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The Future of Global Agenda from GDC 2011

Posted Thu, Mar 10, 2011 by Ethec

Ten Ton Hammer met up with Global Agenda Executive Producer Todd Harris at Game Developers Conference, and while he and the Hi Rez team have big things planned for their other IP – Tribes Universe – at PAX East this coming weekend, Todd was willing to share a bit of what he and the team have planned for Global Agenda. And if fans had any concern that Global Agenda was fading in the limelight shone on the Tribes license, new updates in 2011 should help put these fears to rest.

First, I asked Todd if his Carolina-based studio is shut down while the NCAA tournament is in effect. No such luck.  Instead, Global Agenda has its own nod to March Madness – a collaboration between a sponsored site and Hi-Rez whereby 48 teams will blast it out in an esports tourney. Watch the action unfold at agendastats.com.

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1.4 is the big topic on most players’ minds, and Todd commented that development on Global Agenda’s first major update since the Sandstorm rollout late last year. 1.4 will include a new Dome Defense format – a 10 player PvE instance where players will fight alongside game notables such as John Bancroft to protect the home dome from waves of Commonwealth bots and bosses.

Second, the not-as-popular Demolition format – the team based robot vs. robot race to the enemy’s base – is becoming Acquisition. Robots are still are a part of the format and Todd noted that the maps are mostly the same, but the match will play out more like a traditional CTF map. But instead of capturing a flag, players will attempt to capture a robot, making for a faster paced, back and forth match. Todd also noted that the robots themselves are getting beefed up with better ranged weaponry.

Another core component – and one that will continue long after 1.4 goes live, are Hi-Rez’s class-by-class reviews. For now, Todd explained, the focus is on the new medic skill tree. “We noticed that players were going after the general tree more than we wanted them to,” Todd explained, noting that the specialization trees (poison and pure healing) were underused. Making these specializations more attractive to players is just the start of Hi Rez’s class-by-class skill revamp efforts.

global agenda

1.4 is slated to hit the test server for a select group of players before the end of March, with the update going live in the Spring. Todd also made mention of 1.5, which will continue the class revamps in addition to providing a new open zone, an offernsive raid, and new devices. Further out, Todd continues to hint at a Recursive Colony-themed expansion – referring to the nation of robots and drones that currently inhabit the Sonoran Desert south of Dome City.

Thanks to Hi Rez’s Todd Harris for his development brief at GDC 2011, and we look forward to even more exciting news regarding Tribes Universe coming out of PAX East 2011 this weekend.

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