Squad Alpha 6 has been released on Steam.
Unreal Engine 4.11 Update
We've updated to Unreal Engine 4.11, pulling in a good number of engine features and performance updates. Take a look at the massive changelog for the engine to get an idea of the scope of all things that changed: HERE.
New Deployable: Emplaced Heavy Machine Gun
The first iteration of Vehicles are here! The Emplaced Browning M2 .50 caliber rifle is a beast of a heavy machine gun, capable of tearing apart even the most determined of infantry attackers. Placeable as a FOB deployable by Squad Leaders, the Browning M2 is your new best friend when locking down an open field on Chora, or creating a kill-zone on a Sumari road. Its effective range for target suppression is well over a kilometer and can easily stop a soldier with just one shot. But due to its limited traverse and elevation angles, operators be careful of your flanks and be sure to have backup!
The Browning M2 consumes FOB Ammo Points (which will regenerate over time) when you reload, and you can only have 3 deployed per FOB (2 in Bunker Configuration and 1 Self-Standing). Sustained fire will overheat the weapon, denoted by how much smoke is pouring out of the front of the weapon. The emplacement itself can be damaged and destroyed with rockets, UGLs, incendiary grenades and hand grenades. Employ it wisely in defence or as a means of fire support, and it will prove invaluable in the firefights to come.
New Map: Gorodok
We are proud to include in this release a new map that we've been teasing in previous news posts. Gorodok is an eastern european inspired map, with large expansive terrain. While Squad is still primarily infantry focused, we will launch with one AAS gameplay layer focusing on a segment of the larger map, pitting Russian and Militia forces against one another in open forest style engagements.
Map Update: Sumari
A much expanded Sumari is finally ready to be released after many months in the oven, and it's looking absolutely gorgeous. More than twice in size with hundreds of enter-able buildings, this map will continue to provide endless tactical challenges to any Squad trying to navigate its narrow corridors and many firing lanes. Below is a quick look at the various layouts.
Map Update: Fools Road Tunnels
Fools Road has undergone a drastic change, underground that is. A completely new Militia fortress has been carved out of the mountain, with crisscrossing tunnels serving to act as a means for defenders to further entrench themselves. Designed not only as a showcase of our new capabilities to show enclosed underground areas, but to also provide an intense close quarter battle experience for Squads willing to venture into the depths of the fortress.
Effects Update: Foliage and Water interaction
We have now added foliage and water particle and sound effects, be mindful when moving through both of these terrain obstacles as those around you can now see and/or hear you.
General Performance Improvements
We've fixed a number of performance issues in the game on top the engine performance changes that came with UE4.11. On the server, we've done a full pass of over all of our networked objects, reducing their networking footprint and replication cost, making things overall more efficient. We've also fixed inventories so that weapons that are not equipped no longer tick and are only updated to client once every second. We've fixed an issue where spawning a soldier hitched the server, and removed a large number of networked properties that were not needed. On the client, we've been making passes on every map, merging many small meshes into one big detailed meshes to reduce shadow casting overhead.
We've also implemented Distance Field Shadows (More Info here
[docs.unrealengine.com]) while reducing the distance of the highly detailed Cascade Shadow Maps, which has given us a major performance boost on maps with a lot of trees like Fools Road and Operation First Light. In addition, we have reduced bones on the player skeleton so that players farther away will consume fewer resources for animations. We have also eliminated a lot of excess animation nodes and cleaned up our animation code to be more efficient across the board.
AMD CPU Specific Performance Improvements
We've implemented a Low Quality sounds toggle in the Game Settings on top of general cleaning up of the soundscape, which should help many users with poor audio performance on AMD CPU hardware, as well as in general. If you are having very low FPS AMD CPU systems, turn on Low Quality Sounds and you should see a nice performance bump. We actively encourage those that do have AMD CPU hardware to try this new update out, and to provide with us feedback on your play experience.
Server Update: RCON support for Servers
We have now added in a standard implementation of the valve R-CON or remote console protocol. This protocol will allow server admins to issue console commands for things like broadcasting messages and kicking players remotely via an R-CON application of their choice. In addition to this. Our initial rollout for Alpha v6 includes the standard aspects of R-CON like specifying the port / password, connecting, and authenticating, and will be expanded in a minor upgrade with the ability to issue specific commands. Additionally, with the help of Disposable Hero from the Tactical Gamer community, an open source Squad Remote Admin tool is being developed which will feature basic R-CON functionality specialized for use with the Squad server.
Founders Perks: Skin Additions
Founders Skins have been added back to the game! If you backed us on Kickstarter or pre-ordered at the Founders level, you now have access to your ingame item rewards. They are disabled by default, so you need to go into your Game Settings and enable the skins you want to use. Note: The Founders Patches for the character models are still being worked on, so while the options are there in the menu, they are nonfunctional.
- Deployables now no longer can be stacked one on top of the other
- Decreased Construction point and Ammo point income on FOBs
- Increased time necessary to take down a friendly FOB
- Tweaked recoil on some weapons
- Stamina now stops recharging while falling or jumping
- Insurgency tweaks. Minimum cache distance is now 300m on 2k maps and 400m on 4k maps, Insurgents now loose tickets if they get killed and there is a high but finite number of insurgent tickets (500 tickets) as a secondary win condition (make FOB placement and medics a little bit relevant again)
- Tweaked minimum arming range on rocket projectiles
- Speed up the time it takes to show the nametags above peoples head
- Smoke grenades no longer kill you with direct hits
- You can no longer focus while moving (within reason, there is a small velocity buffer)
- Updated recoil zoom modifier on ACOGs
- Added Foliage bending on some maps, partial implementation at this stage
- Fixed an issue with soldiers standing when dead if you connect to a server with a game already in progress.
- Fixed weapon disappearing after using medic bag or field dressings.
- Fixed a number of crashes related to VOIP
- Added LODs to the soldier skeletons, improved performance on the animation-side when rendering multiple characters at a distance on screen
- Added Low Quality Sounds, which should help some AMD CPU users who are having stuttering issues related to sounds.
- Fixed issues with grenades exploding too late when you are dead
- Fixed a bug in AAS where lattice links would incorrectly look the wrong direction when looking for home links (fixes a potential locked in main situation).
- Mains now always contest their neighbors in AAS, which should prevent potential locked-in-main situations
- Fixed a PAAS issue where too many flags could be contested.
- Fixed an issue when leaning and sprinting while wounded would get the player stuck in that state
- Fixed an issue while jumping out of gun while holding fire allowed you to jump in the gun and fire without pressing a button.
- Tweaked MP443 pistols hit detection settings
- Fixed an issue where players are using more field dressings than are in their inventory
- Fixed players being able to spawn on other squads rally points when changing squad
- Adjusted projectiles so they overlap instead of block on water collisions, causing projectiles to now enter water
- Fixed weapon reloading desyncing between clients
- Fixed return to origin of the weapon reload being too slow/fast/various times
- Fixed an issue where the field dressings and medic bags would dissapear on weapon switch.
- Fixed enemies markers occasionally being visible during the first moments when you join a server
- Fixed some cases where the server list was not updating properly
- Fixed suppression effects not firing off under certain hit detection conditions
- Reworked code for healing yourself and someone else. This should prevent you from healing yourself and someone else at the same time with the medic bag
- Updated scalability to force distance field shadows on all graphics settings
- Fixed grenades from showing unequipping animation when there are no grenades left
- Fixed grenades not showing 1p and 3p in Listen Servers
- Fixed Shovel and patches being displayed below player
- NetUpdateRate optimizations. All spawn points down from 100 to 1, FOB spawns from 100 to 10, CameraMan from 100 to 10
- Improved performance on shovels, they now use a timer instead of ticking and only tick the timer when they are equipped
- Prevent reloading if your input is disabled. This prevents a bug that is caused by deploying and reloading at the same time
- All weapons now only tick when they are equipped, and unequipped network update rates have been drastically decreased
- Server Browser no longer kicks you back to main with a server full message after you have completely loaded the map, instead you should see this message pop up within a few seconds of trying to join a server.
- Updated inventory slider, you can now disable auto switching between weapons as well as confirm and cancel weapon switches that are only still highlighted in the UI.
- Fixed Purple smoke grenades having blue UI icon
- Optimised the Main Menu UI
- Optimised the in-game HUD
- Fixed Squad Leader icon number disappearing when he goes incapacitated
- Simplified the code for and added more validity checking to the team switch confirmation widget
- Fixed an issue where multiple toasts could crash the game due to incorrect garbage collection safety
- Fixed Tickets not always showing at rounds end
- Fixed an issue where overlapping Capture Zones would cause the capture widget to not show while you were in a capture zone.
- Fixed Sergeant Chevrons and Squad Leader Number overlapping
- Fixed the map timer not always showing the text in the correct format
- Fixed an issue where the Map Timer would desync between server and client
- Fixed keyboard not getting automatic focus on password dialog box when entering passworded servers
- Updated Minimaps on all maps to show fields, bodies of water, gameplay boundaries and also a distance scale
- Fixed toast messages being cut off by a smaller than normal dialogue box
- Fixed Fools Road and Sumari minimaps being out of alignment
- Updated Militia and Russian faction radial menu to use the Russian radio instead of US or INS
- Added map icon for HMGs
- Added Sound collisions to most passable vegetation, as you move through foliage you will make a noticeable sound
- Modified bullet hit dirt sounds
- Updated main menu music
- Added reverb volumes in tunnels on Fools Road
- Fixed attenuation and increased volume on healing sounds.
- Added Bleeding and Wounded/Incap EQ filters that adjust based upon your health.
- Modified SVD fire sounds
- Modified default M4 fire sounds to later fit for dynamic reflections
- Fix to crack flyby sounds
- Improved LODs on various static props
- Added window bar props to various maps
- Added water interactivity, collisions and impact effects by the player, small arms and explosives
- Fixed corrugated metal fences and scrap with double sided geometry settings
- Updated metal fences and log trenches to have proper materials and impact effects
- Overhauled bullet impacts on Dirt to use new gpu debris and random dust animations
- Fixed Smoke Grenade effects not rendering at far distances
- Fixed Smoke Grenade effects not always colliding with the surrounding environment
- Fixed tracer rounds showing too close or behind the gun barrels.
- Fixed several physmats having wrong footstep dirt effect, causing weird excessive foot fx on plastic, rubber etc.
- Added small working tool props as map decoration
- Relocated all shell ejection sockets to their right position, and improved the visual look of them spinning out of the ejection port
- Resized dirt bullet hits and improved random dirt animations
- Updated blast shockwaves relevant to dirt, grass and wood
- Fixed hescos disappearing at a distance
- Added small bulletholes for Makarov and other 9mm pistols
- Fixed RPG7 low quality geometry sight being mis-aligned
- Fixed misaligned rocket on the RPG7 during the reload
- Adjusted Particle Bounds of RPG7 rocket concrete explosion
- Fixed issue where you could get stuck under the hopper car on Fools Road
- Fixed issue where you could use prone to get into the pipe on the gas silo Fools Road/First Light
- Fixed Op First Light warehouse door collisions from being borked
- Updated lighting on all maps
- Added more cache locations that are outside of buildings
- Fixed players falling through mine roof on Fools Road
- Fixed players spawning on the hesco bunker roof on Fools Road
- Updated playable boundaries on a number of maps
- Updated max tickets for BLUFOR on Logar Insurgency
- Added Chora Insurgency Layer
- Added Sumari Insurgency Layer
- Updated cap zone names for some maps
- Ambient sound fixes on Gorodok, Logar and Firing Range maps.
- Added RCON Server plugin
- Added map icon for admin cam
- Fixed crashing on Admin-Camera as soon as you reload your weapon
- Fix for crash caused by jumping in admin cam while reloading on listen server and non-networked games.
- AdminRestartMatch command should now restart the map and stay on the same level