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Dev Blog: Castithan Charge Pack and the future of Defiance

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Ok, time to write the introduction blog.  Hello.  My name is Chris Lena and I am the new Executive Producer for Defiance.  I have been working at Trion for over three years and started on Defiance last November (almost exactly 6 months before launch).  My background is a long history of working on massively multiplayer games both live and in development which has driven home the fact that those that play your game are not just customers but partners.  That there is a back and forth, a blurring of developer and player, that doesn’t happen with other games and is one of the main reasons that I love working in this genre.  But enough about me, let’s get down to business.

Lena

Our first DLC is coming up and we will be revealing that release date soon…it will not be out this month.  Fine, we will tell you that it will be in August but don’t’ tell anyone else.  Ok?  I know I can trust you.  We did want to get this out sooner but we had some launch issues to take care of first.  We will get into more of that later.  As a reminder, this DLC is all about the Castithan.  There is the playable Castithan species, Charge Blades, Arena game modes, a new Story Mission line, and more!  And don’t worry, we still have our planned total of 5 DLCs that we will be releasing throughout the first year of the game.

 

Although there are a lot of details to talk about with the first DLC I don’t want to spend all of my time doing that.  That can come when we announce the date.  Don’t get me wrong, it is important to continue to add content to the game and the DLCs are a great way to do that  but in my first blog I want to emphasize what is happening with the current live game.  Defiance is not even four months old and we have put in a lot of fixes and improvements but we need to do more.  That is what I want to talk about.

 

I know that many of you play without any issues but too many of you are encountering problems that you should not have to experience.  We need to make sure that when someone logs into Defiance that the only frustration they have is getting hammered by the Volge.

 

Patching

We have added a massive amount of content to Defiance since launch – however all of that content introduced a bug that could potentially cause a “Critical Error” when patching. The only solution was to either restart your console or reinstall the game. Neither of those solutions are acceptable. In this upcoming DLC we have fixed all known occurrences of this “Critical Error” bug.  Also, we have taken this opportunity to introduce a new loading bar that will more clearly communicate where you are in total patching progress.  Also, on PC, we have already pushed many patcher improvements live and will continue to do so.

 

Grouping/Chat/Social Features

There are a lot of different kinds of problems here.  There are issues with groups of players entering into a Co-Op Map and not all of them ending up together or entering a Co-Op Map that was already under way. We have this fixed and it is making its way out to Live soon.  There are fixes and improvements to voice chat and quite a few changes to the chat window in general.  We also realize that there are quite a few problems with the way Clans are working and we are digging into those as well.

 

Connecting to Regional Servers

Defiance has two clusters of regional servers – one in Europe and one in North America. With the DLC we will be adding the ability for console users to select which regional server you connect to so you can play with your friends regardless of your location (some forum users have referred to this as “Region Locking”).  However, any characters you have are attached to specific regional servers so if you are currently playing in Europe on Xbox and you decided to play with your friend in Canada then you will have to start a new character.

 

Other Stuff

There are a lot of fixes that are going to be making their way onto the live servers but I will leave that to you and the patch notes of the future.  Everything else is just talk.

 

In a general sense, I believe that everyone is better off if we interact more with the people that are dedicating their precious time to playing our game.  The forums are the easiest way to do this but we will figure out other ways as well.  The Defiance Team understands that there are a lot of good games out there competing for your time and we truly appreciate you carving out time for Defiance.

 

Onward and upward!

Chris Lena

“RedAvocado”

Executive Producer – Defiance