Last we heard, Hi-Rez Studios
was considering adding more "open" mission areas around Dome City, giving players an open-world feel to their game. Well, Hi-Rez's Erez Goren
stopped by the forums on Saturday to lay out the full plans
for not only the areas outside of Dome City, but also for some new weapons appearing in the game, new maps in AvA, and new options to help agencies compete and hold ground in AvA. All of this is scheduled on a very ambitious timetable -- available by the end of March. If certain features become pushed back or delayed, Hi-Rez will also reconsider extending their current "free subscription" policy.
However, it was surprising to find that the open-world areas mentioned in the last newsletter literally will be open world areas. Multiple mission teams and players will find themselves on one gigantic map, completing PvE and PvP objectives for experience and loot. Missions on these maps will be for a varied number of players, starting out at the solo player and going all the way up to a 10 man strikeforce. And, of course, some areas of the map will be "unsafe" and open for agents to beat on other agents. Now you too can gank in Global Agenda
will find more changes in their favor as well in the form of new missions, such as resource raid types where players can steal resources from other players without flipping the hex, defense facility hexes which will put players in a domination style match but also provide missile barrages against enemies on any hex they touch, and two point control style missions on unbuilt hexes. AvA players also have a new facility, the Upgrade Production Facility, which will produce PvE components for crafters to make personal upgrades to weapons and armor.
However, what's a patch without contention in the player base? With the addition of "rare and epic" weapons and devices being added to a crafter's arsenal, some players worry if the game is going to become more stat-based than skill based
-- especially if these new weapons are upgraded forms of the current weapons. Erez has taken the stance that he, and many other players, prefer increasing a character's stats
, but also that these new weapons will only be for players level 30 to 50 and they will continue to look for the balance between skill and stats in their design.