Another month is in the books, as we inch a little closer to feature completion. We have a leaner meaner version of the monthly progress report this month. It's not quite as large as the last two months, but features a heavier focus on major features as we make our push towards feature completion.
Perhaps the biggest news of the month is the introduction of the instanced housing system. While we envision the world based city system and nation vs. nation warfare to be a major part of The Repopulation, we also need to look out for the solo players who do not have a nation, or those who are PvP phobic. Enter the instanced housing system. Where we had originally planned for instanced housing to take place in personal apartment rooms, we've extended that system to support new instanced outdoor areas. You will be able to view the homes of other players, on their own plots within the housing area. You will also have access to a reduced toolset of the nation city system which allows you to purchase plots, place buildings and decorate them with furniture. Today's alpha patch offers the first phase of support for this feature, which will continue to be improved upon next month.
Housing isn't the only big news this month. We've also turned our attention on the game's social aspects. An optional new auto-grouping system has been introduced, which will automatically place solo players into groups with other ungrouped players when they enter into engagement areas. This feature can be disabled, and also features an option to stay in the group after you leave the engagement area (to be used as an automated group-creation system) or to leave automatically. Our goal with this system is to get players grouped up and socializing while they are doing engagements, rather than have a group of solo players ignoring one another. Players benefit from all the normal benefits of a group including group buffs, skill gain bonuses and shared kills. Along with this system we have also introduced a new and improved loot system which gives each player who participated in the death of an NPC or player a chance at their own personalized loot. Rather than having a single shared loot, each player will now have their own personalized loot. The chances of receiving loot are reduced based on other players contributions, but even out overall. This system is intended to reward those who are less aggressive in their powerlooting habits and to help end disputes over loot between players. The combination of those features, along with our other social features such as group bonus buffs, the openings system and shared mission rewards should aid us in reaching our goal of having a very social oriented title.
Based on player requests we've also introduced a new customizable camera system. This is targeted at players who choose to play in third person. You can now quickly switch between several preset camera modes (Chase, Left Shoulder, Right Shoulder) or you can customize your own camera angle to your liking and easily toggle between them all. Escort missions and engagements are now supported, and we have improved capabilities to share scenarios between the two.
Next month will see the introduction of the FPR faction, and with the nation based PvP will begin. This should be good news to our PvP oriented testers. That's not the only major feature planned for next month, but we'll leave the rest to your imagination and skip ahead to September's build notes.
Set up Auto-grouping. This feature will automatically group players when they enter into active engagement areas. It is an optional and configurable feature that is designed to encourage players to group up to hunt. Details are listed below.
You can set up Auto-group options through a new Game Options Menu from the options menu that pops up when you hit escape. There are two options. One allows you to enable or disable Auto-grouping and the second allows you to set whether or not you want to auto-disband once you have left the engagement area.
When a group is created it will automatically follow the Auto-grouping options of the creator. You will be able to change those options from the group window.
If a group is setup with Auto-grouping enabled then it will automatically add new players when it has open slots and they are in the same engagement area. This provides a bonus to skill rates and allows you to share in the bonus buffs granted by engagements and missions for the entire group.
If you have it set to automatically leave Auto-groups in the options, then once you go outside of an active engagement area, it will automatically leave the group. This will only happen if the group was set up as an Auto-group.
You now receive a different group join message based on if you were auto-joined to the group or manually joined.
The camera system has seen a number of new improvement this month. Which will be documented below. The values shown are the default key binding values, and all can be remapped through the Key Mapping system.
Numpad-0 will toggle between some preset third person camera angles and the custom camera. The order will go from Chase to Over Right Shoulder, to Over Left Shoulder, to User Customizable. If you use any of the camera pan or look modifier keys (as described below) it will automatically place you into the User Customizable third person camera, so your next camera angle toggle will take you back to the default Chase camera when in third person. Pressing CTRL-T will also switch you into third person mode if you were in first person.
The Numpad-4 and Numpad-6 keys will move the custom camera’s horizontal position left and right, allowing you to modify which side the camera is shifted to.
The Numpad-7 and Numpad-9 keys will move the look at offset of the custom third person camera, effectively shifting the angle which you view to the side.
The Numpad-5 key will reset your custom third person camera back to its default position.
Your customizable camera settings will be saved and used in later sessions.
Different armor types now has different protection values against different types of damage. Armor no longer absorbs any Spirit damage. Physical, Biochemical and Energy absorption remains the same as before. Light Armor is vulnerable to Acid, but is the most protective against Electricity (by far) and Fire. Medium Armor is vulnerable to Heat and Electricity, but protective against Cold. Heavy Armor is extremely vulnerable to Electricity and somewhat vulnerable to Cold, while offering the best protection against Acid. In general Heavy Armor is the weakest of the three in non-physical resistances, while Light Armor is the strongest of the three, but offers the least Physical protection.
Widened the action mode spread distance in the event that a hit was not found.
Tweaked armor absorption values so that damage types that are very weak vs. certain armor types will be more effective against them, but still significantly less effective than other damage types. In general the absorption and penetration settings in Repop are still signficantly more extreme than in most other titles, but there should be less situations where you feel obsolete due to a damage or weapon type vs. a certain armor/defense type.
Crafting and Harvesting
Drakes should now give their own tissue and meat, rather than Elkars.
Updated the Abandoned Bundle and Chromite harvestable regions near Plymouth City to support a wider and more spread area.
Abandoned Bundles can now spawn in the Timbertol Outskirts.
Chromite and Calibrite can now be found more frequently in Timbertol.
Added new factional camp engagements, in this case FPR infiltration camps which can sprout up in Timbertol. If OWON allows them to gain a foothold their numbers will continue to grow in power. There is a series of engagements centered around this. These camps start small but add pieces and new recruits as they progress. These provide content for OWON players, and next month when the FPR side is introduced, they will also provide content for FPR players, to aid them in growing. We’ll continue to add content of this nature for both PvE and PvP purposes.
Escort engagements are now functional. You can find new escort engagements in multiple areas.
Implemented a new NPC trigger system for use with engagements, which allows us to trigger complex events based on NPC triggered actions.
Engagements now support special functionality based on when all kill elements finish without changing stages.
Slightly increased the base spawn rate in the OWON Training Grounds engagements. It had become too slow after the player count scaling code was implemented.
Numerous new engagements have been added. Some of the areas featuring new engagements include: Plymouth Canyon, Timbertol, and the Aemar Hydro Plant.
Fixed a bug that was preventing scripts from being executed on a stage change which should have been executed. This resulted in some stages of engagements not turning on models, lights, or other objects to add to the atmosphere.
All players on the kill list now have their own chance at loot when a mob is killed. The chances at loot are reduced by the number of players who participated in the kill, meaning if you have a zerg you will have less of a chance at loot for each monster killed. But each player in the zerg will have a chance at loot for all of the mobs they contributed in. Each player can loot separately ending any arguments over loot.
The prop system can now call custom scripts for each prop if need be. This allows us to support non-standard functionality where needed. New props have been added to support this.
Sell price to NPC vendors now reflects the proper amount that the NPC will give you, and also reflects the stack size.
Sidestepping is now enabled.
Adjusted swimming buoyancy so you do not float to the surface as quickly as was previously the case.
Increased the Auto-Revive Timer to 5 minutes.
GMs now have the ability to reset all of an areas spawns in an easy to use manner, if need be.
Added new Military based achievements for destroying the bases of the opposing factions.
Rewrote the way we handled spaced names internally. The new implementation is much cleaner.
Client side props are now supported.
Added a new title: Spy Hunter.
Instanced Housing and Nation Cities
Introduced the beginnings of the instanced housing system. This will continue to be fleshed out next month, but details are below.
We've moved instanced housing out of the apartments, and instead into a separate instanced area of the world near your home city. This allows players to show off their homes to other players and also for players to explore the area and see the homes of other players by happenstance. When all of the plots in an area become full it will create a new instanced area for houses to be placed.
You can access instanced housing through a drop ship system in cities. You can currently access them by speaking to a robotic ticketer in Plymouth City or the Plymouth Control Station. We'll be adding more entry points in the future.
You will need to purchase a plot in order to build in the housing areas. After this when you walk to an empty plot you will be given a pop up prompt that allows you to use the plot on that area. In the future rent will be introduced, but for now this is a one-time fee.
Once you have a plot you can place buildings and furniture items using the Housing GUI system. Placement works very similar to how the non-instanced city structure placement works.
Currently you can purchase furniture items with credits from the GUI. In the near future we'll be moving this over to a crafted blueprints system but have some things to iron out with it still.
A number of internal improvements were made the the city/structure code to make them more efficient and scalable.
Items and Fittings
Items can now come pre-equipped with fittings when purchase from vendors.
Aaron Ratliff now sells some specialty weapons that are pre-equipped with fittings, as well as some non-standard fittings.
The Disguise Kit item has been renamed to Basic Disguise Kit. This will give you a random look within your gender and but will not mask your name.
Added new disguise kits which can mask your name from opposing players. The Fisherman Disguise Kit, for example, will rename you to A Fisherman, where an OWON Disguise Kit will disguise you as an OWON Private.
Escort missions are now functional and some new escort missions have been added to the world to take advantage of this.
The Fang epic mission series for OWON has multiple new missions now available.
We've added a temporary new /staticquest command for alpha testers to be able to easily test different static mission branches that they would not have had an opportunity to do otherwise due to the branching/choice based nature of the series.
The Find the Traitor mission now supports a new instanced apartment area.
New medical assigned missions are now available in Pontoc and Amman Village.
Attached a slew of missions to Plymouth Canyon/Control Station, Pontoc, Timbertoc, Amman Village, Koleyna, Timbertol, Loch Aza, and the Plymouth area.
Added 7 new NPC Professions focused around government jobs and mental health.
NPCs should now path better on slopes.
Lesoo who wield guns now have new gun fire effects and special abilities. Some of them will crouch and others will stand, as well.
Ranged Lesoo Bosses gained some additional new boss random abilities. This includes wider ranged AoE, AoE Knockdowns, AoE Demoralizing and Draining abilities, etc.
Some Lesoo can now be knocked down.
A slew of new atmospheric NPC chatter types have been added.
Pontoc and Ammann Village now feature medical staff.
New politicians have reared their ugly heads in Plymouth City.
Added a new OWON RCAV (Remote Controlled Armored Vehicle) which is used by OWON to transport things remotely. This vehicle will hover and can fire shots from its dual cannons.
Added random soldier banter chatter to numerous NPCs throughout the world, as well as new radio chatter.
Added new populations of Drake, Arrvor and Yellow Setlang in the Timbertol Outskirts.
FPR soldiers now have energy shields, beware.
Pets should no longer pop on top of the user when summoned. They will instead appear on the side and will mix up their following positions, but sticking someplace in formation.
Improved pet pathing. Pets should perform better on slopes, and should no longer get stuck. Pets are also less bouncy in their movements.
Skills and Abilities
Added the Tier 1 Disguise skill: Remove Disguise. This is used to remove one of your disguises before it expires.
Added the tier 6 Disguise skill: Reveal Disguise. This ability will remove a disguise from a hostile targeted player.
Disguise is now listed as a Trade Skill instead of a General skill.
You can now pick the pockets of FPR soldiers, but you will lose FPR faction if you do.
Group chat is now functional.
Implemented a new Housing GUI for the instanced housing areas. This GUI allows you to easily manage plots and furniture items.
The /tip command now supports tipping whoever you have targeted rather than specifying a name, and also properly supports spaced names. You can also now tip players worldwide, even if they are not in the same area as you.
You can now make your mouse significantly less sensitive than was previously possible.
Character portrait optimization.
Added a new Game Options window to the Options window that pops up when you hit Escape or use the Options button.
A new Area Condition system has been put into place which allows missions, engagements and other systems to tap into it to get a general idea of what is going on in the area, and to tailor create generated missions, npcs or engagements centered around that.
Populated Plymouth Control and Plymouth Canyon with over 25 new NPCs complete with personality traits for missions.
Introduced a new Farmland area outside of Plymouth.
A large new beach area has been added to the north of Koleyna, past the stream. In the future this will connect to the ocean.
Added a new hillside near the Hole on the Hill.
A large new cave has been added in the Loch Aza area.
Koleyna features new paths and more trees.
Smoothed parts of the back path near Plymouth City that were causing pet and escorted NPC pathing issues.
Began implementing the FPR areas. FPR now has 8 available areas, in preparation for implemented the FPR faction next month.
Terrain adjustments in the Aemar Hydro Plants trail to make it easier for NPCs to path and not get stuck.
Numerous new points of interest have been added throughout the world, several of them tied to new missions.
The Tech Plaza in Plymouth City has a number of new decorations and props.
A run down farmhouse can now be found in the Oasis area, and is a part of a mission storyline.
Many new decorations have been added to Oasis Valley.
Ammann Village now features a clinic.
The administration center in Plymouth City has been decorated.
Terraformed the trails in Plymouth Canyon so you could walk along them to exit or leave.
A new scavenger species has been introduced.
Introduced a new and improved male model.
Added 6 new male idle animations.
Added 21 new tintable male hairstyles.
The female model now blinks and moves her eyes.
Added 17 new female hairstyles.
Females have a new walk animation.
Female hair is now tintable.
New female outfits.
Introduced a slew of new models, mostly centered around the Timbertol area.
Multiplexed the female idle, added two more head movement variations.
Vultures now have blended walk to run animations.
Introduced new vehicle models.
Adjusted many Weapon Visualizations. Changing their mount point and adjusting their alignment.
Adjusted world and storm lighting.
Added heat distortion to fire rock piles in Amann Village.
Implemented 50 new terrain texture and normal maps.
Added Strafe Run and Strafe Walk animations.
Sideways dive animations (from double tapping) now cover more ground and should no longer move you slightly forward or backwards.
Fixed a bug related to dying with sprint enabled.
Launchers and the Lesoo Rifle models had their visualizations updated to fit better in your hands.
Fixed a bug that could sometimes cause the revive window to not appear after you died.
Players can now properly split their energy pool between armor and weapons.
Fixed some creature health scaling issues on NPCs.
Stealth’s combat effect icon now looks like stealth rather than teleport.
Fixed several animation issues with the Lesoo Bosses and Firearm Wielding Lesoo models. This includes movement, attack, idle and blending changes.
Repaired a bug that was causing combat effects to not appear for newly created characters.
Fixed a pet summoning related bug.
Logging back in will now properly use the last area/instance to place you back in the game.
Fixed a raycast related pathing bug.
Run backwards with handgun works properly now.
Fixed strafe run speed.
Fixed handgun FX to use timers in the same way as rifles.
Updated numerous OWON soldiers who were wielding rifles but charging into melee range inexplicably. They should now keep the proper range and do Energy damage.
Fixed some performance reducing bugs in Plymouth City and Koleyna.
Fixed female turn animations.
Formation followers (such as pets or escorted npcs) should now properly follow in formation and not switch sides after you rotate.
Fixed an item dupe bug related to splitting stacks with negative values.
Fixed a bug related to untrusted functions.
Repaired some prop and harvestable spawning issues that did not like the last Hero Engine patch.
Fixed a dip in Plymouth City between the shuttle pads.
Removed a floating flame thrower in the OWON Training Facility.
Fixed two occluder related issues in Plymouth City that were causing parts of the city to disappear from certain angles and locations behind the Johnason’s.
Selector special FX (for Cities and Housing) are again functional.
Fixed a bug in the rebindable key code that was making old keybind situations that were removed show up in the list.
The group window now properly supports spaced names.
Fixed a bug in the group joining text related to spaced names.
The /invite command now supports characters with spaces in their names.
Fixed a possible chat related exploit that could have allowed spoofing.
Corrected a potential inventory spoofing issue.
Fixed the increase of DNA message to support names with spaces in them.
Fixed a bug that was causing engagement counters to sometimes go heywire.
Repaird a bug in Koleyna's engagement area that was causing some poor performance.
Fixed a location in Plymouth Canyon where the terrain was sticking through the top of a building.
Fixed the Chromite spawner in Upper Oasis Valley East.