Dev Diary #24: The best of Dev QnA + Ability ideas
Posted on February 15, 2017

Last week, on Friday (Feb 8th, 2017), we’ve held a Developer Townhall talk on Discord, where our players could ask our game designers Gajxo and Robinson their questions. These are the most interesting ones. Enjoy!

We’ve also started collecting ability ideas. Please post your ideas on the GAME FORUM or STEAM FORUM.


Now let’s get to the QnA according to main topics. Some answers were modified for clarity.

Upcoming and planned features

With the new scoring system, how will players get higher point ratings?
It will be determined by relative ship power rating when a match is created. The exact formula is our secret :) 'Ship power' rating is our internal parameter the matchmaking uses to evaluate ships.

Thoughts on adding free block count for cosmetic items?
Yes, it's already designed and will be implemented as soon as our programmers have time in their schedule :) Now they're mostly fixing bugs.

Are there any plans for adding "rotating" core?
The option to move or rotate the core is already designed and will be added quite soon. We are also discussing expanding construction options for the core (having a smaller core, different dimensions, more than one core etc.)

Any ETA on the new set of blocks?
Early April

What will these blocks likely be?
What would you like to see? :) The new visual set as well as new abilities will be revealed soon.

Will we get more colors to choose from?

When do you plan to rework the ability system?
Current abilities will be polished in the next month.

How exactly will “cosmetic” ships be rewarded?
We already know, that we will be able to give out "likes" in the lobby.
Yes, the most liked ships will be rewarded by XP or junk so that players who are good builders but are worse at fighting have a way to progress faster. Another stage is selling the best ships in the ingame shop, but that's not in the production schedule yet.

When will you release more maps?
New maps are not a part of the roadmap for the first two months. However there is a huge discussion going on around map design even with designers from other games. We WILL be tweaking current maps in the following patches.


Balance and Gameplay

What weapons are in YOUR opinions most/least balanced?
After the last patch all weapons are completely balanced :-)
But seriously, there's a lot of factors affecting the game balance like maps, matchups, construction rules, the sandbox element of the game (it's hard to predict what players will come up with), etc. We think we can only achieve balance by continually tweaking the game.

How are you going to improve TTK? Considering its so small right now. How about increasing the health of everything?
We agree that a fast TTK at high levels is a problem right now. However we don't think it's because of low hp. Your battleship can already have 30000 hp, but you only need to do 1000 damage to get the core snipe.
We're discussing making coring a bit harder with several features and balance changes.
We're also thinking about reducing the effectivity of gunbeds.

You said 'we also want to limit the extremes' but you (the team) have shown little interest in that (or little progress).
We’re sorry you think that. It's true that we have been focused on a lot of issues connected to the release and improving new player experience. As you know we're a small team, however it's our goal to balance out gameplay it the following 2-3 patches.

Why is grinding in the progression so long?
As any game with a F2P model we have to have some sort of progression. For the release we had to spread out leveling to keep players busy for a longer time.
We plan to add more progression systems (increasing your rank, league standing etc.) to make the game more rewarding. Also as with other RPGs it's possible that we'll speed up progression once we have more content to unlock.

Have you considered launching a test server to enhance the longevity of the game?
So far it hasn't been a priority, because of the time and organizational requirements. We are considering it.


Feature suggestions by the community

Will there be a healing type of class?

We are very careful about adding a healer. It might create a situation where the team with more healers always wins. It's also quite opposed by a part of the community. What is more likely are new shield abilities or maaaaybe 'healing bases'.

Are You planning to implement some sort or Carrier or Drone Carrier ships?
A new class is envisioned for about the first half of this year. Another one for the second half. A carrier sounds cool to us but we'll have to consider how it will expand gameplay. Anyways, make sure to post your class ideas on our forum!

Will we be able to make wings/clans with other people in the future?
We'd definitely like to implement such feature, however, we're not yet sure when.

Will you add the ability to tweak weapons? For example making a thruster bigger but it will take more power and have less health in exchange etc.?
You can upgrade weapon stats. But no other tweaks right now, such feature might create further balance issues.

Can you allow placing hull on armour blocks?
The concept of armor is that it is a final block in construction, so probably no.
Regarding all questions about new functional blocks: we will be gradually adding new blocks that allow to create more artistic and complex designs.

Will we get the ability to spin our ship in more than one axis?
No plans for this feature now.

Will you add uber missiles and uber lasers?
Our focus is currently on new abilities.

Can you add the option to color all of the blocks?
No plans for coloring hull blocks.


Devs, will you add more party member slots?
We want to but not right now. Such change could harm the matchmaking.

Any plans to create a 'free mode'?
Not specifically a 'freemode' but we want to add another game mode. We already started design process, but game mode is heavy for production time and it takes weeks and weeks of work to design, code and test it properly.

Who did the voice-acting in the tutorial?
It's done by our former colleague Gabe from Wisconsin. It's funny that one youtuber made fun that our voice actor is pretending to sound american :)1

Are there any plans for a map editor or otherwise even more creative and customizable content?
We would like to add Steam Workshop support this year, so people can create their own parts. But no map editor yet. We will see.

How about some upcoming challenges or tournaments with strong block and tech-level restriction?
Yes we will be definitely doing time limited events (weekend tournaments etc.) They will be simpler at first but will get more complex and exciting over time. 

How about using reddit for AMA type of Townhall for better coordination?
YES! Next month: AMA at r/galacticjunkleague!


Thanks again for your questions and see you at the AMA on reddit next month!