Tag Archives: Dev Diaries

EVE Vegas 2014: Getting players involved in EVE’s development

 
Back in 2011, EVE Online developer CCP Games was rocked by controversy when players outraged over the Incarna expansion's microtransactions and CCP's indifference to player feedback spoke with their wallets and quit the game. In what became known as the monoclegate scandal, an estimated 8% of players quit, and CCP eventually laid off 20% of its staff worldwide. Some tough lessons were learned about keeping players looped into the development process, and CCP began involving players more closely in the development process. At EVE Vegas 2014 today, developer CCP Fozzie looked at the ways that CCP gathers ideas and feedback from the community. As a sandbox MMO with a very dedicated community, EVE is in the interesting position that many of the players know more about the game than the developers themselves and can identify problems with ideas very early in the development process. Plans are now announced earlier in development to gather feedback, some new features are now made optional on release to gauge usage, and failed ideas will even be rolled back if necessary. During the talk, Fozzie confirmed that each SCRUM team within CCP focuses on one particular area of gameplay and that player ideas are often brought into internal meetings for discussion. A new rig named the Higgs Anchor is even being introduced based on player suggestions; it will decrease movement speed by 75% but increase agility to make it easier to align to warp out if hostiles approach the player's location. If this level of player participation keeps up, hopefully disasters like monoclegate will never happen again. Continue reading EVE Vegas 2014: Getting players involved in EVE's development

MassivelyEVE Vegas 2014: Getting players involved in EVE's development originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 19 Oct 2014 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Online tightens things up for Phoebe

eve A new blog post at EVE Online reveals that the team is working on streamlining a few of its existing features for the upcoming Phoebe patch.

The first tweak is to exploration, as the team will be making data sites more valuable and frequent. Career agents will also stop blabbing so much in the mission boxes, with shorter text messages to emphasize the objectives.

Finally, the team is bringing its semi-hidden expedition content into the light with easier-to-follow breadcrumbs and bug fixes: "We've added in some messaging to guide you towards these specific structures. We have also increased the percentage chance of the rarer types of expedition occurring as we simply found these figures to be too low. These combined changes should help somewhat in bringing this 'hidden' content to the surface for you to enjoy."

MassivelyEVE Online tightens things up for Phoebe originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 15 Oct 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Darkfall makes plans for a localized economy

darkfall The Darkfall team is deep in preparations for the creation of a "localized economy package" to boost this critical part of this fantasy title. "For us, as well as the community from what we see, a functional economy is the stepping stone for a proper sandbox, so our attention is focused on it," the team stated.

In a forum post today, the goals of these plans were outlined. This package will include new raw materials, additional recipes, a better inventory system, tiered clan vaults, nerfed instant travel, quicker land travel, beasts of burden, and a focus on localized markets instead of a worldwide trading system.

This economy update is tentatively planned for either December 2014 or January 2015.

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip!]

MassivelyDarkfall makes plans for a localized economy originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 12 Oct 2014 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Online: Phoebe improves quality-of-life for subscribers and trial members

eve Unpacking EVE Online's Phoebe content update is so involved that it takes another one of CCP's epic posts to do it. The big thing to take away from the notes is that this update features several quality-of-life improvements for both regular and trial players.

When Phoebe hits on November 4th, players will have to adjust to jump fatigue during long-distance travel. To offset that, there will be the ability to set skill queues to unlimited length, place multiple market sell orders, enjoy better exploration rewards, and experience new cloaking effects.

Trial players will also see some of their limitations lifted after the update, such as being allowed to fly battleships and be a part of faction fights.

MassivelyEVE Online: Phoebe improves quality-of-life for subscribers and trial members originally appeared on Massively on Fri, 10 Oct 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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CCP is upgrading EVE’s sensor overlay

CCP's latest EVE Online dev blog is all about the sci-fi sandbox's sensor overlay. More specifically, it's about sensor overlay 2.0 that's likely coming in EVE's Phoebe update. The current overlay basically allows pod pilots to view cosmic anomalies and signatures in space rather than as text entries on a scanner.

The upgrade will add "a number of other objects in space [...] along with filtering options and a new compass view," according to EVE's developers. It's quite a lengthy dev blog, and it's also got plenty of pretty pictures to further the explanation. You'll find it all via the links below.

MassivelyCCP is upgrading EVE's sensor overlay originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 08 Oct 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Repopulation is focusing on feature completion

repop In what its devs are calling a "very busy month," The Repopulation pushed out three major patches in September, not to mention another one this past week. Above and Beyond says is all being done to fill out the game: "We've been pushing hard to get our experimental tweaks and additions out of the way now as we push towards feature completion."

In addition to pages and pages of patch notes, The Repopulation made significant changes to Medics, added a Points of Ingrigue extension to its enemy camp system, and completely overhauled the tutorial. The sandbox title promises that another round of testers will be invited into the game in the middle of October.

MassivelyThe Repopulation is focusing on feature completion originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 05 Oct 2014 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Star Citizen working to develop ships faster than before

sc In a new monthly report, the makers of Star Citizen said that they have restructured their internal process so that they can pump out new ships even faster. Some of these new ships include the Herald, Carrack, Reclaimer, Avenger variants, and 890 Jump.

"We have been hard at work refining our process and improving our workflow so that we can develop ships more quickly and more efficiently than we have ever done before," the team writes. "The creation of new ships for Star Citizen is an incredibly complex and detailed process, so it made sense to move it to LA where Chris [Roberts] can maintain oversight and provide direction to everyone involved."

The report also touched on the fleshing out of Arena Commander, preparations for upcoming conventions, the hiring of new personnel, and improvements to ships' HUDs. One thing to look forward to is a brand-new cinematic that should arrive within the week.

MassivelyStar Citizen working to develop ships faster than before originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 05 Oct 2014 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How ‘feel’ trumps realism in H1Z1’s weapon design

H1Z1 H1Z1 Senior Game Designer Jimmy Whisenhunt has penned another dev blog about SOE's inbound survival sandbox, this one aimed at weapon design, starting with the modeling and rigging process. Animation design in particular, he says, is critical. "A huge part of the tuning process that is commonly overlooked in FPS game development is how a weapon reacts to in-game actions," Whisenhunt explains. "Design and Animation have to be in lock-step for a successful feel in combat; we need to have the same vision to ensure a solid experience for the player."

He also discusses recoil and shooting mechanics and how "feel" can trump realism.
"We've mentioned in the past that we want to avoid tuning and creating things simply because they 'that's the way it is in real life,' which means I get to take to take a realistic ballistic and weapon recoil feel and make it feel satisfying and fun. Typically the gravity of projectiles in real life doesn't fit the intended play experience we seek out. After all, the weapon feel and functionality has to fit our world design as well as Zombie and Player combat."
The full dev blog is on the official site. We took a look at H1Z1's art and lighting effects last week.

MassivelyHow 'feel' trumps realism in H1Z1's weapon design originally appeared on Massively on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Online nukes named modules

eve One thing that we're becoming increasingly convinced about the purpose of EVE Online's dev diaries is that they are secret recruiting and training grounds for future CCP employees a la The Last Starfighter. If you're willing to chew through thousands of words and a dozen or so charts on something called "Module Tiericide," then you should be awarded with a salary plus benefits.

That theory aside, today's new Oceanus dev diary explains (at great length) how the team is retuning its approach to module balance in order to give all ships significant strengths and weaknesses and purposes. One such change is that named modules are on their way out: "Our solution to this problem is to replace the meta-based named module system with a new role-based system."

CCP promises that this is but part of the overall and continuing effort to balance ships and prepare for new additions to the game.

MassivelyEVE Online nukes named modules originally appeared on Massively on Thu, 25 Sep 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE shows off Oceanus’ features

eve Oceanus is coming next Tuesday to EVE Online, and if you haven't been reading the novelization of the patch notes in the form of dev diaries as of late, CCP has a more succinct video overview of the changes coming with the update.

In fact, there's a new dev post that's a gripping tale of how CCP saves spaceship data. It's a wild ride through numbers, software modules, and save files. Of course, such technical rejiggering must mean a vast improvement for you, the gamer, right? "What does this new system change for players?" CCP asks. "Visually? Nothing right now actually."

OK, maybe it's a dull dev diary, but there's a much more fascinating video after the break. Promise!

Continue reading EVE shows off Oceanus' features

MassivelyEVE shows off Oceanus' features originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 24 Sep 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Online improves cloaking graphics

eve Portraying stealth in games can be tricky, especially if the player is piloting a cloaked ship in the midst of outer space. EVE Online's team has acknowledged that the game's current cloaking effects sometimes makes it hard to see how these ships are positioned and has announced that the next content update will vastly improve this feature.

The new stealth graphics will not only look spiffier but be easier to see, according to the devs: "Fully transparent is not what we want! Pilots need to see their ships, remember, so we have a static effect that pulses along the surface of the ship from the spot where the cloaking started."

There are more details about what gets cloaked and how other characters see you (hint: They usually don't) in the rest of the dev diary. This change will come with EVE's Oceanus release on September 30th.

MassivelyEVE Online improves cloaking graphics originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 23 Sep 2014 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New burner missions scrap nearly 20,000 EVE Online ships, CCP happy with results

eve CCP is "extremely happy" with the positive player reception of EVE Online's new burner missions that came in Hyperion. The studio said that the high level of difficulty in these missions was intentional in order to challenge the playerbase, and cited a bloodbath of 19,962 destroyed player ships as of September 14th as proof. The cost of the lost ships has topped 870 billion ISK so far.

Due to the embrace of these missions, CCP is prepping a new batch of burner missions for September 30th. These new burners, believe it or not, will be even tougher than the current ones, working in teams of three against players. CCP will be putting these missions on the test servers later this week.

MassivelyNew burner missions scrap nearly 20,000 EVE Online ships, CCP happy with results originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Latest Pathfinder Online devblog emphasizes player-driven economy

Although players in Pathfinder Online's Alpha 7 run will earn 5,000 XP per hour (in order to help them test more things), the latest devblog warns that things will get decidedly harder once gameplay starts after Early Enrollment. At that point players will face a "cold start," beginning the game with only simple peasant clothes, a club, and 1,000 XP to spend on initial feats. Everything else, from feats to gear to cash, will grow from that.

The devblog also details the player-driven economy; by design, nearly everything characters use will be player-crafted. Mobs will drop only starter equipment, coin, salvage, or -- the rarest and most valuable -- recipes. Players can only upgrade gear past the starter level through crafting, and gear can be crafted with certain key words that add bonuses when combined with specific slotted feats. For full details, and a look at what Pathfinder devs are doing at PAX Prime, check out the official site.

MassivelyLatest Pathfinder Online devblog emphasizes player-driven economy originally appeared on Massively on Thu, 28 Aug 2014 22:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mortal Online claims ‘breakthrough’ with improved client performance

mortal online If you've been frustrated by bad client performance with Mortal Online, then you'll be glad to hear that developer Star Vault has isolated the problem: It's Gordo the Carniverous Sea Slug (as seen above) who is eating your packets and pings with wild abandon.

In all seriousness, the team has pinpointed the issue as related to the new armor models and is beginning to work on a solution. "We have made a very exciting breakthrough in how to handle player performance cost," a team update reads. "We have identified one big thing that does indeed add quite a bit of drop on client performance when the client sees many players."

In addition to fixing the performance drop, Star Vault announced that the territory control system is "progressing very smoothly" and that the team has added a new concept artist to flesh out the world and lore.

[Thanks to James for the tip!]

MassivelyMortal Online claims 'breakthrough' with improved client performance originally appeared on Massively on Mon, 04 Aug 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Albion Online’s houses are more than eye candy

albion online Looking for a house in the Albion Online neighborhood? There isn't a lot there at the moment, just empty lots and plenty of potential, but the devs are promising that players will find housing indespensible when the game arrives.

In a new blog post, the team talks about how players will be able to claim a slice of open world land on which to build a lovely villa (or to use for various crafting needs). While housing will fulfill the need of interior decorators, a great deal of thought has been given to make them functional.

Houses will store wardrobes and chests for extra inventory, provide a respawn point, buff your character via trophies, and give a temporary boost to your hit points and energy. Players may choose from one of three permission levels when it comes to allowing others to visit and even modify the place.

MassivelyAlbion Online's houses are more than eye candy originally appeared on Massively on Fri, 01 Aug 2014 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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