optimal play. It’s a bad damage dealer, and its healing is difficult to use strategically. So, lots of people are using it to earn credit for heal assists rather than actually concentrating on protecting allies or debuffing enemies.

 

It’s going to be a little longer before BMGs really shine like they should, but you won’t be disappointed by the effect.

 

Score balance in sieges

Here’s a good way to visualize the primary scoring technique of sieges. Each enemy is a big bag of points. Every time you damage an enemy, a portion of that bag is marked as belonging to you. When the enemy dies, the points are dealt out to all the players which damaged it. Additionally, the player who got the killing blow gets a bonus of 10% of the enemy’s total value. We have an update in the pipe to make this “killing blow” bonus a little smarter, to compensate for timing differences across multiple clients.

 

We DO want you killing enemies. We DO NOT want people to feel cheated out of their killing blows.

 

Additionally, healers get a portion of the points the players they are healing get. However, these points are essentially duplicated from healed players rather than stolen. Healing is not a zero-sum game; healing always adds to the total points in an equation.

 

Originally posted here.

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More grenade stuff:

 

Hi folks!

 

One quick clarification, grenade stacks which reach zero will remain in your inventory. You can go to most vendors and refill those stacks for a fee.

 

Now, for a peek behind the curtain!

 

When we changed the grenades to being consumable, we did so to address a variety of issues.

 

Grenade Identity

The variety of the grenades in game lacked identity. Due to the four axis variability of each grenade mod, many of the rarer mods were not an actual improvement over the lower rarity mods. The only axis which provided significant benefit to our players was damage. (And duration for flashbang, pyro, and bio grenades.) This created a deeply negative experience for players when looting higher-tier grenades, and generally cluttered and already cumbersome inventory. By focusing on grenade identity, we are able to guarantee that each type of grenade is distinct and each rarity an improvement.

 

Risk-reward

Grenades had a serious risk-reward imbalance in a variety of common situations. With a fast-fire grenade thrown from a third-person perspective, misses were common and the long cooldown on grenades made this incredibly punishing. As such, grenades become something which lacked real strategic choice. Even with all the cooldown reduction synergies and bonuses, grenades could not be relied upon as a problem solving tool. Ideally, players should be able to make significant strategic decisions prior to a fight to enable themselves to play in the style they most enjoy. The original execution of grenades did not feed this dynamic.

 

Economic Issues

Ark hunters are the elite scavengers and warriors of the New Frontier. They are equal parts treasure hunter, bounty hunter, and monster hunter, and an infinite supply of high explosives really stretched this fiction and prevented a players from making significant economic decisions. An intended mechanic which never played out was that players should be making a significant decision between selling their loot and scrapping it. However, there was no viable economic sink for scrip, and this removed a significant choice from players. The answer was always to break down loot for salvage to get ark keys.

 

This robbed players of choice and the ability to own their decisions.

 

The consumables (grenades, spikes, and stims) provide an economic pressure with significant gameplay implications. They allow players to convert scrip into significant short-term power increases. Now the scrip vs salvage decision has teeth.

 

Now, for clarification on some issues. “Grenade ammo” is not a thing. When a person picks up an uncommon frag grenade loot, they will get a stack of 3 uncommon frag grenades added to their inventory. If they pick up an Orange bio grenade drop, they will get three orange bio grenades added. “Smart Loot” ensures that players will primarily see drops of things they already have of the same rarity they have or lower. Essentially, players who don’t want to spend money to refill grenade stacks will rely on the luck of the drops to refill the grenades that they have in their inventory.

 

Originally posted here.

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Some of the folks on this thread have gotten a lot of the pertinent issues correct. One thing that is, perhaps, illustrative to clarify is the difference between removing Rate of Fire benefits on single shot weapons and replacing the grenade recharge benefits.

 

Replacing the grenade recharge benefits will be global and will affect every weapon in the future and past. We will change that effect itself, and that change will affect everything.

 

Conversely, we will not be treating Rate of Fire the same way. We certainly do not want to globally replace any and all rate of fire increases. We've created a new set of rarity rolls, in the case of single shot weapons, and that distinction did not exist before. If we replace the rate of fire bonuses on old weapons, this will affect MANY weapons which actually benefit from the bonus. (No single-shot vs multi-shot distinction existed before.)

 

While, yes, we have a full database with all the players and their inventories in existence, any mass change we make to actually go in an replace old weapons with updated ones will result in many false-positives. Manipulating the database which stores all the player characters is incredibly risky, and we don't want to subject anyone to the misfortune which can result from that.

 

Garbage weapons are easy to get rid of: we have vendors and scrap for that reason. In the future, garbage weapons are going to drop with far less frequency. (If we've caught all the issues, they will drop with infinitely less frequency.)

 

For TL;DR. We're fixing poor loot drops, we are not risking destroying existing weapons.

 

Originally posted here.

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