Transcript generously provided by Nocturnal_Nick in the Reddit thread here.

A link to the episode can be found here:

Questions and Answers

Question 1 - Vanduul lore discovery

While Vanduul culture and language remain largely a mystery, will a player be able to find clues and evidence to unravel their society or maybe discover a strategic weakness within them as a whole?

–The Tick

Answer 1

Yes (laughs) One word answers would be great today! But yes, definitely, we've been working on a back story to all the races, not sure if you'll discover a lot of it in SQ42, but you'll definitely be able to learn much more in the PU. As we know already the Vanduul are sort of a nomadic, warrior race, but that's not necessarily how they started or where they came from, but you'll find out more about that as the game and the PU unfolds.

Chris Roberts

Question 2 - Destructible asteroids

In the hornet commercial we see the Aurora's lasers (or bullets) zipping past its target and hitting the nearby asteroids causing debris (rock) to break off and drift into space. This effect is absent in AC but can we expect it in the final game?


Answer 2

Yes! Ok I won't just give a one word answer here either :-P. There are a few asteroids that you can shoot and blow into pieces that we already have in AC, but that's something we're working on, we need to have the asteroids break apart and be synchronised across the network properly without increasing network traffic too much, and that's part of a whole new network prediction scheme that we're putting in for V1.0 which will hopefully allow us to scale a lot more ships in space, which is quite a clever little spline based prediction dead reckoning system, so for anyone that's doing network stuff that may mean something to you. But it'll also help us do stuff with asteroids and other rigid bodies moving around in space, which will have a big effect on the PU and AC.

Chris Roberts

Question 3 - Engineering/ship repairs in PU

How will engineering in the PU work? I mean, if we choose a module, are we going to see NPC's changing it or does it just appear after we press on "apply"? Will it take some time until we can use the ship again?


Answer 3

Well my preference is to have as much immersive detail in there as possible, so you'd see your character or an NPC character sort of plugging it in and changing it over, but that's not really viable to do for everything, so there will be some cases where you'll just use the holo-table style thing and have the weapons appear on the ship. Longer term, we'd love to have ways of having little robots come in and do it for you, but that'll be more post V1.0, adding the very little things like that to make an immersive universe even more-so. In terms of engineering and other functions you'd do on bigger ships, that's what the UK studio is hard at work on at the moment, not just for SQ42 but for the capital ships in the PU as well. We're not really ready to talk about it just yet, because we'll have some reveals and discussions of that in the future, but the idea is to have some levels of mini-games and the like aboard big ships that engage you when you're playing one of those roles.

Chris Roberts

Question 4 - Jump point travel times/mechanic

What will jump point travel be like? An instantaneous hop to another system or a more or less dangerous race through some kind of warp-tunnel?

–Tom Weininger

Answer 4

It's definitely going to be more of a transitional effect through a warp tunnel. If you're navigating the jump point for the first time [Or it's map isn't publicly available, as answered previously - Nocturnal_Nick] it's definitely pretty dangerous, you'll almost have to surf it, like you're trying to stay on the warp-wave until you've ridden it out at the other end of the rip in the space-time continuum. Once you've done that you'll have the transitional effect as I mentioned before, but it's the same effect you just don't need to pilot it yourself. So it won't be an instantaneous hop, but there will be some kind of warp environment that you'd go through.

Chris Roberts

Question 5 - Healing/repair roles

What plans do you have for healing/repair roles during multiplayer combat in the PU? Are we going to have and ships/tools that will allow for repair/supply drops during a battle?


Answer 5

We are planning to have a fair amount of healing/repair roles in multiplayer combat, not just in space but in the FPS side of things too. This Saturday in Australia (so more like Friday for "everybody else") we'll have much more info on that side of things so stay tuned for that. It'll change the gameplay from the typical respawn type gameplay you have in most FPS games. We'll also have healing/repair roles in space for people/ships to take, so the repair/support roles, like repairing or rearming and refuelling other ships, so they could rejoin the battle. We'll probably create a game mode in AC to show them off later down the track. The idea of AC is sort of a test bed for all the stuff in the PU, so we'll build scenarios around that to test things we thing might happen in the PU. So there might be one where there are 2 landing pads and a refuelling depot where you can refuel and land, and 2 teams are fighting over that space. When we get the multicrewed ships and more diverse role-type ships in AC you'll see a lot more of that kind of game happening.

Chris Roberts

Question 6 - Reclaimer salvage arm use

With the reveal of the new Aegis Reclaimer I was wondering if its salvage arm could have other uses such as latching onto another large ship like the Constellation and hold it in place while another ship boards and takes over the ship with minimal damage?


Answer 6

Well, that's a cool idea, I don't know if the salvage arm is going to be quick enough to grab another ship if it's flying around, but definitely if the constellation isn't moving it should just be a physics simulation where the arm holds the constellation as still as possible [remembering that the connie has engines and thrusters that the reclaimer would have to counter too - Nocturnal_Nick], but it'd be pretty hard to catch I'd imagine, if it didn't want to be caught. I guess if you did, then you COULD hold it.

Chris Roberts

Question 7 - Ship customization

How will customizing a new ship in the PU work? Can we configure every option before "checkout", like buying a customizable PC-or must we purchase a preconfigured model, and then buy/install all our parts separately?


Answer 7

The plan right now is to buy a preconfigured ship model from the dealer, then you can buy additional parts and modify/change it however you want. Also you'll be able to work on the paint schemes and decals, we're actually working on that tech right now which we'll be debuting. not in 13.2 but definitely in V1.0 of AC that allows a base paint tech that we'll use for that. You won't necessarily be able to create the scheme yourself at first, more like base colour/secondary colour etc, but later on there's potentially the support for you to do your own particular paint-job or skin, as well as placing decals. Not sure if we'll have the user's ability to change colour schemes in the first iteration of V1.0, but we'll have some different skins there to select. We're able to do this now using a second UV set, for the 3D artists out there.

Chris Roberts

Question 8 - Player blockades

You said that lack of resources can drive a planet's economy, and that a failing economy now can impact the state of decay of a planet. Will it be possible to beseige planets and space stations? Cutting them off from resources, driving up the value of those items to force the planet to go into recession or make a claimable space station inhabitable by say blockading it from needed supplies like food, water and O2?

–John Highbinder

Answer 8

Most planets have instanced space around them, it's not unique. So if there's a planet and you got 50 people in orbit and our limit is 50 people per instance, the 51st and 52nd player that enter that orbit get put into a second instance around the planet again, they just don't see the other 50 people etc etc. So unless the space around the planet/station is unique doing a full blockade would be very difficult or impossible. There are some places that might have a unique instance of space around them, so if you did do it here, the way the game works is that if you did destroy every cargo ship going into that station it'd have an effect, but there would probably still be some that got through, and maybe even another instance "opened" for the NPC ships. Even in a player instanced scenario, if you destroy a cargo ship, that information goes into our economy system and it says well, those goods didn't get to the planet so in general the prices would rise for those goods, so while yes you do have an effect, you probably won't be able to entirely blockade a station like that. But I definitely think people will see the impact of their actions.

Chris Roberts

Question 9 - Crew reputation effecting captain's

As a captain: Will a crew member's former transgressions hurt my own reputation? If they don't commit a crime while a part of my crew (and no one else from my crew commits a crime), will bounty hunters still be allowed to attack my ship to collect an older bounty on one of my crew members?


Answer 9

I think the way we'll run the bounty system is that it's associated more with the ship plus the owner of the ship. So I think if, say, you were a wanted criminal and you served as a crew as someone else's ship, you wouldn't alter the reputation as that ship. Of course if you were down on a planet and there were bounty hunters there they could sort of scan you and see that you're wanted and "tag" you, that's how I guess they could get on your trail. I don't think the crew members history really matters towards the ship's reputations, it's more the captain and the ship itself, if that makes sense.

Chris Roberts

Question 10 - Crew rotation and day/night cycle

If I hire a few NPCs to crew my Retaliator, will they have a day-night cycle on the ship? Will I need to do a crew rotation, so that after an hour or two of real-time, I'll need to assign members to the "off-duty" crew station so that they can recharge up to 100% effectiveness through resting, eating and sleeping?

–Zan Caelo

Answer 10

I would say so, we're planning on having a day/night cycle for SQ42, so you'll be on a big capital ship, so I don't see why we wouldn't extend that system to the PU. So on some level you'll have to manage your crew in that way, but that'd only really affect really long journeys because most of the time it's not necessarily be quite as long, and you'd be near the planet before everybody needed to sleep. But I guess for those longer trips, it's one of the reasons we have beds on the ships, besides the ability to save your game while you're out in space. So there you go!

Chris Roberts


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