It's time for the next Warlords update (what a surprise!) bringing the game up to v0.620. This time we focused on adding new content, but also on some major changes which I'm sure you'll notice when you start playing the updated version.
We're looking forward to your feedback so please don't hesitate and post your thoughts on the discussion board, be they positive or negative. We welcome constructive criticism!
You can find the entire change-list below!
Let's go over the big things:
Core gameplay changes
We have felt that players, including a lot uf us in the team, weren't using skills nearly as much as they should've been used. Our legacy skill system promoted building up only 1 individual skill to make the most use from it as all skills drained power from the same power core and shared its cooldown, along with the cloaking system. Cloaking is now more of a passive action and doesn't drain power anymore, we are planning to improve upon this design, but for now it has unlimited duration.
The Legacy skill-set was designed with limitations of power in mind so we had to change it entirely or else we would have ended up with a bunch of overpowered sub-skills. We have changed the system with a few design measures in mind. We felt that they had to be based around active skill usage. Our new skill designs are based upon a certain gameplay style that they promote. The first class will be based around close combat, being a Vanguard on the front lines of the combat and dealing more damage while near your opponents with both active skills and passive bonuses. Other classes, with different gameplay styles, are planned further in development.
The other change we had to accommodate is to bring the combat closer. The reasons for this were several, ranging from abnormal combat distances with smaller ships to the entire lack of visual fidelity due to the huge range. We managed to do this by tweaking weapon ranges and managing ship speeds and acceleration. You can still use longer range weapons, upgrade your range with enhancements and prefer hit and run combat. As a result of those changes we have also increased the precision of ranges/distances in combat to allow more control in the game. Game combat should feel more natural now, allowing for easier manual fire while, of course, still allowing fire at will as it was before and you will have a pleasure of exploring ship models in more detail from the closer perspective directly in combat.
All of this is our first iteration of those changes and we are looking forward to your feedback to improve upon those changes or change the direction entirely if needed. After playing for awhile with the new system please go to the discussion board and share your feedback and opinions, if you wish of course.
The affected areas of change are:
- NPC AI behaviour
- ship stats
- ship acceleration and speed
- Sublight speed
- power core, cloak and various other subsystem tweaks
- Light and Heavy weapons
New skill system
We've purged the old skill system from the game and introduced a brand new one. You will retain all your skill points from your existing saves, but you'll have to distribute your skill points anew. Progression is still similar as in you gain a skill point each time you level-up and you can then use these points to upgrade skills. Each character class has four unique skills (the fourth is unlocked on higher levels), but also a special passive class-specific bonus.
Enter the Gladiatrix
The first Gladiatrix arena is in! It's nicely located in Phaehana, between Phaeneros and Concordia. If you've played Starpoint Gemini 1, then you more or less know what the deal is. Simply talk to the arena Quartermaster to get in on the action. If a picture is worth a thousand words, what does that mean for a video?
Rounding up the Outerlands
Two new Outerlands ships are added to finalize their fleet. You can obtain these in several places, but to make things easier, we've greatly expanded on what ships are available for purchase both on Concordia and on Phaeneros. This is a temporary measure to make it possible for you fine ladies and gentlemen to give each ship a go. You still have to purchase them of course.
Scattered around Gemini are the so-called Artefact vaults. If you scan these, you'll get a nifty prize. Existing saves will work without a problem since the vaults are added in.
Potential problem with saves compatibility
The amount of new things, but more than anything changes, is quite drastic, so please keep in mind that you could encounter problems in the game and with your existing save files. If that happens, please let us know so we can act accordingly!
Dev-day on Steam!
IMAGE IMAGE IMAGE OK. This might seem a little strange, but there's no harm in trying, right? On Thursday, 20th October, we'll be hovering over the Steam discussion board even more than usual, ready to answer any question you might have regarding the game. It's a little something we felt could work well to get even more creative discussions going. The event is scheduled to start at 16:00 UTC/GMT.
UPDATE v0.620 CHANGE-LOG
- several fixes related to the ATI R9 200 graphics series to increase stability (latest drivers are necessary)
- Perks are now actually received in the Prologue segment, but keep in mind that individual bonuses provided by the Perks are not!
- the reputation panel now displays the appropriate Faction banner
- fixed several potentially critical errors regarding the UI on stations
- landing on a planet while cloaked no longer makes a mess of your ship when you leave the planet.
- using Go To on the station that you're docked on could mess up the entire UI. This no longer happens.
- Spamming the Esc button while entering a hangar could break the UI. No more!
- repair drones no longer break the Maintenance freelance job
- level 0 NPCs will no longer spawn
- the UI on the HQ could get all bugged up in some instances, like when pressing the Esc key at the wrong time
- fixed an error in the Prologue that could cause the game to crash in some instances
- force-docking on a station or planet through script could mess up the hangar. This is no longer the case
- fixed several graphics related bugs (faulty cube maps, wrong constant buffer parameters...)
- increased script engine stability
- more things are recorded into the game log.txt, specifically related to script errors
- fixed a potential problem in calculating frustum spheres during world loading
- taught the AI to recognize planets properly and not slam into them
- several problems fixed in the Prologue segment
- several bug fixes related to Freelance jobs
- improved eyesight of the technical director by obtaining prescription glasses. He should be able to spot bugs more easily.
- The old skill system was thrown out the window, and a new one implemented
- Completely new character classes. Still only one available at this time, sorry.
- Completely new skills and skill progression mechanic.
- 3 skills are unlocked for upgrading from the start and another, fourth, top-tier skill is unlocked as you progress.
- Each character class also features a special passive bonus that improves with character levels.
- Power used by skills is also out and completely replaced by a simple and efficient cooldown.
- Don't worry, you can continue playing with your existing save files. The save goes through a soft reset. When you load it, you will get all your used and unused skill points as unused skill points. You can then distribute them as you see fit in the new skill system.
- Character levelling (experience requirement, max attainable level...) is revamped
- Obtaining Ranks (and Perk points) is now also distributed differently
- Added the first of several planned Gladiatrix arenas
- A series of battles await (the Phaehana arena features fights against gunships, corvettes and frigates)
- Talk to the arena Quartermaster to enter the competition
- Pay for entry and start bashing to win the prizes
- Each battles is progressively harder (higher tiers are unlocked once the lower tiers are won)
- Arena battles are accompanied by the ever-present announcer
- Artefact vaults can now be found in all corners of Gemini
- Scan a vault to unlock its special prize.
- Several different events can occur when you scan a vault.
- Two more (and a half) ships added to round up the Outerlands fleet
- Ragnarok and Loki can both be obtained on Concordia, at least for now.
- An additional version of the Loki is also added as the initial ship in the Prologue and after it. This is only temporary!
- Added hints on the loading screen
- More hints and tips will be added over time and as more features are added or changed
- Displayed hints take into consideration your character level as well as other factors so we don't drown you with "Press key to do action" tips when you're already controlling half of Gemini. We're pretty sure you already know those elementary things.
- Speed bar now shows 2 values
- Targeted speed to show you what speed you're trying to achieve
- Current speed
- Added the Tesla station model.
- Gas pockets can now be found in nebulas and valuable gas can be extracted from them.
- An alternative to the simple gas extraction method is using the Gas extractor equipment. It manages to extract more gas and prevents potential negative side-effects ;).
- Planets now also feature a hangar, much like stations. The doors are in a different place though.
- Added a new hangar, specific for outlaw stations. At the moment, until all planned hangars are modelled and implemented, this hangar is used by some other stations as well.
- The effect of weapons hitting the hull is redone.
- Props (as object types) can now be scanned.
- Structures (as object types) can now be scanned.
- The Phaehana region is now more filled with the added nebula and junkyard.
- The Orion class ship now features a new derelict model.
- Concordia and Phaeneros now have a lot more ships available in store. This is a temporary measure to give everyone access to all the currently available ships (you still have to purchase them, though).
- The heat effect now works as intended on all LOD meshes (level of detail).
- Collision meshes added to hangars. This prevents the camera from going "through" the hangar mesh.
- Removed an unnecessary parameter on the heavy weapon tooltip.
- Added some tooltip hints on several UI panels.
- Using the Upgrade skill button is no longer possible if the selected skill is already maxed out.
- The save system is upgraded to accomodate the incoming mod integration.
- Database loading is upgraded to accomodate the incoming mod integration (dynamic merged databases).
- Weapon fire SFX normalized and volume slightly lowered.
- Fixed numerous bugs related to handling fleets in the script engine.
- Several changes made to the script engine to get parameters from different objects.
For more information check out these links:
Starpoint Gemini Warlords homepage
Starpoint Gemini Warlords forum
Starpoint Gemini Warlords Steam store page
LGM Games dev-blog
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