Welcome to On-Deck. In this article we will be discussing the upcoming features and changes for Fractured Space. More information regarding the features will be revealed nearer the time of their release.
The items listed in this article are still in development and are subject to change.
The USR Endeavor is the latest ship to hit the battlefield in Fractured Space. The Endeavor is a light support vessel that utilizes deployable turrets to enhance the defense of key objectives.
The Endeavor will be released as a Prototype ship, at the cost of: 924,000 Credits. In turn, the Zarek Paragon will be moving to the Production tier at the reduced cost of 616,000 Credits. More details will be released on this ship before its release.
In the past, Fractured Space has had frequent, small optimization passes which have seen the polygon count on ships lowered while keeping their aesthetics looking great, or in some cases even better. However, this has not had a huge impact for players playing the game on lower spec machines. With the next update, we have made huge progress on optimization by adding a “Low spec” launch option. Whenever you launch the game, a Steam pop up will appear with “High Spec” and “Low Spec” options. This will enable lower end PCs/Laptops to run the game much more smoothly, we hope to see better performance with these new changes.
Players with higher end PCs can use the low spec mode if they wish, and will see improved frames per second.
The event tool is an internal feature which will allow us to create events more efficiently and on the fly. This means for example, that while we stream we can set up little events to grant players drop pods or other items in game while they watch the stream.
Each of the sectors has been slowly improved on over the past year, but the sky boxes have been missing one key element – Nebulas. Our environment artist has been working on spectacular looking nebulas to place in the sky boxes, this will help make the game feel even more immersive while you’re fighting it out in the sectors.
For the past month we have been collecting feedback from players and analyzing data received from the game in order to make adjustments to Conquest. The community have been extremely helpful in providing insightful feedback on Conquest 2.0, and we have been able to use this feedback to make changes to the game mode which will reduce the pace slightly, while keeping those tense, action packed moments in.
Distances between objectives and jump points will be extended, the gamma cap zone expanded and the vertical boundaries will be brought in line with Frontline mode. Two of the sectors (Persephone’s Embrace and Umber Expanse) will also have less Asteroids to make them feel less claustrophobic.
Respawn timers will be increased slightly to make death a little more meaningful, dying before gamma will have more of an impact than it did in Conquest 2.0. Along with this, the Damage Reduction buff that gamma grants has been reduced too.
You can see exactly what will be changed with Conquest 2.1 here.
New Upgrade System
The current upgrade system in game has always been intended as a placeholder for something more intelligent, which would allow players to adapt their ship and play styles throughout the battle. This system is now in development and will give players the choice of two upgrade paths, both of which will specialize upgrades in certain areas of your ship. Each ship has different upgrade paths, so for example a Hunter may be able to choose to improve their blink abilities or their detect abilities. Other areas of the ship will be upgraded with each upgrade level as well, however this system is designed to give players more control over how their ship performs in matches, so a bigger buff will be given to the specific upgrade selected.
Upgrades can be reset at any time during the fight which allows players to adapt to their enemies. If a cloaker is causing havoc on your team mates, perhaps you would opt to buff your detect abilities.
The current plan is that we will release the upgrade system to the community for testing using a Beta branch on Steam, and then prepare for a full release of the feature.
With ranked play on our list for the future, we are introducing a new version of drafting which gives players the ability to counter pick their enemies and select the best team composition possible. Code named “4-4-2 Drafting”, the first two players on each team will pick ships first, these ships are then revealed to everyone, and the next two players on each team pick ships to counter. Once the four players on each team have picked their ships, the final players pick their ships with the ability to see the other four ships the enemy has selected.
YouTube Hints Videos
In order to help players understand certain aspects of the game, we will be implementing new Hints Videos on the front end. These videos will explain how specific features in the game work, like crew/implants, the general UI, drafting and so on.
New Ultimate Skin
Towards the end of 2016 we held a drop pod contest in which the winner got the chance to visit the Edge Case Games studio and design their very own ultimate skin. The competition winner has now visited, and designed an ultimate skin with the help of GingerGladiator for their favorite ship. This skin will be the reward for the 60 day daily reward tree, and looks spectacular.
For many people, playing a game that is not in your own language can be difficult, so we are preparing the game to be localized into several different languages. This also means dynamic tool tips will be possible when this feature is implemented.
New Crew Member
Protagonist is gone and he will forever live on in our hearts, but we thought it would be cool for him to live on in the game too, so we’ll introducing your new Comms Officer: Protagonist, equipped with classic Protagonist lines, so you can hear his deep, calming voice in the void of space.
Improved A.I Captains
A.I Captains are getting yet another upgrade package which enables them to utilize their abilities in a more effective way. To be more specific, each ship will have it’s own bespoke behaviour for its abilities, so no longer will we be seeing ships fire off all their abilities at the same time; if a Brawler is near you, you best be sure to get out of its way before it uses concuss.
To add to this, A.I Captains will have better map awareness, ensuring they know how to attack and defend properly and ultimately, end games.
We do not expect Fractured Space veterans to struggle against A.I Captains yet, however in the future it’s possible that super A.I Captains will be created.