Welcome back to another devblog! Today, we will discuss changes coming to Caches, Crystals, and Cosmpiercer Energy. These changes will hit the Starmourn Sector on Thursday, May 4th, with a recommended play time at 23:00 UTC. We’ll be kicking things off with a dramatic event that you’re not going to want to miss! You might consider dusting off and stocking up your ships, too…
For now, keep reading for more information about the incoming Cosmpiercer reset and other Conflict Rework updates!
The overarching goal of the Conflict Rework is to create meaningful pathways for all player archetypes to contribute in their own way to their faction. We want everyone to have content they can call home, and for that content to matter, mechanically. In the past devblogs and releases, we’ve talked quite a lot about what we are doing to bridge the prior gaps for many different play styles. This time around, we will discuss our attempts to stimulate the healthy competition for limited resources!
One of our key goals in this round of development was reducing the available Cosmpiercers and crystal sources to encourage healthy competition for those resources. Basically, the following changes should funnel players into smaller numbers of more dramatic flashpoints via a Swiss army knife of changes to all interrelated systems.
Let’s talk about what is happening to Cosmpiercers themselves. In case you haven’t been keeping up, we’ve already launched a major overhaul to Cosmpiercers, which you can read about here.
Firstly, we want Cosmpiercer assaults to be truly momentous, so we are reducing the number of Cosmpiercers in the Starmourn Sector. Come to the recommended playtime noted above to be among the first to find out exactly how.
The energy generation formula has also been completely rewritten and there are no longer any diminishing returns punishing factions from owning too many Cosmpiercers. Thanks to the Mercenary system, even factions who find themselves shorthanded on the battlefield can get their slice of the energy pie.
The process of how energy is generated and how abilities are unlocked with it is also changing, and vouchers will no longer exist. There is quite a bit going on here, so we’ll discuss it below!
Caches, Crystals, and Crystalline Facilities
Ta-Deth crystals are currently collected from Caches and used each day at Sync to maintain a faction’s collection of held Cosmpiercers. We’ve received plenty of feedback that this process has felt like a chore and is not engaging players with the PvP component expected of open PK zones such as Caches.
We want Ta-Deth crystals to truly feel valuable with this update. Thus:
- We are introducing tighter algorithmic controls on the number of Ta-deth crystals seeded into the game compared to the number of crystals removed from the game via Cosmpiercer maintenance. The game will no longer shower factions with way more crystals than they will ever need.
- To allow for finer control, crystals will also now come with “charge,” indicated by adjectives like “faintly glowing,” “shimmering,” or “radiant.” This allows us to ensure a healthy count of crystal deposits to fight over in a cache, but we can fine-tune the actual amount of “charge” they hold. Factions will not spend crystals, but rather “crystal charge”. The storage limit for a faction is no longer counted in the number of physical crystals, but rather is a “crystal charge limit.”
- Caches will appear 3 times per day and a new command, COSMPIERCER CACHES, will provide 7 RL days of advance notice about the precise time at which a cache will open. Scheduled cache times will be slotted into three out of the four possible 6-hour time slots in the 24-hour day, ensuring caches will reliably be available for you to engage with no matter your IRL time zone.
- We are also introducing a new variety of cache, the Rich Cache. Rich Caches are scheduled to appear every 4 RL days and contain a much greater wealth of crystals. If normal caches aren’t able to inject life into the PvP scene on a daily basis, it’s our hope that at least Rich Caches will provide factions an opportunity to achieve glory on the battlefield and take home some hefty winnings as a reward.
- Lastly, a portion of crystals seeded to the game will be made available from a purely PvE source, Crystalline Facilities. FACILITY REPORTS will now include an extra line which hints at how many crystals there are available to be found in crystalline facilities, which will constantly build up day after day! In turn, the Crystalline mutation will now require the No Cloning mutation.
- You’ll at last be able to COSMPIERCER STORE ALL. If it would put you over the crystal charge deposited limit, it will store as many as it can. The future is now.
More on energy, vouchers, and unlocks
One of the goals of the rework was to make it so that factions could decide for themselves who gets access to Cosmpiercer abilities, rather than it requiring participation in Open PK content. After all, Cosmpiercer abilities come in a wide range of varieties and offer a lot of quality of life improvements to everyday Spacer living!
As stated previously, vouchers, the currency used to access Cosmpiercer powers currently, will cease to exist. Instead, Cosmpiercers will now store energy locally, and factions will gain a powerful new FACTION ENERGY syntax. This allows faction leaders to allocate how much energy per Sync the faction’s positions, ranks, or individuals can withdraw, as well as the energy accessible for everyone by default.
At Sync, Cosmpiercers will consume Ta-deth crystals in order to be maintained. If one cannot be maintained, it will not generate energy, and any energy stored at the Cosmpiercer will be made unavailable for purchasing powers (but will stay in reserve). Factions will be able to set a percentage (between 0 and 100%), indicating how much newly generated energy should go towards their Unlock Queue (see below), and how much should go to local storage on the Cosmpiercer. If it’s set to 50% and a Cosmpiercer generates 300 energy at Sync, 150 energy will go towards the next unlock, and 150 will go to storage on the Cosmpiercer.
We have also expanded the COSMPIERCER UNLOCK syntax. Factions will now be able to set up a queue, unlocking abilities in a predetermined order. Set it and forget it. Also, abilities no longer expire or require maintenance. Once you’ve unlocked an ability, you will have it until the next conflict Cycle starts.
Once an ability is unlocked, COSMPIERCER PURCHASE will withdraw energy from Cosmpiercers to create the relevant item directly. This means there is no voucher-in-the-middle required, provided the purchase would not exceed the player’s daily energy.
Lastly, energy stored at a Cosmpiercer will not be wiped after a faction claims it from another faction. It will remain. Any energy withdrawals also pull equally from all Cosmpiercers with available energy, making it very difficult to deliberately withdraw energy from a specific Cosmpiercer your faction believes is under threat, unless of course you’re willing to withdraw ALL the energy from all your Cosmpiercers. You will also not be able to withdraw energy from Cosmpiercers in Lockdown or under Siege. We hope this setup provides incentive to contest especially the high level Cosmpiercers, which are very likely to have quite a lot of energy banked up.
The last thing to mention is that there will be a new trade-in shop on Omni Station which allows players to trade crystals in directly for Cosmpiercer abilities, albeit at a steeper crystal cost than if the abilities were unlocked with Cosmpiercer energy. Factionless? Faction didn’t unlock what you want yet? Now you’ll have an avenue to get just what you need!
Invasion Day approaches…
With this release, we will have everything in place to tie the Conflict Rework up into a bow and launch the very first of our cyclical seasons, which we have decided to call Cycles, and will come with epic rewards and unique opportunities for all players. As for May 4th: since we are reducing the number of Cosmpiercers, fairness dictates that we must also wipe all Cosmpiercer ownership. We also need to wipe Ta-deth Crystal Storage for technical reasons. One thing we will not wipe on May 4th is your faction’s Cosmpiercer ability unlocks. These will be wiped at the start of each Cycle, just not now.
That’s it, that’s all! Thanks for reading and we hope to see you on May 4th!