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Podcast 4 - Notes

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Was bored, so I took some notes of all the curious and interesting stuff I heard during the podcast in the latest news update. If you don't want to listen through the whole hour and forty-six minutes, feel free to read everything I skimmed off and enjoy. Also, feel free to post or message me if you got something I should add to the OP.

 

Here's a quick rundown on what I got.

 

  1. PVP
  2. Social Features
  3. Piloting Revamp
  4. Industry Changes
  5. Surface Gathering
  6. Territory Units
  7. Visual improvements
  8. UI
  9. Roadmap Update
  10. Player Questions
  11. NDA Lift

 

PVP ===

CVC is on track for January.

 

First version of CVC:

  • Large -temporary- arena in space only
  • Will be expanded to atmospheres, then the entire game world.
  • More versions in the future?

 

Pillars of CVC:

  • Lock+Target - operating at long range, one way of dealing with lag
  • Destruction - piece by piece, physical holes
  • Multi-crew - No battleships controlled by one person

 

Future Improvements to CVC:

  • Repair Units - Rebuild your ship at 'last snapshot', Shipyards
  • Separation between PVP space and safe zones.

 

Construct vs Avatar: 

  • If a player is hiding behind a wall and you shoot the wall, the player will die because of the blast radius.
  • Explicit player targeting will come later (if needed).

 

 

 

Social Features ===

Some features may be coming sooner.

 

Legates:

  • Legates will have the right to decide who should do what in an organization.
  • A voting system for Legates
  • You can have other organizations among Legates
  • Someone in an organization can be chosen as a representative - A Super Legate

 

Ownership: Everything in the game has an owner.

  • Will be expanded to individual items in the player's inventory. An engine belonging to a specific player can be held in another player's inventory.
  • New filters will be applicable.
  • Organizations can now own constructs.
  • Players can formally trade and transfer construct rights between each other and organizations.

 

Partial revamp of RDMS:

  • New types of rights introduced
  • Legates will have rights to manage an organizations RDMS
  • Three specific groups:
    • Actors: Groups of people put together to define people. Miners, pilots, etc
    • Rights: Construct based, territory-based, item-based, and more.
    • Tags: Ability to tag items, constructs, territories, etc, to target a policy
  • Chat system being worked on.
  • A solution will be made for people in organizations that are non-testers.

 

 

 

Piloting Revamp ===

All changes will be given a dedicated dev blog, this is just some of them

Wings will be able to cause torque

Script generation in control units redone

Flight with mouse

Autoconfig script will need to be run on A3 release

"G" will trigger gears without the need for scripting.

Cruise control will control your ship with velocity instead of thrust

  •  Different 'mode'
  •  Easier to control ship
  •  Easier for new players in space, more feedback, easier to understand what you're doing
  •  Not a 'better way'

Balancing

  •  Space engines unbalanced, very overpowered
  •  Rocket booster fuel cost and materials adjusted
  •  Player specialization will start to increase

 

 

Industry Changes ===

New Modes:

  • Maintain - Indy linked to out container, will attempt to keep a number set of whatever the unit is building (always maintaining a set 30 ore then stopping)
  • Set Number - Indy will make a specific number of parts, then stop.

Recipes revamped, will now make sense, parts will have actual names, "burner", "case housing", etc

Ore distribution altered

New Specialized Indy Units: Glass, metal, etc

New Indy designs, animations soon.

 

 

 

Surface Gathering ===

Extension of existing game play

Collect surface resources, fairly low value

Resources may, depending on where they are, but not always regenerate

Intended to be a more casual experience and help new players

Rocks, crystals, trees

Initial seeding will be done, then more refined over time

New Tool: Surface Gathering Tool

  • Walk up to a surface element, activate the tool, charge up, gather resource

 

 

 

Territory Units ===

Making a comeback

Who has rights to mine, build, etc

 

 

 

Visual improvements ===
Space lighting 'too dark'
Nebula added to brighten things
Will be able to see other ships at a distance in space


 
UI ===

Not all UI elements will be changed in A3, all however will be improved over time.
Entire revamp planned for more consistent interfaces

 

 

 

Roadmap Update ===

Consolidation and stabilization will be focused on after A3

  • Some beta features may be postponed
  • New things will still be added

User Experience

  • Ensuring things work well
  • Information provided when the player needs it
  • Onboarding process further polished

Beta 2

  • Need to introduce features really important to coherence for all gameplay pillars
  • Release will be an acknowledgment of the maturation of the game, not necessarily addressing more issues. This was done with the unannounced 'pre-alpha' stage.

 

Fast Travel Options:

  • Visit a place once, unlock a 'fast travel' option.
  • Planets moved closer together.
  • Speed limit increased.
    • Other ideas open to player feedback

 

Planet Revamp: Exploring in DU gives a sense of wonder. Well underway. Destined for alpha 3 but was pushed back. Biome design, more realistic textures. How things look today are still considered placeholders. Ongoing effort. The geometry of planets will not be changed after the beta, no wipe, no regeneration. It will be the final version of where mountains, forests are, etc.

 

Mining: Bigger variety of mining veins. From mega veins over multiple territories, to tiny pebbles, regular nodes, etc.

 

Territory Warfare: Design not completely set. Claim enough territories around a territory you own, one in the center becomes a 'temporary safe zone'. Destroy the territory unit to claim it for your own. Evolution of combat V2. Expanded to the whole system, not just the PVP arena.

 

Mission System: Nothing more than a player given quest system allowing players or orgs to design missions for others to complete for rewards. Will help address the need for things for new players to do, mine ore for an organization, etc. Exploring 'NPC type' missions that only new players can do (TBD).

 

Release and Post Release: An indication of what NQ wants for release with some features coming after release. Some features might be ready earlier. 

  • Player-owned markets were pushed back due to challenges; what happens if you store your market in your inventory, destruction occurs, having player owned markets be in PVP areas or not.
  • Energy management will come with specific challenges.
  • Create groups of people who are not parts of the same organization to work, play, fight together.

 

 

 

Player Questions ===

Will Beta be feature complete:

What is 'feature complete'? It's really hard to say for a game like DU. What do we need to make a release ready game? We have our priorities for release. As company size increases, we'll be able to do more things. Things will get better the more successes occur for the game.

 

Will gameplay look much different after release from alpha? Crafting times, recipes, talent costs, space station placement, restrictions, and so on. When will we see these changes before release:

Balancing things will always be occurring, new things will always be here to fix for changes to old features and after introducing new ones. As much balance will be pushed as needed to keep the health of the game where it needs to be.

We try not to revisit things that we consider are 'in a good state'. How many features we need vs how many we want. When there is a feature that is pretty good or where it needs to be, great, let's shelve it and work on other features that need help. Loopback if we need to.

 

Preception of less communication in NQ since Kickstarter ended:

It's been busy, the team hasn't exactly been happy with this lack of communication. Dev diaries reintroduced, would like to do one every month, but we need to gather high enough quality footage for these videos, this is why we introduced the podcasts, we're still trying to find the tone and type of content for podcasts, but the idea was to have a forum where we can speak to the community, talk about the game, give them an inside look at what we're doing, give them access to the developers. 

 

We've had a great reception, this is something we'd like to do more frequently. Hopefully all this we've been putting out to answer more questions from the community. We have a second podcast, we're planning an AMA, all to reinitiate that communication. Hopefully, this is something we'll be doing in the next few months as we head into another incredible year. Maybe as a reassurance, we spend quite a bit of time reading the forums, maybe we don't respond always, but when we think about new features and are balancing things, we spend quite a lot of time on the forums seeing what you're thinking and saying. As often as we can, we make changes to act positively to what you're saying.

 

Our ticket system is carefully monitored and various things are given priorities where everything will be handled at some point. The problem is the limit of how much we can do in a given time so sometimes it might take a lot of time to fix something you think would be easy to fix, that's not the problem. The problem is other things need to be done before this because we've judged there are more needing. Think of it as a hospital, you deal with the most urgent first so even though you are in pain, you're not going to die, you're not first.

 

Not just on the forums, we also spend time reading YouTube and Discord, something I can say and I'm going to give them credit, we have a team of community managers who are advocates for the players inside the company. They are extremely vocal about making sure the community and its concerns are heard, and you can be assured they have your best interests at heart. 

 

NQ-Nomad is one of them, he works on this podcast. I want to thank them and close this podcast by thanking the community for helping us move forward and for their support. We put that in every video and communication, we want you to know that we mean it and its not just a gimmick. This is something we all believe in, starting with JC and that culture of 'community first'. The community is our most precious asset as what this game and vision are based on, and this is distilled to all employees at NovaQuark.

 

Nothing pleases me more than reading Discord on release days. Sometimes the feedback is good, sometimes bad, but as someone who works on the game, when players get their hands on what you've been working on and just break it instantly, we expect that, I just love reading everyone talking about the features and things I've had my hands on for a while.

 

 

 

More community questions will be answered later in the second podcast along with the AMA.

 

 

 

NDA Lift ===

Will come next year when the game is ready, closer to early March after A3 is released. We need to make sure people outside the community are ready to enter the game. Stabilizing everything, improving user experience. These new players won't spend as much time as Alpha players understanding the development process and will just jump in and judge the game by its current state.

 

Need to polish performance, visuals, improve onboarding, etc. This needs to happen before beta which creates a hard limit. We hope to be able to do this in March but it is hard to say if we will be able to meet this deadline.


 

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