Last week, we through our beloved Will "Merlin" Stahl to the wolves as we hid behind his gentle exterior to answer your questions. Whether you missed the announcement, had something more pressing going on (Suuuuuuuure you did.), or just aren't down with this new-fangled reddit thing, fear not: we've pulled out the choice tidbits and formatted them in a little more traditional Q&A-style. Read on!
Q: What's the current road-map on squad? - Shurmanpa
A: We don't have a public roadmap right now, but it is something that we are open to having and might very well put up. In lieu of that though, we can give a broad look at 2018 and what our goals for it are.
The primary goal (for 2018) is getting Squad to be a more complete product that has exited early access. In doing that, we are focusing on a few key areas that we think are important for that, primarily:
- Supporting 100 Players in a server
- Tanks and heavy AT / TOWs
- Giving a significant amount of attention to the game's design, game modes, and rules.
- User Experience, in particular for new players and squad leaders.
Two of those are of course very open-ended, (game design and user experience), but since the question is just about a roadmap, we'll plan to address those more below.
Beyond those core targets, there are a number of things that will be other deliverables as a part of getting Squad to "1.0". In particular, that includes:
- The Great Britain faction
- A rework of insurgent models
- Randomized AAS, Territory Control, and another unannounced game modes
- An evaluation of the medic system *with the possiblity of serious change)
- An evaluation of the basics of FOB rules, rally points, and spawning machanics (with the possibility of serious change)
- A rework to suppression
- A significant performance pass, both for clients and servers
There are other things that are not likely to make 1.0, but which we are leaving for major patches after that, primarily for example commanders and fireteams. There are other maybe items, but given that they are maybes I think it's best to leave them out of this roadmap answer, and stick to things that we are 100% on.
To address the idea of a more open / public roadmap, we will definitely consider having one, but please be mindful of the fact that our goals for getting to 1.0 are in all honesty quite simple, and some of the critical components to that like game design and user experience, are so dynamic that it's actually really hard to pin down right now exactly what will change until we've spent the time evaluating things in depth and working at it. In short, a formal roadmap for the public would be good, but in all honesty, I don't think it would tell you that much beyond what I'm posting up front here.
Q: When you say 1.0, is that referring to non-alpha, first patch, kinda thing?? - Thinking-About-Her
1.0 is referring to early access exit, which is considered to us the "full launch" of the game.
Q: Way back in the past you guys had mentioned the start of the work about "interactive doors," is this feature still a thing? If yes, will be some kit able to "lock" those doors? - Aragorn89
A: It's been mentioned as an idea in the past, but it is not something we are committing to for 1.0 or in general. It is cool and we would love to do it, but it also may not happen.
Q: You have confirmed the introduction of the Breacher kit, that this kit may be the only one able to destroy enemy HAB / Radio rather than everyone being able with the shovel? And if you guys are working on to the "interactive doors" will be this kit the only one capable to "open" those locked doors (via shotgun / c4) and "breach" with the Squad? - Aragorn89
A: If we did do doors, that would be a part of Breacher kit for sure. Breacher kit will likely be a post-1.0 feature, but when it does happen, it would be a great time for interactive doors as well.
Q: With v10 you guys have introduced the possibility for logistics truck to take resource from a FOB and bring them to another one without going back to Main Base. Will this feature will be expanded in the future with the introduction of logistics helicopters? If the resource will be "physics" (a.k.a. ammo / supply crate) we will be able to carry those? - Aragorn89
A: It's a great idea. I can tell you we would love to have it in, but like the answers above, I can't promise it of course.
Q: You guys are finishing the Brits. Have you looked around for the next faction? Without being precise, will it be more likely to be from the Middle East, Asia, or Europe? - Aragorn89
A: We're focusing on the Brits now. I would not be surprised if we do another Middle East-ish faction in the future, but we only have plans internally for new factions of yet. Until work actually begins on one of them, I want to leave that possibility open for now.
Q: Will the way squadmate name tags behave change? Will they ever appear only if you target someone? - Aragorn89
A: This is one of those difficult balances between immersion and user experience. I think likely nametags being always above people's heads will be here to stay, but I expect our designers will re-evaluate that prior to 1.0.
Q: Will you add the ability to see a replay of the match? Similar to the Battlerecorder of PR? - Aragorn89
A: We already have a semi-functional version of it, there are just bugs. I can't promise it 100% but I would say that it is likely.
Q: Is individual limb condition still being considered? Can we expect to walk slower, or sway our weapons more, if we've been shot in a leg or arm? If so, how do you plan to have the players return to full combat effectiveness? A simple medic heal, or something more? - TheNirl
A: We have talked a good amount about being damaged impacting your combat effectiveness in general, which could happen pre-1.0. That said, I wouldn't go as far as to say it would be limb specific or realistic, it would be meant as a gameplay feature to encourage people to properly have a medic in their squad and work together.
Q: Has the implementation on aimpunch been seriously considered? If you don't intend on adding this mechanic, why is it? Considering that even the most arcade shooter has this, and that Squad has so many other gameplay mechanics designed to give a half realistic feel to the game, including the camera shake with nearby explosions, it seems only logical that one shouldn't be able to return accurate fire as one is actually getting hit by bullets. - TheNirl
A: I don't want to get too detailed with it but sway/weapon handling being impacted by getting hit or being shot at is definitely up for discussion, but I wouldn't say it's promised. I could see this being a little controversial as well for some people, so I don't want anyone to panic, it may even be slight if we do it.
Q: The new AAS flag cap mechanics made AAS extremely linear. The Invasion game mode also plays in a one-way direction. Is this the overall feel you want all game modes to maintain, or do you plan on creating and/or working on other ones, into which a bit more unpredictability is built?
A: We definitely do not want Squad to be linear or predictable, as I think it actually discourages teamwork, rather than encourages it like we want. It additionally kills the immersion and feeling of being in a battle. In short, we do want to improve our game modes and game flow quite a bit, it will just take time. In particular, we wanted to see how A10 impacts the flow of the game, but now that it is out we can give serious attention to this.
Q: The round start timer still feels a bit on the tight side, especially since you don't always load into the map very quickly. Any plans to give us a bit more time to overcome the initial inertia of creating squads and getting a plan going, or do you feel this is a problem that will not be solved by longer timers at that stage? - TheNirl
A: That number will almost certainly change in the future, as what we have now was just the first iteration.
Q: V10 changed the game a lot. Plenty of people love it, plenty of people hate it. Do you feel like the community, in general, is with you in regards to where it seems you're taking the game? Or do you instead feel like the game as it was before this update might have led people to believe that Squad would be a totally different beast than what you envisioned? - TheNirl
A: I think in a broad sense everyone on our team is happy with the big picture changes we've made in V10 (in particular w/ weapons and movement), and while there will be adjustment of it, I do think what we have now is more expressive of our original intent for the game
, In particular, I feel the change has pushed things more in the direction where one person on the battlefield is nowhere near as effective as a large group due particularly to the movement and weapon changes.
That said, I feel like we might be disenfranchising some people that we don't want to be with some of secondary effects that A10 has caused (in particular with the pacing and "meat grinder" feeling around spawning in the game), and we'll be working hard to improve that in the future.
Q: Are there any plans to hold an intervention for Suicidal Chair over his known proclivity to use a controller to play Squad? - TheNirl
A: Unfortunately he earned diplomatic impunity as a community representative a long time ago, and we're unable to bring him to justice. (Editor's note: Feel free to continue trying. It's not like he can drive away with that thing.)
Q: With the removal of reshade and complaints of blurriness, lack of saturation etc. Is it possible to implement some of the shaders used in reshade to Squad? If not are you considering any other options? - WignerVille
A: Absolutely, and it something we're talking about alot internally right now. As far as addressing it, it's good to picture it in two specific areas:
Lighting: This is to address the color and saturation factor. This is the primary thing that reshade addresses. We already have an experienced artist from an established studio who is new on our team working on this.
Anti-Aliasing: This is the wider "blurriness" factor. We have a developer on our team thinking about this as well, but this will also be the harder problem to tackle, as it's a deep and difficult matter of addressing how the engine handles anti-aliasing. For context, this is something that other Unreal Engine based games run into as well, the big two who we know have struggled with it being PUBG and Ark. This is not to say that it isn't solvable, but it will definitely take some time.
Q: Will we get some more in-depth per-server options? Turning off nametags/map indicators, modified communication, modified rally/FOB mechanics? Basically like a sort of "hardcore" mode that can be modified by the server admins? - MaslinuPoimal
A: I know it's tough, but I have to say maybe on this. We talk about it a lot, and it really comes down to how much customization can we add, but still not sacrifice the core game having a unified experience that won't make it more difficult for new players to learn the game, and split the community. That said I wouldn't say we're completely closed to the idea either, it really just depends on what specific settings are being evaluated. We'll certainly consider it much more heavily before 1.0 is out as a part of our design evaluation.
Q: What is the plan for the game balance once heavy vehicles are released such as tanks? Are we going to have more AT options? Different munitions for vehicles? - UnemployedClown
A: Primarily addressing this will be done with more AT options, and adjusting damage and armor levels. As answered in another question we will be spending time on our damage and armor systems programming wise to make that happen.
This does raise the bigger question of what is the appropriate role for vehicles to play. I think the simple answer to that is we do want vehicles to be powerful and make a difference on the battlefield, but we also want them to have practical and exploitable weaknesses that really do require them to work closely together with infantry/squad leaders.
Q: How high is the priority for optimization currently? The game is quite heavy on single threaded performance and I bet most people don't own high-end Intel CPU and would welcome some more FPS. - Pempu
A: It's a very high priority that we have multiple developers working on now.
Q: Do you plan to develop and support Squad for a long time and make it the best it can be after launch like you did for years on Project Reality or would you rather move on to another new project after EA? - Cellandine
A: It really depends on how well the game keeps selling in the next couple years. A big difference between where we're at now that is different from Project Reality is that we have a team of developers who make a living off OWI, and we have to make sure their company sticks around.
That said regardless of whether Squad does or doesn't keep selling well after we exit Early Access, we do have a baseline amount of features and content we will be doing after launch. Picture version 1.1, 1.2, etc.
All of that said, many of our developers would love to keep having Squad be an organic game with a long lifespan that we keep working on. There certainly are devs on the team who would like to work on new stuff as well (after four years on working on the same thing I think this is reasonable), so I would also expect some new titles out of OWI as well once Squad is complete.
Q: Any (new) words about the Territory Control Game Mode? - FidelisSodalis
A: We are in the process of building and tweaking it now, (we have a developer actively working on it). We're going to begin closed testing of it next month.
Q: Tell us something about Helicopter flight model /pilot kits? - FriendlyNikolai
A: It's in the very early stages, but we have begun work on it.
Having flown it around with the prototype we have, the physics model has been coming along very well, but I think the big thing to work on beyond just completing that physics work will be setting the feel and design for the handling.
Pilot kits we haven't spent time doing the in-depth design for, but I can tell you we definitely will have them.
Q: Is an overhaul or improvement on the current suppression system planned? - Karmakut
A: Yes, an overhaul/improvement to the suppression system is planned. It's hard to say exactly how far we'll go with it before playtesting it, but in general, it would be about making it harder to fire back when you're taking fire.
Q: I'm enjoying the current v10 changes as they make Squad even more unique than other shooters. Squad is currently the only immersive, realism, mil-sim type game of this scale that you can pick up and play without a community or an abhorrent amount of mods. Do you plan to dive further towards this direction to keep the game unique? - Karmakut
A: I've always been reluctant to call Squad or PR for that matter a "milsim", as the aim was never to simulate the details and harshness of combat in real life. It may have been a bit more the case for PR on day one, but it certainly was not the aim for Squad from day one.
What I have always believed is an important aspect though of Squad, is creating an authentic "battle experience". Namely the damage values, guns, vehicles, etc may not be perfectly true to real life, and there may even be some artistic license and a heavy departure from realism used in some cases, but as a whole, the game makes it feel like you are in a battle as much as you can reasonably achieve in a video game, without sacrificing the teamwork and communication that are the core of the game.
That battle experience aspect aside, the important aspects I attribute to Squad are things like talking to your teammates, moving and sticking together as a group, riding vehicles out to battle, defending a base, joking and being friends with the people you're fighting with, often who are random strangers, which is the coolest part for me and many others. This was always the essence of Squad and previously PR for me, and I treat the things I just listed as the base foundation of the game, and the constants that all other aspects of the game should be fueling and driving.
I think the design principle that we used internally on the PR team that captured this best was always "Gameplay over realism". That is not to say that realism isn't important, but it is to say that making the gameplay in a reasonable way that encourages teamwork is indeed more important, and it's where the experience is more important than the simulation. A simple example would be the damage model and medics, where IRL weapons and vehicles are much more damaging than we depict, and the battlefield is a much harsher place, but in Squad you can instantly revive or heal a mortal wound.
I hope that explains it in a healthy way. I don't think we want to ever abandon the game being quite realistic, but we do want to ensure that we are staying true to that teamwork and communication vision we've had from the start. Hopefully, I'm not splitting hairs on the difference between a "military simulation" and a "battle experience", but I think that should help clarify our direction for many.
Q: Is the hosting of Dev approved Mod servers something you're considering to support? - Karmakut
A: Yes we are considering it, and we are actively working on ways to improve modding to become something that is usable and practical. (Editor's Note: Axton and Zakstrange are definitely our internal champions here. Feel free to share ideas in the Community Modding Discord.)
Q: What is your current opinion of the pacing of Squad as is, do you think it needs to be adjusted to be faster? Slower? Good for now? - Karmakut
This is a great question, and also a really tough one. For the answer, rather than focusing on whether Squad is too fast or slow right now, I think a more important situation that would need to be resolved first before tackling pacing is the "meat grinder" situation you see often times where people would much rather die and respawn and keep charging into battle, rather than moving carefully and staying as a group and waiting for a revive. I think improvements to spawning mechanics, FOB rules, and medics will ultimately be the solution to this, where it's easier to keep your Squad together and get people revived. In that sense, I feel that the answer to your original pacing question if I had to guess, is that the firefights themselves once they happen have a great pace, but the macro level of the game is too fast and "charge in" oriented.
We also don't want to go overboard with this. We definitely don't want the game to be a hiking simulator, and we want there to be a good level of firefights despite the fact that people don't charge in, and it's where I think we want to find ways to help keep the Squad together with buffing medic mechanics, and making firefights last longer with some of the weapon and movement changes we have already added, making the distant engagements slightly more survivable and less harsh, and on top of that re-evaluating our game modes for how they could also help with this dynamic.
Q: As far as map design, it feels like most cap points are so well defended by the immediate structures and terrain that those are the only places on that map that see combat. For example, even though Gorodok and Yeho are massive maps you only see gameplay on an extremely small fraction of the map and most combat begins at under 100 meters on the capture zones. Conversely, on Kohat Invasion where the cap zones are incredibly hard to hold directly, you see much more combat spread out over the entire north side of the map. Are there any plans to alter the current capture zones or compounds to encourage more combat over other parts of the map, rather than limiting these huge maps to compound to compound fighting where 80% of the map is ignored? - Karmakut
A: Yes, it's something we're thinking about but we haven't dug into. I think the likely solution to this involves things like thinking of entirely different game modes/mechanics/rules that make caps more dynamic or even increasing cap sizes potentially.
Q: Tell us something about Helicopter flight model / pilot kits? - FriendlyNikolai
A: There is definitely a pilot kit planned, it's hard to say whether it would be in for the launch of helos though. Regarding flight model, an interesting snippet would be that while not exactly like it, we're definitely inspired by the flight model and skill that existed in Project Reality's helicopters. We're actively playing and studying other helo physics in different games to help inform ideas regarding it.
Q: With V10 almost taking a year to push out, what obstacles were the hardest to overcome? including current obstacles that are being faced right now with the current staff set up? - nothing1922
A: The hardest challenge for us I think was making the leap to transition things from the old animation system to the new one once it was fleshed out (basically the "enabling it" part).
Q: What do you really really want to do / include in Squad but can't do, for some reason? - guemitheblamegoat
A: Picture in picture "dual rendering" scopes would be a good example of something. It is technically doable just very expensive and unlikely to be practical anytime soon. That said we do spend time on occasion experimenting with it just because you never know :-)!
Q: I think it's often said that there are problems with the way Squad renders things at a distance with regards to visual clarity, and while I get the impression that this issue is also encountered in other UE4 titles, I was curious if you had any thoughts on this general lack of visual clarity at a distance? (Be it due to UE4's renderer/post-processing or otherwise). It's an interesting connection to the seemingly-widespread use of Reshade, which it seems some people feel the need to use to try to achieve a clearer visual experience. - HateDread
A: Answered a similar question elsewhere, but the gist of this is that it's a mix of improving our lighting and fixing/improving anti-aliasing. I'm certainly not an expert on the matter, but I know we have some talented guys inside the studio looking into it currently.
Q: What does the dev team think of arma style zoom to help visibility? What's the latest update on territory control? What ideas do the devs have for new suppression mechanics? - bored1492
A: It's definitely something that we're considering an option as a part of our design work in the coming months, but we, of course, may decide on a different way to solve the problem. We're definitely aware of this and actively thinking about it though.
Q: Will we be expecting more layers to be released on a more regular basis? I feel like more layers would reduce the "staleness" that many veteran players feel. - GlockR15
A: There will definitely be new layers to come, and in particular randomized AAS should help with this tremendously.
Another interesting part of this is making layers more lightweight. We just recently figured how to get our layers a fraction of the file size we have now, which should help make putting out more layers much cheaper download wise as well.
Q: Will there be any settings added for colorblind individuals? I believe there was or is an option for the map. Any plans to add for optics colors? - Bithskits
A: I can't promise it will happen, but I can tell you it's something we've talked about internally very specifically and would really like to have.
Q: Is there like a 10% chance we'll be getting player controlled planes, a10/f22 as shown in the kickstarter? - vishru601
A: I think to be honest it's something that we probably overpromised in the Kickstarter.
A: I would say, yes, there is a 10% chance, but it is likely a no. I definitely think air strikes and non-player controlled planes is something that is being much more heavily considered.
I personally would love to have jets in Squad myself, but I can't say that reflects what is practical for us to achieve well or figure out a good design for. It was actually one of my favorite parts of the "immersive factor" of Project Reality where you know there is a meta-battle in jets going on overhead with the occasional airstrike called in with a jet flyby to complement it. As a fun side note, once upon a time I flew jets during a PR Tournament campaign :-)
Q: Will the implementation of "resting" guns on surfaces/players make it into the game at some point? - TimeWarpEffect
A: No. It is a cool idea that I would love to have in Squad, but I don't believe we have the bandwidth to make it happen, unfortunately.
In particular given the interest in this question and my answer, I want to clarify that it is possible we'll add weapon resting in the future, it just isn't likely. We have a lot on our plate as a team right now, and this is one of those things we would consider cool and a nice to have, but not part of our core target for launch.
Q: How much longer do you think the resources will exist to continue developing squad before the priority shifts for OWI to start developing new titles? Do you think Squad will realistically leave early access within 3 years given the current rate of development? Huge fan of the game, been playing for about 3 weeks now... - Vettz
A: It's very hard to say, as it depends on the future. Given the current healthy financial situation we have though, we definitely have enough resources to be doing very serious work on Squad for at a minimum until early access exit this year and a decent chunk of work after that.
It's really a question of how long we keep working 100% on Squad in 2019, and at what point do we start splitting time between multiple serious projects. That would be impossible for me to predict now given the importance of Squad's sales to that dynamic. For all we know, we could be nearly as big as Arma in two years, or the sales could be tapering off a lot later this year or next, it's very hard to predict!
Q: With CoreInventory (or whatever the new system is) and Animations (mostly) taken care of, what do the devs suspect of the wait and rate of future content releases? Will we be able to expect fresh new, fun toys to be released rapid-fire now that core systems are redone? Or will such things like Tanks, Javelins, and Helicopters still take a decent amount of time, much like V10 did? - LMR_Sahara
A: Releases will be a lot faster now that A10 is done, I think that is very safe to say and I'll promise it for you! This is even for major features, I think you'll see a good steady stream of big stuff over the year, it should be quite exciting! (For both us and you.)
Q: Also, let's talk about Crewman kits and how they will work. Previously I have asked if the Crewman kit will get its own player model, and the answer was no. Has this stance changed? - LMR_Sahara
A: Regarding them having their own model: maybe. I wouldn't rule it out and we certainly want to do it, it's just a question of at what point it has its own model. As far as mechanics, we haven't locked into a design and don't have a detailed plan for it yet beyond "you need a crewman kit to drive a vehicle."
Q: How close are we do dragging downed players? Will this be available for all squad members, or just medics? - Pyrex238
A: We've done some prototyping of it but I would say it's still definitely a ways off and likely won't make it in until after 1.0. It's definitely proved pretty tough, but we do want to do our best to make it happen!
Q: In a recent podcast you mentioned adding quality of life features for players. Are there any plans to enable squadleaders to create fireteams? - crawlingeye
A: Yes, it is planned but it may not happen until after 1.0
Q: Teams of randoms which worked well together usually dissolve once the match is over, even when all or most of them stay on the server for the next match. Any ideas how to address this, so those who have no teams can more easily form one for the evening? - CptJohnMerowinger
A: We see this as one of the biggest issues in the game right now (how unreliable the experience can be, especially for new players). I think the key thing we hope to do to improve this is balancing the game better, and putting in more features where a single good Squad can help support a team that isn't doing quite well, and in particular find ways to keep the game fun and viable even if one team is doing a lot better. This will be a difficult challenge, but one we are planning to take on in 2018.
Q: For newer players, I feel one thing particularly inhibiting the learning curve might be that after every match the map and factions switch, so its hard to get some continuity. it would be interesting to set it as a standard for some servers to have every map played twice without the factions switching. is there any chance for this or is this an issue which has to be solved by the server renting folks? - CptJohnMerowinger
A: This is a double-edged sword. I do respect that it is missing for you, but you also have to remember there are others (new and old) who will be experiencing the opposite issue, where after a particularly long match the last thing they want to do is play another match on the same map.
Q: Another thing is there any chance to change the map markers and such into standard nato symbols as an optional thing in the settings? - CptJohnMerowinger
A: That is cool idea! I don't think we'll have the bandwidth to pull it off ourselves, but it does sound like something that might be a cool mod in the future, and it's also an example of a simple client-side mod that I could see us allowing in the vanilla game.
Q: How is it intended that players use the vehicles/what's the plan for vehicle play? its seems they are used now often as a drive through at enemy lines without much time to shoot them three times or however often you need to hit them. would be interesting if the vehicles could get more easily demobilized but also more easily mobilized with for example 3-5 guy - CptJohnMerowinger
A: This is a great insight, in particular for someone new to the game. We actually talk about this quite a bit when we talk about design, but in short, it's absolutely important to us that vehicles be encouraged to work together with infantry and not go suicide rushing into the enemy. I think the best way we'll address this in the future is by looking closely at our damage model, and making sure armor and damage encourage a teamwork oriented use for vehicles, but hopefully we can come up with some new and novel ideas for encouraging that "joint infantry" style of play with vehicles as well.
Q: Is there any idea whether TrackIR integration will make it into the game in the foreseeable future? - PlasticCan
A: It is not planned for 1.0 "launch", and I would say overall it's unlikely. It is possible though we could have time for it in major updates after launch.
Q: With the launch of V10, there were significant changes to gun sway after movement. Are you happy with the current implementation or is there room to move to a less aggressive approach? - Kiw1Fruit
A: I think we are open to dampening the sway in the future, but we are seeing how the changes impact the game at the moment before we rush to change it again, in particular, the sway after movement. SgtRoss is taking a lot of feedback on it, and we do have changes planned for V11, and at a minimum, he's fairly confident about reducing the settle sway (the sway punishment for movement)
That said, we do see sway in general as an important tool for achieving our vision for Squad. In general, it makes firefights last longer and conversely causes the game to be more survivable. This I think is very helpful for our vision, as it makes it easier for players to stick together, and makes the game more forgiving for new players.
Q: Would you consider releasing an altitude map instead of a satellite map for use in the menu to provide better information for players when trying to move into different positions or flanking?- BrutallyMilky
A: We can certainly consider it, but I'm not sure if we would be getting ourselves into some serious extra work. Could be a great attempted modding project though. I can say though if we did do it this is something I'd like to keep as a client-side option ideally or toggleable thing so that players can choose which they prefer.
Q: What are your plans for adding a possible Canadian faction into the game? Also are you hiring any young Canadian talent to your team? ;) - in_me_bum_mum
A: We don't have a Canadian faction planned and I don't think it's likely to happen from us, but I wouldn't rule it out entirely! At the same time, this is also where we are hoping modders will help step up and produce factions as well.
Our only open position right now is for senior-level programmers, so if you're an experienced software engineer with unreal engine development experience, don't be afraid to send me a DM!
Q: Fireteams: are they coming? When can we expect them? How will they work? Will there be class restrictions for Fire Team Leaders? Or an entirely new class specifically made for them? - FairZ33
A: Not too much is locked in for the design, but I can tell you personally I've always envisioned them as a tool for the squad leaders to better organize their squad.
Namely I picture it not as something that puts in extra rules, but rather something that allows FTL's to place markers, adds more color coding based on who is in which fireteam or even lets vehicle squads split up by vehicle and each vehicle has its own markers.
I'm spitballing here a bit so take the above with a grain of salt (I'm not a designer!!), but hopefully, that gives you a picture of what could be possible.
Q: Will there be optimization many users have lower fps on v10 then v9? - MidnightTactics
A: Yes sir! We're working hard at it now. It's hard to say exactly when a big improvement to it will come, but if things go well hopefully soon!
Q: With the Mod Tools out and the Workshop online what do you expect Modders to create and what kind of content would you like them to create? Have there been any mods that stood out to you guys that you'd like to mention? - pureparadise
A: I really liked the helicopter mod! It was surreal for me flying around Squad maps in a helo for the first time, and I thought it was awesome that I got to have that experience with a mod.
We would like to see all sorts of mods, and I wouldn't mind seeing people going way out there and making survival mods, zombie mods, king of the hill, battle royale, casual style play and inventory. If there ever is a Project Reality mod for Squad, we'll know we've reached peak mod meta haha. Heck if at some point I get some time freed up I might spend a bit working on a mod myself!
I know there are some who might not be 100% cool about seeing those things, but tbh I think it would be great to have more diversity outside the vanilla game, and I think it would expose the base game experience to a lot of people who have never seen it, much as vanilla Battlefield did for Project Reality. As long as we keep a strong core vanilla game experience outside of modding with an active player base (think Battlefield 2), I don't see an issue with having that kind of diverse modding ecosystem.
Q: When can we expect the Insurgency game mode to get the much-needed development and quality of life attention it needs to become playable on a regular basis? Currently, 99.99% of servers only run AAS, I loved the Insurgency mode in Project Reality and long to see its return. Thanks. - BromleyTube
A: Soon (TM), haha. But in actuality, as I've mentioned above we're giving some much-needed love to game modes, rules, mechanics, etc, in the coming months, and Insurgency will definitely be in our sights there.
Q: Any new plans on destruction? Last time, which has been quite a while btw, I heard/read that destroyable bridges, breachable doors and tunnel entrances and possibly stuff like destroyable wooden fences could be a thing? I assume this will not happen before v1.0, right? - langpascal
A: I would say some minor levels of destruction like doors could still very well be a thing, but as you say it would very likely be after 1.0 if it did happen.
Q: It was my understanding that Squad would seek to be realistic in factions, locations, equipment, damage models (to an extent), but would draw the line in maintaining a good game balance and always reward individual player skill (and obviously teamwork too).
Do you have any comments that can abate some of the fears of the competitive community about lessening potential player skill and moving too far left towards the milsim side of the continuum? - swoledier
A: I had always hoped the game would end up after all is said and done right in the middle of your chart and I still would like to see that. Half arcade, half milsim (and half pig).
Our aim is not to make the game more "milsimy" and to be honest some of the changes that we are discussing for the future like buffing and making it easier for medics or even potentially other players to revive, and making it possible for a Squad to drop a rally point even if their Squad Leader is dead, both of which I think would do the exact opposite and make the game less milsimy.
Q: Will we see ATGMs mounted on vehicles besides Infantry Fighting Vehicles? Like a TOW on a MRAP? or a ATGM Technical? Also, we have deep water on certain maps now, will we see vehicles with amphibious traits able to use that ability, The BRDM, BTR and MT-LB Variants are all amphibious vehicles IRL, and the ability to cross deep rivers and lakes would be a cool addition. - Generalalex952
A: I would have to double check with design but given that we are already committed to TOWs as a separate emplacement, I would think this is very likely a yes.
Q: Will we start to see a change in damage models for vehicles as the game progresses? I.E will APC/ IFV damage per RPG shot be increased moving forward. - PortableCougar
A: Yes, we are doing a rework of the vehicle damage system that has already begun the design stage.
Q: What kind of factions can we look forward to in the future? I know there are some political issues with China, but what about Germany? Canada? IDF? France? - Captain_Squad
A: We do have rough plans drawn up for other potential factions beyond Great Britain in the future, but nothing is set in stone or confirmed yet.
Q: How do you feel about making further changes to the gunplay? I know many find the recoil/sway to be neither realistic, nor fun. - MasterXasthur
A: We are evaluating exactly how far we've gone with it and I think in some areas, in particular, the sway punishment for movement, we may be too harsh with it in the current iteration. Overall though it's here to stay.
This is definitely a big decision we've made, but we do feel like it holds true to a vision that encourages teamwork and communication. For us it really is not a matter of realism, but a matter of making the game more survivable and making firefights last longer, both to benefit people trying to survive and stick together, and new players who will have a harder time surviving without it. There are other factors there for sway of course, and they are much more in depth, but the above is what I personally care about the most in ernest.
Yes it will be harder to get kills, but that's the idea of the entire game. It is a tradeoff where it is a lot harder to kill people than in other typical games, but at the same time this allows people to survive longer and stick together.
It is worth mentioning though that there is more than one way to help increase survivability as well, which could involve making weapons slightly less damaging in the future (or increasing player health conversely) and then tuning down the sway potentially. I can't promise this will happen as this is something that I would like our designers to decide and have a feel for, but it is another good reason for why we are re-evaluating our damage system in general in the coming months. We specifically didn't want to do both these things at once regardless, as we wanted to see how movement, sway and recoil changes impacted the game and the meta before we look at damage more closely.
I do hope in the future it will be easier to have people make mods so that they can play other variants of the game that have different mechanics, but I have a hard time picturing undoing the current changes to recoil and sway wholesale.
Q: Will you continue to provide support for the competitive scene of Squad? We need the support! - ghost0128
A: Yes! We still love the competitive scene and are listening to you guys when it comes to your concerns and feedback regarding A10.
A: The game has changed a lot for sure, and those changes are definitely here to stay albeit with plenty of tweaking to come. Our hope is that even as the game evolves, there can be a good competitive way to play the game that involves player skill across a wide spectrum of traits, including the ability to work together and communicate, the ability to lead people, the ability to shoot guns well and kill, the ability to play objectives, and the ability to stay alive and survive.
Q: A game can end based on just one guy losing a vehicle. I was wondering if you've considered an alternative: Instead of taking away tickets from the team that lost the vehicle, give the tickets to the team that destroyed the vehicle. It would prevent a couple from guys ending a potentially close game for the other 38 people on the team. - slntdth7
A: I think other designers on the team would answer this better, but I can tell you we definitely think about this problem a lot and hope to come up with a solution for discouraging stupid behavior with the abandonment of vehicles.
Switching the tickets around from punishment to encouragement is a clever idea though, I'll make sure our designers take a look!
That's it! You read it all! And you deserve a (Squad) gold star for making it all the way. A special thank you to everyone that attended, submitted questions, or read along after the fact. We hope to see you at the next one!