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Hey Squaddies, Callooh! Callay! O frabjous Recap day! It's time for another dose of what's been happening behind the scenes in Squad. From mechanics to user experience, the team has been full steam ahead as we make the push towards Alpha 12 -- let's grab a looking glass and see what they've been working on! SquadChat with Drav, Fuzzhead, and Merlin What are SquadChats? Glad you asked! They're a more casual opportunity to sit down with the developers behind Squad, learn about who they are, what they do, and how they do it. In this edition, we have our Drav, our Lead Producer, Fuzzhead, beloved game designer, and last, but not least, Merlin, CEO of Offworld Industries. Over the course of an hour and a half, we talked about the current status of Squad, our plans to get to launch, and how we're going to support Squad into the future. Heck, they even worked in some answers to community questions. Worth a watch, eh? Don't forget to check out the rest of the SquadChat archive here. Systems User Interface https://streamable.com/fa4eb The new user interface is continuing to receive a facelift as we work through each element, one at a time. The updated team screen allows you to get a feel for the map, read up on the game mode and lore, as well as seeing which factions are in play. The Deploy screen allows you to see your squad, as well as the entire team, organize your squad into fireteams, select your role via a quick select panel, and, most importantly, set your spawn point options. The map here has been expanded slightly given the new dimensions. The new Role Loadout screen is an optional page that allows you to access more information on what roles are available to you, as well as get in-depth information on what each weapon and piece of equipment does. Knowledge is power! Persistent Ammo The Infantry Rearm System will be undergoing some significant changes. As per the June Recap, Squads will now have access to the Infantry-deployed Ammunition Bags carried by the Non-Scope Rifleman role. The following changes are working in conjunction with the Ammo Bags to create a more teamwork focused Rearm system. We are implementing the concept of "Persistent Ammunition". It is designed to further place importance on logistics and to make ammunition scarcity a real consideration on the battlefield. Squad Leaders will need to factor in their Logistics and Ammo Sources when deciding where and when to assault. Additionally, we're experimenting with the concept of having player spawns on Rally Points and FOBs spawn with the same amount of ammunition that they had when they died. Players will always spawn with a minimum of at least 2 magazines for their primary weapon and will always spawn with 2 field dressings. Players changing roles after being killed will respawn with the minimum kit loadout (2 primary magazines and 2 field dressings) and will need to seek out resupply. Deploying at the Main Base will always give a player a fully-loaded kit. Ammunition Resupply Granularity Another change to the Infantry Rearm System is adding a level of granularity to the way players rearm. Rather than a role costing a fixed ammo point value to rearm, each magazine and/or consumable inventory item will have its own associated ammunition cost. This provides a much more accurate representation of how much ammunition resources you are using when it comes to rearming and will make it easier to balance one weapon over another. Ammunition point values will be tweaked to reflect these new changes, especially as testing and feedback continue to develop. Art Smoke Generators https://streamable.com/p7h03 One upgrade that will be coming to all our APC, IFV, and (future) Tank drivers is the ability to deploy a smokescreen from the exhaust ports. The smoke generator is a continuously channeling effect that deploys an extremely large screen that can be used to cover a retreat, advancing infantry in an assault, or enjoy a break from the Tallil sunshine. In addition to the turret mounted smoke grenade launchers, vehicles will now have a multitude of screening options available to them. https://streamable.com/8347b Repair Tools Over the course of battle, your vehicles will take damage to its components (for this first iteration it will primarily be your engine), so in order to get back to a minimum level of usability we've given all crewman roles a toolkit used to repair these components, as well as bring up hull health above a minimum threshold. We're still balancing this mechanic, but this should give another level to the meta gameplay of vehicle combat. https://streamable.com/gwz8s RPG-7V2 Coming soon to all Russian rocket launcher, the RPG-7V2 package adds the PGO-7 2.8x optic to the launcher. This allows Russian anti-tank gunners to better acquire targets and account for distance with the built-in projectile drop compensator reticle. This reticle accounts for all ammunition types. Kornet The finishing touches on the 9M113 Kornet have been added and it's flying high in testing now. One advantage this system has over the TOW is the ability for the gunner to be behind cover and still have the ability to fire, making it a little more operator-friendly. https://streamable.com/2zlhv Mapping Tallil Outskirts https://streamable.com/bz37j The whole team is working hard on finishing up Tallil Outskirts. Not only will the map be a new location to fight over but it will showcase some new mapping technology. The terrain will be the most realistic we've seen in Squad up to this point, and with the advent of new structures, foliage and visual effects, we hope to ramp up the immersiveness to a whole new level. As stated in last month's recap, Tallil Outskirts' predominant feature will be an airfield with a long history of conflict. From the Russian influence in the 1980s to the U.S. bombing of the Iraqi hangars at the start of the Gulf War, to its more recent use as a U.S. Air Force airbase and Army barracks, the history will be visible no matter what corner you're fighting over. And let's not forget about tanks! Tallil will be our first armor-focused map, so we're as excited as you are to see columns of tanks duking it out across the open desert! Jensens Range Overhaul We've managed to give Jensens Range another big facelift, this time taking advantage of the desert biome work we've been doing on Tallil and bringing it into the training range, giving it a very distinct feel now. The most notable change is the addition of surrounding terrain as a backdrop, but also we've added a number of additional ranges to the map, including a MOUT training field with multi-story buildings, an indoor kill-house with a linear path to work those CQB skills, a new driving track and a 1.5km open range with elevation for vehicles. And there you have it! Some big changes coming up, so we'd like to remind you to shoot straight, conserve ammo, and never, ever cut a deal with a dra... ah, well, maybe just the first two. Thanks for joining us for another Recap! We'll see you next month. Offworld Out. Note: Check the blog post for embedded videos; they were not rendering well in the forums.
Hey Squaddies! The text you’re about to read is a recap of a community roundtable held Offworld Industries to gather feedback. Roundtable events are based on the most recent Recap and we’d recommend reading that first. A recap recap, if you will. Please note that this text is not a planning document, but a recap of a conversation with the community. Best efforts have been made to retain tone and intent, but mistakes happen: please feel free to submit corrections. =) If you prefer to listen, you can hear the original audio recording. (~76mb.) If your organization isn't involved in the roundtable and would like to be, please reach out to Nordic Socialist for more information. OWI Attendees included Axton, Fuzzhead, Gatzby, and the host, Nordic. Formatting: Text in italics generally represents an OWI representative or a summary of several. Normal text is typically from a community member and is cited where possible. Components Right now, ammo explosions kill vehicles outright. And yes, we know the real ammo storage is different than pictured in the recap. We’re also looking at features like blast doors for the Abrams, emulating the real life Abrams crew survival priority. The first iteration may have some temporary solutions to disable components, such as setting ammo to zero to disable the primary weapon. Component damage on smaller vehicles may not be implemented in alpha 12, but it is coming and currently working in prototyping. Priority is APCs and other armor… because tanks. Russian 30 mil ammo storage doesn’t detonate. Burning, even as long as 15 minutes, yes. - 79%toxic You can pass this sort of information to Virus.exe, our Russian military adviser. Ammo cook-off is a trial system of what we intend to do. The engine disable will be a bigger impact on gameplay and we also want to get to tracks, wheels. Engine taking hits will slow a vehicle down and if it gets damaged enough, it will not run. Although this effects the vehicle in a negative way, it does increase the overall survivability. Crew will be able to repair vehicle mobility from the outside of the vehicle. They will have some sort of tool used like the shovel, but it has not been decided what that tool will be yet. You will only be able to get it up to a “slow rolling state,” requiring a trip to a repair station for full repairs, roughly 20-25% of the vehicle’s health. This is just the first iteration - we plan to get the basics in and the expand upon them. We do plan on thermals eventually, for example. Damaging thermals would be a cool way to use the component system. It’s important to be able to disable Russian vehicle turrets (especially technicals), alongside engine, as it is in real life. -79%toxic Suppression This type of suppression isn’t very realistic. Suppression resulting from explosion is important. We need more of it. Ears ringing, too. - 79%toxic. There is some screenshake, especially from the IED, but it doesn’t impact your aim. And yeah, RPGs and grenades don’t really shake it a lot. That’s good feedback. Translating it to vehicle wrecks might be a good idea too, as there is currently very little effect/feedback in the world. Technically speaking, it may not be /too/ challenging. We’re aware of the glitch where vehicle disappears and then is replaced by the wreck, by the way. Fuzzhead just started in on the process of adding suppression on the heavier weapons, 25mm, 30mm cannons for example. Tillomaticus: Is there anything planned to add aimpunch on hit? Does it favor stationary play too much? Fuzzhead thinks it needs to be included. The first person who shoots should have the (small) advantage in the shot by shot competition, though this is more in SgtRoss’ domain. 79%toxic: My community fears it will slow down the game. GPMGs, especially with optics, are already OP. New suppression will make them unkillable.With suppression, it could still be 9 versus 1 to suppress a GPMG. One of the things we’re attempting to address with suppression is being able to suppress them back, through the use of another fireteam/squad. We do recognize the asymmetric balance could be an issue here. BigJimmy: Are suppression effects dependent on calibre? The current plan is to have four suppression types: Rifles & LMGs (545mm, 556mm, 762mm) GPMGs & HMGs (762mm, 12.5mm) Auto Cannons (14.5mm, 23mm, 25mm, 30mm) Big Guns (120mm etc) Pistols would not have a suppression effect. Pistols are pretty weak right now. -79%Toxic Tillomaticus: Will there be suppression effects from friendly fire? Right now, yes, but there is a minimum range. Through testing, we may increase the minimum range at which suppression affects you, maybe out to 25-30m. Currently 10m, which is… okay, if your squad is evenly spaced. You should expect suppression effects if you’re, say, 100m forward and being shot at from either side. Tacticool: Will the suppression weapon sway be RNG or patterned? It’s probably not going to be learnable. It will be more pushing off your aim. If Ross were here, we may have more to talk about -- we’re definitely going to be more testing before we commit to anything. We want to get players firing their weapons more and achieving fire superiority. Spawn There will now be a wave-style spawn at rally points. Rally points will now remain until taken down or replaced. Spawn waves are currently at 90 seconds. There may be a minimum time dead before being able to join a spawn wave. (e.g., 20 seconds.) No one-second spawns. It currently requires two people to take down a rally, but the radius is increased. (2 soldiers within 50m to take it down.) This does mean spawning will not be available. Why does OWI not like about the current system? -79%toxic The old system has brought us this far. It’s effective, however the new system should slow down the pace some. This is intentional. The roughly top 3-5 less than ideal things from the old system: faster gameplay, more lone wolfing (trickling in via rallies especially), players are less reliant on squad and aren’t encouraged to move together. New system is focused on keeping squads collaborating in a closer proximity; making it more fun to move with your squad, keeping you alive. We think the game is more fun in local voip range and being able to see your squadmates is a better experience. The current system often incentivizes spawning in and running the hell away from your friendlies. Trying to incentivize players to work together more often, closer together. Another thing we didn’t really like is fob spawning in alpha 11 can be turned into a meatgrinder very easily. “Fortress of Bodies.” Spawn-camping/killing is not really what we intend, as spawning and dying, spawning and dying isn’t the most fun. Tart: Wavespawning is bad, because it’s too predictable. When someone spawns, you know when they spawn for eternity. Focus on FOBs instead to cause squads work together over rallies. Make them easier for a team to use; there is a lot of resistance in building FOBs. Players will end up further from their objectives. Reducing reliance on rallies could make FOBs more important, whereas the current plan may make squads more independent of each other. Playing rallies further out is intended; spawning in an active zone is not really intended. The changes to Medic are to help encourage players to use the revive system as the primary way of getting back on your feet. There should also be some incentive to use more than one squad, as you can help each other out. We hear you, but we do want squads to work more closely together and slow the pacing some. We do want FOBs to be easier to place. The range between them might be lowered, for example, or removing the ticket loss if a FOB is destroyed. We would also like to see FOBs used as backup positions more often, not as just one key location and forget the rest. Using them as rear spawning locations should be viable. Acidpantalones: Will rally timers persist across the round? They start when the rally is created. The entire team is not on the same timer. Medic can patch and revive in 7 seconds, non-medic will be 14 for the first iteration. Aragorn89 is concerned that too few people can disable spawning in the new system and would like to see a better balance between the HAB and rally point. Right now, both are all pretty strong. The spawn mechanics are what sets the tone of the map and right now it skews very fast with emphasis on the spawn location. In the new system, it should be more about the actions of the squad. We will test the radius which disables spawn -- it’s also possible it will vary by map size, especially as we grow to 5, 6, and 8 km maps. Some of these changes are looking ahead to when air transport is in game too. But if it plays poorly, we’ll change it. Zula: If you have more defenders, it feels like you still own the point. If the attacks had more, it would make sense that spawns were disabled and it was up to the defenders to fend off the attack. Tillomaticus: What’s the bleedout time? Can you see the rally wave timer when you’re dead? Five minutes. Right now, yes, Later, maybe. From a design side, it might be better that you don’t get to see it… we’ll see in testing. And yes, there will likely be a minimum spawn time. Interface/Fireteams Fireteams are coming! The new UI you have also seen is coming. The first iteration is restricted to the user interface, though you don’t ever have to use a fireteam. There will not be a special kit for fireteam leader. There can be up to three fireteams, with the squad leader always being the head of Alpha. Alpha will always be colored green, Bravo will be purple, and Charlie will be… something else. You can add someone to a fireteam and their color changes dynamically. (Not sure if it will change on the HUD yet.) You could group for assault and suppression, and then merge right back once you’re rallied at the objective, for example. The squad leader should be able to see all markers, but fireteam members will see less. Squad leader may be able to delete FTL markers, default to the squad marker. Much of the redesign has been geared toward helping newer players get their toes wet and help players succeed. Fireteams are also intended to give a stepping stone to squad leadership, letting players ease into it. ---- And it's Gatzby again! Hey! Just wanted to leave you with the note that the discussion ranged a bit off topic toward the end, so some of the audio content has not been transcribed. If you're really into it, be sure to listen to the full mp3 up above.