1.31 Production Update 04-16-10


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We've had a great week in Beta. One of those weeks where were finally closing more tickets than opening new ones and that is in large part to the help all of you have given us. Thanks. We also had a couple of very nice focus tests this week that exposed a couple of things but mostly allowed us to get the vcache system working. I can go into vcache if anyone is really interested but the bottom line is “it make game work more better”. Something about memory swapping and such.

We've also seen some good work coming on the performance front. We've been messing with reducing state changes and some VBO this or that is coming up. Again, technical stuff that basically means work more better. At the end of the day I look to benchmarks and we are currently in line with our 1.29 and 1.30 benchmarks which is very promising. Especially promising actually when we consider that the guys are really just now rolling up their sleeves and looking under the hood to tune all the freshly installed bits.

An example of the fixes that have already been made are:
And my personal favorite:

We also had a Rat Chat in the last week or so and these are always a good chance for you to throw some ideas at us and see which ones stick. Here's a quick update:

That was pretty much a no brainer. We've ticketed that up.

The feedback on the new slower turning while sprinting has gone over very well. There are always a few dissenters naturally but in our play testing we've really seen a difference and we like it. It was suggested in the rat chat that we should try to still allow the torso to have a faster look and just have the legs turn rate reduced. I talked with RAMP about it and he thinks he can work some magic there. We'll see what we can do.

Lighting is always tough because we want to have night and darkened days but not so much that players just fuss with gamma to correct it. For most of us the light levels right now are very playable but we've gotten enough feedback from people who are having issues that we'll take another pass at this.

With the new combat stance we decided to go in and adjust the eye-heights in the various positions to match first and third person as exact as we can. One of the things this lead to was popping up when you went to aim the rifle. We like it. You could be partially hidden behind the AB wall and then pop up over it to shoot. Well more concealed really. You still need to crouch to be fully concealed. We liked it so much we added it to prone. Popping up is cool right! Meh, maybe not always. The problems were quickly pointed out by the brush lovers among you. You know who you sneaky fellows are. Feedback on this now is pretty mixed and we're going to review it. The plan right now is to leave the third person animations the same, so you'll still benefit in some places from the combat stance and combat stance in third person is very cool. In first person though we're going to review eye heights again with two goals. First, remove most or all of the pop up and second make sure that the eye heights are adjusted to match the terrain first and third person second. This means that we want to make sure that aimed rifles can shoot through openings and over walls and that deployed weapons can actually deploy easily on the many surfaces in game.

As 1.31 Beta testing winds down, we'd like to remind you that if you're an active Premium subscriber before the live release, you'll be eligible to wear the new decal. The '131' decal is a way for players to show that they were a part of the game community that supported the 1.31 development cycle and beyond.

To finish up today I'd again like to thank all of you helping in the Open Test. We couldn't do it without you. I'd also like to ask any of you not participating in beta to give us an afternoon or evening in the coming weeks. We'll be opening the server up more and more as we near release. And to all of you, we need your feedback. In the Open Test Forum there are several stickies for things we are looking for feedback on this week but equally important there is a feedback sticky that list tons of other things we want your feedback on. We take feedback very seriously. Your comments and opinions have always and will continue to shape the future of the game and also point out to us things we might miss in the vast simulation war gaming experience that is Battleground Europe.

See you on the Meuse,