Since the release of our 1.3.1 patch, the Shipyard update, we’ve been getting a lot of feedback about the maintenance system that it introduced. And let’s be honest, most of it has been pretty negative. We wanted to let you know that we’ve been listening—and that we plan to address your concerns.

Our Community Manager, DN_Timo, recently sat down with Peter, Game Director of Dreadnought, and Torkel, Lead Game Designer at Yager, to talk about the future of the maintenance system and take a look at what we plan to do with it.

Battle Readiness

We’re currently working on a new iteration of the maintenance system—something we are internally calling the Battle Readiness system. THIS IS JUST A WORKING TITLE, Peter assures us, since the name indicates that you could potentially not be battle-ready at some point (and that is far from being true).

So, what’s new with this system? “First of all, we realized that the current maintenance system leaves a lot of players feeling frustrated,” Peter says. “When you lose a match with your Veteran or Legendary fleet, you not only get reduced rewards, but on top of that, the maintenance system punishes you with an additional fee. If you want to play that fleet again, you need to pay maintenance. We want to move away from this experience. One of the main goals of the Battle Readiness system is to no longer stop you from playing with any of your fleets. We want you to always be able to play Dreadnought whenever you like.”

How Will It Work?

So, here’s an overview of this new system:

  • You will be able to play any fleet you like—any time. You will no longer have fleets locked in maintenance states.

  • You will always earn rewards when playing any of your fleets.

  • Your fleets will have a Battle Readiness state, which will grant them bonuses to their rewards from matches.

  • When you take a battle-ready fleet into a match, the charge will be removed. It is no longer tied to winning or losing a match.

  • To regain the charge of Battle Readiness, you can either wait for the cooldown or pay Credits to immediately refresh it.

“We want to make sure that people can always play the game,” Torkel confirms. “Additionally, we’re pretty much turning the existing system on its head. Your default state now gives you regular rewards for all of your fleets. On top of that, you can have your fleets battle-ready and earn extra rewards. We’re completely dropping the punishing aspect of maintenance and removing the mechanics that prevented you from playing your favorite ships. Instead, we want to incentivize players to get their fleets battle-ready.”

“The maintenance system was really quite harsh,” he continues. “We gave people a small amount of rewards when they lost a game—and then we took them away from them. This was not a good player experience.” This is in line with the feedback we’ve been getting from you since the introduction of maintenance. We’re confident that this change will address these issues and turn it into a positive experience. “Basically, the previous player experience was: in maintenance, shitty. Not in maintenance, good,” Peter concludes. “And where we want to be is: Default state, good. Battle Readiness, awesome.”

However, we still want to incentivize you to switch your fleets—to go from Veteran to Recruit to Legendary (and keep rotating). The new Battle Readiness system no longer locks you out of one of your fleets. Instead, it offers incentives to alternate between them. “By doing this, you can maximize your rewards, be smart and get the most out of every play session,” Torkel tells us. “But if you’re just looking to play your favorite ship or fleet, then that’s totally up to you. Simply just playing is now always an option.”

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We Want To Expand And Iterate On It

The first version of this new system will be straightforward. You can have your fleets battle-ready—or not. You can get them ready by either waiting for them to charge up or by spending some Credits. This system will be designed in a way so that we will be able to build upon it. For example, we could add more ways to get your fleets battle-ready, or have multiple charges per fleet. “There are a lot of options that this new system opens up for us. From getting something like charge-up tokens as rewards for contracts to having special events with decreased charge-up times so that your fleets are ready faster, anything is possible,” says Torkel. “Winning with a fleet could also speed up the charge-up of your other fleets, which would be another incentive to rotate your fleets.” We are still exploring our options in terms of how Elite Status will factor into this equation. Maybe it could speed up the charge-up process, reducing the Credit cost. Or maybe it could add an additional charge of Battle Readiness to your fleets.

Peter lets us know that, “at this point, we’re still exploring the options that this new system offers. There are a lot of ways we can fine-tune this. If the core experience is a good one, we’re confident that we can make it even better.”

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Numbers, Numbers, Numbers

We’re currently still in the design phase for the new feature, so no hard numbers have been decided upon yet. “That’s some math we’re doing right now,” Torkel tells us. “The time it takes for the different fleets to recharge their Battle Readiness, the Credit cost to immediately get charged back up and the exact values for the bonuses have not been worked out yet. First, we need to get an initial version up and running internally and thoroughly test it. Then we can make adjustments and tweak the values.” The Battle Readiness system will also allow us to change these values anytime we see that they are not having the desired effect. For example, if it turns out that a Legendary fleet takes too long to recharge, we can make it shorter. If the bonuses you get for a battle-ready recruit fleet are too low, we can raise them.

“We’re trying to cater to two different types of players,” Peter adds. “One is the type that comes into the game and is going for their win of the day, plays the fleets that are battle-ready and then comes back the next day. The other is the player that plays for several hours per session. Both of them should be able to get their fleets battle-ready and reap the benefits of the status.” For the player that only plays short sessions, this is easy. Every time they come back, their fleets will be ready and waiting for them. For the second type of player, this means that they can rotate their fleets and let them recharge or they use their Credits to get the Battle Readiness back up right away. “We want the Battle Readiness of your fleet to charge back up within a session. That’s how we want to set timers,” Torkel adds. But even if you decide to stick with one of your fleets and not invest Credits, you won’t be locked out. You simply won’t receive the bonus rewards until your Battle Readiness is charged back up.

One topic that has been brought up in the community concerns late joiners and what happens when the game crashes. How will these issues be addressed in the new system?

“Well, first of all, we need to fix the technical side of things and increase the stability of the game and the servers,” Torkel says. “How it will specifically affect the new system has not yet been decided, but one idea for compensating late joiners is giving them an increased charge-up rate. However, these are just some ideas floating around. This will really be a discussion for a future iteration of the new system. Before we can tackle things like this, we need to get the basics done—and get them done right.”

How will this impact the current Credit economy? Will we see changes in rewards or in prices for ships and modules?

“There are going to be changes to the rewards. With a big iteration like we’re planning for this system, we will have to make adjustments,” Torkel says. “How exactly these changes turn out will depend on how long it takes for Battle Readiness to charge back up.” “It’s a tuning thing,” Peter adds. ”We’ll have to find a good baseline and start iterating on that in order to find the sweet spot where the charge-up isn’t too long and the amount of Credits you get is relevant and makes a difference.”

“Ship prices and modules are a separate discussion,” Torkel tells us. “The design of the rewards will be mapped against the Credit prices we have in the game right now.” The prices of ships and modules concerns an entirely different topic that we’re hoping to address soon. But if there are price changes in the future, they will not be a direct result of this new Battle Readiness system. Peter adds: “We don’t want to touch too many points at the same time. Credit pricing is a separate topic.”

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Community Involvement

We had the opportunity to present the idea of the Battle Readiness to a few members of the community before rolling it out. During the conversation with Peter and Torkel, we touched on some of the concerns that were brought up by our community. Contrary to the way maintenance was introduced to the game, we want to get you, the players, involved as early as possible. This is the reason why we decided to get feedback from a small group of players and use what we learned to construct this Dev Talk. Like we pointed out earlier, this new system that we’re developing opens up a lot of room for future additions, iterations and improvements. We’re curious about what you think of the new system as presented here. We want to get your input and ideas. What would you like to see added in the future?

Join our forums and let us know what you think!