Dev Questions & Answers Session #1

Talk about Battlefleet Gothic: Armada here!
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Imperator5
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Re: Dev Questions & Answers Session #1

Postby Imperator5 » 05 May 2016, 10:10

Ravensburg wrote:Greetings Admirals!

We asked our community moderators to send us over a list of commonly asked questions and concerns that you guys might have.
In this first post, I’ll be answering 10 questions that cover some of the more pressing concerns of the community. There’s still a bunch of questions I’m planning on answering in the future – but please feel free to ask further questions in your replies to this post!

#1 - How is balancing being performed and who is responsible for testing it prior to public access?

Our game design team holds regular meetings, where we analyze player feedbacks and compare them to our data. The goal of these meetings is to get the big picture of the game and how each change can impact other elements. We also have some constraints for design like not breaking the TT stats unless it’s an absolute necessity, or don’t create mechanics that would force us to break the ship’s original visual.
We then test the modifications at the studio.
After this, a QA team at Focus Home Interactive tests once again all the changes and sends us feedback about balancing. If the feedback is bad, we try to identify issues and start the process again.
Finally, a special build is released for the forum testing squad to ensure that nothing in the build is totally broken. We then gather feedback using a private forum. After this, we debate about the feedback and think about the necessity of making another build or publishing this one.


So it is a triple step process, nice.

Ravensburg wrote:#2 - What are your opinions on the state of the current multiplayer balance?

Imperium is at not far from the gold spot.
Chaos needs some minor tweaks.
Orks could have access to a different batch of upgrades and skills in order to give the faction more flavor. But they are not in a bad spot regarding pure balancing.
Eldars are still the faction that requires the most work. What I can tell you for now, is that we’re going to remove the range upgrades for pulsars, and replace them with new upgrades for Starcannons. Our goal regarding Eldar weaponry is to create a true choice between getting a fleet with Starcannons or a fleet with Pulsars.
Eldar may be a bit too squishy at the moment, but we’re working to see the extent to which this is true. We also understand that the assassination and Data recovery missions are not quite satisfying with or against Eldars, so we’re looking into amending that.


I would say Orks may need a bit of helping being not a one trick pony. I still think nerfing pulsars at least by 25% damage is unavoidable still, especially if eldar durability is improved.

Ravensburg wrote:#3 - Has Tindalos considered changing the matchmaking so that players have more control over the size and type of matches they get put into?

This is something you will have in custom games once the multiplayer is implemented in that mode. The ranked matchmaking will not work with random missions – but I can’t tell you too much about this for now : )
The answer to the question is no, in the classic multiplayers mode you have to build a fleet that will be able to face any situation, not just cruiser clash. Players shouldn’t have the possibility of setting fleet points because it would break the balance for getting ships lost in warp, heavily damaged and destroyed. We wanted, from the beginning, a punishing game where players should face the consequences for their failures. I know frustration in video games is not “l’aire du temps”, but that’s just how we wanted BFGA to be, with a bit of old school flavor.

#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.

#5 - What are your exact plans for custom games at this point in time?

- The custom skirmishes will offer you several premade maximum level fleets for each faction.
- There are no upgrades or favors on the premade fleets.
- There are premade fleets without technical skills.
- There's no persistence in custom skirmish. (No lost in warp, no heavily damage and no ship destroy).
- You can also play with your persistent multiplayer and solo fleets (but without persistent consequences).
- The custom skirmish will allow you to invite friends to play with or against.
- The custom skirmishes will allow you to play against AI difficulty level of your choice.
- The custom skirmishes allow you to play the mission of your choice.
- The custom skirmish allow you to set the fleet points of your choice.


Could we at least get renown for custom matches please? Pve players like persistance but not randomness. So currently the only way to have fun with Custom is to get a persistent fleet totally levelled up to 10, favoured, at admiral level 8, than go custom.
I feel like this really needs changing, since I should not need to rely on my CTT levelled fleets to get fun in custom games.

Ravensburg wrote:#6 - What factors are effecting the match size limitation and how soon could we be seeing larger fleets?

- Performance:
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.

- Network:
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.

- Gameplay:
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.

- Conclusion:
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 think 1500 points should be allowed for non-online play. Most computers would be able to handle that even on maximum graphics. Deploying your whole fleet is super fun and people should be allowed to do it against AI in custom games.

Ravensburg wrote: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.


I do feel like Pulsars will be a bit too strong still. Such an accurate, huge burst with such a low cooldown is problematic on itself.

Ravensburg wrote:Q#8 - The Eldar fleet is very anemic beyond the Light Cruiser choices, will there be new ships to supplement this?

I would love to! Sadly, there’s no existing official reference. All the Eldar ships from the TT are here. As I don’t want to mix the Corsair with the craftworld fleet, there’s no lore-friendly solution at the moment.


Why not mix the two fleets? Did not Prince Yriel do just that with Ilyaden?

Ravensburg wrote:Q#9 - What will the Space marine Fleet be comprised of? In the tabletop it only contains the Battle Barge, Strike Cruiser and a variety of escorts?

I can’t say much about it right now, but you should look up the Vanguard light cruiser. Also, it’s said that the Strike Cruiser has the potential for many different refits ; )


So Light, line and battlecruiser will be strike cruiser variants? I really worry about how only 3k+ macrocannons and melta torps not ignoring armour in game will affect Space marine balance. Their 75 armour will not be worth much.

Ravensburg wrote:Q#10 - Can you create a Developer Response topic, where players can request more technical information about current mechanics and statistics in the game. e.g. detail how accuracy drop-off works etc

Excellent idea! I mandate Sio’are to do this. The secret of defense turrets mechanic will be no more!

Thanks for reading through these answers – I look forward to receiving lots more of your questions!

All glory to the Emperor!

Ravensburg
http://forum.battlefleetgothic-armada.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=621

Please help me change skirmish to be customisable. Its very important for PVE players.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=515 Mod idea.

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Re: Dev Questions & Answers Session #1

Postby MataCucasRAID » 05 May 2016, 11:02

Ravensburg wrote:
#6 - What factors are effecting the match size limitation and how soon could we be seeing larger fleets?

- Performance:
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.

- Network:
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.

- Conclusion:
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.


And about doing a mode 4vs4 or 5vs5 only choosing only one ship per player? No escorts allowed. you could do that role specializing in brawl, support, attrition....

You could emphasize in controlling your own ship with your skills and favours!

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Re: Dev Questions & Answers Session #1

Postby Imperator5 » 05 May 2016, 12:37

MataCucasRAID wrote:
Ravensburg wrote:
#6 - What factors are effecting the match size limitation and how soon could we be seeing larger fleets?

- Performance:
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.

- Network:
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.

- Conclusion:
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.


And about doing a mode 4vs4 or 5vs5 only choosing only one ship per player? No escorts allowed. you could do that role specializing in brawl, support, attrition....

You could emphasize in controlling your own ship with your skills and favours!


So sort of like a PVP version of a "last stand" mode?
http://forum.battlefleetgothic-armada.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=621

Please help me change skirmish to be customisable. Its very important for PVE players.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=515 Mod idea.

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MataCucasRAID
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Re: Dev Questions & Answers Session #1

Postby MataCucasRAID » 05 May 2016, 13:25

Imperator5 wrote:So sort of like a PVP version of a "last stand" mode?


Like one real battle. Carrying your own vessel and maybe the top player could have an Admiral console in order to give orders to the other users. ;)

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Re: Dev Questions & Answers Session #1

Postby aetaosraukeres » 05 May 2016, 16:08

Ravensburg wrote:#6 - What factors are effecting the match size limitation and how soon could we be seeing larger fleets?

- Performance:
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.

- Network:
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.

- Gameplay:
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.

- Conclusion:
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.

considering that i played against cheathers with over 30 ships and my fps didnt really dropped i would say buy better rigs you poor lot

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Re: Dev Questions & Answers Session #1

Postby Avlaen » 05 May 2016, 17:51

GONDOR wrote:Prince Yriel's flagship while he was Iyanden's Admiral, and then later a Corsair Prince was the Dragonship Flame of Asuryan. In the BFG TT ships it lists the Dragonship as Yriel's own, as an example of notable DS.


What about mixing in the Dark Eldar LC/C into Corsairs? Fluffwise, Corsairs blurr the line between DE and CWE, but are more towards DE than CWE, despite


Also, while it's only a minor change, there is the option in the BFG book to replace the launch bays on the Void Stalker with Torpedoes, for no extra point cost. It could be enough and easy enough to implement a VS mk2, similar to the Hellbringer? Atleast there is some variation of battleship. It would be a tough decision to choose between fighter support and the extra alpha of Torps when you go in to pulsar.

Also the Eclipse has 4 launch bays in the TT, if we're to adhere as closely to the TT as stated, why isn't this the case ingame? Why only 1?

As it stands, IMO, there should be atleast 2 variants per slot that are markedly different.


probably for balance as the despoiler IIRC had 8, and the styx had mroe than 4 to i think.

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Re: Dev Questions & Answers Session #1

Postby Gorthunk » 05 May 2016, 23:09

Ravensburg wrote: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.


High burst high cooldown is really counter to hit and run gameplay. It allows pulsars to maintain 100% damage uptime while spending maybe 10% of their time in any threatened area. Hit and run gameplay needs to center around a trade-off, damage for safety. You need to give up damage dealing ability when you run to safety, and it needs to be a choice whether you risk spending more time dealing damage if you're willing to spend more time in the danger zone. With high burst high cooldown, this disappears. You can do 100% of your available damage while spending no extra time in the enemy's firing arcs.

Basically, you're backwards. Starcannons are the quintessential hit and run style weapon, if you want to do damage with them you need to maneuver into a safe firing position for your hit, and when the enemy brings its weapons to bear you need to run, or risk being hurt to eke out a little more damage. Pulsars are effectively nova cannon spam with perfect accuracy. Using pulsars you hardly need to engage with the enemy's ships to destroy them, even with shortened range. I'm not sure that anything you do will change that while Vaul's maneuver exists.

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Re: Dev Questions & Answers Session #1

Postby Beernchips » 06 May 2016, 15:23

Basically, you're backwards. Starcannons are the quintessential hit and run style weapon, if you want to do damage with them you need to maneuver into a safe firing position for your hit, and when the enemy brings its weapons to bear you need to run, or risk being hurt to eke out a little more damage. Pulsars are effectively nova cannon spam with perfect accuracy. Using pulsars you hardly need to engage with the enemy's ships to destroy them, even with shortened range. I'm not sure that anything you do will change that while Vaul's maneuver exists.


Hit and run is based on dealing a lot of damages on atarget then instantly retreating.
Pulsars are exactly the type of weapon any guerilla want to have, high damage, perfect accuracy, the CD don t matter bcause you don t plan to stay after your run
The problem lies that, from a player and gameplay experience, this weapon fulfills his role too well because enemy have almost 0 counterplay especially with Vaul s manoeuvre. Eldars are too fragile to even think about a sustain war
Starcannons on the other side are totally opposite of hit and run because you have to stay a lot of time to be efficient, this weapon specificly force Eldars players to go on less risky position to use it but at same time, you will need so much positioning that often you can t use it efficiently and you will just scratch the shild or hull of different ships instead of focusing 1
Vauls manoeuvre exist to not have dead Eldars ships every time they do a hit and run strafe but it currently synergize too well with Pulsars creating some perfect ships with high damage high safety when Starcannons force Eldars into low damage and low safety
Repent, for tomorrow you die

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Re: Dev Questions & Answers Session #1

Postby Gorthunk » 06 May 2016, 16:23

Beernchips wrote:Hit and run is based on dealing a lot of damages on atarget then instantly retreating.
Pulsars are exactly the type of weapon any guerilla want to have, high damage, perfect accuracy, the CD don t matter bcause you don t plan to stay after your run
The problem lies that, from a player and gameplay experience, this weapon fulfills his role too well because enemy have almost 0 counterplay especially with Vaul s manoeuvre. Eldars are too fragile to even think about a sustain war
Starcannons on the other side are totally opposite of hit and run because you have to stay a lot of time to be efficient, this weapon specificly force Eldars players to go on less risky position to use it but at same time, you will need so much positioning that often you can t use it efficiently and you will just scratch the shild or hull of different ships instead of focusing 1
Vauls manoeuvre exist to not have dead Eldars ships every time they do a hit and run strafe but it currently synergize too well with Pulsars creating some perfect ships with high damage high safety when Starcannons force Eldars into low damage and low safety


That's what I'm saying. Pulsars are so perfect for hit and run attacks that they trivialize/destroy hit and run gameplay, counter-intuitively making them worse for it than a less bursty weapon like starcannons. Instead of being high risk high reward like hit and run attacks are meant to be (as far as games go), pulsars let you destroy your targets quickly, reliably, and with nearly no risk to yourself. They take control out of the hands of both players and force Eldar players to robotically follow attack patterns that look like pulsar -> vaul's maneuver -> run for 30s -> repeat. While this allows for ideal, real-life style hit and run attacks, it fails in gameplay because ideal, real-life attacks lack risk and are boring because of it.

For gameplay to be compelling/fun, there needs to be player-dependent choice. Pulsars don't offer that, and like you said they synergize so well with Eldar maneuverability that there is little room for counterplay. You can't have high damage and high safety and keep the game interesting, something always gives out. With pulsars, it's pretty obvious what they've given up.

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Re: Dev Questions & Answers Session #1

Postby Uksharazad87 » 07 May 2016, 00:22

*Snip*

Mah bad guys, Question was answered in the Roadmap. *whistles innocently, *


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