Survey Says: Lethality Weapons

Greetings Contestants!

We’re officially nearing the end of our Pre-Origins Dev Diary series. So far we’ve covered some of the biggest aspects of the game: Perks, Airdrops, Melee Weapons, and Wounds, along with a few smaller systems. In most respects, things aren’t changing at all. The mechanics of melee combat are unchanged. The match pacing and economy remain the same. All of the fundamental rules of the game are just as they were in Day 1.

Unless you compare them side by side (which we encourage you to do with the Day 1 Reference build), you will be hard-pressed to notice much that’s different outside of polished art and a lot of bug fixes and performance optimizations. With that said, the devil is in the details and we’ve found a few areas that required tweaks. With your help, we’ve been outlining solutions that preserve the spirit of Day 1, and in nearly all cases you’ve offered strong support to tell us we’re on the right track.

Origins is one of our most ambitious undertakings and is meant to serve as the foundation for ongoing development here at Xaviant. We want to dial in the core gameplay so we can leave it alone as we focus on adding new content, fixing bugs, and optimizing further. With that said, once Origins is in your hands we’re confident you’ll let us know of any problems and we’ll work together to solve them.

We’ve come a long way, but there is one big topic remaining, and that is lethality.

The meat and potatoes of The Culling is its melee combat, but there are lots of other ways to maim and dismember other contestants. Some of those means are more effective than others. Some can be crafted, some can be found in airdrops, and some require a bit (or a lot) of luck.

More than ever, we believe there is no set formula for how a Battle Royale should play, but the genre is at its best when it feels like anything can happen.

Getting the right mix of skill and RNG can be tricky. In the past we may have pursued the dream of perfectly balanced, highly competitive (see: esports) play too far, and the result was something admittedly bland. This time around, we intend to keep the bold, pungent flavor that made Day 1 special, while at the same time trying to go easy on the salt that comes from overly-cheesy items and tactics.

So, that sounds nice, but what does it mean?

Let’s get down to the changes we have planned, in no particular order:

  • Chainsaws now impart a mini-stun, which can effectively stun-lock a victim. Just like Day 1, you cannot block or shove with it. Chainsaws now have a 50% chance to start and impart more damage. The Lumberjack airdrop is only available as a match event airdrop and cannot be unlocked / called in by players.

    • The chainsaw was a powerhouse of destruction in pre-alpha (before Day 1) but it got nerfed hard and never came back. We want the sound of a chainsaw starting up to be the scariest sound in the game, but a sound that is only heard once in awhile.

  • Stun Guns retain their Day 1, 3-second stun (which can guarantee a backstab in most cases), but their ammo is reduced to 1. Stun Guns are found in Green Crates instead of lockers.

    • Stun Guns were also the victim of various nerfs back in the day. By keeping a long stun (which is interrupted by damage), a Stun Gun is effectively guaranteeing you a single backstab. That can be a huge advantage in a fight, but it isn’t a guaranteed kill. They are more expensive in airdrops and you won’t find them in lockers, so they will be much more rare.

  • Due to the strength of the Knuckle-Dragger perk, Brass Knuckles do not drop as frequently from lockers and the Hoodlum Airdrop is significantly more expensive.

    • Knuckle-Dragger has always been controversial, but we believe there is still room to have it function fairly. You’ll have to be lucky to find Brass Knuckles in a locker, but if you do, you’ve got a leg up on the competition.

  • The sickness wound imparted by Blowguns and Punji Sticks now lasts 12 seconds and ends with a single vomit.

    • Blowguns were originally envisioned around the concept of blurred vision making it harder for a victim to use ranged weapons against you. The vomit stun component made them more useful as a tool to guarantee headshots. By extending the wound and guaranteeing only a single vomit, Blowguns will better serve their original intent.

  • Crafted Caltrops can stack up to 5 (by crafting your Caltrops against sticks). Blowguns are now crafted by crafting Caltrops against a Gas Pylon. This allows stacks of Caltrops to be crafted and fits with the concept that a Blowgun requires the poison from a Gas Pylon to be crafted.

    • The primary purpose of this change is to free up a crafting recipe so that Caltrops can be stacked in the player’s inventory.

  • Firearms can no longer be reloaded.

    • Some players feel that guns have no place in The Culling, and it’s true that in their original form they could be incredibly powerful. The ability to reload them led to snowballing that isn’t desired. The hope is that in the right hands a gun can be deadly, but only until it runs out of ammo.

  • Thrown explosives (Dynamite and Impact Grenade) are no longer found in Green Crates, but can be found in Blue and Red crates. Explosive Mines and Remote Mines are found in Green Crates.

    • Many of you felt that Dynamite in Green Crates was a little too strong and we agree.

  • Weapons and Items that use ammo recycle for full value regardless of remaining ammo.

    • Generally speaking, we would rather you use an item than recycle it. If the ammo has recycle value, that encourages recycling rather than use.

  • Submission and Mangler now deal 100% damage to an opponent’s stamina instead of 200%.

    • This wasn’t included in our last draft of the Origins Perk Plan, but after further feedback and internal playtesting we found that these perks at 200% almost guarantee the victim will be permanently at zero stamina for most of the fight, which is simply too punishing.

These changes retain all of the elements that made Day 1 so much fun but do so in a framework that’s a little more fair to everyone in the match.

Do you feel the same? Please fill out our new survey and share your opinions.

This wraps up our regularly scheduled Survey series for Origins. We will have at least one more Diary before Origins launches and we think this is a great tool moving forward. Once again, thank you for your time and dedication to making The Culling the best it can be.

Until Next Time,

We’ll see you on the Island.