Community/Developer Q/A: Answers Pt. 2!
Welcome to Part 2 of our answers for the Community/Developer Q/A. Check out Part 1 of our answers here!
Here are the HAWKEN team members that will be answering your questions today!
Jason Hughes - Producer
David Saunders - Game Designer
Dave Nguyen - Lead Designer
Q: Have you considered adding location based damage to the game?
We’ve considered it, but decided against it for several reasons. Since every mech is a different size and every mech can swap body parts it starts to get complicated quickly. What we don’t want is for certain cosmetic pieces to have advantages over others, and we don’t want to prevent our artists from creating whatever comes out of their genius brains.
There are TONS of other cool things we want to add to the game (many mentioned in this Q&A!) that it hasn’t been something we’ve pursued as of yet.
Q: Is there an ETA for the Technician Prestige weapon?
It will most likely be released in Q1 2014 alongside another mech. We want to give the Technician something special that will let it play very differently. I’m super pumped for this weapon. Trust me, it'll be worth the wait.:D
Q: The current turn speed cap makes it difficult to keep up with some mechs, especially when they are close up. Would you ever consider adjusting the turn speed?
We don't have any current plans to increase (or decrease) turning speed, but it’s something we continue to monitor. We’re more likely to add additional movement options to the game (such as quick 90 degree turns) than change the turning speed, but we’re working on other things first.
Q: Do you plan on implementing leaderboards?
Yes! If you read the last Q&A session we talked a bit about supporting competitive play. We’re still working out the details, but it will include leaderboards.
We are actively working on leaderboards and are targeting to have them launch on the website in November alongside some other related social features. There is always a possibility this date could slip slightly but we wanted you to know that it’s important to us as a team and nearing the end of implementation. We will have details to share in the coming weeks as the rough edges are worked out.
Q: What was the reasoning behind the new “killstreak” internals?
When we were designing the new internals, we didn’t intend for them to be related to “Killstreak” rewards. For example, the goal with the Armor Fusor was to alleviate the downtime after a fight and not force the player to stop and repair every time. The objections from the community were heard loud and clear on this, so we're currently re-evaluating how internals work.
There were some really great suggestions from the community about internal effectiveness being dependent on how much damage you dealt. That helps a little bit, but it doesn’t really solve the “Killstreak” reward problem. We will be experimenting with some of the community ideas as well as some of our own in order to reach something that hopefully everyone will be happy with!
Q: For Ascension's tunes and internals, did you intentionally design them such that players could deliberately remove key game mechanics? Specifically, tunes like Cooling Units and Radar currently render fundamental skills (heat management and walking to avoid detection) completely meaningless in Hawken. Do you feel the opportunity cost in getting these tunes (10~14 tuning points) justifies the substantial advantage offered by subverting these mechanics?
For the Cooling Units that actually is deliberate. The Tuning System was built to create choices for players, and I’m sure there are many players who think Cooling Units are useless and would much rather spend their points on something else. So is it a bad thing if someone wants to sacrifice some points to make overheating less punishing? If they do, they lose out on putting points elsewhere. Even with maxed out “Cooling Units”, players still suffer a weapons reboot that renders them vulnerable, so it doesn’t completely take away from that mechanic of the game.
The Radar on the other hand was an unintended bug. The radar system actually used to detect nearby walking/running enemies behind walls. There was a Radar update in one of the patches to remove that functionality and players were no longer detected for walking/running while out-of-sight. That is the intended behavior we want. The new tuning system implemented an increase in Radar range, but it inadvertently brought back some of that old functionality. The good news is that it's been fixed for the next patch release!
Q: Would a universal horizontal tuning system be considered at some point in the future?
The current implementation of the tuning system allows mechs to feel more unique, each having its own strengths and weaknesses that were meant for its role. Allowing access to all tuning systems on all mechs takes away from that, as all mechs could potentially be made to feel the exact same as each other. We could make the bonuses to where they can’t pull a stat too far, but that wouldn’t be good because then it would feel “meaningless”. With our current implementation, we also leave it open to create new Tuning Systems for future mechs that would make them even more unique. This means different systems that wouldn’t apply to current mechs, similar to the Technician having a “Repair” System rather than “Fire Rate”.
The Slider system was heavily considered during our rework of the Optimization/Tuning Systems and also briefly done with our old internals system. The old internals were not completely horizontal either, as they gave a slightly larger positive effect over the negative effect. However due to the “negative effect”, it was highly unpopular. We had the same effect with the tuning system working that way as well.