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ASHES DEV JOURNAL: December 2017

Posted on Friday, December 15, 2017 By GeneralsGentlemen



Hey guys! This week we launched the opt-in for the 2.65 update which when released, will wrap us up for the year.

Today I'm teasing some more info about the upcoming DLC and I'd like to send out best wishes to everyone for the holiday season!

**Upcoming DLC**
 

Part of the upcoming DLC will include a number of Scenarios and Skirmish/Multiplayer maps which I've been working on for the last two months. Many of the maps are in response to types that we currently lack such as symmetrical team-oriented 5v5/6v6/7v7. Here's Caldera, a Large 6v6 map!

[[..]]

The Scenarios face the players up against unique situations and battles unlike any of the existing campaign and scenario missions. In the Ascension Scenario, for example, the player needs to build up and prepare for the Experimental Eye of Darkness which has insane damage and health and is sent out against the player after a delay. Here's a sneak peak of what that looks nice!

Ascension Video Showcase:

**Beginner's Guides**
I missed these just in time for last Dev Journal, but I want to extend another shout out to CenturianMudPig who has been doing some excellent beginner guides. These may be useful for yourself, or when introducing new players to the game to get them up to speed.

PHC Beginner's Guide:
Substrate Beginner's Guide:

So that's it from us for 2017! Stardock will be closed over Christmas for a week, but I'll be hanging about on the Ashes Discord as always. Thanks to everyone for what's been an incredible year, working on a project like Ashes has been a great experience!


ASHES DEV JOURNAL: November 2017

Posted on Monday, November 27, 2017 By GeneralsGentlemen

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Hey guys! November was a busy month for us at Stardock due to our launch of the Star Control Origins beta. 

A couple of things to talk about today including an announcement!

##2.65 Update##
The next update we're working on is mainly focused on bug fixes, some introduced in 2.6 and some that have been around for a while but weren't prioritized because they were low impact. You can expect 2.65 to be out sometime before Christmas. 2.65 won't be as big or as interesting as our past updates, which is why it's not referred to as 2.7. That's because of:

##Major DLC/Minor Expansion##
We're working on a Major DLC/Minor Expansion that is currently scheduled for the first half of 2018. We're not yet ready to reveal much info about this, but what I will say is that air transports are planned as the main feature. We've already got some cool content lined up which I'm excited to launch! 

##From Classic RTS to Living Worlds##
This isn't directly related to Ashes, but this is an amazing video featuring insights into Stardock's vision for the future of strategy games. Maybe some of this vision will make it into an Ashes sequel? 

So that's it for now! Thanks again to everyone passionate about Ashes and active in our community.


ASHES DEV JOURNAL: October 2017

Posted on Friday, October 27, 2017 By GeneralsGentlemen



G'day!

For the past month we've been working on the 2.6 update which is currently in QA testing and scheduled for early November. I already revealed some info about it in the September Dev Journal, but I'd like to drop more of a teaser.


##Quality of Life Changes##
2.6 isn't going to be our most exciting update, but it contains a great deal of Quality of Life changes and gameplay reworks that have long been requested and players will be happy to see implemented. These includes things like larger cursors for higher resolutions and changes to the way players are alerted about Logistics. Never again will a Dreadnought be at 99.99% waiting for the player to press Logistics but without them being alerted to do so. 

[[..]]

I think these little improvements are cool; they add up and are so important in the long run for building a great game and growing a player base, which is why they took the priority over work on bigger projects such as air transports.

##Scalability of Production##
We pride Ashes on featuring epic battles on the large scale, so we want to enhance this by giving more scalability to late game production. Multiple Engineers and Constructors will be able to boost build speed more effectively, so long as players have the late game economy to support it. Refineries and Harvesters gave almost unlimited income potential, and now there will be unlimited build speed potential to match it.

Building advanced defenses in the late game is being streamlined; Avatars and Sappers will be able to directly construct advanced defenses without needing to upgrade from basic defenses, cutting out a bunch of clicks and time in the process. Late game will feel a lot better in 2.6.


##UI Changes##
There's a few changes to the UI coming in 2.6, but primarily a rework of the unit panel to remove wasted space and improve the usability and appearance of the different panels. Here's a sneak peak.





##Player Reports##

I want to extend a huge thank you to everyone who reports issues and bugs on our forums or Discord. We do monitor them regularly and there's been a few fixes in 2.6 that have only happened because a user brought our attention to it. We do thorough QA testing, but it's inevitable for things to slip through the cracks with something as complicated as Ashes. So thanks and keep it up!


##Economy Guide##

I'd like to give a community shoutout to an excellent video guide by CenturianMudPig. He explains how the economy works and all the ways to increase income. If you know someone new to the game or haven't quite figured it all yet, you may find this guide helpful!


That's it for now. Thanks for reading and thanks for being a great community! Stay tuned for 2.6 coming shortly.

Cheers,
Callum.



ASHES DEV JOURNAL: September 2017

Posted on Friday, September 29, 2017 By GeneralsGentlemen

G'day.

It's been a very busy past couple of weeks for us, between the launch of the new Juggernauts in 2.5 and the Steam Publisher sale we had last weekend. On a personal note, the Agamemnon and Eye of Darkness were the first two units I designed, so it was a great experience starting them from scratch and seeing them develop into the final end result!

##Friendly Community##

The other day I came across this Steam user review:



It's wonderful to see people appreciate the friendly community that has grown around the game. I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who participates in discussions, events and offers help to players on any platform.  I think we have a great community and it's a pleasure to work and game with you. The Ashes discord has been rapidly growing recently and has featured a number of improvements lately. If you haven't done so already, you can join it here.
[[..]]
##Air Transports##

They're coming! The designs for them have been completed and the concept art is being worked on.  Implementing Air Transports will be a big engineering undertaking, especially due to the level of automation we want to give them, so it will take some time before they are ready.  There will be two air transports for each faction, a light and a heavy transport, they will load and unload units via short range teleportation.

Here's a sneak peak of the concept art for the light and heavy PHC Transports:






##2.6##

We've recently begun working on our next major update, 2.6. Aside from the new tutorials, the current plans for this update is general gameplay and quality of life improvements, before we get too bogged down with big flashy new features such as Transports, Naval etc. This won't be the most exciting update, but it will feature some changes that should make the game feel and play better.

##New Tutorials##

We're about to finally retire our dated tutorial and replace it with two new ones, the Basic Tutorial and Advanced Tutorial. These pack in more important information to new players, in a much faster and more interesting manner. The tutorials will be most players first impression, so we wanted to improve the new user experience and make sure they aren't confused by mechanics that weren't explained to them. 

##Design Tweaks##

2.6 will include some small reworks to improve parts of the game. Here's a couple of ideas I've been playing around with lately.

Healing/Repair Rework:

Engineers & Constructors not being effective at repairing structures is unintuitive and unfair to Substrate who lack Medics.

  • Medics can no longer heal buildings
  • Engineers/Constructors can no longer repair units
  • Engineer & Constructor repair amount increased from 15 to 100

Substrate Air Production Rework:

Substrate can get control of the skies far too easily, being able to swap all land based production into producing air units. It is  impossible to scout a Substrate heavy air transition due to the lack of dedicated air production structure.

  • Light air units moved from Assembly to Aviary
  • Aviary cost greatly lowered.
  • Rampager and Harbinger locked behind tech buildings or some kind of upgrade
  • Punisher reworked to distinguish and have a unique role compared to the Rampager


What do you think of these ideas? What other changes to the factions would you like to see?

Cheers,
Callum.

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