The Fate of Cruisers

On August 17th, we held an AMA on Discord to discuss the fate of Cruisers. As always, our amazing community provided us with plenty of food for thought. Here's what we're doing with the Cruiser class, and why we're shaking things up for everyone's benefit.

Let's start by discussing the current system.

At the Infinite Fleet Store, you'll find two classes of ships, the Centurions and the Cruisers. There are different types within each class. Examples include the Centurion-class Versa, the Centurion-class Carrier, and the Cruiser-class Lancer.

Currently, you must have one Centurion-class ship in your active fleet. No more, no less. You can make up the remainder of your active fleet with Cruisers.

The Centurion serves as your capital ship, while the Cruisers serve as your supporting ships.

We started doubting the need for this system for a few reasons.

Firstly, it is quite complex. Many new players did not understand the difference and even purchased Centurions without realizing they could not use more than one at a time. Providing better education and improving the UX/UI of the website were interim solutions we explored. We would still have had trouble simplifying the system for new players, no matter how we presented the information.

Furthermore, finding a place for the Cruisers was a challenge. While Samson hinted at a major feature we'll release much later, Cruisers currently have an existential crisis.

Right now, Cruisers are just smaller, less powerful Centurions. There wasn't much that set them apart. Initially, we envisioned Cruisers as a way to make our fleets appear more varied. Star Wars, for instance, shows Mon Calamari Star Cruisers dwarfing nearby Corellian Corvettes. However, we didn't see the impact we hoped for after implementation.

Ultimately, we decided to stick with Centurions and homogenize the classes.

This has a few major gameplay implications.

This mainly affects your fleet because you can now have five Centurion ships instead of one. The composition of your fleet is now much more flexible.

Providing you with the option to customize your fleet composition has always been our goal. With a full fleet of Carriers, you can drown the Atrox in mech squadrons! Or imagine the light show with an arsenal of Cannons.

You will still need to optimize your fleet, and the community must figure out the combination that works best.

Another part of the solution is scaling up the Cruisers to reach Centurion size (between 0.8km and 1.2km). It was one of the main topics we discussed. In our case, the main concern was distinguishing between similar types, such as the Carrier and Envoy, which have functional overlap in that they both specialize in housing squads of mechs. We have made some modifications that will make them more distinctive.

Featuring an EMP Discharge ability that damages enemy shielding area-of-effect, as well as a Gravity Bomb that prevents enemies from moving, the Envoy has become much more ability-focused. In addition, the Envoy has a nifty ability to deploy a defense drone that orbits its target, intercepting incoming missiles and mechs. With these changes, we also decided to rename the Envoy more appropriately as the Tempest.

The Ballista will remain an artillery ship. As opposed to Cannon's beams, which obliterate everything in their path, it fires a massive plasma ball that causes immense damage to a single target.

Overall, our Discord event was extremely positive. Aside from being very excited about the upcoming changes, the community also provided some excellent ideas for improving them. Some interesting ideas were discussed, including a point-buy system where players would build fleets based on their ships' points. This was popularized by Warhammer in the past. It's a very cool idea, but it would add some complexity. In the future, it might be worth looking into.

Having received the community's support, we have decided to proceed with this new system. Our goal is to implement it in the November release.

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