Ahoy Captains! We’re excited to share a little bit of the vision for PvP in Tier 12!
Defense Changes - Moving away from Deflection
The first significant change is moving away from deflections and towards defense. “Why” you ask? Didn’t you move away from defense to deflections years ago? Yes we did, at the time the focus of that change was to differentiate PvP and PvE hulls & components and splitting on deflection vs defense was an easier path. However after several years of experimenting with deflections, we’ve identified a few issues:
- Deflection value is fickle. Unlike survival/defense the value of deflection changes depending on how much deflection you have and how much damage a projectile does.
Ex: with 100 projectile damage. 1 deflection is 1% damage reduction. But if you already have 98 deflection, then 1 deflection is 50% damage reduction (from 2 damage taken to 1)!
Similarly, if you have 1000 deflection, and a weapon doing 1100 damage, then a ship will take 100 damage per hit. A 10% damage increase would equate to dealing 1210 damage, which is 210 damage after deflection, over doubling the damage actually dealt despite a seemingly subtle change.
- Deflections overly emphasize damage over other stats. Secondary stats such as reload or splash can still be important, but are usually grossly overshadowed. This makes ship builds less diverse and affects the themes and playstyles we're able to design. For example, it punishes high rate-of-fire weapons: If deflection is 100, then a weapon that deals 200 damage every 10 seconds does (200-100)/10 = 10 damage per second while a weapon that does 110 damage every 2 seconds deals (110-100)/2 = 5 damage per second. Additionally, note that a mere 10% increase in deflections would make the high rate-of-fire weapon completely useless.
- New hulls and weapons can become obsolete quickly. The more deflection you have, the more its worth, so "balance" teeters on the head of a pyramid. More than a trivial deflection increase and hulls become too strong. More than a trivial damage increase and hulls start to melt.
Ultimately, deflections result in a far more complex system that requires players to calculate and remember the damage limits for every relevant weapon. Small changes in damage or deflections lead to large swings, so one or two differences in special component selection can make some builds radically more effective than others. This leads to situations where players feel ineffective with a hull, but get crushed by others with the same hull! We appreciate how confusing and frustrating that can be, especially when you can’t see the opponent’s stats!
Because of this, we want to go back to percentage based defense for PvP. Defense is easier to understand, and familiar to our long-time players.
- Defense value is consistent. 30% defense means that damage will be reduced by exactly 30%. Always.
- Defense plays nice with all types of weapons, including both high rate-of-fire low damage weapons and low rate-of-fire high damage weapons, as well as splash and multi-shot.
- Adding defense adds value without immediately invalidating old content.
What does the transition look like?
We don’t want to pull the rug out from under players, so we will make the transition over a couple hull releases:
- New Conquerors no longer have Defense Handicap. This means that defense and survival work on them!
- New Conquerors will have deflection bypass.
- New Base Turret Weapons will gain deflection bypass over the next several months.
After a deep review we believe that no existing content needs to be changed! I.e. no nerfs are planned.
T12 Goal: More options!
Based on long-time feedback we want to continue to bring players more options - meaning more strategies, more variety, and more fun.
Tier 11 focused on rapidly releasing a range of hulls and turrets to equip players with a large number of tools and toys to experiment with; however this resulted in a very rock/paper/scissors format driven heavily by having either a particular fleet or a particular set of turrets. Diversity of strategy was only marginally increased at the cost of greater complexity. Additionally, players reported a feeling of content overload from back to back hull and turret releases.
In Tier 12 PvP we plan to release interesting components such as new weapons, heavy weapons, and/or CiCs for Tier 12 hulls that allow players to customize a hull's behavior. We believe that this will empower players to come up with ship builds that better suit their preferred style and strategy, particularly in combination with the changes to defense allowing more of your existing specials to be viable. We’re excited to see the combinations of hulls and components that players come up with!