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 Post subject: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Thu 23 Feb, 2012 7:54 pm 
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Hi Everyone,

Well the name says it all. We will be releasing the FREE Bounty Hunter expansion March 19th. Due to its size and the fact that the Bounty Hunters have become a fully fledged faction with global relationship tracking the expansion has taken longer than anticipated.

We have kept this a secret up until now, but we actually decided to give you 10 new ships instead of just 5, so there are 2 new tinys, smalls, mediums, larges, and huges. There is also a new Bounty Hunter tier 3 space station that advances in tech level as the game progresses. It is meant to be a HUGE challenge to defeat so I am sure some of you will enjoy that. The advanced version even has a Mothership beam on a turret. Sooo. yeah...

Richard will be posting some pictures of these new ships to get you all excited as well.

Here is a primer on how Bounty Hunters work: (Note the design and implementation is mostly done so while we will listen to ideas and welcome them, we will likely not do any sweeping changes that will delay the March 19th deadline. We are treating that as a hard deadline and will do our utmost to deliver that day, assuming no meteor strikes or cyborg uprisings)

-Bounty Hunters have a global faction relation (Unlike CIVS and UTA)

-About 1/6 of the stars will have a bounty hunter stronghold (their megabases)

- Bounty hunters can only act in their Stronghold stars and neighboring ones, therefore it is possible to operate in non bounty hunter space with impunity. Bounty hunters are also only at about half effectiveness in their neighboring stars.

-At bounty hunter strongholds, you can pay off your bounty, hire them as ambient helpers, hire them to clear warp gates, and compete in the arena for respect.

- There are 150 arena challenges. Each challenge is deterministic and is the same across all skill levels and tech levels. Everyone plays the same event. There are 10 ladders with 5 tiers per ladder and 3 difficulty levels per tier. If you complete a ladder, you get a special prize depending on the difficulty level of the completed tier. (The prize is a specialist, so there are 30 possible)

- Respect is the Opposite of Bounty. So Respect counteracts bounty. You get Respect from doing missions, competing in the Arena, buying it, and by destroying a Bounty Hunter Stronghold (VERY difficult) Note: If you are level 50 and the Stronghold is level 10, you will not get much respect for destroying it. If it is level 60 and you are level 50, you will pretty much be considered Chuck Norris.

- When a Bounty Hunter base is destroyed, their influence will collapse in that and neighboring systems until it is rebuilt. Bounty tracking will be interrupted and you will be left alone while they lick their wounds.

- When you do "Bad" stuff in bounty hunter space, the CIVs and UTA will post bounties. As your bounty increases, you become a more tempting target for the bounty hunters. Eventually, they will start showing up during your missions to collect. Blowing up their ships will not increase your bounty, as they consider that part of the cost of doing business.

- Bounty Hunter ships are all very configurable with utility mounts and generally quite odd compared to UTA and CIV designs. I would probably consider them better, but harder to get. For example, there is a small ship with a huge mount called a Cyclops. Umm yeah, pretty scary if you have a decent reactor, if not, it is a floating brick.

- Bounty Hunters may extort you when you try to leave their space. This is like protection money. Depending on your bounty and how much goods you are carrying, they will want their cut. If you give it to them, you can leave in peace, if not, be prepared for a VERY hard fight. Their huge ships in particular are pretty obscene, but luckily you can avoid them.


That is everything off the top of my head. They are like the icing on the cake faction that can change the nature of other things you are doing. In sector 4 they will also be a new enemy to deal with for those of you who are tired of just fighting zombies. So the nature of Sector 4 will shift a bit too.

This patch will integrate itself into an existing save game, but we recommend finishing your current play through of vanilla SPAZ and starting a new one with Bounty Hunters on March 19th. Progressing through the galaxy with this new menace completes the game and should adjust the feel enough to make a new playthrough worthwhile.

Both of us immensely appreciate all of you allowing us to make our dreams come true by purchasing SPAZ and this expansion is the thanks for that. It took a lot longer than expected, but you guys and SPAZ are worth it, so we did it. We hope a lot of you can tell your friends about this dropping March 19th so previous players and even new players don't miss out on the new experience!

Now back to tuning for us :) See ya March 19th!


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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Thu 23 Feb, 2012 8:00 pm 
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Here you go folks

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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Thu 23 Feb, 2012 8:09 pm 
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Oh... My... Amazing. Just amazing.

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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Thu 23 Feb, 2012 8:11 pm 
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Is that base shooting a Mother Beam. Hells ya it is!

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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Thu 23 Feb, 2012 8:16 pm 
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Shortbus

Joined: Thu 05 Jan, 2012 6:35 pm
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It's just great! fantastic! I can not wait !
You are really doing a great job !!!


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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Thu 23 Feb, 2012 8:19 pm 
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Awesome! Simply awesome!
Some of those new ships look quite damn ludicrious, in a very good way! The bounty hunter mechanics should make the game much, much more interesting.
March 19th sure can't come soon enough! Oh well, gotta finish the ME3 couple of times before this good old fashioned expansion comes out. 8-)

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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Thu 23 Feb, 2012 9:27 pm 
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Shortbus

Joined: Sat 04 Jun, 2011 10:33 pm
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WOAH!!!! JUST WOAH!!! And free !!! T__T so happy :)


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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Thu 23 Feb, 2012 9:47 pm 
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Colt
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Good job guys :) Glad all that long hard work paid off :)

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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Thu 23 Feb, 2012 10:03 pm 
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Very nice. I like a lot.

Now it showed that ship with 10 lasers firing at once... does that mean that maybe all weapons can fire at the same time now?


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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Thu 23 Feb, 2012 10:16 pm 
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Lol, sadly no. There are two big reasons for this. The first and most important is that the game has been tuned to a certain damage output and changing that would pretty much throw everything out the window tuning wise. The second is that firing 10 guns simultaneously will pretty much bog down the cpu as it gets a HUGE lump of data to process in a single frame and has to offload some to subsequent frames causing further deferrals, which slows them down and the frame rate tanks instantly. The firing mode change from cascade to simultaneous is not something we can safely remove at this point in development. This is only a major problem for cannons really as they need to create a lot more objects than lasers. Lasers also cascade fire, but since they stay on for a set period of time without thinking and don't need to create objects they are much lighter.


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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Thu 23 Feb, 2012 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Sat 03 Sep, 2011 3:13 am
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Damn, very nice! I'm sure this will breath new life into the game. You all intend to take a loooong break after this is out, yeah? But, this is not the only expansion that will be released, yes? You intend to do 1-3 payed DLCs before heading into SPAZ 2?

Anways, damn! Nearly a month away... oh well! I know being a 2 man team you can't just crap out 5 hours of new content per day. Haha


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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Thu 23 Feb, 2012 10:38 pm 
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Awesome! The new bounty hunter mechanics sound like just what I wanted to see added to SPAZ, and those ships look terrific.


(Though - just 13 days to finish ME3? You are harsh taskmasters. ;))

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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Fri 24 Feb, 2012 1:32 am 
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Joined: Mon 19 Sep, 2011 11:51 am
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Delicious. Does this mean the Mac version will be coming soon as this update had no doubt created a lot of significant changed that need to be incorporated into the port?


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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Fri 24 Feb, 2012 1:37 am 
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Also does this mean we may be able to fire a Titan Beam in a Huge Slot? And, will it mean that we can use Mining Lasers in Huge Slots for Huge Ships?


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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Fri 24 Feb, 2012 2:13 am 
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Shortbus

Joined: Sat 04 Jun, 2011 10:33 pm
Posts: 8
Question:
Why this --- > the game has been tuned to a certain damage output
And that -- > and changing that would pretty much throw everything out the window tuning wise

Just trying to understand a bit :)


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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Fri 24 Feb, 2012 2:15 am 
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The Mac version will probably be delayed until the Bounty Hunters drop, but be ready shortly after. That is being handled externally so we are kind of at the mercy or the universe there. Luckily, most of the bounty hunter stuff is script based so moving over the script should not be an issue.

The mining beam we will probably set up for the patch or shortly after. It is very near the top of the todo list. (the massive massive todo list)

The Titan beam cannot be given to huge ships because it would imbalance the game. Also lore wise it does not really fit since you go to all the trouble to get the pieces etc. The Bounty Hunters get it mostly because they need to be badasses, can move around like you do, and have to use "something" that can make you think twice endgame. Until around level 90, their stations are damn scary. They also only get it for their Advanced (level 60+) station. The lower level stations use more conventional weapons. The Advanced Tier 3 Bounty Stronghold is meant to be sort of unstoppable, so those of you who do manage to kill it will be extra proud.


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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Fri 24 Feb, 2012 2:42 am 
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@Aredyn
Well tuning wise, we play and play and try different combos and try to balance weapons and designs vs. each other as the game progresses. If we change the fire mode for cannons, this tuning is invalidated, and the overall feel of the game would shift. This could be a good or bad thing, but not something we would experiment with for this iteration of SPAZ. As an example, for a ship like the Ranger, this change would make little difference since it only really has 2 alternating guns. BUT the Colt would suddenly become overpowered and you would be a fool not to use it really, whereas now, the smart move with the colt is to apply some boosters to the gun slots. That is one of the reasons we allowed boosters in gun slots, because filling all slots with guns was never suposed to be the best option. Seemingly small changes can have massive effects on how the game plays. We run into this all the time in the code (Jenga we call it)

Next time, we will be doing a lot of things differently. The cascade firing clearly was a mistake, but it is kind of part of the soul of SPAZ 1 now, and it feels wrong to change (as well as I mentioned the fps cost (coder in me)) There is actually a pretty long list for both Richard and I of things we would like to change, but must reign ourselves in so we can apply our knowledge to building the next game. We have learned a ton working on SPAZ both from the development and the community. Before SPAZ I had over ten years of professional game dev experience, but SPAZ has easily doubled my experience making games.

It is actually hard at this stage of the project for us, we love SPAZ and the fans, but also need to look toward the future and new games. We really want it to put this kind of thank you cherry on top of SPAZ before we go dark for a while taking a much needed vacation and probably learning a new engine.


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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Fri 24 Feb, 2012 6:20 am 
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Shortbus

Joined: Sat 04 Jun, 2011 10:33 pm
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oooh thx for the clear explanation +1


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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Fri 24 Feb, 2012 6:53 am 
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Are you sure Blorfy it is going be a problem to kill a T3 BH Base? Like with a Hammerhead, Triple Mount EBC, or Particle Cannons, with Cloak and all the other turrets and such as cannon boosters, I can kill a T3 UTA base in less than 5 seconds. With that build (EBCs, Cloak, and Boosters) on Insane difficulty I killed the Zombie Clockwork in about 15 seconds, without losing any ships. When comparing the difficulty of those two objects (both killed on Insane) how difficult would you say would it to be to destroy a Bounty Hunter base in the level 60 to 90 range?

EDIT: Some things I missed:
UTA base in chapter 3 when I'm level 70ish, fighting a level 62 ish T3 UTA base, with Huge size ships as reinforcements. (Done on Insane Difficulty in 3 to 6 seconds, 5 seconds on average)


Last edited by Palandus on Fri 24 Feb, 2012 6:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Fri 24 Feb, 2012 6:54 am 
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Boomerang
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My, that's quite the lineup of ships. Any chance of a little more info on their specs before they land?

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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Fri 24 Feb, 2012 8:28 am 
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Also after rereading your post Blorfy, I got some questions:

-About 1/6 of the stars will have a bounty hunter stronghold (their megabases)

-Bounty hunters can only act in their Stronghold stars and neighboring ones, therefore it is possible to operate in non bounty hunter space with impunity. Bounty hunters are also only at about half effectiveness in their neighboring stars.

Q: Can you get overlap between systems defended by bounty hunters? ie You are in a system. To the north is a system with a bounty hunter base. In the system you are in, is a bounty hunter base. So two bases next to each other. If you destroy one, will the other still attack you?
------

- There are 150 arena challenges. Each challenge is deterministic and is the same across all skill levels and tech levels. Everyone plays the same event. There are 10 ladders with 5 tiers per ladder and 3 difficulty levels per tier. If you complete a ladder, you get a special prize depending on the difficulty level of the completed tier. (The prize is a specialist, so there are 30 possible)

Q: If you complete arena challenges, is it static respect or does it only apply to the Bounty Hunter where you did the Arena.
Q: If the above question is correct (only applies to the single bounty hunter base), then what happens if you destroy the bounty base, does the Arena Challenge reset or, is it lost?

-------

- When a Bounty Hunter base is destroyed, their influence will collapse in that and neighboring systems until it is rebuilt. Bounty tracking will be interrupted and you will be left alone while they lick their wounds.

Q: With my above question if two bases neighbour each other, will the other one still target you if you destroy one of the bases... also will it target you with greater vehemence?
Q: Do destroyed bounty hunter bases eventually respawn, or are they dead permanently?
Q: If they are dead permanently, can you rid the galaxy of the bounty hunters by systematically hunting down and destroying all of their bounty hunter bases?

-------

- Bounty Hunter ships are all very configurable with utility mounts and generally quite odd compared to UTA and CIV designs. I would probably consider them better, but harder to get. For example, there is a small ship with a huge mount called a Cyclops. Umm yeah, pretty scary if you have a decent reactor, if not, it is a floating brick.

Q: Will current ships be modified in a later patch to be comparable to bounty hunter ships, or will bounty hunter ships always remain more powerful?

------

- Bounty Hunters may extort you when you try to leave their space. This is like protection money. Depending on your bounty and how much goods you are carrying, they will want their cut. If you give it to them, you can leave in peace, if not, be prepared for a VERY hard fight. Their huge ships in particular are pretty obscene, but luckily you can avoid them.

Q: Can you mass retreat from one of their extort runs?


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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Fri 24 Feb, 2012 2:17 pm 
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Shortbus

Joined: Fri 24 Feb, 2012 1:57 pm
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I have been following this forum since i got the beta waay back. But I have to admit, this patch is the one thing that had me checking back every day for an update.
Congratulations on a great job!

ps: Impulse says 82 hours played/Steam says 77 hours played:) Definitely worth it!!

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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Fri 24 Feb, 2012 6:12 pm 
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Ranger
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Location: Weert, the Netherlands.
Wow! did't check the forum 1 day and look what anwsome news got posted!!!
I won't know it till its around, but judging from Blorfy's list u guys really have outdone yourselves!!!
When u guys take that vacation, it will be well deserved!! :)

Can't wait!!
Should give me eneugh time to play out Kingdoms of Amalur:Reckoning and make a start with Mass Effect 3 when it comes out :)

Makes us proud!!

PS: U should ask review sites to do a review of the patch, since its big eneugh to be called a Expansion for Spaz.(maybe give it a nice name??)


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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Fri 24 Feb, 2012 8:11 pm 
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Scout

Joined: Thu 23 Feb, 2012 1:30 pm
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Q: Will there be other changes like I) Another Clockwork upgrade with more bays for additional ships OR II) possibility of having more than 1, smaller ships, on a single hangar bay?
Like trading 1 huge ship for 1 large and 1 medium or, more generally, give more ship slots to the hangar as you store smaller ships on it.
For each size reduction you get an extra slot 2 sizes smaller.
A huge hangar then, would be able to house 1 large and 1 medium, or 2 medium ships and 1 small ship, or 1 medium, 2 small and 1 tiny, or 3 small and 2 tiny ships.


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 Post subject: Re: SPAZ Bounty Hunter Expansion: To be released March 19th
PostPosted: Fri 24 Feb, 2012 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu 23 Feb, 2012 1:30 pm
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Q: Is it possible to have the 'bobby-trap' booster-class item I suggested in another thread (it seems simple enough to sneak in imo)? It causes the ship to be used as a weapon itself, by blowing up and causing copious amounts of damage. Being booster-class, more bobby-traps means increased damage. Suggested advantage is to make damage by this explosion to not trigger faction hate, as it would be considered an 'accident'. There should be a key that, when held down, would start a countdown to overload and force ship destruction even if it is not being hit/killed. releasing the key would start a cool down for the self-destruct sequence instead of going straight back to 0.


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