Tag Archives: Dev Diaries

Das Tal devs: ‘We don’t even own a gauntlet’

 
Das Tal
Yesterday, we posted about an article penned by Das Tal Head of Communications David Wells in which he threw down the proverbial gauntlet, as we put it, at ArcheAge's feet; he laid out many of ArcheAge's faults and explained how Das Tal, an admittedly indie sandbox, could improve on the format and avoid some of ArcheAge's infamous mistakes. This prompted a fiery debate, particularly among ArcheAge's fans and frenemies, over sandbox design in the indie and AAA space. Das Tal Managing Director Alexander Zacherl hopes to expound on that treatise with a letter to players of his own; he emphasizes that Fairytale Distillery's intent was not to provoke a duel with ArcheAge but to improve the studio's corner of the genre. We've agreed to publish that letter in full today. Read on! Continue reading Das Tal devs: 'We don't even own a gauntlet'

MassivelyDas Tal devs: 'We don't even own a gauntlet' originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 21 Jan 2015 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Evolved: Rebuilding EVE’s corporation tools

EVE Evolved title image The MMO genre is defined by the online interactions of thousands of players, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the single-shard sandbox of EVE Online. While it's possible to play EVE solo, it's the players who make most of the game's meaningful content, and it's only in your emergent interactions with other players that I think the game truly comes to life. Some time ago, I wrote about the importance of CCP supporting EVE's power players, the corporation owners, fleet commanders, and event organisers who give the rest of us something fun to do. Now it looks like CCP is starting to deliver that support, with developers currently looking at updating EVE's archaic corp management tools.

CCP Punkturis recently asked corporation owners for a list of the most annoying "little things" they'd like to see fixed with the corporation management interface and was instead flooded with requests for big features and complete overhauls. Developers later confirmed on The o7 Show that at least one highly requested big feature is definitely on its way: CEOs will soon be able to switch off friendly-fire between corp members. The threat of corporate infiltrators attacking corp members has been a massive barrier preventing corps from recruiting new players, so its removal is good news for everyone (except spies). So now that corporation management is finally back on the drawing board, what other features do corp owners need?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at a few ideas for corporation tools and features that would make EVE a better place for everyone.

Continue reading EVE Evolved: Rebuilding EVE's corporation tools

MassivelyEVE Evolved: Rebuilding EVE's corporation tools originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 18 Jan 2015 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Trove vows to become ‘the ultimate sandvox’

trove Trove Game Director Andrew Krausnick isn't above making grand statements, saying in his 2015 preview letter that he wants the title to become the ultimate sandvox. "Modest, right?" he begins. "Simply put, if there's something fun to do with voxels in an MMO adventure setting, we're going to be there and we're going to be the best."

With that out of the way, Krausnick goes on to outline some of the big goals for the coming year. He said that the team is working to add gliding, sky islands, rune crafting, water islands, fishing, swimming, more block types, more mechanics, and definitely more classes.

Another big focus Krausnick mentions is to expand the economy: "We also think it should be easy and rewarding for everyone to trade and participate in the economy, so we'll be creating a system this year to make the trade channel simply a small part of a larger economic system!"

He finished his letter by saying that the open beta test will be ending "sooner rather than later," indicating an early 2015 launch.

MassivelyTrove vows to become 'the ultimate sandvox' originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 18 Jan 2015 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Latest EVE dev blog charts module rebalancing

EVE's forthcoming Proteus release will feature the second round of rebalancing work that CCP has termed Module Tiericide. Today's dev blog explains some of the changes courtesy of a sizable chart that shows stats like CPU usage, optimal range, powergrid usage, and more.


There are a lot of numbers to parse, but if you're into that sort of thing, CCP says that it will be collecting player feedback and acting on it prior to Proteus' January 13th launch date.

MassivelyLatest EVE dev blog charts module rebalancing originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 24 Dec 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Online plans security crackdown on RMT rule violators

eve Players who have been skirting EVE Online's TOS might find themselves on the bad side of a ban come 2015, as the studio is rolling out tougher rules on violators in the new year. CCP posted a security blog in which it outlined how real-money traders will be punished, as well as those engaging in other activities such as input broadcasting and multiplexing.

While CCP didn't post the number of bans it performed in 2014, it did show a few graphs illustrating where the problem areas lay. Banned accounts this year, permanent and temporary, were divided up by macro use (56%), ISK selling (18%), ISK buying (5%), modified clients (4%), ISK spamming (1%), and other (16%).

On the brighter side of news, the team is hard at work on January's Proteus patch with sneakier combat recon ships, improved asteroid belt visuals, and the retirement of industry teams.

[Thanks to Chrysillis for the tip!]

MassivelyEVE Online plans security crackdown on RMT rule violators originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 21 Dec 2014 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Online nixes industry teams

eve Not every new idea is going to take off and be a smash hit, as CCP definitely understands this as much as anyone. The EVE Online developer said that the implementation of industry teams earlier this year has been vastly underused, and as a result, teams will be removed from the game entirely in 2015.

"We have been closely tracking all related industry metrics and dials and it is apparent to us that usage of teams has been very low relative to the goals we set for it -- with single figure percentage use in manufacturing jobs and near nonexistent use in research," CCP wrote.

Industry teams had allowed players to hire NPCs to help out with industry jobs. The feature will be "methodically removed" over the next few months, although players will be able to use teams until they are forceably retired.

On another note, EVE tweeted that it has freed up over six million names from former trial players and has made them available for general use.

MassivelyEVE Online nixes industry teams originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Online speeds up game installation and access

eve To "get people into the game quicker," CCP is smoothing out the download and installation process for EVE Online. This new method of deployment is scheduled to go into service at the start of 2015.

This means that the installation package will go from a 7GB download to a zippy 200MB one instead. Once that game client is up and running, it will then download the rest of the game's resources as needed.

"On a fast connection you probably won't notice much of a difference -- load times may be slightly longer at times. As you play more, more resources will be cached and fewer and fewer need to be downloaded. The client will be smart about pre-fetching resources it expects will be needed soon," the team said.

MassivelyEVE Online speeds up game installation and access originally appeared on Massively on Tue, 16 Dec 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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CCP dev blog talks PBR and ‘making EVE look real’

Have you ever wondered about the math behind the visuals in your favorite games? If so, look no further than the latest EVE Online dev blog, which regales us with tales of the Phong Reflection Model and how it's giving way to something called Physically Based Rendering or PBR.

The post features a bunch of equations, literally, and plenty of associated smart-person talk. Fortunately for me it also features quite a few pretty pics of internet spaceships! You can read it for yourself via the links below.

MassivelyCCP dev blog talks PBR and 'making EVE look real' originally appeared on Massively on Mon, 08 Dec 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Evolved: The Sleepers are coming!

EVE Evolved title image Ever since the announcement of 100 new wormhole systems and the unique Thera wormhole hub system, some interesting things have been going on in EVE Online. A new star appeared in the night sky and began rapidly growing in brightness like a supernova, and curiously, the light from that star was able to be seen from every star system in New Eden simultaneously in clear violation of the laws of physics. Two days prior to the event, Sansha's Nation were seen scattering from an Incursion site and leaving the area without using wormholes, hinting that something big was happening in their home system. Combined with the intruiging story of Thera, this has had even non-roleplayers scrambling through the EVE lore to come up with theories about what's to come.

Players slowly set apart picking the mystery to pieces, conducting a galaxy-wide search to find the origin of the bright star and sending people into the test server to get clues. The mystery intensified when players discovered that the star was likely near or within restricted Jove space, and soon after they began finding strange cloaked structures throughout known space. While observing these structures, players even found that an all-new form of Sleeper NPC called the Circadian Sleeper was periodically warping into the site and using some kind of scanning beam on the cloaked structure. All of this comes in anticipation of the public release of the Rhea patch on Tuesday 9th, which will introduce hidden Sleeper sites in known space and kick off the arms race to discover tech 3 destroyers.

In this lore-heavy edition of EVE Evolved, I look at everything we know of EVE's new Sleeper storyline event and try to figure out how it all fits together.

Continue reading EVE Evolved: The Sleepers are coming!

MassivelyEVE Evolved: The Sleepers are coming! originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 07 Dec 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Camelot Unchained tackles building systems, ability crafting

Camelot Unchained City State Entertainment has continued its daily Camelot Unchained updates with another batch of notes on the ongoing state of the build as the team gears up for alpha testing in 2015.

Studio boss Mark Jacobs says that his crew has done a first pass on the building system as well as the ability crafting system UI, mage VFX and casting, and the grass system. The team is also working on improvements to client performance. "Last month we rocked the network and PhysX side," Jacobs wrote. "Now we begin to do the same on the client side."

Critical improvements to duck pedestal collision are also included in the notes. Check the whole list out on the official site to understand that joke.

MassivelyCamelot Unchained tackles building systems, ability crafting originally appeared on Massively on Fri, 05 Dec 2014 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE’s Rhea tweaks star map functionality

Rhea's on final approach, and EVE Online developer CCP has published another dev blog designed to clue pilots into the patch's new features. Today's installment tackles the star map, which has been tweaked with new visuals, a windowed mode, and zoom functionality that represents the beginnings of a consolidation project that will marry the star map with EVE's solar system map.

There are some smaller changes as well, so click through to the dev blog to learn more.

MassivelyEVE's Rhea tweaks star map functionality originally appeared on Massively on Thu, 04 Dec 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Repopulation expands alpha and focuses on bots

The Repopulation Above and Beyond has published The Repopulation's end-of-November report, and it's a doozy. The studio discusses the embiggening of its alpha thus far and the addition of new servers to handle the load. The devs have also been working on housing and city locations, a new character versioning system, a new cloning system, nation deeds, facial animations, and tooltips.

Perhaps of most interest to sandbox fans disillusioned with this year's sandbox drama is A&B's focus on its bot detection code. "Our philosophy with bots is that once the game launches it is not really beneficial to ban characters unless they already invested a significant amount of time into the characters, otherwise they can just create a new free account and you need to detect them all over again," the devs wrote. "So we've focused our attention on reducing the benefits of botting. In addition skill gain penalties and stoppage, botters will see their harvesting results capped in quality, and a complete shut off of loot."

Capping off the dev letter are 17,356 words' worth of patch notes. We counted. Check every last one out at the official site.

MassivelyThe Repopulation expands alpha and focuses on bots originally appeared on Massively on Wed, 03 Dec 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Shards Online has big plans for balancing crafting vs. loot

Shards Online Yesterday, Citadel Studios released a video dev blog highlighting how crafting will work in its upcoming sandbox, Shards Online. Lead systems designer Bruce "Logrus" Bonnick explains that the team will balance looted and crafted items by making those items truly distinct. "Rather than make loot and crafting compete with each other, I prefer to kind of have them co-mingled," he says. Different properties will exist on gear depending on how it is acquired, thereby suiting different playstyles.

Massively's MJ explored the current build of the game with Citadel's Derek Brinkmann over the holiday weekend via livestream. Shards Online's second Kickstarter reached its $50,000 goal last week.

The crafting vlog is below.

Continue reading Shards Online has big plans for balancing crafting vs. loot

MassivelyShards Online has big plans for balancing crafting vs. loot originally appeared on Massively on Mon, 01 Dec 2014 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE Evolved: What does Thera mean for EVE?

EVE Evolved title image If you've been keeping up with the recent news updates on EVE Online, you've probably heard about the upcoming Rhea update scheduled for December 9th. This mega patch will introduce the new tech 3 Tactical Destroyer ship class, Sleeper incursions into normal space, hands-on WASD flight controls, and 101 new wormhole systems (including 25 that are limited to small ships). The new wormhole systems have had all of their planets shattered by an as-yet unknown stellar phenomenon, and clues as to what transpired there will be hidden in the rubble. This infusion of new content and story will mark the first time the wormhole storyline and gameplay have been significantly expanded in over four years.

Each of the new shattered star systems is guaranteed to have at least one outgoing wormhole leading to normal space at all times, increasing the likelihood that pirates will catch you exploring or farming them. And since these systems won't have any in-tact moons, you won't be able to put up a permanent starbase to retreat to if hostiles appear. I'm pretty excited for exploring this new lawless frontier, but it's a unique shattered star system called Thera that I'm most looking forward to finding. Thera will be the first and only wormhole system to have fully kitted NPC stations and will serve as neutral ground for anyone who wants to live there. It's been described as the Mos Eisley of EVE, a permanent home to pirates, PvP corps, and smugglers looking to make some quick ISK.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at how the Thera system could revolutionise EVE for a lot of players and where the EVE storyline could go as a result.

Continue reading EVE Evolved: What does Thera mean for EVE?

MassivelyEVE Evolved: What does Thera mean for EVE? originally appeared on Massively on Sun, 23 Nov 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EVE gives more market data tools to the mod community

eve EVE Online is such a mod-happy game that there's an official site for it, and it's on this site today that CCP said that it will be giving another valuable information-gathering tool to players with the advent of a new searchable resource.

"We also are making available the MarketType resource. MarketTypes is a collection of all possible MarketType resources," the devs posted. Being able to search market history and orders will help modders pull in data from multiple regions and should be in the game with the Rhea content patch.

MassivelyEVE gives more market data tools to the mod community originally appeared on Massively on Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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