Christmas is coming and we have a small gift for you – 0.61 on Stable branch, Brian is going to tell you more about it. Peter talks about character growth and Mirek has information about vehicles, and their presence on Exp/Unstable.
Dev Update: B. Hicks
For those that weren’t aware – we pushed 0.61.136770 to Steam stable branch yesterday. While there are still some issues we want to address (VOIP Volume, Supersonic cracks, Container contents desync, Infected footsteps volume, status modifiers stuck, and more) we looked at the experience the tests over the weekend provided, compared to what was going to be available to those on Stable branch over the holiday break and decided to go ahead and make the move. This allows us to ensure that users on Steam stable over the holiday season will be able to enjoy a stable DayZ 0.61 experience, while we continue to address the issues the team is concerned about on Exp/Unstable branch, and pending build health potentially push these over to Stable on our regularly scheduled Wednesday maintenance.
Lets take a look at the milestone goals for 0.61 Stable, and then we’ll cover what is currently on Exp/Unstable branch – as well as what is pending a new Exp/Unstable update.
0.61 Milestone Goals
- Server Login Queue
- Merge of New Audio Technology from Arma 3 Eden Update.
- Update of Weapon Sounds for New Audio Technology.
- Dynamic Spawning of Infected.
- Predators (Wolves)
- Dynamic Shadows
- Network Synchronization Improvements
- New Server Browser
While we’re happy to say that we’ve hit all of these milestone goals for 0.61, there are still issues that need to be addressed. Currently on Exp/Unstable we have build 0.61.136796 which is focused on the following changes:
- Fix for issues with container contents desync
- Fix to address supersonic cracks
- Adjustments of animal SFX levels
- Adjustments of infected footsteps levels
- Adjustment to Infected swing SFX
In addition to the build currently in test on Exp/Unstable we are focused on more Exp/Unstable updates to address:
- Status Modifier Updates
- Adjustments to Dynamic Lights
- VOIP Volume too quiet
- Issues with Hand Slots on corpses
- Some clients experiencing FPS drops
And lastly, as promised – future 0.61 Exp/Unstable builds will also be pushed (more than likely after the holiday break) with changes to test network sync on vehicles in DayZ. These builds likely will have vehicles set up to spawn ready to drive, but don’t expect that change to follow through to Stable branch!
We’re all enjoying watching, reading, and hearing about your adventures in the latest change to Stable branch DayZ and we hope you all have a safe and enjoyable holiday break. This will be our last Status Report until January 10th, so see you all in the new year!
Dev Update: P. Nespesny
Don’t get attached to your gear. This well known DayZ rule is there with us from very beginning. But then what is it, that you should be attached to? In short, it’s your character, a survivor in post apocalyptic world full of infected and other threats, where every choice matters and has its consequences. It’s easy to say that, but currently the only attachments your character has is his/her gear, his/her location within the world and his/her state. Losing all the gear, getting seriously sick or suddenly need fast travel often leads to sacrificing your character and starting from scratch as a fresh spawn. This behavior goes against the survival idea behind the DayZ in general.
To build the value of your character we have planned three pillars which are connected to his life span and activities. Probably the most desired and awaited one is the visual representation of your character appearance like growing beards, scars, bloody hands and others which really reinforce connection between player and his character in world. Second pillar is pretty straightforward and it is connected directly to upcoming stamina system. With stamina in place, sprint wouldn’t be intended for traversing long distances (that’s what vehicles are for right?), however it will be an important factor for fleeing from immediate dangerous situations you may encounter on reasonable distances. Keeping the character alive longer will benefit from being able to carry more load until the penalty for overload in terms of shortening available stamina strikes in. Third pillar is obviously soft skills, which we have implemented in prototype state for quite some time. Same as with other stuff (for example stamina system mentioned above), this mechanic is waiting primarily for introducing his majesty, the new character himself, which as you may know will be formed from interconnected systems like new animation system, new controller and state machine, new physics, new damage system, new user actions and others.
We had been speculating about soft skills for quite some time. Skills leveling system based on gained experience as we know it from traditional RPG games doesn’t fit DayZ very well. First draft of soft skills was close to it, there was enclosed skill sets defined by actions which tried to mimic exact roles like medic, mechanic, hunter, builder, farmer and few others. Performing actions within skill sets add experience points to its pool and eventually raising its level. Such system leads to mindless grinding of actions without any meaningful gameplay context which, I believe can really easily ruin the gameplay experience for plenty of players just to witness such behavior. To minimize it, there needs to be some anti-grind solution like simple maximum cap for points per timeframe, or other more elaborate solution which demands more or less UI elements to be clear for players what are the rules and what’s going on with experience and skills.
In the end we decided to strip soft skills to bare minimum and dare to take different route once again so the vision of DayZ stays intact. Soft skills should not be mandatory, however they should reward long living, dedicated characters and reflect their past actions. Main idea behind it is simple – with little abstraction it’s safe to say that if you can stitch up someone, you for sure are relatively able to gut animal or pick seeds from harvest, and on the other hand if you can build fences and watchtowers it should be relatively easy for you to cut tree down or dig garden plot. We introduced so called specialty, which is axis with two poles – precision and roughness, when a character is spawned the pointer is in the middle, neutral position. All actions in game can be divided between precise or rough ones.
Even actions from traditional roles like medic can be categorized independently and sit somewhere else in specialty spectrum, for example transfusion as precise action while CPR as rough action. Performing actions in game is moving specialty dynamically towards one pole or other, every action can have different weight so it can move specialty in different amount, let’s say while performing transfusion you gain more precision then with simple bandaging. Dedicated characters will be able to profit from current state of their specialty in terms of performing given specialty actions with shorter times, less materials used, wearing out tools less and more outcome gained as current specialty is multiplier for all of these.
Not dedicated characters who don’t care about specialty or those who feels like jack of all trades are not punished in this system as their specialty will be moving around the middle neutral position which means no penalty as both precise and rough actions will take default time, use default amount of material, worn out tools for default value and gain default outcome. Note, that we are not planning to punish dedicated characters yet (but there is a possibility to do so), if your specialty is more towards roughness you will be stitching yourself as you would do while your specialty is in middle position.
I think it’s kind of unique approach and it doesn’t spoil DayZ with unnecessary tables, numbers, UI clutter and undesirable player behaviors. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year… see you in Chernarus folks!
Dev Update: M. Maněna
Today it will be quick again. We released stable version yesterday, but we’re still working on fixing some major issues, like broken modifiers and statuses for some players. We might have a fix today on experimental branch. Looks like it’s happening only when one player is connecting at the same time when another is disconnecting, which can happen very often for waiting players in the login queue.
About vehicles, we made some progress with synchronization. It’s still not perfect and you will experience some micro-teleportation during driving when it hits experimental branch, so please keep in mind that it won’t be in its final state. Currently there is just one known blocking issue and it’s related to passengers not being able to get out of vehicle sometimes.
I don’t want to give any promises, but it’s still our target to release vehicles on experimental branch before Christmas and if we don’t make it, it’s priority No.1 at the beginning of next year. I wish you a Merry Christmas and happy New Year.