It has been a few weeks since our last update on what is happening in King of the Kill, which means there is an awful lot to talk about.
First up, our next planned update is another big one. We are working on a very large combat patch to go out the week after next. Our plan is to push it all to the Test servers next week, leave it there to find any issues or problems, get it fixed up, and go to Live the week after. Our Combat Designer, Garrett Fern, will be writing up a more detailed explanation of all the things that changed in the gunplay, so I will cover some of them at a high level for everyone to read about now. This patch is pretty expansive; everything was done under the goal of ensuring that combat is consistent and predictable.
We will be continuing our playtests, but will move them to Test all week next week. If you join into some solo BR matches on Test in the afternoon (Pacific time), you may end up in a game with a bunch of the dev team as we continue to look and tune these changes before they go Live.
Every single weapon has been looked at and tuned against one another, and based on your feedback, the shotgun received the most attention out of the group. It is much more consistent to how you would expect a shotgun to work with regards to it’s range, cone of fire, damage, etc. There was also more tuning around hip firing and jump shooting.
Cameras were also tuned to optimize around combat engagements, item interaction, and overall visibility. Hit react animations on other players were removed because the animation that jerked your opponent outside of your aim was frustrating and made it difficult to stay on target. Again, looking to be more consistent and predictable, this change makes it more so. NPC’s will still play hit react animations.
Finally, the change we talked about before where scoped weapons will force you into first person mode when you aim is now working as intended and will be part of this patch. Again, we feel like it is important to have a tradeoff to contend with when you get the advantage of a scoped view. That tradeoff is reduced peripheral awareness.
Hit registration was extensively tuned to be more predictable. The chat window will now also display damage received information. You will be able to see where the damage that you took came from. We are also adding information to the death screen as to how you died, who inflicted the damage, how much, and whether there was a head shot or not. This will help a lot in understanding why a death happened. It will also help us in looking at cases that people post that didn’t make sense to them, we will be able to see what the game believed happened and verify as to whether or not there is a real problem or not. Finally if and when you die, we tuned the ragdoll physics on the death animation to be a bit more grounded and not so “floppy”.
We decided to make body armor protect your entire body. There was just too many situations where you are armored up and then get killed because someone who worked around your armor. If you get armor, you should get a benefit there, so this change makes sense in the context of expectations and consistency.
Our bleeding states are also becoming more specific. Currently there are 5 levels of severity of bleeding when you are wounded. They are grouped into 3 labels, which can cause some confusion when you are severely bleeding, apply a bandage and are still severely bleeding. We are simply renaming the bleeding states to five specific names so you always know your exact level of wound.
Changes to the Reticle
There is an addition to the reticle to give you an idea on how accurate your weapon is in your current condition. Running and sprinting will result in a larger cone of fire than crouched or prone. This has always been the case, but now we have something to communicate it to you. Internally, we refer to this as the recoil reticle.
For the update to test next week, we made a change to the main reticle where it will move it’s position if your bullet is going to hit an object between you and your intended target. We will likely change the way we communicate this by the time it goes to Live, but if you play on Test then you may notice it.
Crafting in King of the Kill is being expanded. The first new recipe is the ability to craft blood coagulant. Blood coagulant will stop all bleeding immediately. It can be applied quickly, just 1 second on the timer, so it is an option while you are in the middle of a firefight to just get your bleeding stopped. Crafting this recipe will require 1 medkit and 10 bandages to create.
The second new recipe is the ability to craft some light body armor. The recipe requires 1 duct tape (duct tape is a new loot item in the world), 1 tan military backpack, and 1 blue tactical helmet. It will absorb one shot, but that just may be enough to give you an edge over your opponent.
The final crafting change is that explosive arrows will be removed as loot and are now craftable. To create them, you will need 1 duct tape, 5 frag grenades, 5 shells, and 5 arrows. These will be crafted in a bundle of 5. It is important to note that exploding arrows and flaming arrows will no longer be found as loot in the world. Exploding arrows will need to be crafted while flaming arrows are being removed for now.
As we wrap up this update, we have begun work on the next one. That will be focused on tuning and polishing the core Battle Royale experience as well as a polish pass on our vehicles. No ETA just yet as to when we will release that one, but expect something similar to these last few in terms of the amount of change.
I want to get some feedback on a change to vehicles that we are experimenting with right now. We want to make it harder for players to disable vehicles, i.e. not just simply removing spark plugs or battery. The first step we are taking is adding a significant time delay to removing either of those parts from a vehicle. What you want to find now is a vehicle with a key. If you find a key, which is removable and universal, it can be used to start any drivable vehicle in the game. If you do not find a key, you will be able to hotwire vehicles. The downside is that there will be a timer on the hotwire action (time TBD), and the car will make a lot of whirring and other sounds to alert the owner or nearby players that someone is attempting to steal the car. The downside to hotwiring, besides the timer, is that each time you get out of the vehicle it will turn off and you will need to hotwire it again when you get back into it.
We feel that this will help balance out scenarios where you really need a vehicle but end up out of luck because someone yanked out the parts that are necessary to make it drivable. Let me know your reactions and thoughts.
The Snipers and Shotguns Skirmish seems like it is doing really well and people are enjoying it. Please continue to suggest other ideas for future skirmishes.
Looks like you all are really enjoying the items in the Predator crate. In a similar vein as the skirmishes, please feel free to suggest ideas that you may have for future crate items. We will certainly read all of the feedback and discuss it internally as we structure the crate contents.
Recent Bug Fixes
- Fixed a bug where the hit marker would remain on screen.
- Fixed a bug where players would sometimes randomly die while in a car.
- Fixed a bug where sometimes players would look like they are skating around the terrain driving an invisible car.
- The ambient twig snap sound was removed. It kept making everyone think someone was sneaking up on them.
- The auto-fill UI button is now going in. This will allow a team that is less than 5 to go into a 5 man BR as is without a full team.
- Interacting with, and picking up loot was made much more responsive and snappy. Does not require you to spam the ‘E’ key anymore.
- Grenades and molotovs should no longer inflict damage through walls.
- Vehicle player collisions were tuned to more appropriately apply damage to the player.