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Global Agenda Interviews: Holiday Patch Q&A

By William Murphy on November 23, 2010

MMORPG.com:

1.39, an update I like to call the Holiday Patch, is coming the week after Thanksgiving correct? There’s quite a lot of stuff crammed into the update, so let’s start with the biggies. There are brand new Mercenary PvP maps each complete with their own Merc-specific rewards, right? Care to explain how the Merc system works and what this update means for those who don’t know?

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Todd Harris:

Yep - LOTS of stuff coming after Thanksgiving in version 1.39. Mercenary PvP is Global Agenda's 'instant action' form of player vs. player combat. From the OpenZone Sonoran Desert area or from Dome City hub you simply join the Mercenary queue as a solo player or with a single team-mate. Within minutes you are placed into a 10v10 player vs. player mission.

There are currently five different game-modes within Merc PvP although they are all generally objective-based around controlling areas of the map. Our most popular gametypes are Breach and Payload and with this update we add content to each of those gametypes. "Toxicity" is a new Payload map set in a very hostile environment but with plenty of open vertical space for players to take advantage of. Breach is getting two new maps - "Volcano Assault", per it's name, featuring deadly lava. And "Himalayan Point" which features scenic views, asian architecture, Buddha statues, and a double-rainbow.

If you are on the winning side of Merc you receive a loot reward. And, newly introduced in 1.39 as a rare drop from Merc PvP are prototype Crescent jetpacks for each class! These advanced jetpacks have slightly more acceleration and use slightly less power so they are even more fun to use in combat and make the perfect holiday gift!

MMORPG.com:

There’s also a brand new Challenge map for players who like to directly compete against pre-formed groups. I’m under the impression that it’s a 4v4 Breach-styled affair. Can you go into details a little bit more?

Todd Harris:

Correct. The challenge feature allows one pre-made team to challenge another pre-made on the map of their choosing. To date all of our 4v4 maps have been symmetric Scramble style map where the point rotates and can be captured by either team. This update introduces a new 2-point Breach style map called Missile Complex. The Challenge feature has also been enhanced so teams can specify which side is attacking or defending. Internally we've had a lot of fun with this map and we think the competitive community will enjoy trying 4v4 Breach - plus the map itself is a nice change - a military setting but in the winter - complete with snow effects.

MMORPG.com:

Additionally, I hear that you guys are adding in a sort of a “Dome City News” stream that will keep players up to date on what’s happening in the game world. How does this present itself, and are you hoping that it gets people more involved in what’s going on with AvA?

Todd Harris:

Exactly. We've added a feature that allows us to dynamically stream text into the game world. It is presented to players as vertically scrolling text similar to the way credits roll at the end of a movie. Within Dome City we are adding two new areas that use this feature. Dome City News is centrally located and will update players on game events, contents, and availability of new items. We are also adding a Hall of Legends to highlight historical player accomplishments. The Hall of Legends will list previous winners of AvA seasons and in the future we may add other player and agency accomplishments. Both features are indeed intended to give more visibility to whats going on across the Global Agenda world - including AvA.

MMORPG.com:

This being the Holiday Patch and all, there’s got to be some Christmas stuff around the corner. How was the Halloween event received, and moreover what did you learn from it to make the Christmas one even better?

Todd Harris:

I'd say Halloween confirmed that cosmetic & prestige items are still very popular within Global Agenda!

And so, for Christmas our artists challenged themselves to be even more over the top and exaggerated with seasonal flair rewards. We will soon announce details around our "12 Drops of Chrismas" event where every couple days players have a new challenge to complete in order to earn a newly created, unique piece of holiday head-gear. For players who are able to earn ALL 12 items they earn a bonus item - The Abominable Snowman flair - which in-game is even more ridiculous, AND simultaneously impressive, than it sounds.

MMORPG.com:

One last question, Todd. I really appreciate you taking the time again. What do you see ahead for 2011 and Global Agenda? Obviously the Hi-Rez Studios team is growing to bring Tribes Universe to life, but what’s next on the plate for your baby?

Todd Harris:

The next major Global Agenda update is version 1.5 and is planned for the first quarter of next year. It is currently scoped to include PvP updates, AvA updates and a PvE DLC update themed around the Recursive Colony - - a faction of self-replicating robots that functions like an electronic insect colony. Players were introduced to this faction in Sandstorm but they were a minor annoyance. In this update they are striking at the very heart of player-life - invading Dome City itself. A new Ultra-Max difficulty Defense Mission requires 10 players, more tightly coordinated than ever before, to fight alongside the NPC hero Bancroft in defending an instanced version of the city hub against a massive swarm of Colony bots. The vendor shops are boarded up and bots are smashing thru the Dome City walls! That is just one part of an update that is planned to include an additional OpenZone and our first offensive Raid where 10 players attempt to bring down a Queen node of the Recursive Colony.

So yes - we are keeping both the Tribes team and the Global Agenda team very busy!

William Murphy / Bill is the Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for all of his pointless rambling.

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