Hello again. It's been a while since I wrote an update on here. This is our second wave of media, this time focusing on corvettes. I also figure I should spill the beans about Beta 3, since the plans have been hidden for too long.
After finishing off 2.3 and getting back from GDC, we were enjoying our success with our first beta that truly got off the ground. In fact, people are still playing 2.3. We were quite happy with it, but we were asking ourselves the question: what's next? That's when we realized that 2.3 wasn't ES. If you read our feature set, our design document, and you look at 2.3... it's not as advertised. Where are the capital ship weapons? Where are the interactions with the capital ship, the command aspect? We started a month long project to get our game back on track, back to what makes ES such an appealing concept. Rather than looking at what came easy, we went for what made the game feel big, new, and exciting. We stopped thinking like programmers and mappers for a minute and started thinking like designers. The result of all this is a design document almost as long as our original one detailing exactly what is wrong with 2.3 and what we need to do to fix it.
We examined each of our criticisms and came up with a simple plan.
Requisition is gone, capital ship health will take it's place.
We are reducing subsystems and externals to specific functions, which will have specific buffs when they are active. This means you will no longer hear 'subsystem captured', but 'we just got shields back!'. Each subsystem will affect the capital ship, but also your teammates. Keep the shields up and you get a recharge bonus near your capital ship. Keep your weapons going and you get to rearm in space.
Nothing will be faked or simulated, if you shoot a ship, it will do damage, if you hit the capship hull, it will do damage (though very small). If your capital ship is taking a beating, you will feel it inside with shudders and muffled explosions. You will be able to see every missile, beam and slug fired between the capships, and get caught in the crossfire (or shoot down the missiles).
Our flight system needs to be overhauled. We are throwing out auto mode in favor of the more direct newtonian flight mode. We now have collision damage, which will bring your ship to pieces if you hit too hard.
We are throwing out every HUD element that causes clutter. We are removing most of our waypoint clutter, and making the ones that have to stay smaller. The visuals will do the talking rather than the HUD. Less text, more icons.
We are including a new class called the XO to replace the commander. The XO is under the commander, and while he doesn't directly control the capital ship (we felt this was too much), he can direct players to checkpoints and call in corvettes and other goodies.
That's it in a nutshell, if you want more info just ask. We are planning on having some sort of open beta soon (more info on this later). Anyways here are the corvette concepts. We are planning on adding corvettes in as part of the XOs tactical options in 3.0. They serve as offensive counterparts to each of the capital ship's subsystem, by this I mean that corvettes will provide a forward repair/rearm radius, forward anti air weapons etc.. Here are some concepts, made by Sapiens and TDA for the NGM corvettes, and a model already done by tweek.
That's all I've got to say for now. we hope the thought of a truly complete ES makes the little gamer inside you tingle. We'll certainly keep these updates rolling.