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Topics - Helios.

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Feedback and Suggestions / new weapons: thinking outside the box
« on: January 20, 2017, 06:50:52 pm »
i've been very thrilled with the outflow of ideas for new content, the new ships, the new guns the new ammos. some of which introduce completely new mechanics and searching to solve problems we didn't even know we had

unsurprisingly for anyone reading, i have a suggestion, surprise surprise, for a new (heavy even!) weapon

the hypaspist two man cannon

watching the Flak and Heavy flak i always wondered why after shooting the first shot, the chamber could be reloaded without having to reload the second chamber as well, allowing for a reload while shooting the second barrel and its resultant reloading as a completely seperate mechanism, allowing for reloading the first shot while leaving the second ready to fire throughout the process.

then i thought, well, a continual fire weapon woudl be absolutely bonkers, i want that. how do i balance it?

as a new player i always wondered at the automatic reloading of weapons, and by this time in my GOIO career, i think we take it for granted. lets shake things up!

so my proposal for a weapon is as follows:

a weapon whose separate chambers can be, indeed MUST be, reloaded by a second person. with one person shooting and a second reloading the chambers (standing behind hitting with spanner i think, unless anyone things a specialized tool would be more interesting than frustrating) allowing for a steady rate of perpetually uninterrupted fire.

i think the weapon itself then could be absurdly powerful considering the extra cost of use in needing a second person to maintain optimal damage.

so basically if you have the gunner doing both jobs, it would be maybe 60% dps of a heavy flak over time. with a loader it would be roughly twice that.

maybe adding a slight amount of pierce damage could allow the Hypaspist cannon to make the goldfish more interesting to fly, giving it another viable option for that front gun.

if the spire weapon angle changes are implemented, spreading the side guns apart to point along the starboard and port beam. this weapon would allow the second crew member downstairs to be able to be useful even when the ship is engaged in front on combat

the name Hypaspist comes from the idea of a 'shield carrier:' An attendant who stands by and supplies the resources required for a soldier, allowing them to concentrate on fighting

World / alpha lore
« on: August 23, 2016, 12:39:05 pm »
So there's going to be some lore derived from the successes of each faction, in case you havnt heard. my questions i would put ot the public are these:

1) where are the arashi and yeshans? why do we think they werent involved, lore-wise?

2)how do we explain the incredible territorial gains made by the mercantile guild? in-game im pretty sure people were flocking to the MG because their boss ship was absolutely devastating, and people were like 'if you cant beat em...' or they just kept trying to beat em, and couldn't.

3) if, as i feel like it might behoove the dev team to do, the MG boss ships laser lens array is nerfed during what appears to be a generalized lens ray nerf, should we take that into consideration? should we try to incorperate somehow the decrease in lens ray power into the lore?

my two cents for the questions, in order are these:

1) the arashi sinply aren't confederated quite yet, its the movings of the other great powers that are going to pull the independent minded arashi into a single organization.
The yeshans are fighting someone else. they are trying to stay out of the eastern war, hoping the mountain range will keep them safe until they are ready to turn their huge armada and shipyards against the east. their expansionist ethic and complicated government suggests that they cant spring out of nowhere overnight, but they cant sit still either, so they have to be both complete and expandign like crazy, just... somewhere else

2&3) i think the MG incredible success due to their sophisticated lens arrays is really fun, but in game terms needed a balance. In the lore i suggest something like 'the best and most precisely calibrated and maintained Dedalo ships cut great swathes out of the central world, gaining the MG huge amounts of natural resources and new markets. as attrition claimed more and more of these great flagships, however, the shipyards became more hurried as the quotas for new ships rose too quickly for them to put as much loving attention into every replacement ship as they had into the first wave. as such, the new ships lacked the precise, time consuming, optical calibration that the first wave had. even worse, the best engineers available, neccicarily on the great ships to take the precise measurements, and for constantly recalibrating and retuneing the precision devices, had flown in the great first fleet of ships, and had been lost. Even as territory as being gobbled up with victory after victory, the proud, perfect, expertly calibrated and maintained ships gave way to rushed work, and rushed training.  the Mercantile guild fleets over spent the cream of their fleet, and despite great successes would have to fight fiercely to maintain it; making up for their less powerful weapons with more ruthless tactics.'

Feedback and Suggestions / crazy idea...
« on: May 30, 2016, 09:45:30 pm »
what if they just threw the ships and weapons and tools that they already have in alliance (crusader, failsafe buff kit, heyoke, zeus, corsair, etc) into skirmish?

thoughts being:

1) skirmish is DESPERATE for new content, this would be a whole lot of that.
2) the new weapons and ships are really really cool!
3) oh but helios they arent balanced for PvP! yeah i know that, but muse isnt going to balance them with a dozen people faster and better than 300+ people all racking up game play experience with these ships and weapons (and tools) will.


make the new stuff only available in veteran matches: this will limit their use to people who already know the game, and if the spire nerf taught us anything its that using the population at large is a mistake when it comes to balance. it also might cause vet games to actually get people invested and interested in playing them, which is important.

introduce them one at a time over the course of a month or so, let people get used to each separately and get a feel for them before throwing in more features. HOWEVER given that all the vets have climbed the intensely steep learning curve and survived it, i feel like we are well equipped and mentally conditioned to grueling punishment more than most communities are.

oh, but we just added VIP and skyball is in the pipeline!  OK, but that's just another way to play the same ships with the same loadouts with MINOR modifications for new gametypes. if we see any changes further than MAYBE a mino-fish on skyball i will be VERY surprised

the ships and weapons are designed to combat huge groups of weaker enemies, not other player ships! any alliance ship loadout worth its salt has to balance the dangers of airplanes on the one hand and boss ships on the other, and all the weapons are perfectly adequate in fighting single opponents. if they are OP, balance them. in the alliance modes we are seeing ships with as many of the new guns as possible, and this is probably because they are unbalanced, and need to be brought back into a reasonable power range (remember when the only reason everyone didnt have a 300-ammo-lethal-at-any-range Apollo was it blew your eardrums out?)

we want new things but not to completely replace the old ones. these weapons fill new niches in interesting and cool ways, lets balance them and use them, or the faster method of course is: use them, and with good feedback, balance them.  basically i want to see the new ships in skirmish, and i think the value of having the community at large get to play with these cool NEW ships and weapons, and get SO much more feedback than can be gained with 3 hours of testing a week. its gonna be a weird couple weeks, but we survived the flamethrower bug/buff without too much lasting damage (lots of interesting burn scars, but they add character!) 

General Discussion / are we excited?!
« on: April 30, 2016, 01:47:51 am »
on the website we got this little dolip of whats beign worked on.

im excited for new skirmish content!!!!

For skirmish:

Battle Arena – Each team has a fortress that must be protected. If a fortress is destroyed, the other team wins. (no creeps or anything else)
Skyball – A soccer / basketball-like mode. Drag the floating ball-barge into the opponent’s goal to score.
VIP – A deathmatch variant, where only killing the enemy team’s VIP ship counts towards the score.
For Alliance:

Protection (working title) – Coop VIP mode. One player ship must be escorted through the map and to the exit without it dying.
Escape – Players race against the clock to the map exit, destroying numerous obstacles in their path.

World / anglean faction spotlight
« on: April 11, 2016, 05:33:36 pm »
so i wrote this a while back when i realized that the angleans didn't have a faction spotlight, so i scraped together as much lore as i could find and wrote one that i thought would be at least pretty close to the canon, and sent it in to muse, but nothing happened with it, so here it is for the consideration of the larger public:

The Anglean Republic:
Colors: Black and Red
Symbol: Albatross
Ship Prefix: AGS (Anglean Gatherer Ship)
Territory: Anglea
Capital: Kinforth

Even above the Chill sea in the desolate North, people thrive.  the bones of the old world have largely been picked over, and the technology of past ages was largely destroyed before it was understood. The Settlers in Anglea had neither of these problems. Anglea is too cold and unforgiving for any but the most courageous, or suicidal, to venture, and so very little was destroyed.
Anglea now is even more dangerous, as the people who ultimately settled there found technological wonders lost to, and forgotten by, the rest of the world. Unknowingly left to sit in their icy sepulchers, these wonders have been found again.  It is this prodigious wealth of technology that make the Angleans able to live in the frozen world.  Not only discovered but much has been reverse engineered and even understood: these marvels keep the cities alive. 
The Anglean republic is a collection of clan houses who each elect a household head, who all travel to Kinforth and serve to govern the island and its people. These men and women make the laws and manage the loose government. Although largely concerned with raiding targets and deciding shares of the plunder, the family representatives also vote on who should be their war-leader, a temporary position, who will lead the raids.
Raiding is a staple in Anglea. with the land so cold and barren, the people cannot make enough food. the land is largely too frozen to mine, and the ground too barren of ore to be worth doing, even if you could. war material must also come from outside.
the warships of Anglea are not built for border protection: their naval ships and soldiers are so many that to attack would be inviting disaster. the reason for both is the same: raiding is the lifeblood of the Anglean civilization. without the resources coming in from raids, the whole society would grind to a stop.
While terrible neighbors, the technomancers of the Anglean republic are thriving in their underground cities. Taking what they need when they need it: they are the undisputed power in the north.

Feedback and Suggestions / general patch theory
« on: March 15, 2016, 08:23:44 pm »
i have a more general question about refining the upcoming balance to the degree that you have been, and its sort of a man-hours question. why not release smaller patches with a slightly more cavalier attitude and keep a close eye on it afterwards? i see this as having a number of effects, some of them you might point to and say 'yeah THAT is exactly why we DON'T do it that way' if so, then fine, but im going to think aloud for a few minutes, and see if the thought experiment tickles a fancy or two

having to rely on a tiny group of people in an hour long test of play means that maybe if you are incredibly lucky in who's online and how patient and willing they are to play a bunch of games in a row you get 10 games worth of feedback probably at the upper limit in an hour. given that there are 200+ people online at any given time, game testing could be done by both a broader range of people and in larger scale than the small batch style.

big changes would be met likely with confusion or annoyance, but let people really give stuff a whirl now and again, throw it in to the big pool for a day, see what happens....

im reminded of when the flamethrower got fixed, lo those many moons ago, and for some reason i was led to understand was unintentional, it suddenly did WAAAAY more damage. short term outcome:there was some grumbling, some people said that it shouldnt be used because it was broken, and there was a pretty delightful banding together of people to not exploit the imbalance to maintain good games. long term outcome: while it was patched a few days later, everyone who wasn't before now had their chemcycles DOWN. ive used chemspray ever since and it changed how the game was played, the flamethrower got patched, and everyone was so skilled/paranoid about it that it was rendered almost completely ineffective.

small frequent modifications does a few good things in my estimation:
it allows each change to be viewed on its own merits, allowing things to be tested against sturdier opposition than a everything change at once overhaul patch now and again.  will the change of turning speed affect the viability of the spire? who knows. will we know trying to measure a ship we are still learning how to fly again against another ship we are learning how to fly again. if you change one peice at a time the relative change will be more apparent because we understand better how it is behaving by measuing it against enemy ships we already understand. changing too many things at once ruins the intuitions we had about the other ships we are competing with. on the other side, if you knew how to overcome the strengths or exploit a weakness in a ship, now you can find out how the changes affect the viability tricks you have already polished.

with all that already said, i think it will do two other things that are HUGELY more important. the first is that it will shake the meta up periodically, keeping it from calcifying. there was huge upset over teh pyra nerf, but imagine if instead of a huge nerf it had recieved smaller incremental ones, and before it became useless maybe it woudl have been acceptable to all parties. the second issue is that the huge dominance of one particular ship, weapon, strategy, etc could be mitigated. i know that there are devs who actually play in teh scc, so it cant have been missed that the same strategies are being run week after week. slight changes over time might help put cracks in the impregnable wall of the top tier ships list. a tiny shuffle every couple weeks gives people a sence of both novelty with each patch bringing new tricks to learn (and the escape trick as well,) and also less time to fall in such a deep rut where so much emotional investment has gone into perfecting the perfect pyramidion formation charge to have it shattered. as i suggest, the faster patches i hope woudl lead to a more flexible attitude to change as the pace of change increased. if it was a series of smaller nerfs over time it woudl be less garring as well. if you perfected the pyra coordinated charge, and the pyra got slightly weaker in some way, you mihgt change teh strategy in a way that might still be fun, but be qualitatively different enough to be acceptable. if the same strategy was beign used as before adn it worked still too well, or the new strat was no better, then chip away again untill you stop seing 90% teh same ship and build in SCC's week after week after week.

i suggest that this gradual change, even if it feels like its a series of too little too late changes, could be faster than the big change all at once, considering how infrequently they arrive. i think it would also help preserve the things we love about the ships without changing them too much to fast and watching them in a single update change from a stalwart friend into a stranger. it woudl help preserve the things we love about the ships you guys did such a great job differentiating. not to get out the rosy lenses, because balance is always goign to be an issue, and always was too, but i think the nostalgia to teh past patch releases is because there has been these huge monumental changes that sometimes (in subtle but important ways, as we know small changes can have qualitative differences, especially in games where every trick is a hairsbredth from failure) change a ship so much that so few of our old tricks worked or worked so badly, that there is a mass exodus to a new promised land. the pyra had all aboard the pain train: it was a titanic force. a small change make every aspect of the imperious charge it was famous for weak enough that it coudl be dodged, when before it was very difficult, then stripped (admittedly its armor was never more thana gat clip away from gone, but still...) and destroyed in a single clip of mortar fire. the charge became only slightly less reliable, the penalty only slightly more punishing, but together it drove teh pyra from being a mainstay of competative play to a sideshow or a joke. two smaller changes might have driven it off its lordly position without driving it to the ground.

because it would bring much needed novelty to the skirmish mode that is feeling slightly neglected, something i hope will change once alliance is out and resources become more available, and because smaller more frequent changes are more likely to get you to a balanced scale, i ask that huge patches be avoided unless there is dire need, something i wouldnt expect there to be if the changes are frequent enough and small and targeted (and well tested)

i know that was a lot, and i may just be channeling all the midterm papers that are being written right now (its as if a thousand souls suddenly cried out, and went back to work....)


Feedback and Suggestions / vet games:blind pick
« on: February 16, 2016, 04:47:06 pm »
vet games would be hugely improved if the lobbies were blind pick. mechanically this means you get to see the name of the enemy players and not the ship and the loadouts.

build your team around what YOU are doing, your teamwork, your plan. dont just hardcounter their team in the last second. vet games are being seriously poisoned by these late switch tactics. if you want to try hard and win, great lets bring up the quality of play! if you want to smack down people so you can laugh at them, go away!

actually most games would be improved this way, and would allow for more cool and crazy builds if you didnt have to play the hard-counter to your innovative build... the meta is built around ships that cant be hard HARD countered.

World / what makes stable borders 'stable'?
« on: December 02, 2015, 01:17:55 am »
the different nations seem to have been around for a long time, in either direct or indirect conflict with each other for YEARS. why do you think the borders havn't changed very much? what is special about the countries that prevent them from being dominated? what prevents them from taking over?

Feedback and Suggestions / Whirlwinds everywhere...
« on: November 23, 2015, 03:15:40 pm »
i like the whirlwind, its a solid, useful gun, no doubt. my problem wiht it is that i cant remember a game that didnt have at least 1, but often much more.

it is a good peircing weapon in a world where piercing weapons are pretty rare, there are only 4 if you count the harpoon gun which im inclined NOT to do, and it fits into a role that is definitely important. im hoping that together another mid/closerange weapon that is useful for stripping armor might be imagined and ultimately created.
some questions need to be adressed:
how is it different, how does it fill a different niche than the gatling gun, so that it isnt treadign on the other's toes
for example: the mercury gun and the hades cannon are not the same gun, but in SOME respects they can be used similarly, they both are useful in long range armor strip, but they don't feel interchangeable: most of the time one is better than the other, and you can feel the difference.

World / The Mercantile Guild
« on: October 18, 2015, 03:47:12 pm »
so we have talked about all of the factions, except for the MG.
what we know: the mercantile guild came about after a plague struck the lands to the south, decimating the population and driving the pilots across the land to desperately find a cure for their country-men and -women. In their travels to find a cure they developed a large network of contacts, when the cure was found, they used these contacts to create a huge trade empire. they have outposts all over the world, and trade routes connecting presumably most if not every city.
they control territory to the south in an area called "the vastness" and their capital city is Vyshtorg. Their bird is the swan, their colors are gold and white. the Mobula is based on a Mercantile guild design, having a lot of storage space for transporting goods, good visibility for spotting ambushes, and LOTS of guns for fending them off. the railings are sophisticated but not ostentatious, as the wealth brought by the trade empire has not caused them to forget that their forefathers created the trade empire to rescue their people from plague, a plague which claimed the lives of too many of their citizens.
nowadays their trade empire spans across the world, but because of the ubiquitous dangerous from raiders of various kinds, they have a vast naval fleet to perform escort duties and protect their interests. they have been in some kind of conflict with the Yeshans for a while, although i think i remember someone from muse saying that the conflict had died down some or even completely these days, likely due to either territorial disputes along their mutual border in the south-west of the map or the arashi's continued attacks on MG convoys of goods through the arashi desert and the wastes (the arashi desert it stands to reason is conrolled by the arashi, and we know the desert nomads, who I'm presuming are the arashi, captured Nalm because of lusse's travels entry on battle on the dunes, so it stands to reason they control  the desert between nalm and the arashi desert itself as well, if only because no one else could live there even if the wanted to, which they don't. I would love to hear from muse if this is incorrect)
SO: this is some of what we know, and some of what I have guessed. we are going to pass out of the canon into my feelings on the MG. some of it is shards of canon sourrounded by my own embellishment, so some things might make you think 'no duh, we already know that from the faction feature article." Yes you might very well have done, read on, there's more.
i imagine that the mercantile guild traders are like the elite of any large trade city.  they are dressed impeccably (although because of the history of the MG, not ostentatiously.)    we know they can speak many languages and can make a passable job in local customs of various kinds, especially in areas with which they trade often. the merchant companies themselves, although from a tradition of selfless service to the national benefit, have followed the arc of history away from altruism towards self interest. while some social conventions that are nods to the more idealistic age are maintained, the merchants and their companies serve money: that which allows them to survive as a merchant, and to thrive as such. they are 'ruthless operators,' as we heard from the prologue video, who survive most likely because they value so highly their own survival (and by that I, of course, mean the stacks of gold seen in the same.) the mercantile guild acts with all the compassion of a epidemic, when they need to, ironically. the design of the mobula suggests something about their psychology: they are not at all squeamish about using violence. you would expect a ship designed to defend trade caravans or trade goods to be able to defend itself against attack in some kind of reactive way: guns on the sides and back, where danger might be lurking from a hiding foe. what we see is a ship that is designed with excellent sight lines, and is intended to sight, turn to face and engage fully, overwhelmingly any threat to the interests of the guild.
That is how i imagine them, chime in, how do you see them?

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