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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.

 

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.

 

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, Assi (the Silent), StrangeZak, Fuzzhead, Gatzby, ChanceBrahh, and the host, Nordic.

 

SquadWiki:

 

It’s in need of some updating. If you can lend a hand, or know someone who would, it would be much appreciated. Usgu and Sweez are champions, but can’t do it alone. We all have knowledge that could be out there: It took 1300 hours for Nordic to figure out you could capture a neutral flag with one guy.

 

While the groundwork for the mechanics is being laid, so should the groundwork for documentation. It would benefit from more meta knowledge of the game. Things like what to expect when you join a server, how different game modes are set up, or other meta basics. (Much of this should be in the game, too.) Reach out to Usgu if you’d like to assist!

 

RIP members have made an announcement and have shown interest. (Thanks RIP!)

 

One suggestion would be to have an organized wiki day with QA members and developers on hand to verify the data, answer questions, and assist in editing. Wikipedia style writing prompts may be another avenue. Adding some breadcrumbs to the wiki from the in-game message of the day might help as well.

 

Squad could still use more tutorialization, especially video content.

 

We’re looking into it, but due to the number of changes coming to UI and systems, it’ll make more sense to make that sort of content when it is done. In the meantime, the wiki is a good resource for that information.

 

Server Experience

 

It would be nice to have a section in the server browser/client for training servers. Effectively, having some sort of tagging system for server admins to self-identify server type might work. In addition to that, some sort of way to present rules and information when joining a server would help manage expectations and experience.

 

Some suggested tags: “Regular, Competitive, Training.” “Training, Casual, Competitive”

 

StrangeZak: We frequently debate server browser. No one can quite decide which way to go. We don’t want to split a whole community.

 

Admin Tools

 

They’re getting a little higher in priority, but still have to wait for other systems. We’ve heard your suggestions and want them too. (See previous roundtables.)

 

Unreal Engine Versions

 

We’re keeping an eye on the improvements in each engine update and we’re especially excited about the features being developed for Fortnite. We have everything we need to launch in the current release, but will continue to evaluate engine updates. They are a lot of work, especially making sure all previous code is compatible.

 

RAAS

 

Fog of war (i.e., Not being sure which flag will unlock next.) isn’t confirmed at the moment, but it is something we’d like to see. It may not make it into alpha 12, however. There will be randomized flags so you don’t play the same configuration every time. It’s being built with reducing overhead on building layers in mind, benefitting both our designers and modders. You should be able to select a specific layer with AdminChangeMap at least.

 

Main bases will not be randomized in Alpha 12, but that’s something that could be possible in the future. It’s also possible to specify whether a flag will be randomized or not, as the randomizer is modular. One of the main difficulties with main bases are the vehicle spawns, but the future might have some solutions for that.

 

As the designer still picks the flow, there will still be logic to the layer design. It should be similar to Destruction; it will pick a cluster or area of the map, and then pick a point within that cluster.


Static/Normal AAS will continue to be developed where it makes sense to do so. We want the competitive community to have strong layers, but we will likely not create hundreds of static layers for maps in the future -- randomized AAS is to help address that. Hopefully, we can find some more competitive-friendly game modes too. =)

 

Oni Shinobi believes the fog of war will be very important, as it will impact the ability to rush the next flag.

 

truthRealm is into the fog of war, and suggests that it might be a server or layer variable. Related to that, they wonder if there are any plans to standardize factions by layers.

 

There will be some way of knowing which factions are playing, ideally in the server browser, but there will still be variations by map.


 

Vehicle Damage

 

The next iteration will have vehicle component damage, as illustrated in the recap with the exploding text fuel tanks. Along with mobility kills, there will be the ability to field repair, probably no more than 25% health. To fully repair, you will have to leave the field and return to a repair station.

 

Hitting specific components will have some chance to cause a catastrophic failure, but it will not happen every time you hit that spot. E.g., ammo might explode occasionally, but aiming directly for the ammo container will not cause a kill every time. “Vehicles should be more survivable on the field, not necessarily more healthy.” - Fuzzhead

 

Armor penetration (i.e., crew kills) may be possible in the future but are not currently being implemented. “It would be cool to shoot the back of a Stryker and kill everyone inside it, but it was difficult enough to get small arms working.” It would be cool, but don’t count on it soon, as it’s both design and programmatically complex -- we don’t want vehicles to be rendered useless immediately.

 

Designers are investigating reactive armor blocks on tanks, based on the component damage tests. Another example might be slat armor for IFVs.

 

Some vehicle suggestions include making infantry able to disable a vehicle, but not destroy a vehicle. Adding thermals may not have made sense in the past, but with HAT/TOW being lethal, it might balance the field especially if it could be disabled with component damage.

 

We’re still looking into deflating tires or having them fall off, but we’re not yet sure if it’s possible with the physics engine. There will still be mobility kills, however. The team is currently focused on armored vehicles primarily though.

 

Currently, vehicles are often too risky to use on an assault, based on their relative ticket value. Too risky to pile your troops into a Stryker. Sometimes assigning 2-3 people to a vehicle feels like a waste of resources. More counters against infantry with AT would be appreciated, as it feels like smoke is the only option now.

 

Turret Stabilization

 

It’s still a little rough right now, but it’s coming along. The input delay feels rough. Currently, it functions by holding your bearing while the vehicle moves. Lazing isn’t being developed at the moment, but it’s something we’d like to have. The baseline is that tanks need some sort of stabilization.

 

We’re considering some sort of system for the gunner to adjust directly to a Commander’s target; some way for the commander and gunner can communicate (that isn’t VoIP), with the gunner still in command of their role.

 

Modding 2.0

 

Linux server mod support! Whitelisting mods is something we’re considering, but it’s very difficult to run a mod at this point -- the system needs to mature some first. We’ve had some volunteers to QA/test community mods to this end, so stay tuned.

 

Tanks/At

 

We’ve shown the M1A2 (though it was mislabeled -- oops.) and the T72. We talked a bit about reactive armor above, but again, that’s not confirmed.

 

We’d like to have as many assets as PR did; choices are great.

 

Likely the driver will be a seat, the gunner will be a seat, and the commander will be a seat. You should be able to get away with a driver and a gunner, but running a full vehicle will be more efficient. It’s unlikely there will be four-person tanks. Don’t expect one man tanking to be a thing.

 

There will be maps designed for tanks. (Not Sumari! Don’t worry!) Current maps will receive them too, but they’ll likely be balanced by similar vehicles on the other faction. (e.g., USA versus RUS)

 

The ubiquity of the t72 means you’ll see more than just conventional forces using tanks.

 

Future

 

Regarding factions and other tools/vehicles/toys, post-launch content will be a thing; if you watched the recent SquadChat , Irontaxi lays it out a bit. We want to do as much as we can, for as long as we can, but we’re also very excited to see what the modding community comes up with. As we’ve shown with maps, we’re very open to adding community content to vanilla Squad.

 

Belaya

 

It’s a bit scope heaven right now; the mapping team has already made a lot of changes. It’s losing a lot of roads, gaining some foliage, ruined fortifications, and more space to capture in, hopefully giving people the cover they need to make the map more fun. Paired with the previous FOB changes, there should be a lot less meat grinder going on. There are also some layers that don’t include the train tunnel.

 

Some feel that Kamdesh and Belaya feel really similar, from a design standpoint. They’re cosmetically beautiful, but lack some unique locations and points of interest. They can feel a bit repetitive.

 

Some of that was due to the timeline (2-4 month) on which they were created, some of that was based on the philosophy; trying to make them as fun as possible within the constraints. We acknowledge that it does feel a little stagnant and gamey. Though there’s danger in asymmetric locations causing people to dislike the map entirely. The mapping team is split on increasing the size of the villages versus more open-ground fighting but are considering options to improve the experience. Adding more to the maps is entirely possible, especially as things like Yeho get revamped too.

 

Kamdesh was conceived as similar to Operation First Light, but on the side of a mountain slope as well. Technical limitations with draw distance caused the design to change.

 

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Posted (edited)

Gonna miss not being able to drive up hillsides in 2 seconds on Belaya and get good vantage points fast but ay, better for infantry. There is definitely too much open ground.

Edited by YuriIsLoveYuriIsLife

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@Gatzby, thx for writing it all down! Really appreciated! This roundtable discussion is great idea, thx for everyone involved!

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