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State of the Game Update

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Ark Hunters!

It’s been quite a journey since the launch of Defiance earlier this year, and the recent release of the Castithan Charge pack. With the team’s move to Trion Redwood Shores just about complete, we have the opportunity to make Defiance into the gameplay beast that it always promised to be. Shooting, driving, and chasing down arkfalls are each entertaining as hell, and that’s a great foundation to build upon. Defiance has incredible potential, and it is going to reach that potential come hell or waters that are high.

I’m Trick Dempsey, the Creative Lead for Defiance, and I’m presently packing for my own move up to the Redwood Shores studio. We have a fantastic team working there to improve the quality of the game, and bring new dynamic content to the world.

Weapons
Right now, we’re making the game better in phases and fixing our weapons is first on the list. We’re tuning our weapons so that each one is a viable and attractive choice. Weapons are a fun and exciting part of the shooter experience, and we’re going to make certain that all of them have their own special breed of fun. Not only will we be working on the core balance of the base weapons, but we’ll be assuring that our rarity and mastery bonuses apply to each weapon they can appear on. Higher rarity weapons will always be accompanied with celebration and never disappointment.

Shields
Parallel with weapons improvements we’ll also be addressing our shields so that each of them has a valid tactical advantage. The Respark Regenerator feels great, and we like that too. We’ll be improving the other shields to make them competitive and desirable as well. For example, the Ironclad and its ilk are going to see a significant buff in order to make them into a valid tactical option. We think that games are the most fun when there’s more than one “right” strategy.

Inventory
Our inventory interface needs serious improvement. Our current interface has a large number of loadouts and limited inventory space that makes it difficult to make decisions quickly and leap right back into the game. We’re making incremental improvements to this interface as we improve the significance of gear resulting in a much smoother process.

Social
Defiance is an online game and that means it’s supposed to be a social experience. but, we think things are too quiet. Frankly, chat (both voice and text) operate with less-than-stellar reliability. We’re also updating a variety of systems to create a far better social experience throughout the game. We’re going to clean up that experience considerably, both from a convenience and a reliability standpoint.

Objectives and UI
A solid, intuitive UI and clear, identifiable objectives are crucial to a good experience in game. We’re going to update the objectives and UI elements surrounding contracts so that they will serve to better pull ark hunters into the same locations. Defiance is a blast when other players spice up the action, and we’re going to improve the flow to cooperate and compete with other players. You’ll know where to go, what to do, and why the objectives are updating.

And Beyond
That will bring us to our second DLC, which you saw a sneak peek of during PAX. It’s going to be an exciting expansion with arkfall interiors, new boss encounters, and useful power-ups called spikes and stims. It’s a big update and I look forward to sharing more details soon.

After that, we’re putting a major focus on the chase. EGO, gear, and weapon improvements as those are needed to be a core part of the ark hunter experience. Not only will ark hunters improve over time, but their loadout and gear decisions will matter. Choosing to specialize in spitting out flaming death will obliterate flesh and blood opponents, yes, but that may not be the best way to handle a two-ton mechanical juggernaut. The New Frontier is a dangerous and unpredictable place, and only the most adaptable ark hunters survive.

Good Hunting.

Trick Dempsey, Creative Lead