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Progression is finally making its way into Midair. In 0.30.0 we’re introducing version 1 of our XP, leveling, and skill systems. Please note these are early-stage features that will likely have user experience issues, bugs, and are likely to change frequently before release. For additional reading on our goals and objectives with monetization and progression in Midair, read this blog post from a while back.
XP and Leveling Up
Each player will earn XP in the game and will level up as XP is accumulated. XP is earned by completing the tutorial missions, playing the game, and doing well. When in the game, you are currently rewarded for each minute played (with a minimum play time of 10 minutes), sticking around through the end of the match, and in bigger games, placing in the top 3 players in the server. To help you track how much XP you’ll earn in a given match, we’ve added a Match XP element to the score screen UI.
NOTE: In this early version, you will only be rewarded XP if you are in the server when the game ends. The amount of XP it takes to progress through each subsequent level increases each level gained with a max level of 50. To see your level and current XP vs how much is needed for the next level, we’ve added this information (and also your Steam profile pic) to a new UI widget at the bottom right of the menu. This information is also available in the Progression menu under your Profile.
What’s the quickest way to get your first couple of levels? Play through both tutorials!
Each time a player levels up they are rewarded a skill point. Skill points are used to unlock most of the gameplay features in the game such as Armors, Weapons, Items, Packs/Augments, Deployables, and Vehicles. These skills are laid out in a tree structure to visually show requirements and dependencies. We are planning to add additional gameplay elements to the tree that are not in this version. You may see some visual gaps in the tree structure due to these missing items.
We’ve added some features like lock icons that should help you visually identify in your loadouts whether or not something is unlocked. Additionally, clicking on the lock icon will automatically take you to that item in the skill tree for quick unlocking.
Your Loadout menu should also inform you when a loadout you’ve selected contains items that have not been unlocked yet. If you attempt to use a loadout with locked items, those items will either be missing (weapons, packs/augments, throwable items) or downgraded (armors).
Tools for Early Testing
In the Progression screen under your Profile, we’ve added some tools to help you test the progression system and quickly bypass progression if you so desire (you all have the Progression Pass after all!). Using Give 500 XP you can add roughly a single game’s XP. Give Level calculates and rewards the XP required between your current level and the next. Give Max Level gives you all of the XP through level 50. RESET will allow you to reset your XP, Level, and Skills progress. Note: Resetting requires a restart of the game, and confirming this action will automatically close the game.
Down with CTF-Dam, Long Live CTF-Reservoir!
The map CTF-Dam has been re-imagined, renamed, and given a full art pass to bring it to life in the Midair universe. We are itching to show off the results, so let’s take a look at the brand new CTF-Reservoir.
The central feature to the map is a giant dam that holds back water from streaming into the valley, creating a reservoir. Mana processing plants use the water to harness the resources this planet provides.
The base interiors have been built with almost entirely new art using our military themed assets giving a distinct feel both inside and out.
We’re excited to see you all experience CTF-Reservoir for the first time and discover some of the neat features and quirks built into the map.
Last time we spoke, we had added a prototype game mode called Spawn CTF that spawned all players in their loadouts and added a spawn time penalty when generators were brought down. It’s clear after seeing the initial response and listening to feedback that two things stand out:
1. New and casual players have a better and more intuitive experience playing Spawn CTF than CTF that requires visiting an inventory to get your loadout
2. We need better ways to ensure the base is still an important and relevant factor in gameplay, which is what we committed to since development on Midair started
We’re moving forward with these two things in mind. This means we’re committing to spawning in loadout in Base CTF and will be enabling this as the default setting on all official servers as well as newly created servers. If you’d like to go back to the old style that requires inventory use, we’re keeping that option configurable for server admins. With that said, let’s look at the new changes to CTF in 0.30.0.
Loadouts, Spawn Timers, and You
When players can spawn in their loadout it introduces several design challenges. In particular, when observing Spawn CTF in action, it was apparent that there is little impact when taking down a player in a key role like defensive sniper or heavy offense. In order to help balance situations like quick respawning of powerful classes, we’re adding equipment spawn penalties that increase the time it takes to spawn in your full loadout. Here’s the list of equipment and their corresponding spawn penalties.
Medium Armor: +0.5s
Heavy Armor: +1.0s
Rail Gun: +2.0s
Missile Launcher: +1.0s
Stealth Augment – Invisibility: +1.0s
The penalties are cumulative, so adding multiple of these items will continue to increase your spawn time. For example, a Heavy Armor (+1.0s) with both the Missile Launcher (+1.0s) and Mortar (+1.0s) equipped will experience a total spawn penalty of +3.0 seconds on top of the base spawn timer. The base spawn timer is 5.0 seconds, so the total spawn time for a loadout with those items would be 8.0 seconds. These penalties do NOT apply when using inventory stations.
In 0.30.0 we’re adding several new effects to downed generators in order to keep base defense and assault important. Here’s a list of all effects that apply when the generator is down:
Base spawn penalty increased by +80% when generator is down (was 60% in 0.29.0)
NEW: Equipment spawn penalty of +50% when generator is down
NEW: Deployable turrets now fire 20% slower when the generator is down
NEW: Deployable sensors now acquire targets more slowly when the generator is down
Using the Heavy Armor example from before, spawning in that loadout when the generator is down will result in a base spawn + gen down penalty (+80%) of 9 seconds, and an equipment penalty + gen down penalty (+50%) of 4.5 seconds, making a total of 13.5 seconds when the generator is down. This means that keeping your generator up saves 5.5 seconds of spawn time for someone with those loadout options.
We’ve added information to the Loadout screen that will help you identify loadout equipment penalties easily, and also see when it is affected by a downed generator. The equipment penalty information will turn red and increase appropriately when the generators are down.
In order to keep decision-making alive and well in base, and give players a chance to make quick decisions and emergency plays, we’ve added the ability for players to Emergency Spawn in a basic loadout at a much shorter interval. In the spawn screen, a shorter timer that is NOT affected by the generator status will decrease separate from the full loadout respawn timer.
Pressing Right Mouse Button will allow a player to initiate emergency spawn after the timer has completed.
In addition to all of the above changes, we’ve removed the ability to deploy any deployable near the enemy base within a certain range (map-dependent). This should help make defending and retaking your base against a good offense a little easier, which should help prevent unbreakable base camping.
New Item: Concussion Grenade
The latest addition to the CTF arsenal is the concussion grenade. This grenade deals minimal damage but can knock out a player-held flag and knock the holder around. Its most effective use is stopping a capper from getting out clean or breaking a tough base defense when they are holding your flag.
New Main Menu and Loadout Backgrounds
We’ve added a brand new interactive background to the Main Menu and Loadout Screen. We changed the way we’re rendering this so the background is now be affected by your video settings and should be perform much better overall. Words won’t do it justice, so take a look for yourself:
Map Sounds Pass
We’ve started a sound pass on most maps which now have ambient sounds playing at minimum. Most maps with final or near-final art now have additional custom sounds as well. We’ll continue to update maps with sounds as we get closer to release to bring them to life and add polish to the final product. Take a listen!