Defiance 2050 Interview: Continue The Fight

Matt Pettit, Producer of Defiance 2050, answered some of our questions about this remake.

Posted By | On 22nd, May. 2018 Under Article, Interviews

Defiance 2050 is a remake of Trion’s 2013 MMO third-person shooter called Defiance. The company has been listening to player feedback and have aimed to improve upon the original MMO in just about every way possible. Defiance 2050 is an MMO shooter for the current generation and will feature improved visuals, textures, and even improvements to the gameplay system.

To learn more about this game, Gamingbolt reached out to the developers with some questions and Matt Pettit, the game’s producer provided the following answers.

"The changes that we’re making to the game will make it play like an entirely new experience, which is something that we feel will resonate in a game that already has such a great core."

What made you decide to remake the original Defiance into Defiance 2050?

Since launching back in 2013, Defiance has seen over five million unique users come into the game. This world is something we are very passionate about here at Trion, and we felt that giving a new audience the chance to play was worth the effort. The changes that we’re making to the game will make it play like an entirely new experience, which is something that we feel will resonate in a game that already has such a great core.

What are some of the major changes incoming with this remake?

With Defiance 2050, we wanted to create a firm foundation to start with, which meant taking core systems from Defiance and reworking them to bring the game closer to our original vision of what we wanted the game to be at its original launch in 2013. However, we also needed to adapt it to reflect the current MMO market. We have made many changes, including adding endgame content that will increase the difficulty beyond what was in the original, as well as completely overhauling the leveling progression system, though the two biggest changes were to itemization and adding classes to the game.

Itemization has altered drastically to give players a lot more choice in how they utilize their weapons. Once you find a weapon in game, you can upgrade it with Salvage, which you get by killing enemies. As you upgrade your weapon, it increases in power, letting you choose how you want that weapon’s stats to evolve. The more powerful your weapons get, the higher the power level of weapon drops. Power determines how much damage you do in game.

The class system is a complete overhaul to the playstyles of the original Defiance. Now, players can choose and level a class. Classes can be changed on the fly, and each one needs to be individually leveled, but they do offer a new way to play Defiance. If you like being a support class and healing other players while still kicking ass, then we have a playstyle for you. This player agency really pushes the game in a different direction. Classes also provide constant content to add to the game that will keep players engaged well after launch.

As a developer, you have been working with MMOs for a while now. How important is community feedback in making a game like Defiance 2050?

Community feedback is a huge part of our design process and something that we take very seriously, especially with Defiance 2050. We rely on our veteran and new players to let us know how the changes we are making are impacting their play experience and we are always happy to receive feedback and consider if the suggestions made will add to the fun of gameplay or if it will make a quality of life improvement that makes sense. Evolving online games thrive on community support to push the design direction of the game. Instead of a one and done playstyle, we want players to keep coming back day after day, and we cannot provide an experience that encourages that without player feedback.

What sets apart Defiance 2050 from many of the other shooter MMOs out there?

Defiance 2050 is a unique experience when it comes to the social aspects of the game. No other shooter game offers as many on-screen players at once as Defiance 2050 does. Large open-world events are designed for everyone on the server to be involved, inviting players to play with each other in giant online co-op combat. I believe that no other game does this the same way that Defiance 2050 does.

Are there going to be bonuses available for players from the original Defiance game?

Yes, Defiance 2050 will reward current players through the Valor Program. The Valor program gives points to players for accomplishments that they have completed in the original game, as well as rewarding paying players who have supported Defiance in the past with additional Valor Commendations. These Commendations can be spent in Defiance 2050 on a variety of exclusive items.

"The changes to core gameplay features should make the play experience something wholly different."

Would it be feasible to allow character transfers from the original game?

With the new features and progression system that we are implementing in the game, we are making significant changes to the way the game plays and feels. There is a very real power creep issue that occurred in Defiance that we had to solve to make sure that Defiance 2050 could be fun to play for many years to come. These issues required us to take a long hard look at how we do itemization in game, and the end result that came out was just not one that would allow old items from Defiance to exist in Defiance 2050. Players will still be able to use all of their old gear in Defiance, but if they want to play Defiance 2050, they will have to start collecting a new inventory and items fresh.

Will older players of the game find enough in this so that it doesn’t feel repetitive?

Older Defiance players are definitely going to see content in Defiance 2050 that they have played before. What we are excited about is HOW they will play that content. The changes to core gameplay features should make the play experience something wholly different. And once they get to endgame content, everything will feel different from before. We are going to be doing some amazing new content updates in the future, to keep these veterans of the old game and new players alike engaged and playing for years to come.

What new feature are you most excited to see players enjoy?

All of them! These new features have been designed based around the feedback and support of our community for the past five years. They have been made with the future of Defiance 2050 in mind, and will carry this game into the future over the next several years. We will continue to strive for consistent changes to any areas in Defiance where we can improve.

The game is now confirmed for the PS4 and Xbox One, which also means it will support the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. Can you please let us know the resolution and frame rate it will run at on the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X?

The PS4 Pro and Xbox One X will run at over 60FPS with Vsync turned off. It will run at 4k resolution, but not 4k native (1080p Upscaled).

And the resolution and frame rate on the base PS4 and Xbox One versions?     

The game will run at 30FPS and 1080p resolution on the normal PS4 and Xbox One.

"Microtransactions in Defiance 2050 will follow this model, offering players an avenue to speed up their progression rather than offer straight power for purchase."

Given that you are now working on both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, what kind of technical differences did you found between the two?

The main difference is in the resolution. Making sure to accommodate the 4k resolution is both a benefit and a hurdle with game development. It has also been interesting to see FPS rates on the updated Pro and X platforms, and testing those compared to the originals. They offer sizeable boosts in performance without even needing to do anything special.

Does the game have any sort of microtransactions or loot boxes?

Defiance 2050 is a F2P game, with a really hefty MMO gameplay backend and platform. From a business perspective, it does have to pay its bills.  Creating a fair revenue stream for a free game is essential; the game wouldn’t be able to exist otherwise. However, we absolutely want players to be able to login and accomplish whatever they want to in the game from a gameplay perspective, regardless of the store feature. Microtransactions in Defiance 2050 will follow this model, offering players an avenue to speed up their progression rather than offer straight power for purchase. Everything that we sell in the store will be unlockable in the game by playing and participating.

The current generation of consoles will probably end in the next couple of years. What is your biggest expectation from the next PlayStation and Xbox?

My biggest hope for the current generation of consoles is for it to last longer in order to take full advantage of the processing power available, and my expectation from the next generation is to innovate. To create a gap between what is currently available with the Xbox One X, technology in the gaming space would have to innovate in order to offer anything that isn’t just a small technical increase. Due to that, I believe the current console generation will last longer than the previous, which is great for development.

From a developer perspective, do you think the next-gen console era will be the 4K/60fps era?

I do think that’s where we are headed, but these numbers can also be obtained in the current generation of consoles. I believe hardware updates like the Xbox One X are going to be more the norm in the future, and development does not need to create on an entirely new architecture to be relevant with today’s technology.

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