31 July 2009

FAS NEWS (31 JULY 2009)

FAS has unveiled the blue player model; modeled by Schmung and textured by StealthSilver features a CADPAT camouflage so that the coloring and the style is completely different from the red player. The differences don't stop at the skin alone: the blue player model has it's own unique silhouette as well as unique helmet and non-helmet cover. FAS is a very fast paced shooter, and every second matters so the variation between the two teams is important.

Also shown with the blue player model is a candid shot of DysPatch's new map, ps_specter.

This news update also showcases the last weapon in the FAS arsenal, the Sako RK95. The Sako RK95, modeled and textured by Naota, is a rather bare bones assault rifle. While the RK95 has no special features and a bit on the more expensive side of other assault rifles, the RK95 benefits from higher damage, more accuracy and high ROF.

Lastly, on the more technical side, FAS now has all its own art assets. This means that all you need to play FAS is a copy of a Source game and no longer specifically need Counter-Strike: Source.

27 July 2009

Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion

DysPatch has revealed in his developer's journal about a new semi-secret new map, ps_specter. DysPatch has been working overtime on his new map - as well as removing CSS content from preexisting maps - which partly explains the lack of news updates.

Expect to see a screen shot of ps_specter in an August update, hopefully.

And no, there is no James Bond reference in the map...yet.

Tom Clancy's Work Time Fun

Undertone is working on a unamed FAS map, currently titled tc_wtf. The map is still in the design process, but he has posted some pictures in his developer's journal.

Stealth Tank

StealthSilver is all ready a great texture artist, but now he has also expanded into modeling as well. His first major project is the M1A2 Abrams tank which is displayed in his developer's journal.

The model is still undergoing some revisions but he encourages people to post and offer constructive criticism.

20 July 2009

FAS NEWS (20 JULY 2009)

FAS's newest media update features the long awaited M60E, textured by Wangchung and StealthSilver. This 17 credit machine gun is powerful and accurate with its bipod and ideal for providing fire support for your team.

Also showcased is the G36c. The G36C modeled by SiD, has been retextured by Dr.Hubbler. The G36, a steal at 11 credits, is great at close quarters due to its automatic fire and can hold it's ground at range thanks to its aimpoint and single shot capability.

Finally, as mentioned by wasited menkey in his Alpha Tester's Journal post, FAS announces "awards." Described by DsyPatch, awards are "earn[ed] in the game can be achieved every time you join a server or new map." These are not achievements that are with the Steamworks system Valve has and they are not saved after you complete them.

What is interesting about the awards is that they have a CTI award (capture the flag variant game mode) but no SD award, despite having no official CTI maps and a few SD maps. PFS though, states this is for future - possibly unannounced - maps.

11 July 2009

Eiffel 65, the Pacific Ocean and the Next FAS Update

Envelope please...

What are three things that are blue?

Going by StealthSilver's twitter post, the blue player models are done. Expect to see them in an update soon.

04 July 2009

FAS Weapon Page Updates

The FAS Weapons Page has been updated with screen shots of the M224 mortar, NVGs and MK2 Frag Grenade.

03 July 2009

Forecast, Chance of Achievements, High

In a FAS Forum thread taking about achievements, DysPatch replied when asked point blank about achievements, "I would hold off on that question for now. It may be cleared up in the near future."

FAS's twitter feed also states that Shinobi and DysPatch will be on halflife2.net's podcast, which would be "the near future." Podcast, besides letting fans hear about the mod, would also be an ideal place to drop some new information about FAS.

Why FAS Is Great

Naota has posted a good piece of propaganda in the FAS Input Forum describing some key differences between CSS and FAS and why FAS is better because of these differences. Instead of butchering his prose the entire post can be found here.

The reason that everyone uses [the M4, AK47, Desert Eagle and AWM] in CSS isn't that they're popular, but rather that CSS popularized them by making them plainly the best all-purpose weapons in the game by a large margin. They're used so often because the weapon balance is quite terrible and you have guns like this which are clearly superior to mostly everything else in their category, and their incredibly silly money/equipment system does little to nothing to restrict you from using them every time or getting creative. For example, why would you ever pick the CSS Steyr Scout over the AWM aside from willingly handicapping yourself? They're nearly the same in every respect, only one will always kill you no matter where it hits while the other does pathetic damage unless it's a headshot. Compare this to the M82 and M24 in FAS - one is heavy, can't scope while moving, restricts you to maybe a pistol as a sidearm and no armour whatsoever, does much better when bipodded, and can kill players incredibly easily on semi-automatic, while the other is light, bolt-action, mobile, highly damaging but not fatal, and is easy enough on the credits to allow you to use a SMG or even a cheap rifle as your backup. Each rifle has its own set of circumstances where it excels and neither is made redundant by the other, so you see both used all the time.

Because there's no clear distinction of absolute superiority and every gun fills its own little role in the overall gameplay, you won't get hundreds upon hundreds of players flocking to the newest weapon. The weapon balance lets everyone find guns that are their own personal favourite and compete with them without being overshadowed by the baseline AK-47/M4A1. In fact, the AK and M4 are actually some of the least popular weapons in FA because they're so tired and overused (and other ARs do far more interesting things). The only thing that might draw players to a new weapon besides the novelty factor is that it could fill an empty gap in their personal style of play, in which case we're doing our job wonderfully. It's as simple as that.

It puts a smile on my face to think that some day soon, a semi-hardcore CSS junkie is going to give FAS a try, like what he sees, then run out there with Full Medium (no bandages), a glock, and an AK thinking he's going to be king of the world just like in the days of Counter-yore... only to have an enemy sprint-jump over a sandbag he's inching out from and render him a veritable humanoid imitation of swiss cheese with the FAMAS, plant a claymore on his head, heal with medic, then prone off lobbing M79 shells and constantly battlecrying. It will be akin to pitching a denizen of the 1700's thrashing and wailing into this present day as things beyond the scope of his rational perception flood all about in a nightmarish future-hellscape of wondrous complexity and depth.

02 July 2009

You Can't Spell Lost Without LT.

A poster, judoka, on FAS's Mod DB site for the 25 JUNE 2009 update mentioned something about gaining benefits for players who fight by playes who have the leadership skill.

While such claims can be made by anyone, the fact that the poster mentions the internal release number of FAS a few pages down seems to add more weight to his statement.

Menkey Spills the Bananas

Waisted menkey has posted in the Alpha Testers Journal with many screen shots of testing the latest internal build of FAS. Most notable in the screen shots are of the scope mechanics for weapons with low powered scopes such as the MP5 and G36. Using the scopes on these weapons brings up the scope, but still allows you to to see the area around you as well. Scopes for dedicated sniper rifles, such as the M82 and SR25 are the full screen scope that most players of FPS are use to.

Also shown in one screen shot is a mini map in the HUD. The mini map displays the map topography, as well as near by team mates, your cone of view, medics (or possibly hospice flags), capture points and possibly mortar targets. Mortar targets however could have a map of their own for interaction, or the mini map could expand similar to DoD:S to allow players to interact with it.

In addition, this screen shot also shows the mortar's ammo count bar above your weapons ammo count. It is unable to be determined if this only appears for your mortar, is displayed if if you target the mortar and if you need the Artillery skill to see the ammo count.

Finally, there appears to be some type of medal system in FAS. What it is exactly has yet to be explained at all. Possibly achievements, possibly an in game system that awards players skills for other things besides killing.

In addition, there are screen shots of the blue model place holder. Also there are a few players wielding deadly bananas which are place holders for the new high quality world models.

M82 Balance

While the M82 can draw criticism from some that is just a AWP/AWM from CS/CSS, one of the key differences is that while you can move and fire, you are most likely not able to hit anything according to StealthSilver.

Of course with the ease of making scripts for HL2 and related mods, one may be concerned that someone could easily make a script that stops the players movement before they fire, negating the movement penalty while still keeping mobility. Naota, however, explains this is not the case, "the physics for player movement in FAS include friction/intertia, so any script which instantly stops a player's movement input won't be able to scope in at the same time." He continues on, saying that even if you were able to compile a script that allowed quick scoping, the delay between each shot would be so great it would be more effective to use another weapon.

Brother of Another Mother

Despite the unique heads, the heads will not be unique for each team according to Shinobi. Odds are, you'll end up killing your doppelganger more than once in FAS.

Also, if you didn't like any of the heads shown at all, there are two more that have yet to be revealed.

FAS NEWS (25 JUNE 2009)

FAS's 25 June update features player customization in the form of unique heads. Players are able to chose which head they want and accessories. In addition, players with NVG have the NVG monocle displayed on their helmet.

The M82 is also showcased with some amazing renders. The M82 modeled by Thisismyname09 and Schmung, and textured by Dr.Hubbler is the most expensive weapon in FAS's arsenal at 21 credits. With this high price, comes high power: the M82 is able to kill a person with light armor in one body shot, and leaving those with the higher armor classes almost dead. To help balance this power, the M82 can not be used while scoped and moving standing, but can crouched and prone. Furthermore, the M82 has a much lower ROF and greater recoil when the bipod isn't deployed.More information about the specifics can be found here.

Finally, ps_crossfire has undergone many improvements, most note ably the blue spawn.