What has been tested?
- A reimplementation of the confidence system that comes with a new ruleset. Player kills always yield confidence and more of it. The text display has been replaced with a progress bar.
- The human firebomb, a less expensive grenade that sets alien buildables and the floor on fire.
- New crosshairs with friend/foe and hit indicators. Thanks to Dozzer for starting to work on this and providing the alien indicator assets!
Here are the graphs, note that Stage 2 (really just a collection of items with the same unlock threshold now) was at 100 and Stage 3 at 200 confidence points.
I noticed that even though we made the confidence system more stable (i.e. less punishing to the defending team) by giving a greater amount of confidence per kill and more importantly giving it without regional limitation, three of the four matches left the defending team on Stage 1 while the attacking team nearly reached Stage 3. The new confidece system allows us to go in both directions easily and while I don't think that punishing camping more than it currently does would be a good idea, we still have the option to either leave it roughly where it is or increase stability further by giving defenders a quicker stageup or making it harder for the dominating team to reach Stage 3.
Request for feedback
I'd like to know whether you felt a certain stageup was too easy or too hard to reach. Please explain what you did and what your own and the enemy team did.
The confidence system will most likely get a more detailed ruleset as the complexity can be hidden behind the graphical representation now and we have some corner cases and scenarios that we wanted to address for a while. Ideally we want the size of a reward to be so intuitive that players don't mind how it's calculated (note that whenever you earn confidence the tip of your confidence bar will glow and the length of the glowing part represents the size of your share).
Fire is a fun thing but the damage calculation has some rough edges that make balancing harder and can potentially lead to frustration when a buildable burns shorter or longer than expected by attacker or defender, respectively.
Some people noted that the position of the human inventory on the HUD irritates them and while I don't think the scroll-and-select style inventory should have a future, I'll see if it fits between confidence bar and radar.
As soon as the confidence system works well enough for what were previously the three stages, we will start to tweak individual item thresholds to increase the "smoothness" of team progress. Expect to get some important items earlier and some more powerful upgrades later in the game.