Ten Ton Hammer:
Two of the fifteen new “fluff” elements that are
being integrated into the game were mentioned in the
“Funderdome” dev log (PvP flags and lootable
costumes). Could you describe one or two more of those fifteen
“fun” features that are being added into the

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The FLS team is adding a horde of new ships to the
game, including powerful, career-specific ships.

style="font-weight: bold;">Kevin: Sure,
I’ll talk briefly about two of them.  Naturally, as
with any feature still in development, they may change significantly
before release.

adding difficulty sliders to the game, so that you can increase the
challenge you’ll face in a mission.  This also
applies to group size, so that in a large group with the difficulty
slider set to the maximum, you can expect to face extremely challenging
battles in every mission.  Some of our players find our ship
combat to be inherently challenging, but others want harder fights with
more risk and more reward.  We’re trying to
accommodate both tastes.

also in the process of adding a tremendous number of new ships to the
game – variants of almost every ship in the game, as well as
more powerful career-specific ships.  Our goal is that at
every level you have a reasonable choice of at least two ships that
match your play-style.  David is working like mad to tune the
new ships, and I’m working only slightly less frantically to
add them to the economy.

Ten Ton Hammer:
The second developer log “Swashbuckling Boarding”
really describes, in detail, the sequence of events involved in a
boarding encounter. This is incredibly exciting information! When did
you know that actual avatar boarding could be accomplished, and when
did it finally make its way into the client code?

style="font-weight: bold;">Kevin: Drew spent
months tuning and revising avatar combat based on weekly reviews,
constant playtesting, and many hours put in on weekends.  I
knew we could do boarding when that process started to wrap up, and the
resulting avatar combat was essentially fun and interesting. 
The technical side of boarding – which has to do with how the
various game servers manage multiple combat environments that can all
‘talk’ to each other – took a very long
time to get working.  After the system infrastructure was in
place, we started iterating and polishing the actual
encounter.  In that sense, ‘boarding’ as a
distinct unit has been in the game since late March, but the key
elements of the system – the avatar combat – have
been working for quite a bit longer than that.

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There are 120 different combat animations in the game.

Ten Ton Hammer:
Pirating was a savage profession that employed equally savage people. I
don’t think it comes as any surprise that you have
implemented a “swashbuckling” system into the game
that allows for avatar vs. avatar combat. Has anything changed to the
way swashbuckling works? Do we still have a
“Balance” meter and that sort of idea?

style="font-weight: bold;">Kevin: The essential
avatar combat system is the same.  What’s new is
lots and lots of refinement, and lots of content.  Huge
amazing stacks of content.

Ten Ton Hammer:
How many total combat animations will be available in June?

style="font-weight: bold;">Kevin: Drew guesses
about 120 different combat animations, including attacks and responses.

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016