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The first Starhawk patch is going live soon!

by Starhawk Community Manager ‎05-29-2012 10:09 AM - edited ‎07-11-2012 04:19 PM

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:


  • B&B OutPost cost reduced from 8 to 4 Rift
  • Field Mechanic Skill now auto-repairs Hawks far more slowly
  • OX Tank HE Shell direct-hit damage reduced by 33%
  • OX Tank HE Shell blast damage reduced by 33%
  • OX Tank HE Shell now has slower rate of fire
  • OX Tank HE Shell accuracy has been reduced a small amount
  • OX Tank vehicle construction cost increased from 2 to 4 Rift
  • Hawk Cluster Bomb blast damage reduced 40% per bomb
  • Hawk Cluster Bomb blast damage area reduced from 30' to 20'
  • Hawk Cluster Bomb blast damage fall-off increased
  • Hawk Shield damage absorption-capacity has been reduced by 50%
  • Hawk Cloak time has been reduced by 33%
  • Hawk Homing missile Max speed has been increased by 25%
  • Hawk Homing Missile target acquisition speed has been increased by 70%
  • Hawk Homing Missile thrust-delay reduced by 50%
  • Player Complaint System is enabled
  • SkillScore now factored-in for Matchmaking
  • Updated "Player-Danger" icons & logic for server-list
  • Auto-Turret dismantle now twice as fast


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!

by Lombax Warrior lonewolf1994- on ‎05-29-2012 10:13 AM

awesome! cant wait!

by Splicer hotshot136A on ‎05-29-2012 10:15 AM


Thanks for the update!

by Hekseville Citizen afk-12 Hekseville Citizen on ‎05-29-2012 10:16 AM

Awesome.  The first blog post I have ever noticed 2 minutes after it was posted.

Anyway sounds great that a few things are being changed and being nerfed.

I think StarHawk is still fun at the moment but sometimes alittle challenging when those tanks come rolling along.

Looks like the game will become alittle more fair after this patch.

by Fender Bender gs94 Fender Bender on ‎05-29-2012 10:23 AM

I've learned that in the beta days, the word "soon" means 3 weeks later.

I hope thats not the case.

by PlayStation MVP PlayStation MVP on ‎05-29-2012 01:13 PM

Sounds good at first glance.  There may be a few items I think shoulnd't have been tweaked but I'll reserve my comments until I play post patch for a few hours.

by First Son jake_the_ace321 on ‎05-29-2012 01:53 PM

that's great, though could you maybe reduce the hawk-launched flak pickup damage. another thing, the "scrappers" in co-op are to powerful, 1 scrapper destroyed 1 supply bunker in 20 seconds. keep up the great work! love the outpost reduce

by Splicer mcstrm669 on ‎05-29-2012 02:45 PM

Hey LBI how about adding "Unwarranted Kick" to the player complaint menu as this is already becoming a huge problem in starhawk. And also what is being done for skillpoint bug for players who have already reached level 50?

by Lombax Warrior theDemolisher13 on ‎05-29-2012 03:15 PM

Those patches will be good and bad. At the same time, but overall great.

by Lombax Warrior theDemolisher13 on ‎05-29-2012 03:51 PM

While they are doing their first patching. They should think about this for their second patch. You know the OX Tank and their artilery. While, I always hated the fact if you were SHOOTING something over a hill top or over a cliff. You could never see what you were shooting and there for never really hit it. So I think they chould do something like what they did on BATTLEFIELD 3 with their mortor.

by First Son tylerswimNW500 First Son on ‎05-29-2012 06:09 PM

Sounds great you guys. Loving the game a lot     Just wondering if there will be new vehicles along with the new DLC or any new weapons attached to the vehicles? Like maybe for the Razorbacks instead of the current turret something like a mini-beam turret or a mini-plasma turret that are as powerful as the regular turret, just to change things up. Or maybe a different looking hoover bike      Or is it just Maps and new modes

by Lombax Warrior theDemolisher13 on ‎05-29-2012 07:17 PM

How baout a manted gun that you can shoot on the jet bikes? Sides they did go with the wheel for the centorl pannals instead of tap once to get vehicle and hold to destroy building. They have it set up for different vehaicles and ect. Also why have it set up where you can do a manual on the beam/flack turrets. But not the regular turrets that just shoot bullets and cannot move.

by First Son tylerswimNW500 First Son on ‎05-30-2012 08:24 AM

I think it's designed that way purposley becasue the jet bikes are the fastest way to get around on the ground, but it has a cost. You have to stop to shoot. I kinda like that because that way other players can actually do something about them.

by Lombax Warrior theDemolisher13 on ‎05-30-2012 02:57 PM

But you should be able to shoot while driving to preavent players from chacing eachother for five min.

by Lombax Warrior theDemolisher13 on ‎05-31-2012 06:13 AM

When they do there next patch they should fix the whole mic thing, Because the other day I was trying to talk to some people and nobody could here me and eachother, and this was on many other games as well.

by Lombax Warrior DuCkyLAT on ‎05-31-2012 07:39 AM

Nice nice nice nice nice!!!

by Lombax Warrior ChrisSoSik on ‎05-31-2012 07:50 AM

Awsome! This patch will defiantly speed up the pace of Starhawk. Just what Im looking for!

by First Son jake_the_ace321 on ‎05-31-2012 08:03 AM

There should be a way that you can either upgrade the sidewinder corall so that it instead deploys sidewinders with a turret in the front that has the power of a razorback turret, and is fired with just R1, or you should be able to use weapons while moving on the sidewinder.

by Lombax Warrior asscoffee20lbs on ‎05-31-2012 11:00 AM

Its good to hear the patch is coming soon but I just don't think these patches are going to make a difference I don't  understand why the hell they didn't keep the game play like it was in warhawk. It makes absolutely no sense to me why they made the tanks/hawks slower in this game then they where in warhawk an then try to tell you this game has fast pace action its no where near as fast paced as warhawk was the hawks are also no where near as maneuverable as they where in warhawk an I understand that this is a different game but why wouldn't you keep the good qualities of warhawks game play an then add to them wouldn't it have saved a lot of stress an agravation. An for gods sake when are you guys going to do something about the stats I think its ridiculous that all you have is hawk stats what about the other vehicles an weapons an please give us official servers I am sick an tired of joining games where the other team is clan stacking or team switching so the other team always has less players enough is enough all ready  

by Lombax Warrior theDemolisher13 on ‎05-31-2012 02:58 PM

Heres an ideas for their next game. WARHAWK 2 or STARHAWK 2

by First Son dmen1974 First Son on ‎05-31-2012 03:07 PM

Please bring back the official servers!, that is a must. Which makes me ask, "what were you Starhawk developers thinking when you excluded the official servers from the game?!! Getting kicked after 2 minutes of gameplay is not cool. Please

include this suggestion in an update within the near future. Also, if someone could lower the amount of damage done by the Starhawk weapon, flack. It seems to be the preferred weapon of some pilots since it caus es so much damage with just a few uses, and works very well when combined with stealth. It would be great if it could be adjusted to the same damage lvl as the lightning was when used in Warhawk

by PlayStation MVP PlayStation MVP on ‎05-31-2012 04:22 PM

Wait a minute...anonymous reporting? Really? What is going to stop people from reporting people just because they don't like them? There really should be a tracking of who reports who so that if one clan is just going report-happy on another, or on one person, it can be known, and dealt with (maybe by just ignoring that particular set of reports) so it doesn't tie up the mods time.

This is so open to abuse.

And removing the kick option is such a fail it can't be described

by Lombax Warrior theDemolisher13 on ‎06-06-2012 05:32 AM

They should do this for their next patch. They should make it that hawks can't shoot certian weapons when in mech mode. Like the Flak Gub,Cluster Bombs, and Torpedos. Because they always do hit and run. Meaning they'll go to mech mode and shoot some cluster or Flak and then run before anyone can do something.

by Lombax Warrior ON1X on ‎06-10-2012 08:28 AM

i think there should be an option when creating a game that will allow the collecting of rift energy to be amplified x2 that way there can be a bigger battlefield on the ground. i play alot of Ground pounding but it feels slow at times. and i have to wait at a home base to collect energy. slowly.

i want to have bunkers, tanks, sniper post here and there and everywhere. kinda like warhawk once you capture a base you have your defense and battlefield built in each base. but some of those options only exist in my dreams and in warhawk.