It’s been a while since the last entry in the Dev Blog, so there’s a lot to cover. The last few weeks have been focused mainly on nailing down match rules and game modes, as well as preparing the test servers and client builds for wider testing. Of course we’ve also added and tweaked quite a bit of content, not least of which is the first Megaweapon!
Once we got the platform to a place where quality playtesting sessions could happen frequently, it became pretty clear that some of the rules and mechanics were having unanticipated effects on players. Specifically, we were finding ourselves incentivized to do things that run counter to fast-paced and frenetic play (like run off into a corner and hide, for example). To mitigate this, we went back to square one with match rules and the role of the Megaweapon, to ensure that conflicting priorities don’t get in the way of the core gameplay elements. And by “core gameplay elements”, I mean chaotic PvP mayhem. We’ve distilled the match rules into three classic modes as we move forward in testing and development: Deathmatch, Last Player Standing, and Headhunter. The Megaweapons themselves have a role to play in each of these modes, granting huge battlefield advantage to the players that activate them.
We’ve added some fun stuff to the main arsenal recently, too. The sawn-off shotgun that’s been present since the beginning now has a pump-action comrade, and the automatics have branched out from assault rifles to include a submachine gun and heavy MG. For long-range engagements, we now have a semi-auto marksman rifle that’s a bit more versatile than the existing sniper, and a crossbow with a fun ricochet mechanic that you really want to be careful with. The new flamethrower is gorgeous but a little underpowered at present, so we’re looking at balancing it before next week’s tests.
As much fun as we’ve been having throwing molotovs and grenades of various flavors at each other, the time has come to expand the secondary slot into something besides throwables. Enter the first two additions into the “utility” category: the riot shield and energy drink. We’ve got some more coming down the pipe, too, expanding on the defensive and mobility themes and probably also to include some more outlandish items as well.