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Dev Blog 3

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Battlestar Galactica Online - Development Blog 3 - Faction Balance, Resource Distribution, and Other Stuff

25 June 2013

IntroductionEdit

Hey, Javery_BP here again. There have been some changes in the game recently, and we haven’t communicated those changes effectively with the community. We’d like to talk about them so the community has a better understanding of what’s going on with the game. Before we get to those features I’d like to talk about a question that’s been popping up in the forums and in the comments. In the comments section, NJ_Blitz made a very reasonable request, “I think many players would appreciate a more general view of the development of the game by explaining a little of the many things you are doing, not just focusing on one thing that will be out in a week or two.”

First off, I’d like to thank NJ_Blitz for being polite in the comments. The politeness is appreciated and I want to make a point to address the issue of the game’s direction. The community has a right to know where the game is going. While the Five Question Fridays were a good start, it was difficult method to effectively communicate the direction the game is headed. I want to make sure the direction of the game is more clear than we had been in Five Questions Friday. While I’d like to say I have a blog post ready to post, it’s going to take a bit of time to write up and get right. You should see more information on this by the end of the week if all goes well. I’d like all of you to know what to expect from the game, because it’s important to me that you’re having fun and enjoying the game. Until that post is ready, Tobias_BP wants to discuss on some of the recent changes.

Resource DistributionEdit

Hi, this is Tobias_BP. I’m sure all of you are wondering why we decided to touch the resource distribution system, and replace it with a new distribution model. What is the old distribution compared to the new one, and why did we change that? We’d like to give you some insight into our thinking and why we are making the changes we’ve decided to make.

The old distribution was focused on getting players in sectors near to the opponent base to let them fight there for resources, and there were just two to three systems really worth fighting over. This produces certain patterns in play style. We have high level players from one faction entering low level sectors of the opposing faction just because of the resources were more enticing. This ends up with the problem that high level players are hunting low level players simply because of proximity. Finally, we had also the issue there was just a few systems that players were interested in. If you combine those factors with the faction imbalance, we had the problem that one system taken by the winning faction increased the resource gap drastically. To improve the guidance for new players, and to improve the faction balance we decided for a new distribution system.

The new system is tackling a couple of issues. To improve clarity when entering the game we decided to shift the most interesting resources where high level players would most likely encounter one another, and try to pull them away from new players who were just getting into the game. We also aimed for an improved farming experience by increasing the chance to find a resource. We reduced the “chance of failure” by practically doubling the chance of finding resources, and now players don’t have to scan multiple asteroids for a “success”. Asteroids contain resources more often now, but with slightly lower amounts in order not to harm the whole economy. We also changed the general distribution in terms of needs. The most valuable resources are in the sectors where we want both factions to meet up, the areas next to it have more resources to repair. This allows players to recover losses next to the fighting zone and enter back into the action more rapidly. Last but not least you can find more Tylium in the basic zones to build up your ship and prepare for battles.

We’ve been paying attention to your feedback, and looking at how the new distribution model is behaving. We are fine tuning this where we think resources need to be adjusted. The entire design is focused around creating “flashpoints” where players will move into conflict and fight one another over resources.

Faction Switch and BalanceEdit

It took a long time from the first proposals to the final faction switch. I want to apologize for the time, but we wanted to make sure we did it well. We’ve seen – like all of you – that we have a huge imbalance between the Cylons and the Colonial population on all of our servers. With my entrance to the BSGO Team we’ve improved monitoring and analyzed lots of factors to create better faction balance.

Application ProcessEdit

We’ve seen the result of former switches and decided to improve the process as we aimed for better results. That’s why we started an application process. Basically the goal behind was to find the right candidates that fit to the lacks in the other faction. Of course in most instances the Colonials had better values, but we’ve also figured some servers where the Colonials could benefit from Cylons joining their side. Therefore we also allowed Cylons to apply.

Analysis phaseEdit

After the application phase was closed we spent again some time to match applicants with server needs. On some servers, the number of applicants is not enough to fill balancing needs and to avoid making balance worse than we decided to not move Cylons this time. The topic isn’t done considered complete in our opinion, and we are monitoring population balance trends in future for a possible second round of faction switches. All in all, we aim for a permanent possibility to switch, we just aren’t offering it right now, because the current faction balance worked out positively on every server after the switch. Most indicators point to the change drastically improving your experience. This faction switch is a step in the right direction, but we are working to improve faction balance and your overall experience.

ConclusionEdit

Javery_BP again. In conclusion, thanks for taking the time to read the blog, and I hope the next blog post will clear any concerns. You should expect to see information about what we plan to do with ship balancing and ship roles, as well as other core gameplay.

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