The Skirmish galaxy was won last week – congratulations again to Pepelekus – but we decided to keep that galaxy open until Monday June 3rd to let players carry on with their games there for a while longer.
This week the devs are working on the next patch – which is almost ready! Most of the changes won’t affect gameplay, but they will make the game easier to play and less frustrating.
For example, holding the spacebar will hide all labels (to avoid having to pan the camera when a fleet you want to select is obscured by a planet’s label), and the new fleet tooltip will make it easy to see fleet intel (and without the annoyance of having to first stop the fleet and zoom to fleet management). We’ll let you know when we have a definite date/time for this patch.
Private messaging is on the way
We appreciate that for experienced players the recent focus on making the game more usable and easier to understand isn’t very exciting. So when the devs do get some spare time, they are trying to make what progress they can with new features.
One such feature being worked on right now is private messaging. At the moment, if you come across another player in the game, making contact with them can be very frustrating. The options are:
- Send a message in the global in-game chat and hope they see it
- Add a note to one of your units and hope they see it
- See if you can find them on Discord
So we’re adding a private messages tab to the current chat window:
- From this tab you’ll be able to initiate a private message conversation with any player currently visible to you through scanners (including the player colony scanner)
- You’ll be able to continue messaging this player afterwards even if they’re no longer visible on scanners
- We’re limiting it in this way to begin with to keep it simple
- You’ll be able to mute players
The image below is just a mockup but it gives you an idea of how it’ll work. The mockup also shows additional tabs for other games, but for now there will be just the 2 tabs: 1) Global chat and 2) Private chats.
Work on the backend has almost finished, so it’s mainly just the frontend to do now.
The in-game chat itself needs a lot of improving, but we felt that starting with private messaging would deliver the most value to players.
Balancing assault troop carriers
Something else we’re looking to address in the next patch is the number of assault troops that can be carried by an invasion fleet.
- Medium sized assault troop carriers can transport 6,000 troops while the large ones can transport 14,000.
- Ripchee’s cruiser class Scare with 6 medium and 4 large slots can carry 92,000 assault troops. A fleet of 14 of them can carry 1,288,000 assault troops!
- A dreadnought fleet with 17 cruisers can carry 1,648,000 assault troops!
An invasion force of that size could overwhelm and capture almost any planet – even with a level 1 or 2 orbit defense system installed.
We want to reduce the number of troops each of these modules can carry to reduce these numbers a bit. It would mean that before invading a planet with a large population, the attacking player would need to do some bombing to tip the odds closer to their favour first.
We haven’t finalized the new assault troop carrier capacities yet. So if you have any thoughts on this let us know 🙂
We’ll be back soon
– The Outscape dev team