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Mountain Pass Interview with Abraxas
AAFiles:Howdy ok here we go
AAFiles:What will the patch contain exactly?
Abraxas:The patch will contain a new map called Mountain Pass. It is essentially a continuation of the Bridge map, taking place in a large, mountainous region on the other side of the tunnel. The Assaulting team must reach and secure a convoy that has been captured by enemy forces.
The update will also see the addition of the new Combat Effectiveness Meter (CEM). This meter will essentially illustrate your combat readiness in any given situation. It is affected by many different factors, including your speed, health, posture, native class, action, proximity to leader, being fired upon, explosions, and more. By using this meter, players will have a much better understanding of their ability to hit the target while in combat. Additionally, as we move forward and introduce new features to the game, look for more elements to be tied to this meter, adding a greater diversity to player effectiveness when compared with training, experience and special attributes.
Another new addition to the game is the Honor System. Players will all start out with an Honor rating of 10. Good behavior and team play will be rewarded, while bad behavior will be penalized. Players’ ratings will increase or decrease over time, depending on how they play. These ratings will be persistent, and will be maintained in players’ personnel jackets. In this way, players may invest in their characters and see an increase in abilities and benefits the more that they play the game. Like the CEM mentioned above, as we move forward with the game, look for more and more features to be tied into the Honor system.
Finally, on top of these new additions, we’ve made a great deal of enhancements to existing features, as well as squashed a lot of bugs.
AAFiles:When will the net code been improved to help lower pings?
Abraxas:Net code improvements will come when we receive the next code drop from Epic. The current version of the game is still a build behind the version that was released with UT2K3. As soon as Epic makes that version available to us, we will merge our code with it. Don’t expect to see that for at least a couple of months though.
AAFiles:The next patch, what version number will it be?
Abraxas:This often depends on our internal versioning, and how many changes the game goes through as we add features and fix bugs. The final version number will be decided upon prior to release.
AAFiles:How big will the new patch be?
Abraxasifficult to say at this point…maybe 20 or 30 megs, more or less.
AAFiles:Will you release 3 different patches like last time (one if you have the previous patch, another patch if you don't and the full retail with everything included)
Abraxas:There will be a full install, plus a patch to take you from 1.2.1 to current. Beyond that, we’ll make a determination at the time of release if any additional patches are needed.
AAFiles:Will you be implementing stamina at all?
Abraxas:From a certain point of view, you could say that it will be in the next patch. Through the Combat Effectiveness Meter, you will see the effects of stamina on your character. You’ll pay a price for sprinting and jumping too much, as the CEM will take much longer to come back up after sustained actions.
AAFiles:When will concussion effects for regular frag grenades be implemented?
Abraxas:They probably won’t be in this patch. Possibly in the next update though, we’ll see.
AAFiles:Have there been any thoughts on speeding up the pace for all actions?
Abraxas:Yes, there has. In this build you will see the addition of a “Hit the Dirt” animation. While sprinting, just hit the prone key and your character will dive to the ground. Frankly, we love the speed of the action so much that we’ve talked about looking at some of our other moves and seeing if we can’t speed them up a little. We’ll evaluate this element after this update has been released.
AAFiles:When will the sounds engine be fixed?
Abraxas:I anticipate many fixes to the engine coming with the next code update, as mentioned above.
AAFiles:What projects are you working on for future patches?
Abraxas:Obviously, we spend a great deal of time listening to the community and making adjustments to the game based on any feedback that we agree with. This will continue as a matter of course. Beyond that, we are also looking at creating a brand new user interface for the game (although this won’t come until after the code drop from Epic, so that we can take advantage of the new interface code that they put in). Our desire is for a much more professional menu system that is both better looking and more intuitive. On top of that, we need to adjust the interface so that it is more scaleable and can expand as the game grows.
Another element that we are planning for the future is the addition of Combat Life Savers (medics) to the game. As we continue development, we will begin making changes to the damage model to prepare the way for this character class. This addition to the game will be fairly large, so we will be spending some time to get it just right. Don’t expect to see it for some time.
Of course, there are many more additions that we are considering at the moment, but we’ll reveal those at a more prudent time.