The Drop System is designed to offer rewards to players for a variety of in-game activities while simultaneously making the method of acquiring new crew members more satisfying.
Drop Pods are earned on a daily basis through the completion of games over the course of a single day. A day in this sense begins at midnight UTC and ends at 23:59 UTC, regardless of where in the world you are.
The first Drop Pod will be issued when the player completes 2 games, the second when a player completes 4 games and the third after their 6th complete game. In other words, a player will earn all three daily Drop Pods by completing 6 games in total. It is not necessary to complete these games in a single session as your progress will be recorded. At the end of the day your progress is reset and you begin again.
Drop Pods are rated Bronze, Silver and Gold as an indicator of their quality level. Each subsequent Drop Pod opened over the course of a day increases in quality. For example, a player may earn 6,000 credits from their first Drop Pod of the day (Bronze), but 18,000 credits from their third (Gold).
These daily Drop Pods are only earned through the completion of a game, or if a surrender occurs after the 15 minute mark in the game has been passed. Disconnecting from a game will slow your ability to develop your crew as incomplete games are not counted towards missions.
Each Drop Pod contains one item from the following list:
There are several new concepts in the list above, and they represent the Crew Collection System.
Previously, crew members have been collected through 3 primary methods:
- Default crew members: given to players at the beginning of their career or as a result of completing the Proving Grounds
- Exclusive crew members, earned from attending promotional event periods
- Purchased crew members, bought through the in-game store for credits
When the Crew Collection system is introduced all default and purchased crew members will be relocked, and existing players will be issued a Reimbursement Pack which contains:
- 17,000 credits per purchased crew member previously owned
- And either (50% chance) a crew member at random
- Or (50% chance) 3,000 DNA
All existing players will then receive the Supply Ship which is normally earned through completion of the Proving Grounds. This pack contains the following:
- Crew Template: Marie-Anna Moreau
- Crew Template: Nessa Mulligan
- Crew Template: Telisic Jenova
- Crew Template: IX-209
- Crew Template: Elax Zenchas
- 1 experience Booster
- 1 credit Booster
- 60 Platinum
- 15,400 DNA
Before moving on to an overview of how the system works overall, here is a quick breakdown of terminology used.
Each crew member in the game has both a standard and Legendary version available. The Legendary variants change the appearance of the crew member and are intended to add extra personality and style to your crew, but do not affect their stats or abilities in any way.
Please note that initially Legendary crew members are denoted by a small change in color. This is not their final form, which will most definitely live up to the name “Legendary”.
In the event that you receive a crew member you already have they will be immediately converted into DNA to help you develop your existing collection. In the event that the new crew member is standard quality you will be awarded 1,500 DNA. If they are legendary you will receive 4,500 DNA.
In the event that you already have a trained basic crew member and receive the Legendary variant, your existing crew member will be upgraded to Legendary and you will receive 1,500 DNA.
Each Crew Template must be unlocked by using 3,000 DNA before it can be used. By default, each Crew Template comes with their standard skills and in this initial release of the Crew Collection System your objective will be to gather as full a roster of crew members as possible.
Legendary variant crew are desirable but confer no in-game bonus.
This collection process is not something that will happen quickly, and it is the most active players who will progress through this system fastest. Players should not expect to complete their collection for several months, and with new Crew Templates introduced regularly a “gotta catch ’em all” attitude may not be appropriate.
Instead, concentrate on developing a crew or variety of crews that work best for the ships you use most often. Your collection will grow as you play, no special effort will be required in order for this to happen.
It is possible to acquire new crew templates using credits or Platinum for those who wish to do so.
The Drop Ship can be purchased for 134,850 credits or 245 Platinum and will contain a random Crew Template. There is a 5% chance that the Crew Template in question will be a Legendary variant.
The intention behind the Crew Collection system is to increase your attachment to the crew you have earned, unlocked and developed, giving you a clearer understanding of their potential benefits while encouraging more players to complete games.
As this is the first version of the Drop System players should expect changes in the future, some possibly more significant than others, but as with all changes of this kind we will ensure that any investment made by players is either refunded or otherwise compensated, as we feel is appropriate.
As a result of player feedback we have removed the previously described Training Programs and Affinity systems from the game in this first release. Once we have initial telemetry on the performance of the Drop System, and Crew Collection in particular two additions are planned:
Purchase missing Crew Templates
It will be possible to spend DNA to acquire Crew Templates that you are missing. The plan here is to use this system to allow players to pick up the final few crew members they are missing or to acquire a particular crew member that is important to their collection.
Develop Your Crew
With training programs a thing of the past, we’re still intending to allow players to improve their crew over time. This will be represented through collectable items referred to as Pins (a working title). Each pin will be of Attack, Defense, Utility or Chromatic (usable in any slot) type and will confer a small stacking boost to a crew member who has the appropriate slot available. An example to illustrate:
Captain Evan Sterling has one Attack, one Defense and one Utility slot available. Into the Attack slot, the player has added the “Veteran Loaders” Pin which gives Captain Sterling a 1% decrease in Weapon Cooldown time. Into his Defense slot, the player has added the “Boot Camp” Chromatic Pin which gives the captain a 1% bonus to all experience earned.
The above is purely for example purposes, it is possible that neither example Pin appears in the game in the future, but it should give you an idea of the intention behind the system.
The maximum impact that Pins will have should be the equivalent of one extra crew member on your ship, if all 5 of your crew have Pins in every available slot.
Pins can be removed from crew members at any point (except during a game) and reused elsewhere. While each crew member will have 3 slots, the slots available will vary – a Jump Core specialist may have two Utility slots, while a CAG has two Attack slots. You will be able to collect multiple copies of a single Pin can have the same one on every member of the crew if you wish, but you cannot have more than one of a single Pin in a single crew member. Pins will be available through the Drop System, and may be purchasable using DNA, credits or platinum – however that is still to be decided.
Pins will also mean that no difference will exist between standard play and ranked/competitive crews, since it will be possible to gain a full crew-set of Pins quickly. To that end, there will not be a separate competitive crew.
Please not that both the future systems described above are subject to further design and significant change, but they should represent an idea of how the Crew Collection system will evolve in the future.