Bug fixes, more nodes, TL2, the log-on/log-off and cloaking!
We're focusing very much on bug fixing these days, deploying server updates almost daily during weekdays. We usually only do client patches on Tuesdays since they are quite an undertaking and require more staff available for quick response and we don't want to mess with the weekends.
Bug fixing means you will see fewer features until Shiva. The non-Shiva time being spent on squishing bugs effectively leaves little or no time for anything else.
The increased server stability the past week (not counting the bugs that crashed us during the weekend - and are fixed I might add) is allowing us to add our 32 brand spiffy new nodes to the cluster. (I feel so happy all of a sudden). They are being deployed gradually in each downtime, since adding all at the same time would make us vulnerable to individual hardware malfunctions, this helps troubleshooting.
We will however keep on deploying TL2 content that we just need to tune to release, no coding involved. The only thing we are going to do coding wise is with Drones and Missiles which will (hopefully) be improvements and can be discussed here . The Tech Level 2 things we are focusing at are 2 frigates, 1 cruiser, finishing balancing on TL2 turrets and their ammo and possibly some more TL2 modules. Any wishes? There is some more details in the just finished CSM regardong content additions.
Log-on and log-off tricks are increasing again, the countermeasures deployed some time ago are getting less and less effective, so we are designing a fix to that, adding more countermeasures. That deserves its own blog though but the basis for the design originates from this thread on the subject. Very good suggestions there.
Cloaking thread got some attention, third blog including something about that. I really didn't like either of those solutions so after thinking quite a lot about this, talking to lots of players we want to propose another solution. If you are using area of effect weapons in Empire space, deal with the consequences.
We'll add more warning messages in the client regarding this and to give players a chance to counter cloaks (since we will be decreasing their decloaking range again, currently at 10Km), we will be giving out a special decloaking module. It act's similar to a smartbomb, in pulses, with range and rate of "fire". There is no coincidence in the similarity, but the complexity we added with handling the damage, aggression etc. in the smartbomb itself was messy. This also opens up for specialized bonuses on EW ships and better anti-cloaking modules. What's your take on that?