Auto Assault Developer Diary Feature - The Next Level

Auto Assault Developer Diary

Dan Russett, Design Director, talks about Outposts and the new Battlemaster set.

Article by TNL Staff (Email)
September 5th 2006, 01:36AM

With the upcoming release of Update 2 we will introduce a new selection of extremely powerful and visually visceral items that will set the elite players apart from the rest: the Battlemaster line. Battlemaster items are just the first set of items players can purchase through the use of Outpost Tokens, which are acquired in Ground Zero by capturing and holding Outposts.

Here, Dan "Mr. Squiggly" Russet, Design Director, and Brian "Storm" Booker, Lead Systems Designer, talk about the idea behind Outpost Tokens, the Battlemaster items, and more.

Note on Battlemaster item screenshots: Please note that currently the Outpost Token prices for these Battlemaster items are currently in testing and may not reflect their final cost.

Dan "Mr. Squiggly" Russett, Design Director:

When we first created the Outposts on Ground Zero, we wanted to reward players who were able to capture and defend them. We added a feature that makes each Outpost slowly dole out Outpost Tokens to players who capture and hold it. The longer they hold the Outpost, the more tokens they get.

Players have been capturing Outposts and collecting Tokens for a while, but now with Update 2 we have introduced concrete rewards for them. We've added INC Outpost Rewards stores in all three of our starter towns. Players will be able to cash in their tokens to purchase unique, powerful items at these stores.

The first set of items INC has for sale is the Battlemaster line. These things look awesome! They're made up of glowing red skulls and blades, and if you have any, they immediately let other players know you're amongst the elite. The Battlemaster line consists of power plants, weapons, pieces of armor and the ultimate reward, the Battlemaster Tank chassis. Any class can drive this tank, and everyone will want one.

The Battlemaster items not only look great, but they are amongst the most powerful items in the game. The large weapon is a devastating nuke cannon, and other Battlemaster weapons are the only ones to have a six-target spray capability.

It won't be easy to get these Battlemaster items, but it won't be impossible either.

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Brian "Storm" Booker, Lead Systems Designer:

We originally conceived INC Outpost Rewards back in the days of early beta when we first designed how the Outpost PvP system was going to work. We wanted people to be able to collect "tokens" for capturing and defending Outposts and then later purchase rare and amazing items with them. We're finally able to deliver on that promise with the first set of "Battlemaster" items. We'd like to introduce additional sets of items in the future to give even more options to players.

We ran reports against the live servers to determine pricing based on how many Outpost Tokens players had, and we ran projections on how many Tokens players could theoretically obtain over time. Getting Battlemaster items will be a challenge, but not insanely difficult for people to achieve these items – and the reward will be great, if not a little unusual for Auto Assault. For the first time, we're allowing all factions and all classes to drive a special chassis, "Battlemaster Tank".

The Battlemaster line of items represents some of the most powerful items in the game and they look amazing too. It didn't take long to come up with the artistic look for the items. We quickly agreed that skulls, blades, and glowing red particle effects were perfect for what we were trying to accomplish. I mean, who wouldn't want glowing skulls and blades on their chassis? Scott Brown came up with the name "Battlemaster" during the same meeting, and it immediately stuck as the obvious choice to name the set of items.

I think being able to spend Outpost Tokens will help spark renewed interest in capturing Outposts. We will continue to improve Ground Zero and Arena PvP content with new missions, maps, and other content in future updates.

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