Alpha 13 Test Gameplay Changes


Note: This article has been updated to reflect changes to the test-in-progress. See the bottom for recent changes.

We hope to achieve an increased level of transparency in the development process, for those features/mechanics that will be affecting the gameplay experience in a major way.

Each new feature we want to explain clearly and answer all these questions you may have:

  1. What is the new/modified feature or mechanic is?
  2. What issue we had in the previous version, why we think a mechanic was not working?
  3. Why did we decide to add/change a mechanic in that way?
  4. How will the new/modified feature work now?
  5. What do we want to achieve with this new change? X, Y, Z.

RAAS Fog of War

A Fog-of-War element has been added to all RAAS layers.

The first Capture Point is known, and the next Capture point in the lattice is revealed once your team has fully captured your current objective.

This mechanic has been added to increase variability in gameplay.  (Especially at the beginning of a round.) We believe this will further help differentiate RAAS from AAS.

In A12 we noticed the RAAS was not as distinguished from normal AAS as we would like, especially regarding the initial movement period “rush”. With Fog of War we hope to increase a deeper variety of tactics, encouraging fallback positions, overwatch positions, the need for reconnaissance and the maneuvering of heavy assets.

We expect rushing to become more a tactical maneuver for gaining initial control on the territory of the map and scouting routes of enemy advancement, than a way to guarantee a victory in the fight for objective.

RAAS Lanes

Random AAS now has Lanes added to all RAAS_v1 map layers.

RAAS Lanes breaks up the Capture Zones into 2 or 3 lanes per layer. Each Lane will have 5 to 8 Capture Zone groups. Each Capture Zone group still has only 1 CP selected per round, out of a potential up to 5 Capture Zones.

In A12 we have layers with Capture Zones that can be quite distant across the map, which can cause transportation problems and needlessly extend round length times. RAAS Lanes will help group up the flow of each Capture Zone to be relatively close to each other. This should prevent instances where Capture Zones are located far away from each other, which will help general flow of gameplay.

AAS/RAAS Ticket Bleed

Ticket bleed has been added back to all AAS and RAAS gameplay layers.

This should give back a little more incentive to push to the next enemy point.

Why it was removed? In past ticket bleed was too powerful, and also was triggering on the central flags, resulting in King of the Hill style of gameplay, and also incentivizing players to rush from the start to the central objective that was providing a ticket bleed bonus. In the end, it led to the repetitive gameplay experience, rounds were played in almost exactly the same way, which clearly wasn’t our goal & intention.

In addition, ticket bleed was not a very transparent mechanic, it didn’t have any UI representation.

So now we are reintroducing ticket bleed mechanics into AAS/RAAS game modes, with improvements, based on our previous experience.

Ticket Bleed UI Indicator

The opposing team will start bleeding tickets if you will successfully capture at least one objective on the enemy side of the flag lattice. For each objective on the enemy part of the map, controlled by your team, the enemy will lose 1 ticket per minute.

On map layers with an odd number of objectives, central objectives are considered a middle ground, and therefore do not trigger ticket bleed to avoid causing King-of-the-Hill style fighting for it.

On such layers, your team will need to capture at least one more flag past the central point for the enemy to start bleeding tickets.

And for map layers with even number of objectives, your team will need to capture more than half of them, to trigger ticket bleed on the enemy team.

One more important detail, that in the case of “double-neutral” stalemate situation, all ticket bleed mechanics will be paused until stalemate will be solved.

A12 mercy bleed has not changed in A13: if one team manages to successfully capture all flags on the map, the opposing team will suffer a catastrophic ticket bleed of 60 tickets per minute, to help bring an end to the round.

SL Buddy Rally feature

Added the ability for Squad Leaders to place rally points remotely next to other squad’s Rally Points.

This request is only available when the squad leader of the placing squad is dead.

This is intended to allow Squads to have the flexibility to reinforce friendly Squads separate to FOBs.

This is an experimental feature requiring feedback.

Removal of the Insta-death penalty timer on Revive

  • When a player is sent to the incapacitated state, they will now not enter the Insta-death if they reach 0 HP within a certain time of being revived
  • In A12, If an incapacitated Player is revived, then sent to 0 HP within 1 minute of being revived, they will be sent to Death screen with no chance of revive
  • In A13, we have removed this mechanic, so you will always be revivable regardless of the time between revives.
  • We noticed this Insta-death mechanic was a very common occurence, and distracted from the gameplay flow.
  • We decided to change this mechanic to see how it will affect the gameplay flow and if it makes it a more enjoyable experience without becoming overbearing / overpowering. We think the combination of the following will keep this change from having and adverse effect:
  • The abundance of area effect weapons, limited bandages on non medic kits, penalties and low hp on revive from incap.
  • We hope this new change has a positive effect on game flow, and proximity based teamwork within squads (and intra squad as well).

Fireteam Leader Marker Rangefinder Removal

The FTL markers will have their Rangefinding function removed.

We felt that this range finding feature became the most prominent reason why Squad Leaders were assigning Fireteams, rather than their intended purpose which was to organize the Squad to use effective fire and maneuver tactics. Often SL would only assign one unit to a Fireteam (commonly the LAT/HAT/UGL/Marksman), and in fact, Squadmates in those roles would ask/demand for them to be assigned that role, without ever taking any leadership role responsibility.

This change will likely lessen the amount of long-range mobility kills on tracked vehicles, so armored vehicles will be encouraged to engage targets at longer ranges. Experienced LAT users with excellent eyeballing/map reading / binocular ranging skillsets will be encouraged due to this change. Teamwork within squads to triangulate positions of enemy armor with the help of recon/spotters will also be more prevalent with this change.

From our perspective, the main negative impact of removing the FTL Rangefinder will be for the Mortar operators. Mortar effectiveness increased with the FTL rangefinding feature in A12, but squad communication decreased.

For A13, mortars will still be quite deadly (even more so with the HE radius increased). Removing the FTL Rangefinder will likely increase the need for teamwork and communication in order to have effective use of the Mortars.

Most effective use of the mortar will likely come when used in a small purposeful squad with the SL placing markers the SL Marker on targets (the SL Marker still retains a Rangefinder). External Mortar Calc apps will still be used to be very effective at pinpoint target accuracy.

In a future update, we would like to implement additional functionality for the “Fire Mission: Mortar” request marker that SL can place on the map. When occupying a Mortar Tube, all friendly “Fire Mission: Mortar” icons would show their bearing and range on the Mortar players compass. We also have a few other ideas to increase Mortar useability in lieu of the FTL Marker, which could include allowing Mortar Tube operators to place their own single “Fire Mission: Mortar” map marker, so they can gauge range even without any SL’s placing Request for Mortar or any other markers.

In a future update, we would also like to add a rangefinder to a handheld binoculars item for the SL. This may be connected to other gameplay elements and may be subject to change.

Map “Pings” Removal

Note: This feature was not initially merged, but has been subsequently added. See the April 17th Update below.

  • Removed the ‘Map Pinging’ feature that squad mates could use to send their SL a ping by right clicking on the map
  • This feature was not the intended route we wanted for player communication, we did feel this was not the right approach for squad comms.
  • We may re-evaluate this approach, and try something different such as a limited use of enemy map markers for FTL’s for example

Mortar / 30mm / 120mm HE damage range increase

  • Mortar, 30mm and 120mm High Explosive area effect weapons have an increased wounding radius.
  • Insta-kill radius for these weapons remains relatively similar to A12 levels, but wounding radius has been expanded
  • In A12, we did feel the HE weapons did not produce enough area effect for them to suppress targets.
  • We will evaluate the effect this increase damage radius has on these weapon systems, and may continue to modify their ranges in the future.

Vehicle Balance Changes

BTR-82A & BTR-80

Our observations showed that standard APC of Russian Ground Forces currently has way too low survivability rate in engagements with enemy armor. One of the reasons behind it we think is its lower level of armor and interacting with the armor penetration system functionality. Most of the time, BTRs have no chance to escape an unexpected frontal engagement due to the fact that it suffers heavy damage on the engine because high caliber weapons piercing through it’s hull like a hot knife through butter.

So now we upgraded all BTR models with engine protection plate, that should prevent it from suffering an instant mobility kill from a frontal fire.

Also, we have increased the damage output of Russian 2A72 30mm autocannon, equipped on BTR-82A and MTLB 6MB by 20% and increased it’s overheating time up to 10 seconds. That should increase Russian Ground Forces offensive capabilities to help them to deal with better-armored enemy counterparts, like the M1126 Combat Vehicle.

But make no mistake, BTR primary role is still transporting and supporting infantry, and it generally is not supposed to be engaging superior Infantry Fighting Vehicles like US M2A3 face to face. In future updates, we plan to add a proper IFV to Russian Ground Forces, in the form of well known BMP family vehicles.

Player Movement Speed Increased Balance Changes

  • Increased non-ADS standing movement speeds by 10%.
  • Experimental.

Player Stamina Changes

  • Decreased stamina costs
  • Tweaked how ADS movement speeds work, so no matter which direction you go now you move at the same speed.
  • Shortened acceleration and deceleration speeds to make player movement a bit more responsive.
  • Increased Prone Sprint stamina cost from 16 to 24 – prone player can still quickly get into a ditch or cover, but cannot be used to quickly traverse vast areas.

Weapon Handling Changes

  • Increased visual ‘z-axis’ recoil animation, increasing the visual kick back towards the camera.

Wednesday, April 17th Update

  • Russian Medic now has Binos
  • Removed map pings
  • Tweaked animations
  • Potential fix to map switch crash
  • Fixed Bradley hull going invisible when you destroy the tracks
  • Tweaked spiral wave on ATGMs
  • Fixed Flipped BTR on Fools Road AAS v2

Tuesday, April 23rd Update

  • Fixed server browser and scoreboard not showing the exact layer name
  • Fixed Decoy rocks colliding with vehicles
  • Fixed Militia able to place 2 HABs on 1 FOB (This is only intended for Insurgents)
  • Fixed being able to walk on top of the staging phase on Fool’s Road Destruction v1
  • Fixed not being able to rearm as MIL and US on Logar Skirmish v1
  • Fixed Vehicle Repair Stations being made out of wood -Fixed backblasts looping until the weapon is changed
  • Fixed RU SL Crewman and Crewman have sand/dirt hit effects
  • Some destruction fixes (incorrectly setup build blockage zones etc)
  • Several server performance fix attempts

Wednesday, April 24 Update

  • Additional server tweaks
  • Miscellaneous fixes
  • Magic containers that turn red have been expelled from Hogwarts, no longer magical.

Tuesday, April 30 Update

  • Fixed RPG29 zeroing on 300 and 400m ranges
  • Fixed stabilization to be back to A12 levels
  • Fixed robot/broken VOIP when using emplacements and vehicles
  • Fixed Destruction no-deploy zones blocking leaning
  • Small UI tweaks/fixes
  • Potential crash fixes