By: Robyn Piatt
Looking at the big picture......
I will preface this missive with the following disclaimer:
The views expressed herein are my own and not of TFC, Kixeye, the Dalia llama or President Trump.
We have seen a lot of posts and comms chat lately about content overload and "keeping up" and chores and ZOMG Kix coin grabs etc.
Battle Pirates is not a game that you win over night, in fact there is no "end point", it's a constantly evolving journey. Kixeye needs to provide new content for the players or the game stagnates. I hear all the time that "Blackwater" days were fun and SW's were the most awesome fleet but let's be honest, would you really still be playing the game so many years later if that was still all we had?
They also need to keep the lights on at the office, as much as we like to think that we should get everything and play for free, they are a business. We all like to get paid...and so do Kix employees.
That being said, "Holy Content Overload!!"...but wait...does it really have to be overload??
Has kix really destroyed the game?
I was having a discussion with someone that was trying to get the Oppressor Hull in the TLC and he was frustrated and throwing fleet after fleet into the TLC and failing and I asked them why? The response was "Because I need it". This player has really good baser fleets. They already have a back log of builds and they are not a heavy coiner. He then went on a rampage about how much time it takes to do stuff and how hard it was to get anything done in the game and that Kix never listens. So I stepped back and started to think about what he said.
You don't HAVE to have everything and you don't have to DO everything RIGHT NOW.
Yes, there are players that coin the heck out of everything and have a fleet of the latest and greatest raid hulls out on the ocean before the paint is even dry on the raid targets. These folks help keep the lights on and I am thankful. Not coining is also fine. You can still compete, it won't be at the same level as the aforementioned heavy coiners, but you can compete. And guess what...you can still have FUN doing it. I know that if I don't have the latest (click back of base and instantly decimate my opponent) fleet that I am not going to be able to beat every base out there, and you know what? That is just fine..there are plenty of other bases I CAN hit (like George's.....because he is a farm). If my base is hit by an uber fleet, then I have a repair button that works really well.
The trick is to find the balance between the time you want to spend, the money you want to spend (if you coin) and where your build priorities lie. What part of the game do you enjoy the most? Is it base hitting? Do you just like the raids? Do you just like to blow shit up after work for an hour or do you live in your Mom's basement and play 24/7?
I'm a "The Glass is Half Full" kinda girl (especially if said glass contains a martini) so I looked back and thought about the bad things that have happened and then looked at the good things that have happened....and the good far outweighs the bad.
Weekly FM Content Changes
Holy mother lode. It is now easier than ever (and most of the time free) to get base parts and instantly change a turret over based on the latest flavor of the month base fleet. If you are/were behind in your turrets (looks in the mirror) or a non coiner, then the base parts are a YUGE boost. How many times recently has a new turret come out and we have used base parts to equip that bad boy on a turret within minutes of claiming/earning it?
Ranking is the single biggest chore in BP. You can tell me the FM is a drag and getting U is a drag but I would rather give up my left kidney (ok, not really - I need it to deal with those martinis) than go out and rank a fleet on the map. I had to do this recently due to a shipyard logistics issue (read - Robyn stuffed up the timing on a build) and within 10 minutes I wanted to find a cat to kick. Probably why It's a good thing I have dogs. The ability to go out and practically rank a full fleet in an hour for some coin is crazy. Sometimes you can rank them to skulled for free. (Yep, some fleets cost more than others but you still have the option to slow repair for free and get some really good VXP). Rank a rank a ship on cargoes? Ain't nobody got time for that.
Map Targets and what to expect with future events
We now know progression of the map targets. We know that a variant of the raid targets become new map targets for various parts of the game. The Skirmish became the U targets. The Siege will become the Mines and the Garrison will become the new FM. This means our fleets that we use in the raids will serve well past the raid they were built for.
We also know what each raid cycle will be. The target classes have well defined damage types. We can speculate and somewhat plan ahead for these targets.
We are no longer at the mercy of a new raid target not knowing anything about it and fumbling in the dark trying to figure out what to use.
There is also not a single target that we have not been able to crack. The player base are not idiots. We have some really creative people out there and someone usually has figured out how to do a raid target for very little damage (and some times none). They are also creative in figuring out how to use different fleets to do some of them. The 107 with IC and other various fleets made a massive impact to player point totals in the last raid.
Time Limited Campaigns
TLCs are generally now repeated. If you could not complete the campaign the first time, generally you will see it again in the future. Odds are there is a video out that shows you how to do it. Some are even done on old lower tier tech. We don't have to wait a year for a hull that came out in a TLC to come back into the mix.
Endgame TLC - Mastery Rounds were 6 hours for the final level and not 1 hour (hoping this trend continues)
Both the weekly and the raid have these targets. You can choose to coin these if you wish or you can just complete the target as normal. The beauty of these are if you are extremely short on time and have the coin you can get stuff done very quickly.
Remember when we only had Reaver Dredges?? As much Urianium as I spend now I can't imagine how I ever rolled a good crew let alone get retros done. It's now easier than ever to collect Uranium, the targets award way more Uranium and our storage has increased exponentially.
Daily Campaigns for Reinforced Chests
Although relatively new, these are great. You can do the campaigns you want and skip the ones that don't give you a good value. You can stock up on the chests and they are great for if you get caught short on U during the raid. The structure repair tokens are great for repairing your dock quickly if you get hit in the middle of the weekly or raid or you need to go deal some payback for a base hit.
Research and Development
Who doesn't like seeing their fleets speed across the map at the speed of light. Another item that was not "required" but gives out some good benefits with bonuses. You do the R&D at your own pace.
Although it had some growing pains, the ability for people to craft a hull is really good. The retros on the hulls are not too shabby either. You can earn retro bonuses just doing things you would be doing anyway.
This one has caused some angst and people have been royally pissed off about not being able to use hulls on specific targets. BUT...remember when a baser fleet was 30 hours to repair? You would go hit a base and if you died you had to hock your first born to fix it using gold and go back and try again or you parked it for repair and your base hitting was done for the night. Yes, they have restricted conquerors from other targets but they have also reduced the repair times on these hulls. Base Conqueror hulls are a 30 minute repair. You can now go out and hit a few bases for a reasonable repair time. Not sure on the logic behind the blocked access to cargo but it is what it is.
Some fleets are geared towards specific targets but they have a longer shelf life. How many old hulls were released that lasted maybe 2 months?
Cannoneer and Harlocks Cannoneer - Skill Hull for the last raid set. If driven well you could complete Tier 6 targets for 0 coin. Can be used for future mines for the next 9 months.
IronClad and Harlocks IronClad - Who in their right mind is not using these for base parts and DUBs for U and Print drops? Heck you can take a DUB with ONE. You could also auto lower level targets in the last raid with these. Kix practically gave these and their associated specials etc away in the last 2 raids and there were a lot of happy lower level Pirates that were able to get a LOT of stuff in the superstore because of it.
Icebreaker - The supposed IronClad of the next raid cycle. For the price it was offered in the raid it had better respect me in the morning and make the coffee as well. It is expected to be a lower price in the next cycle. You still have the option to grind lower targets with Citadels and Emperyans.
Empyrean - The "replacement" for the Citadel in the new weekly targets. We have time to use these in the raid and tweak them for new FM targets.
New "Skill Hull" - The Canoneer replacement for the next Garrison series of raid targets. Hopefully will be as successful as the Canoes were on the last cycle. We know it will be in a TLC and we know we will get build and VXP tokens (there are those tokens again).
We have fleets for specific areas of the game. Yes, in the past we were able to use the same fleet for many things but did it really perform as well? Did we really use ONE fleet for everything?
And then we have the conqueror hulls...this is where we shout "Danger!! - Overload ahead"
None of these are required. They are optional. In fact, if you skipped some of them the world didn't end. Some got them all, some got a couple of each and some decided to focus on just one of them. You did not have to get them all. Read that last part again. People were going ballistic about coin grabs....but no one is forcing you to get them all.
Do you really have to have everything offered? No. Odds are that even if you got all of the above hulls you have not built/won't be building them all anyway, (Unless you are rich and a big coiner in which case are you married?....but I digress).
If you really think about it and exclude the hulls that you know you will not build then maybe we are not so overloaded. With the tokens we get in the weekly and the now the TLC's and even the raids we are able to knock hulls out (and sometimes even rank them with tokens) Faster and cheaper than ever before.
Focus on the areas that are important to YOU and how you play the game, build what you need - not just what you want!
I play the game because I enjoy blowing shit up, yakking with mates, talking builds and trying to come up with a build or a path that allows me to beat the latest and greatest target that kix built. I also like finding alternate ways to do things. I decide how much I want to invest, be it time or money. I decide what I must have and I decide when I want to pass on something.
In closing...It now takes less time than ever to get key stuff done. Our fleets last much longer. Once you get your chore fleets set then essentially you don't have to revisit that fleet for around 9 months. You can then focus on other things in the game be it FVF or base hitting.
We have seen a major shift in the game with classifications but we are just at the beginning of this transition. Who knows how it may change in the future.
There are still areas for improvement and in some areas we seem to have taken a step or two backwards. Kixeye has stated that they are listening and in some instances they have, and they have responded. It may not have been as quick as we want, but it has happened. It takes time to code things and sometimes we are not privy to the amount of effort involved in getting something released.
The game is not perfect, but then no game ever is. I get irritated at Kix at times just as others do but personally, I think it's a better game than it was when I started.