30 May 2008

Camera Shy

Hitman said, in a FA:S forum post in the Idea Form, "A full-fledged death cam probably wouldn't work because you'd respawn too fast."

So FA:S will not have a death cam similar to TF2, or DoD:S.

However, Hitman also said in the same post, "We have a pseudo death cam already, but it's not like what you're thinking of. "

Some type of cam will be implemented, but to what extent is unknown. It could be something similar to DoD:S's current system that traces where the killer came from, but doesn't show their exact location.

Hitman's post can be found here (http://forums.firearms-source.com/showthread.php?t=7305&page=2)

Orange You Glad I Didn't Say Banana?

The following thread in the FA:S Input Forum talks about Orange Box features (http://forums.firearms-source.com/showthread.php?t=7305). For those not in the know, the "Orange Box" is the engine released with Valve's "Orange Box" containing HL2:EP2, TF2 and Portal. This engine is different than the one HL2, Lost Coast, and HL:EP1 are on.

Pork Fried Squirrel mentions on the second page, "I wouldn't mind seeing us upgrade to the Orange Box SDK, though. :)"

This would seem to imply that FA:S is on the older engine however, the following post Hitman says, "As for the Orange Box SDK, we're not saying anything... you'll just have to wait on that one."

It seems as if Hitman is saying they are working on moving FA:S over to the Orange Box. This seems reasonable, as the kill assist feature talked about earlier can only be done on the Orange Box as far as I'm aware. With that feature enabled, FA:S could all ready be on the OB engine.

29 May 2008

Kill Stealer

As you can see from this cropped screenshot from the previous news update, FA:S currently has the kill assist feature introduced in TF2. When this screen shot was brought up in this thread in the General Discussion forum on FA:S (http://forums.firearms-source.com/showthread.php?t=7183) I ask, "The extent in what they play in the mod has not been addressed yet. The fact they are there, could mean little; prehapse it's just a pat on the back for people who deal almost all the damage, then someone else shoots the guy in the foot and gets the kill."

Shinobi replies with "out of all your speculations this one is the closest ."

So while they are incorporated as of now, what role they play has yet to be determined. If the skill system remains the same as in older versions of FA, it could pose a problem with people acquiring skills to fast. With skills every 10 kills, many people will have three to four skills early on; that is if kills and assist are grouped together as in TF2. However, based of Shinobi's reply, they could be a separate column, such as Kills/Assist/Deaths.

What's the sound of Artillery?

Boom boom.

Artillery is the only offensive skill offered in FA:S, and as much as the mod has changed with its transition from Half-Life, to Half-Life 2, so has Artillery. In the FA:S forum thread in the General Discussions, this thread sheds some light on the subject (http://forums.firearms-source.com/showthread.php?t=7132).

Naota states "you're now able to select specifically which marked location you want to bombard from all the locations set out by your team's spotters." Which Hitman adds, "We'll be doing a media update on artillery later on, which will go over in more detail the system itself and how Arty 1 is now beneficial to use (unlike in FA1 where it was not)."

Honestly, these additions to Artillery seem to lack the veneer and polish the rest of the mod has. While in the older RCs you were unable to select your target yourself, you could always ask team mates to recall their old targets for you to rain fire on. Hitman also said that Artillery 1 would be useful, but according to StandingCow "but arty 1 you can just fire it" which means Artillery 1 dose not have access to the main feature of artillery, the mortar. Furthermore with under slug grenade launchers removed such as the M203 and GP25, its usefulness seems diminished.

Also, no mention was made about the problem of having to run forward to place artillery markers. The whole purpose of artillery is to engage the enemy from a distance. Having to run to the enemy, to use a weapon meant to be used away from the enemy seems counter productive. Later versions of FA had the option of smoke grenades for artillery markers (though you couldn't actually throw them). The possibility of throw able smoke grenades for artillery targets would solve this issue, and at the same time counter their power with alerting the enemy where an enemy marker is. Of course, this could be impliminted, but hasn't been hinted to you.

What is an improvement for Artillery is the possibility of kill assist though Artillery targets; the person who placed the target, and the person who fired the mortar will each get credit for the kill. This would help Artillery 1 have a role late in the game, other than just a stepping stone to Artillery 2.

28 May 2008

Medic Evolved

On the FA:S Forums, a topic in the Idea Forum suggest a laundry list of medic improvements and changes (http://forums.firearms-source.com/showthread.php?t=6961). I won't bore you with the details. Grunt suggest a myriad of medic changes, the most notable is healing people more than once.

Later on in the thread, Inveramsay comments, "As it stands right now a lot of the stuff in the first post is rather redundandant as it stands now but I'll leave it at that."

Grunt responds and said, "If I am to assume correctly, then I would have to assume that medics (at least Medic II, assuming there are two tiers) are able to treat people more than once."

This reply is met with two team members posting smiling emotes.

While emotes are not conclusive evidence of conformation, they do seem to say that in FA:S, medics will be able to treat people multiple times. This will have a big effect on game play. Previous RCs, medics could heal a decent amount (50 health), but only once. Most people took the skill to heal themselves though. However, with the ability to treat multiple people, a person will be able to play as a dedicated medic. Healing your whole team from half health back to 100% is something not to be scoffed at.

FA:S on Planet Half Life (27 May 2008)

FA:S is featured on Planet Half Life. Comments are mostly positive, but the 2006 forum and site hijacking still are drawn up, regardless if it's FA:S or that other mod with a similar name.

Stealth Improved

From a post in the FA:S Idea forum (http://forums.firearms-source.com/showthread.php?t=7003)

The original poster puts for the following idea:
The major problem with stealth, is that when you kill someone, it pops up "Player X killed Player Y with Weapon Z". There is no element of suprise. You can't sneak behind enemy lines, and start stabbing snipers, because an astute enemy will realize "there is someone back here killing people".

With that in mind, kills made by players with the stealth skill should have up to a 10sdelay on when the actual kill message is displayed. The length of time would be dependant on the weapon used. All normal weapons will have no dealy (stealth MG kills!); supressed ARs will have a 3s delay; the M24 a 4s delay; supressed SMGs a 5s delay; supressed M9 a 7s delay, and a stealth knife kill a 8s delay.

This allows a nice range of options for players wishing to be stealthy.

The immediate post after that, AirWolf said, "Part of what you suggest is already implemented."

And DysPatch said, "we should get grunt on the testing team so he stops making suggestions that ruin any sort of surprise for everyone else. lately everything he has suggested has been implemented in someway."

AirWolf and Dyspatch confirm that a section of the original poster's idea is in FA:S. No direction in to what specifically.The ps_forest video posted some time after this forum thread dose not reveal anything in regards to the OPs despite having a knife and a suppressed 92F kill in it. However, the delay/hiding of kill message may be only for the other team.

Guessing, I would have to day the kill delay for at least the knife is impliminted; possibly for suppressed weapons as well.

Player Customization

From a post in the Idea section in the FA:S Forums (http://forums.firearms-source.com/showthread.php?t=7114)

Near the end, Grunt suggest:

A better use for custom uniforms would be a unit patch system, where players can upload .png/.jpg/whatever images and it is displayed on thier uniform. Good for individualy. Good for clans (since they can all have the same patch). Good if you want to rake in some cash a-la NS (special patch for donators). Good if you're on the FA:S team (special team member patch).

To which thisismyname09 replies:

this man has been hacking into the seekret team forums. this is another idea we came up with that he's talked about. (although it's not been put in. [yet])

And which Hitman edited to "woot?" four days later.

thisismyname09 reveals that the idea has been talked about, and has most likely had a favorable response from the team. Also, "[yet]" would seem to indicate that it is being worked on or at least past that "thats a good idea" stage. This is strengthened by Hitman editing out his comment.

It seems there will be a good chance players will be able to upload a customizable patch for their player model in FA:S. If not for the first RC, possibly in a future release.

FA:S News (24 May 2008)

FA:S is working hard, ever approaching the first release candidate. FA:S has also just Incorporated its 33rd weapon, making it have one of the biggest arsenals in any FPS. Maps and being tweaked based off large scale play testing. On the official FA:S website, only seven maps are listed, but the team ensures that many old favorites are being worked that have yet to be announced, or will be in future RCs.
The official screen shot page has also been updated. The most notable screen shots are of the M16A2 with an aim point attached on the carrying handle.

In a forum thread, Airwolf address this, "what you are looking at is a world model. Not all the world models accurately reflect what the gun will look like in first person mode. These are still a WIP and some are placeholder."
So at the moment, the M16A2 dose not have an aim point on it. The world model hasn't been finished yet. However, in the same thread Hitman said, "I'm surprised there's no discusson on the pros and cons of putting various optics on what we have implemented as a semi/burst only rifle, and possibly its cost. I can't say we on the dev team aren't talking about it... it's come up before."

So anything is possible. Not only for the M16A2, but any weapon.