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Dev Log #4 – Rabbit, Plasma, and Tank Patch

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Midair News, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. Midair News

    Midair News NewsBot

    We’ve got a lot of content coming to you in 0.22.0, and it’s probably the largest single patch we’ve released to date. Because it’s so hefty, this dev log will focus solely on upcoming features in 0.22.0. This patch is live now, so you can check it out immediately!​

    Production


    This patch features the addition of the Rabbit gametype, the Plasma Gun, some new augments for the Kinetic and Arsenal packs, as well as some map changes and bug fixes that should help Midair run more smoothly. And as an added bonus (we weren’t sure if we were going to get this ready for the time of the build), this patch features a brand new two-person tank in Base CTF!

    Our team has also started laying the groundwork for a new player backend and statistics system which will allow players to receive in-game notifications for everything from availability of new updates to getting disconnected from Steam, as well as a bunch of other handy notifications. Finally, we are hard at work identifying and solving issues related to network performance and have started development efforts to dig into the issues we’ve seen in-game.

    As a heads up, we’ve got highlights of some of our new features below these patch notes, so make sure you read all the way to the bottom!

    Patch Notes

    Bug Fixes

    • Fixed – Vehicles are now more resistant to chaingun, railgun, and blaster fire
    • Fixed – Cloak pack external sound now properly plays for other players to hear
    • Fixed – Players should no longer get a “free toss” when dying with the flag
    • Fixed – Wind audio now plays again during high speed character movement
    • Fixed – Killing a vehicle with weapons no longer gives a midair kill sound
    • Fixed – We’ve reduced (and hopefully eliminated) game crashing after joining a server for the first time after updating
    • Fixed – Medium character animations now trigger as expected and no longer occasionally lock into a standing position
    General

    • New – Tank Vehicle added
    • New – Plasma Gun added (Added to LCTF for now as well)
    • New – Rabbit Gametype added
    • New – Issue Reporting system added to menu for better issue capturing
    • New – Artillery Augment for Arsenal Pack: Allows player to see where projectiles will hit
    • New – Blink Augment for Energy Pack: Teleports a player a short distance in the direction they are facing.
    • New – Admin Temporary Ban feature: Bans players for 5 minutes with optional reason
    • New – Passworded Server support
    • New – Created a player backend system that has many uses including issue reporting and Midair’s future statistics features
    • New – Network profiling added to help troubleshoot networking issues
    • Updated – Weapon crosshairs now have a thin black line to help it stand out from lighter backgrounds
    Maps

    • New – Minora Art Overhaul
    • New – Rabbit Minora
    • New – Rabbit Speedway
    • New – Rabbit Crystalline
    • Updated – Ingonyama revisions
    • Updated – Coral renamed to Sunset Cove
    • Updated – Sunset Cove revisions
    • Updated – Raptor renamed to Iguana
    • Updated – Iguana revisions
    • Updated – Kryosis terrain revisions next to flagstand

    As you can see, this patch brings quite a few improvements to Midair. That being said, there are some new issues that have arisen in 0.22.0. Thanks to our QA test that we do for each of our patches before going live, we have identified the following issues and are already working hard to fix them:

    Known Issues

    • Characters sit facing wrong direction in fighter
    • Tank aiming can be difficult at times and will be improved in future releases
    • Tank effects and animations are placeholder and will be updated in future releases
    New Gametype: Rabbit


    “Lots of enemies, one flag. Grab the flag to become the rabbit and RUN to get points. Sounds easy? It’s not. Extra style points for mid-air kills.” -Midair Kickstarter Page

    As our Kickstarter page highlighted, one of the gametypes we’re delivering on release is Rabbit. Ultimately, the goal is to score as many points as possible by grabbing the flag and staying alive. Players who do not have flag are “Wolves” and the one player with the flag becomes the “Rabbit.” As the Rabbit runs, they earn points at a fixed time interval. Points are also awarded to Wolves who kill the Rabbit, and bonus points are awarded for midair kills with non-Chaingun weapons. Players are limited to the Light armor class and have all weapons at their disposal except the Rail Gun – this gametype is all about chasing down fast-moving targets and trying to stay alive by any means necessary. Keep in mind, Wolves take 1/4 self-damage, so use your ring-jumps to gain enough speed to take down the Rabbit.

    New Weapon: Plasma Gun


    We’ve been looking forward to bringing you the Plasma Gun for quite some time, and now it’s here! It has a great mix of close-range damage capability and indoor effectiveness, making it a real force to be reckoned with in several key situations. Its slower-moving projectile can give opponents a false sense of security: in the right hands, it can shred even the most experienced players. To give this gun more playtime we’ve included it in LCTF, so start blasting away and send along your feedback.

    New Pack Augments: Blink and Artillery


    We’re tossing some new pack prototypes into the mix with Kinetic’s new Blink augment and Arsenal’s Artillery augment.

    Arsenal: Artillery Augment


    The Arsenal pack is all about doing lots of damage for extended periods of time. The new Artillery augment is Arsenal’s new primary active augment that when activated from a standstill shows where your weapon projectile will actually hit. This augment will assist players in short or long-range artillery fire, and for new players it will help them get a sense of how to aim some of the more difficult arched weapons and to get a sense of their range. Artillery doesn’t have an energy cost, though it does have a fairly extended cooldown time.

    Kinetic: Blink Augment


    As we continue to develop the Kinetic pack, we wanted to start expanding its active movement capabilities. The new Blink active augment is an ability we’ve been wanting to try for a while, and it’s one that really brings out the fearsome capabilities of this pack in close- to medium-range fighting situations. Blink will allow you to teleport a short distance in the direction you’re facing in exchange for some energy and a moderate cooldown. It’s a great way to mix it up in a fight and use tactics to surprise an enemy.

    New Vehicle: Tank!


    As mentioned above, we weren’t sure the Tank was going to make it into the build, but we worked hard to squeeze it in to get some early feedback from our Instant Access backers on how it plays today – and how we can improve it. The tank is a heavy, two-seat hovering vehicle that takes and dishes out tons of damage with its main cannon and defensive gun turret. The tank has two seats: one pilot and one gunner. The pilot can move the tank and command the turret to get into the right position and defend itself against attacking enemies. The gunner can aim and fire the main cannon which is used primarily for dealing damage to vehicles, players, and enemy base assets – really just ruining the enemy’s day. Oh and one more thing, did we mention that the tank has a siege mode?! The pilot can toggle siege mode, which extends the range and increases damage for the main cannon in exchange for the Tank’s mobility. It’s important to use siege mode tactically, as the tank becomes completely immobile and an easy target for a player that gets the jump on you.


    A couple notes about the tank before we move on to the next highlight:

    • Press the “1” or “2” keys to switch seats, and Right-Click when you’re in the pilot seat to shift into siege mode
    • The tank effects use placeholders from other weapons – these will be updated in a future patch
    • Some of the aiming on the guns can be difficult – this is an issue that will improve over time
    • Siege mode simply lowers the tank to the ground for now, but it will have super-cool animations in the future
    Minora Art Overhaul


    Over the last month, the art team has been working to overhaul Minora’s look and feel to make it significantly more lifelike and interesting. Take a look around this map and you’ll find some fun and fantastic elements from the Midair universe.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    In-Game Reporting Feature


    We’ve added an in-game reporting feature that we really hope you’ll use to help us identify and address issues you encounter. You can find a REPORT button at the top of the Main Menu and the In-Game Escape Menu that will launch the following screen that lets you send a report directly to our team.

    [​IMG]

    The bugs you find and the feedback you have is critical to the success of Midair, so please use this tool and participate in the community discussions about this patch (and Midair in general) on our forums.

    Whew… that’s a lot for one patch! We’re really excited to see everyone playing with these new features as they are a great step forward toward our release goals. What do you think? What would you like to see next? Post in our forums and in our Discord. We try to read everything that comes our way. [​IMG]

    Continue reading...
     
    k e v i n, Lights_Chaos, Ont and 8 others like this.
  2. Launius

    Launius Instant Access

    Looking good.
     
  3. Implosions

    Implosions Private Tester

    time for unlimited rabbit montages
     
  4. Nexjen89

    Nexjen89 Instant Access

  5. Nastyhobbit

    Nastyhobbit Moderator Staff Member

    Minora
    [​IMG]

    Sunset Cove
    [​IMG]

    Iguana
    [​IMG]

    Ingonyama
    [​IMG]

    Rabbit - Speedway
    [​IMG]

    Rabbit - Crystalline
    [​IMG]
     
    Lights_Chaos, Ont and Nexjen89 like this.
  6. Pumpelche

    Pumpelche Instant Access

    Artillery Augment, does this also work with the inheritance in case of movment?

    No, I cannot log in for some time, that's why I ask here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017
  7. Nastyhobbit

    Nastyhobbit Moderator Staff Member

    speedway ... i'm in love. more hills that size in upcoming maps please ^_^



    really like that disc jumps do minimal damage until you have the flag. iirc t2 rabbit gave you one free disc jump then it was normal. this way seems to keep the pace up a bit more.

    rabbit is excellent training for LT/base. it helps with ma's, duels, chasing, pickups, midair grabs, securing loose flags and escaping.
     
    Lights_Chaos and OttantUno like this.
  8. Torpor

    Torpor Instant Access

    Looks great guys, keep up the good work.
     
  9. PROJ

    PROJ Private Tester

    AFAIK it does not calculate for inheritance.
     
  10. Mindflayr

    Mindflayr Moderator Staff Member

    First, Awesome Update. The Expectred stuff like Rabbit and Plasma, but also a Tank. Now on to early Feedback.

    Plasma: Fun to Duel with, feels just about right for aim/etc. By the end of the night the most common comment i had heard about it was that it should take 3 hits to kill a light i/o 2. Those commenting were saying plasma was 3 hits in t1 t2 etc (although 1 said in t2classic it may have gone to 2 hits). With how fast it murders at close range the dmg could use some balancing and further playtesting, but the Feel was good. The visuals could obv use more work but very happy its finally here.

    Tank: Looks cool although not a huge fan of tanks in Tribes. Like the idea of making it a little different with the Siege mode, but picture every pub it just siege moding right next to its own stand with a single pilot, and then him switching to spam the stand with the main gun. Making the tank useful for offense but not for defense is the only way to break it out of the rut it has been in (role wise) since its original inclusion in T2 Base.

    In TV compmod testing we actually gave it the ability to ski downhill (was not a hovertank) and Pogo jump decent distances to allow it to jump over "speed bumps" and even enhance said "skiing". It was fun, but still generally worthless at high level play, and mostly got used to Dstack on flag.

    I dont have any feedback into how it plays because I experienced a pretty serious bug with it that prevented me from seeing where i was going/driving it properly.

    Issue Reporting: Cool Idea. Is there a way to allow the popup to let me submit screenshots, or shall we just keep SS/Video submission to forum reporting of bugs. Did send 1 through (that i have a SS for).

    Blink Pack: Like idea and function, but agree with some others who said it should leave a trail of some type

    Crosshair: Didnt even notice the change, but Im sure those playing daily will, and will appreciate it.

    Minora - Art Overhaul: Looks Good. Looking forward to trying it in a PUG in the next few days. Hoping you end up using the old base in some other map. Just like I hope you use the Old Center Structure from Iratus in another map (it was fun to goof off in, Maybe make it the center of a rabbit map).

    Rabbit: Fun Fun Fun. Still has same problems old rabbit had once you get too many people in it. 9 dudes chainhosing you right after you grab isnt very fun. Hard to balance that aspect because without cg many good flag runners could probably run forever. Additionally once we got to 7+ it took forever just to pick up the flag, and "Epic Rabbit Moments" were few and far between. For once the flag bounciness seems incredibly high (assume its the same as CTF). I could see toning it down or turning it off entirely so its less disc the flag around until you can pick it up and more High speed Pickups and chasing. ALso it probably needs .5-1s of invulnerability on Pickup, but that should go away if you DJ or shoot someone. THis would lead to more rabbit happening in the same amount of time.

    For me personally Rabbit is a fun distraction but it gets fiarly boring pretty quick. I am part of the Pro-Lakrabbit crowd from T2, a Mode of Rabbit that was move 1 vx X Combat than Flag Running and Chasing. I probably played 500+ hrs of Lakrabbit, and less than 100 of Rabbit over the years. I woulkd love to see a Lakrabbit "Mode" within the Rabbit gametype, or at minimum server flags so we can re-create it. 0 Pts for Holding Flag/Running, but the Rabbit gets Double Pts for Killing Wolves. Midairs are worth an additional pt as well. Modes like Promode might be good as well which IIRC basically meant 0 Splash Damage so only Midair Rings/Plasmas/Nades would count.

    To be clear I am not asking for Default Rabbit mode to be turned into Lakrabbit, just that we make an accommodating solution for the 50% of rabbit players (or more based on T2s Numbers where Rabbit was Dead completely but Lakrabbit played on multiple servers daily) who prefer the Dueling form of Rabbit to the Running and CHasing form of Rabbit. Overall as I said, Incredibly Fun an I played until it died last night.

    Rabbit Map - Minora: Pretty Solid. I Like having 1 of the "Defining Midair Maps" in both Rabbit and CTF forms.

    Rabbit Map - Speedway: Mostly just goofed off on it towards the end of the night but it was the most fun of the rabbit maps, and appeared to keep the flow going. Probably the best of the 3 for rabbit. This map would also probably be good to go for Jackpot mode.

    Rabbit Map - Crystalline: Cool Idea (Frozen Lake) but the Execution was mediocre. This was 1 of the full games we played and the Flag almost always ended up near 1 of the corners on the outside slope. Multiple people said it didnt play well after it finished. Maybe if instead of feeling like a frozen lake at the top of a mountain, if the center point of the map was 1 of the lowest points with the outter rim just going higher and higher all the way to the borders it would play better. Definetly felt the worst of the 3 so far, but again did think the frozen lake was Pretty cool.
     
    Jordan, Lights_Chaos and Fray like this.
  11. dienasty

    dienasty Member

    I agree with MF, I don't think vehicles belong (in tribes )(sorry i'm calling MA 'tribes' but i'm waiting for it to become its own game). At least not in the CTF arcade/action part of the game (once high speed travel became the game; vehicles no longer had a role) (scout/shrike still held a roll in quick travel due to terrain .. but with all the smooth routes now.. ?)
    but all vehicle mechanics could be still be introduced , but in a different way . shrike (hover/flight pack) tank(mech suit) mpb (inv/mini base) grav(skate pack)
    If there is a slower 'base' game.. than yes vehicles can play a part. (and then might even suggest a game specific to vehicles)
     
  12. Mindflayr

    Mindflayr Moderator Staff Member

    To be clear the Base game is bigger and slower. Not the physics themselves, but many of the maps and the way 16v16 with gens, turrets, sensors and vehicles plays out is generally slower than LCTF montages.

    I think there is a place for vehicles in Midair Base, its just the Tank I worry about because of its defensive stacking nature in all previous games in the genre. We never really found a solution to encourage it to go offense, although team damage on alone would have made some difference in TA, and Not being able to turtle the flag in the tank would have changed how it played in T2 Standoffs. TV it still pretty much just parked next to the stand and spammed it when cappers came in though.
     
  13. Mindflayr

    Mindflayr Moderator Staff Member

    Unless something has changed the Devs have been pretty clear that 16v16 Pubs for Base is the Plan. Ranked Play/Competition hasnt been decided upon but everything from teams as small as TA (7v7) and as Large as 12v12 has been discussed. I think Most assume/want it to end up at either 9 (for odd number) or 10, just like T1, T:V and some later ladders on T2. Too few and it doesnt make sense to be playing base with deployables, vehicles, gens, etc. Too many and it turns into less strategic warfare and more pure chaos.

    LCTF has been discussed as well, but i *think* it is pretty well established that 5v5 is the likely PUG/Ranked format, with 7/8+ for LCTF Pubs. Some would also like to experiment with Larger format LCTF Pubs (10s, 12s, 16s) but As server Owners will be able to do whatever they like I would expect that to be more of a Server Operator decision, with the official mode likely being the aforementioned 5s and 7/8s.
     
  14. BugsPray

    BugsPray Midair Developer Staff Member

    To clarify, we aren't aiming for balance for every team size. Our focuses are:
    • LCTF:
      • 5v5
    • Base CTF:
      • 7v7
      • 10v10-12v12
    We are aiming to support 16v16 as the upper limit (mostly locked to client performance limits).
     
    Lights_Chaos likes this.
  15. Mindflayr

    Mindflayr Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks for clarifying Bugs. I hadnt meant to imply that the game was being balanced around pubs, but what you said about 16v16 as the upper limit. The game has to be balanced around the "competitive" numbers, just like it always has.
     
  16. SADDAM

    SADDAM Member

    Is the tank an actual snappy hovertank (ie, can I use it as a 360 degree bumpercar to quickly whack unsuspecting enemies), or is it a wheeled-slug-on-railtrack that it was in T:A?

    Part of the fun in tanking in T2 as the driver came from the snappy controls and being able to bulldozer poor unsuspecting dudes who weren't quite careful enough with their landings.

    And is there a shield? A shield is pretty critical IMO if you intend to make it useful at all on offense.

    This could be easily alleviated by requiring to have both the driver and gunner slot filled before being able to activate siege mode.


    Friendly fire with vehicles was a huge problem in T2 already - indiscriminate bombing to clear offensive enemies out of your own base area, bombing runs where you could clear stand at the same time the capper came in, tank-mortaring your own flagstand even if you have a HoF, the list goes on. I just don't see it working with any of the vehicles, unless you start hugely gimping their power output. You don't even need full friendly fire to curtail it, even a reduced % would most likely do an effective job in eliminating spam tactics.

    I think there are a few issues why offensive tanking never really took off. In T:A, it was mainly because the tank sucked massive ass; it was turd-slow, the controls were tedious at best, and while the main cannon was stupidly powerful (only inhibited by the artifically gimped rotation speed of the turret - not a fun way to power balance), the lack of a shield meant it was a complete sitting duck after crossing the midfield.

    In T2, the problem with the tank offensively was mainly twofold:

    1)The *scooting* missile launcher, which was a dumb direct rock-paper-siccessor hard counter to the tank. Flares didn't help, because you'd run out of them in a whizz - unlike with the bomber, where the mechanic worked okay because it would spend only a limited time within missile range while making overpasses (neccessiting flares only for the ocassional emergency), once the tank was in the hot zone it was in, and not getting out of there. Constant barrage of missiles from multiple enemies with easy inventory access vs. two lone dudes with one ammo packload was hardly a fair fight.

    What's more, the range was so long and tank so slow in relation to missile & reload speed that even if the tank crew wanted to tackle the threat head-on, they'd still never have a chance to close the distance between the max-missile-range enemy and themselves in order to get within effective fighting range of the tank before being totally toasted (and the auto-lock missile launcher made it easy to just skeet the tank by retreating anyway, keeping the range advantage constant).

    This made it so that the tank was really only honestly "useful" offensively in situations where the enemy had no or limited access to missile launchers, eg. when their base had already been majorly raped, by which point the tank usually was merely adding insult to injury.

    2)The god-damned bumpy terrain. Ground vehicle physics was never T2's strongest point, and there were only a handful of maps where it you could move around with decent speed without gaining extra gray hairs in the process. And this is without taking (potentially vehicle-exploading) deadstops into account, and the fact that the tank isn't the most effective in enclosed hilly areas anyway (even if you could move without issues there).


    I think a few takeaways here is that:

    1)Driving & aiming mechanics should be simple, fun and not a chore. Make driving the tank in uneven terrain a real possibilty (it isn't in T2). Preferably so that it effects the speed more than the smoothens of the ride.
    2)Speed of the tank will likely have a large impact on how likely people are to take the offensive; Nobody wants spend a minute driving to the enemy base, only to be blown out the sky in 10 seconds (hello T:A)
    3)Shield mechanic (or very, very, easy healing, but I feel shield is much easier to balance) is critical for a vehicle to be offensively sustainable - particularly a slower one like the tank, that can not chose its fights in the same manner that a shrike or gravbike. Doesn't need to be as strong as in T2, but you have to have something that keeps you from just being worn down by random stray snap disc launcher flickshots of passing enemy O - taking a tank out should require focus.
    4)Fighting should be/feel"fair". This means high-damage anti-vehicle weapons should require the user to expose themselves to risk (like mine-discing a tank in T2, where you have to get in the tank's face, but can potentially lay a killing blow if you hit your marks). Long-range antivehicle hitscan/HSP or tracking weapons should not be a thing.
    5)If going with a shield mechanic, consider making its strength inversely proportional to the distance from your own base. Yeah, it's not the most intuitive mechanic, but it would probably go long ways to discourage defensive tanking and and promote offensive use - think of it, if you only have 1/3rd of the HP at your disposal on your own side of the map, vs a Beefy Musclecar on the other side. Where would be more fun to fight?

    and of course:
    5)no entering tank while holding flag. While I love it when this is done offensively, it's just too easy to abuse on the defense, and limiting it to the enemy map half only or somesuch feels a bit too hacky :/.

    Edit:
    It would also be pretty nice if the game didn't throw a random Unhandled Exception at you when ever a tank is killed :p
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
    Lights_Chaos and The Weirdo like this.
  17. The Weirdo

    The Weirdo Instant Access

    I think in general anti-vehicle play should incentivize proximity. It creates a much more interesting dynamic to force the flies to get close to the flyswatter. Shields also have the halo effect of allowing for the design of items that can bypass them. The slow burn of a sticky thermite nade, for example. Or maybe the shocklance disrupts shield recharge. Then make the tank quite fast in normal operation but powerful only when locked into siege mode, and you introduce all sorts of interesting decisions.
     
    Lights_Chaos and thecaptaintea like this.