Squad Alpha 13 Released

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Hey soldiers!

The Alpha 13 changelog has landed! One thing though: it was so large, we couldn’t fit all of it into a Steam post. Below is an abridged version of changes meant to convey the major points of the update. Be sure to visit our website for the complete list of changes[joinsquad.com].

Some key highlights include updating to Unreal Engine 4.21, new vehicles, new weapons, and new game modes. Read on for more!

Please note, you will need to uninstall mods[offworldindustries.zendesk.com] to prevent crashing.

ALPHA 13 CHANGELOG

SYSTEMS



Destructible Tracks and Wheels

Tracks and Wheels are now fully destroyable which enables players to inflict more granular damage to vehicles. For wheels, depending on the vehicle, they can be taken down by small arms fire, while tracks and APC wheels require .50 cal or greater. With each wheel that gets destroyed, more friction is applied, reducing the vehicle’s maximum top speed. The destroyed wheel’s rim still functions at reduced drive effectiveness. In addition, the vehicle will lean over as the supporting wheel is now gone. With tracks, as each gets destroyed, drive input from that track no longer functions. That means that if both tracks get destroyed, the vehicle is completely immobilized.

Combat Engineer Role

We’re introducing a new specialist role focused on demolitions, sabotage, and construction. The previous infantry deployables that were associated with some Riflemen roles to the Combat Engineer role, as well as outfitting them with anti-tank mines, and small demolition charges. The intent for this role is to perform quick demolitions on deployables and light vehicles, as well as ambushing vehicles and enforcing set no-go zones with their anti-tank mines. Combat Engineers can also build and destroy deployables faster compared to other roles.

For the Militia and Insurgents, the role that the Scout previously played will now be given to the ‘Sapper’. In addition to the normal combat engineer loadout and abilities, Sappers will be able to lay IEDs and decoy rocks. Note: Scout role will return in a future update with new inventory items.

GAME MODES

Destruction Mode Added



This the initial release of a new objective-based cache hunt game mode where Attackers have to destroy caches in multiple phases. Layers can have either 2 or 3 phases with 2 caches in each phase. There is a 3-minute delay between each phase to minimize rushing potential.

Cache locations are randomized within specified zones, requiring attacking teams to search the zone to locate the objective before destroying it.

Attackers get a 50 ticket bonus for each objective destroyed, as well as the round timer being extended. Defenders get a -10 Ticket penalty upon objective loss.

Defenders win the round if the Attackers do not complete all phases within the time limit, or run out of tickets.

Expect continued balancing and tweaks for future Destruction-layers based on gameplay feedback.

Invasion Mode Updated
  • Each flag capture now gives +100 for attackers.
  • Starting tickets tweaked on several layers, expect continued ticket balancing for Invasion layers based on gameplay feedback.
  • Reduced the max number of Capture Points on Invasion layers to 6.
  • Added a variant of Invasion where the flag path is randomized, dubbed “Random Invasion” to some Invasion layers.
Insurgency Mode Updated
  • Objective Cache destruction gets 50 tickets for the attacking side, -10 for the defending side.
  • Attacking team starts with 200 tickets, and 600 for the Defending team.
  • Caches now also can be destroyed by Combat Engineer’s explosives.
  • Spawning on Caches is now disabled after 5 minutes since Cache spawn.
AAS/RAAS Ticked Bleed Updated

Ticket bleed has been added back to all AAS and RAAS gameplay layers. This should give back a little more incentive to push to the next enemy point.

Why it was removed?

In past ticket bleed was too powerful, and also was triggering on the central flags, resulting in King of the Hill style of gameplay, and also incentivizing players to rush from the start to the central objective that was providing a ticket bleed bonus. In the end, it led to the repetitive gameplay experience, rounds were played in almost exactly the same way, which clearly wasn’t our goal & intention.

In addition, ticket bleed was not a very transparent mechanic, as it didn’t have any UI representation. We are reintroducing ticket bleed mechanics into AAS/RAAS game modes, with improvements, based on our previous experience:



Ticket bleed indication was added into UI.

The enemy team will start bleeding tickets if you will successfully capture at least one objective on the enemy side of the flag lattice. For each objective on the enemy part of the map, controlled by your team, the enemy will lose 1 ticket per minute.

On map layers with an odd number of objectives, central objectives are considered a middle ground, and therefore do not trigger ticket bleed, to avoid causing King of the Hill fight for it. On such layers, your team will need to capture at least one more flag past central, for the enemy to start bleeding tickets.

For map layers with even number of objectives, your team will need to capture more than half of them to trigger ticket bleed on the enemy team.
In the case of “double-neutral” stalemate situation, all ticket bleed mechanics will be paused until the stalemate is resolved.

A12 mercy bleed has not changed in A13: if one team manages to successfully capture all flags on the map, the opposing team will suffer a catastrophic ticket bleed of 60 tickets per minute to bring about the end of the round more quickly.

RAAS (Random AAS) Updated

The Fog of War has been added to all RAAS layers. Under the Fog of War, the first Capture Point is known and the next point is revealed once your team has fully captured the current objective. We believe this should help mechanically increase variability in gameplay, especially at the beginning of a round, as well as help differentiate between Random AAS and standard AAS.

Additionally, Random AAS now has Lanes added to all RAAS_V1 Map Layers. RAAS Lanes break up the Capture Zones into 2 or 3 lanes per layer. Each Lane will have 5 to 8 Capture Zone groups. Each Capture Zone group still has only 1 CP selected per round out of a potential up to 5 Capture Zones.

In A12 we have layers with Capture Zones that can be quite distant across the map, which can cause transportation problems and extended round times. RAAS Lanes will help group up the flow of each Capture Zone to be relatively close to each other, allowing a more natural flow to gameplay.

Skirmish Mode Updated

Capture Zones capture tickets changed to +20 / -20 ticket gain/loss. (+10 tickets for the first-time capture.)
Added new Skirmish layers for Belaya, Basrah & Mestia.

INFANTRY GAMEPLAY SYSTEMS

Squad Leader Buddy Rally Point

Added the ability for Squad Leaders to place rally points remotely next to other Squad’s Rally Points. This request is only available when the Squad Leader is dead. This is intended to allow Squads to have the flexibility to reinforce friendly Squads separate to FOBs. This is experimental.

Removal of the Revive Insta-death Penalty Timer

When a player is sent to incapacitated state, they will now not be put into the Insta-death state if they reach 0 HP within a certain time of being revived. Previously (Alpha 12), if an incapacitated player was revived, then sent to 0 HP within one minute of being revived, they were sent to the Death screen with no chance of reviving. In Alpha 13, players can now be revived regardless of the duration since the last revival.

We noticed this Insta-death mechanic was a very common occurrence and distracted players from the gameplay flow. As a result, we have decided to change the mechanic with the goal of creating a more enjoyable experience that is not overpowering. We believe the abundance of area effect weapons, limiting bandages from non-Medic kits, as well as the penalties and low health resulting from reviving from an incapacitated state will prevent the changes from having an adverse effect.

We hope this new change has a positive effect on game flow and proximity-based teamwork within squads, as well as the team at large.

INFANTRY GAMEPLAY
  • Increased non-ADS standing movement speeds by 10%.
  • Adjusted 3P animation for movement speed.
  • Tweaked how ADS movement speeds work, so no matter which direction you go now you move at the same speed.
  • Shortened acceleration and deceleration speeds to make player movement a bit more responsive.
  • Increased visual ‘z-axis’ recoil animation, increasing the visual kick back towards the camera.
  • Increased Prone Sprint stamina cost from 16 to 24 – prone player can still quickly get into a ditch or cover, but cannot be used to quickly traverse vast areas.
  • Decreased Player Bleed Rate from 0.5 HP per second to 0.3 HP per second. This will Increase the time to bleed out so the player has more time before death prior to bandaging

WEAPONS AND EQUIPMENT



  • Added the Vz61. Škorpion Machine Pistol. The Škorpion is a select-fire, straight blowback weapon that operates from a closed bolt for additional accuracy, while still maintaining a very high rate of fire. Its extremely compact nature (even with the extended wire stock) makes this machine pistol a favorite as a personal defense weapon for vehicle crews. This weapon will be issued to Militia and Insurgent crewmen, as well as the Insurgent LAT kit.
    Added the M15 Anti-Tank Mine. The M-15 Anti-Tank blast mine is an American design originating in World War 2 and is activated via a mechanical pressure switch. When sufficient downward pressure is applied, it will activate the fuze and trigger detonation. Containing about 10.3kg of Composition B explosive, the M15 is capable inflicting mobility kills on heavy armor or dealing critical damage to lighter vehicles. This will be available to the US Army and British Combat Engineers.
  • Tweaked Anti-Tank mine damage. It now requires 1 Anti-Tank mine to destroy light vehicles outright like technicals and bikes. MATV and Logistics Trucks will be heavily damaged and have their wheels destroyed. APCs will take severe damage and have their wheels/tracks blown, while Tanks will have their tracks destroyed and moderate damage taken.
    Increased Land Mines max deployed in world limit at one time to 10 (previously 3) per role.
  • Added an audible “trigger” sound and a slight detonation delay when a vehicle drives over the mine to provide better mine feedback to players. (Knowing is half the battle.)



  • Added the SA80 Bayonet for all British roles, replacing the placeholder M9 Bayonet.
  • Added varied set of Timed Explosives. Set with a 30-second fuse, these explosives are designed to destroy emplacements, deployables, and tech structures like HABs and FOB Radios. These explosives can also be used to sabotage vehicles by destroying tracks and wheels, destroy vehicle wrecks, as well as other planted explosives like Mines and IEDs. Explosives can be defused by your shovel before they explode. These explosives are available to Combat Engineers and Sappers.
  • Increased IED max deployed in world limit at one time to 5 (previously 3) per role.
  • Updated IEDs to now play a very audible chiptune ringtone before exploding.
  • Updated Phone detonators so they can no longer be triggered if there is no active IED in the field.
  • Increased random delay duration for IEDs from 2-4 to 3-6 seconds.
  • Land mines, explosives, and IEDs are no longer blocked from being deployed on other deployables.
  • Decoy rocks now cover a much larger area and no longer collide with mines and IEDs. You can use multiple rocks now to form a relatively inconspicuous rock pile hiding any IED or mines under it.
  • Tightened the deviation on the RPG-7 and RPG-7V2 rockets, making them more accurate at longer ranges.
  • Tweaked the 1p78 Optic reticle so the reticle is more usable against distant targets up to 400m.
  • Added a “Surrender” role-play kit that has no weapons, that can be requested via Ammo Crates and Vehicles. They have the ability to put their hands up with Right Mouse Button.
  • Added a unique animation and sound for when shovels are destroying a deployable or defusing explosives vs. building them.
  • Tweaked shovel destroy damage to be less effective than building
  • Shifted L85A2 iron-sights ADS position slightly further away from the camera.
  • Reduced minimum arming time on the 40mm UGL smoke grenades dramatically.
  • Increased smoke size of the 40mm UGL smoke grenades.
  • Reduced time to switch between primary weapon and loaded HE 40mm UGL by excluding the UGL loading & unloading animations from the process.

VEHICLE ADDITIONS AND UPDATES

T-62 Main Battle Tank
  • 3-man crew and carrying capacity for 4 riders for Militia and Insurgents.
  • T-62 fires armor penetrating sabot, high explosive anti-tank and fragmentation rounds, in addition to its coaxial 7.62x54mmR PKT machine gun. While this armament might not perform as well as its more modern counterparts, still do not underestimate its ability to deal death at range. The commander seat has access to a simple cupola mounted periscope with high magnification optics.
BRDM-2 Spandrel


  • Anti-tank guided missile variant of the BRDM-2 scout car for Russian, Insurgent, and Militia forces.
  • Armed with five wire-guided ‘Konkurs’ missiles which can be fired in relatively quick succession, dealing a devastating amount of damage against heavy armor at range.
  • Vehicles strengths are mobility combined with its anti-tank firepower, making it a potent battlefield tool, weaknesses are its light armor, so it won’t fare well in head-on engagements against enemy Armor or AT Infantry.
MATV TOW Variant


  • Basically a TOW with wheels for US Forces.
  • The same level of mobility and armor as a conventional MATV.
  • Carries 5 spare TOW missiles.
  • Definitely packs a punch, but light on protection.
Technical UB32 (Rocket Artillery) Updated
  • Changed the location of the Gunner camera to be on the rocket pod.
  • Added an angle indicator.
  • Added a very small amount of yaw adjustment.
  • Updated the gunner seat to always preserve the angle orientation of the rocket pod even if the gunner leaves the seat.
  • Reduced the minimum arming distance on the S5 rockets a very close range.
BTR-82A & BTR-80 Updated

Our observations showed that standard APC of Russian Ground Forces currently had too low of a survivability rate in engagements with enemy armor. One reason we suspect is the lower level of armor and how that interacts armor penetration system works. Most of the time BTR have no chance to escape unexpected frontal engagement due to the fact that it suffers heavy damage on the engine due to the penetration of high caliber rounds to the engine.

VEHICLE GAMEPLAY
  • Removed all main cannon overheating on the FV510.
  • Increased 120mm HEAT splash radius to 25 meters (from 21 meters)
  • Increased 125mm HEAT splash radius to 21 meters (from 17 meters)
  • Increased 125mm FRAG splash radius to 35 meters (from 30 meters)
  • Decreased rate of fire of the FV510 coaxial machine gun.
  • Tweaked Insurgent Technical skins to use less conspicuous paint jobs (no more red)
  • Increased hull strength for Armored Technicals and Ural 375 ZSU by 25%.
  • Increased armor thickness by 33% on all open turret shields (including DshK shield), and Armored Technical armor, making them more resistant to 7.62mm fire.
  • Added armoured glass material to MATV, BRDM-2, BTR-80 and all open top turret windows, making them resistant up to 7.62mm rounds.
  • Updated Glass Material on all Trucks and Technicals, responding to gun-fire with the proper glass effect.
  • Added a camera-spring effect to the driver, making the driving experience more immersive.
  • Added turret turning sounds to all open top and closed armored turrets.
    Reverted back to the proper model of CROWS turret on the M1126 APCs
  • Added open-top turret and CROW MATV variants equipped with M240B.
  • Added M1126 APC variant equipped with CROW M240B.
  • Removed majority of post-processing colour effects on all turret optics.
  • Added a no-penetration protection panel to the far side of all APC, IFV and Tank engine components. For example, this means you won’t be able to disable the engine in the rear by shooting the vehicle from the front, and vice versa.
  • Increased percentage which vehicle repair tools can repair engines from 50% to 100% for Light Vehicles, up to 80% for APCs or higher.
  • Updated all vehicle engines to absorb a large amount of damage after a projectile has penetrated through it.
  • Adjusted Environment Physmats for vehicle tires and tracks - sand, snow, dirt, grass, wet asphalt all have less severe penalty for impeding driving
DEPLOYABLES GAMEPLAY
  • Updated HAB deployment rules specific to the Insurgent Faction. Insurgent team can now build 2 seperate HAB’s at each FOB Radio, this gives an advantage of more plentiful spawn locations for Insurgents.
  • Increased mortar HE splash damage & range from 15m to 22m.
  • Improved mortar explosion effects on sand and snow.
  • Added ability to rotate deployables while in placement mode by holding the lean keys (or the left and right arrow keys).
  • Updated deployables to have looser placement bounds, so things like razor wire can connect into each other easier, without having gaps.
    Increased width of razor wire deployable to match that of the sandbags.
  • Tweaked visuals and look of the deployable Ladder, adding a metal variant for the US Army, British and Russians.
  • Reworked the look of the Vehicle Repair Depot, giving a unique depot to the Russians and Militia/Insurgents. Added a running generator with audio to the depot, to lightly discourage players from camping right next to the repair depot all the time.
  • Updated tracking on the Russian-style ATGMs (Kornet, Konkurs, Refleks) to be tighter.
  • Decreased deviation on the SPG-9 HEAT and Frag rockets.
  • Tightened the spiral trajectory on the Kornet ATGMs, making them easier to handle.
  • Increased the amount of rounds you can fire from the ZU-23 before it overheats.
  • Increased interactable radius on emplacements to make them easier to enter.
  • Increased penetration power of TOW & Kornet ATGMs, to increase effectiveness of those weapons against highly armored targets at certain angles of attack.
USER INTERFACE SYSTEMS

Map "Pings" Removal

We have removed the Map Pinging feature that squadmates could use to send their Squad Leader a ping by right-clicking on the map. This feature was not the intended route we wanted for player communication and we did feel this was not the right approach for squad comms. We may re-evaluate this and try something different, such as limited use of enemy map markers for FTLs, for example.

Fireteam Leader Marker Rangefinder Removal

The FTL markers will have their rangefinding function removed. We felt that this rangefinding feature became the most prominent reason why Squad Leaders were assigning Fireteams rather than their intended purpose. (To organize the squad to use effective fire and maneuver tactics.) Often the squad leader would only assign one unit to a Fireteam (commonly the LAT/HAT/UGL/Marksman), and in fact, squadmates in those roles would ask/demand for them to be assigned that role without ever taking any leadership role responsibility.

This change will likely lessen the amount of long-range mobility kills on tracked vehicles, so armored vehicles will be encouraged to engage targets at longer ranges. Experienced LAT users with excellent eyeballing/map reading/binocular ranging skillsets will be encouraged due to this change. Teamwork within squads to triangulate positions of enemy armor with the help of recon/spotters should also become more prevalent with this change.

From our perspective, the main negative impact of removing the FTL rangefinder will be for the mortar operators. Mortar effectiveness increased with the FTL rangefinding feature in A12, but squad communication decreased. Mortars will still be quite deadly, however, even more so with the HE radius increased.

More effective use of the mortar will likely come when used in a small purposeful squad with the squad leader placing markers the SL Marker on targets. (The SL Marker still retains a rangefinder.) External Mortar Calc apps may still be used to be very effective at pinpoint target accuracy.

In a future update, we would like to implement additional functionality for the “Fire Mission: Mortar” request marker that a Squad Leader can place on the map. When occupying a Mortar Tube, all friendly “Fire Mission: Mortar” icons would show their bearing and range on the Mortar players compass. We also have a few other ideas to increase Mortar useability in lieu of the FTL Marker, which could include allowing Mortar Tube operators to place their own single “Fire Mission: Mortar” map marker, allowing them to gauge range even without requiring a marker from their squad leader.

Additionally, we would also like to add a rangefinder to a handheld binoculars item for the Squad Leader kit. This may be connected to other gameplay elements and may be subject to change.

MAP CHANGES



  • Updated Tallil Outskirts to v2. Changes mostly focused on increasing infantry survivability and the ability to move between flags. These changes include: adding more detail microvariations to terrain in open areas, adding villages along the river, adding fighting positions and tunnels at the Iraqi Destroyed Hangars, including more rocks and wadis, and adding a new air traffic control complex between the runways.
  • Added several “Medium”-sized RAAS, AAS, and Invasion layers. These layers to assist with populating servers (seeding) or to increase variety in map rotations.
BUG FIXES AND MISCELLANEOUS
  • Fixed exploit where all Open Turret Vehicles being able to rearm from FOBs and have infinite mags
  • Fixed Anti-Tank projectile not dealing damage if the shooting player dies before the projectile hits its target. In certain circumstances (when an AT player fully dies before the AT projectile hits its target), the AT projectile did no damage. This has been fixed and will now do damage even if the player was killed.
  • Fixed Mortar Bug. In certain circumstances (when a player leaves a mortar before the projectile lands), the mortar did no damage.
  • Fixed hidden Flag Capture UI while inside a Vehicle – this now correctly displays the Flag status
  • Fixed unable to vault temporarily after packing up your ammo bag.
  • Fixed pressing number 5 key results in changing your primary weapon fire mode instead of switching to your field dressing.
  • Fixed a bug where the SPG-9 needed to be ‘reloaded’ twice before it would be ready to fire.
  • Fixed the double mesh bug on the SPG-9.
  • Fixed zeroing on the SPG-9 fragmentation rocket.
  • Fixed US Crewmen soldiers having incorrect bullet impact effects.
  • Fixed mines being able to be placed so deep into some bridge statics that they disappear completely.
  • Fixed zeroing on the RPG7v2 Tandem and the RPG-29.
  • Fixed effect impacts on flesh and sandbags to make them more visible.
  • Optimized large smoke column effects on Tallil and Jensen’s Range.
  • Fixed grenade spoon ejections not being properly visible when you throw grenades.
  • Fixed Soviet Binoculars having sway while the other binoculars do not.
  • Fixed markers being set offset to the crosshair on all Binoculars.
  • Fixed Insurgent MTLB having green colored turret/wreck.
  • Fixed missing turning animations when using the phone detonator and vehicle repair tools.
  • Fixed “Kit Role Selected No Longer Available” notification spam when changing teams. When a selected kit role is unavailable, the kit will now default back to Rifleman Iron Sights and give that player the appropriate notification message.
  • Fixed clipping that occurs when using the Music Player.
  • Fixed open-top turrets not returning to origin during a reload.
  • Fixed rigging on the L85A2 AG36 ACOG rifle.
  • Fixed vehicle components like Engines and Ammo racks being damaged by melee or small caliber weapons.
  • Fixed Fireteam markers being seen from enemy Squad.
  • Fixed Emplaced Kornet having larger than normal bullet collisions, causing players to be very hard to shoot off.
  • Fixed Insurgent SL Crewman having wrong first person mesh.
  • Fixed vehicle occupants being counted towards HAB blocking mechanic.
LOCALIZATION

Unfortunately, the Unreal Engine 4.21 upgrade changed the way localization is managed. As a consequence, a lot of the translations have been broken going into Alpha 13. Our plan to address this is to actually push a full localization pass to a later date in the year when we are much closer to full release and are locking down all the text that will need to be translated for the game.

LINUX SERVER RCON

RCON functionality for Linux server is temporarily non-functional in Alpha 13. This is a known issue and we’ll continue to work to resolve this. We apologize for any inconvenience.

MODDING

Due to significant updates to our Unreal Engine implementation (4.16 -> 4.21) and modding framework, existing mods will need to be uninstalled[offworldindustries.zendesk.com]. Mods will need to be recooked to ensure compatibility with Modding 2.0 — more information will be made available soon.

SIGNOFF

We may have a contender for our longest patch notes yet. Congratulations on making it to the end! Now get out there and get playing! We’ll see you on the battlefield, squaddies. Alpha 14 when?!

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