Hi there. CCP Nullarbor from Team True Grit here again with another new feature to share with you all, the Squad Finder, ready for deployment with the rest of Uprising 1.5 coming in early October.
We have heard time and time again from players in both EVE and DUST that playing with other people is just a lot more rewarding than going solo. It is social, it can be more challenging, it opens up tactical options that don't exist without squad mates to fill different roles, and your investment in the game increases as soon as you have other mercenaries depending on you for support.
Squads have been our answer for easy access to grouped deployment so far but finding new people to play with can sometimes be a little tricky. Up until now you generally either ask around in your corporation if you're lucky enough to be a part of an active group of players, or maybe you join the LFSquad channel in game or even drop an "LFS" in local. However these methods are inefficient and don't necessarily build a cohesive group of players from the same region with the same goals in mind.
This is where the squad finder comes in, a new option available directly from the Neocom.
The squad finder will list all available squads that are not yet deployed into battle and are waiting on new players to join them. You can see the squad name, how many people are in it already, who the squad leader is and what corporation they are from. Simply tapping X on the squad will join you in.
Ok seriously, what's with the character facing the camera?
On the right hand side of each squad is a latency indicator. When your squad leader signs up to search for a contract in the battle finder, we try to find you a battle on one of our battle servers with a good ping time for the squad leader. The indicator in the squad finder will give you an idea of how well your latency matches with theirs so you too will have a good experience.
If this all seems a bit complicated just remember that, like phone reception (or kit kats, or prisons!), more bars are better.
Creating Your Own Squad
Creating a squad is the same as before. You can either do it from the chat interface or directly from the squad finder. You now also have the option of setting a name for your squad and deciding its availability - it can be private, or visible to your corporation, your alliance or to all of New Eden. By default squads are private, so you will need to decide whether to make it available to others when you create or by toggling the availability afterwards from the settings screen.
The squad name is free form, so you can use it to advertise what game mode you are looking to queue for, or possibly skill requirements, or a particular combat role you are looking to fill. Corporations can use it for organizing teams in Planetary Conquest, other groups may like to organize Faction Warfare squads for their preferred militia. Setting up public squads for corporation recruitment might be a good way to try out new members before accepting them.
However you end up using it, we're excited to see more mercenaries squadding up, learning from each other, and experiencing the game as it was intended to be played.
The Future Of Squads
There's lot more we want to do with squads, both in terms of their roles directly on the battle field and the options for managing them in and out of battle. Some other things we are currently investigating include:
- Larger squads to allow full team deployment in Planetary Conquest and Factional Warfare
- Disruption game play for adhoc groups of players to participate more in the meta game
- Improving squad communication and the user interface
We don't have an ETA on these future ideas just yet, but it should be clear that there are plenty more iterations on squads in the works.
That's it for now, short and sweet. Stay tuned for more developer blogs covering the rest of the Uprising 1.5 release and until then, good hunting. o7
-CCP Nullarbor on behalf of Team True Grit