Welcome to the first official Recap of Summer! Up in the Northern hemisphere, things are more than a little toasty, so high command has issued the following advice: stay inside in the air conditioning and play video games, if you can! Otherwise, crank the logi fan to high and let's settle in for the goods.
Since the last Recap, we've been hard at work on the vehicle components system, finally integrating it into our armored vehicles This addition effectively gives them special target points that can potentially cripple a vehicle. The most common examples of internal components are ammunition storage and the engine compartment.
If you achieve penetration of the armor on the outside and score a hit on the ammunition storage compartment, depending on how much damage you do to it, it could trigger the complete destruction of the vehicle. Hitting the engine will severely handicap the vehicle's ability to move, and so forth. We'll continue to expand on this system in future iterations.
SuppressionA system that is known to be controversial among FPS games is suppression. We do feel that Squad's current suppression system is too lightweight and does not present a heavy enough penalty on players that are taking a large volume of fire, particularly from large caliber weapons.
We want the new system to lower the ability for suppressed players to effectively engage targets, but also to not be overbearing or annoying and not easily exploitable. Over the past month, we have been continuously playtesting and refining the new suppression system.
We have been playtesting and tweaking an aim-punch style mechanic that pushes your aim off target slightly when being fired upon, as well as a temporary increase in sway depending on how suppressed you are. Of course, bear in mind that this system subject to a lot of tweaking and further play-testing.
Spawn System OverhaulThe player spawn system is being given an overhaul - this includes Firebases, Rally Points and Revives. We will have a more detailed update with the changes coming, but here are some of the changes that we have been working on:
- Firebase Overrun Mechanic: when enemies are close to a HAB, players cannot spawn at the HAB until enemies are killed or leave - aiming to dramatically cut down on the "meat grinder style" gameplay that can be seen in V11.
- Rally Point wave spawn: squad members will now much more likely spawn in together rather than one by one.
- Revive System: Bandage is the revive tool now, not the Medic Bag. Any Player can use one of their bandages to revive an incapacitated friendly player. Non-Medic bandage revives take a lot longer than medic revives. Revived Players do not regenerate stamina until healed by a Medic with their Medic Bag.
One area we've been hitting hard for the next release is a complete overhaul of the in-game deployment menu. We've streamlined the process to such a point where new players will be directed from one point to another (joining a team > joining a squad > selecting a role > selecting a spawn point) in a logical manner.
We've also integrated a system that allows you to see what is in each individual role as well as get detailed descriptions of each of the weapons and items contained within. (and as a bonus, what your character will even look like!)
FireteamsWe're also implementing the first iteration of Fireteams. Basically, this is a way for Squad Leaders to optionally subdivide their squad and assign Fireteam leaders, with their own order markers to facilitate on-screen communication. (However, no specific special role exists for FTLs).
Fireteams have been designed to be extremely flexible in their employment, so it ultimately will be down to the individual Squad Leader how they want to run their squad, and also to give players a chance to learn leadership positions just short of the big Squad Leader role.
Art and Environment
M1A2 Abrams, Tanks and Gunnery
We've put in a lot of work into the newest vehicle type to go into the game, and that type is Main Battle Tanks. The M1A2 Abrams while shown off last Recap in still shots is now finally moving around and properly dressed up for battle. The gunnery we have modeled does not include modern fire control systems yet, so we've opted for the use of the gunner's auxiliary sights to allow for manual adjustments at range.
The Abrams also has a vehicle commander and loader's seat, both with their own cupola machine guns. The vehicle commander has an M2A1 Browning .50cal heavy machine gun mounted on a remote weapons system allowing for full 360-degree traversal and zoom capability. The loader's seat (while not required to actually load the cannon) is an extra seat on the turret with its own M240 machine gun.
The Bradley has also undergone some changes with the inclusion of a ballistic reticle for the gunner, as well as a seat for the commander with access to a camera with powerful day optics.
Infantry-Deployed Ammunition Bags
Another oft-requested bit of kit we have in the works are ammunition bags that can be deployed by the Riflemen role. These bags are deployed in order to quickly resupply their other squad mates in the field. Capable of being restocked from Main Base, FOB or vehicle-based ammunition sources, these bags will have a limited capacity for ammunition.
The giant RPG-29 will make an appearance as a handheld Insurgent Heavy Anti-Tank weapon, complimenting the lighter RPG-7 system. It fires a huge 105mm tandem warhead projectile with more accuracy and out to further ranges (500m) than its RPG-7 counterpart (150m).
Yehorivka is undergoing a massive facelift, starting with expanding the playable area to 5x5 km, which will open up a lot of new possibilities for new layers and more variation in gameplay. We have also changed out the grass foliage to a new rendering method which will improve performance. The Storage Site area has been; it's been replaced it with smaller profile villages and hamlets instead.
In addition to accommodating larger vehicles, we're providing more cover for infantry with new points of interest and better forests and ditches. We're also implementing a new water shader that should also vastly improve the look of our water.
We don't know about you, but the world always feels better with a few inches of Abrams armor around you. A big thank you to everyone that responded to the call for assistance from real-world tankers -- you've all gone above and beyond!