Dev Questions & Answers Session #1

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

Postby Auzor » 08 May 2016, 08:45

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.

#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.

#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.

#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.

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.

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.

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 ; )

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


I carefully made an entire post, bolded parts etc, only to lise it all on this crap forum. Sigh.

The progression system is frustrating players though.
Orks & Eldar are one trick (tractor & Pulsar) ponies. You're nerfing one of em..

Custom games:
zero skills, zero upgrades, no favors? That would be an entirely different game, but do sign me up; huzzah no retarded bomb spam fest etc.
However: Playing eldar at 6k range, with no lightning strike protection, no escapes, no belt armor sounds pretty scary to me.
Assault boats might actually become viable if Nurgle with 80+ troop value isn't around anymore. And be *very* scary to eldar; 50% chance of success per boat..
I think you're going to get very, very different balancing needs.

And in custom games, I still need formations, speed matching etc; not the retarded "fan out completely" captains.

900pts gameplay: of course not very tactical in operation carpet-bomb-spam. Perhaps first implement in above custom games.
And again, *fleet* controls, tyvm.

Pulsars: the entire eldar implementation needs a rework.
If there comes a starcannon upgrade that makes starcannons SOO good, the Shadow becomes a very good cruiser, then we're gonna get aconite frigate spam, and the cruiser would still suck untill it levels up and you can get the upgrade.
Incidentally, you see how the Shadow would continue to suck in above zero-upgrade custom games? Again, completely different game balance due to "mandatory" upgrades & skills.
Without skills, eldar will continue to use sacrificial escorts to scout and draw in the auto-launch lightning strikes. Should eldar be about sacrificing ships at all?

No lore-friendly solution for anemic fleet:
The Solaris did not have launch bays afaik; I don't remember a Chaos hellbringer light cruiser, the Styx did not have equal launch bays to the emperor..
The Eldar deserve some choices, and at the very least, a viable cruiser. Perhaps a single extra dorsal/ventral launch bay could save the Shadow, but I doubt it'd be enough. 6 torpedoes and/or a tighter spread could work I suppose..
Time to invent a bunch of variants. 3 cruisers, 2 BC, 1BB would still be less than IN/Chaos.

Interested in accuracy drop-off,
and for the turrets: sure the "hit, range, rate of fire" mechanics, and also: in a bomber/assault boat squad, there are X bombers/boats, Y fighters; do the turrets "prioritize" the bombers/boats?
Between torpedo's & bombers entering turret range, is there a priority?

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Alucius Hephasta
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Re: Dev Questions & Answers Session #1

Postby Alucius Hephasta » 09 May 2016, 15:36

Hi Auzor,

I will try to respond to your questions about the game,

Custom Game

The custom game will effectively remove all the progression system (Technical Skills/Upgrades/Crew/Favors mechanics), but the standard skills/orders will remain.

The following "skills" will remain in the custom game:

- Order "Reload"
- Order "Lock On"
- Order "Brace For Impact".
- Order "Running Silent"
- Skill "Boarding"
- Skill "Lightning strike"
- Skill "Emergency Repair"
- Skill "Disengage"
- Special Maneuvers ("All Ahead Full", "High Energy Turn", ...)

You are totally right, the balancing and the meta of the game will be very different, and we will do our maximum to give you the best game experience on this expected game mode.

Eldars

Be assure that we will continually perform balancing on every factions of the game and we always take the proposition of the community with great interest.
Again, you are right about the Eldar on the custom game, this will offer a completely different feeling with this faction and the meta will be greatly modified.

Lore

At first, all the staff of Tindalos Interactive are Warhammer 40k addict and we're trying to be as loyal as possible to the universe.
But, also, we're making a video game, so we have to make a little work of adaptation from the Table Top game, in order to have something that work in a real-time game.
For the Solaris, you are right in the TT, the ship won't have a launch bay, we've decided to add it, so the Eldar have a quick response against the ordnance and long range attacks.
The Chaos Hellbringer has been created in agreement with Games Workshop. Without it, the Chaos won't have any Light Cruiser.
And about the number of ordnance launched, we've choose to be true to the miniature, so 1 launch bay = 1 squadron launched.

Turrets targeting priority

Do turrets prioritize their "attacks" on the bomber/assaut boat in an ordnance squadron ?
No, the turret apply their damages randomly for each ordnance squadrons at range.

Between Torpedoes and ordnance squadron entering in turrets range, is there a priority ?
No, the turrets apply their attacks on each ordnance/torpedoes that enter into their range.

-

I hope this respond to your question, of course i'm staying available if you have any interrogation about the game.
Have a good day and good luck against your opponent !

The Emperor is master of the galaxy, but the captain is master of his ship.
Popular naval saying
There is only the Emperor,
and he is our Shield and Protector.

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Bludfist
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Re: Dev Questions & Answers Session #1

Postby Bludfist » 09 May 2016, 15:41

Alucius Hephasta wrote:The Chaos Hellbringer has been created in agreement with Games Workshop. Without it, the Chaos won't have any Light Cruiser.
And about the number of ordnance launched, we've choose to be true to the miniature, so 1 launch bay = 1 squadron launched.



The Emperor is master of the galaxy, but the captain is master of his ship.
Popular naval saying



so just to confirm, you guys are indeed able to create ships that did not exist in TT?

Im glad to hear it, it gives me a lot of hope for Dark Eldar down the line

though at the same time it seems you guys have combined TT ships as for example the Terror ork ship was a carrier on TT but it was combined with the kill cruiser and launch bays became a kustom point option

Dont need any promises or anything of that nature :P
but would we ever perhaps see more ships from TT added to the core races ala widowmaker, down the line?
Last edited by Bludfist on 09 May 2016, 15:46, edited 1 time in total.
Chaos walking into Aldorf be like
Spoiler : :
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Uksharazad87
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Re: Dev Questions & Answers Session #1

Postby Uksharazad87 » 09 May 2016, 15:45

Bludfist wrote:
Alucius Hephasta wrote:The Chaos Hellbringer has been created in agreement with Games Workshop. Without it, the Chaos won't have any Light Cruiser.
And about the number of ordnance launched, we've choose to be true to the miniature, so 1 launch bay = 1 squadron launched.



The Emperor is master of the galaxy, but the captain is master of his ship.
Popular naval saying



so just to confirm, you guys are indeed able to create ships that did not exist in TT?

Im glad to hear it, it gives me a lot of hope for Dark Eldar down the line


With GW's Say so. GW will have to say "yes" to more DE ships for Eg first.

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Alucius Hephasta
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Re: Dev Questions & Answers Session #1

Postby Alucius Hephasta » 09 May 2016, 16:48

Uksharazad87 wrote:
Bludfist wrote:
Alucius Hephasta wrote:The Chaos Hellbringer has been created in agreement with Games Workshop. Without it, the Chaos won't have any Light Cruiser.
And about the number of ordnance launched, we've choose to be true to the miniature, so 1 launch bay = 1 squadron launched.



The Emperor is master of the galaxy, but the captain is master of his ship.
Popular naval saying



so just to confirm, you guys are indeed able to create ships that did not exist in TT?

Im glad to hear it, it gives me a lot of hope for Dark Eldar down the line


With GW's Say so. GW will have to say "yes" to more DE ships for Eg first.


Yes, we have created and adjust some ships, but always with the Games Workshop approval.
We can't decided to add a ship by ourselves, and we really want to fit as close as possible to the TT.

About the Dark Eldar, I'm agree with you, 1 line ship and 1 escort ship in the TT won't offer a great ship's choice for Battlefleet Gothic: Armada.
But we want to stay focus on fixing the bug/errors/crash and working on the future DLC (Space Marines and Tau) before speculating about the implementation of others factions of the 40k universe.
There is only the Emperor,
and he is our Shield and Protector.

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Mr Morden
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Re: Dev Questions & Answers Session #1

Postby Mr Morden » 09 May 2016, 16:56

Alucius Hephasta wrote:
Uksharazad87 wrote:
Bludfist wrote:

so just to confirm, you guys are indeed able to create ships that did not exist in TT?

Im glad to hear it, it gives me a lot of hope for Dark Eldar down the line


With GW's Say so. GW will have to say "yes" to more DE ships for Eg first.


Yes, we have created and adjust some ships, but always with the Games Workshop approval.
We can't decided to add a ship by ourselves, and we really want to fit as close as possible to the TT.

About the Dark Eldar, I'm agree with you, 1 line ship and 1 escort ship in the TT won't offer a great ship's choice for Battlefleet Gothic: Armada.
But we want to stay focus on fixing the bug/errors/crash and working on the future DLC (Space Marines and Tau) before speculating about the implementation of others factions of the 40k universe.


Talking of which - any word on the next patch / bug fix etc :)
Imperial - Lady Lukara (8), Chaos - Abraxus (8), Eldar - Flower of Carnage (2) , Orks - Big Bazza (6), Wolve - Floki (6) :mrgreen:

Beernchips
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Re: Dev Questions & Answers Session #1

Postby Beernchips » 09 May 2016, 17:03

We can't decided to add a ship by ourselves, and we really want to fit as close as possible to the TT.


Who must be spammed to have approval for new Eldar ships? :)
Repent, for tomorrow you die

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XViper
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Re: Dev Questions & Answers Session #1

Postby XViper » 10 May 2016, 02:12

Alucius Hephasta wrote:Yes, we have created and adjust some ships, but always with the Games Workshop approval.
We can't decided to add a ship by ourselves, and we really want to fit as close as possible to the TT.

About the Dark Eldar, I'm agree with you, 1 line ship and 1 escort ship in the TT won't offer a great ship's choice for Battlefleet Gothic: Armada.
But we want to stay focus on fixing the bug/errors/crash and working on the future DLC (Space Marines and Tau) before speculating about the implementation of others factions of the 40k universe.


Can totally appreciate the need (potentially legal need) for Games Workshops approval on creating 'new content'.
However it can't be stressed enough, that fleet content and composition diversity is crucial.

'Fitting' as close as possible to the TT is all well and good, until you realise that the TT game DIED and FAILED.
Half the reason for this was a lack of new content to keep the game (and in particular, certain races 'alive' and in use).
Without new content things become stagnant and boring. Immediately that's not a huge issue for this game, as you can just pump out new races for the time being, however you need to make sure you don't forget the existing races. (Eldar comes to mind; with their limited fleet options).

Hell, when it comes to 'creating' new ships, you could even run a community 'competition', and take the best ideas to Games Workshop to have them use (either directly, or as a basis for their own creation). Some of the best lore even written has come from avid fans, I'm sure you'll have more than enough willing participants to come up with some awesome lore-abiding content.

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Re: Dev Questions & Answers Session #1

Postby RedDevilCG » 10 May 2016, 03:34

Any chance the Chaos Repulsive Grand cruiser will be added at later time? It's one of the original Chaos ships and is missed dearly by this Warmaster.

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Re: Dev Questions & Answers Session #1

Postby CTCParadox » 10 May 2016, 04:30

Hull choice pretty much ends for the Eldar at level 3. After that you just unlock Shadow, Eclipse and Void Stalker slots. Some more ability to customise the Eldar would be great. You managed to add bombs, microwarps, and shield transfer into the game so a few Eldar weapon swaps should be okay. They would be restricted to skirmish anyway, which you can fluff as taking place all over the galaxy.


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