Dev Update (04/02/2016)

From the desk of Michael Brookes:

"Hi everyone,

For this week’s dev update I will talk about some of the planned changes for missions coming with 2.1 The Engineers release. There are a lot of details to cover so I’ll go through the high level goals and the details for the first of the goals and cover the remaining details over the coming weeks. I’ll also provide more details on the other features over that time as well.

Missions are a key component of the game and we reviewed how we can make them more meaningful for gameplay, in particular how the player interacts with them and their effects on the galactic simulation. With our review we identified five key goals that we’re tackling for 2.1 The Engineers:

-          Personalisation

-          Progression

-          Variety

-          Consequences

-          Rewards

Personalisation is about reflecting the player’s presence in the world and providing persistence for their activities. We’ve already mention that mission givers will be getting faces for 2.1 The Engineers update and this forms a part of the core of this personalisation. The mission contacts will become the faces of the minor factions you deal with for mission and this will be accompanied by a new layout for the mission board to group things more effectively for dealing with the minor faction.

The new mission presentation puts these NPC characters to the forefront of missions. They are unique and have their own faces, names and status within their organisations. The type of organisation will be reflected in the tone of their communications. Their dealings with you are also influenced by your reputation with the minor faction, but also the relative differences in status between you and the character. So if you’re Elite ranked and they’re a minor flunky then they will show you the proper deference – assuming their governing organisation allows it!

Repeated dealings with a minor faction will see your own status within the minor faction improve or fall – depending on your activities. At certain points you will deal with more important members of the organisation or even sterner types if your reputation is lacking. This will also be reinforced by a new greetings message when docking to reflect your status with the station.

The mission contacts will also remember if they’ve dealt with you before. As well as providing consistency the contacts are the conduit for gaining missions and seeing the effects they have. So they will inform you if the minor faction has entered a particular state, or a state is incoming. There will also be much smarter selection of missions that tie in with the current state of affairs, there will be more details on this as part of the progression and variety goals.

As well as what is happening in local space the contacts will let you know what impact your efforts are having and so helping to communicate the galactic simulation states and trends more effectively.

As is customary with our major updates there is a swathe of fixes, tweaks and other changes. For those of you who won naming of planets and a station these will be in the 2.1 The Engineers update. We have a revised format for the options screen coming with collapsible sections for easier navigation. More huge weapons are coming and as well as the asteroid graphical fidelity improvements the star light has been fixed so that it retains its colour over distance.

I will be back next week with more details of what we have coming.