This months update comes a few days late, so we'll dive right in. First thing up is a discussion about recoil.
We are big fans of games that are "Easy to pick up, Hard to master"
We've always thought that DoW should have challenging recoil, and when we say challenging, what we really mean is “difficult to master”. We think having this challenge is an important part of what keeps a shooter fun, by raising the ceiling of how good you can get.
Currently, we think our recoil is difficult to master and also can be difficult to pick up, especially for those not used to the mechanics from other similar games.
With this in mind, we set out earlier this month to look at our recoil system with a pair of fresh eyes and try to rebuild it from the ground up with two goals in mind: 1) make the recoil more “masterable”, meaning more predictable and less random 2) make the recoil easier to pick up, and more friendly to folks with lower mouse sensitivities who don’t want to pull down so much.
Our new experimental recoil system relies much less on vertical recoil management and more on side to side, especially when spraying. Even our preliminary internal version feels like an improvement in a lot of ways. By not relying so much on vertical recoil we can still keep a higher skill ceiling on our autos while solving some of the problems that make our current system hard to pick up.
Though we aren't stopping here, we want to introduce hardcoded recoil patterns that are more predictable, thus making the automatic’s recoil more learnable and less random. A few days ago Rainbow Six Siege announced they were switching over to recoil patterns, so if it's a topic that interests you there is plenty of discussion in their communities about the feature.
Our hypothesis is that the combination of both changing the recoil shape and reducing the amount of randomness will satisfy our two goals, and will generally be an improvement over our current system.
While going through this process we had another interesting development. As you know we’ve taken a hard stance on our removal of ADS on autos since our update in June. Obviously this was a controversial decision, and not one we made lightly. Our primary reasoning behind the decision was we couldn’t find a good way to reconcile our recoil system with an ADS mechanic that functioned well and wasn’t overpowered. However, with the advent of our new recoil experiments, it seems the situation has changed.
Based on some preliminary testing ADS is definitely back on the table. To be clear
, this doesn’t mean ADS is coming back for sure, it only means it is back on the list of things we are considering.
In the next month or two we will announce an event to test our new recoil system with ADS turned on. We want to gather feedback from all points of view, whether you are completely pro or anti ADS, and we will use that feedback to determine the best path forward.
We were hesitant to announce this until we were totally sure, at the risk of seeming like we are flip flopping on our positions. And to some degree we are. As we are going through early access, we are learning a lot, and we are not afraid to change our positions based on new developments. Gun and movement mechanics are extremely nuanced and at the end of the day it just needs to feel right.
We will announce the new recoil system test here and via our other channels. So if you are interested in participating keep an eye out.
Next map - dow_riverbed
The next map is a farm town built around a dried up river bed.
All shots below are preliminary: art, lighting, coloring, and post process not final.
v1 of our bots is now fully functional, meaning the animations are fixed and all basic behaviors are working properly. Now we are in the process of tweaking values to get them to feel more human. It is possible they will make an appearance when we test the new recoil system.
Below is a complete feature list of bot attributes and behaviors to date:
- Bots go for different objectives, but also will prioritize nearby objectives, to not ignore low hanging fruits
- Bots running for an objective will be interrupted if they encounter an enemy. They'll face the enemy first. Once out of combat, they will recalculate what to do, with a greater weight on going after the original objective.
- Bots may decide to hide near a captured flag they want to guard. They will pop up once that flag is being stolen.
- When engaging an enemy bots may act aggressive (run-and-gun) or conservative (hold position, take cover). If a bot loses sight of an enemy he may hide temporarily
- Bots will react to sound and notice enemies more often who are running or have recently fired
- Bots will change targets based on level of threat to themselves
- When a weapon needs to be reloaded, the bot decides with a chance either to hide and reload, swap to pistol or swap to knife. When out of combat, they will switch back to their best weapon.
- Bots now only "crouch and hold" in combat when on a nav mesh polygon that doesn't have more than 2 neighbors. This means they only crouch near walls and pillars.
- Bots have a random chance to follow nearby human players. They will engage any enemies encountered and will periodically consider breaking off to go solo again.
The map editor, steam workshop support, and getting both the game client and servers to support custom maps were the highest engineering priorities for August and September. We only have a few finishing touches to add. This effort took 2 programmers 2 months of full time work to complete, so it was not a small task. We still need to QA the entire custom map pipeline, as well as optimize the editor so it doesn't take so long to run on first open (UE4 issue, not so much we can do about), so the editor release is still TBA.