GTK was a terror behind the wheel this weekend racking up over 2500 verified roadkills on poor unsuspecting foot-soldiers! Unbelievable! No one on foot was safe as he crushed them beneath his wheels, then did burnouts on their corpses! In wreck-ognition for his weekend wheeled warfare MLG is awarding him the $500 prize!
Check out the graphs from the weekend carnage below! You can see how many roadkills per hour he was racking up in the first image, and the second shows how much time the top 5 finishers spent playing this weekend! These are just two of the nearly infinite number of graphs we can generate to gain insight into how people are playing the game!
The competition was fierce as he battled it out with several other top players over the weekend clawing his way to victory. For his amazing knife skills MLG is awarding him the $500 prize! If you missed out this week, don't worry, MLG has three more challenges coming up, each with their own $500 prize!
As with all of the Starhawk tournaments, we work closely with MLG to validate all of the leaderboard statistics through a very powerful system called Tableau. In fact, we have a designer who is dedicated to the data collection and interpretation process who helps us understand all of the statistics generated by our game. You've probably seen his charts and graphs when we post them on the forums. He spent several days this week going through all of the top players in the quick challenge to ensure that everyone was playing fair and not 'killfarming' to inflate their statistics. In the process he generated some really interesting charts such as this heat map showing where all of Lightning__V's kills took place over the course of the weekend!
Its Grizzy Week here at LightBox! The new Grizzly Exo-Suit DLC has been available for a week, and the consensus around the community is that it's a pretty sweet new vehicle! To celebrate its launch we're spending the entire week focusing on the development of the biggest new addition to the Starhawk arsenal with concept art and behind the scenes footage.
Today on the blog, we're showing off a few pieces from the initial weapon system exploration. The first two slides were early ideas of what a fully armed Grizzly might look like. These sketches show the artists playing around with various ideas for the weapons, but you can also see that the general look of the frame itself is starting to solidify (vs the image that we posted yesterday on Facebook). There's still variation in the structure, especially in the legs, but by this point a direction has been selected, and our artists are starting to dial in the look.
The second two images show off detailed closeups for each of the Grizzly's long range and melee weapons systems. During the process, our artists will use images of real-world objects to help them hone in on something that is fantastic, but also recognizeable to players as being rooted in heavy industry. These are just a few of the many such sketches we produced, and are good representations of the weapon concepting process!
Over the weekend there have been many posts, tweets and videos in regard to the Starhawk MLG tournament. We are fully aware of the situation and have several people from LBI and the MLG looking at all of the data. Everyone here at Lightbox wants to see a highly competitive and fair play tournament. We are excited to see players who have earned it, take home the victory. We also want to be absolutely certain that all players earn their rank on the leaderboard in accordance with the official tournament rules http://gamebattles.majorleaguegaming.com/starhawk/
We'll keep you posted with our findings just as soon as possible, please continue to play on!
I'm excited to announce that the North American Starhawk MLG leaderboard tournament is now LIVE!
Between now and November 11th players who are legal residents of the United States and Canada (other than Quebec) and register at http://gamebattles.majorleaguegaming.com/starhawk will be ranked on an MLG leaderboard. At the end of that period the top 16 players will be sorted into two eight player teams with players 17-24 as alternates. The winning team will walk away with $1,500 for each player! Second place players will take home a cool $750! That's $18,000 in prizes for the top 16 players!
In addition, MLG is running four weekend events, each with their own unique goal. At the end of the two day scoring period the highest ranking player for each challenge will be awarded $500!
Here's how you get started!
1. Register Now!
To get started, make sure you have registered a GameBattles id and connected it with your PSN ID. This can be done in your profile settings. This will allow us to associate your Starhawk activity with the MLG tournament.
2. Play and Dominate!
Once you've linked your accounts, you're ready to compete for fame and cash prizes. Just play an online quick match in Starhawk and the results will be automatically recorded to the leaderboard here.
3. Your Goal!
Win as many online matches as you can between Sept 25th - Nov 11th. If you are ranked in the Top 24 on the leaderboard at the end, you will qualify for the final grand tournament to become our Starhawk champion.
We've just added two new messages to the PlayStation Store to help guide you when looking to add multiplayer content to the single player campaign.
Online Pass description update:
"NOTE: If you downloaded the Single-Player only campaign on the PlayStation Store, you do not need to purchase this Online Pass. If you're looking for multiplayer access, please purchase the Starhawk Multiplayer on the PlayStation Store"
Multiplayer description update:
"NOTE: If you downloaded the Multi-Player only version on the PlayStation Store, this will give you full multi-player access, no Online Pass is needed."
So if you're new to Starhawk -- and especially if you are a member of PlayStation Plus -- now is a great time to get into the game. Here's quick look at all of the new Starhawk goodies!
Over the weekend some players have had questions about how the DLC would be implemented and so right now we're going to demystify this topic a bit and try to answer them!
With our experience on Warhawk, we know that segregating players based on DLC ownership can force them into 'keeping up with the Joneses'. The traditional expansion scheme essentially forces players to keep current with all of the latest expansions, or get left behind. When we set out to make Starhawk we really wanted to improve this experience, which is why we worked hard to make sure we could provide all of our new maps for free. We knew that we would eventually have premium DLC content but our #1 goal was to maintain a great experience for all Starhawk players -- even those player who had not yet purchased the DLC.
The team here at LightBox Interactive explored a ton of different ideas to achieve this and we really think our final solution is simple and works great:
The way we're handling the DLC for the Grizzly and Pod Launcher goes like this: If you purchased the DLC, you can use Build & Battle to call it down. If you haven't purchased it, you can't call it down, but you CAN still use it! If your teammate builds a Pod Launcher you CAN use it to launch yourself across the map. If you find an unattended Grizzly you CAN mount it and use it in combat! Hell, you can even use the LR3 Rail Gun to score a headshot on an enemy while he's stomping around in a Grizzly and then take his for joy-ride!
Not to mention that each of the individual player skins, vehicle paint-job packs, Grizzly and Pod Launcher can all be purchased separately from one another. Meaning you don't have to buy a big expansion if you're just interested in a single skin, vehicle or paint job!
The wait is finally over! On September 25th the Starhawk 1.04 Update will be available for download! 1.04 is a huge update with a ton of brand new free content including 5 new maps and 3 new modes, balance changes, bug fixes and DLC purchasable from the PlayStation Store. This is by far our most ambitious Update to date and one that has been in the works for quite awhile. So without further ado here are the new features you’ll get to experience with the Update!
Five New Maps:
We’ve always said all of the new maps we make for Starhawk will be free and 1.04 makes good on that promise. We know you wanted some smaller maps and we’ve delivered. These small maps are great when you have less players and really shine in the new Deathmatch mode too. Add them to your CTF, Zones, DM or TDM game lists. We also included two new Hawk only maps to liven up your aerial combat.
In 1.03 we introduced the lush, green (and swampy!) environment of Cypress and included two brand new maps for this new planet. Now with the addition of small maps we’ve got one more for you, the tiny islands of Glade. This small map incorporates the gnarly tree roots and expanded pickup locations of the previous maps that were a big hit with players in 1.03 with a more compact layout for intese battles!
The second small map in this update takes the fight to the tiny Relay station above the planet Dust. There are a lot of tiered walkways on this map: perfect places to get the advantage on the players below you while they are distracted and shooting at someone else.
Our final small map, Scourge Junction, is a derelict extraction site full of Crumbling bridges connecting the islands. Vehicles with vertical mobility are key to victory here, just don’t run out of fuel and fall into the acid below!
This new map for Gatekeeper and Dogfight takes you back to a previously unseen area on Scourge where you can riddle your target with fire from your Hawk.
Ships and asteroids orbit Dust in high concentrations here. Use the asteroids for cover and fly through the ship cargo bays to grab pickups in this new map for Gatekeeper and Dogfight modes!
Three New Game Modes:
We’re always thinking about how we can take the core Starhawk gameplay experience and build upon it. These three new game modes are a direct result of extensive internal gameplay sessions and discussions combined with player requests.
In this territory control mode the teams are split up into attacker and defender. The attacking team starts at one end of the map with a single drop zone and must capture each of the defending teams control points in order. At the end of the first round the teams switch and the defenders become the attackers. When both rounds are complete the team with the most points wins! Assault is available on all of the original maps, Origin and Collider.
This is our second hawk-only gameplay mode and adds a bit of order to the chaos of Dogfight. Playing like a sports game in space or in the sky players will pick up a ball and attempt to fly it through several rings. Each ring the ball carrier flies through increases his potential score by one. Once he has flown through all of the rings he must then fly through the central gate to score the points, all while the opposing team is trying to shoot him down. Gatekeeper is available on all of the original maps, Origin, Collider, and the new Dogfight/Gatekeeper maps Breaker and Flotilla.
Many in the community called for Deathmatch on foot and this new mode is a direct answer to them. Arena matches are fast paced free for all battles where the gear is dropped in from above automatically so all you have to worry about is killing the other players. Since the respawn and drop pod speeds have been significantly increased there is little downtime when you die. This, combined with the generally smaller maps and unpredictable placement of buildings makes for a frantic gameplay experience! Deathmatch Arena is available on Glade, Origin, Relay, Orbital, Junction, Conduit, Outlands, Basin, and Narrows.
Three New Build & Battle Loadouts:
"Trooper" is a loadout that is designed specifically to focus on troop vs. troop combat!
"Light-Weight" is a well balanced loadout that does NOT include larger vehiclels like the Hawk and Ox Tank!
And the "Speeder" loadout focuses on fast vehicle combat and does NOT the Vulture Jetpack!
Ground Pounder, Heavyweight and and Lone Wolf are all seeing slight revisions too!
This may seem like a simple convenience change, but one we think is an important improvement. To help players navigate the uplink we’ve added tooltips to the icons on the menu, and to most of the sub-menu options. One of the most notable features of this change is that now you can see exactly what Build and Battle parts are in a loadout before you start a game.
Recommended Player Counts:
Recommended player counts are a handy way of deciding what maps will play best with the number of players you have. Or you can throw caution to the wind and stuff 32 players into the small maps. It’s your choice, and now we’ve made it easier.
New National Clan Banners:
There was a request on the forums for some banners for countries in the Middle East, so we included Kuwait, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Rock them if you live there, or you just want to represent your heritage.
More Pickups & Rift Barrels:
We got some really great feedback that the extra pickups and barrels in the new Cypress maps were a hit, so our designers have gone back through all of the old maps and added lots of new pickups. This was a huge fan request and we’re glad we could make it happen.
M.A.W. Rocket Launcher:
Previously troops didn’t really have a lot of options for dealing with the zippy Sidewinder, it was basically ‘don’t stand in the open’, and ‘hope they dismount’. Or maybe you were lucky and had a few proximity mines on hand. Now the M.A.W. locks onto the heat signature of the Sidewinder giving troops on foot a way to deal with the jetbike. This adds a new layer of utility to the M.A.W. and a new layer of complexity for the Sidewinder driver. With no method to scrub the incoming missile, the driver is going to need to use his wits and the terrain to avoid destruction. This change has a dramatic impact on ‘Sidewinder Races’ in the new CTF.
The Bruiser skill has been replaced with the Grinder skill, allowing you to start the match with a grinder. We’ve also made it spin up a bit faster and given it a slight range extension.
The pistol has had a slight boost to headshot damage, both in and out of OTS!
More Score & Time Options:
With the changes to the capture rules in CTF in 1.03 we wanted to allow for higher scoring games. Now you can go as high as 15. We also heard that you wanted more flexibility with the Zones score limit options so we’ve added 2500, 5000 and 25000(!) limits. In addition there are several new game length options so you can dial in your perfect game length and these are totally adjustable on our servers. This gives us the power to make these changes based on player feedback without the need for an update!
In-game scoreboard in Deathmatch and Dogfight:
Checking the score in the modes where you were forced to spawn in used to be a drag. The only way you could see it was to open the uplink while everyone else in the game was climbing over each other to be the first one to kill you. Now the scores are displayed in the game without having to take your fingers off the trigger.
XP Payouts for Tier 2 and 3 in Zones:
Previously there wasn’t much personal reward for sticking around to get your zones up to rank 2 or 3; XP was only paid out on the initial capture. Now you’ll get XP for each rank you help secure. So stick around and help your team hold the zone while you collect XP!
Only Clan Leaders & Officers can Initiate a Clan Match:
There was some concern from clan leaders that rogue members were able to create unauthorized clan matches which could have a negative impact on the clans W/L ratio. Now the clan tag options are unavailable to anyone but a clan officer or leader.
Cake and Fist Icons removed:
We removed the cake and fist icons from the game list leaving only the skull icon. Putting a cake icon on a game was a big neon sign that basically said 'fresh meat'. Now new players will know when a game is probably too rough for them, and veterans (all you blue 50+ players) will be able to join the widest number of games possible.
PlayStation Store Button:
A PlayStation Store button has been added to the uplink to make it easy to find new DLC content!
More Rift Energy in Homeworlds:
We’ve heard the request for more Rift Energy while in each of the multiplayer Homeworlds. Now you will start with quite a bit more! This should help speed up the rate that you can build stuff!
Starhawk Specific Network Scanner:
To help aid players in debuging their home networks, the Starhawk 1.04 Update includes a new network connection scanner that will trigger automatically in the event of a failed network connection. Certainly disconnects from the internet can happen for a wide variety of reasons, but based on all of the data we have collected, the vast majority of them are related to port blockage on a player's home network. The new network scanner will inform you of any ports that maybe blocked that are negatively impacting your Starhawk connection.
Prospector Tuning & Create Game Changes:
We’ve modified how damage is scaled with 2-4 player games. No, four player games are still challenging, but much more manageable. In addition we fixed an issue that was causing certain tough enemies to spawn less than the desired amount in games with less than 4 players. To put the icing on these changes we’ve also increased the XP payout in co-op mode. And to make Prospector games easier to start and join we’ve given you the ability to set a game name, difficulty and make the game public or private. Public games will now show up on the game list.
We've added all three new game modes as well as Prospector mode to the Quickmatch menu to make finding them a snap!
Rage Quit Penalty:
Nobody likes a sore loser (unless it’s in a hilarious youtube video) so players who rage quit the game while it is in progress will now post a loss. We know that there are times and circumstances where players should be allowed to quit out and we have allowed for that in this new system. Players will not take the quit penalty if they leave in the first 5 minutes of joining a game, if they have very low skill score, or have earned 0XP so far in the match. In addtion we have made this all tuneable on the server so that we can make adustments to the system to ensure that its accomplishing our goal of enforcing good sportsmanship.
Up Next Display:
And because we recognized that the only way you could tell what map was next was to load into it AND we recognized that maybe you didn’t want to play that one AND we recognized that the only way out was to take a quit penalty we added the next round details to the intermission screen. Between rounds the map, loadout and mode will be displayed in the upper right hand corner. No more surprises when the CTF game you joined turns into TDM!
Whew... That's a ton of new stuff! The 1.04 Update drops on September 25th!
Some of you may have seen my last blog post about the release of War of the Monsters as a PS Classic for PlayStation 3 and at the end of that post I mentioned the release of our next update for Starhawk was right around the corner!
Well...we are now around that corner and I can tell you that we are “GO” for our global release of the Starhawk 1.03 Update today at 2pm Central Time! I am saying “GO” as if I were a super-cool NASA scientist in the Curiosity control room! While the release of our 1.03 Update pales in comparison to the massive achievement of landing an SUV-sized robot on Mars (thanks NASA!). The 1.03 release will nonetheless make many Earthlings very happy!Read more...
Hot-Fix Update 1.02.004 provides a quick fix to ensure all Starhawk clients properly restart *AND* process the new game balance settings fro after an updated is applied. No other changes have been made. Boot-up Starhawk to engage this download immedietly!
We've seen several reports from the community that while playing Starhawk you were not seeing the gameplay balance changes from our latest 1.02 Update early this week -- the game balance either felt old or simply incorrect.
Some players were seeing the proper balance and some were not.
We identified the issue - it was caused by some players not having their Starhawk client automatically restarted after an update had been downloaded, installed and processed. This resulted in some players having incorrect game balance or in some cases a mix of old and incorrect settings.
This latest 1.02.004 Update provides a quick fix to ensure all Starhawk clients properly restart *AND* process the new game balance settings after an updated is applied. No other changes have been made.
We prefer to avoid 3 updates in 3 days, but wanted to make sure everything was operating properly in-time for weekend play! We're dedicated to supporting, thank you Starhawk community. Enjoy your weekend space battles!
We know you live, breathe, eat, dream about, Starhawk all day and night long, which is why we are pleased to announce the launch of our official companion mobile application now available on iOS and Android devices - Starhawk Uplink. With our new mobile application you'll have detailed player and clan stats, access to your profile, wealth of information available on all of the player weapons, hawk weapons, and Build & Battle structures, and the latest updates from the New Frontier...all at your fingertips no matter where you are.
This is for the community, and Starhawk Uplink is aboslutely 100% FREE. Hit the download links (or search "Starhawk" in the App Store / Android Marketplace) and keep reading to learn more why you need to download Uplink right now, yes not tomorrow, not next week, right now Warheads!
Starhawk Uplink is a way for the diehard players to always stay in touch with Starhawk. And for those of you who haven't picked up a copy of Starhawk yet, you can still download Uplink and learn more about the game and this great community.
STARHAWK UPLINK FEATURES:
Starhawk Uplink is as FREE as FREE can be, and it was crafted from the depths of the New Frontier for this community. Download Starhawk Uplink and have the advantage over your fellow Starhawk players! For more news and updates on the app, follow us @SonySantaMonica
Warheads around the world, support for the war in the New Frontier lives on! It's time to fuel up and download Game Balance Update 1.02.002. Just boot up Starhawk and you'll be promoted to download the update. We're listening to your feedback daily on the forums, Facebook, and all over this Internet galaxy, wherever you are Starhawk fans! Here's how your multiplayer game is changing:
Hawk Homing Missile:
In the last game balance update we made a significant improvement to the combat effectiveness of the homing missile which was something that our player community was really wanting -- but we feel we didn't go far enough! So this update makes the Homing Missile approximately 50% harder to dodge.
What this really means to our hard-core Hawk pilots is that you're now filling up your evasion bar at a slower rate when you're dodging. You still need a full evasion bar to dodge a Homing Missile but it will be harder to achieve a full evasion bar. This also resulted in us scaling the evasion required for the Swarm Laser accordingly so that it still requires the same amount of evasion "effort" to dodge as it did prior to this update.
Home-Base Spawn Region:
We have been aggressively tracking "base-ravaging" as an issue that we'll always continue to try and reduce. To help achieve this goal, we have increased the amount of "spawn-able" area for your home-base in both Capture the Flag and Team Deathmatch.
The reason for doing this is to help provide players that are respawning into their home base with more options and distance between any attacking enemy players. This now makes it more difficult for an attacking force to keep a team pinned in their home-base due to the increased surface area the attackers need to cover to induce"base-ravaging".
When players had the Bruiser Skill activated, they were simply tearing down the structures way too quickly. To help fix this we have reduced the amount of damage the melee attack does versus structures when the Bruiser Skill is equipped. For example, previous it required only 3 strikes to destroy a structure and now it requires 5. Please note that the small auto-turrets still only take a single strike to destroy. A further adjustment was made so that with Large Turrets (Beam & Flak) now require 3 strikes when the Bruiser Skill is equipped.
Hawk Flak Cannon:
This weapon was very over-powered and our fans agreed. This update includes a significant set of changes to the weapon's attributes. It rate-of-fire was reduced by 250ms and the damage it deals against Hawks has been cut more than in half. The respawn delay for the Flak Cannon pick-up was also increased from 30 seconds to 60 seconds.
These are some pretty massive changes but based on player feedback, our own internal review and play-testing *AND* our combat analytics, a massive change was warranted.
There were some really degenerate situations occurring where players could essentially be come "grenade-turret" by staying in a bunker and continually throwing grenades -- never running out of them because the pick-up respawned so quickly. This drove us to change the number of grenades you get per ammo pick-up from 3 down to 1 as well as increase the respawn delay of the pick-up from 1 second to 5 seconds.
The Light Box Interactive team is also looking into a potential issue with the "Swarm Lasers" where the scrub factors are not working, unexpectadly caused by the update to the Homing Missile. In other words, the LBI team is working dilligently and fast to address. We will keep you posted on a hot fix. We are fully aware!
Support lives on in the New Frontier, you better believe it. Keep the wars raging in Starhawk, and the feedback flowing. We're listening.
Hello there Starhawk fans! We're pleased to let you know that the 1.01.001 patch is now available for the game, and you'll be promoted to download it the next time you play. This is the patch we talked about on the blog last week, which includes a number of gameplay balance adjustments based on the feedback we've received from you. Here's a link to the full patch notes in case you haven't had a chance to see what's included yet.
The 1.01.001 patch also includes the new region flag, which lets you see where a host is located before you enter the game. Here's a peek at what the new region flag looks like in the server list:
We're also happy to announce that we've got another patch tentatively scheduled for TOMORROW which will address some of the stability issues in the game. We've heard that the game is crashing/freezing for some people, and tomorrow's patch will address those issues in particular. We're also implementing a set of tools to better address network stability and isolate connection issues, which is a big step towards eradicating the disconnection/not found errors.
Beyond that, we're still working on new content and gameplay balances. The first of our free map packs is still coming and we're going to have more information on that soon. We're also planning new gameplay tweaks to help with the balance of the Flak Cannon and bring the Bruiser skill into better line with the rest of the game. In addition, we're working extensively with Sony's network infrastructure to help isolate the issue some people are seeing with mics cutting out in order to resolve that as soon as possible.
Thank you everyone for your support of Starhawk. We'll see you on the battlefield!
Who is Dylan Jobe? If you don't know by now, then you've certainly been trapped under a bunch of rocks on Planet Dust. He is your Captain, he is THE MAN, he is the President of LightBox Interactive - the headhoncho of the Starhawk Enterprise. Dylan Jobe is the leader of Starhawk.
If you haven't been following @DylanJobe on Twitter, you absolutely should right now. He has been tweeting like a mad-man (in a good way) and loves replying back to the Warheads. Whether its technical help, game tips, or support updates, Dylan's got the Starhawk tidbits you need to be following. Here are some of his latest tweets you may not have read:
Be sure to follow your Captain @DylanJobe on Twitter for the latest hot-updates about Starhawk.
It's been a busy weekend for us here at the LightBox studios... over the three day weekend, we've been finishing up our work on Patch 1.01.011 for Starhawk. The update is a beast, with quite a few fixes and changes coming in it, and we're currently in QA testing with the patch and preparing it for launch. We hope to have it out to you later this week!
This is the first patch for the game, and we have others in the works. We know this update isn't the "catch all" to fix every issue and achieve the perfect gameplay balance, but it should address some key issues with the game. There are quite a few changes in here, including the first step towards reducing Base Ravaging (we have more fixes coming for that soon) as well as improvements to the Homing Missile, and more. Here's a full breakdown of what's coming later this week:
Build & Battle Outposts:
In the release version of Starhawk, the Outposts cost 8 Rift and we've reduced that to 4. This significant reduction will greatly help teams increase their team's controlled regions on the map and even this one change should reduce base-ravaging by providing teams with more options for spawning locations.
Field Mechanic Skill:
There were some very savvy pilots who were using Cloak, Shield and the Field Mechanic Skill in such a way as to be almost unstoppable on the battlefield. While we applaud that kind of tactical use, it nevertheless resulted in very lop-sided engagements and we had to take action. Now, if you equip the Field Mechanic Skill, your Hawk will not auto-repair as quickly which results, in concert with the Shield adjustments, in a significant reduction in "invincible" pilots.
OX Tank & High-Energy Shell:
The OX Tank was very powerful, and rightly so... its a TANK! That said, it was a bit too powerful. Even our Tank-Divas here in the studio agreed. To help get the OX in better balance with the Starhawk's overall combat economy, we are making a number of changes. Firstly, it now costs more to build the vehicle at the Depot. The Depot itself still costs the same. But now the OX costs 4 Rift when you build it from the control panel.
We have also made a number of changes to the High-Energy Shell. This is the fast, almost rail-gun like shell the OX can fire. We've reduced the damage of a direct-hit as well as the area of effect damage. Previously it not only had super-high direct impact damage, but it's AoE was potent enough to make it simply brutal against troops -- when the real role of the OX needs to be more about anti-vehicle and anti-structure. We also slightly reduced the accuracy and increased the time between the first and second shot so that it couldn't be used as such an effective long-range-anti-troop-rail-gun.
We have not included any changes to the OX Tank's Artillery shell at this time.
Hawk Cluster Bomb:
The Cluster Bomb was OP. There is no doubt about that. Sure it feels fun to rain death on group of enemies... but let's be honest, we all felt a bit dirty doing it! We have decided to reduce the damage per-bomb *AND* shrink the area of effect of each bomb by 40% and 33% respectively. We have also added softer damage attenuation to the Cluster Bomb's AoE to help make them still effective against Vehicles and Structures and not so focused on troop ravaging.
Hawk Cloak & Shield:
These two weapons really spice up the Hawk's use on the battlefield but as we noted with the changes to the Field Mechanic Skill, there were also some changes that needed to be made to bring these weapons -- and the Hawk in general -- into better balance.
The amount of time a pilot can stay cloaked now has been reduced by 33%. This is still enough time for it to be used to get out of a sticky situation, but not too long such that a nefarious Hawk pilot can engage in perpetual *AND* invisible base-ravaging.
The Shield also got nerf'd and no longer can absorb as much damage before breaking. The reduction was pretty significant here and now the Shield only absorbs 50% of what it could previously. Again, much like in the Cloak situation, it's enough damage absorption to give you a "out" if you're in trouble but not long enough for it to yield degenerate bombing runs or dogfights when used in combination with some skills or other tactics.
Hawk Homing Missile:
This game balance update includes some dramatic changes to the Hawk's Homing Missile and these changes were focused on one key goal -- get the Homing Missile tracking its target faster and get it to impact its target faster. Now of course we need to make sure it's balanced so we're obviously not making the Homing Missile an instantaneous 1-shot kill!
So we've increased the thrust on the missile so that it has a higher top-end speed and the target has less time to scrub the missile. This thrust increase also includes a faster thrust activation time so when you do deploy a Homing Missile, the thruster kicks in far quicker and this gives it a "snappier" feel in combat. Lastly, we greatly reduced the amount of time the Homing Missile takes to maneuver towards it's locked target. This isn't the amount of time it takes to get a lock, but rather, the amount of time it takes the Homing Missile to steer and acquire its target while in-flight.
Player Complaint System:
We've also enabled a system that allows players to anonymously flag other players for moderator review. Our Moderator Team has a special Starhawk system that displays a list of all players around the globe, how many complaints have been filed for each player and what kind of complaint.
This allows players to help "police" the games and get our Moderators into their games to render judgements more quickly. Moderators can watch individual players and can join games even when the game is technically "full" or password protected.
To file a Player Complaint, simply select a player's name from the Scoreboard and you will see a new "Player Complaint" item in the pop-up menu. Select it and you will be presented with a few options for the kind of complaint you want to file: Cheating, Harassment, Vulgarity and Bad Builder.
QuickMatch, Server-List & SkillScore:
When we launched Starhawk, we intentionally had SkillScore matching disabled for QuickMatch. This update re-enables this feature. If you select to join a game through Quick Match, the server will do its best to put you into a game that more closely matches your SkillScore -- or more accurately a +/- range around your SkillScore.
We have also changed the way "Player-Danger" icons are displayed in the Server-List. Preivously, you would see servers in the list have 1 of 3 icons displayed next to the connection strength of the server: Pink Cake, Yellow Fist or Red Skull. These indicated the average SkillScore of the server. So you knew a server with a Red Skull was dangerous to you. However due to another issue, high-SkillScore players were still allowed to join "Cake" games. This resulted in lots of newbie players getting worked-over by the best of the best. Until this issue is resolved, we have disabled both Cake and Fist icons.
So now, you will only see Red Skulls in the Server-List to warn you that game is filled with players that are "better" than you. Although you should note that playing in a Red Skull server can yeild faster SkillScore growth due to you battling with players that have higher SkillScores -- so the choice is yours!
Faster Auto-Turret Dismantle:
The auto-turret animation we shipped with was too long and resulted in players just getting ravaged by other turrets or players. The new dismantle animations is *WAY* faster and feels a lot better in the heat of combat.
What're We Working on Next for You Guys?
Well of course we are finishing the testing of our 1.01.001 Update but we are also finishing a "stability" patch that includes many fixes for lots of annoying locks that we have seen in our global crash report. This patch should make a *HUGE* difference for Starhawk stability and includes a completely new system for network error reporting that automatically logs any player's network error with our game analytics database. This way we can correlate disconnects by region, by player and if needed, by discreet activity in the game.
The network team here at LightBox Interactive is also working very closely with the SONY Network team to isolate the issues that some players are reporting about our voice chat. After a few games the voice relay system is breaking-down and that's resulting in players being "dropped" from voice communication.
Beyond that on the horizon, we have more updates for game balance, protections against "base-ravaging" and the team is continuing to make great progress on the FREE Cypress Map Pack and we're really looking forward to sharing more info on it in the coming weeks!
The Design Team here at LightBox Interactive also had a playtest this week of a new prototype gameplay mode called "Flight-CTF" although to be honest... it had more in common with Quidditch!
Team-based air-combat, 1 "ball" in the middle of the sky and 2 goals one at either end of the map. You score points by getting the "ball" and flying through the goal. The prototype was early and rough but it was hellua-fun and we'll keep you posted on how it develops, and when it looks like we'll release it for all of you guys to get your hands on!
If you've been watching the official website today, you probably saw the news that we'll soon be joining the LittleBigPlanet family. We're really excited to be sharing the Starhawk love with such a wonderful franchise, and it's been exciting watching the talented artists at Media Molecule turn our familiar characters into cute and lovable costumes for your Sackboy to wear.
Our banner announcement previewed the Logan and Emmett Graves costumes, but we promised you one more outfit. So without further ado, here's your exclusive first look at the third costume coming in the Starhawk minipack...
... that's right! Sydney Cutter, the gear man and frequent HUD anchor, is joining our cast of characters and he's bringing his sexy mustache with him.
The Starhawk Minipack is joining the LittleBigPlanet family next week. We'll have a post for you soon that details the pricing and release timing!
Hey HawkStars, we’ve got some big news for you! Next week, LittleBigPlanet will be unveiling a brand new Starhawk Minipack. It contains three brand new costumes to adorn your Sackboy and turn him into the coolest Rift Hunter in the universe. Partnering with Media Molecule was a really exciting opportunity for us here at LightBox, and we’re glad to bring a little of the New Frontier spirit into LBP.
You might notice though that there are only two characters shown above. Who’s the third? Give us your guesses and we'll unveil the mystery Sackboy costume later today!
As the free gifts started to go out yesterday to our Beta & Warhawk players, we started to receive word that some of you were having problems receiving your freebies. We're very dedicated to getting everyone that qualifies their Warhawk Paint Schemes and/or Hand of the Founder accessory.
If you haven't yet received your gifts, please head over to our web site and fill out four quick questions. The process takes less than 60 seconds and helps us make sure your gifts are distributed to you. Please make sure you input the PSN ID you played Warhawk and the beta with, so that we can compare it to our databases.
Also, if you've forgotten the beta structure, here's a quick recap for when you're filling out the form:
If you received access to the Starhawk beta via PlayStation Plus, if you were part of the "free for all" that took place from February to March, or you were one of our Uncharted 3 players, then you were part of the Public Beta. The Public Beta ran exclusively in 2012.
If you played the beta in 2011 as part of our invite-only process to Warhawk fans, if you received a key from a partner site, or you got one from us on Facebook, you were part of the Private Beta. The Private Beta ran exclusively in 2011.
Thank you everyone for your patience. We know you've been very eager to receive your gifts, and we're working hard to make sure you're all taken care of.
Our launch day extravaganza just keeps getting bigger and better!
We're pleased to announce that MLG has taken a huge interest in Starhawk, and plans to add our new game into their tournament lineup effective immediately! They're kicking things off with a brand new multiplayer contest with over $20,000 of prizes, including a specially designed Starhawk PlayStation 3, badges, and a whole lot more.
To register for the tournament, head over to the official sign up page and get yourself squared away.
Today's our big launch day for Starhawk here in North America, and you might think that would be enough excitement for us in one day. But once you get hyped up on the adrenaline of releasing a game, you just want to keep the fun times going!
So with that, we're very pleased to announce that all map packs for Starhawk are going to be made available free of charge.
Back in the Warhawk days, we saw a lot of division amongst our players whenever we'd release a new set of maps. Some people would have them, some wouldn't, and it ended up fracturing our community. But during the Starhawk development cycle, the teams at Sony and LightBox sat down with the intention of addressing this problem in the most simple and elegant way possible. And that led to our decision that any future map pack releases would be offered for free, to keep players together and keep our community happy.
We will have some DLC in the future that's paid content, but we're still working on the details on what that's going to be. But for the immediate future, we're already working on our first map pack release to supplement the ten maps already packed on the disc. Our first new locale is Cypress, a lush, swampy world that’s home to an abandoned research facility that many years ago was responsible for researching the mysteries of Rift Energy. You can preview it below!
We're really excited to finally share our game with the world and can't wait to hear what you think about it. As we've said for a while, Starhawk is a marathon and not a sprint. Even though we release our disc today, we're still planning regular updates, content packs, and more. We'll also be coming to you for your feedback in the weeks ahead to see what you'd be interested in for Starhawk's future. We have big plans for the game, and hope that you'll join us in the New Frontier to see where we're going.
Just a reminder, we're going to be hosting our second Livestream event tonight! It's your chance to preview the single player, co-op, and multiplayer modes of Starhawk before the game lands on your local retailer's shelf tomorrow morning, and we'll be bringing out some heavy hitters for the show tonight.
For starters, our event is being hosted by Dylan Jobe, the President of LightBox Interactive. You'll get to hear him talking about the game and providing commentary on our play session. There's going to be a giveaway for our fans on Twitter (details during the show tonight) as well as a few big announcements during the show. If you're a competitive gamer, you won't want to miss this!
Our Livestream event runs from 5pm - 8pm Pacific Time (0000 - 0300 GMT) this evening, and you can find it online at mlg.tv
See you tonight, and Rock on!!
Just a reminder to our Starhawk fans, we're running the multiplayer Livestream tonight! We'll kick off at 6pm Pacific (0100 GMT) and run for three hours, showing off various bits of our multiplayer and maybe throw in a surprise or two.
You can find the Livestream at this link: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/lightboxinteractive
Throughout the show, we'll have LightBox employees offering commentary on the session and game mics will be on, so you'll get to hear our cross-play chatter as we're playing through the game. You might even get to see some of our new maps and extra gameplay modes that weren't in the beta!
Tune in tonight for lots of fun and excitement. Rock on!
A few weeks ago, we ran a thread to collect your questions about how the Starhawk beta programs were being used to develop the final game, and talk about specific issues you were curious about. They included items like turret spam, flight ceilings, building limits, and more. We collected your Top 14 questions and passed them along to Dylan Jobe, the president of LightBox Interactive, to get you answers straight from the source.
And now, we're pleased to present a four part video series featuring the main man himself. Dylan goes into detail on each of the questions, talking about our design strategies behind specific decisions, what was changed after the beta, and how we come to each of our decisions.
Take a look at the Top 14 videos and see what we had to say about your issue!
Video 1 can be found here, and discusses the lengthy "Melee Kill" animation, the Air-to-Air combat balance, and the strength of the Flak Cannon.
You'll find Video 2 at this link. It covers the map variety in the final game (with some sneak peeks), pre-built structures, the mini-map, and the flight ceiling.
Video 3 is here, and it includes a discussion on vehicle speeds, how we approach Rift Energy for base squatters / turtle'ers, Torpedo effectiveness against the bubble shield, and the building cap.
Finally, you can find Video 4 at this link. The final piece of the Q&A talks about strategies to prevent base camping and turret spam, vehicle health bars, and the Loadout system.
We appreciate all of your patience as we created this hearty video segment and can't wait to see you in the New Frontier next week. Rock on!
There are just a few more days left until Starhawk hits retail shelves, and while we're racing to bring you a bunch of new content (and before you ask, YES, we're still working on that one video you've been waiting on), we're especially proud to be able to offer you not just one, but TWO separate livestream events between now and our launch on May 8th. The staffers at Sony and Lightbox have been gracious enough to offer to participate in these two awesome previews of Starhawk's multiplayer, where you'll get to see what the final multiplayer, single player, and co-op modes look like, have a chance to win prizes, listen to our smack talk, and more!
Here are the details for our two events:
Both events are hosted at LBI's Ustream channel, which you can find at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/lightboxinteractive
Saturday, May 5th
Our live gameplay session on Saturday takes place between 6pm - 9pm Pacific Time (0100 - 0400 GMT). We'll have commentary provided by LightBox Interactive staffers, and our game mics will be on so that you can listen in on our chatter. The focus on Saturday is on multiplayer, and you may end up seeing one of our modes/maps that wasn't in the beta... and maybe get a surprise or two as well! You'll also be able to watch the livestream through PlayStation Home on Saturday!
Monday, May 7th
Our live gameplay session on Monday takes place between 5pm - 8pm Pacific Time (0000 - 0300 GMT). We'll have commentary provided by our head honcho himself, Dylan Jobe, who will be co-hosting and providing you with guided previews of our Single Player, Co-Op, and Multiplayer modes in the game. We're also going to be offering a Twitter giveaway to those who re-tweet during the event (details during the show) and we're hoping to provide this event through PlayStation Home as well. And be sure and tune in for a very special announcement that our competitive gamers won't want to miss.
With just five days left until we hit store shelves in North America (and a few extra days for our friends in Europe and Japan), we're extremely excited to share Starhawk with you and let you see what we've been working on over the past few years. But until then, we hope these livestream events give you a chance to take part in the fun and help quench your thirst until your own copy is sitting in your house.
The Man Cake... the Chicken Shot... Starhawk has lots of ways to inflict pain and death upon your enemies. And to highlight that, we've got a new trailer showing off just a few of the creative ways you can take down the opposing team in Starhawk's multiplayer.
What's your favorite way to kill someone in Starhawk?
We're counting down the days until the Starhawk launch, and we have all kinds of cool new content to share with you throughout the week!
Today, we bring you a brand new video featuring Dylan Jobe as he talks about the Limited Edition content. You've probably seen our posts in the past which list off all the cool items you get with this exclusive pack, but now is your chance to actually see the bonuses in action! You'll get a look at the additional Homeworld, the added co-op mission, and the new skins.
If you haven't reserved your copy of Starhawk yet, the Limited Edition is still available for pre-order at GameStop so be sure and grab your copy now while supplies last. Once the Limited Edition copies are all gone, we won't be reprinting them, so grab yours before it's too late!
Good news, Starhawk fans! We're pleased to announce that Starhawk has gone gold and is being pressed and shipped to retailers now! The game hits retail shelves next week in North America, Europe, and Japan, and we're so excited to share the final release of the game with you.
In addition, we're proud to offer some bonus perks to all the wonderful community members that have supported us since our announcement last May. Can you believe it's almost been a year since we unveiled the game?
If you played in the Starhawk beta at any point, you'll automatically be receiving "The Hand of the Founder", a limited edition character accessory that will attach to the right hand of your player character and let you show off your status as one of the founding members of Starhawk.
If you've played the beta and you were also one of our Warhawk players, you'll also be gifted with the Warhawk Paint Set. This gives you two exclusive vehicle paint schemes that can be applied to any of the vehicles in Starhawk, turning them into the olive Eucadian style visual or the black Chernovan gunmetal appearance.
These items are intended specifically to thank our beta players and the fans that have supported us since Warhawk. We have no plans to re-release or sell these.
Starhawk is just one week away, but there's still time to pre-order if you haven't already! Just head over to GameStop and reserve the Limited Edition of the game. We're really excited to give you the full, rich experience of Starhawk next week! And welcome... to the new frontier.
What a year it's been! After so many months of anticipation, beta testing, and the tireless work of our friends at LightBox, there's only one week to go until Starhawk launches in North America. That means if you're planning on reserving the GameStop-exclusive Limited Edition, you only have a few days left to get all those extra goodies!
So, now that we're in the final countdown, let's talk about Starhawk's release. Who here has already pre-ordered the game? What are you most looking forward to doing after you pick it up next week? And how are you planning to spend your last Starhawk-free weekend?
After the awesome ride we've been on together, I can't wait to hear about your reactions to the final game! Hold on, just a few more days to go!
There are two weeks left until Starhawk releases, and as sites like Kotaku and GameTrailers start to get their sneak peeks at the single player campaign, we wanted to give our fans their own preview of the game. So without further ado, we produly present the Story Trailer for Starhawk!
Our two minute video lets you get a look at the backstory that leads into the start of Starhawk. Emmett's fight with Logan becomes even more twisted as his brother grows corrupted by Rift energy, humanity's rush to collect Rift leads to an all-out war between the Outcast and the Rifters, and we give you a sneak peek at some of the supporting characters you'll meet in the game.
It's a full-on narrative, and way more than just "Single player with bots". Take a peek and let us know what you think of the video!
We're doing a poll on Facebook, and you should stop by and give us your answer! You never know what could come of this.