Friday With Means - January 16th, 2009
The first thing to get out of the way is to apologize to the German Dimension for me not getting this done early enough to have it translated. My fault...not the community team.
I am currently in Lund, Sweden again getting ready to attend a wedding. This was our first flight with both kids (20 months and 6 months old.) and I am still recovering. I had a sinus headache before I got on the plane that had increased amounts of fun as the pressure changes ensued. My wife tells me that my one bright pink eye is "hot". Thank god for abuseable over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. I'm doing my best..again please put the voodoo dolls away. Patience.
Thanks to all that took the time to offer suggestions and viewpoints this week with regards to orbital strikes. There were many interesting suggestions involving radius of the strike. While the positional ideas were interesting and possibly something we can look into in other areas I did not want to alter things in a way that made the ability to root players a further advantage. There was a problem with the build process this week (Thursday and Friday) but there should be a new version of the Orbital Strike on TestLive this weekend.
Orbital Strikes: The intention.
Orbital Strikes should now execute in 5 seconds from the beginning of the effect where before they took 7 seconds. As they will no longer kill players the ability to get away and not be "spread out" is not as important. As it is no longer an instant death effect it should no longer be as easy to avoid. OS will still be available to orgs at the same rate vs. time. Should an increase or decrease be required we can adjust it later based on feedback.
Previously the OS would remove reflects and capped-hit you four times for 200000. This would kill anyone caught in it. The new mechanic on TestLive will make use of both suggestions from me (based on refinements from some of you) with both a large knockback effect and a smaller hit. Being caught in the OS will now: Hit you capped twice (Leaving you roughly 40% health), Knockback effect will move you approximately 120 meters from where you were hit, on landing you will be subject to a 30ish second/not removeable snare (to make it slightly more difficult to regroup efficiently.). The OS will effectively remove any roots currently running on the player.(NOTE: The root removing action is not in this version of TestLive but will be in the next.)
Hopefully this will be effective in the goal of spreading out combat and reducing the importance of OS mechanics in Notum Wars pvp.
The version coming to test has a great deal more of the content in a more polished state. Thanks to all who have been such a great help on testLive to make this content so much better. I've moved my family to my wife's mother's house for next week so I can spend the crazy hours on this in a last push to get everything where is needs to be. Go Go TestLive!
This week brought the first version of the "Xan Boss" into game. I'm looking forward to testing out the instance with some of you in the near future. All the rooms/playfields/missions etc are now there...now they need to be connnected together correctly with no gaps and I think we are in business!
This week we did suffer a significant disappointment with knockback. It turns out that the "old" collision detection code was not particularly effective at "detecting collision" allowing for knocked back players to be shoved behind collision and even some times getting stuck in a permant "falling" state. This was bad. A small amount of research indicated thate correcting this issue would require a complete replacement of the collision code. This was very very bad. I wanted knockback in for one simple reason...it was going to be fun. It wasn't supposed to completely rebalance pvp for the future...more be a subtle yet fun addition. I was looking forward to seeing large groups of players flying away from a NT. I was looking forward to a Trader removing someone from their vicinity with their shotgun. The initial implementations of these nanos had a stun component...and this was enough to make just about everyone hate this basic idea itself. Either way I'm certain we could have removed the stun component, decreased the availability, or decreased/removed the associated snares and found a way to make this new feature a new fun addition to the game. Now because of technical (and practical) issues we are not going to get that chance. It would have been nice to add something truly new and different to the game. We tried something new and it didn't work...I'm not going to let it stop me from trying other strange ideas in the future. I'm sorry I wont get to distribute the knockback mechanic accross the professions. This was TestLive content..there was never a guarantee it was going in game...I hope this doesn't happen often...but I can guarantee that the choice between new features and introducing game-breaking bugs will always result in the same decision. Smoother will always be better.
Thanks again for all who helped me in the last week!
Off to a wedding in Copenhagen tomorrow!
Colin "Means" Cragg
This friday with Means can also be found in the Anarchy Online Forums.