With Paul Inouye.
Creative Developer Update – Summer Edition with special guest Paul Inouye
This and future CD updates will be moving to a slightly different format this month.
Typically summertime is slower in the game’s business. I’m happy to say we’re bucking that trend. MWO has seen steady growth since we announced the game back in 2011. We surpassed our 1 million registered player mark a while back, a huge milestone in the F2P business. Our numbers continue to grow and the game continues to improve with each patch. Recently we launched our first ever corporate charity drive – Sarah’s `Mech! I can’t describe how surprised and truly humbled by the outpouring of support. I was expecting to raise maybe $10,000 over the course of the program. We raised $40,000 in the first 24 hours! With such a huge amount of support we’ve decided to deliver the first batch of Sarah’s `Mechs this Friday!
Development is moving along nicely.
The team has split in two, with about half of us working on features, and the other half working on delivering regular updates, bug fixes, content, and tuning. Through the summer work on UI 2.0 and Community Warfare will continue to dominate as we work towards launch and beyond.
Like UI 2.0, the community can expect detailed posts and reveals ahead of Community Warfare’s test server debut and final release. CW will come in several phases, like many of our big features, starting with Association (I am part of…), then Growth (I can earn…), and finally Conquest (I can control…). Each phase will undergo extensive testing and only be pushed to live servers once we are happy with the quality and balance of each phase.
With several successful 12 v 12 public tests completed, players can expect to see a permanent shift in our development methodologies. Big features like 12 v 12, UI 2.0, 3PV, CW, Clan-Tech, and pretty much anything else you can think of will go through the test server process to help us deliver the best possible product. This will also extend development time as we address bugs, design and balancing issues, along with community feedback much earlier in the development process.
Terra Therma is set to launch next Tuesday. This volcano themed map should offer up some interesting new dynamics as players will need to watch out for lava environmental hazards. Third Person view will enter public test sometime next week. We’re excited to get player feedback ahead of its planned released in August. The first in a series of tutorials will make its way onto product ion in August, along with a new engine update and DX 11. Both of these features will be going through the test servers shortly.
And now over to Paul:
The road to launch is going to require a lot of tuning to the game’s mechanics and overall feel. The game experience is being addressed on a per patch basis with a lot bigger/frequent changes coming at a faster rate. Below are some short term goals we are looking into when it comes to gameplay and balance.
Weapon balancing will be undergoing numerous changes on the road to launch. First up Large Energy Weapons will be going through multiple iterations in terms of their base performance variables. Cooldown, durations, heat, damage are all being looked at. There is a focus on Large Pulse and Medium Pulse to give them a bit of a bigger edge over their standard counterparts. The PPC/ERPPCs will be getting a 1 point base heat increase.
Investigating the roles of Medium and Light Mechs on the battlefield. We will be attacking this from two different fronts. While still under heavy investigation, weight balancing during match making will restrict the number of heavies/assaults that a team will be able to bring to the battlefield. There are multiple ways to approach this but we are taking our time to ensure we pick the right path to maximize the effectiveness of what we can do in the short term. Second is a series of quirk adjustments that will emphasise the lines between the Mech classes. First in line will be the Medium Mechs with a series of agility buffs coming their way. A tertiary sub-objective for us, is to increase the kinds of rewards that are given for various types of gameplay, meaning, pilots will get more CB/XP for performing specific tasks that are ideal for the Medium and Light Mechs. Capturing a base can earn players more rewards the more frequently they do it in a given match.
So +1 heat to all PPCs right away, and further tweaking in the future. Also, weight limits in the near future.