The Culling Patch Incoming with New Showdown Feature! Revision #91706

Greetings Contestants!

It’s time for a fresh new update, and this is another big one! The brand-new Showdown feature is a fun and exciting way to keep teaming issues in check - forcing players players who work together in Free For All to duke it out for the right to remain on the island. We’ve also done a major balance pass on perks that might make you think twice before equipping Big Boned or Dig Deep. Additionally, melee combat has received some fine tuning to improve the overall experience. Plus there’s the usual grab bag of polish, bug fixes, and even a few new buildings in the map for you to explore. Though, we apologize in advance that Frank isn’t around to give you a tour - he’s a little… tied up at the moment.

Our servers will be down tomorrow (Thursday, June 2nd) for up to four hours starting at 8AM EDT as we roll out the patch.

In the meantime, we’ve put this build up on the Test Servers for you to preview. The Test Servers will be live from now until Midnight EDT.

We’ll see you on the island!

 

If you joined us on the test servers last Friday, you’ll see that we’ve made a handful of changes to that build:

 

Changes since the May 27th Test Server Build

  • Added a brief visual intro and outro to the block animation that indicate your client is responding to input before the server has acknowledged you’ve entered or exited your block state. This does not affect block timing or gameplay functionality but should make the controls feel more responsive

  • Removed test server experimental feature that allowed players to be staggered if they were struck while shoving. We feel that the stamina cost is enough to curtail excessive shoving

  • Reduced stamina cost of shove from 10 to 8

  • Taking damage no longer breaks a player out of a stagger. This was allowing the staggered player to reliably counter-attack after the stagger was broken

  • Taking melee damage while charging a melee attack no longer causes a stagger, but instead cancels the charged attack and plays a hit reaction. Charging attacks risked being punished with two attacks, which overly discouraged players from attempting charged attacks during combat except against a staggered opponent

  • Expose wound applied by traps when using Trapper perk set to 30% bonus damage instead of 50%

  • Players now receive an error message when a friend invite fails (i.e. the friend is connected in a different region)

  • Revised Tutorial lighting and visuals

  • Fixed an issue where some weapons had inconsistent attack and shove ranges

  • Fixed a bug where player would not spawn with Alarm Gun when using the Red Gunner perk

  • Fixed a bug where Master Crafter was not reducing crafting times for some items

  • Fixed a bug where Armorer perk was not applying the Crafted Armor automatically

  • Fixed a bug where Trapper perk arming and disarming times were not reduced consistently

  • Fixed a bug where Trapper perk did not consistently apply Expose wound to trap victims

  • Reduced 1st-person volume for Alarm Gun audio (3rd-person volume not changed)

  • Fixed a bug where AI bots were not behaving properly in the tutorial, which prevented some tutorial lessons from being finished

  • Fixed an issue where Mandroid bots in the tutorial were wearing clothing

  • Fixed several text issues with perk descriptions

 

For those of you who missed the last Test Server build, here’s a breakdown of the rest of the changes we’ve made since our last update to the live game:

Showdown! Allegiances on the Island are about to get more interesting, and bloody.

  • Teamwork is good, except when it’s bad. The top cause of angst in the community lately has been the rising prevalence of teaming (both ad hoc and premeditated) in Solo and Trials matches. After much deliberation between Chas and Frank, we’ve decided to add a new match event to Solo and Trials matches: Showdown.

  • Rather than trying to prevent teaming completely, we’ve decided to try a method that keeps it from being a winning strategy. When you’ve been flagged as colluding with a teammate, attacking another player will spawn a Showdown arena. If you are tagged in a Showdown, you must quickly enter the arena (if you’re not there already) and fight your former ally until one of you is left alive. If either player attempts to escape the arena, they will be executed. When one of you dies, the Showdown ends and the remaining player is free to proceed in the match. If neither player dies before the timer runs out, both of you will be killed.

  • While we’re not going to delve into the specifics about how the system works, we have taken pains to ensure that non-teaming behavior will not be misconstrued as teaming (i.e. chases, stalking, temporary truces). If you do find cases where the system fails to catch teamers or misidentifies teaming activity, please let us know!

Combat and Netcode

  • Our approach to combat netcode relies heavily on client prediction to allow for the smoothest, most responsive experience possible. When you press a button, your client expects those things to happen when those inputs reach the server, and will start playing animations in anticipation. The reason actions have some windup time (in addition to looking better) is to allow some wiggle room to allow for players of differing pings to both participate in the “shared illusion of playing a fun game together.” Most of the time this works flawlessly and neither player knows the difference. Unfortunately, this prediction can break down in some situations, such as when both players are simultaneously sending block and attack commands which are going to pass each other in flight to the opposing player. Those situations end up with results that can feel arbitrary at best, or infuriatingly buggy at worst (“HOW DID HE PUNCH ME THROUGH MY BLOCK?! *ragequit*”). It isn’t an easy problem. For those of you who are so inclined, here are a couple of overviews that begin to scratch the surface of the forces at work and the wide variety of issues that present themselves in the process of solving these issues:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTH2ZPgYujQ
        http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1014345/I-Shot-You-First-Networking

  • The underlying netcode has been modified to favor accuracy over input responsiveness (subject to further iteration, of course). Most players should hopefully not notice a huge impact on their play, but blocking may end up feeling more sluggish for players with higher pings. We await your feedback before we invest more time in polishing the presentation of this approach.

  • When equipping a bow, you now need to nock an arrow before firing.

  • Reduced stamina cost of shove from 10 to 8

  • Taking damage no longer breaks a player out of a stagger. This was allowing the staggered player to reliably counter-attack after the stagger was broken

  • Taking melee damage while charging a melee attack no longer causes a stagger, but instead cancels the charged attack and plays a hit reaction. Charging attacks risked being punished with two attacks, which overly discouraged players from attempting charged attacks during combat except against a staggered opponent

Perk Changes

  • Defensive perks are firmly in our crosshairs and all of them have been rebalanced. Because they were so powerful, the majority of players have been taking at least one of them. As a result, they extend the length of most fights, which upsets the general balance of the game. Our approach to the rebalancing is that perks that are completely passive (require no player skill) and are useful in all situations have been set to a new baseline value. The bonuses applied by the perks improve as they become more situational or skill-based. While many perks have been hit hard, we believe that they are all still viable.

  • Big Boned now expands your health pool by 10 hit points (previously 25)

  • Tough Mother damage mitigation reduced to 10% (previously 15%)

  • Thick Skin damage mitigation reduced to 30% (previously 50%)

  • Thick Skin no longer defends against firearms damage

  • Bomb Suit now defends against firearms damage in addition to explosives damage (remains at 50%)

  • Trapper no longer increases damage of traps, but instead applies a 30% Expose wound to a target that has triggered your traps.

  • Faster Trapper has been removed and Trapper now also includes faster trap placement and disarming

  • Cannibal now restores 25 hit points and completely fills your stamina (previously 35 hit points and 35 stamina)

  • Maniac has been removed

  • Leather Hide has been removed

  • Blowhard redesigned to increase the sickness applied by the blowgun to allow for two vomits

  • Man Tracker perk now allows you to move while man tracking in addition to spawning with a Man Tracker

  • Dig Deep now restores 15 hit points (previously 30 hit points)

  • Dig Deep now triggers when the player reaches 1 hit point and clears bleed wounds when it triggers

  • Angry Octopus cooldown increased to 120 seconds (previously 30 seconds)

  • Renamed Thicker Clotting perk to Wound Less to better reflect its general nature

  • Armorer now spawns you with Crafted Armor instead of Body armor

  • Red Gunner now adds *Bleed, *Expose, and *Cripple to your shots

  • Alarm Gun ammo can now be crafted using rocks instead of explosive barrels

  • Stealthy now allows players to craft quietly

  • Master Crafter now allows you to craft 50% faster in addition to dealing bonus damage with crafted weapons, traps, and explosives

  • Faster Crafter has been removed

  • Longshot now makes a distinct sound when you hit a target at greater than 40 meters, so you know it’s working and when

Other Changes

  • Culpepper Outfitters has had a full art pass

  • Fix for point of aim not matching point of impact with bows

  • Replaced Gold Crates with Holo-Spawners. These appear as the match nears completion and preview the item you can purchase for 100 FUNC.

  • Overhauled drainage tunnel under the mountain to include more gameplay elements

  • Reduced interaction time with FUNC barrels and FUNC piles

  • Increased Medkit application time to 4 seconds from 2.5

  • Fix for bug where control sensitivity did not reset when being disarmed while aiming a ranged weapon

  • Improved visuals for being struck while initiating a block to communicate better

  • Increased Stun Gun recycle value to 20

  • Reduced Recurve Bow recycle value to 20

  • Fix for axe weapons applying the wrong wounds when thrown

  • Fix for the crafted knife and crafted snare so they can now be picked up with the number keys

  • Fix for disarmed snares leaving a trigger volume behind in some situations

  • Lowered audio volume in lobby

  • Lowered volume of first-person movement sounds while Stealthy (does not affect how audible you are to other players)

  • New locations in Southeast and Southwest corners of the map

  • Removed “Grab My Package” match event for now (very similar to “Loot Express” but was failing to drive players to contest the Airdrop)

  • Ware are updating our teaming policy to reflect design changes. You can expect the new policy to be rolled out with the patch tomorrow

 

Test Server Instructions
Anyone who owns the game should find “The Culling Test” in their Steam Library (you may need to restart your Steam client to see it). Once you’ve installed the test build, you will be able to join us in testing during designated times when the test servers are live. Solo, Teams, and Private Matches are all available.