For a change, my lack of blog-posting is due to playing Battleground Europe excessively ;)
Man 1.31 really rocks. It’s kind of hard to explain the level of change. I mean, visually, when you go in, depending how long since you last played, you’re either going to say “HOLY S**T” or “yeah? it’s not alan wake is it?”. But the changes aren’t just cosmetic. So many little things that change the feel of the game in subtle ways…
For instance, a smattering of the old bush lines are replaced with old stone walls, giving open-country play just that little more oomph. Lots of improved effects that really add a sense of what’s going on around you. The turret accuracy stuff I mentioned really, really changes things up. People are finally spotting for each other, meaningfully. Tracers on LMGs… A little ahistorical and, when you’re the LMG a little annoying, until you “get” that it has a suppressing fire effect. It makes them far more useful as team weapons than as lone sniping weapons. And now that incoming rounds are so much more accurate, I’m seeing a lot more guys taking cover when fired at vs before when they died while they were still trying to figure out if that MG was being fired at them or not ;)
We haz glitches to iron out still :( But it wouldn’t be WWII Online if it didn’t have some glitches for us all to marvel at :)
The capture changes… People aren’t liking the 8 minute capture timer :) Well, and I say this affectionately… Screw you :) If it’s taking you 8 minutes to capture, you’re capsturbating. It takes 4 minutes for 2 people to cap, 3 minutes for 3, etc, down to 60s for 8 guys.
Last night I was in a whole bunch of 3-man caps. And where I originally thought these numbers were too high, I’ve changed my mind. These numbers are actually good.
Yes: 3 minutes is a bit long for an uncontested capture that previously 1 guy could have capped in 60s. Don’t care. Battleground.
When I was capping under fire, IMHO the timers actually make caps faster:
- The timer doesn’t reset if you have to defend yourself,
- You aren’t squatting in a fixed, well-known position (the table) so EI don’t walk into the building with their gun already aimed at you…,
- Capture isn’t tied to just one of you, so you don’t lose your 95% capture to a single grenade,
- Capture isn’t reset when the building is cleared, so if you’re spawning nearby, you get “rewarded” for returning to the scene of the crime with a good chunk of capture progress still under way,
- Buddying up to speed up capture also increases survivability,
- From a defenders perspective, knowing there’s more than one guy in there makes me a lot more likely to run back; fish in a barrel!
- From an attackers perspective, the fact they’re likely to come back restores some of that “hiding behind the table” adrenaline, but it can haz flavor
The new “bunker” buildings are much, much, much better to fight in and defend. And the layout really puts a crimp on the old “one ei enters, 8 defenders die”. The removal of the table+radio means there’s no hot spot you have to defend either, which makes defending feel a lot less constricting.
A mass of changes and fixes to the network stack (teulKit) over the last year are really paying off. So far, the network connection status log is showing a 93% decrease in CTHLs (and I suspect many of those are guys on dialup trying to see if they can still get away with it, sorry guys). I found some really dumb bugs in the network API that just needed clear-headed time sitting looking at to figure out. Things like every 1000th connection to a given host being confused with a different connection in some parts of the stack, leading to pretty much guaranteed CTHLs for both players… Gone.
Firebug? Now you’re only likely to see a stuck trigger for a few seconds when a guy lags out or crashes. Other than that, even in really intense battles, it’s pretty much gone: I was looking at the trouble piece of code, and noticed – for the first time in 6 years – that directly below it was extremely similar code for handling turret updates. There was one line of difference. So I copied the one line. Poof! Specifically, I have not yet seen one person say “XYZ firebug” in my time playing since 1.31 release…
Lighting… I always felt our game was just way too dark, and night time was ridiculous. I don’t care if it’s realistic, playing a game where your night-time screen is essentially black on black is stupid. We’ve got a much better light balance going on, with a shift to alteration of the colors to simulate the effects of darkness etc. I’m far happier hearing people protest that night is too bright over “I can’t see a damn thing, guess I’ll log back on in an hour”. I’ve seen some “is this 4pm or 4am?” and “this is as bright as day time”, but none of them saying they were gonna log out because of it :)