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There Will Be Ink update for 13 March 2021

Beta 7 – AI, Squads, Cover, Suppression, Boss, User Profiles

Share · View all patches · Build 6377218 · Last edited by Wendy

Patchnotes via Steam Community

Hello there!

Where do the months go? This might be There Will Be Ink’s biggest update yet, it turns out, and it includes some new mechanics and the reworking of some old ones. Act II of the main campaign is finally wrapped up and throws a new boss fight at you. I have some big plans and some small plans next up on the road map, but first, on to the stuff!

AI Advancements

I’ve made a few adjustments to make enemy & ally units a little more interesting. In addition to some bigger changes like dynamic squads and new cover/exposure/suppression mechanics that are covered in more detail below, there are some smaller improvements. For instance, units that catch fire will seek out nearby water to extinguish themselves. Recruits will also keep an eye out for flags that have been partially lowered and raise them back up. Grenade evasion has been added, with higher ranked units being more likely to roll out of the way of an incoming grenade. Units will also prioritize their target that are in range. So for instance instead of focusing on the nearest Rifle unit, a Sniper will target an HMG that is a little further away. Similarly, your RPG will be sure to prioritize that tank that is wreaking havoc. Units with “Retaliate” behaviour will now attack units that get too close (no more walking right up to them!). RPG & Flamethrower units will now target buildings and also try to find a clear line of sight if a building is in the way, while all units will try to find a clear line of sight if a vehicle is in the way. There were also some AI-related bug fixes, like Medics not reviving units who are bleeding out and units targeting buildings that are under construction.

Squads

Recruits will now dynamically form squads. This is still a work in progress, but there are already some key features in place. First, if there is no nearby danger, new recruits will wait by the Barracks until a squad of three is formed before advancing. The highest ranked unit is set as the squad leader, and there are three new abilities on the Barracks page that can be unlocked and which allow the squad leader to grant passive buffs (in this case armour, move speed, and stamina regen) to their squad members. Squads will dynamically form and separate as units move around the map, and squads will work together to flank suppressed units (see below).

Exposure, Suppression, & Cover Adjustments

Cover is now much more effective when prone, with the caveat that when a prone unit fires over cover or throws a grenade they will go into a crouching position, which exposes them and makes them easier to hit. The intent here is to make cover use more effective and to add an extra tactical element to gameplay. The time a unit remains exposed goes down with rank, and as always the chance that a shot will penetrate/ignore cover goes up with unit rank (and varies with weapon type), but it is generally less likely than before if the target is prone. If a covered unit comes under heavy fire, it will become suppressed and refrain from attacking and therefore exposing itself.

New Mission and Boss Fight

I won’t say much about it, but there is a new mission and boss fight, and Act II of the main campaign is complete, huzzah! Expect things to ramp up some for the third act.

User Profiles and Three Teams

Players can now set up user profiles in-game in order to track progress separately. I went to the trouble of adding support to copy over existing progress to a new “Default” user profile, only to find out that due to an error in the way the 6.1.2 hotfix was configured there’s no way to make it work. Oops! If you’d like to retain progress, you’ll need to copy the contents of %localappdata%\ThereWillBeInk_20201227_Beta611\ to %localappdata%\ThereWillBeInk\Users\Default\ after the update. There is also a new screen for selecting the active campaign. The campaign tags list playtime and have a progress bar, and I’ll likely add more info in the future.

I’ve also added support for three team battles. The third team can be cycled to just like the others with Tab in the map editor. Players can join team 3 in a battle by middle-clicking or pressing ‘Y’ on a gamepad. Each team considers the other two teams hostile, so for instance if you’re playing as team 1 vs. teams 2 and 3, teams 2 and 3 will fight among themselves as well as against you.

Crash Reports

In an effort to better stay on top of things, the game now sends out anonymous crash reports. If you’d like to prevent the game from sending these reports to “the man”, aka me, then just turn off “Analytics” from the options page.

Bugs and Bugs and More!

There are a whole lot of bug fixes and just as many enhancements and tweaks. It’s probably easiest just to read the change list below, the first two sections anyways, if you’d like to know more.

Next Up

I have some fun ideas for Act III, which should also feature some bigger battles than some of the more sparse sections of the desert in Act II. Also there will be some new terrain features. Perhaps more exciting than waiting for me to slowly push out custom maps, I’m going to be working in parallel on a way to generate unlimited content. Technically that already exists with the admittedly very limited “Quick Battle” map generator. My plan is to put considerable work into map/battle generation to make those battles more varied and interesting, and from there I’d like to create a “Campaign Generator” that will essentially allow the player to adjust some sliders, choose unit sets, and the game will string together a series of progressively more difficult maps. That is the plan, at least. There is much work to be done, and I’m not sure how it will turn out, but please feel free to stop by the Discord server if you’d like to discuss it. Oh, and I’ll also be adding some more sounds and music. Thanks, everyone!

Changelog

New Features & Content

  • Suppression – Units behind cover that take heavy fire will become suppressed and refrain from exposing themselves and firing
  • Squads – Units will form squads of up to ten recruits
  • If there is no danger nearby, new lower tier recruits will wait until they have a squad of three before advancing
  • A new page with three new squad-related abilities was added to the Barracks page
  • Squads will flank suppressed units
  • The highest ranked until will be the squad leader
  • New mission and boss fight (Act II is done!)
  • Added new enemy type (can be seen in TWBI mission 16 or map editor – not controllable)
  • Third Team – Players can now join “Team 3” with middle-click or ‘Y’ on a gamepad (so far Map Editor maps only)
  • A team will consider both other teams hostile
  • User Profiles – Players can now create separate user profiles in-game with playtime listed
  • Campaign Selection Screen – Campaigns can now be selected from a grid view, with playtime and a progress bar listed
  • New RPG ability: Premium Rocket Fuel – increases acceleration of RPG (making it less affected by wind)
  • Added custom error reports (also saved to log file) and automatic crash reporting (can be disabled in Options)

Changes & Enhancements

  • Units now crouch and become exposed when shooting over cover
  • Cover is generally more effective when not firing
  • Added Tank as a unit on the Barracks page (in TWBI campaign)
  • Added Tank ability, Turret Grease: increases turret rotation speed
  • Added Tank ability, Helper Monkey: increases reload speed
  • Firing weapons now costs a small amount of stamina (Sim & Hardcore mode)
  • Grenade range is now based on stamina (except in Arcade Mode)
  • Added 10% grenade range per rank (but reduced base range slightly)
  • Added target prioritization (eg snipers will target higher tier units; RPGs will target tanks, etc)
  • Added some more checks for AI units becoming exhausted (ie they should usually avoid doing so)
  • Units who are on fire will now seek out water if it’s nearby
  • Units with “Retaliate” behaviour now attack hostile units that come within 50% of their weapon range
  • Ranked units will now raise their own building flags if not at full height
  • Units will now try to avoid incoming grenades (ranked > 1 units will roll away)
  • Prone units gain a 15% aiming bonus
  • Tier 1/2 units (eg Rifle/Assault) now take 1 second longer to spawn for each unit on the map from that barracks
  • RPG & Flamethrower units will now attack buildings
  • Units now get a small health increase when ranking up (2hp per rank)
  • Reduced amour pierce of laser rifles from 25% to 15%
  • Recruits can now walk on downed trees to get across rivers
  • Added variation to unit approach path (eg so not all units from Barracks follow the same path)
  • Slightly reduced base turret rotation speed and main gun reload time of Tank
  • “Aggressive” behaviour renamed to “Attack”, “Defensive” renamed “Retaliate”, and “Hold Position” renamed “Defend”
  • Pressing H/left-sick with a unit who is already in Defend mode will now put them in Attack mode (instead of Retaliate)
  • ‘Esc’ in Map Editor battle now pauses game as normal instead of auto-surrendering
  • The proper team will now surrender when surrendering from menu
  • Surrendered units will stop attacking and put hands behind back (and sit up if prone)
  • Surrendering will now put units into prisoner state instead of killing them
  • Similarly, all Barracks & HQs are disabled on surrender (instead of destroyed)
  • Increased blast radius for tank explosions hitting buildings
  • Made RPG slightly less likely to hit things along its path
  • Increased blast radius for airstrike explosions
  • Units who are bleeding out now emit a pool of blood/watercolour (instead of bits of spatter)
  • Units no longer check every step if there is a friendly unit in the way (optimization)
  • Adjusted deployment location/range for units spawning from Barracks
  • Granted “Advanced Training” (rank 2) on c2m13, “Hot Desert Heat”
  • Set wind on “Min(e)d the River” to max 20 (to avoid landing on mines at mission start)
  • Units that are not yet unlocked are listed as “?” on campaign description on main menu
  • Increased cover bypass distance
  • Added new sprite for “progress squiggle” and frame (eg campaign tag, unit skill point, EOB progress)
  • Added new sprite for checkboxes on Barracks page
  • Added sprite variation for muzzle flash and fixed alignment
  • Units stop keeping track of their attacker if they are not attacked for two seconds
  • Removed several checks for incapacitated units
  • Rifle unit is locked by default (again!) on the Barracks page
  • Optimized barracks unit spawning
  • Added stat tracking for global & universal stats (mostly not yet displayed)

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed bug where movement was quicker than it should be when moving diagonally with kbm
  • Fixed crash bug when exiting to the Barracks from a Map Editor or Quick battle
  • Fixed bug where collision point for bullets & cover wasn’t being properly calculated
  • Fixed bug where Medics wouldn’t revive units who are bleeding out
  • Fixed bug where progress was not saving when surrendering
  • Fixed bug where units would target buildings that are under construction
  • Fixed bug where buildings wouldn’t become “destroyed” when being destroyed by fire
  • Fixed bug where longest streak/kill streak was not tracking properly
  • Fixed EOB messages for new streak records not displaying
  • Fixed bug where Battle Efficiency on Barracks page was incorrect
  • Fixed bug where “Sharpshooter/Most Accurate” badge calculation was incorrect
  • Fixed bug where “Longest Streak” stat wasn’t saved when surrendering
  • Fixed bug where streak messages were duplicated in MP
  • Fixed bug where end-of-battle messages were not displayed when surrendering
  • Fixed bug where advancing on Intro/Disclaimer screen jumped to a page different than the main menu
  • Fixed bug where units would sometimes briefly walk in the wrong direction before approaching their target
  • Fixed bug where “Surrender” option would result in unintended “Deaths” stats
  • Fixed bug where left/right unit cycle sometimes didn’t work when there were few units available
  • Fixed bug where Flamethrower kill stats weren’t tracked
  • Fixed bug where player streak wasn’t tracked with Tank
  • Fixed bug where music didn’t stop (and end-of-battle jingle didn’t play) when surrendering
  • Fixed bug where cover was sometimes not accurately tracking who was using it
  • Fixed bug where body armour sometimes didn’t match up when a unit is bleeding out
  • Fixed bug where units were refreshing target at the wrong interval and often all at once
  • Fixed bug where putting unit in Defend mode set the next unit in Defend mode as well
  • Fixed bug where units weren’t refreshing their target often enough when approaching a target
  • Fixed bug where engineers would immediately check again if no valid mine locations were found
  • Fixed bug where Alt Write unit spawn reduction (ie spawning less frequently as more are on the map) wasn’t working
  • Fixed bug where units were pushed along water by more than one boat at a time
  • Fixed bug where crates weren’t staying in place on landing craft
  • Fixed bug where boats would sometimes move other boats
  • Fixed bug where units would sometimes fall off boat and not deploy
  • Fixed bug where wrong sprites were being used for prisoners
  • Fixed bug where middle-click unit select was not always selecting the correct unit
  • Fixed bug where single player badges were enabled by default (though options list off)
  • Fixed bug where weather (including lightning) continued during game pause
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