"Where are we taking this ship?": On Future of the Fleet

685 posts EA Community Manager
Hi Holotable Heroes,

I wanted to do a deeper dive into ships after all the questions we received in the Q&A so I snagged one of the designers who specializes in ships to discuss what’s changed with ships since launch and what’s in store for the future.

1. How long have ships been in Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes?
  • It’s hard for me to believe, but they’ve been in the game for over two and a half years. As soon as the game launched, players immediately began asking when we’d bring ships into the game. It was, in fact, initially a feature we intended to launch with, which is why we had a lot of ships built - and in the game client - from launch. However, we decided to hold on to the initial batch and continue creating more ships and ended up releasing them shortly before our first anniversary. Epic ship battles are such a prominent and exciting part of the Star Wars universe - I mean, who will ever forget seeing their first Star Destroyer crossing the screen or a dogfight between X-Wings and TIE Fighters and didn’t want to be part of the action - so including ships was a total no brainer from day one.

2. Can you tell us a little bit about how ships have evolved in Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes?
  • After we launched ships, I already felt that Fleets were in need of something to shake up battles. Target lock synergies were too dominant and the options for strategy were very limited so we set off to figure out what to do to make ship combat really compelling.
    We received so much feedback and learned an incredible amount from the initial launch of ships, so we knew that we could do a lot more for the incredibly passionate players who were into this game mode.

    Six months later, we introduced the concept of picture-in-picture. We felt that one of the things that was so iconic in the movies was the drama of seeing the pilots in the cockpits during the course of battle.

    Ships 2.0 launched last year and was our foray into making significant changes to the base ship combat. In order to speed combat up and make it more intense,we started with taking the base ship lineup from five ships down to three. When we made that decision, we realized we needed to do a rework of nearly every ship we had from the ground up. We added new synergies, and a brand new concept: reinforcement abilities, to make it feel more like a dogfight. We also added a Ship PVE table. In a lot of ways, it was a total revamp of the system.

3. How many ships did you add last year?
  • In the past year (or so) we released Han’s Millennium Falcon, Emperor’s Shuttle, Ebon Hawk, Hound’s Tooth, IG 2000, Xanadu Blood, Sith Fighter, B-28 Bomber, Anakin’s ETA-2 Starfighter, and Lando’s Millennium Falcon. A number of these ships introduced new reinforcement abilities to help build out a deck of different options.

    The same designers that make ships also make characters, and I think we’d all acknowledge that it’s been a challenge to strike the right balance between how many ships and characters we produce. That said, we’ve got a lot of opportunities for more ship content in the next couple of years

4. Speaking of the future, can you tell us a little about what we can expect?
  • The biggest thing right now is the need for additional Capital Ships. We’ve added only one Capital Ship since the launch of the feature, and they provide a tremendous amount of strategic choice for players. With the upcoming Geonosis Territory Battle, we’re going to release a new Capital Ship. I wish we could show more benevolence and tell you exactly what’s coming, but negotiations are underway about when we will share the news.

5. What do you think is the best ship/fleet at the moment?
  • I’m currently running Home One plus Hound’s Tooth and Han’s Millennium Falcon - as is everyone else. We’re aware of how clearly dominant these two are together and we’ve been actively working on what the future of ships looks like where HMF is not the ONLY strategy. We intended these two to be strong - and they’ve had their time to shine; now we’re working towards adding additional competitive fleets into the game.

6. That’s good to hear! In terms of shaking up the meta, are you trying to bring a sense of Rock-Paper-Scissors to ships?
  • How we diversify ships, how to bring new & interesting gameplay mechanics to players, and how we carve out unique identities for ships - much like characters - is something that is always on our minds. I think the real goal is to try to create a vibrant meta that has multiple bands of power and that there are enough interesting strategic decisions to bring into Grand Arena. Right now, the question is: “do you bring the hammer (HMF) or do you leave it on the bench?” We want to bring the kind of strategic depth to fleet combat that a space admiral could appreciate.

7. Speaking of interesting new ship gameplay mechanics, is there anything you can tell us about now?
  • I don’t have anything specific that we’re quite ready to announce today more than what we recently covered in the Q&A, however we’ve been exploring new ideas and prototyping behind the scenes since Ships 2.0 was released. We’re still figuring out what the next big thing is for ships, but it’s important to us that it’s fun and accessible while adding a new layer of strategy and excitement for those who enjoy fleet combat. We really like the full faction synergies we’ve created recently and are trying to figure out how to bring those sorts of synergies to more fleets.

8. How likely do you think it is that we’ll see a Raid that includes ships or an entirely Ship Raid?
  • I think CG_TopHat just said this in the Dev Q&A, but we’re absolutely exploring a Raid with ship content. We’ve talked about doing Raids that include ships, as well as Raids that are fully dedicated to ships. We try to tell dynamic stories with our raids, and that’s pretty easy to do with characters. Getting that same level of dynamism is an interesting design problem i.e., trying to create iconic moments like dogfights, chase sequences, etc. It could resemble something like our character raids, but we’re exploring who to deliver something completely unique to ships since its an entirely different type of battle and level of strategic thinking. This is still very much in ideation though, so it will be some time before you see it on the Holotables, in the meantime, there are Capital Ships, Grand Arena Championships, and a new Territory Battle to enjoy in the coming weeks!
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