FS: Tactical Ops Center Level 16 – December 26th Patch Notes

New this week in Firestrike:

Tactical Ops Center Level 16

🎄 Happy Holidays, Firestrikers! 🎄

We’ve been hearing your feedback loud and clear, and we’re ready to celebrate the holidays with the big update you’ve all been patiently waiting for.  Effective today:

The Tactical Ops Center level cap is raised to Level 16, paving the way for new maximum levels for all buildings, turrets, landmines, and top-tier units.

Game Improvements

And that’s not all! We’ve also made some improvements to the settings menu interface!

  • The settings menu is now scrollable, allowing for more player preference options.
  • A new setting option now gives players the ability to toggle the mousewheel scrolling behavior for in-game chat, and regional map zooming.
  • Soon more setting options will be added that allow players to toggle screen shaking effects, and in-game chat window orientation. Stay tuned!

Like what you see, or have more awesome feedback to share? Let us know over in the “firestrike” channel within our TR Discord Server.

Good hunting, Firestrikers!

Battlehouse Dev Blog, Issue #12: Developer Roadmap

📢 Attention Thunder Run, Days of Valor, Mars Frontier, War Star Empire, Battlefront Mars, and Firestrike Commanders:

Welcome to the 12th installment of the Battlehouse Dev Blog, a place where fans of all Battlehouse games can enjoy regular behind the scenes peaks into the minds of Battlehouse Developers. Without further adieu, here’s bh-nirgal to talk about upcoming projects in the current Developer Roadmap (all of these are approved by management, and the order of reporting reflects the order of release):

All Games – Improved Player Preferences Interface

Our user interface works in strange ways. Making them expand and scroll is not trivial, but it is necessary. By updating this interface to have scroll buttons and more options, we can give the player control over more comfort and ease of use options. This is a very high priority change and will affect all of the games. Once complete, the first options to be added will be toggle mouse wheel scrolling direction, toggle chat vertical orientation, toggle screen shake explosion effects. This is the first project and will be finished before there are any further new content projects for any of the games. Bear in mind, some content updates are already in the games and are just on timed releases, so you may see some new features activate even if this project isn’t done.

Firestrike – Sapper Unit

Our second project is the Sapper Unit for Firestrike players. You may have seen the preview of the mine detection code demonstrated on the dev-tracker channel. Firestrike will be the first game to get a detector unit, and it will be the Sapper. The main part of this feature is working, but a few things need to be fine-tuned to avoid breaking things. The Firestrike Sapper detects mines, but is not meant to disable or destroy them. Players will need to use their Sapper to guide other units around deadly minefields.  The Sapper is the best unit for demolishing buildings, so he’s a strong counter to the new HESCO barriers. He does poor damage against mobile units, so it shouldn’t affect the current rock/paper/scissors balance between the three uppermost tier unit types. Unlike the Thunder Run and Days of Valor version, this Sapper doesn’t die automatically after deployment and can carry quite a few satchel charges.

All Games – Power Generation/Damage Mechanics Overhaul

Our third project is a tech upgrade for all games. Currently, all of the games use power generators to determine the rate of fire for turrets. When damaged, a generator stops providing power. Under the current mechanics, a generator with 100% of its hit points provides 100% of its output rating, and a generator with 99.999% of its hit points provides 0% of its output rating. We can do better.

I plan to have two optional mechanics for generators, so they can be added into the game titles as needed. Generators can have the current maximum power output rating, a proportionate power output threshold (power output is equal to the proportion of remaining hit points), a half power output threshold (flat cut of 50% of power), and a zero power output threshold.

Let’s use the L9 Generator from Thunder Run as an example. It provides 4500 power and has 28000 hit points. Let’s give it a theoretical proportionate output threshold of 75%. This means that from 28000 hit points down to 21000 hit points, it would give a power output adjusted by whatever percent of hitpoints the generator still had. So at 26500 hit points, the generator has 94% of its health, so it would output 4230 power instead of 4500 power. Let’s give it a theoretical half power threshold of 50%. This means that down to 14000 hit points, it will output 2250 power instead of 4500 power. If a generator has both a proportionate threshold and a half threshold, it would apply the higher one first. Anything below the half power level would result in 0 power, so an L9 generator with those theoretical stats and 13999 hit points would then give 0 power.

By adding these as distinct stats, a generator could conceivably give proportionate power from 100% HP to 0% HP, or give half power from 100% HP to 0% HP. This means variety in games, and the ability to improve these stats as the building upgrades.

All Games – Crafting Update

Our fourth project is another large technology update. The only visual change players will see is that Ambush Points will become craftable and there will be scroll buttons so the number of Minefields isn’t hard-capped at 28.

Under the hood, this is a bit more complicated. A lot of our crafting systems were crammed together and had toggles to decide what got crafted and what interface was displayed. Around the time that Firestrike was released, a member of the team carved out the functions used for crafting turrets and made it a standalone feature. I expanded that feature to allow the system to deploy weapons to armed TOCs and Central Computers, armed buildings (you haven’t seen these yet), and armed barriers (you haven’t seen these yet either). What we’ll be doing next is making a similar standalone crafting system that handles “grid” items (like the Minefields with their letter/number names). Ambush Points will be a similar “grid” item.

Craftable strike teams will replace the current “buy it and drop it in” model in Thunder Run and Days of Valor. Unlike landmines, crafted strike teams will not self-destruct the item when triggered. The only major difference is you will no longer be able to accidentally buy more strike teams than you have ambush points for, since you’ll just craft one into your available ambush points.

This update will allow the future release of new mines and strike teams.

WSE & BFM – Dragon and Elite Dragon Unit

Our fifth project is fairly small, and will be a new content release. War Star Empire will receive the Dragon air unit, and Battlefront Mars will receive the Elite Dragon air unit. This should be delivered during the development of the crafting update, since it’s a relatively simple process.

MF – Unit levels, Radiation Tower, and EMP Cannon

Our sixth project is fairly small, and will be a new content release. Mars Frontier will receive the Radiation Tower and EMP Cannons for their turret platforms, and will receive new levels for the Detonator, Phantom Detonator, Elevation Droid, Curiosity, and the Opportunity Central Computer defender. This should be delivered during the development of the crafting update, since it’s a relatively simple process.

TR & DV – Vault Update

Our seventh project is a fairly small content adjustment. The Hardware protection of the Vault in Thunder Run and Days of Valor will be significantly increased to the point that there will always be enough for base defender and base building repairs. There might not be much more than that, but even if you log in to a completely destroyed base you’ll be able to jump back into the fight. This should be delivered during the development of the crafting update, since it’s a relatively simple process.

All Games – Consumable Ammo

Our eighth project is a technology update. Players will not see anything right away, since it’s only one step in several towards the finished project.
Right now, there’s only one way to balance how often a player can use an ability is its cooldown stat. Most weapons have cooldowns of less than a second to a couple of seconds.  Some abilities are powerful and shouldn’t be used more than once or twice in a fight. Long cooldowns can be easily “cheesed” by retreating and attacking again.

Instead of relying on cooldowns, we’re going to add the ability to require consumable ammo and items to certain powerful abilities. Examples would be the UH-60’s troop deployment (instead of having them destroy themselves to launch the troop), the future Elite UH-60’s troop deployment, and the future Elite Sniper’s stealth ability. The ammo/item would be stored in an invisible equipment slot on the unit and would just appear as an ammo counter in the unit’s stats.

This would be an internal mechanic until the rest of the needed support structure is done.

All Games – Build/Research Time updates while building/tech is in progress

Our ninth project will be a function that will check for updates to build and research times when you log in. We’ve planned some time requirement nerfs (mostly in certain buildings), but the current system only records when you started and how much time you needed when you started, so it doesn’t update if the time is reduced later.

We’re going to fix that. It will record the total time needed when you start, and check when you log in if this has changed. If it has, it will update the time remaining. This update function will check the times whenever you apply a build time boost item, and will adjust the time accordingly. Be warned, removing the boost will increase the time back to where it was (otherwise you could store multiple build time boosts and apply/remove them multiple times in order to get buildings instantly for free).

All Games – Stats Display

Our tenth project will be the addition of “impact aura” stats to a unit’s display. This will show a new stat row for each “aura”, with its strength value. This will allow you to see exactly how much longer a stun will be, or how much more a slowdown will be. We’ll be adding an additional damage vs icon to finally record the difference between light and heavy vehicles in Thunder Run and Days of Valor. This is a project that will be open to player input, so if you have suggestions let us know!

All Games – On-Shoot Event Triggers

Our final project for the quarter is another technology update. Right now, units and buildings can trigger an event based on when they get damaged, when an enemy comes near, or when they get destroyed. This is used to spawn response and security teams. A mechanic needs to be added to allow events to trigger when a weapon or ability is triggered, so that the UH-60 and Elite UH-60 will be able to deploy their troops without destroying themselves.

Sadly, projects seven and ten won’t make much difference to players in the coming quarter, since we’ll need to add the ammunition crafting and delivery mechanisms before they can be fully implemented. We’ll get there with time.

Stay up to date every day on what’s being developed on the dev-tracker channel here.

Looking for an update on where the Dev Team currently stands regarding various recent community suggestions? Check out our “Voice of the Commander” trackers here:

Like what you see in this Dev Blog, or have suggestions on things you’d like to see addressed in our “Voice of the Commander” trackers? Let us know over on our Thunder Run Discord Server!

FS: New Barrier Defenses – December 12th Patch Notes

New this week in Firestrike:

New Barrier Defenses

Time to bolster your defenses, Firestrikers! New Barrier Defenses are here. Effective today:

  • Instantly build new upgradeable Barriers from the “Defense” tab of your “Build” menu to help protect your most precious buildings.
  • All Tactical Ops Center Levels have access to barriers, and the maximum quantity for how many barriers one can build increases with each TOC level.

Even better, one of our recon squads is reporting that Tactical Ops Center Level 16 and more are just around the corner. Read more in the latest issue of the Battlehouse Dev Blog.

Like what you see, or have more awesome feedback to share? Let us know over in the “firestrike” channel within our TR Discord Server.

Good hunting, Firestrikers!

Battlehouse Dev Blog, Issue #11: Improvements to All Games!

📢 Attention Thunder Run, Days of Valor, Mars Frontier, War Star Empire, Battlefront Mars, and Firestrike Commanders:

Welcome to the 11th installment of the Battlehouse Dev Blog, a place where fans of all Battlehouse games can enjoy regular behind the scenes peaks into the minds of Battlehouse Developers. Without further adieu, here’s bh-nirgal to talk about some updates coming down the road for all Battlehouse games:

Improvements to All Games!

Your dev team took a little break for the American Thanksgiving holiday, but came back refreshed and delivered a whirlwind of content. 🦃🌪

As discussed in the last developer blog, content patches were completed for all of the games:

Firestrike Updates

  • Starting on December 12, players will be able to build HESCO Barriers. All tiers have access to this new defensive building.
  • Tier 16 goes live on December 26, bringing new levels for all buildings, new levels for all turrets, new levels for all landmines, and new levels for the top-tier units.
  • A new minesweeper unit, the Sapper (not quite the same as the suicide unit in Thunder Run, as it doesn’t kill itself), is mostly complete. We need to fine-tune its ability to reveal landmine positions before releasing it into the wild, so stay tuned for that update, probably next month.

Mars Frontier Updates

  • You asked, we delivered. The Central Computer level 7 build time is now 14 days (down from 30).
  • Starting on December 26, players will be able to upgrade the Central Computer to level 8. All production, storage, and research buildings get new levels.
  • The Mining Droid, Heavy Miner, Blaster Droid, and Excavator Droid level cap has been raised to level 13. It requires new Robotics Lab levels to research level 11 and up. More units will get an increased level cap later.
  • The turret conversion system is now in place. Currently only the Light Rail Gun, Defensive Cannon, and LRAT Cannon are enabled, but we’ll enable the Radiation Tower and EMP Cannon at a later date.

Battlefront Mars Updates

  • Starting on December 26, players will be able to upgrade the Central Computer to level 9. All production, storage, and research buildings get new levels.
  • The Marine’s level cap has been raised by two.
  • The Elite Rainmaker has been introduced into the game. This spiffed up version of the Rainmaker does more damage and does splash damage.
    • Astute players may have noticed the presence of Elite Rainmakers on some single player maps. These have all been replaced with Mercenary Rainmakers with their original stats to avoid changing the balance of gameplay. The new Elite Rainmaker is more powerful than the one the AI was using.
  • The turret conversion system is now in place. Currently only the Auto-Cannon, Thunder Cannon, and Devastator are enabled, but we’ll enable the Radiation Tower, EMP Cannon, and LRAT at a later date.

War Star Empire Updates

  • Starting on December 26, players will be able to upgrade the Central Computer to level 9. All production, storage, and research buildings get new levels.
  • The Shock Trooper, Tracker, Avenger, and Gun Runner have had their level cap raised by three. This change goes live on December 12.  More increased level caps are in the pipeline.

Thunder Run/Days of Valor Updates

  • The Elite AH-1Z has some (we hope) fun new mechanics. It will be on sale tomorrow, so if you don’t already have it, now’s the time to grab it and check it out.
  • We’ll be returning to Quality of Life improvements now. The Player Preferences interface has been next on the list, so expect to see some updates for that soon. Other than small contents patches, like new levels for existing units and buildings, expect mostly UI improvements for the next several months. We’ll be fixing quite a bit of under-the-hood tech before the next round of brand new content.

Stay up to date every day on what’s being developed on the dev-tracker channel here.

Looking for an update on where the Dev Team currently stands regarding various recent community suggestions? Check out our “Voice of the Commander” trackers here:

Like what you see in this Dev Blog, or have suggestions on things you’d like to see addressed in our “Voice of the Commander” trackers? Let us know over on our Thunder Run Discord Server!


Battlehouse Dev Blog, Issue #10: Chat Improvements, and more

📢 Attention Thunder Run, Days of Valor, Mars Frontier, War Star Empire, Battlefront Mars, and Firestrike Commanders:

Welcome to the 10th installment of the Battlehouse Dev Blog, a place where fans of all Battlehouse games can enjoy regular behind the scenes peaks into the minds of Battlehouse Developers. Without further adieu, here’s bh-nirgal to talk about some in-game chat improvements, and development updates for all games:

Chat Improvements

This past week has mostly been dealing with quality of life improvements and patching UI errors.

The biggest change was enabling mouse wheel scrolling in chat. All games benefited from this change.

We’re going to pause on UI improvements for a short period to get a few content patches out for Firestrike, Mars Frontier, Battlefront Mars, and War Star Empire. These are smaller games that represent a smaller portion of the income that keeps the whole ship afloat, but they deserve new content too! We’ll return to UI improvements for all games shortly afterwards.

When we return to the UI, the next step is to expand the player options menu to allow scrolling. There’s no room left right now to add options, and a lot of upcoming UI improvements need to be something the user can toggle. Sadly, this is not something we can just flip a switch on, but once scrolling is added to a UI element it can be expanded easily in the future. While we’re at it, we’ll make sure mouse wheel scrolling works in this UI element.

Once player options can scroll and we have more room to give you options to choose from, here’s the new options we’ll be adding:

  • Turn off screen shake when explosion effects happen.
  • Reverse chat window vertical orientation. New messages and the input window on the top, or new messages and the input window on the bottom. Your choice.
  • Reverse mouse wheel scroll direction. Scroll down to go down, or scroll up to go down, your choice.

Game Development Status Updates

Firestrike players: You’ve been asking for it, and it’s in the works. Tier 16. You’re getting new levels to all units, new levels to all tech, new levels to all buildings, the addition of barriers, and one new unit. This is a big patch, so it might get broken into stages.

Mars Frontier: You’re getting a new Central Computer level, reduced build times for existing building levels, and a new level for all units. Most of the work on this was already done, so expect it very quickly.

Battlefront Mars: You’re getting a new level for all units, and one elite unit. A lot of the work on this is already done, but it needs some polish. It shouldn’t take too long.

War Star Empire: You’re getting a new level for all units and some additional turret levels. About half of the work on this was done between other patches, so it won’t take too long.

There’s not much else to discuss this week. To our American friends, enjoy gorging yourselves tomorrow. To the rest of you, have a great week.

Stay up to date every day on what’s being developed on the dev-tracker channel here.

Looking for an update on where the Dev Team currently stands regarding various recent community suggestions? Check out our “Voice of the Commander” trackers here:

Like what you see in this Dev Blog, or have suggestions on things you’d like to see addressed in our “Voice of the Commander” trackers? Let us know over on our Thunder Run Discord Server!


Battlehouse.com Forums/Clan HQ Community Moving To Discord

This week in Thunder Run, and all other Battlehouse Games: our on-site Forums will be archived and will be officially replaced with the new Thunder Run Discord Server, which offers exciting benefits like voice chat, better moderation features, and official “Ask a Dev” events. Clan HQ will also be closing down at a later date.

Forums Transition to Discord

Effective this Wednesday, October 30th: the Battlehouse.com Forums will be put into “archive mode” and will no longer be allowing new posts. The forums will remain in read-only status so that various popular player guides and feedback records will still be accessible for your reference.

A banner at the top of the forums will re-direct everyone to our official Thunder Run Discord Server where our Community and Design teams will continue to participate in chats with the player-base, and continue to log all player feedback for future game design considerations.

Clan HQ Transition to Discord

At a later “to be decided” date, Clan HQ will also be shutting down and redirecting players to Discord in a similar fashion.

Players who routinely use Clan HQ are encouraged to start using the Thunder Run Discord Server as we work towards finalizing this transition. Clan HQ users from other Battlehouse Games will find an “Other Battlehouse Games” section in the list of available Discord channels where they can continue chatting about their favorite Battlehouse game in the appropriate game channel as they were in Clan HQ.

If there is enough player demand for any particular Battlehouse Game other than Thunder Run, the Community team may choose to create separate dedicated Discord servers for other games.

More information about the specific date of the Clan HQ migration will be coming soon.

Good hunting, Commanders!

FS: New Attack Level Restrictions – October 24th Patch Notes

New this week in Firestrike:

New Attack Level Restrictions

The rules of the war zone are changing, Firestrikers! We’ve been hearing your feedback loud and clear, and one recommendation from the community we want to try this week is tightening the attack level restrictions in an attempt to make the current battlefield more balanced and fair for all. Effective today:

  • Attack level restrictions change from the current 3 levels up/down to 2 levels up/down.
  • Restrictions may be subject to further change in the future.

Like what you see, or have more awesome feedback to share? Let us know over on Clan HQ!

Good hunting, Firestrikers!

Battlehouse Dev Blog, Issue #4: Firestrike Developments

📢 Attention Firestrike Commanders:

Welcome to the 4th installment of the Battlehouse Dev Blog, a place where fans of all Battlehouse games can enjoy regular behind the scenes peaks into the minds of Battlehouse Developers. Last week, bh-nirgal took a deep dive into some of the current projects he’s working on for Thunder Run and Days of Valor, and this week he’s giving Firestrike some love. So without further adieu, here’s bh-nirgal:

Firestrike Developments

Firestrike is the first Battlehouse game I played, and the last one to be moved into my area of responsibility. Weird, huh?

Firestrike is one of the more difficult titles to develop. The other games are all set by hand. A Rifleman in TR and DV has 15 levels manually set by the developer. Hit points, damage, movement speed, and so on are chosen by whichever developer worked on the unit. Individual levels can be adjusted. This can lead to poorly balanced units. Firestrike was developed on an automatically balancing algorithm. The downside to this algorithm is that concepts that weren’t in the original design are hard to add in without breaking everything else. Firestrike’s revenue is also a lot lower than other games. Firestrike makes about as much in a month as Thunder Run makes on a Saturday.

To justify the development resources to upper management, I proposed that Firestrike get to test new concepts before they go to other games. This meant that I had to get some new tech working in Firestrike. Landmines had to go in first so that I could (later on) add new types of landmines. The armed TOC was the first example of a new gameplay mechanism that Firestrike got first.

The next steps for Firestrike will be to add a new tier and to aid lower level players in levelling up.

The Vault, a building present in Thunder Run and Days of Valor, will be added in to help new players avoid a total disaster when attacked by higher level players. Ideally, a player should be able to retain enough resources to fully repair their base and army and to complete at least one new building level or new technology research, regardless of how many times they were attacked while logged off. Player input is welcome and requested for several topics:

  • Which would you prefer, many upgrade levels per tier, or one upgrade per tier? Assume the resources and costs would be the same regardless.

Tier 16 will add more levels to all of the defensive technologies, more building levels, and four new units. What are those units, though? Player input is key here! As veteran players know, each tier gets an Infantry unit, an Armor unit, and an Aircraft unit. These are balanced by the algorithm, so the only real choice at play is the art assets to use. Anything that is currently in TR and DV is available. What would you, the players, like to see as the Tier 16 units?

Tiers can also receive a “special” unit of any type. Tier 16 is going to receive the UH-60 Blackhawk as a “special” unit. It will most likely not be deployed in the initial Tier 16 patch, because it will require an engine change. More details will be disclosed in a future blog post, but I will disclose Firestrike will get to try out a new mechanic with their implementation of the UH-60 before any of the other games.

Like what you see in this Dev Blog, or have suggestions on things you’d like to see Nirgal talk about in the future? Let us know over on our Thunder Run Discord Server (for Thunder Run players), or on Clan HQ (for all other games). See you all next week!


FS: Armed Tactical Ops Center – September 26th Patch Notes

New this week in Firestrike:

Armed Tactical Ops Center

Time to bolster your Tactical Ops Center defenses, Firestrikers! This week we’re rolling out the all new Armed Tactical Ops Center that will allow you to start assigning various Squads to protect your base even further. Squads work similar to turrets in that they’ll defend a radius surrounding the TOC, firing as enemy units approach.

Squads Include:

  • Sniper Nest – Anti-infantry Weapon
  • Javelin Squad – Anti-vehicle Weapon
  • Stinger Squad – Anti-air Weapon
    • All three Squads / Nests can attack every unit type, but it’s important to note that only one TOC weapon can be deployed at a time, so pick the Squad / Nest that works best for your strategy!

Like what you see? Let us know over on Clan HQ!

Good hunting, Firestrikers!

FS: More Landmine Improvements – August 1st Patch Notes

New this week in Firestrike:

More Landmine Improvements

Watch your step, Firestrikers! We’ve made some more much desired improvements to Landmines:

Updates include:

  • Landmine damage has been increased by 565%.
  • Landmine detonation range has been significantly reduced at higher levels.
  • Landmine splash damage has been tightened.
    • Previously, Landmines were originally intended to be 3x as powerful as a Turret, but this failed to take into account that mines get a single shot before they’re gone. This being said: Mines are now 20x as powerful as a Turret.

Like what you see? Let us know! Mines require extremely careful balancing to find that perfect balance of making them fun and powerful for everyone without being too over-powered, so we’ll be monitoring player feedback and battle replays closely and may adjust things further down the road if deemed necessary. 

Good hunting, Firestrikers!