A critical time: HWS 11 vs Alpha 11

Hi HWS Community,

as you probably know Eleon released today a Release Candidate for the upcoming big patch: Alpha 11:

In this topic I want to discuss some things so please take a moment and read through this.

HWS 11 vs Alpha 11

As you know my habbit since almost 4 years is to make a full wipe every time Eleon releases a big update. HWS 2 = Alpha 2. HWS 7 = Alpha 7. etc.
Now, for the first time, it’s not possible anymore and my little autism has to be killed.

We do not full wipe next week on monday! We do NOT full wipe when Alpha 11 will be released!

No full wipe

Since weeks I’m back and forth thinking and calculating but it is always the same result.
We start our own roadmap:

  1. With the Release of Alpha 11 we turn off CPU
  2. Our current savegame, which started on 17th September, will be still compatible with Alpha 11. A full wipe for Alpha 11 is not required.
  3. We keep our timeline and full wipe (HWS 11) at around 17th December

Why?

The reasons we don’t do a full wipe are:

  1. We don’t want to cut you off from 1 month. Be it gameplay, be it your Supporter packages, be it my own preparation plans for HWS 11
  2. I want to observe how CPU will be accepted by players and how the gameplay overall will be.
  3. Since it’s a massive gameplay feature, I don’t want to not include it and want to give you time, to adapt your blueprints to it.
  4. I want to wait out bugs and issues, which will normally arise with such a big new patch.

So in summary, I want to kill my darlings and do not surf on the hype wave as the first guy, as I normally did.
I want to take a slower approach this time. See, observe, study. Patiently.
Taking you on board on many things I have planned for HWS 11.

HWS 11 Planning

That being said let me get you onboard on my HWS 11 Plans where you can also help me with it.

A new HWS Universe

We are working on a complete new Universe! This is huge challenge since the current universe was a work in progress after 2 years.
But a lot of things happened in 2 years and our requirements changed. Eleon added many new things. We added a lot of new things - Supergates for example.
The current Universe just reached it’s maximum of possibilities.

It’s time to take a deep breath, learn from it perfectly and invent a new universe with all the current strengths but adding even better things on top of it. It’s very hard to do.
Creating a MP Universe is hands down the most difficult task for a Server Owner.
On the same time the most satisfying thing though - we are excited about it.

A special collaboration for HWS Patrons

I’ve heard the feedback that you want to get more involved in my decisions and making process. Building an universe is a tricky thing as a group though. Similar like cooking. You know it probably. The more cooks, the more stressful and risky it will be.

So I’ve decided to work close together with our HWS Patrons. I will post regular detailed updates on Patreon about the process where you can let us know what you think about it.
Patreon is more than just “Empyrion”. More than just “HWS”. It should be also not about getting rewards…
Patreon in its nature is about supporting us in what we do as living. All of that is what I do for living. Day and Night. Help you. Improve your free time you spend on my servers.
So we think it’s a win-win if HWS Patrons can “work” more closely together with us.

HWS Universe Poll

I’m still not sure if time allows me to do a big HWS Survey #4 so please feel free to vote here already:

From 1 = Perfect to 6 = Horrible what is your opinion about the current Universe?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6

0 voters

Multiple Choice Vote

  • The Universe is too small
  • The Universe is too big
  • The Universe needs more PvE
  • The Universe needs more PvP
  • Something else? Please comment!

0 voters

HWS Story / Campaign

It’s a very ambitious goal but we really want to integrate a real Story and/or even Campaign to HWS.
Each full wipe will be a “Chapter” in which we want to tell you a story which has a semi-open end and will be continued in the next Chapter (season).

For the first time the Prototype Origin will play a bigger role and can fly around in the Universe as well. Absolutely neutral - with neither benefits nor penalties.

ECC gets a huge addition of an “Origin Temple”, where you can change your Origin even later - at a high price though…

The goal is to bring certain Origins together or further away - depending on your gamestyle.
But also Professor Void, The Alien Worms, You as Clone and the NPC Factions will dive you into a story you want to explore.

It’s a big project and way over the top what Empyrion has to offer but we think it’s time to put all our experience into that – providing you many more playhours of gameplay.

Multiple Choice Vote

  • Tell me more about Alien Worms
  • Tell me more about Professor Void
  • Tell me more about Prototypes
  • Tell me more about Clones
  • Tell me more about Freelancer
  • Tell me more about Federation
  • Tell me more about Pirates

0 voters

CPU & Thruster & Mass/Volume

The other elephant in the room for HWS are those three “features”.

Mass&Volume

For 2 seasons we have now a semi-active Mass&Volume feature. Limits are so high for your backpack, that you can transport a whole planet with you.
With CPU it’s time to give you more decisions how you carry your stuff around.
I don’t have all details thought out yet and it depends on how you are using OCD and other features.

Choose please

  • Mass & Volume are part of HWS now
  • Mass & Volume needs refinement
  • Mass & Volume is useless

0 voters

Thruster

No worry, I don’t mean with that the exposed Thruster option. This is still a no-go, because some bugs needs to get fixed for it first.
However I’m not sure yet if we keep my reworked Thruster values in the HWS Config or adapt the new Eleon Thruster stats?
Until Christmas I hope to get also more feedback about it and my please at you is already:

Choose please

  • Keep Thruster values (HP, Thrust,…) from HWS Config
  • Use the new reworked Eleon Thruster values

0 voters

Check out the reworked Eleon Thruster values here but especially try to play with them in Singleplayer:

CPU

Best comes last. Activating CPU is inevitable – just a matter of time in my opinion.
CPU values might get polished here and there, in worst case I can make my hands dirty in the HWS Config again but overall it affects the gameplay more than Mass&Volume or anything else.

I do not want to fiddle around in the HWS Config in the first place, because it’s important for me to have Workshop compatibility as good as possible. Changing CPU values would open a box of Pandora.

The gameplay, PvE and PvP will change, at the beginning in a weird way but IF the plan works out - in a specialized way and with high competitive skill involved. That is what I try to boost.

Alien Core (NPC Core)

A new salty food of thought: the Alien Core. Once your structure has an Alien Core, it is not affected from CPU Tiers or CPU Penalties – only by good old Class / Block limits.

I think this makes it clear, that we will remove our Alien Core Supporter Package from our website. You won’t be able to buy it with real money or HWS Ingots anymore.

You can still find them in POIs, PDA Missions, Events, etc. though.
Still, there are couple of opinions about it around. For example:

Multiple Choice Vote

  • Make HWS Garage ships cheaper
  • Make HWS Garage ships expensive
  • Make Alien Cores more rare
  • Make Alien Cores more common
  • Remove own Alien Cores completely

0 voters

HWS Features

Ok, that one is the last for sure :slight_smile:
This is rather a personal challenge and goal for 2020 but just so you know how important it is for me.

I am currently collecting as much data about our HWS Features as possible.
Which is useful, which not. Which needs more work, which is not even finished.
And that list is not short I can tell.
In specific areas I created literally a monster. Overall just what I always wanted: make my own game and tweak it to perfection. :wink:

So keep in mind that my plans are not quite concrete about that yet but:

  • Implement 10 levels also for EGS Recycle
  • Rework EGS Stealth to make it very lucrative to use - especially in combination with CPU and if you have multiple ships you have to use for different jobs
  • Another elephant in the room: OCD full + OCD lvl 10 - what now?? This topic needs a solution asap!
  • Implement a new “HWS Conquer” Feature for PvP and PvE. Whoever controls the most POIs on a planet the more influence in terms of passive credits + HWS RP gain you get
  • And some topics I mentioned more often like rework Events, Missions, Commodity Trading, HWS Factories, HWS Skill Tree v2, …

Alright, that’s it and thanks for reading all of that! It means a lot to me if my 4 hours spending in such announcements are also appreciated - if not, please let me also know so I can invest them in other things!?

In any way, a very stressful ending of a great 2019 Year. After 7 years I moved from Berlin to Bonn, I changed personally a lot, learned tons of new things, met hundreds of new people and have again lot of ideas for 2020 - be it Patreon, Empyrion, Streaming, HWS Connect and more.
Still, you, the HWS Community grew to a big community from nowhere, I could have never imagined.
I honestly appreciate all of you being part of that - it means a lot to me, to us!

Your HWS Team

8 Likes

@RexXxuS I think you should make the gold a lot more valuable so OCD 10 is more feasible
or add a commodity that is easy to get then sell on for like 2m each in pvp like cebo a thew sesions back .
2.I think you should take out RP bases on PVP because factions put stick bases in the ground under where you can dig so it is impossible to destroy. insted maby make it so you have to have a base with turrets and ammo in it that can shot stuff
3.the battle royal event need to change in my oppinun because the fist time it came out it was fun but then mega factions started to farm kills and new people can find that verry annoying.
3.eton is good but i think it need gold on it .:slight_smile: thanks for all your hard work REXXUS

While I understand the logic behind this, I need to adress an elephant in the room: the new flight controller. Until CPU is active, nothing will prevent players from making 3000 block SVs made out of 3x3x13 thrusters, CVs made with the same logic, etc.

Not only they will be impossible to hit (ships already got much faster compared to times before the thruster rework), they will have insane overall hp since all thrusters count as 1 block for playfield limits. Before new flight system, RCS were used to compensate for this. High thruster weight, Bigger dimensions>more RCS>more class size>limits. Now RCS are not needed in builds at all, especially if said build is made out of thrusters.

I think until the new season is released, the limitations for pvp playfields need to be adjusted. The best idea would be to make a ship mass limitation as a band aid to prevent the most bizarre ships from becoming the meta. It needs to be large enough to not break any of the current builds (i.e. mass of 6*12 2x2x5 thrusters, 100 RCS, all weapons+3000 hardened steel blocks for svs).

1 Like

@RexXxuS, thank you for this information regarding the future for HWS. Having played in Experimental quite a lot recently, I have found that CPU is very interesting, and is very closely tied in with the thruster and aerodynamics changes. These are my observations so far:-

  1. The combination of CPU/thrusters/aerodynamics make for a lot of interesting innovations in design.
  2. The CPU with its present numbers limits the effective size of HVs to somewhere between Class 2 and 3. Any larger than this and the HV becomes a slow lumbering beast, which is really what happens as vehicles reach a certain mass and size. It does not stop people building ‘Maus’ style HVs, but they will only be useable in certain circumstances. I have also noticed that the larger the HV the more lag it creates in creative.
  3. The CPU with its present numbers also limits the effective size of SVs to somewhere around Class 2. Any larger than this and the SV becomes ineffective as a fighting ship, which is really what happens as vehicles reach a certain mass and size. It does not stop people building ‘Gigant’ style SVs, but they will only be useable as transport ships or small carriers. I have also noticed that the larger the SV the more lag it creates in creative.
  4. The CPU with its present numbers limits the effective size of CVs to somewhere between Class 1 and 2. Any larger than this and the CV becomes a slow lumbering beast, which is really what happens as vehicles reach a certain mass and size. It does not stop people building ‘Gigant’ style CVs, but they will only be useable as transport ships or carriers. I have also noticed that the larger the CV the more lag it creates in creative.
  5. Having larger ships unable to move as fast or be as agile as smaller ones will make combat more realistic, and may lead to a situation where, as an example, a large expensive carrier needs to have smaller escort ships to protect it.
  6. I think that the CPU/thruster/aerodynamics changes have a huge amount of potential, and will certainly give vehicle designers and modders something to test their skills and ingenuity. I personally have come up with some radically new designs which may or may not work well, but are worth trying out.
  7. NPC Cores will still allow large, fast, agile gun bricks, which may ruin the balance that I think Eleon are trying to achieve.
  8. The CPU/thruster/aerodynamics combination may only work well if all three are functioning in the game, allowing for an integrated approach to design and development of vehicles. If one of the factors is switched off it may lead to unforseen (or even foreseen) imbalances in the design of vehicles - see @Politary’s post.

In conclusion I feel that all these changes are worthy of being called Alpha 11 rather than 10.6. I and my group of designer friends were sceptical that the introduction of these features would be beneficial, but after an hour or so of playing around with them in Experimental we saw the whole potential of them open up before us. We are now having great fun experimenting with new ways of putting vehicles together and trying to get the most out of them.

1 Like

I just think people need more of an incentive to go into PVP. Resources are too accessible, I think deposits should be reduced across all playfields.

RP bases should require something more, like the core being placed above ground so you don’t just have powered bricks sunk into the terrain that have to be dug out. Have it be something you might actually have to go defend!

I think the idea of HWS Conquer is awesome, but it sounds like it would only work being implemented on PVP playfields. How would the POIs be contestable in PVE? Seems like it would contribute to segregating the PVE and PVP crowds even further.

I also have a cool idea of NPC resource traders, where you can trade ‘X amount’ of resource type for ‘Y amount’ of gold ore. You could have something like “HWS Stronghold” POIs in PVP playfields that have destructible/hackable cores that could be contested by enemy factions. Put the NPC resource trader in these POIs, once the core is destroyed or hacked you have access to the trader. Make it repeatable every hour or so. Kinda combining the ideas of hacking the factories on GG with The Sphere in black hole and HWS Conquer.

2 Likes
  1. I think @aeonbug is right in that we need to see the CPU, thrusters, and aerodynamics as an integrated function, and address them as 1 entity instead of 3 separate entities. You start changing 1 of them and the other 2 get messed up and it breaks the system down.
  2. I would like to see alien cores remain, but only usable in bases. I’ve always had plans on creating a base styled around an actual city and to successfully manage that I would think an alien core would be the way to do it. I do think they should be removed from vehicles altogether, even garage ships, as it will just be a nightmare to manage once the CPU option becomes active.
  3. @HoboTruth has a good idea about reducing resources across all playfields. It is a survival game and they seem to be way too plentiful. There should be a little of something everywhere, but you should have to work to scavenge enough for whatever you are building.
    This would also then force players to interact more with the NPC traders and using the HWS trader and marketplace.

I have some other thoughts about the universe itself, but I’ll pass those on some other time.

2 Likes

I love all of the new ideas and goals, the direction HWS is going gets more exciting with each announcement.

An idea for the new universe, have “deep pvp space”, where it takes several jumps in one direction to get out to pve. I feel like it is to easy to escape to pve from rich pvp zones. high risk high reward. on that note, resources should be harder to come by for sure. I like to be rich, but would be more fun if it was a little harder.

prototype getting new roles will be cool, never saw a reason to play it before.

alien cores is a tough topic also. definitely need them in bases at a minimum. garage ships would be nice, but not sure how it would be done effectively.

I’ll be checking patron more often now as well.
All in all Great work! keep it up!

I am actually quite worried about sv vs sv fighing.
Is already a nightmare hitting a 3000 blocks class 1 sv, I imagine will be impossible to hit smaller and faster ships because the speed with the new patch will be increased by a lot.
The problems is the game engine itself since also if we shoot the autotracking rockets in the center of the crosshair missiles wont follow the target.

As i said already in discord would be nice to see racoms in pvp more contested. Making us able to build around those bases to protect them (and maybe make an exception on rules on racoms in space and be able to build inside those but only in reachable parts) - and obviously drastically increase sell prices since with actual prices also if you can build around those racoms nobody will do it because of the small profit.

Also i want to see pvp planets with hotspot of resources with terrain wipe hard only once a week to being able to put autominers on those.

Rp bases should be outside the ground and powered up (core outside will be wonderful) so people need to actively protect those.

And yes pve has too much resources actually. I never saw in 2 months gametime new people coming to pvp sectors since they find all in pve (there are quite huge amount of deposits there) Maybe make only small deposits and remove a lot of asteroids,

Make universe bigger? Seems already dead and unhabitated now that is medium sized with very rare encounters in pvp (if not legendary). None lives in pvp since there is no incentive to build there. None on golden globe, none on all HW planets, none on cebo, none on walla, none on pandora. Why make it bigger if there is already already a lot of empty space?

3 Likes

Thank you for the long update Rexxus. HWS really is a great universe to play in.

For alien cores, I think its a really nice addition here (as is the Garage concept). However, if cores become more important (or rarer) this only really applies to newer players or factions as older players will have a ton of cores saved from previous seasons or the money and recycle level to buy and recycle Garage ships. I would consider preventing the recycling of the cores and possibly not allowing NPC cores to be brought to the next season (and I say this having collected every core easily available from missions on the two servers but not having a large stockpile beyond those 6).

A larger universe is initially very appealing, but are there enough players to make it viable for the PVP end of things? Also, some of the existing universe is not really varied and interesting as other parts. In my opinion only:
All homeworld planets, golden globe, black hole- all really unique, interesting and worth visiting
Triton- Interesting POIs, high temperature and meteorites to contend with, excellent planet
Binomi- Really Interesting zombie theme, high radiation to contend with, excellent planet.
Eden system- a lot of people settle there, one unique POI I found on main planet. Nothing of interest in the other moons that I could find.
Sanctuary system- basically the same as the Eden system
Freelancer HQ- nice, interesting planet. Seemingly pointless moon.
Sathlon/Jupidor- not much of interest on the planet, asteroids get mined sometimes
Walla/Cebo- have trading stations, otherwise not a lot going on it seems.
Pandora- the race is nice. Decent RP bonus for base, but not a lot else to do and its unlikely to ever challenge GG as a place for PVP as gold trumps all else.
Phoenix System- Interesting space, 4G planet with only standard Zirax POIs seems a wasted opportunity for something a bit more special.

Going to PVP
I agree with Paxxo that few new players venture from PVE to PVP, but I don’t think the resources are the reason. Even ignoring the marketplace and OAMs, the blueprint factory means you can just throw high end stuff from POIs in to make your ship/base which you will want to do anyway to reduce BP build time. Once your ship is built, all you really need is Erestrum for ammo- or you could just buy it from the ECC trader. If you are in PVE you will never need rare ammo anyway. So, basically, only if you are in PVP do you really need to be in PVP for resources. While I do not visit daily, Phoenix and the PVE/PVP rotation planets generally seem to have untouched Erestrum, Zascosium and magnesium asteroids on both servers so I don’t think these resources are really being “mined in pve” either. Gold is the exception of course. Still, when a single player on EU or on NA pentaxid and (very occasionally sathium for repairs) is all I need to mine. As I think I suggested before, pentaxid is they key resource to consider making rare. So why would player X need/consider going to PVP space? POIs, missions and trading or a mixture of the above.

Some people just don’t want to go very far, which is a shame as there is much to find in the existing universe, but not something that is changeable. As long as they are having fun, then cool.

Getting killed
Generally does not matter. Might bother some more than others. Loss of resources and time more of an issue. While it seems the vast majority of pilots will return equipment and/or offer a ship to the stranded new player, this is not universal and it can be time consuming to reassemble equipment/supplies/commodities for your next run.

There is also a massive difference between those who join a faction and thereby receive guidance/help with existing mechanisms and those who do not. HWS is much more accessible for the former, but not everyone is going to go that way or are in a small faction with friends.

Commodity Trading
Is not easy to do, it has a very long lead in time of flying about finding the trading stations in order to actually trade in the first place. Flying around space is time consuming and not that interesting. Once you know where to start expecting them based on a pattern it gets quicker. Still, not everyone is going to be willing to do this. If you are a large established faction this is less of an issue as someone has found them/knows where to expect them based on previous season. Pure commodity trading has a relatively decent risk vs. reward as you can go there basically naked in a ship with just the absolute basics so will lose very little on death. The barriers to going to PVP for trading are therefore mostly knowing that trading is a thing at all (there is an awful lot to learn for HWS and the guide is long) and being willing to fly around to find everything. For the latter I would consider making the trading stations appear as map markers or giving them map markers X weeks into a season (so that those who explore can reap the rewards early, but the entry barrier is lower to all later).

PDA Missions
I think these are the most common reason for people to venture into PVP space who normally would not, particularly those with good rewards. The only POIs in PVP space I have visited where someone has cleared it out before me have been those related to missions. Many of the missions have an outstandingly good risk/reward ratio. Unique or special rewards (alien core, epic armour) have the biggest pull. The CPU upgraders in alpha 11 are an obvious easy candidate for this kind of mission that is really worth doing. Other rewards that are timesaving would also be excellent. One of my favourite POIs is the Iceworld one that gives you a big stack of logs-I would do that as a mission as it is a great time saver (whereas a 50K money card is far less appealing).

POIs
I really like the unique POIs in the homeworld system, and you get varied and interesting loot plus there is the added bonus of the unique nature of it the first time you go there and explore. However, they have a very poor risk/reward ratio as you need to bring a lot more weapons and supplies to clear POIs, your ship can be attacked while in the POI and the more consecutive POIs you have to do, the worse this ratio gets. OCD is not an option atm since you need 700million credits first. The suggestion elsewhere for allowing OCD put with a 24 hour cooldown in PVP at a much earlier point was a good one IMO. A second issue is a more awkward one.

Faction bases along the centre/key areas of a planet allow that faction an alert meaning there will be one or more fighters in PVP ships with just ammo and fuel on their way to attack your ship filled with goodies. If, you know how alerts work then great, you know you flew too close to a base and would be best leaving the planet immediately. If not, you are going to die a lot and perhaps decide flying to the homeworld planets is not worth it as you are certain to be attacked. Not sure if this is something people want changed (for example having a larger band around the planet where you cannot build) or if happy enough with this. I’ve only seen this on the NA server, EU faction RP bases tend to be off the beaten track and are probably mostly encountered by people actually scouting for them.

I almost certainly spend a larger % of my time going after POIs than most players so that tends to colour all of my opinions on the above.

2 Likes

I agree with you. I’m pretty much a pve’r, but last night I flew out to Walla and Pandora and didn’t encounter a soul. I mined the heck out of those asteroids without a worry at all. Universe should be cut down by at least a 1/3 and then maybe bump up the main planet in each playfield by 1 class? That would help put more people on the same playing fields and make the solar system seem more alive. I guess the question is which is better for system performance: more playing fields with less players per field, or less playing fields with more players on those fields?

If ping wasn’t such a problem it might be cool to have one server 100% pvp and one server standard.

Indeed. I remember(16 months ago) the only way to get gold as a newish player was run the gauntlet in the asteroids around golden globe…you’d get maybe 10-15 mins before being intercepted by some imposing pvp ship.

Last night i mined Phoenix for gold. Million credits worth in 25 mins… Why would i ever go pvp when the exact equivalent is there in Phoenix ? Not to mention every other ore in abundence…

1 Like

I think this problem transits to PvP space layout as well. Black hole was a system where one can find all types of rare ores… Now almost if not any PvP system has them all. It would be very interesting to see some orbits to be more resource specific. Having resource specific mist area is good, but there’s not much incentive to mine it when you can just mine normal asteroid ring and find all kinds of ores.

I really like how planets are made in that regard, especially Titan. Lots of magnesium deposits, magnesium crust, even the planet itself has colour scheme of magnesium ore. It was more noticeable before the green goo texture was added though, doesn’t look that pretty now.

As for black hole, I think resources there are too spread out even after removing one of the asteroid rings from it to effectively patrol it. More in my topic I made a while ago, many points from there still stand. I’m a big fan of space pvp and it would be awesome to see pvp orbits receiving same attention as planets got. :slight_smile:

Rare ores should be rare, iron price is 5 credits per ignot while erestrum and zascosium are 7. This is not right and why would one even bother goin to pvp for it. Also pvpve rotation for pvpve rotation systems, jupidor and sathon is a bad thing. U have 24/7 access to one of them which means u have all the benefits of pvp sector while it is pve.
An phoenix should be removed, because players should buy rare ores from the market if they dont want to risk a trip to pvp. Thats why pvp space is empty and rare ores are cheap as they are.

You so obese, that demand cuts resources in PvE, can on GG to leave one resource with gold, that would you from wealth not freaked out. OK, I want to entertain you bored on his wealth and zalechu in PvP. what’s next? We will spin in the dance with 5-10 FPS (already nonsense). No, your backup will arrive, and then I’ll return to base without the ship. Have fun with your peers and stay out of PvE!

PvP space is empty because some came here to play shooter and others to create!

IMO we need to drop classes back to Class 1 for all vessels. It already takes forever to kill a class 1, no reason to have class 5.

CPU limits T4 CVs to roughly 15 000 CS blocks (50 000 sathium). Everything above that is practically useless in combat. So class size won’t decide ship’s efficiency. Just a lag measure. I think 5 is fine.