The Alliance Open Alpha begins Monday, August 1st, and the skies will fill with new exotic ships, new lethal weapons, and new strange locations. It’s a dangerous new world and you’re going to fly in it.
Servers will go down at 12 am Eastern Monday and be back up at roughly 6 am Eastern. From 8/1 to 8/8, you will be able to experience 3 new Alliance game modes - Assault, Defense, and Retrieve - over six new maps. You’ll find yourself flying and crewing on four new ships with access to 4 new guns in the service of one of four factions. All of these new contents will be in service to the first war of Icarus. Defend a homeland, launch a daring attack, recruit mercenaries, and build defenses as you and other players attempt to dominate the world. Can you rally your faction and turn the tide of the war?
How to Fight a War
Every battle you fight will change the world around you as you apply points, recruit troops, and build defenses.
When you first start Alliance, you’ll pledge to one of the four available factions. The honorable Baronies, industrious Anglea, sage Chaladon, or devious Mercantile.
After you’ve chosen your side simply press Play and begin!
By pressing play, the matchmaker will find you a match, and points will be applied to your faction's side, you’ll progress through your faction (up to rank 4 for the Alpha,) and earn points for your war chest.
To specify where you want to fight for and apply your earned points towards your faction’s war efforts, click World Progression on the main menu. From this map screen, you can spend from your war chest by click on a territory and then click on Reinforce to improve attacks and defenses of the territory. By click on the territory, you’ll also dedicate your next battle there. Your war chest will increase in size as you rise through the faction, earning the opportunity to horde and use more resources for your side.
Full Patch Notes
Alliance Alpha Features (August 1st - August 8th):
The Chaladonian Shrike
The Order of Chaladon have been known as peaceful and reclusive, but the pull of war and the planet’s dilapidated state are starting to change traditional Chaladonian values. Being the mad scientists, the Shrike uses heavily modified balloon gas technology in order to support the ship’s heavy armaments on such a small frame. If you look closely, you may see some of this gas leaking from various pipes on the ship—a common issue with this new substance. The Shrike’s movement is and durability comparable to that of the Squid’s but with additional firepower.
The Anglean Corsair
Like its creators, the Corsair is extremely rugged and is not easily budged. Based on ancient war machine designs, the Corsair is ideal for inserting itself into a fray of enemies and simultaneously dispatching them from multiple angles. Gameplay wise, the Corsair takes cues from the Spire in its layout. The Corsair has multi-tiered decks and a massive interior. Given the ship’s toughness, scurrying up and down ladders can be kept to a minimum for a skilled engineer.
The Fjord Baronies Crusader
Long, sleek, and painstakingly crafted, the Crusader plows its way through enemy lines in glorious charges. Stained glass and crisp design hide a hardened workhorse that has served the Baronies through many conflicts. More dangerous than its sturdy frame and protected balloon is its unique heavy weapon angles which give it an edge over opponents, catching them by surprise.
The Mercantile Guild Magnate
Luxury and violence have no closer merging than the Mercantile’s Magnate. Blistering with weapons on both its port and starboard the Magnate is invulnerable to flanking. While exquisitely cut sails and an aerodynamic design, has turned this heavily armed and armored ship into a nimble beast of the sky comparable to a Goldfish.
Oblivion Approach- Retrieve
Similar areas like this one lay scattered across the world, but no route is more deadly than Oblivion Approach. Its deep ravine cuts a narrow passage that’s too risky for most traders to fly in. The low traffic and multitude of nooks makes it an ideal place for marauders to hide or even be used as an escape route. There have been tales of robbers successfully making their getaway through the approach, using the jagged terrain to lose their pursuants. Must feel terrible to get robbed and crash your ship in a single day. Hope that doesn’t happen to you anytime soon.
Voyager’s Cove- Defense
The Voyager’s Cove takes place off the coast of Chaladonian shores. Judging by the ruins, it was once a bustling coastal city that has since been reclaimed by the sea. Now, the cove is an important defensive location linking the Isle of Chaladon to the mainland. This new map follows the Defense mode ruleset and is designed for 3-4 player ships.
Seas of Alleron- Assault
It is known that the world has changed its face many times over. Now, Alleron wears an arid mask of sand and scorching heat. However, there is evidence that briny waters once bathed the obelisks that lay partially buried in the dust. Of course, this also means the seas left many valuables resources behind. Sifting sand and drilling through rock is a time intensive process, but a worthwhile enough endeavor that many parties fight over the production facilities that lie in the old seas.
Parous Glen- Assault
Raw materials drive conflict and Parous Glen’s unique location gives it access to material impossible to find anywhere else. Numerous refineries and outposts drill and process ores day and night. The sound of rumbling and grinding is only ever broken by the sound of raiders attempting to destroy this fortress of manufacturing. Attackers will be quick to find these bases more prepared for war than any stronghold.
Thornholt Crest- Retrieve
A fractured church sits at the heart of Thornholt, surrounded by a broken crown of rails from before the age of air. The crest it sits on provides a natural bastion for numerous outposts and refineries. Unfortunately this also means it is a natural target as well. Numerous factions attempt to plunder the resources tucked away in the crest following the now broken rails to rich targets.
Devil’s Eye- Defense
The Hot springs of Devil’s Eye are beautiful and pristine, but the smell of sulfur nearly suffocates any near. It is this sulfur that brought giant refineries and loading docks. Tucked within a crater the Devil’s Eye Citadel can only be reached from 3 angles of attack. These lanes are littered with the wreckage of many who believed they could make it through dangerous paths.
Weapons and Tools-
Seraph Tempest Missiles
The Fjord Baronies have always had a distinct flair to every aspect of their culture from their attitude, dress, and even weaponry. Taking a cue from this tradition, the Seraph Tempest Missiles not only provide a spectacle to behold but also excellent support capabilities. The missiles’ movement are known to trick enemies into thinking that shots have been missed, but with a guided aim the missiles will travel to its intended target despite taking a few detours along the way.
Use its unique aiming mechanic to dodge obstacles and hit enemy mechanical components to disable them. If the enemy’s armor is down, the Seraph Tempest Missiles also do substantial damage to hulls.
Charybdis Gas Mortar
Even though Chaladonian researchers tend to not exclusively focus their work on war applications, many of their experiments have unintended side effects. When trying to find new ways to disperse aerosols, and new environmentally safe pesticides, something went awry. The dispersal method worked fine, but the pesticide didn’t work as intended. Instead of killing deadly insects, it was better at corroding metals and gunking up intricate mechanical parts.
When the specially designed shells make impact, chemicals are released in the form of a deadly green cloud that will slow down any ship that gets caught. The cloud will slowly eat away at metal armors, engines, and weapons. There’s even a handy early detonation function on the shells too.
Februus Weaponized Coil
Reverse engineering parts unearthed from the frozen tundra, the Anglean Republic has reconstructed methods to temporarily store an electrical charge. At first, they were disappointed by their inventions’ instability but soon realized that it could be weaponized to devastating effect.
The gun fires an electrical charge that arcs between multiple enemies. Hold the trigger to charge up to 6 seconds. The damage and the number of jumps increase with charge time. It has a minimum charge time of 3 seconds.
Aten Lens Array
Harnessing the power of the sun via a series of carefully crafted lenses, the Mercantile Guild is able to burn its enemies with a focused beam of light. Only the Guild is able to procure such valuable diamonds and crystals that make up the weapon’s intricate lens array. The armament’s devastating effectiveness easily justifies its costly construction.
To operate the Aten, hold down mouse to start shooting. The longer you train the beam on an enemy ship, at the expense of less turning arc and movement, and the the more damage the gun would inflict.
[NEW ENGINEER TOOLS] Armor Kit and Fail-safe Kit
Both kits are buff tools, bringing the total buff tools to 3. Buffs can only be applied one at a time and cannot be stacked. Armor kit will apply armor to any component for a set duration of time, or until armor has depleted. Fail-safe Kit applies a rebuilder automaton for a set duration of time. When a component with the Fail-safe buff/automaton is downed, it will begin to rebuild itself. Normal assistive rebuilding still works. Once rebuilt, the buff/automaton is removed.
Engine updated to Unity 5.x (5.2.5)
Director budgeting improvements
uning reflection/ambient balance in metalmap shaders
Tweaks to have correct teamcolor sails on shrike
Gun Particle Update
Protection map lightmapping
HUD typeface overhaul for clarity
Red sandstorm skies redone
Stronger Boss Weakpoint Material Coloration/Animation
Moved defeat camera from the Parous Glen Lava
UV mismatch on triplanar effects
Newly registered accounts can't choose a faction
Smoke or trail stucks
Display issues for "inactive" assault bases
Visibility shader issues
Players collide with other ships/bases
Mobile drill damage shatter is not consistent in game
Issue with smoke on Small Bases
Very bright spotlights
LOD issue on cannon
Baronese Boss gun animation
Gun Handles are not animating on the laser gun
Flare collision is zeroed out in transform
LOD problem from resulting double mesh
Assorted fixes to postprocess-less outlining
Meshes overlapping issue on merchant boss ship
Wrong EndMatch Camera placements on player ships
LOD checks and tweaks for player ships and boss ships
Dark Lighting on Faction Selection Page when using "Low" settings
Boss and cloud bug
Chat window layered above Match End Background
Background music cuts out whenever another sound is played
Lens flares make terrain see through
Closet room adjustments for properly showing costumes’ color
World Progression Battles disappear after playing match
First-time player tooltips stuck
Particles remain after reloading Banshee
Long clan names overlap clan experience text
No tray icon when running in borderless windowed mode on Linux
Rubber mallet is clipping through the AI's body in tutorial
On player's initial spawn the initial spawns are being used along with normal team spawn points
Speech icon is visible on the screen after crew forming and returning to Main Menu
Offscreen rope flag animation is delayed
Repair point and weapons bars shrunken textures
typos in tutorial
Flickering textures on Junker
Score isn't shown on map
Player model clipping on Junker
Typo in Lochnagar ammo description
Reload animation and actual reload is not synchronized when gun gets destroyed then rebuilt
Recruit from queue button is not visible for the lobby creator
Traveller theme's objects are dark on Junker
Missing ship collision sounds
Can’t receive PMs after multiple name changes
Missing an in-game achievement icon for “All Tutorial Gold”
*Traveller theme issues with low shader setting[/*]
The skies will darker with bosses and new players!
The event we've been talking about for the past couple weeks, the open alpha has a date! August 1st will be the start of the open alpha week. We'll have more information coming up soon. Also Alliance won an award for Best 3D Graphics in the 2016 Intel Level Up Game Dev Contest!
As always we'll be talking about the open alpha, new updates, and answering questions at 3 pm on https://www.twitch.tv/gunsoficarus. Stop by, enjoy the rambling, and learn Icarus secrets!
This week's highest applauded player is Szalony and Sorrow. He'll be receiving any item of his choice for being a strong member of the community with applauds like: "Great captain. One of the best I have had the honor to be led by." "amazing leading and piloting"
Unity 5 is in full force and you can see Guns of Icarus on Unity 5 in our dev app. We're testing it for bugs and issues that the new engine upgrade introduced. Also be sure to try fighting against our new AI pilots!
We'll be talking about unity 5 and the upcoming open alpha today at 3 pm eastern at https://www.twitch.tv/gunsoficarus. Come ask us about it, other things, and hear us ramble and get off topic!
Next up what some members of the team work out.
Alex: Tracking down a few Unity 5-related issues revealed by Dev App testers, and performance work on both client and server.
Tom: Ambush, testing enemy AI and behavior.
Matthew: Video editing, test planning, and orchestrating casters and youtubers.
Last and never least, our player of the week is: MegaMexican He will receive free muse made item of his choice for earning the most applauds this week including "A natural leader and stalwart comrade. One of the best to have at your side when the cards are down." "Thanks For Being the Best Leader" "You make a great leader and a great captain. I am sure you will go far!"
A long slow clap for the beautiful gif above from Tim, our art director. This should show an outline of the process that goes into all of our maps. We're coming up to the final week for the "Why We Fly" video event, please send in your submissions so you can get exclusive titles that will NEVER be given out again!
Our apologies for last week's stream being missed. We had a pressing press engagement that ran long, but we're back this week! We're be at twitch.tv/gunsoficarus at 3 pm eastern talking about the hotfix and upcoming Open Alpha that's in the works!
Next what the team has been working on:
Alex: Fixing assorted graphics bugs introduced by Unity 5.
Eugene: -Tweaked sand storm cloud texture/mat to differentiate from normal clouds better. -Resized base & boss guns and their bullets to increase visibility. -Tweaked mines to look better with metalmap shader to be more noticeable in the field.
Tom: Ambush mode and bugs.
George: Fix unity 5 bugs, Fixes to AI ship state effects, fixing bugs with the newly added guns.
Matthew: Marketing content, testing plans, and press engagements.
And now: Our player of the week and winner of a free item! MrTheREALButcher For being applauded the most in the past week including "Great communication as fellow captain" "Excellent at communication and encouraging to the novice players." "jolly good and enjoyable chap"