Squad Beta 17 Notes from Game Design

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Progress Updates Latest Topics

Welcome to B17!

The following post is a collection of game design notes from B17 development. We have heard the feedback and requests for more transparency and explanation of changes in gameplay meta, balancing and the overall desire to have more depth information flow when it comes to Change logs and long term Gameplay plans.

This blog post will hopefully be the first in an going series, which dives deep into the changes made in the current new release, as well as potential plans for future releases. We love how passionate you all are about Squad, and want to inform you about what our future plans are in the near term and long term!

For those that are only looking for a raw changelog and not a deep dive explanation for each change, please head over to the changelog post:

Please Note: any Future Design plans mentioned in this blog post are all subject to change and may be dropped at any time. In addition, unless explicitly stated, there is NO estimated completion time for any potential new features, as there are many hurdles that happen in the design and development process that delay and shift around priorities.

We want to give more transparency on the direction of Squad moving forward, as we have heard the concerns about “Simplifying” the experience, and we want to assure the player base that is not our intention at all. We do continue to improve and streamline the player experience where possible, and increase the accesibility for new players to get in and get started, but rest assured that this will NOT come at the expense of depth of gameplay.

So with all that out of the way, let’s dive into the B17 features, changes, and musings on potential future plans beyond B17.

Commander Role: Why?

The intention of adding a Commander role to Squad is two fold: we wanted a way for Squad Leaders to work more closely with each other, but at the same time relieve them of some of the pressure of having to constantly worry about the overall battle situation and re-assessing where they need to be. We want to strive to move the culture slowly to one of a team-wide cooperation, instead of the current often culture of “My Squad, Screw everyone else”.

We understand that this will take time and that idyllic view of a CO in charge will not be a regular occurrence at first. We are committed to Squad’s long term future in being the premiere large scale combined arms tactical shooter that allows for Full team wide cooperation for players that choose to take advantage of it. We will build the systems, and support our community in building the trust and dedicated leadership required to make this possible!

Commander Role: Voting

  • CO role is filled via a volunteer and voting process.

  • Design and Development of the voting process took a large amount of time and resources, but we felt it was vital to do it right. We have implemented restrictions on who can vote and what requirements are needed. This was done in order to ensure would be CO’s are using the feature for leadership first.

  • Only Squad Leaders can participate in a CO vote. We felt that the CO vote is an important decision, and should be made by other players that have already volunteered themselves as leaders, as they would have a better chance at understanding the nuances and complexity of leadership in Squad, when making that important decision about selecting a CO during the CO vote.

  • A Squad Leader needs at least one other Squad member in their Squad in order to vote. This decision was made to help reduce the chances of vote rigging, along with reducing the chances of having a long list of potential one man CO votes.

  • A team requires at least 3 squads before a CO vote can be called. This decision was made to reduce the chances of fast loading players starting a CO vote before any other squads had time to form up.

  • In addition to requiring 3 squads created, there's a 60 second initial delay when loading into the next map, to give fair chance to all players loading in to form up their squad prior to CO vote. This should still give CO plenty of time to form a battle plan during the Staging Phase which is 4 minutes. If you think the Staging Phase is too long or not long enough, let us know in the feedback channels.

Commander Role: CO Action Requirements, Restrictions & UI

  • Commander has actions that he can use for additional support for the team. These actions are divided into two categories: Strategic actions and Tactical actions. Strategic actions are currently limited to reconnaissance drones. Tactical actions encompasses all the offensive off map support.

  • Conventional Factions can only use their Tactical (offensive) CO actions when they are within a ~30m radius of a fully built HAB.

  • Unconventional Factions can only use their Tactical (offensive) CO actions when they are within a ~30m radius of a fully built HAB OR near any friendly vehicle (except the minsk).

  • We wanted to ensure the CO is using these actions in conjunction with Squad Leaders, that is why the initial implementation has all offensive CO actions require an SL to place their Request marker via T menu.

  • With the requirement of SL request marker, and being in proximity of a HAB, we wanted to ensure the CO is taking an approach that considers the whole team, rather than just his/her own Squad. There is more work to be done to make this process more smooth, we are eager to see how these requirements are received by the dedicated Squad leaders and (now) CO’s.

  • We have discussed Laser designators and other ways to make the Request marker more seamless, the T menu request is the simplest and fool proof implementation, to be expanded on in a future update.

Commander Role: CO Action Cool Down Timers

Here's a rundown of how the cooldown timers work:

  • Strategic and Tactical category cooldown timers: each CO action is in one of two categories: Tactical or Strategic.

  • All offensive actions are in the Tactical category (A10/SU25 strikes, Artillery, Heavy Mortars)

  • All Non offensive actions are in Strategic category (UAVs and handheld drones)

  • More CO actions are planned for the future in both categories, but this is what we set on initially to give a taste of variety of CO actions.

  • The Tactical Category has a 15 minute cooldown, so CO must wait minimum 15 minutes between using each Tactical CO action usage.

  • The Strategic Category has a 10 minute cooldown, so CO must wait minimum 10 minutes between each Strategic CO action usage.

  • In addition to category cooldown timers, each CO action has its own cool down timer:

    • Creeping Artillery: 30 minutes

    • Static Artillery: 30 minutes

    • A10/SU25 strike: 15 minutes

    • Heavy Mortars: 20 minutes

    • UAV: 10 minutes

    • Handheld Drone: 10 minutes (Note: handheld drone adds any remaining battery time when it's destroyed to the cooldown timer, so if it's destroyed as soon as you deploy it, it could be max 20 minute cool down)

  • Commander Action cooldowns are paused if a commander steps down.

  • When a new Commander takes over from a previous CO, an additional 5 minutes of cool down time will be added for each category/action. This pause and additional time added was implemented to help dissuade the Commander role from being passed along to SL to SL.

  • We truly want the CO role to be unique and appeal to a certain player type that really thrives on that “Grand” level strategy and tactics. We want the CO role to be looking at the “big picture” for a team, considering the current status of Logistics, Off Map Support, Infantry squads, APC and Armor crews and Air Transport capability.

Commander Role: UAV

  • Conventional Faction Commanders have access to a UAV: MQ-9 for USA, GB and CAF. Pchela-1T for RUS.

  • These can be used to confirm enemy positions, mark enemy armor, emplacements and HABs / FOBs.

  • Currently both MQ-9 and Pchela-1T are destroyable and quite vulnerable to 12.7mm and up. We will be monitoring players adaptation to see if players are regularly spotting and engaging/destroying these UAV’s.

  • Both UAV’s fly at 400m altitude, and due to the fogging of many map layers, they may be harder than expected to spot and engage at that altitude. The Pchela is a much smaller airframe, and the MQ-9 is a much larger airframe, we will be monitoring to see the gameplay differences between the two - Pchela has much less hit points, MQ-9 has more hit points. These values will be subject to balancing and will likely change as we gather data and gameplay feedback.

  • Currently the camera angle restrictions for both UAV’s are fairly restrictive.This was partly a balancing decision and also a technical limitation as the culling distances on many buildings/foliage can be quite aggressive on many maps.

  • Maps that are compatible with helicopters currently have optimized culling distance for most objects, but there are many maps that still need the optimization pass and these are the maps with the most aggressive culling distances. This means that buildings, folioage, etc disappear from players view at much shorter distances, but because the player is not expected to be flying in the air, it is not perceivable.

  • With Helicopters (and now UAV’s), culling distances need to be alot further out, and all map assets need to be made alot more efficient and optimized in order for the performance of the map to be optimal.

  • As ongoing map optimization gets completed, and more potential optimization processes are onboarded such as increased proxy efficiency (especially after engine upgrades), over time the UAV camera angle restriction could potentially be decreased to allow for UAV’s to observe at steeper angles.

  • Additionally we will be taking a look at implementing a separate culling distance value specific to only the UAV camera, which could be another potential way to increase camera angle flexibility.

  • We are aware this camera angle restriction is not ideal for UAV, but we also want to monitor the effectiveness of the current UAV camera angles, as its ability to collect intel could already be more powerful than anticipated, looking forward to collecting data and feedback on this new and exciting CO asset.

  • The UAV camera view currently experiences dramatic z-fighting, especially at high levels of zoom. We have a fix for this coming, but didn’t make it in time for B17 release.

  • The UAV map icon current only shows the circular path that the UAV follows, it does not show the icon of the actual UAV's location or its current viewing cone/angle. This was a planned feature to include the UAV as a map icon like other vehicles, although because of the way its been implemented it requires extra work to make this map icon appear and replicate correctly to all players. We understand this feature would be quite useful and is still a planned feature, but requires more troubleshooting to implement properly.

  • Please Note: These potential future features have NOT been implemented yet, plans are subject to change.

Commander Role: Handheld Drone

  • Unconventional MIL & INS Commanders have access to a Handheld Drone which they can use for recon or other more nefarious actions.

Commander Role: Artillery & Heavy Mortars

  • Conventional Faction Commanders have access to 155mm Artillery barrage. The artillery can be either be a creeping artillery, where the barrages fall in an advancing line with each successive strike; or static artillery, where the barrages all land on one location. Conventional Artillery is accurate, but has 2 “ranging” shots before the main barrage starts.

  • Unconventional Commanders also have access to a static Heavy Mortar barrage. Heavy Mortars are less accurate and have less splash damage and penetrating power, but do not have any “ranging” shots before the barrage starts.

Commander Role: Airstrikes

  • Conventional Commanders have access to an A-10 gun strike (USA, GB and CAF) or SU25 rocket strike (RUS).

  • Currently CAS Strikes (both A10 and SU25) are occasionally suffering from occasionally being offset from their intended target. This is possible related to our origin rebasing system, it has not been reproducible on our internal tests yet, so if you have any more info you can provide it would be super helpful. IT could potentially happen more often if you had just exited a vehicle right before the Airstrike is called in. If you have encountered the bug, when reporting please write down any info on what you were doing the moments before dropping the airstrikes that landed incorrectly.

Commander Role: General Info

  • Numpad 0 is now the direct comms channel for Commander. We have also added the keybindings for Direct SL to SL channels to the keyboard legend on the loading screen, to help encourage players to use these direct channels when talking to specific Squad Leader’s. We hope this will help encourage keeping excessive Comms chatter down. More on VOIP features in the Commander future plans below.

  • Commander is not available for Skirmish Game Mode, we felt this mode was suited more for smaller infantry play with emphasis on tight small unit tactics, and would not benefit from the wider scope of CO features.

  • Commander is also not available on Logar and Sumari as we felt these maps are too small for some of the more powerful features of the Commander. We do have plans to be able to disable individual CO actions on a per map layer basis, which means we could bring the CO back onto these smaller maps in the future. We currently do not have an ETA on when this will be implemented.

*POST* B17 Commander Role: Future Plans of Tutorial and VOIP Features

  • A full blown Squad Leader and Commander Tutorial is planned, but is not be ready in time for B17 release. We are aware that Squad Leading (and now Commanding) is a very complex role and any help for the Player to take on these roles is greatly needed. For CO features, having a quick way to help players know how to access the abilities is very much needed.

  • Not directly a Commander feature, but something that we want to make a priority is the VOIP functionality of “ducking” priority comms. This means when an SL is transmitting in the squad channel, any other squad member transmitting on squad channel at the same time will have their VOIP volume dampened by ~50%. Subsequently the same feature would apply to Command channel: when the CO is transmitting, any other SL transmitting at the same time would be dampened. We are aware that VOIP comms can get very hectic (for Squad Leaders especially) and we want to give the tools to make things as manageable as possible. There is no ETA for this feature but it is high on the priority list.

  • Similar to the VOIP priority ducking, we also want to add the option for players to separate the Squad VOIP channel and Command channel to separate left / right audio channels. Effectively this will allow SL’s / CO’s to separate their comms channels into different ears, which has a beneficial effect for helping manage hectic comms situations. This also does not have an ETA but we want to get these VOIP improvements into Squad quickly, now that CO will be further increasing the Command Channel chatter.

  • Please Note: These potential future features have NOT been implemented yet, plans are subject to change.

*POST* B17 Commander Role: Future Plans to Replace the Cool Down Timer

Regarding Cool down timers for CO actions: we recognize that flat cool down timers are a very simplistic/shallow system for enabling very powerful assets and that it will become stale and predictable quite quickly. We understand that a feature as potentially game altering as Commander needs to match a gameplay depth that is more compelling than predictable timers.

This decision to have flat cool down timers was a conscious choice to expedite the initial introduction of Commander, as it does not need additional balancing and testing. Our plan is to develop a more advanced system in the future. This is similar to our initial introduction of differing Vehicle armor HP from side/rear components, which eventually expanded to the now robust vehicle component system with engines, ammo compartments, turrets, armor thickness calculations and deflection angles, as well as wheel and track components.

This is all still tentative and subject to change, but we wanted to offer a slice of the future ideas that we would love to implement for the Commander, that would replace the current flat cool down timers:

  • A new resource for the team: “Commander Resource Points”.

  • Each team would have a passive generation rate of “CRP’s” - this would replace the cool down timers, allowing teams to accumulate points and allow each team’s CO to spend CRP’s on CO actions as they see fit. This would reduce the “predictive” nature that flat cool down timers incur.

  • There would still be a “minimum cooldown timer” for each CO Action category, but it would be shorter (~5 min), as the rate of CO action usage would be balanced by the CRP generation rate.

  • Importantly, in addition to the passive generation of CRP’s, each team can incur additional CRP generation for building active HAB’s.

  • Each active HAB would contribute to the CRP generation, and there would be a granular incentive for the HAB’s proximity to an objective.

  • There would be a maximum limit to the amount of HAB’s that can contribute to the generation of CRP (example up to 3 HAB’s could contribute to the CRP).

  • If a team has built more than 3 active HAB’s, the 3 HAB’s closest to objectives would be used for calculating CRP generation.

  • The bonus for active HAB’s would not be greater than the passive generation (IE if the passive rate generates 10 CRPs per minute, each HAB would generate max 3 CRP per minute, for a max bonus of 9 CRP).

  • The idea behind this mechanic is to encourage teams to build HAB’s, not only for its spawn and resupply capability, but for its resource generation.

  • CO would be able to have more choice on which CO actions they want to spend their resources towards, and the cost of these actions can be balanced to meet the appropriate level of support each action provides.

  • Please Note: These potential future features have NOT been implemented yet, plans are subject to change.

*POST* B17 Commander Role: Future Plans “Vehicle Bay” addition

  • For augmenting the vehicle pool, we also intend to eventually add a Vehicle Bay to every Main Base.

  • The Vehicle Bay prototype can currently be found on Jensen’s Range in B17, located next to the Helipads. From this Vehicle Bay you can currently spawn a Helicopter (at no cost).

  • This asset would be used by the CO, and it would be another method of spending the CRP resource.

  • This would be coupled with a reduction in the total amount of default spawned vehicles on all map layers - so the CO & team would have more control and choice of what their team vehicle composition will progress to.

  • The initial implementation of the “Vehicle Bay” would likely be a permanent structure at the Main Base, which the CO can spend CRP’s at to spawn Logistics Trucks (up to a maximum of 3 at one time in world).

  • After extensive play testing and “Time to evolve / test /balance”, eventually more vehicles would be added to the vehicle bay’s inventory. This would be a slow, staged process to ensure that the costs and generation rates are proportional, appropriate and balanced. This would not be a complete replacement for the vehicles spawned at Main - there would always be default spawned vehicles, and the Vehicle Bay would only be used for augmentation at the CO’s discretion.

  • This idea of the CRP and Vehicle Bay, is that with appropriate balance, CO’s on both teams will have a large toolset at their disposal, and will be able to use their resources to enact a unique strategy that would increase replayability and variety when it comes to team wide strategy and resource management.

  • Please Note: These potential future features have NOT been implemented yet, plans are subject to change.

B17 Rallypoint Changes

  • Rallypoints have a wave spawn timer. When a Squad’s RP is deployed, a timer starts counting down from 60 seconds to 0, and then resets back to 60. Depending on the time a squad mate has went to incapacitated or dead state, determines if that player can enter their current “Rallypoint Wave”. A minimum amount of time in the incapacitated or dead state is required in order to jump into the next “Rallypoint Wave” spawn. A16 spawn wave timer is set to 20 seconds.

  • For B17 we have increased the minimum wait time to deploy on a Rallypoint spawn wave. In A16 20 seconds meant spawning at a Rallypoint could give a player the lowest respawn time possible, lower than Main Base (30 seconds) or HAB (45 seconds). We felt that this opportunity to get the lowest spawn time was promoting players to immediately Give Up and take their chances at their Rallypoint, rather than waiting a little longer for a revive. We will monitor the effects of this increased minimum wait time. The intended effect is to encourage players to wait for a revive more often, and to fight in a closer proximity to their squad/team mates, so that they are in a better position to get revived when they get Incapaciated.

  • A 30 second minimum wait time on a Rallypoint wave spawn now means, if a player is unlucky to die when the RP wave is at 29 seconds, they will have to wait up to 89 seconds to spawn with the next RP wave. We think that this will be acceptable in practice, as the time a player waits in the Incapacitated state, is counted towards that timer, so this potential longer wait time would affect the players that frequently give up (And also when a player is killed outright).

  • What we really want to encourage is player’s using the revive feature more often and working together with their Squad in proximity.

*POST* B17 Plans for the Buddy Rally Feature

  • The “Buddy Rally” was a feature implemented in A13 to help teams that were struggling to keep an active FOB, and/or had gotten most/all of their vehicles abandoned in the field, which was causing entire teams to walk from their main base. The Buddy Rally is a feature used in the map menu by the Squad Leader when he is dead, where he can deploy his own Squad’s Rallypoint on top of another Squad’s Rallypoint.

  • Over the course of 4 versions, we have seen that the Buddy Rally feature has slowly eroded the need for more strategic thinking, when it comes to FOB placement and team movement in general, which was not the intended result. Ultimately this feature rewards squads for dying quickly and using the BR to teleport to hot spots around the map, as long as one Squad’s Rallypoint is active, that position can be used as a springboard for the rest of the team. This is a suitable feature for an asymmetric and unconventional faction such as Insurgents.

  • Persistent Ammo was a potential way that could have limited the effectiveness of the Buddy Rally, as Player’s are not resupplied when spawning on an RP. However we feel this was still not a strong enough deterrent to the effectiveness.

  • Our intention is to remove the Buddy Rally feature in the next update for all factions except the Insurgent faction. The feature may take on a new name to be more faction specific, and may also receive further tweaks.

  • Beyond v1.0, we would love to replace the Insurgent Buddy Rally completely, by adding a more intuitive and immersive “Tunnels” system for the Insurgent Faction. This would be a way for Insurgents to “fast travel” between two tunnel points that are deployed by Squad Leaders. This would be part of a much larger overhaul of the Insurgent faction and the Insurgency game mode, which is still TBD. Please give us your feedback if you would love to see an Insurgency game mode overhaul, and an overhaul and upgrade for the asymmetric systems that the Insurgents use.

  • Please Note: These potential future features have NOT been implemented yet, plans are subject to change.

*POST* B17 Future Plans for a (potential) Abandoned Vehicle Cleanup System

  • The “All vehicles from Main have been Abandoned in the Field” issue that was part of why the Buddy Rally feature was introduced, could potentially be addressed by a Passive Vehicle Cleanup system with the following features:

  • If an unoccupied vehicle is further than 150 meters from a friendly FOB, RP or Main, the vehicle will begin a 20 minute timer to start burning.

  • If the vehicle becomes occupied, or a friendly FOB or RP is deployed within the 150m proximity, then the timer is reset and removed.

  • If after 20 minutes without becoming occupied or having a FOB or RP deployed within proximity, the vehicle will begin to take burning damage (as if it was flipped over) and eventually destroyed. If the vehicle becomes occupied, or a friendly FOB or RP is deployed within the 150m proximity, then the burning damage would stop.

  • We do still want to strongly encourage Players to NOT drive and discard vehicles as single use items, but rather integrate them into their units as tools that have value. We want to continue to reward Squads and teams that use vehicles in intelligent ways, and want to be very careful not to further incentivize Player's to abandon vehicles. Abandoning vehicles is guaranteed to happen, so this Passive cleanup will hopefully prevent the worst case scenarios, while not giving this behaviour an advantage over more intelligent and planned vehicle usage.

  • Please Note: These potential future features have NOT been implemented yet, plans are subject to change.

*POST* B17 Future Plans for Incap State

  • We have plans to help increase the likelihood of players waiting a little longer in the incapacitated state in order to be revived by team mates.

  • One subtle tweak we want to include is slightly decreased amount of post processing on screen, just enough visibility to make out what is happening in their immediate surroundings, but not enough to gain full knowledge.

  • We also want to give an Incapacitated player the ability to freelook with a reduced angle capacity. This would help keep players immersed into their current role and situation, coupled with the “closest medic UI, and the ability to call out for a team mate to revive, we really want to encourage the player to use this frequently.

  • We may add a small delay “timer” to the give up button, so a player has to click and hold on the give up button for 2-3 seconds in order to Give Up.

  • We also would like to add a “Go Pro” style body camera on the Squad Leader, as an option for Dead players to view while they wait for spawning. This would be configured in a way that does not give any additional advantage, but allows for a more interesting view of what is happening, particularly useful for new players and players that are not focused on the map situation.

  • Please Note: These potential future features have NOT been implemented yet, plans are subject to change.

B17 Vehicle Emergency Recovery Feature

  • B17 has added a Vehicle reset feature so that players can now have a way to recover a flipped over vehicle without having to rely on jumping on the wheels/tracks

  • Why did it took so long? The vehicle reset feature is definitely something that should have probably been added in earlier releases, it comes down to prioritization and man power. This particular feature was made possible due to an increased programmer presence in our dev team.

  • The feature was added to help alot of the instances that are out of a players control. Vehicle Physics in UE4 and in Squad still has a long way to go before it can be considered bug proof. Most of the time vehicles operate and react realistically and look natural, however there is a small percentage of times that physics bugs out and it can be frustrating when that prevents further operations of the vehicle.

  • Wont it make players drive more recklessly? This is definitely a concern that we have and we will be monitoring the way players use this feature, we do not want this feature to be abused, either for trolling or for a way to give reckless drivers even less reasons to drive carefully.

  • Initially we had wanted to wait longer to have time to develop a proper vehicle towing system, to have a more immersive way to recover vehicles. We have choosen this more direct UI based reovery tool for the time being. If and when we have the resources to implement a towing system, we may opt to remove or reduce the UI based recovery system, in favor of that more robust and immersive towing recovery.

B17 Territory Control Game Mode Changes

For territory control, we wanted ticket bleed to have a less harsh impact on the overall game flow. If there is a close tug of war between the two teams in the middle hex zones, we did not want one setback to ruin a teams chance and team morale at recouping and getting back on their feet. The ticket bleed in A16 did not leave alot of leeway for these push and pull dynamics.

We also want to make sure that a team that is approaching a decisive victory will be rewarded and the end of the round won’t be prolonged unnecessarily. So as the gap is closed, the ticket bleed gets a lot more aggressive.

Looking for Feedback after adaption time:

  • A17 TC Ticket Bleed Rates:

  • 60-69% Owned by Team 1 - Team 2 bleeds 1 ticket per minute.

  • 70-79% Owned by Team 1 - Team 2 bleeds 2 tickets per minute.

  • 80-89% Owned by Team 1 - Team 2 bleeds 3 tickets per minute.

  • 90-94% Owned by Team 1 - Team 2 bleeds 30 tickets per minute.

  • 95-97% Owned by Team 1 - Team 2 bleeds 60 tickets per minute.

  • 98-100% Owned by Team 1 - Team 2 bleeds 120 tickets per minute.

We also Fixed the Anchor hex, which had some issues with the way the cutoff mechanic worked. Now when the Anchor hex is captured, it will prevent that team from capturing new hexes until it is retaken. In A16 the hexes SURROUNDING the anchor hex had to be captured, which was a bit unintuitive.

*POST* B17 Future Plans for Territory Control Game Mode

  • We have plans for expanding Territory Control to include more strategic options.
  • For the immediate future we want to add a small ticket bonus (between +5 and +10) when capturing enemy territory, to encourage pushing thru enemy territory. When this happens we will also be readjusting the starting tickets to factor this in.
  • Longer term, we would love to add resource nodes to TC hexes, so that a team and Commander can form a "sieze and hold" strategy, allowing for more depth of decision making when it comes to which territories to capture, which territories to defend, and increase more variety when it comes to team wide strategy.
  • Please Note: These potential future features have NOT been implemented yet, plans are subject to change.

B17 Medic Callout Changes:

  • B17 has updated all the Medic call outs to now have faction specific audio (Militia are currently using RUS voices as placeholder).

  • We will be awaiting feedback on this change, as we feel having all factions in their own language will give a nice feeling of immersion, while still adding some useful way to bring players awareness to an incapaciated player to get revived.

  • Incap players can still of course use local VOIP to guide players to revive them, however we know how tedious this can get and by adding a user controlled VO call out, we felt its a subtle way to add some immersion and help in these situations.

  • There is already an aggressive spam control for using the Medic Call button since A16: Incap players cannot use the button for the first 10 seconds of being Incap, and then once pressed, the Medic Call button cannot be used again for another 30 seconds. In Addition to this, every time the button is used subsequently it will add an additional 15 second delay stacking on top. We will be monitoring this to see if the Medic callouts feel excessive, and potentially increase the delay accordingly.

*POST* B17 Future Plans for Voiceover Callouts:

  • We have intention to add the Voiceover Callouts for general infantry back into a Radial menu callout.
  • This has been on hold until we recorded additional faction Voice Overs. We heard your feedback loud and clear, and want to ensure that these Voice Overs are not over bearing or distracting or spammy.
  • The spam control for these voice overs will likely be even more strict than the Medic Callouts, allowing for their useage once every ~60 seconds or more.
  • We will also be strongly considering the ability for each Player to disable these Voice Overs completely, by a setting in the Audio Options to turn them On or Off.
  • We understand that this is a sensitive topic for a lot of players, and we encourage your feedback - we realize that the previous implementation of Voice Over's was not quite ready for a full release, since they all used only one English (American) Voice Over lines and they were initially implemented without strict spam controls. We'd like to give these Voice Over callouts another chance, this time with proper spam controls and proper languages for all factions, to add a small layer of immersion without becoming overbearing.
  • Please Note: These potential future features have NOT been implemented yet, plans are subject to change.

B17 Vehicle Passenger Exit Damage

  • This has been a long time coming - Passengers jumping out of a vehicles at speed will now inherit the velocity of the vehicle, and will ragdoll and take damage beyond a certain threshold.

  • The intention here is to not allow infantry to jump out of vehicles going at excessive speeds, but still allow some leniency when it comes to vehicles moving slowly, so that they are not overly punished. IE a gradual pain threshold, starting around 15kph, up to around 60kph. For the initial release we have kept the values at an overly lenient value, and will be decreasing the max threshold before becoming Incap as the Playerbase adapts to this change.

*POST* B17 Plans for Vehicle / Passenger Impact Damage

  • We do have plans to eventually add some light damage to vehicles and passengers when they hit objects at excessive velocities.
  • This is a delicate and complex task however due to the nature of UE4 physics and the many ways at which problems can arise, suddenly sending vehicles hundreds of meters in the air and at speeds that would be quite extreme for damage calculations.
  • If this feature were to be added, it would certainly have a relatively low impact on applied damage, with also a low maximum clamp (something like 10% of vehicles and passengers hitpoints taken from impact)
  • There would also need a longer delay between impulse damage events implemented, so that in the case of Weird Physics, it does not immediately cause rapid unplanned disassembly.
  • The main gap missing is some tactile feedback for drivers, so there is a better sense of 3d space when driving and running into things, so along with vehicle/passenger impact damage, would come SFX/VFX and granular camera shake, pending on severity of impact.
  • As for vehicles incurring impact damage to pedestrians, this would go in hand with the above changes - adding some impact damage at higher velocities but tapered to not be a viable "kill tactic" or troll tactic against team mates. The current ragdoll mechanic would be retained, and some impact damage (capped around 50% hp) would be added. Potentially any impact damage from friendly vehicles would do dramatically less (or no damage) to completely avoid the ability for team mates to troll kill players with vehicle hit and runs.
  • Please Note: These potential future features have NOT been implemented yet, plans are subject to change.

***Please Note: Any potential future features mentioned in this blog post have NOT been implemented yet, developement is not guaranteed and plans are all subject to change.***

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