Battlestar Galactica Online - Development Blog 1 - All Along the Watchtower

31 May 2013

This is Javery_BP, the lead designer on BSGO, and I’d like to welcome you to the first BSGO dev blog. On this blog we will try to give you some insight into the development of BSGO and show you some of the features we are currently working on. We want to give you a clear idea of where the game is going and allow you to get ready for any changes we’re making to the game. Also, we want your feedback. We pay close attention to the forums, and your feedback and enthusiasm is important to our development cycle. We want to make the best game possible and we can’t do it without you.

We’ve been working to create some new and interesting features and you will be seeing a wide variety of changes and features over the next few weeks. Our goal with all of these changes is to make the game more fun and engaging. We intend to give you a clear idea of how new mechanics in the game will work and how they will effect game play. By July, you should see a wide variety of new features, equipment, and game options that will enhance and improve on this great game.

FTL Transponder RedesignEdit

Without further ado, I’d like to talk about one of the new features you’ll see in the game soon. We are working hard to redesign the FTL Transponders. You might be asking, “Why did you decided to focus on this?”

The revamp of the spawn points did a lot to deal with the spawn camping issue that was ever present in the game. We also saw use of the FTL Transponders more regularly, and that was something that was intended.

At the same time, an unintended consequence of the design was dumping people 11,000 meters from the outpost. It made moving from sector to sector an unpleasant experience. While that’s great on one level by requiring fleets to organize and coordinate, it’s a bit of a pain when you are flying around solo. So, we looked at ways to fix that issue.

While spawn camping was fixed as a whole, we also wanted to put more tactical decisions into coordinating a fleet. We wanted players to use FTL transponders regularly, because we see them as the core role of the raptor, heavy raider, and other reconnaissance ships. We wanted to encourage players to use those ships as scouts for their fleet.

With that in mind, we looked at what the various ships could do, and decided to retool the jump transponders a bit. First, we are eliminating jump transponder cells completely. Anyone who has any in their hold will be able to sell them back for a full refund. To use a jump transponder, the person who has it equipped will need to simply activate it for their group. If your fleet has a transponder active, all you have to do is open the map and choose to jump to the location.

At the same time, we recognized that sort of fleet mobility was a very powerful capability. We’ve modified the jump transponder cooldown time from 120 seconds at level 1, to 480 seconds. We’ve also greatly increased the benefits of leveling the item to level 15. By level 15, your cooldown is reduced to 240 seconds.

Additionally, we’ve always liked the special ability of the Force Recon Raptor and Raider. We’ve decided to expand that ability to all three tiers of that ship type. All Raptors and Heavy Raiders will receive a reduction on the power cost of the FTL Transponder.

  • Raptor/Heavy Raider: -25 PP cost
  • Advanced Raptor/Heavy Raider: -50 PP cost
  • Force Recon Raptor/Heavy Raider: -75 PP cost

Jump Transponder BeaconsEdit

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That’s not all we’ve done. We also wanted to get rid of the long haul to an outpost when you jump into a sector. We’re adding a new feature called a Jump Transponder Beacon. The jump transponder beacon is a permanent FTL transponder that is present when you have an outpost ship present and sector control is at 125%. When it is active a player may jump directly to the outpost. They can even jump to it if they are in the same system. This gives the controlling faction a direct advantage when defending an outpost. This feature allows players to respond quickly to attacks and engage the enemy on their terms. Alert players can notify their faction of an impending attack and respond rapidly to the situation.

While this is a nice convenience and a great tactical advantage, the designers wanted to give the opposing faction some tactical choices as well. So, the Jump Transponder Beacon can be destroyed. A collection of more agile ships can close on the beacon, and destroy it before the opposing faction has the chance to respond. The jump beacon isn’t a fragile object though, and the Humans and the Cylons recognize the tactical power of these structures. Jump Beacons are fairly tough having 8000 hull and 25 armor. Also, the beacon respawn timer of 20 minutes.

The goal with this update is to create a deeper tactical game that gives you choices. We hope this feature both improves your game experience and expands gameplay in different ways. Thanks for taking the time to read the first blog post, and I hoped you found it interesting. Expect more blog posts where we will go into detail about how the game is changing and what to expect.

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