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Back to News Listing Battlestar Galactica Deadlock - Dev Diary #9 'Evasive Action'

Posted: Monday, August 13, 2018 by Alberto Casulini

Type: News

It’s quieter than you’d think. Even in the middle of the worst furball.

“Open racks and engage.”

No one else does what we do, out here in the quiet. One single pressure lock between life and a violent, cold, improbable death.

“Thrusters nominal. RCS is green. I'm good to go.”

Look at those big motherfrakkers. Debris means nothing to them. That armor could take a hundred salvos of heavy ordnance. Frak, on a bad day they’ll spill their tea after taking a nuke on the chin.

“Turkey right four lower three. I'm committing.”

In our world, one stray slug is all it takes.

“Tin can on my tail, take it down take it down!”

The difference between hearing your name whispered one more time, or never again.

“Krypter, krypter, krypter! I’m winged! Krypter, krypt--“

 

Amongst a whole bunch of other updates, the Defend command for squadrons is getting an overhaul. We’ve read a number of comments about this command not working as expected, and will be making some changes to make it a more useful and intuitive option. The following is a brief look into what some of our internal decision making process looks like when we adjust, balance or refactor a mechanic in Battlestar Galactica Deadlock.

 

Looking at the Defend Command

 

The Defend ability was originally designed as an all-encompassing command to defend against missiles, squadrons and capitals; however, it is used almost exclusively for anti-missile defence. The most egregious behaviour of a squadron is when told to defend a friendly unit, it then moves away to engage a capital, and becomes ineffective at shooting at the fresh salvo of incoming missiles now heading straight for the ship they were supposed to be defending.

When looking at solutions to a circumstance like this, it’s useful for us to make decisions based on a number of use case assumptions:

  • If you want to target a capital ship with a squadron, you’ll use the Select Target command. Squadrons are not considered the default anti-capital weapon, at least not until the board is clean of other squadrons. We can infer that if given the option, a player would prioritise automated targeting against a munition or squadron, over a capital ship.
  • You will not be happy for your squadron to idly circle it’s defend target while it is being attacked by AI squadrons. Squadrons are designed to fight other squadrons. Therefore, the player would expect a patrolling squadron to enter a dogfight when their defend target is attacked by AI squadrons. The command already achieves this, but it’s important to keep it in mind while changing other aspects of the ability.
  • You would prefer your fighter squadron to defend against high priority targets like Heavy Raiders and Wardrivers. It’s frustrating when Heavy Raiders are allowed to board your battlestar unchallenged by defending squadrons.
  • If the squadron is otherwise unengaged, it would not sit and watch missiles fly by to hit another friendly unit. This has been noted to cause some confusion for new players, who feel the single-mindedness of a squadron defending their single target is unintuitive.

 

 

As such, we will be implementing changes to the Defend command in the following ways:

  1. Don’t engage capital ships. When a squadron is following a Defend command, it will not disengage from it’s defend patrol path to intercept a capital ship. When you need to target a capital ship, you can use the Select Target command.
  2. Prioritise high value targets. Utilities (such as Wardrivers and Heavy Raiders) are arguably more of a threat than Raiders, so these will be given a higher priority when they attack your Defend target.
  3. Intercept any hostile munition in range. Rather than only intercept missiles that are intended for the Defend target, defenders will go after any missiles that come within their Defend range. This will reduce some of the skill ceiling required to use the ability, so we will need to balance the defend range so that squadrons don’t become the primary anti-munition defence.

 

So that’s just a little bit of insight into some of our design process at Black Lab Games, and a look at just one of the many updates you can expect coming to Battlestar Galactica Deadlock.

In the meantime, you can join our Discord channel at https://discordapp.com/invite/ZCQvdJp to discuss tactics, BSG, and find multiplayer opponents to test your skills against. So say we all!

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