I'm very excited to walk through the next big patch coming on 9/19 for PC. I'll get to console at the end. We are making progress, but unfortunately we're not in a position to submit to Microsoft or Sony yet.
One of the biggest things tentatively scheduled for the patch is the Weapon Balance. Again, I take responsibility for how poorly this was handled. I got excited and rushed it out, and then we slapped a bad Band-Aid on it to gain the time to properly finish. I know Beastie has put in a lot of time tweaking stats to help shape the meta where we want it, and I feel like after weeks of testing, we're very close.
On Sunday 9/16 we are going to have another 'Play with the devs' event.
Please come join us on Jericho in the prototype A district at 12PM noon PDT.
Above, I said we are 'tentatively' rolling out these changes, because while we hope this will be the last test before we patch shotguns and rifling, we also are open to the idea that we could still get major feedback and need to remove Weapon Balance from the patch.
I know sometimes we get quiet, or it feels like we're not listening. I assure you that is not the case. It is just sometimes hard to jump on the forums each day to communicate everything that is happening in real-time.
The exact plan for the patch is to integrate the Test-A changes to Shotguns along with the improvements to Rifling. There are specific other weapon changes/nerfs that we are not ready to rollout yet. The shotgun changes partially retract some of the things we did previously, keeping their benefit while reducing the extreme effectiveness we’ve been seeing with them on live in the last couple of weeks. The changes also allowed us to tweak in other ways, reducing the fire rates of the JG and CSG, allowing them to be effective at close range while now clearly losing out to SMGs in a straight up TTK fight, necessitating dodging or cover to gain an edge. Rifling is now partially percentage based, which helps it affect longer range weapons more.
The specific changes are:
Strife – 931 (from 945). 11 pellet 2-shot (from 12)
CSG – 620 (from 951). 16 pellet 2-shot (from 17). Fire Rate from 0.77 (from 0.68). RaySpread to 75 (from 85) [This last change is not on the test client].
DOW – 424 (from 492). 8 pellet 2-shot (from 9)
JG – 775 (from 792). 7 pellets 2-shot (from 8). Fire Rate to 0.73 (from 0.68)
NFAS – 381 (from 492). 8 pellets 2-shot (from 9)
Ogre – 432 (from 492). 6 pellet 4-shot (from 7).
Shredder – 394 (from 441). 5 pellet 4-Shot (from 6)
Ranges have also been changed on all the shotguns, reduced to accommodate the increased damage when partially hitting.
Adjusted upside from 3,5,9m extension to 5% +1m, 12% +2m, 15% +3m.
Changed downside to reducing fire rate by 6, 12, 18%.
NOTE: We also fixed an issue with hitreg that will be in this patch.
Other than BattlEye, this is the first entirely new system that we've added to the game.
We hit a couple unexpected snags, so it's a bit later than I had hoped. But I'm very proud of the team for the design, and I'm genuinely excited to roll it out.
This system will allow players to directly trade weapons and in-game money without any system tax. It has been on OTW for a little over a week, and my goal is help reduce the number of scam tickets for Support that are very intensive to solve.
NOTE: There may still be bugs and exploits. I want to caution players from attempting to take advantage of a flaw they might find. Please just let us know so we can fix it as soon as possible.
The last major part of this patch is a series of fixes for long standing exploits in the game.
I want to thank our new Associate Producer ShyLO, Androvald, and several community members who sent us thoroughly documented exploits and how to reproduce them. This has enabled us to address a number of long standing hacks players have been using to cheat in-game.
Console & Unreal 3.5 Progress
Next, I thought I would take some time to walk through exactly where we are with console and Unification, so players have a better sense of what we're working on. Fortunately a lot of what we're doing to get console back on track also helps with the Unreal 3.5 upgrade for PC since they share the same codebase.
First, in order to submit a new console build, we have to integrate Microsoft and Sony's SDKs (Software Developer Kits) that allow the game to work on those platforms. It's been long enough now that we are at least 2 major versions behind the current libraries. Neither group will allow us to submit until we update.
But to get the new SDKs to work, we had upgrade all the supporting "External" libraries that are also used by the game. There 65 externals that all needed to be updated, altered to work, recompiled, and then tested.
We have now fully upgraded all 65 of those libraries and re-integrated with the game. We're working through the XB1 and PS4 SDKs to get those working now.
Once we have that done, then we'll do a round of testing, submit the build to our console publisher, and then it will get submitted to Microsoft and Sony. Hopefully, if we have done everything correctly, they will approve the builds, and we can push them live.
NOTE: these builds wont have any of the new features or content that we have introduced since we took over. These are just updated versions of what is already on the platforms. There might be small improvements based solely on upgrading the libraries, but it's important that we get the cobwebs cleared for console just like we did for PC.
This will also be the basis of the PC Unreal 3.5 build.
From there we have about 56 GPU/Engine optimizations that were shelved by previous Reloaded developers before we took over. Each of these need to be examined and either implemented correctly or removed. These optimizations will help the game run better on PC and console. They involve a bunch of different things like memory management, scene management, texture quality, optimizing draw calls, instancing, and other more modern ways of rendering games.
We also have a couple 3D art tasks that need to be finished, and we need to implement a couple missing systems like the Music Editor for Unreal 3.5.
Once these are done, we will likely try to submit another build for XB1 and PS4 which contain these improvements.
Then we'll port all the new features and content like the Trading System, Weapon Balance, Showstopper, new Network Code, and more into the Unreal 3.5 source. That needs to get tested, and that will be the first build for XB1 and PS4 that will have content updates.
This is likely where we will open up access to the PC Unreal 3.5 version for Premium players on a special version of OTW, so we can start beta testing and collecting bug reports.
The last piece of the puzzle for Unification and PC Unreal 3.5 is to align the progression between console and PC. Since there were differences, Reloaded changed the rewards on contacts to give out different things. We plan on implementing two new contacts across all platforms to balance things out and make sure they are aligned again.
Many players have asked me "When will Unreal 3.5 launch?" and so far I have avoided the question because I didn't have good enough clarity on all the steps. However, I'm going to answer it to the best of my ability today.
It is my sincere hope to finish all of this before the end of the year. Just know that there are a million places along the way that might change that schedule.
As always, we appreciate your support.