Sandstorm was the first expansion to Global Agenda, released in two phases during Summer 2010.
OverviewEditSandstorm heavily revolutionized the game, implementing additional weaponry and devices for all four classes, armor and weapon tiers (common, uncommon, rare, and epic), introduced several new game modes as well as the token and credit systems, and also made changes to gameplay, particularly to AvA.
There were to phases: Phase 1 and Phase 2, both of which have been released and Sandstorm is now considered completely implemented.
It is available free to any one who owns Global Agenda.
Main article: Patch 1.3
Phase 1 was launched on June 2, 2010 and saw several major changes to the game. Among the major hightlights were:
- A new system for acquiring weapons and armor through loot and tokens.
- 32 new weapons (most for Levels 30+).
- New shops in Dome City, including CyberCuts, Genolab (Facial Reconstruction), and Weapon shops for each class.
- New Solo Special Ops PvE missions (at Novice, Rookie, Advanced and Expert levels).
- New Ultra-Max Security Special Ops PvE Missions
- Significant improvements to Special Ops PvE, including adjusted AI, new Elite Bots, and more.
- Revamped Agency-vs-Agency format, now with a single world map.
- Five new PvP maps.
- Improved social features, including player inspection, new chat channels and more.
- DirectX 10 Support.
Main article: Patch 1.35
Phase 2 was launched on July 22, 2010 and included the following major highlights:
- Sonoran Desert Zone: Players may step outside Dome City into the Sonoran Desert Open PvE zone. Designed primarily for those between Levels 5 and 15, players within the Zone may accept missions from NPC's in order to progress a story-arc, learn more about the neighboring Desert Dweller and Recursive Colony factions, and earn loot and experience. Note that players must visit Dalton Bancroft inside Dome City (and run the Bancroft missions) before they can enter the Sonoran Desert Zone.
- 10-Person Defense Raids: Facilities around Dome City are key targets of the Recursive Colony faction. When the Recursive Colony attacks, alarms sound within Dome City and the RAIDS mission type will become activated on your MISSION screen. Join the Raid queue solo, or as a pre-made team of up to 10 players, to be matched into a ten-person defense team and transported to an area that needs to be defended. Note that these missions are designed to be difficult and are available only to players Level 30+.
- New Sonoran Desert Spec-Ops Missions: New co-op PvE instances have been introduced for characters between Levels 5 and 19. These missions are accessed through the MISSION screen (Hotkey = "M") under Team/Medium Difficulty.
- Consumables: Players may now craft Consumable items that can be used once while in a combat mission to for a short-term boost. Once used, that item is consumed. In order to equip a consumable, you must have a Consumable in your inventory, and fill the Consumable slot on your Equip screen. Only one consumable may be equipped at a time.
- Salvage: Weapons and Armor that you do not desire to keep may be salvaged by clicking the Salvage button while the item is selected on your Inventory menu. When a weapon or armor piece is salvaged, you will receive a component loot drop put into your inventory (many of the components gained through salvage are useful when crafting consumables).
- Token: Major changes to the token system have been implemented. See TOKENS section below for more information.
- Credits: Credits are now at the player level instead of the character level. Existing credits have been rolled up to the player level based on the total credits owned by all of your characters.
- Subscription-free: the full content of Global Agenda is no available without a subscription.
The original release of Phase 1 in June 2010 caused a bit of confusion and resentment as several parts of the game became "subscriber-only", most of which had been previously available to anyone who had purchased the game. In addition, most of the new content, including Ultra-Maximum security PvE missions and the option to play PvE missions solo became subscriber only. All in all, the areas which were still accessible to non-subscribers ultimately consisted of PvP and Low-, Medium-, and some High-security PvE missions.
Also during this time, Hi-Rez introduced a "pre-subscriber" period where all players will have unlimited access to full content of the game for 30 days. After this grace period, only players who have subscribed will have access to the subscriber-only content.
This caused confusion and resentment, as many advertisements for the game implied the game was completely subscription-free. This was only partially true, as there was no subscription to actually play the game, but there was a subscription to play the entirety of the game's content.
Between Phases 1 and 2, Hi-Rez officially changed their business model; ultimately removing subscriptions and planning to release future content in the form of optional, purchasable expansion packs. They also announced that Sandstorm Phase 2 would be released free, without any additional charge despite this change.