AirMech Update released

AirMech Version 16704.0 April 19th, 2013

Parts! You've seen the Parts section of the Shop and been asking about it, and now we are rolling out the first steps of this system. We've had to redo the AirMech customization system to support this, and moved Pets to be their own 3 slots, so you don't have to choose which 3 Flair you use now. Every Variant remembers it's own settings, so you can set each one up exactly how you want and save some time. Not all images have been made to support the new card display, and this will be worked on in the coming patches.

This first round of Parts has been added automatically if you have the Beta Bundle or Prime, and they also have a chance to drop. You will get Parts in different ways in the future, so not all will come with the bundles, and to be honest we're still figuring out the plans for this. We do plan to have a lot of Parts to let you customize your play style.

Note that you need to have the base AirMech class unlocked to customize the Parts or to gain levels. That's right, AirMechs can now gain levels, though it doesn't make them more powerful. It's something that will affect the parts you can use and will be added later. The level tiers may also change, but the XP will not get reset. Just as when we adjusted player levels, we just store total XP for each AirMech and we will do the final balancing when we've collected more data.

Drops are live for everyone! We have finally finished our initial testing and have turned on drops for all players. The way it works for the most common drop (units) you either get a "trial" stack of units, or if you have the unit unlocked already, and an Alternate exists, you can get that. For example if I don't have Bucky, I might get a stack of 5 Buckys as a random drop sometime. If I already own Bucky, then instead of a trial stack I would get something like Bucky Aggressor.

Artillery is fixed! Not how it was before, but actually working as intended, and from this point we should be able to balance things into a nice place. As a "thank you" for your patience, we've had time to get in a new system of destructible path blockers which we have wanted to do for a long time now. We've placed test versions on Sandrim and Crater, and will be using them more in the future once we get the bugs worked out.

Steampunk Neo is here! It's been a long time coming, but we think it's worth the wait. This actually marks the first time we have a "set" of Variants for each AirMech, and we're wondering if we should have a Quest (not Achievement) for completing the set. We could maybe have a little Steampunk themed pet as a reward. It's important to us that it feels like a reward, and not something we're holding back, which is why we wouldn't want it to count like a normal Achievement. Let us know what you think on the forums.

We have some changes this update that might seem small at first, but they will likely have significant impact to the flow of the game. First is the Halftime Heal, which can now be interrupted. Before, there was nothing you could do and many players felt it was pointless to launch an attack before the end of the second Quarter. Now, if you are actively damaging the enemy Fortress, you will interrupt both their heal and their income. So do you attack the enemy, or defend your own Fortress? A critical decision point for sure.

- Updated Hangar and Loadout UI
- New Parts Customization System for AirMechs (settings saved per Variant now)
- Earth Day limited time items available: Sunflower Seed item, Lady Gaia Pilot, Earth Day Cake, GreenSea Bomber, Fluorescent Bulb
- Ken's Birthday Cake available for a short time (Happy Birthday Ken!)
- Osprey Healing ability has been updated, can now overcharge units with full health giving them a shield
- Server pings can now be seen for each server on the "Location" menu's global map
- Updated localizations based on latest suggestions from the Steam Translation Server
- New Variant: Steampunk Neo
- Added new Unit and Item alternates for the drop system
- Sandrim and Crater now have alternate paths that can be opened
- Shark Neo and Star Neo Robot modes have been updated
- added pilot: Ultimate Lexi!
- added new unit: Roller - a cousin of the Grinder
- updated Prime Helix visuals
- display friends and max friends count on the social UI
- many additional AirMech variants updated to use new animations
- updated aiming mechanism for Artillery units
- press U key to toggle UI (good for screenshots)
- F2 in spectate will allow freecam
- click-hold-drag when spectating now pans the camera

- Osprey healing is now a hard lock and needs to be released to select a new target
- Changes to the way Osprey healing is calculated (not directly comparable to old system)
- Osprey can now apply a "shield" to units by using Repair on them for 2 seonds after they are at max health. The shield will protect 100% against a single attack.
- Lockbox/Safebox/Vaultbox new HP: 1000/2000/4000
- Lockbox/Safebox/Vaultbox new Armor: Medium/Heavy/Heavy
- Lockbox/Safebox/Vaultbox new Cost: 5000/10000/20000
- Lockbox/Safebox/Vaultbox new Build Time: 2/4/6 seconds
- Some Kudos rewards have been slightly increased for Level Up Quests
- Final two Sockets removed from center of Nesthorn
- updated Half time heal mechanic to award credits and fortress HP over time and be interruptible
- fixes to HAAT and Seeker targeting and line of sight checks

Bug Fixes:
- Fixed a bug where some characters wouldn't appear correctly when language was set to Czech
- Fixed some bugs related to units sometimes not firing at other units or AirMechs
- Fixed a bug where neutral artillery units wouldn't appear deployed
- Bug fix for Artillery behavior
- Update displayed DPS to account for units that have a reload time
- Potential crash bug fix in Link unit order logic
- bug fixes to Artillery targeting logic
- fix links and references to 'Helix' AirMech (which used to be named Chopper)
- fix a bug when exiting a map in free camera mode
- collision bug fix for units passing under bridges
- fixed accidentally disabled Steampunk Helix