Gameplay Direction Post 1.4.3Hi Guys, I am Hexodious - In the last few weeks I've taken over as Gameplay Lead for Moviebattles II and its occured to me that we've never actually told you where we are headed or why we make specific changes in regards to gameplay. I'd like to use this as an opportunity to change that for us as a team to be more transparent moving forwards as we look to improve the game throughout future patches. This will also allow you to know what we are looking to change, and what kind of feedback we are looking for. In 1.4.4 we are looking to freeze a solid core for Jedi/Sith in place so we won't have to touch these mechanics for at least a few major patches - This includes: Saber vs Saber, Saber vs Gun and Force Regeneration. I've been looking at a lot of the feedback we've received for 1.4.3 as well as playing a lot of Jedi/Sith in this build and given everyone's experience with 1.4.3, we want to improve on the mechanics that were introduced to make them smoother and a lot more engaging. The goal for Jedi/Sith is to improve their staying power while reducing their ability to retreat while under pressure. 1.4.3's regeneration mechanic did allow this to some extent but was too punishing for players who were trying to support their team. Below I will break down the core changes we are exploring for 1.4.4. Please note all of the below is subject to change before release. FP Regeneration and Drains Based on 1.4.3's feedback we will be tweaking the FP Regeneration mechanics so that you don't have to worry about holding block, in fact we encourage it. We will still have 3 states of FP Drain: Defenseless (Saber Down/Melee/Idle/Meditate): Base FP Drains for weapons. Autoblock (Running): Increased FP Drains for weapons. Block: Greatly Decreased FP Drains for weapons. And there will still be 4 states of FP Regeneration, but we have modified them slightly: Meditate: FP Regeneration: Highest, Transition: Ramps up over time, Restrictions: Stationary. Defenseless (Saber Down/Melee/Idle): FP Regeneration: Base, Transition: Ramps up over time, Restrictions: Can't Block. Defending (Autoblock/Holding Block): FP Regeneration: Slightly lower than base, Transition: Instant.,Restrictions: None. Deflecting (Actively Being Shot): FP Regeneration: Greatly lower than base, Transition: Instant Debuff, Duration: 3 seconds (duration can be refreshed each shot, and FP Bar's hue is darkened to indicate debuff is present), Restrictions: Only applies while holding Block. This combination of drains and states allow us to still have the benefits of really low FP Drains while blocking but doesn't needlessly punish you for holding block while you are not being shot at, whether you are dueling the enemy saberists or supporting your back line. We haven't got the numbers quite in place yet, but after initial testing this feels much smoother and allows the Jedi to have much more freedom while still pushing towards a more active responsibility to manage their FP. Sense Sense is a highly debated force power, many would like the power removed completely while others see it as a staple ability that should not be touched. Based on the feedback we've seen we have decided to keep the ability largely similar to how it is, but adjusting how its activated and the durations. In 1.4.4 Sense will tie more into the FP management direction we want to see Jedi's moving towards by using a similar mechanic to Force Speed, another toggled ability but where the duration is solely based on your remaining FP pool. Rank 1: Activation Cost: 15FP, Tick Cost: 5FP, 20FP grants you 2s of Sense (equal to the current implementation, but you can have it on for longer if you wish to spend more FP). Rank 2: Activation Cost: 10FP, Tick Cost: 5FP, 20FP grants you 3s of Sense (an increase over the current implementation, and you can still choose to have it on longer if you wish to spend more FP). Rank 3: Activation Cost: 5FP, Tick Cost: 5FP, 20FP grants you 4s of Sense (a large decrease over the current implementation, but you can still choose to have it on longer if you wish to spend more FP). These changes allow sense to still be used as an information gathering tool, but encourages smart use of the ability only having it on for as long as you need. Having sense on for a long time while setting up that ambush will leave you starved for FP, greatly increasing the enemy's chance to counter you. Wall-grab This ability is a real life-saver while moving around a map and dropping to lower levels, especially on maps like Deathstar. But there are certain players who like to use its ability to hang onto walls forever, often in unreachable locations that cause it to be used in ways we do not intend or to setup lengthy ambushes. As such, the new wall-grab mechanics will actively drain FP slowly while holding onto a wall, automatically drops you upon reaching 0 FP. Also, wall-grab can no longer be used to regenerate FP after bunny hopping. These changes will still allow the ability to be used as a safe-fall but should prevent poorly planned ambushes. Players will need to better manage their FP pools by choosing the right moment to setup an ambush. Saber Perks We've been here before. While Saber vs Saber perks offer a nice diversity between the styles the Saber vs Gun perks adversely change the gameplay dynamics we'd like to see during Saber vs Gun fights. For this reason Saber vs Gun perks won't be included in future builds. Expect refinements to the Saber System and updated Saber vs Saber perks in 1.4.4. Deflect This is another ability that greatly benefits from the reduced Block drains and as such we've made some tweaks while updating the mechanics to be less ping dependent. In 1.4.3 Cyan had the ability to deflect by simply holding attack while blocking, this allowed the player to focus entirely on aiming but was too powerful with continuous FP regeneration (even at slow speeds). We liked the quality of life this provided and have applied it to all ranks of deflect (with the Cyan deflect perk being removed). Deflect is in all cases activated by holding attack while blocking and pauses FP regeneration. Rank 1: Rapidly Drains FP while held, Cannot be used inside IDR. Rank 2: Slowly Drains FP while held, Can be used inside IDR, Cannot be used inside Flinch range. Rank 3: Does not Drain FP while held, Can be used inside IDR, Cannot be used inside Flinch range. Deflecting fits the Jedi fantasy perfectly and gives them a great way to support allies at range beyond push and sense. Now the Jedi must make an active choice to pause their FP regeneration completely in order to reflect shots at the enemy. This still makes Jedi want to wisely time their Deflects as holding it down during a full barrage will quickly deplete your FP pool, but is much more friendly for players of higher ping. We didn't like how in previous builds deflect could be used to facehug someone to death, and while this issue still remains in the form of random deflects, we are able to minimize it greatly. What about Gunners? We are mostly happy with the way a lot of the gun classes work. While there are a few things we'd like to look at *cough* SBD *cough* the following are being changed in 1.4.4: Projectile Rifle The initial reason behind the Projectile Rifle FP change was to allow Jedi to survive a pop snipe from around a corner, but pop sniping was very fun to do. In reflection of this we've decided to bring back the protection for running Jedi outside of IDR and allow shot-gun snipes to exist vs running Jedi only. A blocking Jedi will be able to protect against a sniper rifle at any range. FP Drain Inside IDR while running: Uncapped. FP Drain Outside IDR while running: 40. FP Drain Inside IDR while blocking <40. ARC Westar M5 The ammo on this thing has been too low for too long, we heard you. We are increasing the max ammo capacity of the Westar M5 to be inline with other weapons of its type. Ammo 1: From 240 > 360. Ammo 2: From 360 > 480. Ammo 3: From 480 > 600. This change is very self-explanatory, we feel that ARCs are in a good place at the moment and are very versatile. But the extremely low ammo count was causing too many issues - especially on higher population servers, where the ARC felt like he couldn't provide supporting cover. Dodge While the new dodge mechanic does what we want it to, it feels a bit too cumbersome by forcing you into a movement state based on rank and having to hold a button at the same time. We want Dodge to be used to get through chokepoints and suppressed areas, but not to let you tank huge amounts of shots for free. We also thought it was too hard to glance at your Dodge Points while they were being drawn as small numbers and have re-introduced the Dodge Bar. In all cases, dodge is activated by holding it and has no movement restrictions.It also cannot be used while scoped. Rank 1: Cost: A full bar drains over 1 second. Cannot be used up close. Rank 2: Cost: A full bar drains over 2 second. Cannot be used up close. Rank 3: Cost: A full bar drains over 3 second. Can be used fairly close. These changes still allow Dodge to be use as a cover breaker while requiring a manual activation to complete. We wanted to keep the current Disruptors(Stationary/Hitscan) vs Projectile(Mobile/Pop-snipe) balance in Sniper vs Sniper engagements but wanted to still provide an alternative option to fight back. Dodge will allow you break the usual corner-play and press the offensive or fallback into cover while you are being shot at. We are still exploring the Hold mechanic over a form of Toggle, similar to what we've introduced for Sense. Dash Bringing dodge into a more manual ability was causing conflicts with Dash and Dodge Points. We want players to be able to Dash freely and not to worry about their remaining Dodge Points, at the same time we didn't like the gameplay double dashing in a row would cause skewing balance in the favour of the Hero. Dash has been changed as follows: Rank 1: Dashes a short distance in the current movement direction. 2.5s cool-down. Doesn't share a cool-down with Melee moves. Same activation. Unlimited uses. Rank 2: Dodges any incoming blasters for the duration of the dash animation. The cool-down still allows Dash to be used as an intended quick escape or combat positioning tool but prevents double Dashing to escape instances where you may poorly used the ability. At the same time we didn't want to interrupt fun combos such as Dash into Flying Kick, similar to how Blob and Flying Kick function as independent cool-downs. Final Thoughts We are excited to get these changes out to you as soon as possible and are committed to continuing progress of the game. The above items are unlikely to change bar number tweaks, but now that we've been able to give you an insight into the direction we are taking we would love to hear back from you on new features, weapons, abilities and mechanics you'd love to see included into Movie Battles II in future builds following 1.4.4.