Hey there AFF Community!
Once more we’re back with a big update. Lots of changes shaking the balance of the game up but that’s not all. It’s no secret that AFF has been in development for quite a while and one of the most common complaints we get is that one has to lead the shots to hit anything online. That’s not how modern games handle things. So this time we’re introducing:
Hit detection for both hitscan and projectile weapons will now be adjusted server-side to correlate with what the shooting player perceived on their end. This practically eliminates the need to lead your targets online, at least to some server-configurable amount of lag (we’ve set it to compensate a maximum of 300 milliseconds of lag for now). Because the mechanism is completely server-side it’s also not prone to client hacking.
This weapon-fire lag compensation is not the end of our work in that area though. Next on our list is making all the player-input-related actions, like weapon-switching, be less affected by latency.
We’ve made significant changes to how spotting works and is presented in the game. Friendly combatants will be shown on the HUD more-or-less the same as they were before - in proximity or in line-of-sight or when in the same squad, with the added benefit of the team callouts (when someone needs health/ammo/revive) being more visible now.
More importantly though, enemies will no longer produce a constant onslaught of question-marks on the HUD. Instead, they will be identified briefly when firing a not-silenced weapon or constantly when in line-of-sight to you or your teammates. Sensors should be more straight-forward and understandable too now - when an enemy is in range of a helmet sensor or a sensor grenade, she/he will be highlighted on the HUD. It can be countered by wearing a scrambler suit mod. Plus, all friendly spawnpoints work as scramblers now and all enemy spawnpoints work as sensors.
Respawns will now occur in waves synchronized across the whole team, to improve the pacing of the match and encourage players to coordinate their attacks instead of trickling in on the objectives one by one. It may sound like a big departure from the previous system of static respawn delays but effectively the change is almost unnoticeable to an individual player - the respawn counter will just appear slightly shorter or longer - while at the same time being greatly beneficial to how objective assaults play out.
Local stats storage
So far all the player stats - like ranks and therefore available loadout points - were stored on Steam’s servers. Any connection loss resulted in stats temporarily reading as 0, inconveniencing the player. Now the stats are also stored locally so any kind of connection outage will not prevent the player from fully utilizing the ranks she/he has accrued.
For now the local storage is read-only so we can test its functionality in public. Player ranks will only be uploaded to Steam’s servers if the player regains connection within the same game session (before exiting the game). If the system doesn’t blow up, we’ll unlock the ability to play offline for an extended period and then seamlessly push the locally stored stats to the online storage too.
As a step towards making AFF more approachable we’ve implemented a system of hints popping up on screen when their context is relevant. They explain various game mechanics and give basic advice on how to use different features. Each will show up once and they can be disabled in options.
Of course last time we’ve mentioned even more updates but it seems we just can’t get another patch out quicker than in two months. So let’s just assume the next big update will come in ~2 months and if it comes out earlier it’ll be a pleasant surprise ;)
Oh, also coincidentally there's a sale going on now, grab AFF at 40% off!
- Added lag compensation
- Added local player stats storage
- Reworked spotting system
- Added contextual hints
- Respawns will now happen in soft-waves, so you shouldn't end up respawning solo as much anymore
- If a bot dies while their squadleader is dead, they will wait to respawn alongside the squadleader
- If AI were last tasked to follow their squadleader before (s)he was killed, or while (s)he is dead, the order will now be re-applied once the squadleader respawns if it makes sense
- Bots will now crouch more sensibly when defending a spot for a while
- Bots following a player will now try not to get in the way of the player’s gunfire a bit better, especially when the player is in a turret
- AI should now be able to properly dock with any friendly station/ship to reach their target
- Improved flying and dogfighting trajectories for fighters and capital ships
- Bots will now always sprint if following someone driving a vehicle
- Cheapest vehicles in Territories (corvettes, Hare and Silverback) will no longer incur a score penalty for the team when lost
- Improved hip-fire spread recovery rate on the GU34 and the FKR
- Corrected fighters’ and some land vehicles’ fire-rate and accuracy to be as expected
- Homing missiles will now follow a direct path to the target instead of predicting and often oversteering
- Flamethrowers and napalm droplets from incendiary nades exploding mid-air now pass through shields
- Underbarrel flamethrower damage increased by 15%
- Heavy and shotgun incendiary rounds now properly damage destroyables (droppods, console etc.) as intended
- Tweaked how much destroy objectives’ health scales with playercounts, fixed inconsistencies in hackspike hitpoints across the maps
- Khamun’s bridge spawnpoint moved, plus various improvements to interior collision
- Fortress updates:
- Improvements to AI pathing, both on foot and in vehicles
- The spawn-protection should now properly trigger on/off on stage progressions
- A lot of collision improvements (rocks, consoles, buildings, machinery near Objective B)
- All the small wall segments have been made more accessible, and have received strategic sandbags to make them less tedious to utilize
- Various small fortifications have been added near Phase 3 AIA spawn
- Right wall section have gotten more cover and a tower leading up to it, to make it play a bigger part in Phase 3
- Many objects have changed color to fit AIA imagery better, ULA-looking tech was also purged from the facility
- Disabled the up-righting flip on gunships - they can be rolled while piloting anyway
- Implemented AFK management behaviour for servers. Default behaviour is display a warning to a player after 60 seconds of inactivity, which also makes the player auto-vote for votes. After 90s the player will be moved to spectators.
- Kick reasons should now be properly displayed on client
- Wheeled vehicles should no longer occasionally make the “tyre squeal” sound when standing still
- Added vehicle spotting callout - on the TacMap, you can click a vehicle to call them out for your team. Your squad will always get these messages. Nearby teammates will as well.
- Squad callouts now sound slightly more radio-like. Same effect is applied when piloting a ship
- Killcam should be more reliable now
- Spawnpoints and warp-beacons now turn red in the UI if there are more hostiles than friendlies near them. Their name will get (CAUTION) appended as well. This is to help you know if you are spawning into danger or not.
- If low on ammunition, friendly spawnpoints will now show up on the HUD as resupply points
- Added a warning for leaving online matches before finished, notifying you that your stats may not be saved if something goes wrong
- Toggle HUD (bound to F5 by default), is now a three-way function: first it hides the HUD, then it hides hands/gun, and then it restores both. When in a vehicle, the step of hiding the gun is skipped.
- Lean left/right can now be used to rotate the tacmap left/right. If sprint key is held as modifier, it will rotate up/down instead.
- All the comm-role-style wheels (command, vehicle, broadcast and confirm) can now be used while the TacMap is open in the command mode. Tapping any of the comm-rose keys will toggle between command and redeploy modes of the TacMap
- On TacMap, the button to swap between command and redeploy modes will also change colour when you are able to respawn like the deploy button does when it’s visible
- TacMap will only auto-open after the intro scene of the map. After this, a prompt will appear when you are ready to respawn
- Accepting vehicle drop reward is now possible from the B-menu when dead but able to respawn already
- Flashlight will no longer light own weapon/hands
- AI should no longer get stuck on an order, if their squadleader was human but became a bot (due to the player changing squads/becoming commander/stepping down/ leaving the game)
- Re-enabled correct delay before an LZ becomes available for re-capture. Should now have a 180s delay before becoming available again in Territories
- Fixed a crash caused by AI trying to navigate while thinking they have negative radius. That diet must’ve been super-effective.
- Fixed performance hitches caused by bots trying really hard to respawn during the briefing phase
- Fixed vehicles glitching out at droppod locations before the droppod appears
- Fixed an issue with long briefings sometimes throwing the AI commander initially off
- Fixed an issue where weapons might end up mis-positioned after a bobbing animation plays
- Fixed underslung shield incorrectly resetting its regeneration delay every time the weapon returns to the default state - i.e. after firing, after reload etc.
- Fixed an issue where friendlies could trigger “under attack” status on destroy objectives by shooting them
- Fixed icons on command-wheel not properly showing the weight of each squadleader
- Fixed respawning not resetting currently tagged target correctly
For feedback, or just a lovely chat with the devs, post on AFF's Steam forums or contact us directly through our Discord!
Onwards and upwards!