Dev Log #20 – Build 0.31.0 Highlights, Patch Notes, and More!

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Proxies, we are moving quickly toward our release target and with this major update comes a host of great content and improvements. Midair is really coming together and we can’t thank you enough for being a part of the process. Your feedback and the efforts of the private test group have been invaluable in getting us to the place we are now, where we’ll be at release, and where we’ll go post-launch.

From the Archetype Team to you: Thank you.

Now let’s dive in.

Team Update

If you see community member Sin loitering around Discord with a red name and a “Developer” tag, please report him to a nearby moderator. Actually wait…don’t. We need him. He’s our new QA Manager who now operates along side Jon Osc (Immie [can you stop changing your name please?]).

Build Highlights

We’ve got plenty of new features and content for you to sink your teeth into. Here’s a look into the new content now available in Build 0.31.0.

Autumnal Returns as Orbital

If you’re familiar with our Arena gametype, you’re probably remembering the map Autumnal left us last build. Well it’s returning in a big way in 0.31.0. We’ve given it a complete art overhaul and now it has a new name: Orbital. Let’s take a look at this amazing map which is staged between the clouds and outer atmosphere on a giant space elevator.

This open-air arena features an array of rooms, structures, and catwalks that can be used in different ways to control the map.

After suiting up, head out the back to take a defensive posture, quickly run through the front for a frontal assault, or sneakily head down to the lower level and mount a surprise attack from below.

We’re really excited about this map and hope to get some good feedback from you on how it plays.

New Weapon: The WARDEN

The WARDEN is an energy-based weapon that locks on to close targets and drains them of their shields and energy while slowly doing damage. It was initially a tool used during early experiments on mana-based proxy soldiers in order to keep errant proxies in line, but was found to be useful on the battlefield as well. While it’s not very useful at securing kills on its own, it is a valuable tool for controlling the flow of a fight during critical moments.

Armor and Weapon Skins Have Arrived!

We’re super excited to introduce Armor and Weapon Skins in this build. Like REALLY excited. The skins look great and we think you’ll like them too. You can equip a different set of skins for each loadout using the new Appearance button above the character and weapon models.

We’re releasing 5 skins per weapon and 2 skins per armor as limited test of the system. Eventually we’ll be moving these skins back behind the Steam Store and Steam Inventory, but for now enjoy mixing and matching to your heart’s content. Here’s how they look in action:

The first skins available for release are as follows…

Armor Skins

  • White
  • Midnight

Weapon Skins

  • Blood
  • Bronze
  • Camo
  • Danger
  • Midnight

The names are subject to (and likely will) change. Have cool skin ideas? Post in Discord!

Team Deathmatch

This build is the build that keeps on giving. Welcome to Team Deathmatch (TDM) folks. We’re releasing this game mode as a more straight-forward way for new players to get acquainted with the game before jumping into a full-fledged CTF game. Jump in and kill and spawn and kill and spawn and kill and spawn. First to 50 wins the game (configurable via the server admin config settings). We also plan to use this as a warm-up mode for matchmaking in the future, so expect to see a lot more TDM!

The first maps available for Team Deathmatch are:

  • TDM-Crashsite
  • TDM-Minora
  • TDM-Orbital
  • TDM-Outpost

As a quick note, there are likely some gameplay issues with this first draft, so let us know how you think it should change.

New Blaster Feature: Charged Burst

The Blaster can now be charged by holding down and releasing the fire button, which expels a flurry of blaster bolts (up to a max of 10) that can quickly chew through enemies. Each charged blaster bolt does less damage than a single-shot bolt, but what it lacks in quality it makes up for in quantity.

 

Death Cam

Ever wonder what the person who killed you was doing immediately after they struck the final blow? Look no further than the death cam.

We’re aware of some balance issues with this first pass but expect to resolve them soon.

Sound Pass

With each build we’re adding new content and the sounds that come with that content, but we’re also improving the audio feel of the game. To this extent, in 0.31.0 new ambient sounds have been added to CTF-Reservoir, CTF-Tenebris, and LCTF-Kryosis and brand new sounds have been made for the Water and Sentinel turrets. There are a few other improvements here and there as well.

New Invisibility and Repair Effects

We’ve done a new pass on the Invisibility Stealth augment and the Repair Tool. They look a lot better, check them out:

Engineer Charge Pickups

As the beginning step for an expansion and rework of the Engineer pack, we’re introducing a new feature that allows an Engineer to gain Engineer charges while picking up dropped ammo capsules. The Charge Regen augment recharge rate has been decreased (meaning it’s slower) by about 11% (roughly 1 additional second per charge) to help offset the impact of the new feature while we continue to work on the expanded Engineer pack.

Server Performance Fixes

We discovered about halfway through this build cycle that there were serious server performance issues related to the Dedicated Server build. Essentially a UE4 bug was causing our server process to constantly max out an entire core of the CPU at 100%. This likely took the form of increased or regular instances of lag spikes on every server. In order to immediately respond to the issue we shut down roughly half of our official servers to help lighten the load. In this build we are releasing a fix for this issue which should improve or eliminate player lag attributed to this issue over the last month or so. When you’re playing, please take note if the lag issues continue to happen or if they are resolved after this build.

0.31.0 Patch Notes

General

  • Added a new game mode: Team Deathmatch (TDM)
  • Added new Repair Effects
  • Added new Cloak Effects
  • Added new Death Camera
  • Server-side demos have been fixed so if you know the right server admin you can get a demo to play back for your montage!
  • Tank Balance Pass
    • Increased the power of the tank thrusters to make it more agile
    • Modified handling a bit to help the tank better handle the increased speed
    • Increased the downward angle the tank can fire at to help with dealing with close-range targets
  • Engineer Pack has been modified as a first step to further expansion and balance tweaks:
    • Ammo pickups now give a charge to Engineers
    • Reduced Engineer Charge Regen rate by 1 second per charge (now 10s for a single charge instead of 9s)
  • Reduced energy cost of the Blink augment by 25% from 40 to 30 to continue to improve its viability
  • Increased FOVs in the Tailgunner and Bombardier seats of the Bomber
  • Added weapon skins (Blood, Bronze, Camo, Danger, Midnight) for all weapons
  • Added armor skins (White, Midnight) for all armors
  • Increased Base CTF base spawn timer 20% from 5 to 6 seconds
  • New Customize menu within the UI containing Loadouts and Progression sub-menus
  • The “Give All” button in the Progression UI now unlocks everything instead of just giving max level
  • Added 3rd person flag catch animation

Weapons/Items

  • Added new weapon: WARDEN which drains the targets energy and does a small amount of damage
  • Blaster now has a charge-up mechanic that allows it to fire similarly to a shotgun
  • Missile Launcher balance changes to try and increase its viability while also keeping it manageable to deal with:
    • Missile Launcher damage increased from 120 to 160
    • Missiles are now possible to shoot down
    • Heat is now generated and lost more slowly across all armor types making it slower to reach the lock threshold and slower to leave it
    • Increased max speed of the Missile projectile by 16% help it catch fast targets
  • Ring Launcher now does extra damage to all vehicles compared to before
  • Mortar now does extra damage to air vehicles and the tank compared to before
  • Reduced Chaingun bloom slightly to make it more effective against longer-range targets which is currently more common in Base CTF
  • Sightly increased speed of Mortar projectile
  • Slightly increased speed of Tank Shell projectile 
  • Reduced Repair Gun’s damage to enemies from 100% to 80% of repair rate
  • Increased arming time of Concussion Grenades by 33% from 1.5s to 2.0s to make it less oppressive/consistent
  • Increased visual effect of the Concussion Grenade to better represent actual explosion radius
  • Reduced camera shake when hit by air fighter projectile
  • Reduced the impulse from the Mortar Shell explosion by 44% to reign in the bouncing around effect it has on players and flags

Audio

  • Added ambient sound to LCTF-Kryosis
  • Added ambient sound to CTF-Tenebris
  • Added ambient sound to CTF-Reservoir
  • Deployable Water and Sentinel Turrets now have custom sounds
  • Added sounds for leveling up
  • Added new Grenade Launcher reload sounds
  • Added door sounds to the shooting tutorial

Performance

  • Optimized LODs for deployables
  • Optimized LODs for base assets
  • Added particle LODs for: Ring Launcher, Grenade Launcher, Concussion Grenade, EMP Grenade, and Mortar Effects
  • We discovered a significant performance issue related to the chaingun and have deployed a partial fix – full fix coming soon

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a crash when players would try to pickup a pickup which didn’t exist
  • Fixed a bug that caused deployable turrets to fire at a slower rate than intended
  • Fixed an issue where missiles were unable to be shot down
  • Fixed a bug that allowed all deployables to be placed on water

Maps

  • Added a new map: AR-Orbital (rework of AR-Atumnal)
  • Reworked the base and flag stand on LCTF-Elite
  • Reworked large portions of the terrain on CTF-Iratus
  • Added TDM-Minora, TDM-Crashsite, TDM-Outpost99, and TDM-Orbital

Official Servers

  • Added several servers back now that the CPU usage issue has been fixed
  • Converted some official servers to only play TDM maps

Server Admins

  • TDM CPanel settings and their defaults coming soon:
    • Winning Score=50
    • Match Length=1500
    • Post Match Length=20
    • Warmup Length=30
    • Min Players To Start=2
  • Make sure you are keeping your MapList.ini up to date with map changes as maps or game modes are added, removed or renamed. For example, make sure you add AR-Orbital back into your arena rotation and make sure the previous name AR-Autumnal has been removed.
  • Also, be sure to add some or all of the TDM supported maps to your MapList.ini if you want players to be able to vote that game type on your server. Supported maps are:
    • TDM-Minora
    • TDM-Crashsite
    • TDM-Outpost99
    • TDM-Orbital

Known Issues

  • BUG: In TDM the Engineer can deploy invincible deployable inventories
  • BUG: There are two “Midnight” skins for the Ring Launcher

On The Horizon…

We’re going to have an increased rate of updates coming out between now and release that will be adding new features to help our new player experience, add polish to some sorely needed areas, and improve performance. To better support this, we’re shifting gears a bit away from content production and toward these final goals. We’ll still be releasing new content, just a little less of it than the past few builds. Once we get beyond release, we’ll swing back into content generation mode!

This next month is going to be fun and exciting, so we hope you’ll join us for the ride! Jump in the game and start a pub or join a PUG on Discord. Let’s get some blood flowing and features tested as we head out of Early Access and into Midair’s 1.0 release. This is a great opportunity to make a big impact on the game before it hits the world in a big way.

Enjoy the 0.31.0 patch and we’ll see you in Midair!