Players of Global Agenda have been waiting for Patch v1.3 for some time. The first massive patch for the squad-based shooter MMOG is to introduce a myriad of new features across every facet of the game. AvA, PvP, and PvE are all receiving tweaks and new content. The User Interface is being retooled, trial accounts reworked, vendors and shops added, weapon acquisition and upgrading retuned. PvPvE will enter as a new mode (not included in v1.3(a)). The list just goes on, for eight pages.
Currently in its third month, there hasn’t been a single charge to a player’s account. Hi-Rez Studios continues to abide by its earlier statement that subscription fees will not begin until the company has earned our money. The scope of the upcoming patch and the issues it addresses make me think Hi-Rez is well on its way.
Patch v1.3 was supposed to be released in April. Here we are in the first week of May, and we’re just receiving the patch on the Player Test Server (PTS). Furthermore, the update has become so large, that Hi-Rez has decided to break it up into multiple parts, less we testers gorge ourselves all at once. Hi-Rez will push out the iterations as the previous one is tested to completion. It’s unknown how many sub-patches we’ll encounter and no final date has been set.
Hi-Rez Studios is in the midst of pushing the first iteration of the massive v1.3 patch to the test servers of Global Agenda right now. The company was kinda enough to make the patch notes available to the general public here.
Eight pages is easily a TL:DR. After the jump is a synopsis of what to expect for v1.3(A).
- Players will no longer deal with Device Points for equipping weapons. It’ll be interesting to see if the new system offers any of the strategic choices the Device Points restrictions forced players to make.
- Weapons are no longer ranked. Quality levels – Common, Uncommon, Rare, Epic – are the new black.
- Weapons are no longer automatically acquired through leveling. They are purchasable with credits, Mercenary Tokens or Conquest tokens or as loot drops. This will give Global Agenda a more classic MMORPG feel, with loot becoming something to look forward to and plan for.
- Upgrades to armor and weapons is gone. Craftable Mods, that sound exactly like Upgrades, are replacing them. Not sure what the difference is.
- Skills Trees have been reworked in accordance with the new weapons. The UI has also received a much needed overhaul. Hopefully the spells, descriptions and titles have been toyed with as well.
- Token system added. Players earn Mercenary and Conquest tokens for participating in missions in addition to XP and credits. Merc tokens can be traded for rare and epic weapons/armor for all levels. Conquest tokens drop after level 30 (see subscriber benefits section) and award gear for level 30+.
- New unlockable weapons added for level 32-44 for all classes. Each class receives new options for melee, jetpack, boost, ranged, specialty and offhand slots. This will enable characters to be more diverse and more versatile.
- Additional stores and vendors have opened, including Cyber Cuts. Haircut anyone?
- DirectX 10 supported. /me looks at his DX11 video card.
- Weapons degrade over time, losing their initial stat bonuses. A repair will put them to their original quality.
- User Interface is receiving a hefty overhaul. I never thought it was poor, but various aspects did need a touch up. Mission queueing is being retooled, the mail notification is more in your face, and most of the menus will, or have been replaced.
- Co-Op PvE added. Basically a Heroic version of the PvE missions. Co-Op allows players to enter PvE missions with a less-than-full team, even solo. Drastically raising the difficulty rewards players with extra loot.
- New maps for Low and Medium Security missions and 4v4 Arena.
- Players will gain credit when gaining XP at level 50. This, along with the addition of vendors and numerous other monetary changes should create an economy within Dome City for the first time.
- Character inspection added.
Hi-Rez Studios made it clear throughout the patch notes that certain additions are limited to subscribers. Originally, only AvA and patch content was supposed to be the subscriber perks. Hi-Rez Studios is now limiting other mechanics, including crafting of high quality craftable Mods to subscribers. There’s no reason to believe non-subscribers can’t equip high quality modifications, so no gear rift in the playerbase should form.
Non-Subscribers vs. Subscriber changes:
- Non-subscribers can only craft Uncommon Mods.
- Non-subs are locked out of the high difficulty PvE missions. High, Max and Double Agent are subs only.
- Subscribers can earn Conquest tokens before level 30. Subscribers earn 20 Mercenary tokens and 4 Conquest tokens each day, whether they play or not. They are allowed to gain four extra Conquest tokens per day (total of six), and hold twice as many tokens in reserve.
With so many changes, large and small, it’s tough not to get excited for patch v1.3. I’m just curious what precipitated the additional restrictions to non-subscriber access.