Dev Diary: A Sneak Peek At 1.03

Dev Diary: A Sneak Peek At 1.03

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EoS_DevDiarySneakPeek.png

Hey bootleggers!

Word on the street says things are shaking up in Chicago’s underworld. Luckily, we’ve got sources very close to the action, and they’ve got the whole scoop. We ain’t no rats, but this information is too good not to share.

Safehouse Changes

Information is harder to come by these days. Something spooked the bosses around the city, and they’re not taking any more chances. They’ve hidden their Safehouses, and are making extra efforts to keep the location well guarded. On game start, a Safehouse is just another white building somewhere in the neighborhood that can only be revealed by the most shrewd gangsters. They’re not even letting their guards stand out front.

Hidden SafeHouses.png


Sitdowns with other bosses can still go ahead, but you’re only invited to talk in the backroom of one of their rackets as opposed to the fancy office in their Safehouse. If the sitdown doesn’t end well, the enemy boss is still well protected, and there’s a lot of brawling to get through before they reveal their Safehouse location.

To find out how close you are to finding where another boss is hiding, check your diplomacy screen. As you can see in the pictures below, your Discovery Chance is a Safehouse icon and progress wheel shown on the enemy boss’s profile. Once you meet a new faction, your chance of finding them increases by 1% each in-game week.

Discovery Chance 1.png

Discovery Chance 2.png


So how do you find out where a boss is hiding? We’re so glad you asked!

There’s always the old fashioned way of attacking their rackets. This is prohibition Chicago we’re talking about, where anything goes, and enemy bosses are easily pissed off. The chance of them revealing their location increases with each one of their rackets you attack (though that’s a lot easier said than done, more on that later!) There is potential to find clues in their rackets that can lead you to their location, so keep your eyes peeled. Planting a mole amongst their ranks is another way to gain information on their whereabouts. They feed you information as and when they find it.

Your discovery chance is checked every month, and if you pass the threshold, the enemy’s Safehouse is revealed. Once they’ve been rumbled, an event pop-up will tell you where the Safehouse is. As the below image shows, you can decide to view it straight away or wait until you’re good and ready.

SafeHouse Revealed.png


What you do with this information is entirely up to you, but as you know, Chicago’s not built for sharing. The boss knows this too, and once they’re discovered, you’ll notice their guards patrolling out front in preparation for your next move.

Combat changes

Let’s start with exterior combat. Thugs have wised up and are deciding to pick their battles. They don’t just start fighting with anyone in the street anymore, least of all a gang boss. The only way they can be tempted into a brawl is if you try to steal their loot crates.

As for security upgrades with major factions, there must be something in the hooch they’re drinking because security guards have gotten stronger. Tiers have increased so that with each security upgrade, they get much tougher. They have a higher HP and better armor and their attributes have also been seen to - so you can count on them having a better aim for one thing. Their inventories have remained the same, but the gear available to them has gotten better too. Security guards now have access to a stash of uncommon and rare weapons that they’re only itching to use against any opportunistic gang bosses. At security levels 4 and 5, there’s a whole new tier of racket guards on shift, and they are bigger and better than what has come before. In the picture below, you’ll see Goldie giving up the ghost. Take that as a fair warning not to arrive to combat unprepared.

Death Shot.png
If that wasn’t enough to contend with, weapons have lost some of their bite. Critical Damage has been brought down across the board, along with some other attributes. Rifles, for instance, have had their armor damage removed, and the range for sub-machine guns has also been trimmed. As of 1.03, the functionality for armor has been revamped. As utility items, they haven’t changed, but you no longer lose your armor when it’s been riddled with lead. Now, armor gets repaired after combat and over time it gets better and rejuvenates to full protection.

Combat AI has gotten smarter too. Guards are far more likely to calculate their moves as carefully as you do during a fight. Some of the more cowardly guards, known for running around a lot, have had a stern talking-to from the Capos. They’ve grown nerves of steel and now prefer to stand their ground and empty their weapons on you.

tougher-guards-png.675494


Mini-Auto-Resolve

Something we’ve been seeing a lot from player’s feedback is the desire for an auto-resolve in combat. The city is a volatile place, and sometimes it’s better to let skirmishes settle themselves without getting involved. Auto-resolve is a feature that’s coming up soon on our roadmap, though the road to full functionality will happen incrementally. Changes will appear in stages and combat designer Ian O’ Neill has shared what to expect from each one. The first stage, included in 1.03, is a mini-resolve feature. Any external combat that doesn’t include a boss or a gangster will have a pop-up where you can choose to fight, or surrender.

Mini-resolve.png

Following that, the next stage of implementation will have a very simple version of auto-resolve with an option to fight, abandon, or auto-resolve. The final steps will come to fruition over three stages with full UI, full features, and full auto-resolve for combat. But it’s coming!

General Changes

In addition to everything above, there are a number of other tweaks here and there that you’re going to notice around Chicago. There’s been a host of improvements to make your playing experience better. We’ve added some building variation, UI and locale polish, as well as an auto-focusing feature that makes any new mission from boss missions or quest givers the top priority.

Also, remember fast travel? It’s now a thing of the past! Sal’s cabs have undergone a mass exodus of staff - probably from the fear of taxiing around bloodthirsty gangsters all the time - and most of the city’s taxi routes are cut. Bosses and gangsters alike can only travel by taxi to their Safehouse or from one taxi-point to another. Anything beyond that and you’re walking, pal.

No fast travel.png


Thugs have started expressing their individuality! Giving up on copying each other’s appearance, they now have thirteen variations in appearance, all of which are randomly selected. Get a load of their new look in the picture below.

New Thugs.png


That’s all the information we could squeeze from the streets of Chicago for this round. We’ll be sure to report back as soon as we have more. Are you excited to see the new changes? Let us know in the comments below. Until next time gangsters, Happy Sinning!
 
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Achab

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Crippling the taxi service? Come on, the current state is a decent sanity saving measure. Please don't increase the ingame time just by introducing more tedious boring street walk.
 
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Blaeys

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Thank you for this. It's good to see meaningful communication - earlier than expected as well.

One question - how does the new safehouse mechanic work with sit downs? Hopefully, you cant just accept a sit down and get the ability to fight an enemy boss right away. I'm assuming that isnt the case, but it would be interesting to hear more about.

I would still like to see you remove the "beat boss - gain everything" mechanic, but this looks like a good start.
 
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purience

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It's a start...shoulda been in the base game...but you have a long way to go

1.) More sitdown dialog/story
2.) Gangster relationship fixes
3.) Using set pieces for fun (example: placing a bomb underneath a car near enemies)
4.) Cops need to be more important
5.) The boss needs love too (example: give them relationship opportunities as well)
6.) Drive-by killings
7.) Make the safehouses unique looking to each boss
8.) Boss's don't walk down the street....the are driven!!!!
9.) Clothing options for bosses
10.) Political contributions to the Mayor for heat reductions
 
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Changes are not that important to me. What about fixing the current game. Building in autoresolve for repetitive defense missions?
 
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Thanks for the update. As the front of house aspect of Empire of Sin, I'd like to say I enjoy your writing style, which I guess is why you're doing it. Thanks.
 
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It's a start...shoulda been in the base game...but you have a long way to go

1.) More sitdown dialog/story
2.) Gangster relationship fixes
3.) Using set pieces for fun (example: placing a bomb underneath a car near enemies)
4.) Cops need to be more important
5.) The boss needs love too (example: give them relationship opportunities as well)
6.) Drive-by killings
7.) Make the safehouses unique looking to each boss
8.) Boss's don't walk down the street....the are driven!!!!
9.) Clothing options for bosses
10.) Political contributions to the Mayor for heat reductions
Let's get the systems balanced before we make it The Sims though, ey?
 
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Looks like quite a few community complaints/concerns are being addressed here. Slowly getting better...
 
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MissDeliana

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Changes are not that important to me. What about fixing the current game. Building in autoresolve for repetitive defense missions?

Oh there'll be plenty of bug squashing too. Those just don't make for a very interesting dev diary. There'll be a full list of bugs fixed in the patch notes once the patch drops. :)
 
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Thanks for the update. As the front of house aspect of Empire of Sin, I'd like to say I enjoy your writing style, which I guess is why you're doing it. Thanks.
Sadly, I can't take the credit for this one, I merely posted it! I do believe most of the writing is done by @LukeBRG. :)
 
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Crippling the taxi service? Come on, the current state is a decent sanity saving measure. Please don't increase the ingame time just by introducing more tedious boring street walk.
It undermined a big selling point of the game: looking at enemy squads moving on the map, planning interceptions, deciding where to invest in rackets. Being able to teleport when the AI is forced to walk meant destroying that premise. The biggest loss of immersion for me happened due to teleport: I saw 2 major factions going to war, one side's squad was heading to take out the other's racket. I teleported over and initiated combat (from my favourite distance before the guards had time to react). The hit squad decided I was friendly so I had a large body of NPC allies (who also took out a cop for no penalty to me). Then I go into the racket and that hit squad still treats me as friendlies, joining in. After the brief fight, I got the racket and the hit squad's boss had zero beef with me for stealing his hit.

That kind of stunt should not happen in a game where so much work has gone into having a map with lots of moving parts. Distance lost all meaning to the player: didn't matter if my racket was next to my safehouse or 5 districts over, I could protect them personally no matter what. Not that I ever needed to because I could teleport to every Safehouse and end the game ASAP, but as Safehouses become hidden next version I expect defence to start mattering. Teleporting would destroy all meaning to investing in security as you can always be at the fight on time.

Now, you bring up a valid concern of tedium while walking around. That should be addressed by adding other features, not by sabotaging the game experience.
 
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It undermined a big selling point of the game: looking at enemy squads moving on the map, planning interceptions, deciding where to invest in rackets. Being able to teleport when the AI is forced to walk meant destroying that premise. The biggest loss of immersion for me happened due to teleport: I saw 2 major factions going to war, one side's squad was heading to take out the other's racket. I teleported over and initiated combat (from my favourite distance before the guards had time to react). The hit squad decided I was friendly so I had a large body of NPC allies (who also took out a cop for no penalty to me). Then I go into the racket and that hit squad still treats me as friendlies, joining in. After the brief fight, I got the racket and the hit squad's boss had zero beef with me for stealing his hit.

That kind of stunt should not happen in a game where so much work has gone into having a map with lots of moving parts. Distance lost all meaning to the player: didn't matter if my racket was next to my safehouse or 5 districts over, I could protect them personally no matter what. Not that I ever needed to because I could teleport to every Safehouse and end the game ASAP, but as Safehouses become hidden next version I expect defence to start mattering. Teleporting would destroy all meaning to investing in security as you can always be at the fight on time.

Now, you bring up a valid concern of tedium while walking around. That should be addressed by adding other features, not by sabotaging the game experience.
No teleport in/out zones should be introduced then, or an actual compressed time consumption during the teleport, not a mass removal of a sanity saving feature.
 
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Eber

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No teleport in/out zones should be introduced then, or an actual compressed time consumption during the teleport, not a mass removal of a sanity saving feature.

I am a little surprised that they decided to just remove the taxi service for the most part. Though I understand many people find it to be a "sanity saving feature", I don't quite agree that teleporting across the map is necessarily sanity-saving. Obviously it saves time and some people do not want to wait for their gangsters to walk to a location. I get it, but I actually think it does improve on the environment creation and changing up the strategy.

The developers obviously want us to walk around the city to find hidden crates, new businesses, etc. If we are teleporting across the map, you do fail to see a lot. With that said, I'm still holding out hope that they do introduce cars that your gangsters can use to the game. This is a feature that should be in the game, especially the ability to do a drive-by attack. Also, it'll give the player a faster and more "sanity-saving feature" to wander the map without feeling like a cheat code with teleportation with the taxis.

So my hope is that this mass removal of the taxi feature is just the first step for them to add cars.

I also hope they add the ability for us to control our gangsters without necessarily having our boss.

@MissDeliana thank you for the excellent update! The new features sound great, especially the hidden safehouse mechanic. I think that is a genius way of fixing the safehouse blitz you see in the game now.
 
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MissDeliana

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Thank you for this. It's good to see meaningful communication - earlier than expected as well.

One question - how does the new safehouse mechanic work with sit downs? Hopefully, you cant just accept a sit down and get the ability to fight an enemy boss right away. I'm assuming that isnt the case, but it would be interesting to hear more about.

I would still like to see you remove the "beat boss - gain everything" mechanic, but this looks like a good start.

That's a very good question! So good, that we decided to add a section about that to the blog post:

"Sitdowns with other bosses can still go ahead, but you’re only invited to talk in the backroom of one of their rackets as opposed to the fancy office in their Safehouse. If the sitdown doesn’t end well, the enemy boss is still well protected, and there’s a lot of brawling to get through before they reveal their Safehouse location. "
 
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Psieye

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No teleport in/out zones should be introduced then, or an actual compressed time consumption during the teleport, not a mass removal of a sanity saving feature.
We have two problems on the table: game balance and tedium. Both do need to be addressed.
I'll need you to elaborate on how your proposals satisfactorially solve the details of the game balance problem. The way I see it, you'd just add tedium without solving the game balance.
So my hope is that this mass removal of the taxi feature is just the first step for them to add cars.
It's the minimal dev effort solution to addressing one of the biggest problems. A good call - it gets the ball rolling as players can then experience the originally promised gameplay to provide more up-to-date feedback. When there's so many things (frontend and backend) that need dev attention, getting the low hanging fruit first in efficient ways is common sense.

Cars would be an interesting future feature. It'd take a lot of planning and dev work but it'd deliver on the iconic premise.
 
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Paring back the taxi service is a good move, imo. It encourage more emergent gameplay on the streets - and is hopefully the prelude to more intricate methods of travel (such as cars once a boss is prestigious to warrant one). Hopefully, the idea is to eventually mimic the experience of going from low level hood to crime boss of the city - and also encourage more interaction with police at lower levels (making it harder to avoid them for instance).

Regardless, I think this is just a first step toward something more meaningful and fun - and isnt just a way to drag the game out longer.
 
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Paring back the taxi service is a good move, imo. It encourage more emergent gameplay on the streets - and is hopefully the prelude to more intricate methods of travel (such as cars once a boss is prestigious to warrant one). Hopefully, the idea is to eventually mimic the experience of going from low level hood to crime boss of the city - and also encourage more interaction with police at lower levels (making it harder to avoid them for instance).

Regardless, I think this is just a first step toward something more meaningful and fun - and isnt just a way to drag the game out longer.
Walking happily and repetitively through peaceful streets I cleared of enemies before with a hope that it will be meaninful and fun one day ... not exactly my style.
 
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Cassilda

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I'm not really ok with the "no taxi" option, but the rest of the update seems really promising. Especially with the auto-resolve for the skirmishes around the rackets. And also the less damage for the submachine guns, they are somewhat too powerful.
 
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g123456

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I don’t see it as a ‘no taxi’ option. It’s a ‘no fast travel’ option which I 100% agree with. The taxi ranks did seem pointless except to use once to travel to a new neighbourhood due to fast travel. I agree remove fast travel but keep the 2 or 3 taxi ranks in each neighbourhood to allow travelling around and between them. You may now have to separate your gang to cover different areas and upgrade security rather than warp all 10 gangsters around the map so there’s a huge tactical and gameplay addition here.
 
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