Alpha-test 0.29 starting Friday, October 7, at 8:00 GMT
So, first of all, the important information you've been all waiting for: the next alpha-test session for Gangs of Space will start on this Friday, October 7, at 8:00 GMT (or in other timezones), for a duration of 72 hours this time!
The new version 0.29 brings us the last big features we wanted for Gangs of Space. After that, it will be a matter of adding back a few old features (bosses, anyone?) and polish, and... well.... it's starting to smell like beta over here!
As usual, we will kick-off the test session on our Twitch channel.
The race for GREED
We wanted to get rid of the Contract mechanism for a long time. This is now done, and in its stead, welcome the GREED system! After level 10, your XP bar will be replaced by a new Greed bar that will fill by picking up blue DNA. Each level on this bar will bring Credits and other bonuses.
But this is not just a rehash of the regular levelling system. Noooononononoo.... Here are some things you'll have to master:
- The greed level continuously falls by 1% every second. Don't stop collecting, or you might loose it all!
- If you leave the system, it will fall back to 0.
- And if you are hit, you will take an immediate Greed penalty too!
So, what does Greed bring to the table?
Credits, tons of them! Important to buy new ships and skins.
Kill Point bonuses (see the new Conquest system below).
- DNA drop bonuses, which mean MORE GREED, and faster crew levelling too!
But that's not all... we added another perverse layer on top of that:
The DANGER gauge
The more bullets or enemies around you, the higher the Danger. And with increasing Danger comes increased DNA drops, and thus... faster levelling, and more Greed potential! These systems affect each other in a way that gives players who take risks significant advantages in terms of progression and Conquest potential.
Taking risks in a permadeath game? That's always what Gangs of Space has been about!
The goal of the game
We promised it, and now it is done: Gangs of Space is now one of the first MMO with an ultimate goal, and an "end".
The common goal of all players is simple: eliminate all enemy Factions from the Galaxy. When this is done, the current Galaxy is complete, and we move on to another one!
You can now see on the website and in the Motherbase the current progress toward this goal, faction by faction. (Of course for now there is only the Pirnat faction to eliminate, but hopefully one day we'll have more!)
Conquest Ladders are back!
We always aimed to be a competitive but without PvP game. We want the game to be difficult BUT accessible enough for lots of players to spontaneously gather to play together.
So, how does the competitive aspect work? Well... that's the role of the Conquest system.
The basics are still the same: you stay in a hostile sector, enemies spawn, you destroy them, and after some time the sector is conquered. When all the sectors are conquered, the boss appears (well... not yet, but soon!) and after that the system is completed.
We iterated on this principle and added subtles redesigns to all various mechanisms that supports the Conquest system. We won't go into all these details here (try to discover them in the game!) but here are the important additions:
- Each conquered sector will give Kill Points (KP) to all participating players.
- Each conquered sector will give Conquest Points (CP) to the top Gang of this sector.
- Various bonuses are awarded to add a little strategy element between competing Gangs.
In the Motherbase (and on the website), the Empire News Network will display a ladder of players (by KP) and gangs (by CP) for the current Galaxy. And at the end of the season, premanent rewards will be given to the top entries of this ladder.
Since these ladders will be reset every Galaxy (we aim at a duration between 5 to 10 days), each player and Gang will have a history of successes that carry over Galaxies.
This is probably a controversial change, but in order to promote a healthy competition between Gangs, we have decided to limit them to 15 members max.
We might introduce an Alliance system later to promote bigger communities, but as far as the laddering experience is concerned, you won't have to find 49 friends in order to be competitive!
New subsystems and achievements
We have taken into account a lot of feedback about progressing through the various ship classes, and have come up with some significant refinements:
Subsystems are now unlocked once for the whole ship class. For example: Shield Matrix will be unlocked on a Gemeter R, but then available on a Gemeter SX or DX.
Gemeter subsystems have been redesigned to never have "bad choices". Instead of trying to come up with dozens of completely different skills (which takes an insane amount of development time, and doesn't significantly improves the player experience), we are introducing variations on the most iconic and class-defining subsystems. For example, a Gemeter will now ALWAYS have a Rafale-like subsystem. This seems to be a setback , but in practice it allows far more viable builds.
(Note that we will apply the same process to the Astrolax family in the next version.)
We are introducing two new difficulty tiers (T5 and T6) and have significantly increased the difficulty of T4. This is a first step and will be refined later, by the upcoming work on bosses and effect zones.
Alex has unleashed his creative power and provided us the first 6 tracks composed specially for Gangs of Space. We are super-excited to hear about your feedback on this soundtrack!
(Note that the sound effects are still very... bad. We'll do much better on that.)
For this version too, we need to measure the speed at which you, the players, are unlocking Gemeter subsystems, on the speed of levelling (adjusted with the new Danger gauge), on the speed of Conquest, etc.
So we had to reset all current alpha data. Hopefully, since we are getting closer to beta, this should be one of the last times!
That's not all!
Of course, we can't be exhaustive here, so if you are curious, you can read the whole changelog for v0.29.
So... see you this week-end in game to try all this!