Look at that! The beginnings of a graphical overhaul. Also, XP system details, anti-hack changes, menu rework, and more. We’re upgrading servers with this patch, so they’ll be some extended downtime. We’ll tweet when that’s all resolved.
Motion blur is back. Some people hate it, some people love it (especially lone woolfes). Either way there’s an option to turn it off if you don’t like it.
The main menu has been altered slightly to help lone woulfes on prerelease. The options screen looks a bit less terrible.
Making nametags bit more visible is something lone woolfs have asked for a long time. Previously, they were completely hidden at night, but on the prerelease branch they’re slightly visible.
While this might seem too visible, it’s important to keep in mind that you can’t see nametags unless they’re practically standing next to you.
If you’ve been lone wulf’ing on the prerelease branch, you probably had trouble with the crafting menu. I’ve made it so that in the specific categories it now shows locked and upcoming items. Locked items can be unlocked with XP, and upcoming items you’ll be able to craft or unlock when you next level up.
I want to clear up some confusion from the previous devblog. The term “ownership” is something we’re using internally to keep track of who has a share of what item. This lead to some confusion when talking about an “ownership split” of resources. Just to be perfectly clear, you won’t actually receive resources from someone using your tool to harvest, you’ll just be part owner of the generated resources for XP purposes. I’m going to write a long and convoluted explanation of how this works, so if you don’t really care about the internals you can skip this section and just know that if you help people by giving them stuff you will end up earning little trickles of XP when they perform actions with what you gave them, and if those people help others you’ll get a piece of that too, pyramid scheme style. Here we go:
Let’s say Garry gives Andre the resources to craft a hatchet: Andre crafts the hatchet and the “ownership” is split 80% Andre, 20% Garry (because Garry provided the resources). When that hatchet is used to generate XP in some fashion, that XP will be split up according to the ownership of the tool. So if a barrel gives you 1 XP every time you hit it (not a real in-game number), and Andre was using the tool we previously described, he would earn:
0.5(action split) + 0.5(tool split) * 0.8 (tool ownership amount) = 0.90xp
Garry would earn 0.1 XP.
Where it gets really interesting is when we start applying ownership to resources based on the tool used. If Andre harvests resources with this tool and hands them over to someone else, who then crafts a tool and harvests more resources, Andre would receive a small cut of XP, and so on and so forth. Everyone along the way up the chain is going to get a (small) piece of the action. The more you help, the more you earn. There have been some concerns voiced on reddit by the lone walves about a team of 10 people all working to prop up one player, who can then level up quickly and produce items for everyone. I don’t really think this is as big of an issue as some are making it out to be, but we will be watching closely in case it somehow gets out of control.
As I said, this feature is largely complete aside from balance, testing for exploits (please share potential ones!), and bugs. I’m going to merge it into prerelease sometime in the morning so I can be around for to fix anything game breaking. It’s barebones but functional right now, and I’ll be expanding upon it as we go. I hope to do things like have it so when you cook food you become the owner (split with the campfire deployer) and when someone eats the food the food owners will get some XP. Or if people use your repair bench you’ll earn XP, as will the resource provider, and the person doing the repairing will be added as a partial owner of the item they repaired, etc. The possibilities are endless!
Of course this all might end up being a load of shit and we’ll have to remove it, but, hey, nothing ventured nothing gained. Right?
I took another stab at fixing the known exploits that allowed people to construct bases inside rocks. Our tests look like they’re all covered now, but we’ll keep an eye out over the next couple of weeks to verify this and make adjustments where needed. The aim is to be rock base free in the next wipe cycle, but I don’t want to lean myself out of the window too far at this point.
Throwable Weapon Verification
Having successfully rolled out server side verification systems for projectile and melee weapons I moved on to the last weapon category this week – throwable weapons. The exploits for those worked a bit differently than the ones for projectile and melee weapons, but the changes should prevent all known hacks that utilized throwable weapons to destroy cupboards and storage boxes inside bases. With this we have closed the last known loophole for those kinds of hacks and urge server owners who are still running community anti hack mods to switch back to the official anti hack system since it should now be significantly more secure.
We’re releasing a small update this week that contains a number of fixes, game anti hack improvements and an updated version of EAC – all of which are things I wanted to address before switching over to more gameplay oriented work on the prerelease branch. There may or may not be another small update next week, but only if there are important issues we need to address. For everything else make sure to check out the prerelease branch on Steam.
Before working on new dungeons and the tunnels, I decided it would be better to focus on improving quality of visuals and gameplay in places that need it the most. Thankfully, there’s not many areas of the game that truly look bad anymore, except airfield’s hangers, and the lighthouse.
I started to rework the airfield dungeon, and although there’s nothing to show currently, I will break it down to you: I’ll be giving it a military feel. It will still have a perimeter wall, but this one will be bigger concrete slabs planted into the ground, coupled with a few watch towers. I’ll have a small office building added into the mix and nice concrete runways. Altogether it should make the airfield one of the best places to be again, and most importantly more fun to traverse and explore.
I decided to finally look into our rather ghastly looking outdoor environments, so I made a new branch, and pretty much wiped it clean.
The goals are:
- The most crappy looking trees thrown out.
- The less crappy looking trees improved.
- Lighting for all times of day redesigned from scratch.
- Terrain/biome tones revisited.
- Spawn tables overhauled. (What bushes/rocks/trees/mushrooms spawn where, and in what quantity and size.)
- Individual biomes given more distinct character.
- Weather revisited. Maybe made more harsh.
- And finally, performance not diminished.
I’ve only just started, and there’s no timeline for when this goes live, but the header image is a super early appetizer. Here’s what night currently feels like.
I’ve been chopping more music up this week and I’m almost done with the existing songs! I’ve got a fairly good system going now for deciding out how to divide the different sounds and instruments into layers. This varies a bit from song to song. But generally, first we have a base layer of ambience that plays at any intensity level. After that there’s a calmer more melodic layer that plays at lower intensities. Then we have a mid-intensity layer that’s usually smaller drums, staccato string instruments, pulsing bass synths and things like that. Finally we have a high intensity layer that’s strong drums, big synths, etc.
There’s been a few spots where there were fairly heavily engineered transitions between parts of songs which I’ve had to massage a bit to fit well with the approach we’re taking. They’ve all worked out eventually, but I have some ideas for ways to tweak the arrangement system that I might explore next week which should make all the snags I’ve hit into total non-issues.
While I’ve been chopping these songs up I’ve also been writing a few more parts for some of them and expanding layers that were under-represented in the initial drafts. Most of the stuff I’ve written so far has a lot of good ambient and melodic content to use as the song progresses, but the tense sections have been fairly short, so I’m spending a good bit of time fleshing out mid and high tension parts to make sure the songs don’t sound like a single drum loop if the intensity is high the whole time. There’s quite a lot more to think about for a single song under this system than just writing a traditional piece of music but it’s been a really fun challenge so far.
I’ve also fixed a couple more bugs in the playback system and added support for playing music on menu screens (and flagging which songs are allowed to play on menus).
Since we’ve all been asked to work on the prerelease branch until XP goes out, this stuff should all pop up on there for you guys to check out in the next few days.
Last of the two-handed weapons completed this week. I’ve also started to look at simplifying the spear throwing too, as under the hood it had a one & two handed holds, which weren’t triggering in-game. The plan is for them to work the same way as all the other updated throwables.
All being well, I’m looking to merge this new system to the prerelease branch in time for next week’s update.
I’ve been baking down the high-poly of the heavy armour, and I’ve made a start on the texturing. In an attempt to break up to large areas of metal, I’ve been trying to work in a lot of smaller details. Duct tape, bolts, rivets – anything to make it look unique and hand-crafted. Tom’s guns do this really nicely and it’d be cool to give the armour the same level of personality.
I went over some of the clothing for the female and noticed they had really poor deformation around the chest areas. In some cases it looked like the player was hiding sharp objects in their chest. I smoothed it out so it looks more natural.
Added protection against some exploits for construction placement inside rocks Added protection against a number of throw weapon hacks Fixed flyhack_protection 2 false positive when jumping on floating ice caps Fixed projectile line of sight protection issue inside caves Fixed projectile line of sight protection issue on fence and twig building blocks Fixed rare false positives in the server side melee weapon repeat rate verification Fixed chain link fence exploits against turrets and the patrol helicopter Fixed issues when connecting to a server from the in-game main menu Updated EAC