Finally we are able to bring you the third and final part of our second Q&A with the team. We hope you have enjoyed this series and as before, if you keep the questions and suggestions rolling in, we will keep responding to them. Thank you to all of you for taking an interest in our game and helping us improve it!
Q: What do you think of adding a system to upgrade weapon tier with gold to get better stats? For example, maybe with gold only you could upgrade AKM from Lvl 1 to Lvl 5.
A: We discussed such an idea internally about a year ago, but thought this could cause a lot of negative feedback from the community. On top of that, such a system could look like ‘Pay to Win’ where, with gold you get a sizeable advantage compared to other players.
Q: With so many skills and equipment set types, would it be possible to get "skill presets"? One preset focused on anomaly skills, another one on medical, another one on movement, another one on weapon mastery or something in between. This would reduce the difference there is between veterans with 100 lvl and lots of Prestige levels, and newbies who barely have enough points to fill 1 skill tree.
A: Skill presets sounds like a good idea. As for the ‘hard’ presets - I would be against that as such a change would kill the motivation to upgrade your character (only for opening another preset). In that case - you’ve got a high-level character - more skill points - more points. As for the newbies - they don’t play against high-level players anyway, that’s why they are more or less in the same conditions.
Q: The AKMSU can be equipped with 50 different modules. That seems like lots of variety on paper, but in practice there are some issues:
(part of AKMSU) You have 3 pistol grips that look different but have the same stats. This is weird because non-factory pistol grips are made for a reason (faster aiming time because lighter, better ergonomics meaning better accuracy, stuff like that). The same goes for the buttstocks, there are two buttstocks for it and one of them has some kind of pad to hold better on the shoulder, but their stats are the same. Their stats should differ, giving more gameplay variety, and shouldn't be the same just because they are of the same type.
A: We want to achieve more variety - will see what can be done there.
Q: (part of AKMSU) To install the Fabdefence GLR-16 stock you need to build a kit that consists of 3 parts: AKMS Fabdefence bracket, Fabdefence buttstock tube and the Fabdefence GLR-16 stock itself. For sure, this system makes sense because this stock gives you -12% recoil when aiming and the factory-built metal stock gives just -6%. The problem is that you need to ransack these parts in a match, at a very low chance and just 1 try per match (that is, if you win the match). It's going to take a long time to build the entire kit. For example, the module drop rate for the AKMSU in S&D during the St. Patrick's day event was pretty high (I was dropping modules for it in almost every match) and even after getting the L85 "St. Patrick" and most of the other modules for the AKMSU I still lack 2 out of 3 of the pieces of this particular kit. Or you can pay just $2 USD to build it instantly.
A: We are working to ensure the player can get the module he desires not only with gold.
Q: (part of AKMSU) The consolation prize of the above is that AKMSU is right now the only gun in the game that can have its stock modules modified and we can play with those until we get the better ones. I really like this idea, will more weapons include this kind of system where stock modules can be upgraded instead of swapping them to something else? Because this translates into another cool "feature" this gun has: veterans buy it many times and use its modules to improve other modules.
A: In order to make most of the weapons similar to AKMSU we’d need to accomplish a lot of work: starting from re-modelling certain weapons and finishing with adding characteristics to new modules. And don’t forget, there’s no possibility for the player to obtain the necessary module (not taking gold into account) at the moment. Therefore, in case we come up with multiples of such weapons - this will yield a need for more modules, and as a result - more negative feedback about the needed module never dropping.
Q: (part of AKMSU) AKMSU was the first weapon where, upon inspecting it for the first time, I thought that the module system is heavily limited by giving just 1 positive stat and 1 negative stat. Would be interesting to see 2 positive and 2 negative stats, or even 1 very good positive stat and 2 negative stats. For example, a silencer could have the stats it has now (+: lower unmasking radius, -: lower effective distance) but you could add one more negative stats because it actually has 2 positive modifiers (2nd positive is way lower sound when firing). The 2nd negative modifier for silencers could be lower bullet velocity or more dispersion when shooting (I think this is how it works in real life).
A: Such a system uses the principle of 1 positive and 1 negative modifier. It’s very complicated to rework the system into 2/2 or N/N as then we’d need to give such modifiers to all the modules. Possibly we can revise the answer to this question in future.
Q: Silencers are too silent and, in fact, it looks like they make no sound at all outside of unmasking radius area. In games like Playerunknown Battlegrounds (a game that even though arcade-ish does feel a bit more realistic than this) they're balanced better: silencers are still pretty loud and can be heard from afar, but have a huge echo that makes it difficult to guess the direction. In Survarium, you just hear bullets passing through even from up-close and until one of those bullets hits you, you won't know from where you're getting shot. Something needs to be done to the silencer system in this game. The bonuses they give are too significant and too game-changing. If you're playing at the top level against top100 players, it's almost obligatory to have a silencer installed on the best available weapon that you have equipped.
A: Sound works slightly different in PUBG, sometimes you can’t figure out where the enemy is shooting from (also, the firing distances are very different too). My opinion is that silencers work as they should in our game. We could play further to the “unmasking radius area” parameter and some other ones.
Q: Snipers are very annoying. Wearing the best armor in the game, which is Zubr, cannot survive a Barrett or an ASVK shot. Not even with an extra Onyx that gives you +9% damage protection. This contradicts the concept that Maxim had introduced, the one where heavy armors would survive Sniper shots at a 100% chance and medium armor would survive it from time to time. I wouldn't mind this kind of damage model if playing with Sniper rifles wouldn't feel effortless. You can shoot instantly after sprinting or hit even while sprinting or after having jumped or fallen to the ground with no penalty whatsoever. That's not how you balance Sniper rifles if you want to make them one-shot every single armor in the game. Add reload glitches and faster rate of fire glitches to this mix, and you have one of the most (if not the most) unbalanced version of the Sniper class in 5 years since the game first introduced it.
A: Such a class of sniper rifle is very tough to fine-tune: they either become too strong (killing everything), or too weak (non-killing). That’s why we try to seek the ‘sweet spot’. There are sniper rifles which kill everything, and there are ones killing only light sets and so on.
Q: What happened to the map variations that were first introduced with Update 0.47? Will they be brought back? "Chemical Plant" had this: https://coub.com/view/uwugd . "Rudnya" used to have a Research version with a flag in the swamp and even some trees there, church rooftop was accessible from behind, A building had staircases and B flag used to be by the shacks and was covered with sand-bags. "Cologne Bridge" had a variation with buildings on top of the train that added height playability. I miss this variety a lot because, in part, it was also implemented due to the lack of new maps.
A: In one of the updates the community wanted to switch off some of the map variations - we proceeded to deactivate those. Part of those locations you described above. They need to be sent to further improvement and only after - returned to the list of locations available.
Q: It's a pity that Artifact Hunt was removed instead of improving it. No changes (apart from an over-time round if the score is equal) were done to it since that pretty long post by Leki when we first tested it on PTS (and yes, not even those changes were implemented and they were much needed). Last Man Standing, Arms Race, Battery Retrieval with randomly scattered batteries across the map, Team Death-match with random spawns (which would prevent the spawn raping that lots of users complain about)... We have had quite a few modes over the years that were removed instead of improving them.
A: Artifact hunt was replaced with ‘Seek and Destroy’ mode, both of the modes are associated with the artifact. ‘Artifact Hunt’ was very similar to the ‘Protective device’ mode. On top of that, ‘Artifact Hunt’ wasn’t the most popular mode among the players. That’s why we removed it, and should it be returned, we’ll make sure to improve it first. Possibly we will be activating this mode temporarily (like on weekends).
Q: Would be nice if the laser was more than just a dot (so, a trace coming out of the weapon and maybe visible with light-rays or dust) or if its bonuses would actually get disabled when turned off (confirmed by the devs that this feature is not implemented).
A: Need to think how complex that would be to implement.
Q: When in the Workshop, weapon specs sheet doesn't show stats like "recoil when aiming" or "dispersion". There are modules in the game that have these stats, but it's nowhere to be seen how they improve what the weapon already had.
A: Not all the weapon parameters are displayed in the workshop, if we’d display all the parameters - we’d have a screen full of charts (recoil, recoil when aiming, recoil from the hip etc), numbers and so on. That’s why in order to get a feel of "recoil when aiming" or "dispersion" you can enter the Shooting Ground and compare your impressions of the upgrades.
Q: A lot of magnifying scopes implemented in the game have iron sights on them (for example ACOG x4 or SpecterDR), but these cannot be used for close quarter situations, where magnifying scopes have too much zoom.
A: We’ll do our best to ensure all the modules allowing aiming grid magnification have such mechanics available in the game.
Q: A lot of bonuses that we can add to our equipment in Survarium do not reflect on the equipped weapon stats and this can confuse new players, thinking that they don't work. For example, TOZ-34 has 3.2s reload time with -20% reload time modifier, but if you put on gloves with -10% reload time or add -20% reload time from some set bonuses, it will still say 3.2s, even though the modifier works correctly. This should be fixed.
A: We will do our best to fix those problems with characteristics displayed in a wrong way.
Q: Would be cool to have a stats sheet with every weapon. How many kills, what's the % of head-shot and accuracy, how many hours played with that weapon, what's the usual K/D ratio..
A: We have been thinking about the so called ‘player’s profile’ for a while. There you could check all the parameters related to specific player, starting from the number of matches and all the way up to figures on kills, weapons-based accuracy etc.
Q: Would it be possible to implement a visual for the advancement of mastering a weapon directly in inventory tab and eventually a small crown or anything else to show weapons that are already mastered? The detailed advancement could be placed in the description of the weapon that appears on mouse over or near the weapon name in matches to show people that you have a lot of kills with it.
A: Good idea, but need to think on where such an indication could be placed.
Q: The Slaughter version of Vostok Radar has too much smoke grenades spam. Visibility of the entire map is always obscured. Entire matches are just this small map full of smoke screen everywhere + sensors. It's not fun to play like this, smokes should be limited to just 1 at least for this mode or something needs to be done, there's too much smoke spam.
A: We could experiment with limiting the number of such supplies and see how the community would react.
Q: Lvl 1 weapons module unlocking should be based on the old system (where with certain number of kills you unlocked the module, not the slot to install modules). Right now the system is too random and not friendly to newbies, who need to get 500 kills to unlock just the slots and have already unlocked lvl 2 and lvl 3 better weapons while still having no modules for those lvl 1 guns.
A: Maybe it’s worth limiting the number of kills needed to open the first-tier weapons. Also, don’t forget a newbie would receive a set of modules for the comfort of play.
Q: What about coil and rattle artifacts? Will they be added to the game in the near future?
A: Of course we plan to increase the diversity of the artifacts available in the game.
Q: Will static anomalies return? Some time ago, players discovered one on the Vector Lab map in “Slaughter” mode, but this version of the map is no longer available. It would mean to add radiation in the water on Rudnya map or lava and dust near the volcano on Mamayev Kurgan, for example.
A: We estimate the efforts needed to return the static anomalies to the game. My thinking is, it is a sizable effort. However, we try not to forget things the community has been asking us about.
Q: Do you think the spawn of anomalies is not realistic? Larkspur, for example, can spawn in buildings even though it's a plant. Wouldn't it be better to let them grow on the grass? And give other artifacts characteristic places for spawn, so those can spawn on specific surfaces?
A: This is not a question of realism, but rather a question of proper implementation and making it look ‘as it should’. Yet again, we’d need to evaluate how much time it would take to implement and prioritize such an idea.
Q: Currently, everyone who has access to tier 5 plays with tier 5 equipment. The lower the tier, the weaker the bonuses for complete gear set. With such an arsenal, players should have a huge choice in the selection of equipment. Of course, the best armor should offer something for which it is worth to level up a given faction, but sets from lower tiers become useless. It's like in reality after maximizing specific faction players would have to choose the best armor on t5 or nostalgia. In practice, everyone plays on T5 (80% of the equipment is unprofitable to use - t1, t2, t3, t4). Do you plan to balance it somehow so that players can use all the items taking advantage of it?
[b]A: You always have set items providing the best kind of characteristics on your equipment. However this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be the tier 5 gear. Each time we release a gear-balancing patch we do our best to ensure all the equipment is more or less even, however achieving an ideal balance is tough, since you either end up with everything the same or in certain situations one equipment is better and in other situations - the other one.
Q: In many games, it's fashionable lately to add a season pass or something similar. Do you think it would be a good idea to add such a "season" for a small sum of money (or gold) with special quests and prizes in the form of unique camouflages/decals/camo weapons/stash maps/premium tickets, etc.?
A: We’ve been thinking about a season pass. So far we have ideas which need to be put together to create something truly cool. So that the community would strive to play and get rewards from the season pass.
Q: You have recently added screen space reflections. Can you tell us what graphical options are you working on right now?
A: At this stage we’ve been working to improve the smoke (fixing bugs), therefore the next graphics option currently is not a priority.
Q: Do you plan content related to PvE for this or next year?
A: Maybe, we have certain ideas for team-based missions, however more pressing current tasks wouldn’t allow us to deal with those now.
Q: In many games, players design skins for characters or weapons. Are you planning to add support for such creations in the future? Offering rewards to the creators or part of the profit from the sale of a given skin weapon?
A: We’ve been working with players who help us create weapon camos for in-game events for long now (for example, John Rivian). Authors of the camos obtain the guns with their design, as well as in-game items (gold, parts etc).
Q: In “Search & Destroy” mode, most of the rounds seem to be won on the defending side, it seems like it's a lot easier to defend than to attack. This could be, for example, because the defenders are able to roam around the map a lot and get away far from the A/B points that they have to defend. In other games that have this mode, like Rainbow Six: Siege, defenders get marked on the map if they leave the defending area for more than 3-5 seconds. What do you think of doing something like this in Survarium? Or should the defenders be able to roam around the forest, outside of School or through the whole map of Vostok?
[b]A: We’ll do our best to improve the interface and the gameplay understanding in this mode. Additionally, we do not prohibit the defending players to go far away from the artifact placement spots as those want to obtain sufficient information about the attacking players (catch them unprepared or simply find out their intended direction for attack etc).
Q: Scopes aim way too fast. In the past, “aiming time” parameter was linked to each type of scope instead of to the weapon, but in the past we didn't have the possibility to do double scope builds. If this could be brought back, you'd solve the problem of people glitching NcStar 4 + NcStar 4 to get very fast aiming times and you'd solve the problem where high magnification scopes aim too fast, but collimators would still aim fast. Slow aiming on high magnification scopes, but fast aiming on collimators.
A: Maybe it’s worth making the negative effect of the high-zoom aim surpass the positive effect of the collimators. Or make it so that the effect of the collimator installed on a high-zoom aim would not be taken into account - i.e. the aiming time is the same for both the aim and the collimator.