Mini Masterclass – Carrier Assault Sewn-up with Supports
Welcome to the third and final guide in our Carrier Assault series, celebrating a year of EVE: Valkyrie’s greatest play mode. It’s the turn of the
Hello pilots ,
It gives me great pleasure to introduce the first of our 2017 game updates for EVE: Valkyrie – Wormholes which will be arriving Feb 15.
Fresh from winter holidays, the team here at Newcastle have been busy creating a range of incredible new features and improvements. We always try to cram our game updates with content, and this one is no exception. You will find the usual bullet point barrage of awesome new stuff below, with some links to expanded articles that we will release later in the week on some of the hot topics.
From watching the player data over the holidays, it’s abundantly clear that lots of (good) boys and girls got the presents they wanted
I’ve spied lots of fresh faces in those Clone VATs and Results screens. Welcome to the ranks of the Valkyrie! May your aim be true, and your missiles deadly!
We’re all looking forward to flying and dying amongst friends new and old, so let’s fire up those engines and get out there! Oh, and remember that as of this update… what happens in a wormhole, stays in a wormhole.
Wormhole is a brand new, exciting game mode that twists much of what you know about Valkyrie into weird and wonderful new encounters. To find out more, check out this blog by CCP Bad Horse.
The Valkyrie League is the first of multiple features we are developing with the aim of supporting more competitive play. The alpha release of this feature will also allow us to evaluate and tune it using live player data, balancing everything to a nice sweet spot for when we introduce our first Valkyrie Season in the coming months. For more details on how the Valkyrie leauge alpha will work, check out my Dev Blog.
Another hot request since our launch on Playstation VR was for HOTAS support for the Playstation 4 stick junkies. This is now a reality! The Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS 4 is now supported as of this game update. We feel our default configuration offers a nice sweet spot between accessibility and realism. I’m sure everyone has a different version of perfect, so you can also drop into the setting menu to key bind your very own input nirvana.
We’ve given the Com Alerts feature a bit of an overhaul based on tons of excellent feedback from the community. Attack and Defend have now been replaced with Heal Me and Assist Me, and we have a range of new icons and audio to improve the feedback when issuing or receiving messages. One of the more noticeable changes is that icons will now appear above a pilot’s ship when they issue messages such as Assist Me, Heal Me, or Group Up.
We’ve also added more context sensitive messaging when referring to the mode specific objectives A, B, and C that are used in Control and Carrier Assault. So when capture point A is either neutral, or owned by the enemy team, the com alert issued for A will say “Attack objective A” (or) “Defend objective A” if the capture point is under friendly control.
This makes Com Alerts a lot quicker to use, and hopefully more accurate in how the messages are received by teammates. Give it a blast! We’d love to hear your thoughts.
One of the most requested changes to our post-match flow was to remove the automatic advance between menus when viewing Results, Rewards, Daily Challenges and Unlocks. This is something we all agreed on – I want to look at the pilots and ships for longer! Well, now you can. Movement between all the post-match menus is now totally manual. If you want to sit and inspect the Results menu until the next battle starts, you can. Your rewards are still banked regardless of whether you want to view them or not. The only time you will be automatically moved from a menu is if the next battle starts. Obviously you don’t want to get left behind in those instances!
We have made a few changes to our New Player Experience (Basic Training) and Pilot Training modules (Fighter, Heavy, Support). The changes were largely to address issues of VR comfort. One of the few instances where a small number of our players experienced “dizziness” was during our training modules. Specifically, those requiring the player to roll. In a series of playtests, we experimented with different backgrounds. Some backgrounds had prominent horizon lines, and others did not, and we also looked at the tolerance of the roll objective (how accurate pilots needed to be when flying through the gate). Based on the feedback we gathered, we have updated some of the backgrounds in our training modules and increased the tolerance of the checkpoint gates. These initial changes are subtle, but should help to make training more comfortable for players sensitive to these objectives.
You’ll notice some fancy new Drones with this update. Our plan was always to create more Valkyrie specific drones, and we’ve finally had chance to get these cool new assets into the game. You may also notice that they now animate into firing position when deployed. Hit Points are unaffected by this change.
The revised target reticule for Heavy Class ships will give you far more accurate visual feedback on how close your weapons are to overheating, when they are ready to fire again, and also the accuracy of your weapon based on your rate of fire.
The redesigned target reticule for Support Class ships give you far more visual feedback when using your look-to-lock multipurpose beams. The revised UI provides strong visual indicators when the beam is close to overheating, and more accurately displays when the weapon is ready to fire again.
You will now be able to see the ship class choices made by human players at the beginning of a match. These appear as icons beside each pilot’s name. Previously you would only see the icons for Fighter, Support and Heavy when an AI made a selection, but this feature has now been tuned to include the choices of real players and bring a more tactical edge to your launch tube choices.
We have improved the accuracy of our targeting brackets. These are the UI elements that appear above a ship to show its shield and armor status. The feature has now been tuned to more specifically match the range of each weapon used in the game. If you see these brackets appear above a ship, then it is within your firing/healing range.
We’ve overhauled the layout and interactions required on the Multiplayer menu. These changes are largely to accommodate the increasing range of options we need to display within this menu. For head tracked selections to work well in VR, we try to limit the number of items to around 5. These items are usually placed within a comfortable viewing distance that accounts for our natural gaze and the field of view, basically ensuring that you don’t have to constantly look over your shoulder to select an item that you may frequently use. With the addition of Wormholes and the Valkyrie League, we have exceeded the max values for this menu, so in the interests of comfort and accessibility, all the items within the Multiplayer menu are now on a rotating wheel.
CCP Starbug has been making gameplay-focused tweaks to the layout of one of our original maps – Cathedral. The changes are not radical, but enhance the tactical aspects of combat by providing more cover in a couple of the open areas of the map. This is one of the huge benefits of running a live game, we get the chance to continue polishing and perfecting long after release to make things even better!
The map rotation for all PVP game modes has now been reset. There is now an equal chance of every map appearing while playing PVP modes. This is the normal behavior when matchmaking, but we tuned up the occurrence of the Gateway map in the last game update to ensure maximum chance of playing on the shiny new map.
With this game update we have taken the opportunity to rebalance some of the XP-related milestones within all our core ship class progressions (Fighter, Heavy, Support). We took on-board a lot of feedback concerning a perceived “grind” in some of the mid to high level goals. While our desire was always to have something exciting to look forward to unlocking, the hard data showed that many of our pilots had only crafted a small percentage of the ships we have to offer. This makes our continued efforts to balance gameplay even harder as the pool of pilots giving feedback does not represent the wider community.
Quite simply, we want you to have these ships! And unlocking their blueprints for crafting should never feel like a grind. It should feel like a celebration of your efforts in combat. As such, you will notice some reduced XP milestones. The Silver and Salvage required for crafting has also been altered in some instances.
Rank (Pilot Reputation) milestones are unaffected by these changes.
For more information on the design direction behind these changes, head over to CCP Groot’s Thread on the Valkyrie Forum
The marmite ship of the community. We still want the Ascent to be a good tactical option, however now it’s providing a lot of damage for minimal risk which can make it frustrating to play against.
While we’re reasonably happy with how Heavies & Fighters are interacting under ideal circumstances, almost all ‘non-ideal’ circumstances wind up favoring the Heavy. The Flak cannon is currently the dominant weapon due to how forgiving it is to use. The following changes are intended to reward Heavy players for being more accurate and reduce the time that the Heavies can sustain fire for.
All beams now generate heat when used. After 5 seconds of use, the buff beam will overheat and can no longer be used. Beams lose heat every second they are inactive, until they reach no heat. It takes 5 seconds for a beam to lose all its heat after overheating. We have also removed the spool up time on all the multipurpose beams.
To give context to these changes - Support Class and Displacer pilots could indefinitely keep targets locked with no penalty and players afflicted by the beam had minimal options to counter the situation (flee range of beam, or break lock with cover). As part of adding an overheat mechanic to the weapons, we’ve also buffed the stats of each beam and added visual (overheat) feedback to the ships’ crosshairs.
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