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January 2019 Recap

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Hey soldiers!

 

We're back with a recap in a brand new year! Hopefully, you're off burning those holiday feasts at the gym, but if your New Year's resolution is running out of construction points, maybe we can distract you with some Squad news! Let's hit the recap:

4.21 Engine Update

Sphere approved.

 

Engine upgrades bring long-awaited improvements to the development of Squad. We've jumped a number of versions this time around, from 4.16 to 4.21 to be exact. A detailed list of the changes and updates in UE4.21 can be found here. Engine upgrades are always a tricky task, but the rewards far outweigh the cons and the team is making swift progress. Once we are upgraded, the entire development team can benefit from the new tools and bug fixes, which leads to improved quality of Squad overall. 

 

In fact, the Alpha 13 test last week was the first version we played in the new 4.21 Unreal Engine version, a test designed to identify all the bugs associated with the migration. Keep an eye out for more testing!

Ammunition Rearm Improvement

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Having seen the light of day in the Alpha 13 test last week, we can confirm this is a welcome improvement to the Ammunition resupply mechanic. The update will give you the ability to pick which item in your inventory you wish to rearm.

 

In the Alpha 12 implementation, if your ammunition requirements exceed that of the supply source, you’re unable to rearm, in addition to using ammo points greater than necessary. This should help free up "extra" ammo points for other players in need. You’ll have the ability to rearm exactly what you need when you need it. How well you use it is still up to you, of course.

Track and Wheel Damage

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As described in an earlier development update, we’re also putting into testing the last major upgrade to the vehicle component damage model: destroying the wheels and tracks. This allows the attacking side to better score a mobility kill by giving another potential target as the tracks and wheels are usually more exposed and less armored than the engine. 

 

abrams_track_mine.gif

 

Ambush weapons like mines now have an additional, slightly different purpose by targeting the tracks/wheels, scoring mobility kills, allowing for some degree of counterplay on the part of the victims. We'll be keeping an eye on how effectively the new components are used, so keep your feedback coming!

New Armor

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We have in the works a ton (pun unintended (Editor: I don't believe that for a minute.)) of new ground vehicles, including the higher tier Russian APC in the form of the BMP series of infantry fighting vehicles, the British Challenger 2 main battle tank and the Soviet-era T-62 main battle tank for Militia and Insurgent forces. The Challenger 2 and BMPs are still very heavy work in progress at the moment, but they’re definitely coming together!

 

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An extensive redesign of the Challenger 1 main battle tank, the Challenger 2 should provide a considerable upgrade to firepower and protection for the British forces in Squad. Though it looks similar to its predecessor, less than 5% of the parts are interchangeable, and it is 100% meaner.

 

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A Soviet workhorse that rolled onto the field in 1961, the T-62 became the standard tank in their arsenal. It's staying power has left it a capable vehicle with thousands in use around the world today.

 

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We will be introducing a number of vehicles from the venerable BMP series, in order to give Russia and the unconventional factions a boost in firepower. We will initially be rolling the BMP-1 as well as the BMP-2 across a number of factions and layers. 

 

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Later on the plan is to upgrade the Russian faction to use the BMP-2M variant instead of the dated original version that will continue to be used by the irregular forces. The BMPs should offer a little better protection than the BTR based vehicles. The BMP-1 has a rather interesting main armament in its 73mm recoilless gun. This is essentially an SPG-9 as its main armament.

 

bmp_2-700x354.jpg

 

In contrast, the BMP-2's main armament is the 30mm 2A42 which has an even more ridiculous fire rate than the 2A72 found on the BTR-82A. If that wasn't enough, both of them will have the option of equipping ATGMs if it is appropriate for the layer and faction.

US Forces UAV

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We’re also working on the aerial UAV feature that is accessible by the Commander. With the ability to zoom right into the action from above, this should give an unparalleled level of observation and scouting power to the top. We’re also working on functions like target tracking and marker interactions via the UAV camera, further streamlining the experience.

 

Making the TSA jealous.

 

Fallujah

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We're aiming to make Fallujah the densest map we’ve created yet. The most difficult part in making such complex environment is balancing many different gameplay paths, areas, and scenarios. To achieve that we’ve implemented a new system using gameplay markers, allowing us to focus on bigger picture and leave the detailing to a later stage of production. This way we can effectively iterate in designing each flag; speeding up and streamlining the creation process. Stay tuned for more as we move into testing. We're going to need the grizzled veterans and newbies alike to test out a renewed favorite.

 

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Skorpo

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Progress is also being made on Skorpo, an upcoming new map based on a tranquil village on the western coast of Norway. Since the playtest last year in mid-December, work has been done to incorporate those findings into a more streamlined gameplay flow.

 

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Changes incorporated after the playtest include adding more alternative routes, making roads more traversable, and reworking the flag layout, among other gameplay considerations. A big challenge with this map has also been optimizations and, luckily, the 4.21 upgrade brings new tools for larger environments. It should help to bring a smoother experience for the players.

 

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SQUADCHAT FEATURING DRAV

 

And last, but not least, we had the opportunity to sit down with Squad's lead producer, Dave "Drav" Mason. Drav shared his insights into Squad development, took your questions, and chatted with us for about two hours. A huge thank you to everyone who attended! (P.S. We're aware of the audio issue -- skip ahead to six minutes. We promise you didn't miss any leeks.)

Sign Off

Hot damn did the team come up with some cool stuff for this Recap! Until next time, keep your friends close, and your air support closer.

a10fly-1.gif

 

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Alpha 13 is looking to be amazing! I look forward to having air support and better damage for vehicles. Commander mode looks like it's going to be tons of fun.  Also, I look forward to testing Falujjah when it's ready.

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Only 2 shots of Fallujah :(  looking great guys. 

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That A-10 is turning... almost as if it is player-controlled.

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I am so excited to play with all that new armour, and ammo granularity is sorely needed.

 

29 minutes ago, Timbo said:

That A-10 is turning... almost as if it is player-controlled.

I think that might just be the end of a gun run.

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  • The BMP-2M has an automatic grenade launcher as a feature. I remember this IFV from PR. Does this mean that AGS-30s and Mk19s are going to be added in, or would this be exclusive to the BMP-2M?
  • Will RU be getting a UAV for their commander role as well?
  • Can we expect turn out features for tank/heavy vehicle crews?
  • Will there be a shell ejection animation for the T-72B3 as well as the T-62?
Edited by Brightnight

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 These changes are just so exciting. As much as I’m keen to see the Challenger, I have to say I’m mostly interested in the upcoming commander system. It’s going to change so much from a tactical point of view.

 

Though I have to say, I’m also looking forward to the BMP-1 if only for the Operation Flashpoint nostalgia.

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Loving the new vehicles they look fantastic. Hopefully the improved damage modelling will take some of their current domination of infantry away.

 

I know Squad puts asymmetric gameplay at its heart when it comes to factions in particular insurgents vs US. I am wondering what they will get to counter drones/superior armour/A10s. Insurgents will always struggle against conventional forces by their very nature unless its compensated artificially. I hope its not just a ticket adjustment thing.

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19 minutes ago, Major Trouble said:

Loving the new vehicles they look fantastic. Hopefully the improved damage modelling will take some of their current domination of infantry away.

 

I know Squad puts asymmetric gameplay at its heart when it comes to factions in particular insurgents vs US. I am wondering what they will get to counter drones/superior armour/A10s. Insurgents will always struggle against conventional forces by their very nature unless its compensated artificially. I hope its not just a ticket adjustment thing.

remove them from AAS where they don't belong lol

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2 minutes ago, Hotpokkaminny said:

remove them from AAS where they don't belong lol

You're probably correct. They always play better in invasion and insurgency game modes.

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Insurgents in the ME have used commercial drones with great efficiency, both for fire control and surveillance. They would cover less area than a MQ-9 but are also much cheaper and faster to deploy so there are ways to give the unconventional factions drones as well.

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During the crowdfunding they promised player controlled jets but have since gone away from that promise. Squad devs will probably not even make an effort to even try to implement them into the game. Another false promise. CAS whores was a split in the PR community and i guess the same will happen here. The devs simply dont like CAS. Im sad that squad is not being the PR successor that we where promised. 

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There were loads of reasons player controlled jets aren't about,  some of them pretty good technical reasons. One day, maybe, but it's not as easy to make work in this engine are the wanted quality. Not every change of plans is a cynical deliberate broken promise. 

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Even a 5x5 km map is way too small for jets. And imo it would screw up the balance of the game to have player controlled jets. They would most likely bust as many vehicles as they could on the initial rush and leave the infantry with walking to the objective. The combination commander drones and manned jets would mean that the commander and the guys in the jets are wrecking havoc and the rest of the players just have to adapt to it and i dont think a single player should be able to have that impact.

Only way to make it work would be to add an extensive amount of AAA and AAV:s but that would take even more people away from the fighting since someone have to man those assets.

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Yeah, not only are completely incorrect, you also dont know what you are talking about.

 

Implementing jets in Squad the same way it was done in PR is not an issue. Manpads can hit jets at 5000 ft, no need for advanced SAM systems. and with a slower speed than the real thing you can easily fit inside the skybox (or even if they where to increase the size of the map like they do in PR).

 

Its not an issue of balance or technical limitations, its a matter if the devs like people who fly CAS or not. The PR communuty was very split on this because it was the same group of 20 guys that would fly those assets every game (and they where very good at it). That the reason CAS was so hated in PR. Also player in PR could not coordinate to run an effective AA so that again punished them.

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19 minutes ago, Cisco™ said:

Yeah, not only are completely incorrect, you also dont know what you are talking about.

 

Implementing jets in Squad the same way it was done in PR is not an issue. Manpads can hit jets at 5000 ft, no need for advanced SAM systems. and with a slower speed than the real thing you can easily fit inside the skybox (or even if they where to increase the size of the map like they do in PR).

 

Its not an issue of balance or technical limitations, its a matter if the devs like people who fly CAS or not. The PR communuty was very split on this because it was the same group of 20 guys that would fly those assets every game (and they where very good at it). That the reason CAS was so hated in PR. Also player in PR could not coordinate to run an effective AA so that again punished them.

So you mention some very good reasons not to have player controlled CAS in Squad and still want them?

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Once again, pointless hostility. No has has told you that you don't know what you're talking about - why have such an attitude to frame your arguments?

I am well aware some solutions have been mooted in terms of mape expansion etc., and while they didn't seem to have the way to make this look servicable at the start, I think they might have learnt that now. However, things like draw distance is a huge difference between Squad and PR, and for someone who apparently knows exactly what they're talking about where others don't, that's a pretty big deal in termsof implementation, balance, etc. It might be achievable, but it HAS been at least partially because of some technical limitations.

 

As for your last point - you make a pretty compelling argument against it. The same group of 20 doing it all the time hardly sells it to anyone else were this true. Am I to ssume you were one of these people? You suggest the general community in PR couldn't effectively counter this group of wonderful flyboys, too - how exactly is that a selling point for including the same set up? Let a few enjoy it whilst the game suffers for the community at large?

 

As it goes, I personally would advocate player controlled if possible and implemented with great care. I just understand why it isn't a priority and why it is problematic, and am also of the view that CAS as a commander asset will still be cool. Yet I wouldn't want the game developed in such a way that pleases a minority to the detriment of the wider experience; only a fool would - and I am by no means an advocate of the more arcade-seeking group here. To grind an axe over one thing you consider missing also seems to completely neglect a lot of the good work that's gone on, which hardly seems like an objective an reased response to the game.

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Very tasty I say!.

Gonna say what I said before, hope we can Shot those Pesky Birds/Drones, don´t wanna another silly bolloxs game, you just sit there  like a sitting Duck with your feathered Pants down...

 

Rocketlaunch.gif

 

 

 

 

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I will jump back into Squad if the changes are implemented for sure :3 I really hope to hear the A10 noise gun someday in Squad even if it is only a Commander asset ^^

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