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Dev Jam #3 – Simmons on Fast and Formidable

dj_03

Hi everyone,
Mark Simmons here, Robocraft Game Director.

This week we will release our biggest Expansion for Robocraft since Maximum Loadout. It will be called ‘Fast and Formidable’ and will feature some great new changes to the core gameplay that’ll add a lot of new building freedom, new depth in building mechanics, improve matchmaking, and also address some key problems that we mentioned in Dev Jam #1.


FEEDBACK ON DEV JAM #1

A huge thank you to everyone who gave feedback on the forums, Twitter, Reddit etc. on the first Dev Jam. Your feedback was awesome and shaped our next steps. For those that didn’t read the first Dev Jam, it‘s handily linked here. Many of you suggested solutions that we have adopted directly in this expansion, so I think this is an expansion that we, Freejam, and you guys, the community, have built together.

WEAPON ENERGY vs. CPU

The biggest change in this expansion is the addition of a new ‘Weapon Energy’ meter in the HUD when you are building your Robots. As you add and remove cubes and parts you will see this Weapon Energy meter going up and down. Weapon Energy is the new name for the blue bar that you see in the HUD when you are fighting (previously called ‘Power’).

The Weapon Energy starts full and represents the amount of spare energy you can commit to your weapons. Chassis, Wheels, Rotors, Thrusters, etc. all use Protonium  energy in your Robot, so the more you spend on them, the less you have available for your Weapons.

We will give more detail on the numbers and the specifics of this in the full patch notes on Wednesday, but  the basic idea here is:

  • High CPU = Larger, tankier, more versatile (i.e. more modules and weapon types), higher DPS (if you have more weapons), more redundancy, slower top speed, less maneuverable
  • Low CPU = Faster, more agile, more specialised, lower health, more Weapon Energy (more sustained damage)

This huge change to Robocraft essentially means that the CPU of your Robot no longer defines how powerful it is, Robots are made good or bad by player design alone, and as players are matchmade based on their performance in game, it allows us to better matchmake players based on skill and Party size rather than just ‘Power of Robot’.

CPU CHANGES

This update will ensure that all players, regardless of Player Level, start with maximum CPU available so they can build Robots of all sizes (if they have the parts in their Inventory). Since Player Level will no longer be tied to max CPU we’ll be giving out Salvage Crate rewards each time you level up, and increasing the number of player levels so that even those that have maxed out to 150 can get the new rewards. We will also be increasing the maximum CPU to 2,000.

Since we’re increasing maximum CPU, this presented an opportunity to change the CPU values of some of the parts without breaking player Robots by pushing them over the limit. So we have made Tank Tracks the Tankiest parts in the game by increasing their CPU and giving them the same health per CPU as before (i.e. a large health buff).

FAST MEANS FASTER

Along with these changes we will be ensuring that all movement parts are affected by weight/mass (Thrusters, Tank Tracks, Rotor Blades, Aerofoils, Mech Legs and Sprinter Legs). Along with these changes the maximum speed attainable will be significantly increased, but this will only be achievable with well-built low CPU Robots. Obviously low CPU also means you become fragile versus the tankier 2k CPU units that opt for Health over speed. The new ‘carrying capacity’ on Mech Legs and Sprinter Legs will also mean that heavily burdened Mechs with just one leg will move more slowly, i.e. if you exceed the carrying capacity your speed will be reduced so you’ll need more legs to compensate, but that will reduce your Weapon Energy; tough choices indeed for pro robot builders.

HELLO WEAPON ENERGY MODULE

Since the current Power Booster essentially converts CPU into more Power, this won’t work with the new ‘CPU vs. Weapon Energy’ changes. So we have reworked the Power Booster and rebranded it the ‘Weapon Energy Module’. We’ll reveal more about this change in a blog post tomorrow, but there is a clue in the name ‘i.e. Booster vs. Module’.

All of these are steps we’re taking to focus and polish the game; to work towards a solid ‘Clan League’ and to eventually allow us to exit Early Access with a more focused and more polished game experience.

Thanks for reading!

Mark Simmons, Game Director and CEO, Freejam