📢 Attention Thunder Run Commanders:

Welcome back to the 2nd 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. This week bh-nirgal will be recapping our recent 2nd ever Thunder Run Discord Dev AMA, as well as expanding deeper into a few of the great questions that were brought up. So without further adieu, here’s bh-nirgal:

Discord AMA Recap

Our Dev Talk/AMA session from October 4 was a ton of fun. I (Nirgal) greatly appreciated your comments and questions. We’ll be sure to do this again soon.

#1 – Mystic Puzzle asked: Are we going to get Poacher and Virus single player campaigns back anytime soon?

  • Our response: This has been on the dev wishlist for months now. It dropped behind some engine changes and major content patches in multiple games, but I do believe we’ll be able to devote some time to bringing back these events. They most likely won’t be in the regular ONP schedule, but it wouldn’t be out of the question to see them in the Hardware week line-up.
  • More thoughts: I know a lot of players want to obtain the achievements related to these events, so when we get to the point where we can launch these, we’ll be sure to keep the achievements enabled. This is now officially a work in progress. Kim will make the first return, but I won’t have an ETA until I finish dusting off the old maps and deciding where to insert them into the schedule.

#2 – MamaSandy asked: Nirgal did I read your blog right that to have interactive batt fight need a different platform?

  • Our response: @MamaSandy, the engine doesn’t currently support truly head-to-head combat with two human controllers in game. The closest we have is a click-race to be the human in charge of a battalion vs battalion fight. That’s led to a lot of frustration and complaints from various groups of players who want the game to work in different ways. My blog entry on it was brainstorming/idle chat about possible changes to the system. Nothing is happening right now. If you liked any of the ideas (or really hated them), we’d love to hear.

#3 – mehedi kaisar asked: whats your plan about bringing new players i tr ? all i see is if there anynew member of tr its a alt and its really make me sad

  • Our response: Different members of the team focus on different parts of this.  Bh-nirgal and bh-cameron are focusing on making the tutorial process easier, we’re tailoring ad campaigns, and streamlining the upgrade process to make it easier for new players to survive and feel like there’s a reason to come back and play. There’s a lot about this in the next dev blog post, but the bottom line is that we’re working on making low level content easier and with a gentler learning curve to bring them into the war! Best thing you can do to help is let your friends know about Thunder Run! 🙂

#4 – Steelrain asked: Do you think we’ll ever see Level 5 leaders?

  • Our response: Absolutely, beyond a doubt.  You can also expect to NOT have to build another level 4 leader to get your level 5 leader. You will just need your current level 4 leader and one other thing that you’ll be able to get pretty easily.  Expect it in the upcoming content patches.
  • More details: You’ll still be combining your L4 leader with something to promote the leader to L5. It will most likely be a Promotion Papers, an item that you buy from the Leaders section of the store for slightly more than the cost of an L1 leader.

#5 – mehedi kaisar asked: the recent changes of advanced air units making all other units look poor …. so i feel there is an imbalance between unit right now … do you guys have any idea to make the balance between ground air and infantry?

  • Our response: Good question.  We did just release a major boost to the Elite Machine Gunner, though it is a secondary air defense unit. We also released three new levels for the Elite Rifleman.  That being said, the Stingers might need some love, as well as some of the anti-air turrets. We’ll have to run through a few battles and try some different mixes. We don’t want the E-Apache turning into the E-TOS of the skies…
  • More thoughts: Expect some love for the Elite Gaz Tigr and Elite Nimr soon.

#6 – Steelrain asked: When will we see an elite blackhawk that can carry elite riflemen?

  • Our response: We could do it within the month if you’d be happy with it suiciding the way the UH-60 does, but I’m planning to devote some dev cycles to a non-suicidal Elite Blackhawk and a non-suicidal revision to the UH-60.  The engine currently only supports releasing units if the “mother” unit dies. I think the tech investment is worthwhile, so I’m planning to get that done first.

#7 – mehedi kaisar asked: a boost for c ram ?

  • Our response: Probably.
  • More thoughts: Definitely.

#8 – Mystic Puzzle asked: Regarding the Vault, the amount protected seems way too low and the costs are way too high. I think it should be like a certain percentage protected everytime the Vault gets upgraded. Say, for max level should be 30% of fuel and supply resources protected and 50% hardware protected. As hardware is just extremely hard to loot so much and even 1 attack can just deplete all that hard-earned hardware to go poof, as why 50% seems reasonable, while the others a lower percentage.

  • Our response: Here’s what I posted on ClanHQ regarding the vault.  Bear in mind, these are general concepts, not concrete figures:
    • Every TOC level will get 2 vault levels (24 total after the upcoming TOC12 patch). At the second level per tier, the vault will store enough hardware to be able to repair the base itself and the most expensive Base Defenders units. The first level will be halfway between the old cap and the new cap. So let’s throw out some wildly inaccurate numbers and it costs 300k Hardware to fully repair a TOC8 base and the best (or at least most hardware-expensive) army units in the game. If you have a level 16 Vault, you have that much saved from attackers. You can immediately start repairing. You can’t necessarily repair your field batts or protect what you have saved for research, but you can get your base back in business. Ignore the current costs of the vault, I plan on slashing them.

#9 – WarlordKirk asked: Have you guys thought about making a map for level 39 and below only? To keep new players from getting discouraged by the big bases being bullies?

  • Our response: Thought about it, yes.  Come to an accord as a team, no.  There are competing schools of thought on how to give newcomers the genuine Thunder Run experience or to keep them on a guided and safe path to learn the ropes.  We’ll be discussing this further during our new player experience overhaul, which we’ll be working on as soon as the next major content patch is out the door.
  • More details: Cameron and Nirgal have in-depth discussion of this as an agenda item for the newbie experience overhaul. If it gets implemented, you all will know. If it doesn’t, we’ll at least acknowledge it and go over our reasons why not when the newbie overhaul is complete.

#10 – MamaSandy asked: is there any more consideration being given to be able to gift warehouse items to other clan players?

  • Our response: Sure, which items in particular are you interested in gifting?
  • More thoughts: (we’d be happy to receive some suggestions here. If there was a follow-up question during the dev talk, I missed it. Sorry!)

#11 – Mehedi kaisar asked: as per now vault is auto but is there any possibility it can be manual like we can save a certain amount of resource when our depots are full and when we used the res of depots we collect from vault ?

  • Our response: The vault doesn’t really work like that. It’s just another storage slot that happens to be invulnerable. The engine doesn’t support anything like what you’re describing. How often do you think a feature like this would be useful? It would be a pretty major investment of time to add a feature like this.

#12 – Mystic Puzzle asked: For the Vault, how about if we have the ability to choose resources of our choice. To be honest, rather have all hardware protected than the other 2. If possible, can we have the ability to do that?

  • Our response: Hmm, that’s an interesting idea. The engine could conceivably support this, but only in a very clunky way. We’d have to make a Supply Vault, Fuel Vault, and Hardware Vault building, each of which must be deconstructed before building one of the others. Or we could make an equip slot that changes which one it stores, but that would eat warehouse space. Making it not require a bunch of clicks would mean engine changes. 🙁 I’ll definitely think about it, but I think you all will like the planned Vault changes. I’m afraid we can’t make Hardware risk-free, but we will be making a lot of defenses easier to acquire.

#13 – Yooshijin asked: any update on an elite humvee?

  • Our response: Eventually. We’re working our way down the list. Any thoughts on what sort of loadout you’d like to see? Any special abilities?
  • More thoughts: This might be an ideal platform for the engine changes that will allow for two automatic weapons. Right now, the engine supports one automatic weapon controlled by the AI and one special weapon controlled by the ‘e’ key. What would you all think of an Elite Humvee supporting a machine gun for ground troops and a Stinger launcher for helicopters? This would mean it wouldn’t be out soon, as the code changes would be significant.

#14 – Bastian asked: How about a bounty system where players can take out contracts on others?

  • Our response: No engine support… but I love the idea. We’ve discussed internally a “black ops” mission type where you can hide your identity when taking a bounty, but the person who posted the bounty is disclosed… unless you fail the attack! Then you’re exposed! No timeline for such a feature, but I definitely want to tackle it.

#15 – mehedi kaisar asked: how can we edit our base setup more easily ?

  • Our response: A base editor program has been on my features wishlist since I started working here. I can’t offer a timeline for it, but I promise that I haven’t forgotten about it. My blueprint includes stored layouts so you’d be able to swap them around.

#16 – MamaSandy: anything in the works to maybe “beautify” the base ei roads and or trees? be nice to try and hide things a little.

  • Our response: Nothing in the works, no. I should add this to the requirements list for the eventual base editor.

#17 – Steelrain asked: Are players still getting all unit range boosts or have those gone away?  I haven’t seen one in a long time.

  • Our response: The drop rates for the strong all-unit range boosts were nerfed a while back because, based on a survey of battle replays we looked at, they were un-balancing combat quite badly (making whole swathes of units/turrets obsolete due to range limitations).

#18 – Shininson asked: are there any new plans for actual new turret heads aka tesla coils or something.. or long range rocket artilary like v2 rocket in original c&c or since we have air that stuns air … maybe vehicles that stun vehicles lol

  • Our response: The Long Range Acoustic Device is our first new weapon type. A nasty sonic weapon (which is based on real tech) disorients, slows, and debuffs enemy units. Vehicles that stun vehicles… maybe that can be the Elite HMMWV’s speciality.

#19 – Raider150 asked: when toc12 coming?

  • Our response: Very, very soon. I am working on two art assets, then we should be ready to launch.
  • More details: Days of Valor should see the first part of the release on October 17. This is a multi-stage release, so expect new content to activate every two weeks from release through January.

#20 – Achmed asked: When bats are traveling on ma why can’t we call to a new location before bat arrives at first waypoint?

  • Our response: You can cancel bat movement and re-direct after the cancel. But the bat still has to “snap” to the next hex on its path first. This is because the server tracks bat movement hex-by-hex, so it isn’t possible to change anything when a bat is between hexes. It’s sort of in a “ghost” state at that point.

#21 – Upendra asked: Why there is limit of 5 on unit boosts in each slot in Warehouse? and the shields only one? can we make it as equal to the Missiles?

  • Our response: Some of it is, admittedly, arbitrary. I’ve seen in many games that players can succumb to “hoard it for the final boss” syndrome, and limiting space can often serve a good purpose in game design. Scarcity keeps a player focused on making choices. If you can have everything, you’re not really strategizing. One solution I’ve thought of is to increase the stack, but make items expire, perhaps after a month of sitting in storage. Even military hardware has a shelf life.
  • More details: If we implemented such a solution, existing items would be grandfathered to keep their existing stack limits and lack of expiration date.

#22 – Mystic Puzzle asked: PvP suggestion: If a player fails to do at least 50% base damage why can’t they lose PvP and the defending base gets the points instead? (600 maps and this also includes all other BH games)

  • Our response: This would make it too easy to farm up PvP points by setting up fake battles against allies/alts. Maybe if we limited PvP point gain/loss only to specific, server-chosen enemies. But I suspect that would be an unpopular option.

#23 – GrandadN asked: will there be more control over players using alts on non alt maps

  • Our response: We’re continuing to improve alt detection systems. Quite a few alts get moved or banned automatically on a daily basis. If you notice alts on maps where they don’t belong, please send us a report using the in-game Contact Support button so we can investigate.

#24 – Jhun asked: Sirs. any chance of an anti-missiles troops?

  • Our response: I’m considering some art assets for our future units, and the Patriot missile system is among what I’d like to add.  It’d definitely have anti-missile.

#25 – Cyberton asked: Can we get 10gold for watching an ad?

  • Our response: It’s worth us discussing internally. Thanks for the suggestion.

Two general threads that did not get addressed during the chat were “ghost battalions” (a term players use for battalions with troops at a low percentage of their total HP) and “hardware stealing” (regional map AI bases with their Hardware Depots destroyed while leaving the rest of the base intact). I’ll be giving each of these a blog entry later down the road.

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!

Battlehouse Dev Blog, Issue #2: Discord AMA Recap