The following post was written by Howard, aka Bubbles, CEO of Muse Games.
With this upcoming build, we are focusing on a few new features—improved tutorial elements, AFK detection, and commendation system—to help players learn and play better together. While our motivation is as always based on your feedback, we just want to go over how these features work and how we arrived at the decisions we made.
Hit the jump for the deets…
To make the game more accessible we completed the manual for the last update. This update includes the next phase of our plan, which is two fold. First, we are making the gun customization page clearer, and introducing icons and better descriptions to help players understand the different properties of the various guns.
This will hopefully help everyone to get a clearer and more intuitive feel for what the weapons are supposed to do.
Two is to expand on the current tutorial in Practice to cover all the basics of the game. Before, things such as buff, scope, fire, rebuild, AI command, or even the minimap or crew formation screens are absent from the Practice tutorial. Now, in Practice, you’ll be able to try different things and scenarios and receive the right tutorial instructions to help you deal with various situations. All the core things that we didn’t cover are now included.
In the future, we’ll be able to connect the newly added elements in Practice to tutorial achievements, further reinforcing what people are supposed to do. Once we have the groundwork for co-op and PvE, we will also be able to expand tutorial into challenges Gran Turismo style, which will be fun to play and rewarding.
AFK is one issue that a lot of players are concerned about, so here’s what we are doing about it. We’ve broken AFK down into 2 categories – voluntarily and involuntary AFK. Voluntary AFK refers to players who have given his crew and team the heads up to be AFK. In this case, we’ve added an AFK button in the Options menu in match. If you press the button, you’re are effectively going AFK, and you will be replaced by an AI. This way, you won’t be inactive while taking up a crew spot.
Involuntary AFK refers to when a player is AFK without giving proper warning or heads up to the crew and team. In this case, we’ll detect signs of AFK, such as lack of input when on gun for extended period of time, or lack of movement, etc. Once AFK is detected, we’ll give the player a warning and a countdown in game. After the countdown expires, the player will be kicked from match.
With respect to Kick (whether that be captain’s kick or vote kick) that quite a few players have asked about, we are keeping the implementation of kick to AFK only. And we did not arrive at this decision lightly. There are 2 buckets of reasons. Firstly, Kick can be ripe for abuse. Secondly, it segments the player base, and it can be especially detrimental to new players. What we aim to do is always find ways to bring people together and not the other way around. This ideal is also the motivation behind designing our server structure and lobby the way it is. In the lobby, people from different places all over the world can come together and play. In the game, friendships have formed between people across the globe. Sebi can crew with Spaceman and Hindenberg. The art team can battle King’s Gambit while recruiting Ataris or FisherEx to crew. Sure, going cross server regions can result in a bit of lag at times, and that’s something we’re improving on. But in this game, people come together, and to us that’s a beautiful thing.
There are already a lot of veteran players teaching new players and taking them under their wings. What we want to do now is to reward the veteran players for their awesomeness. With the new commendation system players will be able to give one another a figurative pat on the back, whether it’s for being an awesome captain, crew member, team player, or even worthy opponent. Accumulating commendations will unlock achievements to award both items and status in game. It’s about time we give something more back to the veteran players who are at the core of our community.