Battlestar Galactica Online - Development Blog 31 - "Springtime"
16 April 2016
Temperatures are rising again and this is our next blog update. Today we’ll talk about the status of the new sector limits system, give an update on the client topic as well as on the US provider switch and, last but not least, on the tournaments.
Game Update 56: Sector LimitsEdit
Well, what actually started with building a solution to one particular issue became much larger than we first expected. The initial plan was to solve a fairness issue and build a solution for factions “exploiting” population limits which are set for each individual sector. Starting to work on this was actually followed by being confronted with multiple special solutions that were built for specific features.
The reason for that is quite simple – there is not just one way to avoid the current “limitations”. As mentioned in one of the previous releases you cannot just jump into a sector, but also come from systems that are outside the galaxy map (such as arena, tournament, story missions etc.), undock into a system, coordinate a jump together with massive fleets or simply log in, even when a sector was already full.
In order to not just band aid the situation, the team came up with a sustainable solution. That means that a massive refactoring has taken place in which docking/undocking, (group-) jumps with/without carrier, entering/leaving special sectors (arena, battlespace, story-mission, interdiction duty…), respawning and multiple more systems which lead to a loading screen have been unified in a global solution.
So what does that mean from a gameplay perspective? First of all, faction limits can’t be exploited anymore. Every single edge case should have been covered with the new system and therefore both factions can show up with the same amount of defenders or attackers based on the current situation.
Secondly, those that try to enter a sector that is full either get redirected (e.g. at login) into the next closest system that has player slots available or are simply denied the jump request. There’s an additional check that means you will most likely be located in a sector closer to you fleet, so that new players don’t get pushed into regions which are not made for them.
For those that are not allowed to jump into a sector there will still be the opportunity to enter a queue.
Last but not least, we’ll introduce special limits on specific ships in a sector so that a Brimir or Surtur, for example, can’t enter certain sectors.
As a little heads up to the system itself - the development on this feature is nearly finished. We started the internal testing three weeks ago and will start the beta testing within the next few days. Most likely, there will also be a public test as this tremendous change really needs a lot of testing.
Another positive note to add is that this overhaul also helped solve a lot of other bugs connected to the mechanics above. One of the most current issues is a bug in the arena system where players occasionally win or lose without having the fight started. That will be gone with Game Update 56!
Last time we were analyzing general requirements and targeted platforms. After finishing this process the work on the prototype got more specific and we can already present you an early mockup of the launcher (this may vary to the final solution).
All the basic functionalities will be available on the website as well as in the client launcher. Moreover, for the first time the client will allow you to play BSGO on 64 bit which wasn’t possible with the Unity web plugin before. This already makes a huge difference to the game’s performance.
Also, loading times will massively benefit from locally downloaded asset bundles on the player’s end.
While a larger share of the team has been moved to the client topic, we still cannot give you a final ETA, but be sure that a solution will be there, far before browser support is completely neglected.
US Provider SwitchEdit
Two days ago the US internet service provider (ISP) was switched. We’re now relying on feedback from our North and South American players, but have high expectations that the connection issues which we have seen since October 2014 will be solved with this change.
We have often seen errors rising during US peak times with indications that the old provider couldn’t properly cater for the amount of data needed to be transferred in this period of time - resulting in socket errors, connection issues and time outs.
If you play the game from North or South America, please take a moment to leave a comment in the feedback section of this dev blog if you have noticed any changes/improvements in performance.
We all know that some of you can’t wait to see the tournaments return. Unfortunately, we have to ask you for a little more patience. Due to the topics above, the tournaments have been a little pushed back.
But in order to get the tournaments back into the game, we’ve split its content into four smaller pieces which can be released on the side, together with the following updates.
That doesn’t mean that you can play the tournaments right after part one has been released. But basic elements of the new tournament system will enter the game which will, on one hand, speed up its progress and on the other, will show results about their affinity to have bugs or not.
So, instead of having one big batch, we can see on each individual package if it works out or not and therefore decrease the overall effort and testing time. I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog update. We’ll keep you up to date about the upcoming tests for our next release.