Thank you for participating in our community event, DEV TALKS on April 20. In this event, we talked about the recent balance adjustment and the development plan. We appreciated hearing all the game suggestions from our players.
Questions About Balance Adjustment
Q: Can you share with us your team's overall philosophy when it comes to balancing the game? How do you approach the task of creating a balanced gameplay experience for players, and what factors do you consider when making balancing decisions?
Cloud: Our philosophy is that the player experience comes first. We are more interested in the gaming experience, rather than only focusing on the absolute balance of stats and power.
If an imbalanced setting can bring more fun without affecting the whole, we would not impose a strict balance. But if a setting seems to give players a bad experience, we will definitely optimize it.
There are 3 major methods for balance adjustments:
1. Data-driven. We regularly analyze the actual server data to see if it meets the corresponding metrics.
2. Design-driven. We review the previous event and discuss whether it meets its design purpose.
3. Player-driven. We collect feedback from the community, DM, and questionnaires to know what the players think about the current game balance and make adjustments accordingly.
Q: Can you walk us through one of the specific balance changes that you just made to the game and explain the thought process behind it?
Cloud: Let's take the support projection implant as an example. After mastering this implant, a 5-member Typhoon or Raven class squad can make almost all ships unable to use any module.
While this may seem like a brilliant tactic for attackers, it can be awful for pilots. To address this issue, we have added a jamming success rate calculation based on sensor strength. When flying larger ships with more powerful radar sensors, they are less likely to be jammed by smaller ships and vice versa.
This setting optimizes the experience for pilots being attacked while giving attackers the option to choose between Zerg rush tactics or sacrificing defense for a higher jamming success rate. It also provides players with more tactical options.
Q: What are the key metrics and data points that you use to determine whether a balance change is successful or not?
Cloud: The metrics for ships, modules, and skills vary significantly. For instance, let's take support projection as an example. We will analyze the selection rate, usage rate, success rate of different tonnages to better understand its performance.
Q: Can you give us an example of a recent balance issue that your team had to address, and how long it took to identify and roll out a fix?
Cloud: We recently encountered an issue where sentry guns wouldn't trigger when low sec firing during wrapping. After analyzing the possible causes, we determined that this is due to wrap protection. We are currently evaluating two solutions: one is to cancel wrap protection if firing and terminate the wrap, while the other is to disallow damage while under wrap protection.
Q: Are the developers confident that the server will be able to handle big fleet fights using drones as the primary engagement tool once again, despite the anti-drone modules in place, following the massive buffs to drones as part of the balance patch change?
Cloud: We are confident in our progress. We have already implemented some combat optimizations and are continuing to work on more. While the current performance is satisfactory, we strive to further improve fleet fights in the future.
Q: Could the developers provide more insight into the reasons behind giving the Rorqual a massive bonus to its extraction rate, considering that mining is already considered a relatively unprofitable profession in EE?
Cloud: We focus on its production cost. The Rorqual has a high production cost, but it's good value for money, honestly. The Rorqual should have huge defense and drone capabilities for its huge cost.
Q: What information from player feedback helps you decide what needs to be balanced?
Cloud: We would appreciate hearing your honest feedback and suggestions in various situations. Additionally, please do not hesitate to inform us if you come across any statistics that you believe are unreasonable.
Q: Can you share with us what you are currently working on that users can expect to see in the live server in the very near future?
Cloud: We are currently developing Corporation training to provide additional benefits for our Corporation players. Additionally, we will be making balance adjustments to small ships and modules. Moving forward, we plan to introduce more PVE and PVP gameplay options specifically designed for small ships. Some of these updates will be available as early as May and June of this year. Stay tuned!
Questions About Future Development Plan
Q: Could you share some latest updates about Yan-Jun?
Cloud: We have completed ship models, modules, and attribute designs for YanJun. The initial setting for Yan-Jun is a new region with NPCs where players can explore together.
Q: Are there any projected changes to industry? The system currently does not allow anything to be profitable for players unless they have rorquals and maximum skill.
Cloud: Thank you for raising this important point. Our current model assumes that industry players with varying skill levels compete against each other, giving an advantage only to those at the highest level of technology and skill. Your comment prompts me to reassess and improve the gameplay experience for players who do not reach maximum skill.
Q: Will you launch some anime skins in the future?
Cloud: We are incorporating anime elements into specific scenes, including skins and characters with an anime style. While we understand that this style may not appeal to everyone, we want to experiment with it.
Q: Is it possible to change the numbers to require less ISK and more minerals?
Cloud: Yes, in the recently released new content, the cost of ISK is relatively low, and the requirements for materials are dominant.
Q: Are we gonna get event pvp with some kind of tech level separation (for example divisions) so that newer players can join in too?
Cloud: Absolutely. We'll provide more content that's beginner-friendly, such as introducing a series of small ships with no restrictions on the player's tech level. This will allow new players to easily get acquainted with our gameplay.
Q: Can we please get smart bombs and bomb launchers for bombers?
Cloud: We are currently working on the development of bomb launchers and fighter jets, with a primary focus on enhancing their ease of operation and accuracy. This includes improving the ability to command the aircraft to release bombs at precise moments. If you have any suggestions, please don't hesitate to share them with us.
Q: Are we going to get the missing ship linage for frigates and destroyers? For example, the ship linage such as rifters or merlin assaults II, are we going to have t10 versions of these ships sooner rather than later?
Cloud: Yes, we are working on it.