Hey there AFF Community!
This time we have something special for you. As usual the update comes with significant changes and improvements but we’re also running an awesome event in the game to coincide with Steam’s Space Exploration Sale!
Apollo 11 Moon landing anniversary event
It’s the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing and we think this awesome feat of human ingenuity needs to be remembered and celebrated. So, not to spoil too much, on some maps in the game you will now find a certain Apollo-related objective. Completing it will earn you a tiny unique unlock in the game, as well as a callout in our official [Discord](discord.gg/aff) server. Watch out though - the objective can be contributed to by both teams at once and only those present in the objective area upon completion will be rewarded! So make sure to keep your opposition at bay… or perhaps convince them to a temporary truce and celebrate the wonders of space exploration together in peace?
Oh yeah, and on this occasion AFF is 40% off again:
As a side note, of course we’re running this event mostly for the fun of playing together with the AFF Community and because we love space and astrophysics and engineering and creating cool things in games. But it’s also a great opportunity for us to establish a framework for running unique events like this in the future, and perhaps integrating them with some upcoming meta-game mechanics.
Elemental ammo rework
The special ammunition types are an integral part of the AFF combat design but they’re also something we constantly try to make more interesting, fair and thematically consistent. We’ve made some significant changes to how they work again and we think this strikes the best balance so far - as always though, we’d very much like your feedback on this topic:
- Still deals damage over time
- Still overheats relevant weaponry
- No longer overheats the GU34
- Interrupts vehicle armour regeneration
- Increases damage from radial explosions
- Increases likelihood of other elemental effects triggering on affected target by 20%
- Permanently reduces the amount of health and armor that can be regenerated/healed to MaximumHitpoints*0.9^AcidProcCount (1 acid proc = 90% max health, 3 = ~70%, 6 = ~50%, 9 = ~40%, 12 = ~30% (etc)). Note that the effect does not diminish your health on its own. Only the maximum you can heal/regenerate/repair back up to.
- Infantry servo-motors cease to function and they are unable to sprint
- Vehicles boost-charge gets depleted and they are unable to boost
- Hampers chargeup-weapons (RID, GU34, LSP altfire, L9R etc.) - if the gun is able to fire with zero charge, it is still functional, otherwise it is rendered inoperable
- Vehicles turret AI will cease to function during the effect (players can still use the turrets but they will not fire automatically)
- Blocks regeneration of shields and disables any currently active shield (including the deployable shield turrets when the effect triggers on them)
- EMP and plasma ammunition no longer deal bonus damage against shields and shields have been re-balanced with this in mind
Grenades, shields and defense
We’ve made some changes to the overall balance of defense-vs-offense in the previous update but we feel like the gameplay still gets somewhat stagnant around chokepoints. There’s a lot of strong defensive tools in AFF, while breaking through a wall of shields and turrets sometimes seems impossible. Therefore we’re trying something a tiny bit controversial this time: hand-thrown projectiles, like grenades, will pass right through shields. This is coincidentally more consistent with the AFF lore where the shields wouldn’t stop something with such a low velocity - but more importantly it should help offset the balance and make the game more fair towards the attacking teams. Let’s see how it works out.
Optimization and tweaks
We’re also introducing some general performance improvements this time and will continue to do so over the next few updates, to get the game into a state where performance doesn’t vary so drastically between players, especially with weaker CPUs.
Surprisingly many of the recurring performance hits come from the UI but as we are resolving those we’ve also made some tweaks to make the UI more consistent (for example hack objectives (hackspikes) will now follow the display logic of every other objective type: color - who controls it; progress - how your team is doing with it. Therefore now it will count down for defenders and count up for attackers like every other objective)
Anyway, we hope you all enjoy this little event we prepared - it's going to be up for the duration of the Space Exploration Sale and a few days after that. See you on the servers!
- Apollo 11 Moon landing anniversary event
- Elemental ammo types reworked to be more interesting and consistent
- Added visual indicator for corrosion status to armor/health bar on the HUD
- Fighters and dropships are now able to warp-out by just establishing a line-of-sight to the rearm beacons without having to traipse all the way back
- Hand-thrown grenades, detpacks, sensorballs and vehicle mines will now pass through shields without detonating, unless it's the spawnpoint protection shields; shields also transparent to radial EMP (EMP grenades) and multiwrench regardless of team; note shields still block explosion damage (frag, AV weapons etc.) and MNL grenades will still detonate on contact
- Re-balanced underbarrel and deployed shields to be much weaker but regenerate much faster; ensured underbarrel and deployed shields shut down and don't regenerate while the owner (gun, turret) is under the effects of an EMP
- Vehicle shields (including droppods, boarding pods etc.) have been re-balanced as well
- Reduced grenade ammo count to 2
- Suit ammo mods now apply to grenades/detpacks/sensorballs, +1 for each mod slotted
- Increased FOV a cheeky 15% when in a spaceship for improved speed/scale perception
- Reduced all fighter weapon ranges by 25% apart from bombers' torpedoes/railguns/plasma
- Buffed missile tracking a bit
- Gunships and spaceships now have 100% more linear acceleration and 50% more angular acceleration for improved responsiveness
- Changed the amount of points needed to unlock vehicles: In Incursion the defenders will now need double the current points; In Territories the unlock score has been reduced to 0.7 the current
- AI fighters will close the gap to target a bit less aggressively now and break off before hitting the target more sensibly
- In-game server browser will now highlight the official servers with a unique icon
- More and better formatted contextual hints, now with icons too
- Added functionality to the contextual hint box: When a mutiny vote is ongoing, you can press F1/F2 to vote yes/no. If you press the same key as you’ve already voted, it will hide the box.
- Spawnpoint-related sensors/scramblers should now work properly in ship interiors - the range of these is now 30m
- Improvements to how the minimap displays icons and various special objects like the currently tagged target
- Made the TacMap auto-opening, and also automatic spawnpoint selection when the map is opened, more intuitive
- TacMap can now also be opened with spacebar when the prompt for respawning is showing
- On TacMap when viewing a spawnpoint, the corresponding objective is now hidden to declutter the UI. Additionally, the spawn will now display the hitpoints of whatever it is connected to (droppod for example)
- TacMap now allows for tagging (highlighting with the "G" key) of anything player-controlled, as well as objectives. This selection carries over to normal HUD
- On TacMap, you can now use NumPad+ and NumPad- to zoom in and out
- On TacMap holding shift (spring key) while clicking on a command-group, or a squad-mate, will now add it to your current selection
- TacMap's deploy button will now correctly show a "Waiting for introduction" message while the map intro is playing
- Greatly optimized the performance hits caused by the HUD in certain situations
- Optimized ion beam impact effects
- Changed how the briefing room easter-egg (shhhh) works to avoid some performance hits
- Significant optimizations to spaceship physics and AI weapon control algorithms
- Hackspikes will now follow the display logic of every other objective type: Color = who controls it. Progress = how your team is doing with it.
- Camouflage now have a max amount of saturation and brightness, to make it fit into the world better
- Blocked some interaction prompts showing up while spectating
- Sensor nades should no longer detect both teams
- Sensor loss/recovery should be more consistent, and less prone to abuse from leaning in and out of cover
- Hack-spike objectives should now trigger overtime correctly
- Fixed the underslung flamer retaining the main firemode's charge on GU34 and chargeup disabled explicitly on all weapons when switched to the flamer firemode
- Fixed boarding/rearming point icons showing up in hyperspace
- Fixed dropship boarding/rearming hints to point at the closest option
- Fixed boarding pods not showing up as available resupply points when low on ammo
- Fixed MILNET not issuing tasks during the last-man-standing phase(no deploy points left for the team)
- Fixed contextual hints auto-closing first time the TacMap auto-opens
- Fixed out-of-bounds areas not catching vehicles properly and the messages for leaving the battlefield getting overridden by other messages
- Fixed spawnpoints showing a deploy icon rather than an ammo resupply icon when running around low on ammo
- Fixed tagged target pointer direction
- Fixed an issue where attackers on an Incursion map had a short window where they could respawn, before the spawn-delay kicked in
- Fixed fighter fins not extending correctly when exiting a dock after resupplying or when viewed in specator mode
- Fixed server playercounts going haywire on certain sequences of switching between teams/specating. Fixed bots trying to spawn and delete themselves over and over when that happened.
- Controller-specific controls should no longer be displayed on various interaction prompts unless an actual controller is connected
- Contextual hints can now be properly toggled in the settings menu
- ULA bots will no longer attempt to rearm dropships at Ixion station
- Radio callouts should no longer be cutoff untimely
- Tweaked broadcast radio to be slightly cleaner and simpler
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!