Alpha Test Feedback Jan 9th 2016

Join us at for a 30 min playtest Saturday, 9th Jan, 2015
12pm PACIFIC | 2pm CENTRAL US | 3pm EAST US | 8pm UK/GMT
(Desktop browser, mouse and keyboard)

Muzzle flashes


Release Notes

  • Muzzle flash (shown in above vine)
  • Server crashes resolved
  • Running on Nano Server, aspnet5 Kestrel, dotnet coreclr x64
  • Dual Projectile Multi-Cannons, 320 rounds/sec (19.2k per min), velocity 4 km/s, 7 km range
  • Free-for-All (FFA) – all ships are hostile
  • Next playtest after this one will be in four weeks (Feb 6th)

If you want to know the bigger picture and where we are heading don’t forget to check out: About Age of Ascent

Thank you all for joining us on this journey!


Hi everyone - hope you enjoyed that!

Please do leave any and all feedback, positive or negative - it’s very welcome!



First time in months my schedule has coincided with a play test. I like the new weaponry, and everything seemed very smooth.

Ships tend to move much too predictably. Typically, once a ship is in your sights, there’s very little they can do to get out of them. That may just be down to other player’s inexperience, but this was my first time playing and I was amazed that I tied for first place!

The gravdar is next to useless without some sort of target cycling feature. Too many names get in the way.

People can fly right through debris. Kind of weird to have any debris if it doesn’t collide yet. As it is, it just obstructs visibility.

I need a keyboard with n-key rollover support so I can move in all sorts of directions and ALSO slow down. Speaking of which, it would be great if I could throttle up and down with the mousewheel, and had a better indication of when I was using a turbo boost.

Turbo boosts speed up ALL movements, including strafing and rolling. Makes me much harder to hit, I think.

Had fun. I’ll come back some time!

First time playing, but I had a good time!

The radar is a cool concept, but very difficult to utilize because of its size, complexity, and position onscreen. If it could be placed more near the center (where the eye tends to focus due to the action), I think it could be utilized more.

Furthermore, if you could lock onto a target and track it with the radar I think it would be very convenient.

Thanks for letting me play!

Great test today. I had a lot of fun and didn’t notice any bugs.

At times I found it hard to track someone when there were 10 or more ships visible on the gravidar. I think Gravidar highlighting/fading/coloring based on recent threats/targets would really help.

My mousewheel controlled my thrust, so that’s weird that you weren’t able to do that.

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Pressing G changes the Gravidar size, this is the case for the largest setting.

G key toggles gravidar size and it can be positioned fullscreen so it has a one-to-one with ships - eg:

Also you can zoom in and out (with your ship at the center) using < and > keys.

But it’s one of those things most people don’t notice/learn when dumped straight into combat :smile:

For sure! Now I know for next time!

This is coming, as are a number of gravidar filters. The gravidar will work in conjunction with a table-based contacts list.

You’ll also be able to hive your contacts list and/or gravidar (or indeed, any non-front-screen-view function) off to a separate device. So if you want to play on your bigscreen, have a laptop next to it with your gravidar, have a tablet on the other side with a rear camera view etc… that’s all going to be possible.

Yeah, absolutely - it’s very much visual at the moment, but will definitely have collision detection shortly.

This is something we’re looking at; afterburners really should only be functioning across a single forward axis - but we may have various fittable modules that permit boost improvements across other axes as well.

Lovely to have you play, and thanks for your feedback. Also well done indeed on getting to the top of the table!

Awesome having you here - thanks for stopping by!

Yup, target lock, contact filtering, cycling through targets, offscreen indicators etc - all are coming. Also see above for ‘build-your-own-cockpit’ introduction.


I think highlighting and filtering based on a tabular contacts list will help quite a lot when that feeds back into the gravidar; also hiving off to a separate device. But yes, it is an issue right now; and our intention is to make it very much player-configurable as everyone has different purposes at different times.


Awesome - great to hear!

I think we’ve ironed out most all of the bugs. Especially useful to note that we had players in this playtest from 4 different continents, and 18 different countries. Gone are the days of geographic sharding, huzzah!


71 pilots, 2,573,120 shots fired; 37,772,054 server messages; 10.98% accuracy

How set in stone is the mostly-forward flight model? I remember from the propulsion thread that modules may affect different aspects of thrust, but is everything still mostly going to be forward moving? As in, we won’t be seeing ships that fly sideways as fast as they fly forwards?

The primary thrust vector is on the axis of the engine (which makes sense, generally).

We’re already in the realms of a non-Newtonian model in the sense of acceleration vs max velocity.

We have to break scientific reality by limiting max velocity (else, with a big enough run-up and unlimited acceleration, someone could crack open the Earth). So, my caveat here is purely that we do have to apply some unscientific boundaries to what players can do within the AoA MMO in order to keep the universe coherent for everyone (oh and, for the purposes of gameplay, both general and special relativity are also out XD).

However, if we’re (non-Newtonianly) saying that the main engine output can only provide a max velocity in a forward vector, then it’d also (from this perspective) follow that there’s no way a small-ish lateral thruster on your wing-pod (genre spoiler alert! disregarding why you even have a “wing” in the first place) could provide anything like the same output as the big fat engine on the tail.

Having said all of that, and keeping within bounds of an artificial max velocity, there’s no particular reason we couldn’t introduce a semi-Newtonian model whereby you could (eg) accelerate a ship up to max velocity using the main engine thruster - and then rotate on an axis to fire back at a pursuer (whilst travelling in the opposite vector to your bullets and maintaining the thrust pre-provided by the main engine), until thrust applied in a different direction. A 3-vector version of Asteroids, perchance?

However, we think that this would only be ‘competently playable’ by reasonably sophisticated pilots, and that we want the game to be accessible to most everyone without a steep learning curve… so, my current thinking on this is to potentially allow more interesting semi-Newtonian physics in ether specific ship models (with limits), or in specific environments (eg the less “vanilla” areas of space, or a pre-arranged arena combat where either full- or semi- Newtonian physics are specifically allowed and agreed-to by the participants in advance; essentially in an ingame sandbox environment where the suspension of various regular-space physical rules are pre-agreed).

I can’t imagine full-Newtonian ever being part of the full-access game (can you imagine!); and I believe that even semi/limited rules will have substantial knock-on ramifications to the generic playerbase.

In essence, we’re starting with the one model and the one main vector (but with modifiers to other vectors if the correct modules are fitted); and we’re looking at whether a semi-Newtonian can coexist happily with other less-experienced players - outside of pre-arranged arena combats, where so long as all the participants agree to the physics ruleset, then anything goes.

Hope that helps clarify?


It does, to a degree. I understand that ever-acceleration is impractical and frankly I never thought that was interesting. I was wondering specifically if a lateral thruster button input (W, S, A, or D) could ever provide 100% of its possible thrust without also requiring that forward thrust be applied. In practice, the result is moving mostly in a direction other than the one you’re facing, rather than just a bit diagnonally. We currently have this as I recall, but it’s very, very, very slow, and really only possible when your throttle is bottomed out.

The always-forward flight model definitely reduces turret mode. We are in ships after all, not mega-space suits. This is AoA, not space invaders. However I was wondering if there was a way to enable a notably more lateral capable flight model via stacking lateral thruster modules and a lateral thruster engine. Enough that we might see a ship that strafes as its primary combat movement, rather than swims.

(as I edit this I realize that a turreted weapon can achieve basically the same thing)

And you know, backwards flight. Will that be a thing, and will that be a thing in the tests? Both could radically redefine how dogfights work, and the relationship between speed, durability, and maneuverability.

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Such a thing may well be possible, though would require quite a specific ship model to ‘look’ right.

We’re very much planning turrets on slightly larger ships (destroyers, cruisers etc) - not least because they’re also very likely to encourage multi-crew ships (‘Millennium Falcon’-esque) which are a very high priority for us.

Yes; though we’re keen that - at least initially - everything should seem reasonably familiar to the new pilot in AoA. So such things are likely to be specific to custom-built hulls rather than default behaviours.