We've had some issues with the construction and base building recently, and I thought it was time to share what we're doing, why we're doing it, and where we'd like to head.
First off, we have objectives for our construction system:
- Provide a way for people to gather and rest from zombies (PvP and PvE).
- Provide a secure storage location for loot (PvE, and PvP keeping raids in mind)
- Allow players to express their creativity by building in our sandbox using things they've crafted
- Give PvP players a target for their agression / a raiding goal
The current system is pre-alpha, and will be improved upon as we move forward.
Our current building rules are leveraging off of the group system. It's not ideal, but it's what we have right now. We plan on having a discrete builder permission list per foundation. Whether this is controlled via persistent clans (or whatever we decide to call them), a UI-driven list of players, or some other manner is currently under discussion by the team.
This list of players with access to the base's foundation is allowed to build or destroy items tied to the foundation. The piece of code that allows anyone to use demo hammers on construction items they don't own (but do have base permission to alter) did not make it in this patch. It will be in either a hotfix later in the week, or next week's patch.
We altered the damage of many of the projectiles vs. construction materials. Ditto for the explosions. Also, some recipes give much less rewards than previously, making raiding more of a resource commitment.
Over the past patch (and this coming patch), we've implemented some building rules.
UNDER THE HOOD
- You must be grouped with the owner of a foundation to build on it or near it.
- This coming patch, we are increasing the "safe" radius around the foundation to keep people from griefing bases by putting foundations nearby.
- If the owner of a foundation does not log in for a set amount of time (currently testing it at 2 weeks), the foundation reverts to un-owned, and may be claimed by another player.
- If the owner of a foundation deletes his or her character, the base will be set to un-owned immediately. This will allow groups of friends to "hand off" management of their base to another player.
- Coming next week: Demolition hammers may be used on any item connected to or resting on a foundation, if the owner of the hammer has permission for the foundation.
There were several bugs fixed last week and this coming patch. First, the construction objects on a base are now correctly tied together in a hierarchy. Each piece keeps track of it's attachment (or "ground") parent. This allowed us to eliminate things like door stacking that was adversely affecting frame rate in certain circumstances. We also have the ability to (but have not yet implemented) recursively destroy base pieces when their "parent" is destroyed. The team is still discussing the ramifications of this.
Next, we have better tracking of the status of the base doors / walls. I'm not going to go into detail why
You all can figure that one out for yourselves.
WHERE WE'RE GOING
We're constantly working to catch and/or discourage cheaters. It's unfortunate that we need to spend so much time and resources to combat them, and that they affect the way legitimate players enjoy the game. We totally get it. As our anti-cheat improves, we'll have less need for some of the anti-sandbox rules, and some of them may be eliminated.
We will have some sort of persistent permission system. What form it will take is currently under design.
We're talking about additional ways to secure valuables. Magic locking chests or totally invisible caches make raiding pointless. That said, we are talking about some ways in which we can improve on our current systems. We've heard many suggestions from our players on Reddit, and are evaluating some of them.
With the current rules in mind, my suggestions for base builders and raiders after the wipe:
- If you're building multiple-foundation bases, use a designated builder to avoid annoying "Lex isn't online now, so I can't build in the NE part of the base" situations.
- If you raid, blow up the gate. Don't hop over the walls. Don't noclip into the base from underneath.
- Note that resists on doors (especially metal doors) have been changed.
- If your base is under attack by cheaters, do not open doors to your secured rooms. If they kill you, do not immediately run back to your base and try to re-gear from your secure areas. Many hackers are waiting for this, and jump in from hidden locations when you open the door.
TL;DR version - We traded a little sandbox for more base security. We're still evolving our construction system.