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Q&A Answers Compilation Thread

Discussion in 'Ask the Team' started by Djemo-SRB, Sep 11, 2014.

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  1. DjemoSRB Djemo-SRB Preacher

    Answers from the 47th Q&A thread
    1. (team) Even after the recent buffs to the offensive psychic powers they are quite a rare sight on the battlefield in actual Sorcerer and Warlock loadouts (as the game stats probably show on your end as well). Do you find this to be a problem, and if you do, what further steps are you planning to make towards remedying this issue?

    They aren’t that rare, but we can certainly do better in making them more commonly used. They’re part of the constant balancing rounds. Long-term, we don’t intend to do anything more than balancing or mods, till we have something like the Requisition Slate system which allows for more limited, yet more varied use, of all abilities, including psychic ones.

    2. After the Faction-specific campaigns backfired (in particular the LSM-one), there was talk of an overhaul to the campaign-system. Whereas I dont expect any changes to the current series, is this still going to be a thing?

    It was only the LSM one that backfired that badly. We knew the other factions would be ok due to their population. However, to make these again in the future, we’d change them. But that doesn’t require any overhaul to the system, it requires the other 3 factions to have goals and rewards as well, albeit smaller than the focus faction.

    Right now, we’ll be firing up the Eldar campaign as before, it doesn’t gave problems with overpopulation of the matchmaking system, like LSM did. It’s math – if 50% or more is LSM, they will end up waiting for matches. After the Eldar campaign is done, we’ll continue with traditional campaigns.

    Objectives – or personal goals – are now set up to be part of Campaigns. You can see that evolution on UAT (public test server). That will lead to more varied campaign goals, on a personal and global level.

    3. Can we have rough time estimates for various planned features, both minor and major? When will the big community related surprise be announced?

    Answered on previous Twitches.

    4. What weapon mods are currently on the table? I know artwork for heavy weapons and plasma weapons are in the game's files (at least they were awhile back), but I would like to know what planned functionality they would cover. Things like replacing heavy weapon ammo belt and overheating with box magazines, bayonets/spiky bits increasing melee damage/durability, cooling increased, faster charge-up, alternate functionality, etc. There's a lot to explore beyond barrels and ammo types (but do explore these too).

    Can’t go into specifics of which ones are next as we haven’t attacked that list in a while. We simply want to focus on current balance. Then we add more mods, gradually over time. Even sometimes, balancing is adding more mods, so they aren’t forgotten.

    The fact that you see individual assets in the .pak files does not mean they are functional or even integrated. A .pak file is just a zip file, sadly, and I wish it was simple enough to be there :)

    We do have a list of course but we lack the systems to create more interesting effects than just “moar damage” etc.

    5. Currently we seem to just slide off foot holds on walls we could previously climb. Will we be reinstating a more consistently reliable ability to wall climb using the grapple mechanic for airborne units? I miss climbing the outer walls of fortress maps for sneak attacks not only was it immensely fun but it was a handy tool to get to higher altitude in stages quickly without having to rely on stairs / elevators and is an essential tool for airborn's purpose of flanking / coming from unexpected directions.

    Yes, this is level design and fixing issues – which we’ve started working on again. You can see minor changes, as well as bigger changes on Blackbolt and Agnathio. This is the direction we can do without compromising the main direction of the team, game systems.

    6. What is the current state of The Vehicle Update? I attempted to outline some of the issues here and gather ideas, but I am still concerned for potential powercreep and laserboats being the new Dragon GG on certain maps; as amusing as it would be for one game to utterly shut down gravtanks with lascannon alphastrikes I'd rather we address it now before it becomes too ingrained.

    The vehicle system is there, it requires assets. Steam Workshop sounds like a might be a good idea there.

    Regarding powercreep, that’s just part of the job of making the game. Everything a game changes or adds can affect the power curve. In fact, it’s often intentional to have global powercreep. It’s also called built-in obsolescence. However, we’re more towards horizontal progression – versatility and choice – rather than vertical progression, which his level 1 to 90 and even sometimes exponential power creep.

    7. Are Exarchs still realistically on the table to be released since there is going to have to be 6 of them or are the Exarch weapons going to be added to the base classes like how veteran sergeant equipment is readily available to Marines?

    Them specifically, no, the next thing on the table is continuing with the heroes. We have 8 planned already since founders, and we have a big list of others which are easier to add.

    We’re also reconsidering how we want the base classes, vs veterans and heroes work. They need to be powerful but limited use. The most common and effective way of doing that would be Requisition Slates, it opens up a ton of possibilities, both for increasing number of spawn, special spawns, heroes and special abilities, for squad leaders and so forth.

    8. Autarch when?

    Let’s say we’re weeks from to triggering the Eldar campaign. Nothing more than that.

    9. Any chance of moving some resupply boxes around on some maps? A resupply box on both sides of the cap point at A on Medusa seems silly. Boxes at B on Blackbolt seem like bait for Predator crews camping outside on the main path looking right in the door. There are some others but those two stand out the most to me.

    Yeah, throw them into the UAT feedback thread or submit as a bug report. We can take a look at simple things as moving these and we like the suggestions.

    10. Has removing Subfactions in favor of a 'Mark' system plus Army Painter been considered as a future quality of life overhaul? As an example, a person wanting to play a Space Wolf (or a successor/offshoot Great Company) would equip the 0LP "Son of Russ" Mark/Chapter Doctrine into a Trinket slot, allowing him to equip Space Wolf-only cosmetics and wargear and disallowing him from wearing cosmetics/gear assigned to "Son of Dorn," "Son of the Lion," or other LSM Chapter Doctrines. This would also allow in the future for people wishing to play World Eaters to equip the "Son of Angron" Trinket and the Mark of Khorne to be at their absolute angriest.

    As much as we love the angriest versions of the sons of Angron and Khorne, no, this is not possible to do.

    11. Any news on Techpriests internship?

    No, in fact we don’t have any interns this time around, as very few get access. However, I think he might gain considerable fame and fortune through the Steam Workshop.

    12. What is the status of the "Writing for Eternal Crusade" thread and proposed contribution system?

    Still there and I await eagerly submissions. I cannot set up a system for it, but there are great web tools out there for collaborative writing, many whom are free.

    13. Can different classes have their own unique cap points and capture keys that do other things to help the match and give the game flavor rather than the Tacticals win progression capture key?

    Yes, we’re considering it as part of the secondary objectives concept, and unused space on maps. It’s kind of the Enemy Territory approach.

    14. The last QA mentioned possible improvements to the squad-leader mechanics. How long, what can you tell us and can you give us a scope of whats possible to base suggestions on?

    That is two different systems. Making it easier and more beneficial to work together as a squad, and secondly, giving the squad leader special abilities. The latter requires Requisition Slates.

    15. What are the mechanical/technical difficulties in the addition of future Subfactions? I'm not campaigning for any specific one or even that any should be added at all, but knowing why - only as an example - adding Raven Guard (who don't really have any unique unit types) would be such a demanding process that they aren't considered?

    Sub-factions need to be more diverse and unique before we even consider adding more. We have sub-sub-factions planned, which are mainly visible, but can be given lots of flavor through Requisition Slates and/or the progression tree, that would be specific to sub-factions and sub-sub-factions.

    Not in a restrictive way though, it’s flavor, it’s not “hey those guys get a titan wtf”.
  2. DjemoSRB Djemo-SRB Preacher

    Answers from the 48th Q&A thread
    1. Many games are introducing a battle Royale mode. Is there some interest in creating a mode or a map for EC inspired by this genre?

    Yes, we already have a series of Battle Royale game mode ideas, since it’s one of many “standard” modes today. Ours are of course adapted to fit with the 40K universe, and with the lore limitations. I also think PUBG showed how execution and nuances to a mode can really kick off something big. Just like LOL.

    It’s lower down the list of game modes we’ll prototype, as we already have some half-finished modes we’re applying to current maps, part of current maps (cutouts) or unfinished maps.

    2. Can we make armor trims optional already? They almost nullify Company color shoulders and just look awful on some color combinations. Not only that but they are even turned off on enemies at lower settings. We are a 40k audience, it should be obvious that the rule of cool goes above all else.

    No, this requires a big change to the the visual customization system and is outside of our engineering scope. We have plenty of things we can do without requiring engineering time, and that’s what we focus on.

    The reason for lower settings turning them off is quite simple. This many different items, textures etc. loaded in a single match, no matter the level of detail and culling, is increasing the load. That applies to all games. So if you have low settings, it’s disabled on anyone except yourself. We have a task for providing a settings option to disable that, but requires engineering and UI time.

    3. Can company trims have their own loadout slot? They're currently competing with the champion pauldron.

    No, as above, the visual customization system right now is created and optimized for us to be able to have just the level of customization today with this many people in a match.

    We do have a list, this is included, as well as proper “skinning” and coloring, for revision 2 of this system but it requires serious engineering time and UI time, which right now is sparse and we’re spending engineering time on lower hanging fruit, such as game mode variations.

    4. Will animations be able to be sent through the Workshop if they are done by the community?

    Yes. They’ll have a tougher time to get through due to the budget constraints – this is in terms of the visual budget asset – but we’ll certainly take them and try to get them in. We’re simply very aware of performance, our skeletons etc. aren’t vanilla UE4 (like pretty much any game out there) so it won’t be easy to create. We’ll help. Note though, animations are notoriously difficult to get added to the games.

    5. Will The Steam workshop eventually allow us to create weapons? Not just skins im talking flamers, two handed weapons, rocket launchers, mandiblasters, etc.

    No, that is a major undertaking, as it requires access to our version of the Unreal Engine editor and our proprietary systems that we’ve written, then being able to build it to test.

    I can foresee someone making models and suggestions on how to function, and we can then finish the internal work with applying current functionality. The system is quite modular in that way.

    That being said, if we get to take the step of Controlled Open Source, this will be entirely possible on your own.

    6. Can we make hero's for the workshop, or should we not bother because licensing will mean they never get implemented.

    Yes you can. But that’s taking a big chance on a huge amount of work. Nothing just gets thrown out but you’d have to be open to some pretty severe changes and review cycles with us.

    7. What plans (if any), are there to alleviate the eventual brick wall of boredom players hit at rank 6? I made the suggestion in the goals thread to implement special rank 6 goals that come with special rewards that the workshop could maybe help out with?

    We have a number of plans, most require engineering work, and they are currently going into game modes. We’re very well aware of this barrier though. Just imagine how long, and how many times we have hit that barrier.

    8. Are there safeguards to prevent the Steam workshop from being abused and used for cheating or exploits?

    Yes. This is not a “ready-to-use” workshop setup. This is curation mode. That means you can submit, upload and vote. It still requires us to take it, review it, and implement it into the client. There is no “I’d like this one here” and voila, it’s installed, which is the main reason for this happening with other games. We can’t even do “ready-to-use” workshop yet, as we’re not modable.

    9. It has repeatedly been said that slates could potentially give rise to the Warlord-system, and it sounded a lot like 'will probably happen and sooner than you think'.

    I am very excited about the tactical and strategic aspects of this game and bursting with ideas.

    I'd love to know: 'if', 'how', 'when', 'have you started working on it' and 'can the tacticans among us be part of the development process'?

    We are also very excited about slates and all the possibilities it opens up. It’s a very standard and generic system, which allows us to add things which requires you to choose what to take into a match, and manipulate the battlefield, as well as your playstyle.

    Being this generic means that it’s very flexible as well, so we’d develop it more openly on UAT as we’ve been doing more recently. Pretty brutal and simplistic version out first, everyone screams, incorporate feedback and data, iterate, less screams, more signal, feedback, data, test again.

    Besides new game modes, re-using our current maps with new modes, even taking parts of maps and creating new game modes for that, slates would be the most groundbreaking change.

    As a result it requires a ton of engineering time and we need support from our sister teams to create the generic system. But excited probably doesn’t cover it. It’s like more spawns of certain types, change the vehicle spawn, squad leader abilities, warlord, limited use super-powers. You know. Take it to 11, then press Turbo. There is no “when” till we get some cashmoneys to do it.

    10. What do the people willing to create models need to expect to use in order to use the workshop? Will it be something preset that each modeler will build off of or will they have to create their own work from scratch? Hope this makes sense.

    We can’t share our source assets yet but people can see what’s in the client and start from there. We’ll also have categories which will have specific instructions, limitations and all listed. Those instructions are the ones preventing us right now from opening up the first categories, so that work on your side isn’t wasted. The requirement is that the submitted work is basically ready Unreal files.

    11. FOV toggle - can we get an option to toggle off the new FOV back to the old settings? It's an okay change if you like it but I'm not a fan, would like to go back to the old FOV

    Yes, when we have engineering time, we have more camera work we want to try out, so I can see that we’d allow you to set it back, and even provide 3 options. However, as our cameras and animations are all very much specialized to class, weapon, faction, different rigs, animation sequence, source and destination of weapons, reticules etc. we are very limited in what we can do across the board.

    12. Render quality - is there a reason why this was disabled? I've dropped 30 frames or so on average because I can no longer run my game at 70% render quality, it is now forced at 100.

    We’ll be putting it in as a setting. The reason is simply that Unreal Engine was doing this dynamically, we didn’t have control, and it becomes incredibly muddy fast below 100.

    13. Are there any plans to roll back to the previous 'low' graphics settings? The new low, even running the DX10 option, causes the frame rates to drop to unplayable levels.

    If the new low graphics settings work worse for you, first would be to not use DirectX 10. That is an option for old cards which handle DirectX 11 badly, it’s literally forcing Unreal to use DirectX 10.

    Now if low settings are also worse in DirectX 11, you are one of the few unlucky as above, that don’t have the pipeline bandwidth and memory, which is actually affected by the render quality settings.

    These settings all originate from PUBG and EC community work, as PUBG is using very similar setup as we are.

    It’s probably easier for us to create the “toaster” setting which would have lower quality settings, amongst other things.

    14. What are your thoughts on giving the Pain Boyz Tier 1 melee stats for the 'Urty Syringe(on par with Chainsword/Choppa Sword) due to it being a primary melee weapon?

    We’re currently working on the Pain Boyz. Becoming more of a melee class is unlikely, but we’ll see as it’s one of the easy and valid options, but out of its class. It’ll end up on UAT and y’all can comment and suggest there.

    15. Could you hire people to form teams for different time zones?


    I’d love to be able to hire people. Could they be teams in different time zones? Sure. I once lead 450 people, in scrum teams, across 3 continents, so there is nothing prevent the time zone part.
  3. DjemoSRB Djemo-SRB Preacher

    Answers from the 49th Q&A thread
    1. (team question) How possible is for the team to get an animator to help the project with expanding the game with some content, without one i doubt we could ever see new weapons (like two handed ones). If not, are you considering people who would contribute to the Steam Workshop as potential animators for EC (not necessarily being employed by the company, but simply allowed to contribute their animator skills similarly as to how someone will contribute with their artist skills in creating new cosmetics)?

    The animators we have right now are from sister teams working on the Autarch loincloth. That’s pretty simple yet taking a week now.

    Two handed weapons is such a huge project, which is not just animation but new motion capture as well. That’s why we haven’t done it yet. The you’d need about 2-3 animators, if the mocap is cleaned. In other words, our problem today isn’t lack of animators, it’s that it takes immense effort and money, which we simply don’t have.

    The reason the Workshop took this long to get on the table at all, was the legal implications of the assets and their ownership. Providing animations, on our rigs and systems, will be possible on the Workshop but as I have mentioned earlier, this is no small undertaking for a person.

    Contrary to popular belief, games like us can’t download animations from the marketplace and just use them. What happens when getting Unreal Engine 4 is you start basically creating your own version, which is the game. If you didn’t, you’d be making skinned Unreal Tournament :)

    2. What systems will requisiton slates have an impact on a) on release and b) in the future?

    ALLLL THE THINGSS!!!! No seriously, I can’t think of a system it can’t have an impact on. What order, and the first focus, will probably be on simple systems. Spawning rules and limitations, vehicle spawn, squad leader abilities, and match playstyle changers.

    3. Can we have a "Battle now" button for all characters like we had back in the days, to populate Xenos and shorten queue times?

    Yes, I just need engineers.

    4. What's the status of the engine upgrade and what avenues specifically do you think the upgraded engine will open up?

    Our sister team are already heading into the next version, and we’re waiting for that. We didn’t feel the upgrade we got and started profiling and testings really provided the benefits expected, compared to the massive carnage of bugs it could have created, as with all engine upgrades.

    The benefits are primarily around server, network and client performance and optimization, as Epic themselves have some “mildly” popular games that aren’t very far from ours and they’ve spent a lot of time on them, which is now in the engine itself.

    5. Could we have a revamp of the climbing function on JPA? I was thinking to allow the jetpack to travel horizontally while on air until it latches onto a wall (it would spend fuel) and i could see it using the groundpound animation.

    No, can’t see that happening. The priority isn’t high enough compared to other things that are far more critical to address.

    6. What is the timeline of implementation of items from Steam workshop to game. We know you have a system worked out on the how, but have you designated a person to work solely on that? If so, relatively speaking, how long per each "batch" of new content? Bi-weekly? Monthly? Also, since GW needs to also review, do they have a specific person to do JUST reviews as well? It's a cool concept to add stuff to the game, but it doesn't do anyone justice once it's all been approved and still takes 6 months for 1 cluster of content at a time. There's that bottleneck lingering again.

    New things would be deployed in the client about monthly, then activated and made available in the client at different times. We can control that on the server.

    We and GW are quite accustomed to receiving assets externally as we always use outsourcing. That’s part of how this can work, the Workshop is just like an outsourcing partner in terms of process. The team has been using that for 3 years, and GW also has dedicated people assigned to our game.

    The reason we are starting out with simple things, is exactly to figure out how long the pipeline is, then smooth out the kinks and optimize it, before heading into more complex things, like compensation with creators, and the more complex systems which requires us to share assets and code for you.

    7. What happened to Noah? Does he still work on EC?

    Right now he’s not in the office no, but we’re working on getting him back in. I can’t even legally comment on it right now. There were some bodies, power tools, such things. Just kidding, but no, he’s not in the office right now, and it’s a legal thing. He still loves you all.

    8. I know that the new map is getting finalised and I'm thankful for a new map, but: Can we expect a map full of ruins with recycled assets from blackbolt between attacker's spawn and A / harkus / medusa between A and C to be made anytime soon? @jbregg?

    Probably not exactly like you’re suggesting but yes, we’re totally going to be playing around with what we have. There are areas totally unused on maps we can fill into, we can even copy-paste those sections and create a new map out of it with a new game mode. We’re playing around with 5v5 TDM right now. It’s apparently mildly entertaining, if you’re into shooting people in the face.

    9. When will we get some kind of storyline/background/roleplaying? As is, the game is mind-crushingly repetitive: No match means anything. Not even campaigns have any influence whatsoever on what is happening. War has raged on Arkhona for a full year now, but story-wise the game is at the same point as it was on Day 1. Nothing about Chapter Master Azrael's hunt for the Fallen on Arkhona. Nothing about Abaddon's crusade. Nothing about the catastrophe the Eldar have seen and that they are trying to prevent.

    I’m actually considering resetting the timeline for exactly that reason.

    The time required for us to move from Day 1 hasn’t made it in. That metagame isn’t there. And of the 700K, maybe 200K actually experienced that sequence of campaigns.

    Now we can do more with campaigns, and with a reset, we’d add more unique rewards, maybe work on the storyline, and if we can, tie more goals into it (which is pending review of Objectives and if they can tie properly into a campaign).

    So it’s a reset of the world, which isn’t that uncommon in online games to begin with, but we’d spend effort on sprucing up the campaigns. Then we’d also literally buy us time while they are running again, to get some of the world moving changes in.

    All still internal discussion and lots of drawbacks, but I’m growing quite fond of it, especially since I’m not swimming in resources.

    10. Can we see our stats please, I know you have them.

    No, exposing that data externally in it’s current raw state would cause load on our systems that we can’t have.

    11. Will we be able to create maps with WS?

    No, not possible right now. It’s probably the highest item on the list. It requires a lot of specific things from our Unreal engine so it’s not straightforward to do, as we can’t give you the code to do it.

    12. How about reusing PvE-maps for PvPvE?

    Yes.

    13. Will there be a revisit of greater scale to the Eldar as a faction or at least the series of widely over- and underperforming assets they have?

    No. For everything? Yes. I personally call it “Scream while dying, instead of screaming because you died without being able to do anything”. You are less likely to change the outcome, it will helps us a lot with our systems which are really sensitive to latency, make things a bit more epic hopefully, and even emphasize better the class and faction difference.

    14. Are you going to implement shoulder change while aiming? Doesn't sounds so hard technicaly but the game realy needs it. I know you can change aiming side while in cover, but it's not always comfortable.

    No. This has been explained repeatedly that just changing the location of camera helps. Because all the other systems, as mentioned above in the answer about camera and why it’s so difficult to change for games, shows it. We don’t have a CCC team of 15 people that can work on just that. I wish but, no dice.


    15. Can we have some further details as to how our workshop assets will be easier to add considering there's assets that you've previewed in the past that currently are not in the live build. Could you please elaborate on how our assets will be readily and easily implemented considering that adding custom skins, cosmetics, weapons to game takes some time.


    The requirement is that submissions are ready to use Unreal files that are according to our specifications. That means most of the integration work is done when submitted.

    If you find assets in the pak files, that just means the basic assets has been added to a very specific type of “.zip” library. It has nothing to do with its state of integration. Some are also reserved, like for warlords. We have a long backlog of assets we need to get integrated, which is why a Workshop without the strict requirements of delivering ready unreal asset with our specifications – would only have created a longer integration backlog, with more assets in the pak file.

    16. Will it be possible for workshops to work on PvE as well?

    No. That requires even more of our systems and code out there, than just working on maps. We’d love to, and we’ll find a way, but the priority is, the simple stuff first, iron out the kinks, then figure out how we can do more complex things.

    17. Will invincability while dodging remain?(Is it intended?)

    This is subject to change, probably as part of the above changes. It’s even bugged right now.
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