What is up you impressive builders!
We are back with another round of new features, updates and fixes 😀

We think we should get some of the bad news out the way first. Unfortunately, we have had to move cluster crams and also the steam jets to our next sprint as we had a cluster of higher priority issues which we wanted squared away.  

Abyay, has been working his stern off, revamping and tweaking our tutorials under the Essentials section. He is also working on story missions and would love to know what you liked/disliked from the missions, in order to make new ones or fix up the current story missions, <here>.
He has also tweaked the price of cram and steam parts including the health of some steam parts. 

Joris, has also been working on a ton of stuff for this update and these are just a few that I think are the most interesting;  
Custom battle mode, which you can find under the Fight tab of the main UI.  
We have plenty of options to set up our battles which can be saved and loaded, so we can jump right into a battle 🙂

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Yet I think the most interesting part of this is the ability to set up teams 😀  but try to pay attention to how much volume/blocks are going to be in play at the same time 🙂

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Joris has also tweaked the UI to show the material costs for our constructs. 
Numerous bug fixes and tweaks as well as also focusing on the coming campaign changes, which are going to be awesome! 
Note: in-order to notice the material costs you would need to resave the construct in this update. 

Draba, has been breaking our LAMS and missiles tweaking up and balancing our LAMS, missiles and missile distractors. He is also currently (it’s not in this update) working on future ammo changes and more APS tweaks while keeping in mind our new shields system, which gives an AC buff to any block that is on the outside of the construct (more on that below).

We now have groups for the simple weapons, Light / Medium / Heavy and the Custom shell weapons, thanks to Rhea for the models and Gladyon for implementing them. 

The new additions from our last news update are: 
Light 
T-Class 20mm AA gun – 79 Material, uses simple shells with an AP of 10 and Kinetic of 150, reload 0.16s. 

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Medium  
40 mm Quad AA Mk-I – 211 Material, uses simple shells with an AP 10 and Kinetic of 150, reload 0.225s. 

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40mm Octuple AA Mk-S – 331 Material, uses simple shells with an AP 10 and Kinetic of 150, reload 0.5s. 

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Heavy 
Assault cannon – 59 Material, uses simple shells with an AP 4 Kinetic 250, reload 0.1s.

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Custom shell weapons 
Type A(L)3.7” Gun Shield – 173 Material, uses customised shells, reload time 3s shell calibre 94mm 

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Type L Casemated Gun – 277 Material, uses customised shells, reload time 4.5s shell calibre 130mm 

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Gladyon, has also tweaked the rail decorations so that they do not block detection gear and increased the distance that mimic blocks can be moved, as well as the numerous bug fixes and tweaks which you guys and girls can see in the update log below 😀 

The following though is the most exciting thing (for me) from this whole update and that is the Ring Shield.  

Ring shield is found in the misc tab under Shield Generator. 
The ring shield is created using 3 parts: The Generator, ring pipe and ring corner.  
This simple setup will buff the AC of the front most or rearmost block. When creating your ring shield ensure that the generators “tube/spike” is facing inside the ring.

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Translating the tooltip, currently, this size shield wants 510 power to run, and the area inside the ring is 120m2. However, the issue is “charged with”, if our pipe gets destroyed the power flowing through the system, which is coming out of the side of the tube/spike (in this case to the right-hand side), all that energy will shoot out and damage anything in its path.

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This is how the setup will affect our outermost blocks. As you can see everything in green is what is currently being buffed and red are blocks that are not affected. If it is the outer most block it will have the AC buffed, this will also be added to the AC when stacking. This applies to every block type in the game.  

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However, if we add another ring horizontally, we have now buffed the top and bottom of our construct. Also, note that the whole area is affected which can be bigger than the shield size.

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Our single ring shield on this construct is giving us a bonus of 5.3 so this is buffing this single 4m wood beam to 8.3. This buff remains the same up to 16m, however, after extending our wall 17m we can see that this drops to 8.2 AC, at 30m this drops again to 8.1.

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In the following shot, you can see that I have doubled up on our rings in every direction. The AC buff stacks so you can have multiple rings looking after top + bottom, left + right, front + back and the more area you have within your ring, the bigger the AC buff will be. 

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Please note: the bigger the area the shield has to cover (bigger the outer wall is) you will get less of a bonus as the shield has to cover a larger area.

To clarify some finer points:

  • as an example, you have 3m of 4m long beams stacked. Once you lose the outermost beam, the second beam (which is now the first) inherits the AC bonus and then the damage remaining from the shot will be applied to that block. 
  • Turrets and anything placed on spin blocks are also affected by the AC bonus. 
  • You cannot use both types of shields at the same time. 

You can build your ring in any shape as long as it connects back to the generator block, so go and experiment, think about the direction of the beam should a pipe be destroyed so that it may not destroy a whole row perhaps :p .

If a part of your ring gets destroyed, be prepared for a stream of raw energy destroying blocks in its path…. (Sitting here waiting for someone to turn that into a weapon ? just don’t tell Nick about it)  

Later on, we shall have an effect showing which blocks are affected via shift+p and also a “shielding effect” on the blocks for a bit of eye candy?

Our fav build since our last update/news is created by Hombre, which we found over on Steam. 

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Patch notes / Update log
v2.4.9 [Add] <AI>: [BUG] path-finding did not use the player set turning circle value- now it does
v2.4.9 [Add] <Build mode>: Added a ‘surface’ view mode- this shows which blocks can be buffed by shield rings and also which blocks contribute to detection cross sections
v2.4.9 [Add] <Campaign>: [FTD-88] There is a new reason for vehicle destruction- prolonged fleeing from the battle area. This is to catch out of control enemies and destroy them to allow the battle to end. Sustained movement away from the centre of the battle will trigger this clause.
v2.4.9 [Add] <Custom battles>: Added a custom battle mode where you can configure teams and add various settings to make vehicles fight in a controlled environment
v2.4.9 [Add] <Explosions>: [FTD-84] The effect of explosions on vehicles and debris has been tweaked as now looks much better
v2.4.9 [Add] <Shield rings>: A new shielding system has been added that buffs vehicle armour class. It’s based on the construction of large shielding rings that buff armour class in either the forwards/backward axis, the up/down axis or the left / right axis.
v2.4.9 [Add] <Simple AI>: Circling simple ship and tank cards added
v2.4.9 [Add] <Tracks>: Added aesthetic tank tracks to the game. Tracks can be applied around existing wheels from the wheels UI.
v2.4.9 [Add] <Tutorials>: A large number of new tutorials have been created to replace the old ones
v2.4.9 [Add] <UI>: [FTD-55] Aircraft can now be ordered to 50m their maximum recorded altitude so you no longer need to manually fly them high to record a high altitude
v2.4.9 [Add] <UI>: Right clicking the mirror button in build mode (when extended options are shown) will place a mirror immediately down the middle of the vehicle
v2.4.9 [Add] <Walker foot>: [FTD-86] Added in a walker foot that supports useful terrain friction
v2.4.9 [Change] <Blueprints>: Blueprints, prefabs and saved subobjects now store the material cost and block count in the file to allow faster loading. They now all display the block count and material cost in the file browsers, but only if saved in the this or a newer version of the game. Old blueprints won’t show block count anymore until loaded and saved
v2.4.9 [Change] <Blueprints>: Improved file loading to load blueprints for the file browser faster. Opening a folder with many blueprints should be significantly faster
v2.4.9 [Change] <Prefabs>: [FTD-26] Overhauled the way that prefabs are captured, saved and loaded
v2.4.9 [Change] <Subobjects>: [FTD-26] Overhauled the way that subobjects are saved and loaded
v2.4.9 [Fix] <Missiles>: Small quad launcher inventory tooltips fixed (they stated launcher supports 1 missiles)
v2.4.9 [Fix] <Projectiles>: Fixed projectiles, especially frags, sometimes flying through blocks without hitting them … again [BUGS-1086]
v2.4.9 [Fix] <Simple AI>: Simple AI cards now properly maintain their used routine count [BUGS-1285]
v2.4.9 [Remove] <Controls>: Changing the controller mode of a vehicle controller can now only be done by looking at the controller and pressing Q.
v2.4.9 [Remove] <Controls>: I have removed the building control variant where G locks and unlocks the build marker orientation (when unlocked it automatically followed camera placement orientation) and tab would flip the build marker upside down when unlocked. This is a hang over from the initial style implemented 6 years ago where blocks were all 1x1x1 and their orientation was not that important. You can still tap G to orient the block in the direction of the camera, so you are not forced to use the rotation widget (tab).