We’ve been busy working away on the next Experimental patch, our focus this cycle is iterating on gear balance and decoupling visuals from function where PVP is not affected. We’ve also been focusing on validating Mangatang against Diemansland and attempting to open out more of the map in an attempt to bring back the open spaces, make vehicles more useful and create more memorable areas. Mangatang has introduced some cool elements we want to keep, but we’ve lost some things from Diemensland that really made Hurtworld what it is. We will keep experimenting until we get them back.
I see this comment a lot, I take it with a big grain of salt as obviously people posting it are either taking the piss or not great at communicating, which is understandable for non English speakers.
What I want to do is try to open a discussion on what these comments are trying to convey.
As V2 is an update of Legacy, we are in fact updating legacy. So I will try to translate to something that makes more sense:
“I don’t like the updates in the experimental branch, roll them back and make different ones”
Given the lack of direction on what changes people want to see that are attached to legacy, I see it more translated to this:
“I want to play legacy, but player numbers are too low due to the fractured playerbase. Get rid of competing branches and make legacy attractive to new players without changing too much that I am attached to”
This starts to become a difficult proposition for us. We are going to push Hurtworld forward, this is not an option. The team are dedicated to making Hurtworld the best game possible and we acknowledge some of the magic from Legacy has not translated into V2 YET, we will keep working on it until it has. Looking at how far we’ve come in the last few months in getting V2 back closer to Legacy while introducing new features, I don’t think it will be long before V2 is leaps and bounds ahead of legacy in all ways.
How you can help
If you miss something from Legacy, let us know what it is. Try to put into more than a 2 word sentence an experience or gameplay scenario that has been lost and try to figure out why it was lost. We are constantly going through the same process but can’t possibly play the game as much as you guys. V2 is not going anywhere, help us make it awesome.
We have big plans for the release of V2 from experimental to the main branch. We will focus on amplifying signal when we are ready to push V2 to live and draw as many old and new players in as we can, but we want to have V2 as kickass as possible so we can retain those players and continue to build our playerbase for a long time after that release. We have been very quiet for a while, we will start making a lot of noise soon. In the meantime, if you are in a region with low player numbers, we recommend you play on the EU East V2 server (which all the team do with >350 ping from Australia). Besides driving vehicles, you will be surprised how little impact the latency has on gameplay with our netcode.
The next patch will go out on the 3rd of May around 7pm Melbourne time.
I have made good progress on the Pistol this week. The texture work is almost done, just a wear and scratches pass and maybe a couple of things to make the different parts more discernible from each other. The gun this is based on is mostly an oxide metal finish, which I decided to change up a little bit from the AWM and the AR15. I am going with a dark gray oxide for this one, which will make it look a bit more unique and bring out more of it’s details since it is smaller in scale. There are some amusing logo’s on the sides and some punched text.
I think I’ll get the texturing done tomorrow and then will tackle LOD’s or they will have to wait til Monday. After this I’ll move onto the other parts, which shoudl got pretty quick since I already have the low poly meshes done.
I got the Mag done this week too. This is the Gun and the Mag rendered in the actual Unity shader with the scaled down textures…
Hellooo, this week we discovered that the current Mangatang map doesn’t actually follow any of the formulas/rules that were developed and put in place during the creation of Diemen’s Land. I’ve had a feeling that the map had a lot of weak areas that hindered game play and after we compared it with Diemen’s Land we found a huge difference in how things were layed out. Diemen’s Land had a lot more open space and contrast between tight corridor like areas and these large open spaces, currently Mangatang is just medium sized areas that lead to more medium sized areas which causes a sense of never ending sameness. After some discussion we came to the conclusion that opening the map up more and reshuffling these areas to recreate the good things about Diemen’s Land while adding in all the new ideas and assets we have been working on for the environment. Here’s some screen shots of the concept I’m working on for the start desert, using what was learnt about open spaces in Diemen’s Land mixed with some of the new stuff we have.
I also did a quick concept of an idea we talked about for what would essentially be an alternate to the camp fire for hot zones. The idea is a small shelter that would provide shade to stop players from over heating but would need some kind of resource as a fuel source to prevent it from “degrading” like how the camp fire uses wood as a fuel source. This is still just a concept though, and needs some more planning.
Since the last blog I’ve been working on content for the recently released 0.5.5.0 patch as well as helping to plan our next patch 0.5.6.0 which we are scheduling to be released on the 3rd of May.
The rare creatures were converted over to the same probability map spawner system that the meteors use so their spawns could be decoupled from the standard creature spawns which only occur in active cells and could happen more consistently map wide. Previously to find a spawn location we’d scan through all the cells sequentially, timesliced over several frames until finding the correct cell for our random roll. Because the rare creatures spawn faster than the meteors we needed to be sure the spawn cell would always be found in time for the spawn so we changed this system to use a binary search which turned out to be fast enough that we could now run the scan without timeslicing (find the correct cell in 1 frame).
The other major change to accommodate changes to creature spawns was adding an optional line of sight check to our DestroyInTime component that raycasts to all nearby players and cancels the destroy operation if a player still has line of sight on the object.
This allows us to teardown rare creatures on a timer (normally creatures are torn down when spawn cells deactivate by having no players in them for a short time) without creating the frustrating experience of having a rare spawn disappear in front of you. This line of sight check is currently only activated on rare creatures but I’ll be doing some more performance tests and hope to extend it onto resource nodes as well in time for the next patch.
- As well as the creature spawning changes I also worked on:
- Fixed SDK issues with EntityBinaryEffect and EffectZoneBuilder
- Fixed player animators not being culled properly
- Separating fragments into tiers and creating the recycling / rerolling system
- Fixing road collider inaccuracies
- Gear balance tweaks including creating new upgrade paths for gear, balancing max upgrade points and shuffling things like move speed on boots so the lowest tier boot no longer gives the biggest bonus.
- Creating several new gear items
When creating the new gear items my main goal was to try and utilise all our previously unused gear models and a secondary goal of creating more heat protection gear to balance out the cold protection gear and having equivalents for some legacy heat protection items.
Whilst I think both of the goals were achieved many of the items don’t feel like they have a strong place within gameplay and as a result are rarely crafted and even more rarely used.
We’ve always struggled with the somewhat opposing goals of having gear provide enough value that players will want to wear it whilst at the same time trying to provide little to no pvp advantage through gear so with our next experimental patch we are going to experiment with removing the risk of wearing gear.
To make this happen we’ve created a new type of amber protection where the gear is automatically always protected.
Currently we are experimenting with how many items we want to apply it to but currently we are thinking that it will apply to all gear items except backpacks (and backpacks will become unprotectable).
We’ll also be adding visual override gear slots to the player’s inventory, when items are placed in them they override the visuals of the item in the linked slot allowing you to make any gear item look like any other gear item from the same slot. This allows you to pick how you want to appear without concerns about the stats offered by a piece of gear, it also makes it much easier for us to add new gear looks into the game as we can add them as empty items that only add visuals without needing a compelling gameplay reason to exist (something that the recently added combat gear for example failed to really provide).
Along with the focus on the gear experiments I’ll also be doing a pass on biome environmental pressures and also rebalancing the heat progression to match the cold one better.
This will mean tweaking things so the sand dunes is roughly equivalent to the forest and the red desert is roughly equivalent to the snow.
I’ll also be rebalancing Ultranium to be more of a sidegrade to mondinium rather than a straight upgrade, more on this next week!