Now obviously I've already made lengthy posts about certain game mechanics I take issue with, but this is going to stick purely to Ravensburg's responses.
Ravensburg wrote:#4 - Has Tindalos considered scrapping the progression system in multiplayer in favor of a new system?
War is not fair, the 40K universe is not friendly, life is hard, and equality obsession in games is not my cup of tea.
So it’s a nope, the main multiplayer mode of BFGA isn’t meant to be a solely competitive experience, but something that include a bit of narrative content. You’re fleet in multiplayer has its own story, with both hard times and glorious moments. Also, the progression allows for a better and more progressive comprehension of your fleet.
I don’t say that balancing between player’s levels is not important but we’re not obsessed with it. The bonus points for fighting higher level opponents should have been more visually explicit I admit, but it can be very significant. I suspect some players may not have noticed it before claiming for justice and equality on forums. Btw, we are considering increasing this bonus for the next patch, and make it more clear for everyone.
We see this mode more like a playground where you upgrade your fleet, get bigger ships and have the possibilities of testing various options. There is no leaderboard, the Elo is hidden, consequences of losing a game or some ships is not that hard once the frustration has passed, and it’s really fast to get a level 8 fleet. That’s where we want the people to go because competitive BFGA will start at this level in Ranked Matches.
Hot damn. This would be an almost passable answer if your ranked game mode (which supposedly fixes all of these issues) existed. But as is, this is incredibly silly. A series of random skirmishes against random opponents has no story. There is no narrative here. This is "I play player X, then I play player Y, then I play player Z." Losing ships does not add any story to this.
I should *never* have to waste a game blowing up 15 escorts while my opponent apologizes that his fleet is in the shop. That's no fun for either of us.
Similarly, and this has been pointed out numerous times, but this progression system only affects new admirals. My chaos admiral is level 8 with pretty much all lvl10 ships. I don't care about losing ships anymore. I am out of things to spend renown on, so repair costs are trivial. It's actually in my best interest to lose ships instead of risk warping them out. I face no penalty losing a ship. I do potentially waste a turn without a ship by getting it lost in the warp. A new admiral is extra worried about keeping his ships alive, both because he needs them for next game, and because he wants them to level up.
So this new admiral must worry about keeping his ships alive, while facing stronger ships, whereas I have no incentive at all to protect my fleet, and am better off ramming dying ships into my opponent. This system ONLY punishes newer players/admirals.
You need to implement a victory points system that rewards players for destroying, crippling, and saving ships.
And this final point cannot be stressed enough. This system can absolutely *permanently* put new players off. You're catering to a niche market already. This game's multiplayer future cannot afford to risk putting so many folks off so early.
#6 - What factors are effecting the match size limitation and how soon could we be seeing larger fleets?
We’re using the UE4 physical engine for ships and all projectiles. We made some tests with higher fleet points and the worst case scenario is when players spam escort ships, causing performance to drop even on a good computer.
This is the most problematic point. 2v2 is where we need higher fleet points the most – sadly, it’s also where it affects network performance the most. 2v2 is not twice as bad regarding network performance, but four times - it’s exponential.
We allowed 900 point games in the CTT. The game at this point starts to become less tactical, less fun, and fleets are hard to manage. In the end, we observed that the favorite engagement for most players was 600 pts.
If we can overcome the technical barrier, we would like to raise the fleet point limits in 2v2 and allow players to create bigger engagements in custom games. I can’t tell you for sure when this would be implemented.
I've really got to question the merit of rendering each shot/shell individually in a physics engine when almost all interactions in this game are dice-rolls behind the scenes. If my weapon accuracy is little more than a percentage of shots fired hitting based on distance to the target, and does not take into account relative speed/facing/maneuvers, then this could really have been abstracted.
Q#7 – Pulsars: what are your thoughts on their current form, and what changes do you want to try to balance them?
I know Pulsars are controversial, but they fulfill a role that fits perfectly with the Eldar hit-and-run playstyle. They are the perfect counterparts of Starcannons - high burst, high cooldown vs low damage, high rate of fire.
As mentioned earlier, before nerfing Pulsars to the ground, we’re going to remove the range upgrade and replace it with a Starcannon upgrade. I think the major issue with Pulsars at the moment comes from range upgrades that make them really disgusting, as Eldars are no longer forced to commit their ships at mid-range in order to perform the burst. We’re also thinking about increasing the duration between each pulsar shot.
Well, you got pulsar range being a problem right, but the rest of this paragraph is lunacy. Pulsars mean Eldar are not a hit-and-run faction. They are a hit-and-wait faction. I've been playing a no-pulsar fleet, and it feels a lot closer to how Eldar are supposed to be played. Attack runs that last for more than 3 seconds and require you to get somewhat near your opponent. This fixed-fore system is incredibly silly, and the alpha potential throws out all other Eldar weapons as viable. There's no skill in landing pulsar hits. You turn on fore facing, right click a ship, and pop your pulsars. You then run away and wait.
Combine this with Eldar fragility, and the fact that TAUNT exists, and matchups with Eldar players are no fun for either party. A skilled Eldar playing well has almost no counter play. If I lose a match as pulsar Eldar, it's because I screwed up. You either perfectly pull off 9/12k pulsar runs and bail before getting caught, or you get a tidbit too close, and get chain-taunted to death. If played correctly, it's a free win. If you mess up, a ship is dead, period. The Eldar's opponent is entirely reliant on the Eldar making a mistake. Chaining taunt on a ship dumb enough to get within range takes no skill. It's frustrating gameplay on both sides.
Pulsars need to be a normal weapon system. Starcannons should have high DPS, but be subject to armor mitigating their damage. Pulsars should have average DPS, and ignore armor.
Taunt should not exist. Any skill that takes control of his ships away from your opponent for fifteen seconds is straight lunacy.
AP rounds should not exist. Macro weapons should have the highest potential DPS, mitigated by inaccuracy at range and enemy armor. They don't need to ALSO ignore armor up close. Their raw damage and firing at point-blank is plenty. Lances should have consistent mediocre DPS, unaffected by range, terrain, or armor. There's your tradeoff. Starcannon high rate of fire does nothing for it right now. I make starcannons work, but it's goddamn hard, and if you screw up even a little you're likely to lose a ship.
You guys are making horrendous balance and gameplay decisions.
This game has so much potential. You've got great feedback here on the forums. Please listen to it without dismissing it as "whining." This game will face multiplayer death in a matter of months if you all don't change directions.