For this week's dev update I'm going to talk about story in the game, and some of the changes coming in the CQC update relating to story. But before that I'd like to congratulate all the players who succeeded in stopping the Cerberus outbreak - it was looking quite serious there for a while and could potentially have been quite devastating, so good job!
I mention the Cerberus plague as it's an example of some of the story elements we weave into the game. Generally speaking we have three types of story: The first are the big story arcs like the Imperial Succession thread. This is currently bubbling away quite nicely and there's some big events based around that. There's a similar one for the Federation which will resume during the CQC update and will continue well into next year.
There are other big story arcs, some of which have been foreshadowed in GalNet and others that haven't. I won't spoil the surprises!
With the major story arcs we put community goals into the plot and that allows players the opportunity to determine where the story goes next. Community Goals are a useful component and they are good for massed action, but some of the storylines need something a bit more subtle. One of the changes in the CQC update allows us to place items for collection as part of scenarios in specific locations. As well as supporting new story options it allows us to create treasure hunts and similar activities. These won't necessarily be telegraphed and I'm quite looking forward to seeing how these evolve.
As well as the big story arcs we're supporting stories created by player groups and where appropriate supporting them with gameplay elements like community goals. A word of caution on this though: we won't allow community goals that provide an unfair advantage over other groups. This is also the case with player submitted stories. When these are used in GalNet they will have the commander's name at the bottom of the story.
The third type of story is a bit more adhoc. These tend to be more local in focus and are used to fill in the gaps in the main story beats.
The changes coming for supporting the stories also have benefits elsewhere. One example of this is that there are new things for explorers to find while they are out in deep space. They won't pop up on the navigation system unless you're close enough.
And of course, I can't talk about story without also mentioning the Unknown Artefacts - the mystery for these is about to get deeper. :)
The CQC update progresses the tools we have to express story in the game, but it won't end there. We have some exciting plans for how we can expand the story further as we enter Season Two.
Progress on the beta release for the CQC update is continuing. It is due to have the internal candidate QA pass next week, this should be about a week in duration so all being well, the beta will be available for those with access on the week of August 31st.