|So, assuming things go according to plan, the bulk of the Feb stuff is getting patched in next week, the new anti-vehicle weapons will appear in the update after that...
We wanted to give you guys a preview of some things you can look forward to in GU04, which is tentatively scheduled for release next week, pending any issues discovered in testing of course. First though, I wanted to talk a bit about our current update schedule "cadence" so you all understand when you can expect the game to be updated.
We have three types of updates to live that we use; Game Update, Patch and Hotfix.
Game Updates come on a 2-week cadence, so every second week you should expect a major game update with new features, gameplay changes, items and bug fixes. Last week we released GU03, we expect to release GU04 next week.
Patches come in between Game Updates, they typically don't introduce new gameplay or features, but will usually contain bug fixes, balance changes, and new items. We won't always have one each week, these come as needed.
Hotfixes can come any day, and they're based on an urgent need to change a game balance issue or bug.
In general we try to release Game Updates and Patches early on Wednesday mornings (PST), but we sometimes need to hold back the updates for more QA time when issues are found.
Coming with GU04
Here's a preview of some of the features which are currently scheduled to be released with GU04 next week and the patch in the following week:
Wraith Module (Cloaking) for infiltrators using the Flash
Rumble seat - bring a passenger with you on your flash, they are weapons free in the passenger seat!
New weapon: Renegade shotgun
Account level unlocks
Items you've purchased with StationCash will be available to all characters on your account that are eligible to use that item.
Common pool items, such as the Zephyr or NS-11 will be available to all characters on your account.
Empire specific weapons such as the GD-22 and Lasher will be available to all characters of the required faction on your account.
We are working on a solution for those of you who have purchased the same item on multiple characters.
A safe test zone where you can try each weapon and vehicle in the game with no resource cost or cooldown timers.
Target practice areas to learn weapon strengths and weaknesses at range, practice recoil patterns.
Driving/flying area to practice with vehicles.
Areas to practice team tactics, such as towers and small outposts.
No player stats are recorded in VR, so have fun!
New respawn & map screen
We've combined the respawn and map screen into one.
The new map screen has been cleaned up better use space.
Additional top requested features, such as friendly troop locations will be coming soon, but not with GU04.
We've increased the number of passive certifications for members and scaled the increase in cert points based on length of membership. The new cert point rates are as follows:
1-mo. member - 24 passive cert points/day
2-mo. member - 28.8 passive cert points/day
3-mo. member - 33.6 passive cert points/day
4-mo. member - 38.4 passive cert points/day
5-mo. member - 43.2 passive cert points/day
6-mo. + member - 48 passive cert points/day
Empire specific Rocket Launchers
VS - Lancer: an extremely precise, super-high-velocity, anti-vehicle energy weapon with a unique charge mechanic, the longer you charge the weapon the more damage it deals.
TR - Striker: launches a series of mid-damage guided missiles at a single target, the Striker's user must maintain the lock by keeping the enemy in the crosshairs while the missiles are tracking.
NC - Phoenix: A high damage, slow firing camera guided missile which must be guided by the Phoenix's user. The Phoenix is capable of dealing high damage with very little warning since there is no lock on.
These weapons will be released in the patch the week following GU04
Notable balance changes
Explosive radius from ALL vehicle based damage sources have been reduced, this does not affect vehicle vs vehicle direct hit damage, only splash damage vs infantry.
Prowler HEAT / HE rounds have had their damage reduced to no longer 1-shot kill infantry, killing a full health infantry will require both Prowler rounds to be fired. This does not affect vs. vehicle damage.
This is just a small preview of the main tentpole features for GU04, in addition to the above GU04 will contain a number of bug fixes and smaller balance tweaks, map changes to Indar, optimization and stability improvements.
I want to be absolutely clear that all of this is tentative, and until it's on the server it's not a guarantee! We want to keep you guys as up to date as possible with the current development, but it must come with the understanding that features slip & dates slip, and what we're giving you is our best possible projection of what and when.
As always, we're excited to hear your feedback, here, twitter, facebook and everywhere else.