SITREP: Wargame Mode
Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2023 7:53 am
We’re back with our eighth entry in our SITREP developer diary series! Today, we’re taking a deep-dive into everything coming with our Wargame Update.1st Lt. Jesse Grapes wrote:I think sometimes people think that the Marines are just these guys who kick down doors and run through walls - that they don't actually think on the battlefield. In truth, this was as complex a combat scenario as I saw in three trips to Iraq, or have heard about from anyone else.
Since our release into Early Access in June, we’ve collected hundreds of comments from players yearning for the opportunity to control more aspects of the combat simulation. While our cooperative “Fireteam” mode is rooted in the real-stories that have been shared with us, it became very clear that players also wanted to experiment with parameters outside of these stories. To achieve this, Update 0.2.0 introduces a brand-new mode into the game—Wargame.
Wargame gives players complete control over mission parameters before loading into the AO. Not only can specific missions now be selected, but players can now customize a multitude of battlefield conditions, like time of day, weather, building density, AI posture, and more. Plus, missions will now have a hard-mode (FUBAR) option, which presents even more adverse conditions compared to the standard mode, and players can also customize a variety of gameplay options.
There’s plenty more to unpack here, starting with “Gameplay Options.” Not only will missions have hard variants, but enemy AI also have a “Hard” difficulty option, with AI enemies deploying even more sophisticated tactics and behaviors. “Survival Rules” adds an entirely new level of challenge into the mix, allowing players to select “No Reinforcements,” which disables respawns from the AAV. For those of you who want to take difficulty even further, enabling “No KIA Allowed” will result in immediate mission failure if any fireteam member is killed-in-action.
We’re also giving players more flexibility around roles. If “Ranked Selection” is enabled, players can choose their preferred fireteam role. Here, the fireteam is still limited to one of each role, and duplicates will be settled by the fireteam member with the higher rank. In contrast, “Unrestricted” removes ALL rules around roles and lets players stack as many individual roles as they’d like. For example, you can deploy into Phase Line Henry with four Team Leads equipped with the M203. If you want four FIRE roles with SAWs, you can absolutely do that. Why not split the fireteam into two Readys and two Assists? In Wargame, all of this is possible. Keep in mind that progress toward rank points or achievements is not awarded with “Unrestricted” roles enabled.
Finally, we absolutely want to let the community know that mission timers can now be extended, reduced, or completely disabled in Wargame. And, you can now skip the intro cinematic in Wargame, too.
Let’s move into the Procedural Architecture options available in Wargame. We implemented sliders that adjust specific elements of exteriors and interiors, depending on player preference. If you’re looking for a combat simulation with more exterior density and restriction, crank the sliders all the way to the right. In contrast, you’ll find less density and restriction if you move the sliders to the left. The same customization levels can be applied for interior density and restriction, too. With these additions, players can more readily target the type of simulation they want to experience.
With all that being said, we want to remind everyone that Wargame is not representative of our core “Fireteam” mode experience. As a result, matchmaking will not be available for Wargame and players will form private lobbies to access the mode. However, we’re also allowing players to navigate directly to Wargame after completing one “Fireteam” mode mission with a matchmade party.
However, that’s not everything coming with our Q3 update. If you missed our recent DEVLOG, here's a deep dive into our newest time-of-day and weather options—Flares and Sandstorm.
Flares is our newest time-of-day, introducing players to night operations for the first time in Six Days. We’ve developed a rhythmic cycle of darkness and light as bundles of flares are launched into the sky and illuminate the area of operations before slowly fizzling away. What’s most interesting about this time-of-day is the impact posed on the player.
Developer Comment wrote:Fear of the unknown has been one of the core player themes for our project, and we’re confident jumping into Flares will turn this dial up to 1,000. This is because the amount of time flares spend illuminated is random, and there’s no predicting how much time you have left before all of the lights go out. You’re forced to make tactical decisions while you have the light (or while you don’t).
Visibility is dynamic with Flares enabled, and everyone plays by the same rules when faced with this “day-night” cycle—even AI. While you have the advantage of coverage in the darkness, enemy AI will also take every opportunity to establish a foothold and advance toward your position. They’ll be hunting for player flashlights and muzzle flashes, and you have to make conscious decisions about factors you never considered before—like using your equipment or even firing your weapon.
Now that we’ve discussed time-of-day, let’s take a closer look at our newest addition to weather—Sandstorm. Here, your biggest threat is no longer enemy AI, but rather reduced visibility that comes with sand particles, dust and debris, and heavy wind. Intensity of the sandstorm depends on the procedural roll, and it may even roll through the AO halfway through the mission. Just like Flares, players will never know what to expect.Developer Comment wrote:Finally, we want to thank the community for all the comments around NVGs and NOCs. While they won’t be included in this update, we do plan to introduce these tools for everyone later in our development.
But, how does Sandstorm affect players? Not only is your visibility obstructed intermittently as the sandstorms roll across the AO, but your radio will also be less effective. Character models will also intermittently raise their hand up to their mouths to cough during Sandstorm. Additionally, we’ve introduced new audio FX to simulate heavy wind during the storm. Both communication and visibility bear a new challenge under these conditions, and we’re excited to see you adapt and overcome them. As a bonus, player uniforms accumulate dirt based on wind direction when clearing exteriors.
While it’s clear that the sandstorm is now public enemy number one, enemy AI should not be underestimated under these new conditions. Sandstorms are thick, dense, and provide ample opportunity for concealment. Here, enemy AI are extremely mobile and take full advantage of the chaos. But, it’s important to remember that everyone plays by the same rules in the storm, and players can hide just as easily if they employ the right tactics.
That wraps up our deep-dive into our Q3 content update! We’re excited for our community to get their hands on a variety of frequently asked features and craft the combat simulation they’ve been looking for. We encourage everyone to jump in and experiment with all the new options available! Thank you again for taking the time to share comments and feedback for us, and please keep them coming.Unknown wrote:You never rise to the occasion. You only sink to your lowest level of training.
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