“We call it nondestructive testing. It’s a suite of processes to rigorously test a mechanical system for damage or flaws. The entire purpose is to find potential faults without causing any permanent damage to the system.” Piotr Magnus looked up from his lectern, and was met with dozens of faces; serious, sleepless. Someone near the back coughed. “A lot of the tests use processes that would otherwise be hazardous to a person - electrical currents, radiation, liquid submersion - but aren’t supposed to cause any material damage to the machine.”
“So they’re using chemical weapons because they’re robots. We already know this, Piotr. What we need to know is how to prevent further attacks like this.”
Exclamations and angry mutterings rippled around the room.
“We won’t see another attack like Aerilon or Sagittaron again,” continued Piotr, wanting to make sure his point was heard before he was inevitably escorted out. He touched his wispy moustache with a finger, a nervous tic he’d developed since growing it. “Those attacks weren’tmade to kill populations; it was to test the system for faults. This ‘Clothos’ isn’t trying to kill us. It’s attempting to calibrate us.”
The room quietened to a raised hand. “To what end?” asked Admiral Cain, her face skeptical. Piotr Magnus took a breath, closed his eyes, and prayed he was right. “Equilibrium.”
Attention, nuggets! Today we’ve got a substantial entry to let you know about some of the balancing updates coming in the new patch, called the Endurance Update, which will launch on PC tomorrow in parallel with The Broken Alliance, our new story campaign DLC. Along with persistent damage, UI updates, damage models, new squadron abilities, war room animations… this is our biggest update yet!
Strategy Layer Balance
One of the most common bits of feedback we receive is regarding the officer fleet point caps in the single player campaign. As of the Endurance Update, the base fleet point cap of all fleets (with or without an officer) will be increased from 2500 to 4000.
This lets new officers field more viable fleets straight away, without needing to explicitly look for opportunities to hunt down those Nemesis and Cerastes strike groups for promotion XP.
Officers still have the Command ability to increase this base, however each rank in the ability will only increase the cap by 1000 instead of 1500. This does mean the maximum cap remains at 8000; however, Colonial Fleet will get to take advantage of the new support slot feature. This support slot allows all fleets to bring an additional eighth support class ship for no FPV cost, similar to how the Daidalos is accounted for in its own fleet group.
Additionally, Cylons will also have a manufacturing cap on their fleet production, which is limited by the difficulty selected at the start of the campaign. This cap hard limits the number of fleets Clothos can manufacture at any given board state, which in turn makes certain Daidalos Colony bonuses even more effective at slowing the tides of Cylon forces.
Battle Layer Balance
A number of balancing changes have been made to the pre-existing units in the Endurance Update. We’ve already talked about the new abilities brought to the battlefield by the Raptor and Wardriver squadrons in the previous developer diary, however they aren’t the only units to have had their numbers looked at.
The effectiveness of Viper MkII squadrons has been increased, putting their fighter skill further ahead of the curve compared to the larger Raider squadrons. This was a necessary rebalance for both single player scenarios, and multiplayer matches, where Cylon fleets can often outnumber Colonial squadrons. Severely outnumbered Viper squadrons will still struggle to keep their fighters in the air, but in general, dogfights will be more of a balanced playing field.
The larger capital ships have also had some adjustments made, which have fared well in our beta testing. The Jupiter class battlestar will have its hull rating increased from 150 to 165. This increase will give it an extra edge in longevity against the new Cylon tactics introduced in The Broken Alliance.
Most dramatically, the Atlas will be given a speed increase to match the Jupiter, and a new battery of ventral Medium Colonial turrets along its underside. This update to the Atlas upgrades the carrier’s performance, and when paired with other Colonial heavies like the Jupiter and Janus, can make for some long-lasting Colonial firepower.
This is only a selection of the balancing and bugfixing we’ve undertaken for the Endurance Update. The full patch notes will be released with the launch of the update, alongside our new story DLC, The Broken Alliance.
We’ll continue to keep an eye on the game’s balancing going forward with the patch, and look forward to seeing the new fleet compositions and tactics that will arise. In the meantime, keep your mag-cats primed, and Viper pilots on alert. So say we all!