Friday September 20, 2013 the Defiance Dev team streamed a play and Q&A session on the Trion Worlds Twitch channel.
In this stream dahanese and OverloadUT was joined by Trick Dempsey and a brief visit from Scott Hartsman and furry companion.
Could we have a ridable Hellbug Monarch inside Defiance?
It would make me intensly happy to have a ridable monarch inside of Defiance. I don't know how long it would take us to do, and it is not on the schedule yet.
Will there ever be a skill tree for Synergies / Nanos / Charge Blades
We are doing a major weapon perk rebalance while we are continuing to finish off the second DLC. The Charge Blades don't have sufficant variables attached to them to make them fully satisfying as a progression path, we are working on that but it is not in the immediate future, but it is something we want.
Will there be a tie in with the next season of the TV show?
Will gun progression ever be tweaked so that higher level guns are a bit better than lower level guns?
Technically they are very very slightly better. We are definitely going to make your decisions and advancement more significant, and one of those ways is to make a damage difference between low level and high level weapons. We are going to be balancing that in PvP.
What can be done to decrease PvP queue times?
We have noticed that the quick match does not work as expected, it should queue you for all matches and remove you once one is found. It currently just puts you in a single random match. We will be making those changes and it will drastically improve the queueing problem.
How will spikes and stims work in PvP?
They work in PvP, and even without the weapons rebalance it makes Rocket Launchers viable as people then bunch around the spikes. That suddenly puts area control important. Internally they behaved as predicted, they changed the dynamics and added strategy.
DLC 2, what story exists and when is it coming out?
I cannot say when it is coming out. The story line in DLC 2 functions around the ark spike and the earned capability to call down arkfalls in triggered locations.
Removal of My EGO Player Hub
The information that the player hub provided wasn't that useful, the numbers for its combat rating was not explained. The only really useful piece of information was the breakdown of the EGO Rating which was not provided anywhere else in game. It did not provide the functionality that it promised, and until we can actually give you a more attractive user interface for that I don't want something dissapointing being out there.
We put effort in places where people will appreciate it. Seeing people getting happy as engineers spend time improving the tools they use to create content, so content creation can be better and faster in the future.
There was literally chearing inside the office yesterday when one of our UI programmers make Contracts visible. So that they were something you could chase and do and make a draw in the world, it became a more busier place.
Will the Raptor ever get a turret?
I would like to say yes, but ever is a very long time. Adding just a turret to the Raptor is an insignific improvement to the game. What it really needs to have at that point is an interesting vehicular combat engine and that is a significant improvement and a big feature and I would want to release those things at the same time. That is how far in the distance that is going to be.
How do we decide what to change improve and add?
Each of the developers are interested in the game and do occasionally have pet projects, but also they work on how they can improve the play experience for the most players. We've put an awful lot of time and energy into weapon balance and making each weapon viable. They want to meet the expectations and promise of the game then work on wowing the players.
Increase draw distance
Static objects have a good draw distance, we cull NPCs and dynamic objects at a certain range. Essentially to keep the game running smoothly on any internet connection, there is a hardware limitation on being an internet game. We've looked at increasing the number of things that people can see at a time, and we've considered increasing the draw distance. But if it is the NPC proxy distance that is not something we are likely to adjust until we've hit other performance issues.
Can we have a custom UI?
I dont think so, there have been UI mods of sorts but they are hacks and aimbots etc. Right now we are not thinking of doing that with our API mostly because they don't want us to see how hard it is to modify the UI and until they've cleaned that up they don't want us to have access to it.
We do a lot of clever smoke and mirrors to make it play and look and run like a third person router, you could potentially have a 2s lag all the time and you won't notice that. There are possibly some dangers opening the UI up for people finding hacks.
Will Military Academy ever be fixed?
Yes, Military Academy has some art export issues that we will be looking at, but I can't say when.
What PvP weapons aren't behaving as intended
We've got a weapon balance group of people, in PvE the joke around the office is "this is assault rifles, the game". From a development standpoint that is the one they got right first, and then built off. However there are strategies inside PvP for burst damage, which is bad for a MMO or any decision making game having a single right strategy. The Semi Auto Rifle needs a more defined character. Rocket Launchers are almost useless apart from the area of effect one. We want to make sure that they work as expected, a lot of things were done for maths and required a lot of weapons that required more skill to be unattractive and we are addressing them.
How will spikes affect lag in arkfalls?
Spikes are cheaper to render than people are, there is finite limit to what each of the consoles and pcs can render. The performance hit from the existance of spikes are not that big, as we prioritise what gets drawn and what doesn't. Using grenade launchers and rocket launchers are big framerate hits.
What new things are coming for DLC 2 apart from spikes and stims?
In development with a slight risk of being pushed is group arenas. The major thing is the instanced arkfalls, they are amazing. They are public instances from a background standpoint. They are incredibly expandable system, we will be able to use that to create content much faster for you guys.
A new boss encounter which is super tough, he is timed, so that if you don't defeat him in time he taunts and disappears. So it is an acomplishment to defeat the Volge Warmaster.
The mission line to get the ark spike, it's pretty short. It's a tutorial about an object you are going to use to call down new arkfalls.
When the social aspect and the UI revamp come?
That will come with the next DLC, it's one of the silly things with doing a major console release across platform. Releasing the patches simultanously and that requires a lot of legwork. We are working on the chat changes, both to make them actually work and to make them more attractive and easy to navigate. Admitting that the changes to make the chat take over your whole screen was a bad idea. Making it considerably less intrusive to your game experience, the game is a shooter after all.
Can we get some teasers on players retention?
The warmaster was conceived as the first pass of a Defiance raid boss, it is going to take you a few tries to manage to defeat that guy. Our next DLC (DLC 3) is really going to be the one that hits a lot of those questions.
Different patch types
Data push - there are some things that we can quietly fix during server time that you guys never need to know about.
Resource push - when they are fixing an animation or adding an instance or new enemies to the game that requires a download.
Tier 4 lockboxes and loot
We've talked about two important strategies in that regard and which would be the wisest. Either we will improving the spread across them making tier 2 good then adjust 3 and 4 so they are equvilent to the investment you put into them, otherwise we might pull all of them and make a new set of lockboxes which doesn't have the statistical problems that the current ones have.
One of these two solutions is going to be inside the second DLC. You don't get oranges with nearly the frequency you should in T4 lockboxes.
Can you confirm if there are hidden things in the world that have not been found?
I think all the hidden vendors have been found, including the one that was turned off briefly. Charlie has still not been found.
People found the thing on top of the transamerica pyramid (downtown).
People even found when they moved some of the data recorders.
There was a point when the crystal pond vendor could not possibly spawn, but that was fixed.
With Defiance ever get a weather or season change?
I love rain...
I can't honestly say, unless it created a significant gameplay improvement I wouldn't want to invest the time to do it in the short term. There are more important things to do.
What other outfits and vanity stuff can we expect?
We are doing a lot of very fun (hit our stride), producing new outfits and weapons. We've made a cyberpunk/space western, and we haven't really sold on that fantasy very well. Those are the kinds of things that we are looking at, there is a player fantasy to do with that and we want to fulfil that because it's fun and easy win and makes the world more interesting and makes you able to customise your character with a personality.
Since we reduced the cooldown time of grenades we have to look at all of the things that affect grenade regen and we have to replace them with something else. A lot of the self revive ones aren't worth it in PvP and the death mechanic doesn't carry much bite anyway, so it shouldn't be a super rare thing. We are making certain that all of those rolls on weapon rarity and weapon mastery bonuses are exciting.
There is a perk combination that you can do with a particular shield, that when the shield breaks you can be invicible from behind and above you can be invulnerable. There are a few exploits like that, it's invisible and you don't know when your benefiting from these things. And that's bad communication and we shouldn't have that.
Can you talk about future co-op maps or single player stuff to be multiplayer?
Now we have the possibility of doing that. The reason we didn't have the possibility to do that was related to server stuff. If you are with a group of four friends and you are playing a quest line you should never be without your four friends. The Nim boss fight with four people was amazing, and I also want to make it so you can replay these instances repeatably without having to reset your entire questline.
Any idea when the broken Volge Violence pursuit will be fixed?
That is coming. It has been fixed and is currently in testing.
Obtaining the Marathon Hunter title from the re-wind event?
That title was for people who were there for that event. That title is not going to be aquirable again. We will be doing another rewind event that will contain some more stuff like the Volge and giving an additional pursuit for that. No timeframe but it's not going to be until very very near the second season.
Will there be any new vehicles?
We definitely intend to do them, there is a strange reason that there is not one now. But yes, we want to but we need to make ones that are significantly more interesting than the ones currently available. There is talk about a new vehicle floating around but that is just prioritising.
We added a new system called smart loot, which checks if you have a stack of a grenade spike or stim inside or your inventory even at 0. When you kill an enemy and you have stacks of those things that you need them, you have a higher chance of dropping that thing that you need.
However it is just like walking up and seeing the grenade in the world right now you can hold a button to swap to that grenade and start throwing it immediately or press the pickup button to put it in your backpack.
The cooldown is 2 or 3 seconds at the moment.
Drops are going to drop the rarity that you have or lower, orange will still be rare. Or you could go to a shop and restock that way.
They will be coming back, I can't say when. I have a feature request to make them a little more satisying before we turn them back on. It's just a matter of when they are ready and the right quality.
Volge LMGs not dropping in Volge Sieges
I was wrong about those, they have been correctly hooked up. That change will go into a data push.
Reloading issues when melee attacking near the end of the reload
There is a tolerance, how close to the end of the animation and when did that gun get loaded. Because there is inconsistancy between the game and the server. That is where the discrepancy occurs, where the two of them disagree. We will see how troublesome that is to look into and address, if it is something easy and won't break something else. We may make that tolerance sooner. We don't want this to be a way to get around the reload time of long reload weapons.
Storage in the game
You can buy inventory space, but that's not a very nice thing. There is a lot of talk about a bank, a lot of people who have had more experience than I have talked about a bank. We just need to decide one way of the other, nobody has been very convincing. There are a lot of arguements against a bank.
There is a series of unique weapons that were added to the game late in development, they had unique synergies and were legendary weapons only. Cinder, Ash, Thunderbolt, Lightning. They will be released eventually when a path to obtaining them has been worked out.
Defiance on XBOX One or PS4
No information on that.
New EGO Abilities
More likely we will hit perks first, as ones that affect the abilities don't have the level of promise that they ought to.
Mods losing their synergy
We have someone who is looking at that, it turned out to be a deeper problem than we expected.
PvP Exploit Bans
Hackers ban them and they should go. People who have found problems with our mechanics and appear to play optimally, banning them is a dick move. We should address the balance issue and not ban the people from playing our game.
Disconnects and lag
There is a dedicated team looking into disconnects and lag.
The Defiance portion of the stream starts about 1:02:00.
Etaew is the creator of the Defiance Data site. He used to blog occasionally, and is a MMO addict. He plays Defiance on the EU / PC servers in the Blood Oath Brotherhood clan.
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