Dev Log #19 – Build 0.30.0 Highlights, Patch Notes, and Release Update

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Hello Proxies!

Today is a new day and with a new day comes a new build with new features and content. In Dev Log #19 we’ll run through the highlights in build 0.30.0, full patch notes, and discuss updates to our upcoming release schedule. There’s lots to discuss including the addition of version 1 of our progression system, a beautiful new makeover of CTF-Dam, CTF changes, and plenty more.

Oh, and if you missed it, you should check out the full stream with play-by-play commentary from the Bring Your Own 5 LCTF Tournament from last week. It was a lot of fun to watch and there’s some great high-level competitive play showcased, especially during the final matches. Congratulations to Tribes+ for their hard-fought win and thank you to everyone for participating!

Build Highlights

While you’re downloading, here’s a look into all of the features available NOW in build 0.30.0.

XP, Level-Ups, and Skills

Progression is finally making its way into Midair. In 0.30.0 we’re introducing version 1 of our XP, leveling, and skill systems. Please note these are early-stage features that will likely have user experience issues, bugs, and are likely to change frequently before release. For additional reading on our goals and objectives with monetization and progression in Midair, read this blog post from a while back.

XP and Leveling Up

Each player will earn XP in the game and will level up as XP is accumulated. XP is earned by completing the tutorial missions, playing the game, and doing well. When in the game, you are currently rewarded for each minute played (with a minimum play time of 10 minutes), sticking around through the end of the match, and in bigger games, placing in the top 3 players in the server. To help you track how much XP you’ll earn in a given match, we’ve added a Match XP element to the score screen UI.

NOTE: In this early version, you will only be rewarded XP if you are in the server when the game ends. The amount of XP it takes to progress through each subsequent level increases each level gained with a max level of 50. To see your level and current XP vs how much is needed for the next level, we’ve added this information (and also your Steam profile pic) to a new UI widget at the bottom right of the menu. This information is also available in the Progression menu under your Profile.

What’s the quickest way to get your first couple of levels? Play through both tutorials!

Skills

Each time a player levels up they are rewarded a skill point. Skill points are used to unlock most of the gameplay features in the game such as Armors, Weapons, Items, Packs/Augments, Deployables, and Vehicles. These skills are laid out in a tree structure to visually show requirements and dependencies. We are planning to add additional gameplay elements to the tree that are not in this version. You may see some visual gaps in the tree structure due to these missing items.

We’ve added some features like lock icons that should help you visually identify in your loadouts whether or not something is unlocked. Additionally, clicking on the lock icon will automatically take you to that item in the skill tree for quick unlocking.

Your Loadout menu should also inform you when a loadout you’ve selected contains items that have not been unlocked yet. If you attempt to use a loadout with locked items, those items will either be missing (weapons, packs/augments, throwable items) or downgraded (armors).

Tools for Early Testing

In the Progression screen under your Profile, we’ve added some tools to help you test the progression system and quickly bypass progression if you so desire (you all have the Progression Pass after all!). Using Give 500 XP you can add roughly a single game’s XP. Give Level calculates and rewards the XP required between your current level and the next. Give Max Level gives you all of the XP through level 50. RESET will allow you to reset your XP, Level, and Skills progress. Note: Resetting requires a restart of the game, and confirming this action will automatically close the game.

Down with CTF-Dam, Long Live CTF-Reservoir!

The map CTF-Dam has been re-imagined, renamed, and given a full art pass to bring it to life in the Midair universe. We are itching to show off the results, so let’s take a look at the brand new CTF-Reservoir.

The central feature to the map is a giant dam that holds back water from streaming into the valley, creating a reservoir. Mana processing plants use the water to harness the resources this planet provides.

The base interiors have been built with almost entirely new art using our military themed assets giving a distinct feel both inside and out.

We’re excited to see you all experience CTF-Reservoir for the first time and discover some of the neat features and quirks built into the map.

CTF Changes

Last time we spoke, we had added a prototype game mode called Spawn CTF that spawned all players in their loadouts and added a spawn time penalty when generators were brought down. It’s clear after seeing the initial response and listening to feedback that two things stand out:

  1. New and casual players have a better and more intuitive experience playing Spawn CTF than CTF that requires visiting an inventory to get your loadout
  2. We need better ways to ensure the base is still an important and relevant factor in gameplay, which is what we committed to since development on Midair started

We’re moving forward with these two things in mind. This means we’re committing to spawning in loadout in Base CTF and will be enabling this as the default setting on all official servers as well as newly created servers. If you’d like to go back to the old style that requires inventory use, we’re keeping that option configurable for server admins. With that said, let’s look at the new changes to CTF in 0.30.0.

Loadouts, Spawn Timers, and You

When players can spawn in their loadout it introduces several design challenges. In particular, when observing Spawn CTF in action, it was apparent that there is little impact when taking down a player in a key role like defensive sniper or heavy offense.  In order to help balance situations like quick respawning of powerful classes, we’re adding equipment spawn penalties that increase the time it takes to spawn in your full loadout. Here’s the list of equipment and their corresponding spawn penalties.

  • Medium Armor: +0.5s
  • Heavy Armor: +1.0s
  • Rail Gun: +2.0s
  • Missile Launcher: +1.0s
  • Mortar: +1.0s
  • Stealth Augment – Invisibility: +1.0s

The penalties are cumulative, so adding multiple of these items will continue to increase your spawn time. For example, a Heavy Armor (+1.0s) with both the Missile Launcher (+1.0s) and Mortar (+1.0s) equipped will experience a total spawn penalty of +3.0 seconds on top of the base spawn timer. The base spawn timer is 5.0 seconds, so the total spawn time for a loadout with those items would be 8.0 seconds. These penalties do NOT apply when using inventory stations.

Generator Importance

In 0.30.0 we’re adding several new effects to downed generators in order to keep base defense and assault important. Here’s a list of all effects that apply when the generator is down:

  1. Base spawn penalty increased by +80% when generator is down (was 60% in 0.29.0)
  2. NEW: Equipment spawn penalty of +50% when generator is down
  3. NEW: Deployable turrets now fire 20% slower when the generator is down
  4. NEW: Deployable sensors now acquire targets more slowly when the generator is down

Using the Heavy Armor example from before, spawning in that loadout when the generator is down will result in a base spawn + gen down penalty (+80%) of 9 seconds, and an equipment penalty + gen down penalty (+50%) of 4.5 seconds, making a total of 13.5 seconds when the generator is down. This means that keeping your generator up saves 5.5 seconds of spawn time for someone with those loadout options.

We’ve added information to the Loadout screen that will help you identify loadout equipment penalties easily, and also see when it is affected by a downed generator. The equipment penalty information will turn red and increase appropriately when the generators are down.

Emergency Spawn

In order to keep decision-making alive and well in base, and give players a chance to make quick decisions and emergency plays, we’ve added the ability for players to Emergency Spawn in a basic loadout at a much shorter interval. In the spawn screen, a shorter timer that is NOT affected by the generator status will decrease separate from the full loadout respawn timer.

Pressing Right Mouse Button will allow a player to initiate emergency spawn after the timer has completed.

Deployables

In addition to all of the above changes, we’ve removed the ability to deploy any deployable near the enemy base within a certain range (map-dependent). This should help make defending and retaking your base against a good offense a little easier, which should help prevent unbreakable base camping.

New Item: Concussion Grenade

The latest addition to the CTF arsenal is the concussion grenade. This grenade deals minimal damage but can knock out a player-held flag and knock the holder around. Its most effective use is stopping a capper from getting out clean or breaking a tough base defense when they are holding your flag.

New Main Menu and Loadout Backgrounds

We’ve added a brand new interactive background to the Main Menu and Loadout Screen. We changed the way we’re rendering this so the background is now be affected by your video settings and should be perform much better overall. Words won’t do it justice, so take a look for yourself:

 

Map Sounds Pass

We’ve started a sound pass on most maps which now have ambient sounds playing at minimum. Most maps with final or near-final art now have additional custom sounds as well. We’ll continue to update maps with sounds as we get closer to release to bring them to life and add polish to the final product. Take a listen!

0.30.0 Patch Notes

General

  • Version one of progression has been added: XP, Leveling, and Skills
  • A Progression menu has been added to the Profile menu with an unlockable skill tree and tools to help quickly test or reset progress
  • The loadout menu has been updated to help players quickly see and unlock unlockable equipment
  • Spawn-in-loadout is now the default mode for CTF
  • Deployables can no longer be placed close to the enemy base
  • Base spawn timer penalty increased to 80% from 60%
  • Using certain equipment in a CTF loadout now increases the time it takes to spawn, which increases by 50% when the generator is down (applies to the Heavy Armor, Medium Armor, Rail Gun, Mortar, Missile Launcher, and Invisibility augment)
  • Deployable turrets have reduced rate of fire when their generator is down
  • Deployable sensors have reduced detection speed when their generator is down
  • Emergency Spawn option added so players can spawn more quickly in a basic/”naked” loadout
  • Added the Concussion Grenade which knocks away player-held flags
  • Interactive Main Menu/Loadout screen background added
  • You must now press “Equip” to add weapons and throwables to your loadout, bringing them in line with the Augments interface, also setting up the UI to be ready for custom aesthetics
  • Because we’ve added a step to equip weapons, you can now double click to equip weapons and throwables in the loadout menu
  • Ammo Nugget pickup radius increased to make it easier to grab in the heat of the moment
  • Slightly reduced out-of-bounds grid opacity so it’s easier to see where you want to go or where you’re landing while near the grid
  • Repair gun now does damage to non-friendlies because why not
  • Updated descriptions of all armors, weapons, throwables, packs, augments, armors, and vehicles for use in the Loadout and Progression menus
  • Added a “Special” field to all loadout equipment info to give more information including any spawn penalties
  • New console command: ShowPerformanceStats (1 for show, 0 for hide) that shows fps, ping, and server performance in the top left to help troubleshoot performance issues
  • Vehicle Flares now have random spread to make them seem more natural

Bug fixes

  • Fixed an animation issue caused by using a deployable inventory to change away from the Reload++ augment
  • The delay between firing the grenade launcher and immediately throwing a hand grenade has been brought in line with other weapons
  • The Blink augment is no longer able to take flags through flag forcefields
  • Removed delay between being able to pick up hp/ammo nuggets
  • The Missile Launcher will no longer lock onto friendly, unmanned vehicles
  • The Bomber now has a description in the buy vehicle menu
  • Auto voice chat messages for flag grabs etc are no longer sent to spectators
  • Reduced bald spots on Light Male character in low levels of detail
  • Fixed some end of match voting issues that resulted in switching to unexpected maps
  • Fixed broken lighting in tutorial missions
  • Fixed broken LOD settings and lighting issues on LCTF-Minora
  • Fixed spots where players could hide underneath level geometry on LCTF-Kryosis
  • Fixed Missile Launcher model slightly clipping through screen in walk animations
  • Wind and weapon switch sounds can now be heard in third person
  • Players are now evenly distributed between teams when joining at all player counts
  • Fixed “{Player1Name} has dropped the flag” message when the match moves out of warmup
  • Vehicle ability cooldown indicator now fills from left to right to match other reloads and cooldowns

Maps

  • CTF-Dam is now named CTF-Reservoir and has received a full art pass
  • LCTF-Outpost99 has received an art pass
  • CTF-Tenebris: The flagstand ship has been moved downwards
  • LCTF-Kryosis: Overhauled the midfield ice formations, spawn changes to improve flow
  • LCTF-Minora: Spawn changes, added BYO5 LCTF Tournament winners sign easter egg
  • LCTF-Exhumed: Out-of-bounds grid changes
  • AR/LCTF-Crashsite: Terrain and flagstand gameplay revisions
  • AR-Research: The level layout has been altered to be more open
  • AR-SnowArena: Ceiling has been moved upwards, blocking volumes have been added to stop players getting on top of the outer edges, standing on the middle rock will now cause you to slide off
  • AR-Autumnal is down for maintenance
  • LCTF-FrozenLines: Moved rear spawn points forward, added a front spawn
  • LCTF-Snowfall: Moved tower spawn points, moved some base interior spawn points outside
  • Added spectator camera locations on LCTF maps

Server Admins

  • The SpawnWithInventory setting in your CPanel will need to be set to True/Enabled if you want to stay current and match Official Server settings (It will not change on its own so if you already had it set to true or false and want it to remain the way you have it configured, no change is necessary on your part)
  • There are 2 configurable settings in your CPanel that were used for tweaking spawn timers in SpawnCTF (now CTF) which are no longer used. These will be removed from CPanel soon
  • Make sure you are keeping your MapList.ini up to date with map changes as maps are added, removed or renamed. For example, not changing CTF-Dam to CTF-Reservoir in your MapList.ini can result in server crashes. Likewise, not removing AR-Autumnal can have the same effect.

Official Server Configuration

  • All CTF servers are now configured to Spawn in Loadout by default
  • CTF and Arena servers will only allow CTF and Arena maps respectively
  • LCTF servers will default to LCTF maps but allow for Rabbit maps to be voted as well
  • General servers allow maps of all types
  • Removed all CTF and LCTF maps which have not received final art (Rented servers are still configured to allow prototype maps)
  • Shortened the end of match timer from 30 seconds to 20 seconds
  • All gametypes now have a warmup time of 20 seconds
  • Arena now has a pre-round timer of 6 seconds (was 10 seconds)
  • Regions are now configured to have the following priority server configuration:
    1. General
    2. CTF
    3. LCTF
    4. Arena
    5. General 2 / 3 / etc.
  • Max player count for General and CTF is set to 24 players
  • Max player count for LCTF is set to 18 players
  • Max player count for Arena is set to 14 players

Release Update

We have a timing update for the release of Midair. For the last several months we’ve been aiming for Q1 2018 which basically meant anywhere in the months January to March 2018. As we get closer to the middle of Q1, we’re adjusting our public release projection. As of this post, our new goal is a late-April 2018 release. This is a little later than Q1 but buys us enough time to get the remaining features and polish in on the game given our budget and resource constraints. We’re narrowing down our release window and as you can see from the last few patches, we’re definitely taking advantage of the remaining time to bring Midair as far as it can go by release.

We also want to talk about some timing on some specific roadmap items that have changed:

  • The Transport and Hover Bike will be postponed until post-release – this is due to ensuring we have enough time to iterate and add polish on core game systems more critical to supporting the 1.0 release, as well as lets us work on these features when we have an opportunity to fully rework the vehicle system which is necessary to providing a better vehicle experience across the board
  • Some of the Kickstarter features are likely to come in post-release such as a custom player-voted environment tileset for maps and the player-voted custom gametype – we’re absolutely committed to getting these done but they may come in a little later than release as we focus on improving our core gametypes and tilesets
  • Some of the Kickstarter rewards are likely to come in post-release such as the Kickstarter exclusive aesthetics – we don’t have a specific list for this yet but stay tuned as we get closer to release for more info

With all of that said, we’re still working on these things, they’re just going to come in later than we had hoped. In particular, the Kickstarter exclusives are going to look great. Here’s a peek at the concept for the Kickstarter exclusive armor set we’ve got lined up:

Midair in the Steam Winter Sale + A Special Gift

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If you or a friend have been on the fence about getting Early Access, now is a great time to get in on the action! Midair is in the Steam Winter Sale with a 34%-off discount, bringing the price for both early access and the FREE Progression Pass to just $20 (normally $30). Check out the Midair Steam page to take advantage of this awesome deal before it’s too late!

Hey Early Access Open Beta Backers,

It’s Time You Joined Us.

Also, because this sale price is the same as what supporters with Early Access Open Beta paid during Kickstarter and on our website, we’re giving them access NOW even though we’re not technically in EA Open Beta yet! You heard right – if you’re waiting for Early Access Open Beta, check your emails as keys have already been fired off through the twisting, winding tubes of the internet.

Happy Holidays everyone, and we’ll see you in Midair!

Hotfix 0.29.1 Patch Notes

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In the last patch we added a bunch of great new content but also introduced some issues due to the sweeping engine changes. We’ve spent some time fixing these issues and also snuck in many improvements including some Top User Issues for 0.29.1. This hotfix is LIVE as of this post.

Hotfix 0.29.1 Patch Notes

General

  • [Top User Issue] LCTF servers can now disable permanent flag IFFs when the flag is held, but it still has an IFF when flag is on stand or not being held (final implementation will also allow disabling of flag IFF in field)
  • Respawn prompt now shows time till respawn in all game modes
  • Rabbit now has a unique flag material
  • Star ratings now account for midairs specifically and non-midair hits are scaled based on how far away from the target they are
  • Added star ratings to Grenade Launcher, Plasma Gun, and Air Fighter
  • Updated Frag and EMP Grenade icons
  • The energy cost for Blink has been reduced from 60 to 40 in an effort to make this pack less punishing when used
  • “Teams are balanced” messages should occur less frequently in scenarios where the teams being balanced is obvious
  • Updated warp out effects including changing the colors to team colors instead of enemy/friendly
  • Temporarily removed kills from leaderboard to improve service reliability
  • The Death icon is now an X and the Evacuate icon is now an O

Missile Launcher

  • Using your jetpack now generates 25% less heat for all armors
  • In addition, heat conversion wasn’t considering the increased rate of energy usage for Medium and Heavy armors, so we have further decreased heat generation for these armors to make managing heat actually manageable instead of always staying at max heat
  • Dropping missile locks has been made slightly easier for every armor by increasing the heat threshold to drop missile locks
  • Missiles are now shootable (but it’s difficult)

Maps

  • LCTF-Hypothermia is back due to popular request
  • Outpost99: After listening to player feedback we’ve adjusted the terrain back to how it was pre-0.29.0 but included some changes made to the midfield area
  • Tenebris: Fixed deployable and collision issues inside the base
  • CTF-Brynhildr: Added missing repair packs
  • LCTF-Brynhildr: Added missing flag forcefields
  • LCTF-Tenebris: Added missing door blockers
  • Crashsite: Fixed various issues, improved LOD issues, added missing OOB grid to LCTF version
  • RB-Tenebris: Updated spawn locations
  • RB-Outpost, RB-Brynhildr: Removed floating door meshes, updated spawn locations

Bug Fixes

  • [Top User Issue] Fixed impulse behavior in all situations and all weapons (front midair, rear midair, side midair, etc.) – if you see this happening still, please report it!
  • Can no longer get illegal loadouts in SpawnCTF
  • Fixed disappearing/invisible projectiles
  • Improved poor FPS performance on weapon switch and in general
  • Fixed an issue where SpawnCTF servers added extra spawn time when the server switched to LCTF
  • Arena: Players Alive counter at top of UI now works properly
  • Added last man standing UI notification sound removed old temp sounds and cues from missile launcher and last man standing
  • Fixed guns casting ghost shadows on themselves
  • Deployable range indicators now work on graphics settings lower than Ultra
  • Adjusted blaster fire offset so it doesn’t come out of the middle of the screen and instead shoots closer to where the gun is
  • Fixed Heavy Character missing death and evacuate icons

Dev Log #18 – Build 0.29.0 Highlights, Patch Notes, and Team Change

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Welcome to Dev Log #18! Due to the delay in our last build release, we’re lumping together lots of features into one big release, now LIVE on Steam. This means we have a lot of new things to talk about and plenty of changes in the patch notes. We’re going to repost some of our content from Dev Log #17 just to keep a single record of all of the changes in this build. If you already read Dev Log #17, it’s still worth reading it all as we’ve added new information about additional changes.

Team Change

Before we jump into the patch, we wanted to announce that Asher (lencorp) from the Oceanic community has joined the team and will be doing project management and QA work with us. We’re excited to have him and look forward to working with him.

Think you have a skillset we could use? Want to offer help where you can? Email us at [email protected]!

Build Highlights

It’s time to dive into some of the great features now available in Midair!

“Spawn in Loadout” in Testing

When looking at community feedback we see a recurring theme around loadouts and spawning in CTF. In Midair, we want base play to be an important element of the game. One way we wanted to do that was to require every player to visit an inventory before equipping their selected loadout. This does shift importance to the base, but sacrifices some very common user experience benefits the industry has shifted to over time. Due to this feedback we are testing the balance of spawning in loadouts in some official servers. These servers have slightly increased spawn times but will enable players to spawn unrestricted in the currently selected loadout. When the generator is down, the entire team’s spawn time is increased. These values are easily changed through server configuration, so these settings may change over the course of this build’s life as we continue testing this feature. This particular setting is also not the extent of the tests we will be performing in this area to ensure players have a great experience playing CTF.

Servers where we are testing this feature:

  • [Branzone.com] Official – NY – Spawn CTF
  • [Branzone.com] Official – EU – Spawn CTF
  • Bittah.com Official – AUS – Spawn CTF

Slow to a Stop

Another common point of feedback we heard from players touched on how a player goes from skiing to walking. Previously, when a player was moving fast and wanted to transition from skiing to walking, they would almost immediately stop and gain traction. This gave the player stopping immediate control over their walking but made “finesse” movement where they might want to slow down slightly much more difficult to pull off. In addition, hitting players that were moving less predictably due to this control was just harder. In this build we’re introducing a work-in-progress implementation of slowing to a stop that attempts to solve these issues without reducing the feeling of control at low speeds. There are a couple issues with this implementation that we intend to fix but we wanted to get this out in the wild to get your feedback early on how it feels.

Deployable Range Visuals

For deployables like sensors and turrets that have an effective range, we’ve added a visual while deploying that communicates this range so you can make better informed decisions about where to place deployables.

Turret Clustering

We’ve implemented a turret clustering feature that allows more control over where turrets are placed while keeping the total number of turrets in an area manageable for the enemy offense. When placing turrets, you can now place turrets closer than before, but when two or more turrets are near each other they create interference, so subsequent turrets must be placed outside of the larger interference range. This is more inline with our final deploayble system design, but will be tweaked as we hear your feedback.

Tenebris Returns!

Tenebris is returning with a massive art update. The map has undergone some gameplay changes as well, particularly with the flag stands and bases.

The flag stand has been replaced with a refueling cargo ship with plenty of space to stash inventory stations or hide from the enemy defense.

The base interior has been brought to life and now features more paths and tubes to make gameplay more interesting when assaulting and defending the base.

There’s plenty more to see and explore on Tenebris. Jump in and take a look!

Vehicle Shields, Missile Launcher, and Flares

Vehicles have been in a weird place for a while now. The Air Fighter was really dominant in the right players’ hands while being very difficult to take down due to no weapons built to counter it. On the other side, the Tank has a lot of health but with enough focus from the enemy team it can be hard to stay alive. In this build we’re adding three key elements that will change up the balance for how vehicles are played and countered. We’ll describe these new features in detail here and pictures will follow on social media.

Vehicle Shields

The first thing we’ve done is make vehicles feel less brittle by adding shields that pull from the vehicle’s energy pool. This should help defend against stray ground fire slowly eating away at vehicle health and make it more resilient overall. However, pilots will need to plan carefully when moving in for an engagement, since taking too much fire or using too much boost will drain your energy pool and make you more immobile or more susceptible to enemy fire.

Missile Launcher

The Missile Launcher has long been on the roadmap and is now making its way into Midair. The missile works by locking on and homing to a target with a high heat signature. Players generate and lose heat through jetpack usage, but vehicles and base assets always have a full heat signature. If a target drops below the heat threshold, the missile will lose its target unless its heat signature increases back beyond the threshold or the missile time-detonates. If you’re locked on to by a missile, an alarm in your armor will go off alerting you to the incoming missile at which point you can choose to reduce your heat signature or use flares to distract the incoming missile.

Flares

Both players and vehicles can have flares that will divert incoming missiles when the missiles are in range of the flare. A single flare will divert one missile. For players, flares are equipped by selecting them as a throwable item like grenades or mines. Vehicles can fire off several flares in series but have a cooldown between uses. This means pilots will need to tactically use their flares then lay low while their cooldown resets. In addition, both handheld and vehicle-dropped flares will confuse future target locking from shoulder mounted missiles within the area while the flares are still active.

 

Stats, Match History, and Leaderboards

We’ve spent some time reworking our stats backend which enables us to retrieve and display player match history and create leaderboards – both of which are now in this build along with a menu UI functional revamp to make accessing these more straightforward. Here’s a quick look:

Match History

Your match history displays your most recent matches along with quick details about the match. Eventually this will also include a personal highlight, a way to view more advanced match statistics, and a demo playback button to relive your greatest moments. Let us know what you’d like to see here on the forums!

Leaderboards

Leaderboards stack you against other Midair players and your friends for each gametype in Midair. The three leaderboard views are: Global, Around Me, and Friends. The Global leaderboard shows the ranking of everyone in Midair starting at the top. Around Me shows you and players near you so that you can see what you need to do to overtake the players next in line. Friends shows your rankings compared to a filter of only your Steam friends. This is just the start of our leaderboards feature, so expect changes to happen based on your feedback!

New Map: Crashsite

Crashsite is now available for LCTF and Arena. This map features two dropships crash-landed in a desert with low visibility. Hop on to test out the new map and please post any feedback you may have in the forums!

Engine Upgrade

Midair has been upgraded from Unreal Engine 4.14 to 4.17. This upgrade provided several bug fixes, workflow enhancements, rendering features, and various engine optimizations. From a gameplay perspective, nothing should have changed. We still have a lot of work to do when it comes to optimization and changes in engine versions beyond 4.17 may be integrated in a piecemeal fashion. More about what’s in the engine upgrade can be found here.

0.29.0 Patch Notes

General

  • NEW: Missile Launcher weapon now available in CTF for medium and heavy armors
  • NEW: Flare Grenades now available for all classes
  • NEW: Vehicles now have flares
  • NEW: Vehicle Shields
  • Unreal Engine upgraded from 4.14 to 4.17
  • Hitting the ground relatively fast while not skiing will not immediately stop the player and will instead ‘skid’ while coming to a stop
  • NEW: A “spawn in loadout” mode for CTF is now in testing on some official servers
  • NEW: A “star” rating system for kills has been added and is displayed in the event feed
  • Turret clustering interference system has been introduced
  • Added player heat mechanic for heatseeking missile launcher
  • Jetpack and ski sounds are now different for each weight class
  • Buying vehicles now use the Activate/Use binding instead of having a unique key
  • A visual indicator for effective range is now shown when deploying turrets and sensors
  • The Missile Lancher has been added to some default loadouts in CTF

UI

  • Improved look of main menu to make it more consistent with the rest of the game’s UI
  • Added player Match History and Leaderboards
  • Moved player stats from Players tab to new profile menu
  • Removed Players tab and made it a button available only in matches
  • Added filters to server browser for passworded and official servers
  • Added escape key functionality to options menu, loadout submenus, and several other prompts in the game
  • Improved UX of exiting the game, a match, or returning to a match
  • Improved binding icons (rounded corners)
  • Improved vehicle HUD
  • Updated grenade icons to be reflective of the grenade type they are instead of using a generic icon
  • Official servers are now denoted by a star icon in the server list and can be filtered accordingly

Animations

  • Improved flag grab animations
  • Loadout Screen player models now have idle animations
  • Updated third person Mortar reload animation

Maps

  • Tenebris – Gameplay and art overhaul
  • NEW: Crashsite is now available for LCTF and Arena
  • Outpost 99  – Terrain changes
  • Brynhildr – Base changes
  • Sunset Cove – Terrain changes
  • Research – Gameplay overhaul
  • Frozen Lines – Terrain overhaul

Bug Fixes

  • Players can no longer stand on the flight ceiling
  • CTF-Hoki – Flag holders are no longer floating off the stand
  • CTF-Dam – Base windows no longer have broken collision
  • LCTF-Minora – Fixed translucency sorting issues with clouds
  • Ammo Pickup no longer block damage/impulses
  • Wall repair packs IFF can now be seen through walls
  • Fixed a bug causing players to be on different teams in Rabbit
  • Switching packs from repair or engineer now results in switching back to your previous weapon
  • Your deployed mines will no longer be red while on blue team
  • Fixed translucency sorting of OOB grid
  • Fixed cloak perspective being wrong on first person arms
  • Fixed Vehicle Pad not showing it was unpowered
  • Fixed flag base color not matching team color

Dev Log #17 – 0.29.0 Build Preview, Release Timing

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In this Dev Log, we’re going over some of the major features in the next build. We’ve got four major highlights to discuss, and since it’s been a while since the last dev log we’re going to include lots of information now with a smaller patch notes post when 0.29.0 goes live.

Closed Beta 0.29.0 Build Preview

Tenebris Returns!

Tenebris is returning with a massive art update. The map has undergone some gameplay changes as well, particularly with the flag stands and bases.

The flag stand has been replaced with a refueling cargo ship with plenty of space to stash inventory stations or hide from the enemy defense.

The base interior has been brought to life and now features a more paths and tubes to make gameplay more interesting when assaulting and defending the base.

There’s plenty more to see and explore on Tenebris. The art team has done a great job, and you’ll get your hands on it during the next patch.

Vehicle Shields, Missile Launcher, and Flares

Vehicles have been in a weird place for a while now. The Air Fighter was really dominant in the right players’ hands while being very difficult to take down due to no weapons built to counter it. On the other side, the Tank has a lot of health but with enough focus from the enemy team it can be hard to stay alive. In this build we’re adding three key elements that will change up the balance for how vehicles are played and countered. We’ll describe these new features in detail here and pictures will follow on social media.

Vehicle Shields

The first thing we’ve done is make vehicles feel less brittle by adding shields that pull from the vehicle’s energy pool. This should help defend against stray ground fire slowly eating away at vehicle health and make it more resilient overall. However, pilots will need to plan carefully when moving in for an engagement, since taking too much fire or using too much boost will drain your energy pool and make you more immobile or more susceptible to enemy fire.

Missile Launcher

The Missile Launcher has long been on the roadmap and is now making its way into Midair. The missile works by locking on and homing to a target with a high heat signature. Players generate and lose heat through jetpack usage, but vehicles and base assets always have a full heat signature. If a target drops below the heat threshold, the missile will lose its target unless its heat signature increases back beyond the threshold or the missile time-detonates. If you’re locked on to by a missile, an alarm in your armor will go off alerting you to the incoming missile at which point you can choose to reduce your heat signature or use flares to distract the incoming missile.

Flares

Both players and vehicles can have flares that will divert incoming missiles when the missiles are in range of the flare. A single flare will divert one missile. For players, flares are equipped by selecting them as a throwable item like grenades or mines. Vehicles can fire off several flares in series but have a cooldown between uses. This means pilots will need to tactically use their flares then lay low while their cooldown resets.

Stats, Match History, and Leaderboards

The last month or so we’ve spent some time reworking our stats backend which enables us to retrieve and display player match history and create leaderboards – both of which will be in the next build along with a menu UI functional revamp to make accessing these more straightforward. Here’s a quick look:

Match History

Your match history will display your most recent matches along with quick details about the match. Eventually this will also include a personal highlight, a way to view more advanced match statistics, and a demo playback button to relive your greatest moments.

Leaderboards

Leaderboards will stack you against other Midair players and your friends for each gametype in Midair. The three leaderboard views are: Global, Around Me, and Friends. The Global leaderboard shows the ranking of everyone in Midair starting at the top. Around Me shows you and players near you so that you can see what you need to do to overtake the players next in line. Friends shows your rankings compared to a filter of only your Steam friends.

Engine Upgrade

0.29.0 will also be the last build that we do a full engine upgrade before release. We’re updating Unreal Engine from 4.14 to 4.17 and as such we get a lot of benefits from it. More about what’s in the engine upgrade can be found here. As a quick note, we do know 4.18 is available but we started the upgrade before it was released.

Release Timing

The initial plan was to release this week but we’ve run into some snags with the engine update in particular (which is why we don’t do them every new engine release). The good news is there will be more polish in the upcoming build, but we don’t have a firm ETA as the issues are critical crashes that will severely impact the average player experience. We’re on a day-to-day basis with this patch until the crashes are resolved, so as soon as they are we’ll release the full patch notes along with the new build for download.

Hotfix 0.28.1 Patch Notes

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We’re releasing a small hotfix to alleviate some issues we’ve had for a while and some that cropped up in the latest build. We also snuck in a few quality of life fixes. Not a lot of pomp and circumstance in this post. Here are the changes:

0.28.1 Patch Notes

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a long-standing issue where projectile trails and flags would disappear in clouds and water
  • Fixed an issue with spectating where you would be forced to switch to a new player every time the person you were spectating died
  • The generator on CTF-Dam is now less susceptible to long-range spam
  • Sentinel turrets can now be placed on Deserted Sands
  • Light and Heavy armors now have dust trails when skiing

General

  • Reduced some autoannouncer spam related to flag actions

Dev Log #16 – Build 0.28.0 Patch Notes, Key Giveaway Reminder

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In Dev Log #16 we discuss the highlights in the new build 0.28.0 (live NOW!) and remind you that there’s a way to easily get your friends into Midair with our key giveaway!

Key Giveaway Reminder

For those who didn’t read through the last Dev Log – make sure you check out our key giveaway where simply playing 10 hours of Midair will get you a free key to give to a friend! If they play 10 hours they can get one too. All that’s required is you meet the requirements and sign in through Steam on the Gleam.io page for our giveaway. Check out the details here and get your free key by clicking the button below. The giveaway is running through October 14th or until keys run out, so act in the next couple weeks to ensure you get your key.

Build Highlights

Turret Farming

One of the more frequent points of feedback we hear is that turrets are easily able to shut down cappers and offenses when they assault a base. Turrets are meant to be useful tools for defending, but they’re also not supposed to completely shutdown an offense. One of the reasons this is a problem is because teams can cram many turrets into a small area. This is an issue particularly on maps with structures around flag stands like CTF-HowlingSpires where players can put down both sentinel AND land turrets en masse. In addition, turrets can also be difficult to spot until they start shooting at you. In this build, we’re taking the first steps to addressing the overwhelming nature of turret farms as a whole.

DENSITY

The first change we’re making is turrets across the board now have a significantly larger deployment interference zone. This should keep the number of turrets in smaller areas down without decreasing the overall effectiveness of individual turrets. The interference zone is essentially the minimum deployment range from another turret of the same type. For example, if a player deploys a Land turret and the interference zone is 10m, they may not deploy another Land turret within 10m of that first turret. They may, however, deploy a Sentinel turret within that range, but additional Sentinel turret will still need to be deployed outside the interference zone of the first Sentinel turret.

VISIBILITY

The second set of changes we’re making are around visibility. Turrets are now physically larger and have asset IFFs that can be used to easily spot them when they’re in range of your sensors. This should make finding and destroying turrets easier in general. The asset IFFs can also be used to spot friendly turrets at a glance, so if you’re an engineer you can more easily determine where your turrets are and which turrets have been destroyed. We have plans to expand this IFF system and make it a bit more intelligent over time, but this should help in the short-term.

COUNTERS

The third change we’ve made is around a natural enemy of the turret farm: the Stealth pack’s Sensor Jammer augment. Even though the Sensor Jammer is intended to be extremely effective at combating turrets, we’ve generally found it to be underutilized. We believe that this is because the alternatives are more effective and useful in more situations than the Sensor Jammer. In this build, the Sensor Jammer now has a special “Passivist” secondary augment that makes it a passive ability instead of an active one in exchange for decreased energy regeneration. This should make the augment more useful across the board and hopefully bring it more into favor in Base CTF. The Sensor Jammer no longer has the Patience or Buddy System augments available for the time being.

NEW: EMP Grenade

We’re adding the EMP Grenade to your arsenal of throwable items. The EMP is thrown just like the normal grenade except it has a greater impact on the target’s energy than their health. Here’s the breakdown of the effects of the EMP:

  1. Energy is removed from the target’s energy pool based on how close they are from the center of the EMP blast
  2. Energy regeneration is completely stopped for 2 seconds no matter how far from the blast they are
  3. The EMP explosion will also do a slight bit of damage depending on how far from the blast the target is

The EMP Grenade is a great way to impact your opponents mobility or punish their reliance on energy-based abilities and weapons. Check out the effects in the GIF below.

Quality of Life Improvements

Because our development cycle was a bit smaller this time around due to PAX and breaks so the team can recharge, the patch is smaller than many we’ve done. However we took this time to sneak in many quality of life features we thought improved the overall user experience. This includes bug fixes, auto-team balancing, a first pass on automatic audio announcements for game events like flag grabs and generator states, some visual improvements like Out of Bounds (OOB) grid visual improvements, and more. Check out the complete list in the patch notes. In the meantime, here’s a shot of the new OOB grid visuals.

Patch Notes CB 0.28.0

Bug Fixes

  • CTF-Aria, CTF-Hoki, CTF-Ignitus all had holes fixed which allowed you to take the flag underneath the map
  • Fixed an issue where InvulnerableAssets was applying to assets in tutorials
  • Fixed an issue where players could spawn at the enemy base at the start of a game
  • You can no longer spam repair packs or rapidly swap between multiple packs
  • Fixed server browser sorting (it should work now)
  • Players will no longer look like they’re walking while jetting underwater
  • Fixed a bug where “Enter vehicle” text would not appear when you approached a vehicle
  • Your stats will be remembered if you disconnect and reconnect to the same match
  • While spectating someone who dies/goes into inventory, you will no longer have to re-spectate them to continue following them
  • Leaving a keybind blank and binding that key to something else should no longer result in a double keybind upon reloading the game (For example: Rebinding the default zoom key of “E” to flagtoss and leaving zoom blank will not force you to zoom every time you flagtoss)
  • The dam water now extends all the way to the ground on CTF-Dam
  • “Enter Vehicle <Use Keybind>” text will no longer appear while in a vehicle
  • Fixed an issue where players would bounce off of others’ heads and inherit their velocity in the opposite direction – this should make bodyblocking more effective
  • Sentinel turrets and Water turrets have firing sounds and effects again

Art and Animations

  • Updated ammo pickup art
  • NEW: Inner and outer OOB grid art, also increased the visibility distance of the grids
  • NEW: 1p flag grab animations
  • NEW: Mine tossing animations
  • Projectile explosions now have unique decals
  • The Light has put on his goggles again!

General

  • NEW: EMP Grenade
  • NEW: Automatic team balancing
  • First pass on updating the vehicle HUD
  • The birds became smaller on Verdant and Minora
  • Players will no longer have a view that is locked in place in Arena pre-round
  • Spectating players can now toggle spectate to avoid being forced to spectate someone
  • Players are no longer turned around when using base inventory stations
  • If players fire while cloaked, they will become uncloaked
  • There is a slight delay before cloak pack will become active. In the future, this will include a transition effect to be more clear of what is happening
  • Sensor Jammer is now a passive primary augment for the Stealth pack
  • Added Jump-then-Skate and Toggle-Skate options, these will be available through your Input.ini using bJumpthenskate=True/False and bToggleSkate=True/False
  • Increased the deployable interference zones significantly to balance turret farms, this applies to deployables of the same type only
  • Increased the size of Land and Sentinel turrets
  • Increased the distance that mines can be placed next to each other so that they are spread further apart
  • Turrets now have a diamond IFF to help make them more visible
  • Character optimization to give a minor boost to performance with higher player counts
  • Max framerate default was changed to 160
  • Slight buff to mortar speed and bounce
  • Mortars will now do significantly more damage to base inventory stations
  • Asset kills now give points
  • Made some improvements to the Engineer UX to include the following:
    • Improvements to the messaging of why you can’t deploy something,
    • You can now select a deployable and have the hologram ready to deploy when you don’t have enough charges
    • Holograms will disappear when entering the engineer menu

Audio

  • NEW: First pass on gameplay auto-announcer system (can be disabled using bAutoAnnouncer in your Input.ini)

Maps

  • CTF-Deserted Sands – smaller tunnel to the base, more protected generator, removed floating pyramid above the flagstand, new stargates
  • LCTF-Exhumed is now a daytime map
  • LCTF-Minora – minor lighting fixes and optimizations
  • AR-Autumnal had a slight makeover
  • LCTF-Frozenlines has been readded
  • CTF-HowlingSpires had the flight ceiling raised significantly
  • CTF-Tenebris has been sent on vacation to Finland for a makeover
  • CTF-Aria now has a vehicle pad
  • CTF-Icewind has new glaciers
  • CTF-Dam has received base layout changes
  • Removed several prototype maps based on user feedback

Server Admins

The following features will be available soon after the build goes live on Branzone servers:

  • Deployable maximums can now be set by the type of deployable
  • Specific weapon maximums can now be set

Welcome to the Midair Closed Beta

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Welcome to the Midair Closed Beta!

The Midair Closed Beta is now LIVE on Steam Early Access!

Don’t have access? Play Midair TODAY!

 

Join the Community!

While you’re downloading the game, join the Official Midair Discord server and head to the forums to give feedback, meet other Midair players, and keep up to date on the latest Midair news.

Beginner-Friendly Servers

We’ve added new servers to help new players find a place to practice and get up to speed with the game. New to the game? Join up on servers labeled “Beginner Friendly” and feel free to ask for help! We’ll try to monitor these servers more closely in particular to make sure there’s a good experience maintained for all.

Are you a veteran Midair player? Feel free to join these servers and help out new players – this is HIGHLY ENCOURAGED! Just make sure to consider their experience while playing and don’t get too competitive. Admins will be around to help remind you. 🙂

New Website

If you’re here, you’ve probably noticed we have a brand new website! Take a look around and please leave feedback in the forums.

A “Thank You” to the Midair Community

We wanted to send out a special thank you to our amazing community for supporting the game and our team up to this point. Every person on the dev team is appreciative of your time and effort playing and giving feedback up through this release (and hopefully beyond!). Your Discord messages, forum posts, and constant feedback is critical to the success of the game.

We would not have been able to do this without you, and you have made Midair better since we entered into Pre-Alpha over a year ago. The game has grown leaps and bounds, and as you’ve seen from the last several dev logs and patches, we’re able to do more and more as we get closer to release.

It’s a super exciting time for Midair and we’re fortunate to have such a passionate, committed community.

Now get out there and play some MIDAIR!