Pulling back the veil

Posted by WasabiOne 4 years ago

Hi everyone. I thought today would be a good day to take a moment and discuss some recent changes to the game. For almost a month, the dev team has been dabbling with combat mechanics. One of them was something we had been considering for some time, player hitboxes. As you can see from the before and after image below, the original hitboxes / hitreg have always been frustrating due ironically, to the precision of the hitboxes. Most games don’t have hitboxes that are as precise as NS2, which ran counter to the fast pace of the game. It felt unfair to miss skulks because of matchstick legs, or not be landing hits on a lerk while shooting center of mass.

hitbox

Our thoughts finally lead us to make the change and deploy it in PlayTesting sessions for some time, but not disclose anything in order to gauge the results and responses. It was very noticeable from the first couple rounds that this change definitely would have a positive effect on marines, especially in combating lerk and fade.

After evaluating and discussing it we decided to release the change with Build 305 and also made the decision to withhold it from the changelog notes. We felt it was important to see what the effect of the change would be absent of any potential placebo effects. After a week in the wild we saw a shift towards Marine wins and lots of comments in forums and in-game that had people wondering if something had changed. Turns out they were right! Below is a graph of the effects of the change to win rates and our subsequent changes thereafter.

stat-graph

Another change we had been considering was again, due to a disconnect between what the game communicates versus how the mechanics actually work. Feedback from lots of players of varying experience over the years has indicated a great deal of frustration with the skulk not registering bites when it looks and feels like you are clearly biting what you feel is on target. Thursday we pushed out a change to address this using an Extension to all servers, slightly increasing the size of the Skulk bite (below you can see an approximation of how it has changed).

skulk-bite

The red box is the old melee “cone” size, and it matched the fade’s melee size… cone is a misnomer, it’s actually a rectangular prism. The blue box is the new melee which we’ve been testing since Thursday, July 21st. Skulk still requires quite a bit of aim, but the melee feels more appropriate to the view-model. The Fade’s melee cone was changed as well to be taller (the same height as the blue box) but its width remains unchanged (red box).

As always, we are very interested in your thoughts on these changes and especially, now that you know they exist in-game, how does it feel? I am sure this will be an interesting discussion and the Devs will be watching and contributing to that discussion.

Lastly, we would like to take a moment and welcome FSFOD to the development team. He will be helping us with some upgrades and enhancements to the codebase over the next couple months.

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