A huge thanks to everyone who took part in and gave feedback for the December Alliance Open Session.
Also a big welcome to everyone from our Steam notification and feature. It was great to have so many new pilots, engineers, and gunners experience Alliance.
In total, over 35,000 players came in throughout the week to fly in our skies. Between all those players, a total of almost hundred thousand hours of Alliance were played, making this open period our largest one yet!
If you enjoyed Alliance, be sure to pre-order to be one of the first one in and if you email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with proof of purchase we’ll give you a code to come test with us on the weekend.
Follow the jump to see everything we learned and are working on!
The introduction of the faction leader message provided some amazing tactical choices with allegiances being signaled to all players. It was great to see the interest and passion from faction leaders in trying to take over the world. We got to see 4,370,500 coins used on the world map to help wage war. In addition, coin usage rate has gone up noticeable, now to 65%, with overflow down to less than 20%.
We also were happy with the positive responses to our two new heavy weapons. The Cavitation gun and Heavy Mine launcher were used to great effect, and the feedback we got on them will help us hone in their message.
Balance and win rates on different maps and modes also improved and were closer to our expected values, but we need continue to work on these to make sure players are experiencing success when they’ve earned it. Again, watching players play throughout the week was amazingly helpful. The common mistakes and maneuvers gave us better ideas on how to craft the player experience.
The Alliance soundtrack was ready for your enjoyment, along with the pre-order special item! The next step is to have it properly display and configured on Steam, so stay tuned!
The “Needs to Improve”
The faction map, while improved in many ways that both the data and feedback showed us, still needs more work. Most importantly, the leader needs more communications and impact while the non-leaders need more reason and push to get involved.
Some of our plans of attacks are map actions to be weighted more in leadership attainment. Overflow and system assigned passive resources would also be directed towards leadership designated locations. We are also exploring more in game communication tools for leadership. Some other ideas we’re exploring are achievements and bonus rewards for faction alignment and synergy with leadership. Playing in matches with leaders could also be rewarded. We’re looking at daily and period missions for individual players to learn rewards and bonuses, and a stronger notification on milestone achievements as well as faction world involvement. For everyone who did his or her best to unite and provide us with feedback, the recorded experiences, ideas, concerns, and thoughts were invaluable in helping to craft the next and improved experience, which we’ve already planned for and are taking actions on.
While other game modes are tracking well during the open period and at MAGFest, Retrieve is unfortunately still an issue. Oblivion Approach exploit is plugged, Thornholt Crest exploit is still an issue that needs to be resolved asap. Survival is playing tough, likely a bit too tough. Normal difficulty setting is also playing a bit too tough for intermediate players, which we’ll need to tune. Transition from Novice difficulty to Normal is also too steep, and we’re making adjustments as well. Assault and longer form Survival play length could be improved slightly as well, but we’re getting closer.
Ships wise, the Skirmish ships’ successes and win rates are situational, but the latest novice setup and ship loadouts we set seemed to have yielded good results. Of the faction ships, Stormbreaker was the best performing ship, but the other ships performed surprisingly well. We’ll be looking at adjustments to the Corsair and Shrike, and a bit on the Magnate to bring them up a bit more.
The final Alliance player and faction progression and rewards we withheld so that we could have everything unlocked for people to help us test. Before release, we’ll introduce it to the Alliance experience. Because we already have historical progression data, we’re reasonably confident that the pacing won’t be too off.
More modes and more maps, even while we show off new maps and modes in each test session, there are new and unique game modes being tested internally. We’re really excited to get these into player hands in the development app as soon as we feel they give a consistent experience. The Yeshan faction ship and enemies are also close to ready for player testing in the development app. We’ll again prioritize everyone who backed us and pre-ordered for testing.
The Skirmish Front
We’re continuing Wild Week! After a test of tank spire that didn’t pan out, we’re calling on players to say exactly what they’d like to see for this idea that was proposed to us to try, probably will never see the light of day, but if you’d like to try random, goofy idea, for fun, have your voice be heard here!
To stress, the Tanky Spire, previous trifecta-squid, and whatever comes next in Wild Week are not massive plans to change skirmish, but an opportunity to listen to our community and give them a chance to try the random things they’ve thought about for the past 4 years. We hope you enjoy the experiments with an open mind and embrace the fun of the failures and successes.
The cold swept through from the northwestern front with devastating effect. The Anglean Republic, learning from their previous missteps, were able to gain key territories in record time. Bolstered by a horde of zealots, who were fevered by newly discovered Ancient ruins, the Angleans made their way south to meet the Fjord Baronies and Mercantile Guild with unstoppable force. The esteemed Zero Zero Zero Zero (215,816 effort; 29,899 coin) was able to lead self-financed armies into enemy territories with brutal efficiency.
The Fjord Baronies and Mercantile Guild were affronted from both sides. Literally squeezed by the Angleans in the west, and the Chaladonians in the east, the two factions came to an uneasy alliance in order to defend against the unfavorable odds. Eranok (110,807 effort), who controlled the vast Baronite armies, and financed by the aristocratic family of Jeff Bridges (13,560 coin) parlayed with the Mercantile Guild’s most respected trade federation run by TikoXi (278,466 effort; 33,198 coin).
In the end, however, another alliance was formed that overshadows all others. Unexpectedly, the Order of Chaladon once again found themselves in friendly relations with the Angleans. Despite their opposed worldviews, another union came to fruition when Order operatives Omnipresent Oatmeal (136,335 effort) and DIehard.zero (18,775 coin) brought word of an Anglean truce to the council. Perhaps it means fundamental differences can be overlooked in the search for peace.
But such faith needs to be put aside since war reopened wounds across the earth. Countless millions died, the central plains may never look the same again. It will take time for the factions to rebuild with a total of 4,370,500 coin spent on Conscription (7,240 units) and training Cadets (8,038 units), and the building of Palisades (2,041 units) that now scar the land. The future will surely bring about new alliances if war were to spill across the land once more.