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  1. Hello all. Today we are releasing a hotfix ahead of the weekend to address some undesired results we’ve seen with the new PvP queues that have been rolled out with the new playlist system. In particular, we’ve noticed that the Point Capture playlist has not been well received, and as a result those who like Firefight or Skirmish modes have been unable to play on official servers supporting these modes. Because of this, we’ve decided to update the playlists to be game mode specific rather than going with the previous ‘playstyle grouping’ approach. This should allow people to more clearly identify the mode they want to play, and hopefully result in a better distribution of players throughout all of the different modes. One of the strengths of the new system is our ability to modify the playlist queues relatively on-the-fly based on results and community feedback like we’re doing today. We will continue to monitor results and feedback, refining the playlists over time accordingly. User Experience “Ground Battle” & “Point Capture” combined playlists found under Versus in the Play menu have now been replaced with the following individual PvP mode playlists based on community feedback: Push Firefight Frontline SkirmishView the full article
  2. : You can find the details for this event on the announcement page here. View the full article
  3. Update 1.4 is here, bringing even more new game mode, level, weapon, and cosmetic content, all of it free for everyone who owns Insurgency: Sandstorm. Experience a total overhaul to the Play menu with playlist based matchmaking, map and game mode voting, and limited time playlists that feature special game modes with a twist and new update content. Check out new tug-of-war inspired PvP mode Frontline which plays like a two way Push mode match. See our new snow map Hillside, a reimagining of the classic Insurgency map Sinjar with support for all game modes. Play Gunner in a more mobile role with the new Insurgent Galil and Security Galil SAR weapons. Equip new Security Shell jacket and Insurgent Winter jacket cosmetics for the Torso slot. Full update changelist below: New Playlist System We’ve done a complete overhaul of the Play menu and official matchmaking which now uses playlist based matchmaking, where a playlist is a grouping of game modes or a single game mode we set for every playlist. This decision was made to give us room to add more new game modes to Insurgency: Sandstorm both this year and in 2020 without concern for splitting the playerbase as well as keeping our own official server hosting costs manageable. It also allows us to add new game mode content without game updates, even as often as on a weekly basis. Read more about our reasons for the playlist system and details on limited time game modes here. A playlist contains one or more similar game modes. A player selects a playlist, searches for a match, and is put into a game in one of the game modes that the playlist features. When a match ends, a map vote starts, and players can vote on a new map and mode within their current playlist’s supported game modes. “Limited time playlists” that can offer unique game modes or new content from the latest update will be featured regularly in both Versus and Co-op. These can be cycled through as often as once a week, and will not require you to download a game update. Limited time playlists are meant to be an iteration of the Arcade system. They will often feature “Arcade-inspired” game modes that are usually existing game modes with modifications to gameplay. Examples include bolt-action rifles only, headshots only, steal health when dealing damage, drop a live hand grenade on death, etc. More than one may apply. Each modification is referred to as a “mutator”. Mutators are also available to community servers, so community server hosts can apply and combine mutators to their servers as they wish. For more information, see the “Modding” section below in the changelist. While they won’t necessarily be as unique or fully produced as Arcade modes like Frenzy Checkpoint or Team Deathmatch, they will come much more rapidly and outside major content updates. We aim to have one limited time Co-op and one limited time Versus playlist available at any time, staggered so that a playlist switches out every week. “Community Servers” is now a fourth button in the Play menu. This is meant to bring better visibility to our community run servers.Official PlaylistsCo-op Normal Checkpoint Security Checkpoint InsurgentsHardcore Hardcore Checkpoint Security Hardcore Checkpoint InsurgentsFrenzy Frenzy CheckpointVersus[/b]Ground Battle Push Frontline New PvP mode, see the “New Features” section below for details.Point Capture Firefight Skirmish Both modes have been brought to 28 players as opposed to the 24 of Firefight and the 32 of Skirmish. Skirmish also now has smaller, tighter objective layouts. These changes were made to improve game flow, improve performance, and make the game mode experiences more consistent, especially within the Point Capture playlist. This playlist currently excludes the larger layouts of Precinct Skirmish, Refinery Skirmish, and Hideout Skirmish scenarios. We intend to improve these three scenarios for a future update and add them into this playlist once they have been changed.Competitive Firefight Competitive Firefight[/list] Limited Time Playlists for September 2019Co-op[/b]Hillside Co-op Checkpoint Security Checkpoint Insurgents Features new snow map Hillside only Runs from September 10th - 25thVersus[/b] Frontline Features new Frontline game mode only All maps Runs from September 10th - September 18thHillside Ground Battle Push Frontline Features new snow map Hillside only Runs from September 10th - 14thHillside Point Capture Push Frontline Features new snow map Hillside only Runs from September 14th - 18thAfter these September playlists are finished, new playlists with unique gameplay modifications and mutators will be added, including bolt-action rifles only, supply point gain by player score, and many more.[/list] [/list] New FeaturesNew PvP game mode “Frontline,” a tug-of-war inspired two way Push mode Capture all enemy objectives one by one, and then destroy the final weapon cache objective to win. Defend your own objectives and weapon cache from being captured or destroyed. After the neutral middle objective is captured, your team must defend your own objective and also attack the enemy’s objective. Every time a team captures an objective, they will gain respawn waves and respawn their team. A team loses all their respawn waves when the enemy team reaches their final weapon cache objective. New snow map “Hillside” with support for the following game modes: Versus[/b] Push Security Push Insurgents Firefight West Firefight East Skirmish Frontline Team DeathmatchCo-op[/b] Checkpoint Security Checkpoint Insurgents Hardcore Checkpoint Security Hardcore Checkpoint Insurgents Frenzy Checkpoint[/list] Official matchmaking games will now allow players to vote on the next map within their playlist and continue playing with the same players in their session instead of returning to the main menu between matches. New light machine gun assault rifle hybrid weapons for the Gunner class Insurgents GalilSecurity Galil SAR New Weapon Upgrade 3x Type 03 scope for QBZ-03New Cosmetics Security soft shell style jacket Shell Shell Rolled Shell Camo Shell Camo RolledInsurgent winter sport style jacket Winter Black Winter Blue Winter Red Winter WhiteEquipment (backpacks, vests, pouches) will now shift and jiggle with movement. This is enabled and disabled based on your “Effects” setting, where it is disabled on low and medium and enabled on high and above. We recommend users on minimum and medium spec machines disable this by setting their Effects setting to Low or Medium as this has an impact on performance. Added Competitive rank decay where in Diamond and Platinum ranks your rank will slowly decay if you do not play often enough. AudioAdded Panning rule dropdown which allows selection of speakers or headphones to provide the best positional audio experience for your hardware. Added Effects slider which controls the volume of all in-game sound effects. Added an option to mute the ear-ringing layer of the explosives and flashbang shellshock effects. VoIP no longer uses auto-ducking, and now uses side-chaining. This provides a more natural ducking of game audio when VoIP is used, and also fixes an issue where even if VoIP volume was set to 0 that game audio would still be ducked when VoIP was transmitted.Spectator and Replays New camera controls and options added with bindings available in the key binds menu. Camera zoom Hide HUD Disable camera smoothing Decrease and Increase playback speed bindings for Replays which default to the “Home” and “End” keys respectively. [/list] Optimization & StabilityRemoved character animation ticks triggered by movement which reduces CPU usage in higher player count situations. Fixed a frequent crash caused by skeletal mesh merging, which is a system that optimizes character cosmetic rendering. Critical FixesFixed a potential edgecase with hit registration, caused by legitimate bullet hits being discarded when packets were received out of order by the server. Fixed multiple potential causes for invisible bots occuring. If you experience any further instances of this occurring please report them in the following thread here HERE. Fixed a potential cause for players falling through the map and becoming desynced to other players caused by vaulting. If you experience any further instances of this occurring, please report them to us on the forums, providing as much information as possible HERE. Potentially fixed an issue that could cause endlessly looping weapon audio, caused by an event that could trigger the looping fire event after a weapon had become un-equipped, such as firing on death. If this is still occuring for you after this update, please report it to us HERE. Fixed an issue where first person footsteps would sometimes stop playing entirely. This was caused by the significance manager, which handles optimization, wrongly adding these footsteps to the global pool when near larger groups of players or AI, and marking them as unimportant to hear.Bug FixesFixed a bug where the Observer had an unintended effect of increasing capture speeds when on the objective. Fixed an issue where it was possible to deploy a bipod on another player and remain deployed even once they have moved away from you. Fixed an issue where the various items attached to backpacks would be visible in the insertion vehicle, even though backpacks are not intended to be shown during insertions. Fixed an issue where the player could utilize the gunner position of a vehicle to gain access to the outside of the map in some specific situations. If this still occurs, please report to us on the forums. Fixed an issue where third person jumping and landing surface reactions were not being replicated to other players, making them inaudible. Fixed an issue where it was not possible to deploy a weapon’s bipod when inside a smoke cloud from either artillery, 40mm or smoke grenades. Fixed an issue where helicopter crew members would T-pose in certain circumstances, clipping through the helicopter model. Fixed a bug where spectating a player who had recently been in a vehicle would alter your own soundscape (ambient level audio) on spawn. Fixed an issue where soundscapes would be updated by the last player spectated even once the player had respawned. Fixed an issue where vehicles could become desynced if they were driven during the “waiting for players” state. Vehicles now will not spawn during pre-game. Potential fix for an issue where if you threw a deployable item such as C-4 and another player picked it up and threw it back to you, and then you picked it up again, you would not be able to select any of your weapons or items. Please let us know on the forum if this issue persists. Fixed an issue where the character’s knee would snap into position during the third person rifle walk animations. Fixed an issue where bots were running into fences in the Tutorial Level. Updated player rows on the scoreboard if a player has developer status or XP changes. This should solve issues where a player row is created before that info has finished being queried, and would not be updated until the player’s position on the scoreboard changed. Fixed issue with arms in third person while swapping weapons. Fixed a minor visual bug with the Mosin and M24 when bolting. Fixed an issue where sniper rifles and rocket launchers would disappear when being reloaded in third person. Fixed a morph issue with the military boots and cargo pants cosmetic combination on Insurgents. Fixed a bug where the laser sight attachment was clipping with the rail cover on the M16A4. Fixed animation assignment issues with foregrip shotguns. Fixed an issue where first person sprint animations were not playing initially on spawn. Fixed an issue where the metal detectors on Ministry were not triggering audio correctly. Fixed an issue where no infographic icon was shown for the "slide" action in movement Lesson. Fixed an issue where entering the headshot state would not mute the auxiliary busses leading to some odd audible feedback. Fixed an issue where the default soundscape was not audible on the firing range. Fixed an issue where vehicle mines could be attached to players, even though it’s hilarious. Fixed an issue where the player class icon was shown as a white box on the scoreboard if a player had not yet selected a class. Fixed an issue where third person gear LODs (Level of Detail) were not generated correctly resulting in textures on gear changing at various distances. Fixed an issue where it was possible to toggle the Foregrip Bipod during the deploy sequence, leading to odd visual results. Fixed an issue where certain small visual elements of gear were still visible on players during the insertion truck sequence. Fixed an issue where the M82A1 CQ, VHS-2, QBZ-03 and M99 weapons had missing icons and would not be accounted for in all cases on the UI, including in spectator and the Profile menu. Fixed an issue where the Scoped Kills or Magnified Optics Profile stat were not being updated correctly. Fixed a bug with entering a vehicle with the hands being offset from the steering wheel. Fixed an issue in Spectator mode where if you change from first person to third person while a Commander had their binoculars out, the binocular overlay would persist when moving to another camera. Fixed an issue where replays would not run smoothly if the replay speed was set too high. Fixed an issue where draw and holster animations would not blend fluidly when sprinting in first person. Fixed an issue where when opening the Scoreboard for the first time, you would see “Spectators” at the bottom with no spectators listed. Fixed a very rare issue where the Security Heavy Backpack and Light Armor could potentially become warped. Fixed an issue where when reloading a drum magazine into an AK platform weapon, interrupting the reload, then resuming it, would allow players to shoot before the end of the reload sequence. Fixed an issue where two suppressors were available for the Tariq pistol in the Loadout menu. Fixed an issue where entering a resupply or spawn zone area would remove the player from the AI’s line of sight. Fixed an issue where the Commander’s left hand position would be incorrect when equipping their binoculars in third person. Fixed an issue with Lesson popup not showing the aim down sights key. Fixed an issue with Lesson popup not showing the crouch key.Gameplay ImprovementsWeapons Increased AKS-74U fire rate from 652 rounds per minute to 720 rounds per minute to give it closer parity with the Mk 18 CQBR. Increased SVD Extended Magazine upgrade round count from 15 to 20 rounds at 2 supply points. Set supply cost of the Compensators for Competitive Security Sharpshooter class to 4. Set supply cost of Flash Hiders for Competitive Insurgent Assaulter class to 2. Set supply cost of 4x SU230 for Competitive Insurgent Flanker class to 3. Set supply cost of the Uzi Flash Hider upgrade to 2. Increased the supply cost of pistol extended magazines from 1 to 2 supply for all competitive classes. Uzi extended magazine supply cost for Insurgent competitive flanker class increased from 1 to 2 supply. Mp7 extended magazine supply cost for Security competitive flanker class increased from 4 to 5 supply.Friendly fire damage reflection is now disabled in Local Play. Drum Magazine upgrades will now properly show that they affect horizontal recoil in the Loadout menu UI. Visual ImprovementsAdded new speed reload animations for drum magazine for AK style, M4A1 style, QBZ-03, and L85A2 weapons. Added new idle animations for the character Customize menu. Third person Hardcore Checkpoint sprint animations (and the newly added SlowMovement mutator) now have a unique animation for each weapon category. Added a scrolling text widget which applies to level, game mode, scoreboard and server names when the character amount is too high to display them in full. Third person free look animations while reloading are less restricted. Damage effects are now no longer shown when an attack failed to deal damage. Friendly fire messages are also not shown to players when attacks fail to deal damage. Improved quality of arm animation movement in 3P when reloading. Added weight to different menu idles, to control how often they play. New first base and foregrip draw animations for rifles. Insertion vehicles in Co-op now slightly restrict first person vertical movement. Changed the “Find Match” text to “Waiting For Leader” when the local player is not the leader of the party. Added support for replay events on the timeline, allowing the player to see colored event markers for the following: Round Reset Objective Capture Objective DestroyedWhen throwing an explosive or grenade in third person, the grenade will now be removed from the hand when the throw animation completes. Update localization for all supported languages for new UI and menu elements. Added special idle animations for insertion truck bed sequences in Co-op. Improved sliding animation where character can turn their camera and head more while sliding.MutatorsGameplay on a community server can now be altered through the use of officially created “mutators”. Mutators change gameplay in various ways including modifying player speed, increasing or decreasing supply points, disabling features like aim down sights or free-aim/aim deadzone, creating new classes with custom loadouts, and more. Multiple mutators can be applied to a server at once. The limited time playlist system uses various mutators to create its unique game modes. See here for more information on the playlist system. More mutators will be added over time. Instructions on how to use mutators on your server can be found here.Available mutators: Pistols Only - Only pistols are available along with normal equipment and explosives. Shotguns Only - Only shotguns are available along with normal equipment and explosives. Bolt-Actions Only - Only bolt-action rifles are available along with normal equipment and explosives. Anti-Materiel Only - Only anti-materiel rifles are available along with normal equipment and explosives. All You Can Eat - Start with 100 supply points. Special Operations - Start with 30 supply points. Warlords - Start with 10 supply points. Guerrillas - Start with 5 supply points. Strapped - Start with 1 supply point. Broke - Start with 0 supply points. Soldier of Fortune - Gain supply points as your score increases. Headshots Only - Players only take damage when shot in the head. Hot Potato - A live fragmentation grenade is dropped on death. Ultralethal - Everyone dies with one shot. Vampirism - Receive health when dealing damage to enemies equal to the amount of damage you dealt. Bullet Sponge - Health is increased. Locked Aim - Weapons always point to the center of the screen. No Aim Down Sights - Aiming down sights is disabled. Fast Movement - Move faster. Slow Movement - Move slower. Slow Capture Times - Objectives will take longer to capture. Frenzy - Fight against AI enemies who only use melee attacks and enemies with special abilities. Hardcore - Slows down movement speed and makes capturing objectives take longer. This is a combination of Slow Movement and Slow Capture Times mutators, and while mutators can be combined by the server operator, this mutator was still added for convenience. Competitive - Equipment is more expensive, rounds are shorter, and capturing objectives is faster Competitive Loadouts - Player classes are replaced with those from Competitive.LevelsSkirmish layouts for the following maps have been reduced in size and rebalanced: Crossing Farmhouse SummitOutskirts Adjusted white building near gas station to improve layout flow near Firefight Objective A. Added Skirmish scenario.Crossing Fixed an issue with the out of bounds area on Skirmish near objective D. Fixed a rogue restricted area being placed below the C objective for Insurgents. Added a bit more cover for Security approaching Objective A on Push Security.Farmhouse Fixed an exploit where the player could capture Objective C from an unintended spot on Skirmish. Fixed an issue where the restricted area covered an unintended position on Checkpoint Security B objective. Fixed an issue with the playable area restricting players after B Push Security was captured. Blocked a long sight line that could prevent a fair Insurgent approach to Objective D on Skirmish.Summit Fixed an exploit where players could crouch jump into an unintended building. Adjusted the C objective for Skirmish to be larger. Ministry Adjusted playable area to have a bit of a safety net when players end up outside the map due to dismounting vehicles. Added extra blocking volume for a few buildings with thin walls to avoid players from dismounting vehicles inside buildings. Added new ambient sounds for the destroyed corridor on the upper floor. Rearranged Firefight and Skirmish team spawns. Moved Security spawn forward to balance run-up times. Prevented vehicles from entering the ministry building. Vehicles can now only access the parking garage.Precinct Fixed an issue where players could jump on the cloth overhang in the market area and not be reached by bots in Frenzy Checkpoint. Fixed an exploit where players could gain access to the top of a door frame on the main street. Known Issues[Visual] Combat Goggles Security Eyewear cosmetic glass may be visible through smoke on certain settings. In addition, translucent surfaces behind smoke grenades can reveal player silhouettes. [Connection] Some players have reported issues with server connection or pings showing as '0'. If you experience this or have information on this issue please post here. [Audio] If the same level is loaded twice in a row online, the default soundscape (ambient level audio) stops working. [Visual] [AI] The insertion truck driver can sometimes T-Pose. [Appearance] In very rare cases after a level switch or team swap, some characters may render incorrectly and be displayed as the opposite team for specific players. [Animation] Cycling from your Secondary to Primary weapon while sprinting in Hardcore Checkpoint or using the SlowMovement or Hardcore mutators will cause the left arm to glitch when it returns to the weapon for certain weapons. View the full article
  4. : You can find the details for this event on the announcement page here. View the full article
  5. Hey everyone, my name is Michael Tsarouhas. I am the lead game designer on Insurgency: Sandstorm. Today’s Community Update is about our upcoming new snow map Hillside, which is available right now on the Community Test Environment. Hillside is a recreation of the classic Insurgency map Sinjar and will be coming in our next content update. Sinjar has been around since the original mod release back in 2007, and was originally created by Jeroen van Werkhoven who is today, our lead level designer. To play Hillside, go to your Steam Library and download “Insurgency: Sandstorm Community Test Environment” if you own Sandstorm. Sinjar was one of our most brutal, challenging, and to some even outright unfair maps, as our community wouldn’t hesitate to tell you. Funny enough, our stats indicate Security wins a Sinjar Push map in Insurgency 2014 48% of the time, almost an even 50%. Even though there was this bile, Sinjar was one of our most popular maps, sitting as the third most popular Push mode layout in Insurgency 2014. Despite the difficulty for half the server, Sinjar always seemed to get the votes come map voting time. People loved to hate that Omaha beach style assault on objective A. We knew we had to have it again for Sandstorm, but this time with a bitter cold to accompany the bitter defeat. We took some time to talk to our developers on our level design and art teams working on Hillside. First we have its original creator, Dutch lead level designer Jeroen van Werkhoven, now moved and sitting pretty in our Calgary studio. Jeroen will be answering questions on Sinjar’s design and history for a map that has seen the test of time since he released it over 10 years ago. Then we have Brian Birnbaum, originally a community mapmaker and the creator of Kandagal[insurgency.fandom.com] for Insurgency 2014 in our Gamebanana mapmaking contest. We liked Brian’s work so much that we hired him shortly after his submission, as we’ve been wont to do with many other developers on our team. Since then, he’s been an integral part of our level design team for every one of our projects, and is now heading up development of Hillside. Finally we have Matthias Schmidt, one of our environment artists who you might remember us mentioning a few Community Updates ago. Matthias helped beautify Ministry’s interiors, and now has helped create a completely unique new snow environment to serve as the backdrop for Hillside. Summarize Hillside for us in five words or less. Jeroen: Pain in the ass! Brian: Unauthorized health examination. Matthias: Brace yourselves, winter is coming. Take us through the history of Hillside, formerly “Sinjar”, in previous Insurgency games and why you decided to remake it for Insurgency: Sandstorm. Jeroen: The original layout of Sinjar was created more than a decade ago when I joined the Insurgency: Modern Infantry Combat mod team back in 2005. I remember while I was doing a rough design of the map an idea popped into my head to create something that was different, and very challenging for the Security team...Almost impossible. While I was connecting the dots to find the gameplay and setting to fit in this criteria, I started visualizing a “D-Day” experience. I started with creating the hill and everything kinda fell into place for that area pretty quickly, but it wasn’t enough. It just didn’t feel complete, and I wanted to give the player a lot more freedom. So to achieve this, I had to make it a lot larger. It became this behemoth of a map that almost didn’t fit on the grid anymore inside the level editor. After a long period of finding ways to get around engine limitations, the map was ready for release shortly after the mod came out. It wasn’t so popular at the start, but I remember after a while more and more people started playing it. Eventually Sinjar became one of the most popular maps in the mod. Many years went by and Sinjar stayed very popular, and was even running on servers 24/7, which was an awesome feeling and quite surreal. Something I never expected! I joined New World Interactive just after the release of Insurgency 2014 standalone. At that time Sinjar was one of the most requested maps to be recreated for the standalone version. It wasn’t a question of if we were going to do a Sinjar remake, but more when! The map wasn’t very long in development, I think we finished it in about two or three months, which was a very short development time. We wanted to release it as soon as possible to keep the momentum of adding fresh and significant free content to the game. It was interesting and kind of scary when the map was done to release it to the public. This version of Sinjar was on the gameplay side, not that different from the original, except for the bunker, which we removed. We noticed not many players went down in the bunker, and without it we could add more detail in the areas that had a higher player exposure. The art on the map however received a huge upgrade, and turned it into a more believable environment with improved performance. It didn’t take long until it became one of the most popular maps in the game, and this time it supported a lot more game modes. Because of this continued popularity, remaking Sinjar yet again in Insurgency: Sandstorm made a lot of sense, and it’s been something we’ve wanted to do for a while since Sandstorm launched. We have so many more possibilities with Unreal Engine 4 compared to the Source engine on which the previous two Sinjar maps built. We hope it stays as popular as it has been! Top: Sinjar remake “Hillside” in Insurgency: Sandstorm Bottom left: Sinjar from the Insurgency mod, 2007 Bottom right: Sinjar from standalone Insurgency, 2014 Brian, what’s it been like collaborating on this map together that Jeroen originally created himself? Brian: Jeroen and I have been working together for some time now. I honestly always enjoy working with him, Jeroen is an excellent level designer. I loved hearing him talk about designing Sinjar for the mod, his ideas for the level when creating it, and his struggles. I’m glad to have gotten to work on a level he made. I didn’t want to mess up his baby, but I think we did a great job on the remake. Jeroen: I really enjoyed working with Brian on the map, and not only designing it based on my vision and ideas. Of course we had to stay true to the vision of the original design, but there was still plenty of room to be creative and try new things. Brian took those opportunities and pushed it to ahum…the next level! We iterated a lot on the map until we were satisfied with the result. Brian and Jan Huygelen, (one of our other talented level designers who joined just after the initial gameplay pass) turned this map into something that I hope a lot of people will enjoy for a long time! What’s happening to the dreaded hill and its well guarded A objective? Brian: The hill (HELL) is longer and bigger than before! We had to make some changes for the different gameplay we have for Insurgency: Sandstorm. Now that we have Fire Support call-ins and vehicles, we needed to expand that area. But just in case the players find they don’t want to use those, we also added additional cover to the hill. The objective area itself is really close to the original. We added a roof area on one of the buildings in the objective which will make it a little harder to capture, but will also be a good place for snipers to use for the B objective after. Jeroen: The hill was the main subject of many of our playtests. We definitely wanted to recapture that “How the hell do I get up this hill!!” feeling, but also try to add more options for Security to provide cover fire while their teammates are desperately trying to capture objective A. I think we added a few nice extras. There are more sniper spots this time around for Security to counter the hill’s defenses and call in fire support. Also, we added a bit more protection when exiting the spawn area. How has the map changed since earlier versions, and what influenced those changes? Jeroen: We made quite a few adjustments to the map on the gameplay side, but I think the change of setting to snow makes it feel like a completely different map. Early in development while we were working on the blockout I felt the map was too similar to the Insurgency 2014 version. I have to thank the community for this. I remember reading the forums where multiple people asked for a snow map, and it popped into my head “Why not change Sinjar to a snow map?!” This also justified the name change to Hillside, to make the map fit better in our naming scheme of not using real world locations. Also, the interiors look so much better in Hillside. Jan and Brian made it feel and look more like an actual place. Brian: From a gameplay standpoint when I blocked it out it was almost 1:1, but we ended up having to make some areas slightly larger for vehicles. We also had to expand the town area for a five objective layout. Visually there are a lot of changes. We wanted to have a mixture of our mud/old building styles with newer looking buildings as you go further into the town area of the level. Matthias: I believe originally the map was supposed to be a straight recreation of the original, and a typical dry middle eastern environment. So when I started working on it there was no snow and ice, just our regular assets. Then someone came up with the idea of a snow environment. For me as an artist, this was a welcome change. Transforming the map into something different visually was a super fun task. In terms of gameplay, what sets Hillside apart from other maps in Sandstorm? Jeroen: Gameplay is for me a lot about feeling and story. When the player spawns on this map, and especially when they spawn at the bottom of that hill, they will immediately notice a unique feeling. There is no time to sit back and plan your approach. It’s a full on attack, and once you make it up that hill, well you still have to plow through the cold, make it to the village, and finally destroy that beloved cache. Defenders on the other hand can enjoy the view and wait for their opponents to desperately try to crawl up that hill in unbearable cold. Brian: Besides the hill and most players being in pain? Hillside is very vertical and there are a lot of places for players to sneak and use sniper positions. Because the level is linear it is also easy to tell where players will be coming from. Though don’t let that fool you, I added some fun flanking routes. In terms of visuals, what sets Hillside apart from other maps in Sandstorm? Matthias: The fact that it is our first snow map is of course the most obvious difference. It required us to create a lot of new level art. Our environment artists made a whole bunch of new modular sets and props, such as snow piles, icicles, etc. that really help selling the environment. I also created a new set of rocks/cliffs that fit the scenario as well as shaders for the snow and ice. Overall this makes it a drastically different map visually compared to anything that we have done before. What was the process like making Insurgency: Sandstorm’s first snow map in terms of workflow, inspiration, etc? Matthias: First i did some research about how other games deal with winter landscapes and what people have done in UE4. There is some truly spectacular work out there, for instance the winter area in Red Dead Redemption 2. Unfortunately many of the shaders that make things look awesome in single player games or beautiful in portfolio scenes are too expensive for a multiplayer game where people are extremely aware of even slight performance hitches. So for instance, highly tessellated and dynamic snow effects on the ground were not an option. Early in the development I began with creating a set of unique tiling materials, but soon I realized that I would have to recreate almost our entire material library for winter to give level designers a high degree of flexibility in their artistic choices. There was also the bigger issue of how we deal with making winter textures for all our props. Then I had the idea that I could just repurpose a snow shader that I was working on for the rocks/cliffs for pretty much everything. And with some trickery (blending just whitish color instead of a second actual snow material onto many things) that came at only a tiny performance cost. Not super fancy, but it does the job well. It had the welcome side effect that I could reuse our complete material library instead of having to make everything from scratch. From there our workflow was that level designers worked on the map like they would on any non-winter map, and then I would go in and “snowify” all assets that they have picked. What challenges did you encounter recreating Hillside? Jeroen: One challenge was to improve on the map and keep it balanced and fun, but still maintain the difficulty level of the original design. It has always been hard to win Push mode on this map as Security, and we wanted to keep that sense of difficulty. But at the same time, we still had to make sure it wasn’t totally unforgiving. So we made some changes to make sure it didn’t feel totally unfair as some players in the past have complained. This includes the extra cover on the hill itself, a building at the bottom, and also of course non level design related things like fire support and drivable vehicles. Even if the Security team doesn’t win, it’s important the player has a great experience and still feels willing to give it another shot next round. It’s a tricky balance though. We will continue to monitor how balanced and fun the map is, but our playtests so far internally and on the CTE have had positive results. Brian: Creating a remake of a level from Half-Life 2 and Insurgency 2014’s Source engine is not easy. You have a few options. You can use a third party tool that can convert bsp (the Source level format) into meshes and import it into Unreal 4. Or you can go my route: Use a stop watch and time your run times from objectives to buildings and other things. This is harder and more time consuming, but will allow you to have more freedom and have a better feel for how the level will play in Unreal 4 and in the new gameplay of Insurgency: Sandstorm compared to Source. Recreating the terrain was also an interesting process. How high do I make the hill, is the slope long enough, is the slope high enough? It took a lot of running around and tweaking to get it right. It was also a little difficult trying to fit vehicles when I was working with the version from Insurgency 2014. There were no drivable vehicles in our previous game, so I had to expand road areas and make routes for them. We also didn’t have a five objective Push mode layout before, only four objective. So coming up with a slightly expanded area for the level was a challenge. We had to make it feel like it fit. Having to work on this level with multiple people is a challenge at times. There is a lot of communication involved when working on a level together. We had to split up Hillside into sections so Jan (another level designer), Matthias, and I could all work together at once. Jan and Matthias are in the Netherlands and Germany respectively, and I am in our Denver studio. Most of the time our work days wouldn’t overlap too much, and we could each be free to work on it without interruption. Other times someone might be working on an area you also need to work on, and you would need to just find something else to do in the meantime. Besides that, working with Jeroen, Matthias and Jan has been a lot of fun. What are each of your favorite parts of Hillside and why? Jeroen: Hard to pick, everyone did a fantastic job on this map! The hill is still one of my favorite parts because it’s very iconic and I have a lot of fond memories designing the hill in the original version. Brian: I loved working on the hill area. Sculpting that and making it feel right was a lot of fun. Adding extra cover on the hill up to Push mode’s objective A was an interesting task trying to balance right. Getting some rock meshes from Matthias was also something I fondly remember. Going around and placing them and making that entire area look pretty was a lot of fun! Matthias: The area around the bridge came out really nice. It’s always a good feeling when others take something that I had a hand in (assets or materials) and turn it into something even better by being creative with it. What are some other games that inspire each of your work? Jeroen: Many games inspired me to create Sinjar back in 2005. One of the games was Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. I remember playing that for the first time and had goosebumps when I landed on that beach and had to fight my way up the hill. Another game was Deus Ex. Even though it’s very different from Insurgency, the amount of options the player has in Deus Ex to simply enter a room made it so much more immersive and fun! Also the Battlefield franchise, mainly Battlefield 1942, and Joint Operations are big inspirations for the original Sinjar design. Brian: There are so many games I love to play. Recently I’ve been getting into racing and single player games. Detroit: Become Human has me glued to the TV, Same with Star Wars Battlefront II. Playing some of DICE’s games and looking at their level design is quite inspiring. Other than that, I like wasting my time in Dirt Rally. Matthias: I love analyzing the art in other games, particularly materials, since this is my main occupation. In recent years games by Naughty Dog have been a huge inspiration as well as Assassin’s Creed games and Red Dead Redemption 2. I always try to stay in touch with what’s on the market, what gamers enjoy, and what new tools and workflows other developers use. AAA games have gotten a bad rap recently, but it’s still where the magic happens in regards to technology and art production. Artists in small teams like ours can learn a lot from bigger productions. Thank you Jeroen, Brian, and Matthias for taking the time to answer these questions. Hillside will feature support for all game modes: Push, Firefight, Skirmish, Checkpoint, Hardcore Checkpoint, Frenzy, Team Deathmatch, and our upcoming new Versus mode Frontline. Plus, all of the mutated game modes we have planned with the limited time playlist system. We appreciate you taking the time to read this update, and be sure to follow us here and on social media for more info! Instagram[www.instagram.com] Twitter Facebook[www.facebook.com] Reddit Thanks! View the full article
  6. : You can find the details for this event on the announcement page here. View the full article
  7. : You can find the details for this event on the announcement page here. View the full article
  8. Today we’re patching our Community Test Environment (CTE) to test the content in the upcoming version 1.4 game update. You can try out update 1.4’s new snow map, new game mode, new weapons, new cosmetics, and a brand new playlist system right now on the CTE by going to your Steam Library and downloading “Insurgency: Sandstorm Community Test Environment”. Please be aware that this is a developer test build of the game and you may encounter unexpected bugs or issues. Content shown in the CTE is not final and may or may not be implemented into the public version. There are no restrictions on recording, streaming, or discussing the CTE, however, it’s important to disclose that any footage or feedback is in relation to the test. The CTE will close at the end of the testing phase. Please see our blog or social media for details. Information on the CTE can be found here. We welcome your feedback on the CTE, so please direct any bug reports or general opinions to the CTE sub-forum here. Critical Fixes Fixed an issue where Gravity Scale had been reset to 1.0 instead of the intended 1.2, this was the cause of floaty jumping. Potentially fixed an issue that could cause endless looping weapon audio, caused by an event that could trigger the looping fire event after a weapon had become un-equipped, such as firing on death. If you experience this in the CTE after this patch, please report it to us HERE.Gameplay ImprovementsFrontline Reduced round timer from 30 minutes to 20 minutes. As before, if the timer runs out, the team that owns the most objectives wins the round. If there is one player on each team as the last one standing, zero reinforcement waves, and both objectives are contested, there is a forced respawn of both teams. This is to prevent an objective lockout situation in 1 v 1s where neither player has reason to leave an objective they’re capturing or else they will lose. Weapons Increased SVD Extended Magazine round count from 15 to 20 rounds at 2 supply points. Set supply cost of the Compensators for Competitive Security Sharpshooter class to 4. Set supply cost of Flash Hiders for Competitive Insurgent Assaulter class to 2. Set supply cost of 4x SU230 for Competitive Insurgent Flanker class to 3. Set supply cost of the Uzi Flash Hider upgrade to 1. Friendly fire reflection is now disabled in Local Play. Drum magazine upgrades will now properly show that they affect horizontal recoil in the Loadout menu UI. Visual Improvements Third person Hardcore Checkpoint sprint animations now have a unique animation for each weapon category. Added support for replay events on the timeline, allowing the player to see colored event markers for the following: Round Reset Objective Capture Objective Destroyed Removed the following color variations from the Security soft shell jacket cosmetics for better visual recognition between the two factions: Shell - Ranger Green Shell - Dark Brown Shell - Ranger Green Shell Camo - Ranger Green Shell Camo - Dark Brown Shell Camo Rolled - Ranger Green Shell Camo Rolled - Dark Brown Shell Rolled - Ranger Green Shell Rolled - Dark Brown When throwing an explosive or grenade in third person, the grenade will now be hidden from the hand when the throw animation completes. Updated the seat positions for Checkpoint insertion trucks. Update localization for all supported languages for new UI and menu elements. Bug Fixes Fixed an issue where vehicle mines could be attached to players even though it’s hilarious. Fixed an issue where the player class icon was shown as a white box on the scoreboard if a player had not yet selected a class. Fixed an issue where third person gear LODs (level of detail) were not generated correctly resulting in textures on gear changing at various distances. Fixed an issue where it was possible to toggle the Foregrip Bipod during the deploy sequence, leading to odd visual results. Fixed a bug where spectating a player who had recently been in a vehicle would alter your own soundscape on spawn. Fixed an issue with the Customize screen where the new animations would play when customizing, sometimes hiding whatever option you were trying to customize. Fixed an issue where certain small visual elements of gear were still visible on players during the insertion truck sequence. Added missing LODs for the cold breath particle effect. Fixed an issue where weapons such as the M82A1 CQ, VHS-2, QBZ-03 and M99 would not be accounted for in all cases on the UI. Fixed an issue where the scoped kills or magnified optics Profile stat was not being updated correctly. Fixed a bug with entering a vehicle with the hand being offset from the steering wheel. Fixed an issue with Lesson popup not showing the aim down sights key. Fixed an issue with Lesson popup not showing the crouch key. Map Fixes Hillside Fixed an issue where supply crates were not activating or deactivating correctly on Frontline. Moved the B objective spawn point a little further back from the hill on Frontline. Moved the D objective spawn point a little further back for the Insurgent team on Frontline. Moved the supply crate closer to the new D objective Insurgent spawn on Frontline. Precinct Fixed a line of sight spawn camping position into the Security spawn on Frontline. Moved the following spawn points slightly further back on Frontline: Insurgent objective E spawn point Security objective B spawn point. Insurgent objective F spawn point.Summit Adjusted the C objective for Skirmish to be larger. Set vehicle spawns to only spawn when final weapon cache objective is active on Frontline.Ministry Added a new soundscape volume and data set for the destroyed corridor on the upper floor. Crossing Fixed a rogue restricted area being placed below the C objective for Insurgents Fixed a line of sight spawn camping position into the Insurgent spawn on Frontline. Moved the C objective defender spawn a little further back to make it possible for the Security team to flank the cave objective on Frontline. Moved the E objective Insurgent spawn slightly back to balance run-up time with the C objective Security spawn.Refinery[/b] Reverted vehicle spawns to only spawn when final weapon cache objective is active on Frontline. [/list]Farmhouse Fixed an issue with the playable area restricting players after B Push Security was captured. Known Issues [Visual] Combat Goggles Security Eyewear cosmetic glass may be visible through smoke on certain settings. [Connection] Some players have reported issues with server connection or pings showing as '0'. If you experience this or have information on this issue please post here. [Audio] If the same level is loaded twice in a row online, the default soundscape stops working. [Visual] [AI] The insertion truck driver can sometimes T-Pose. [Party System] Should a Party Host leave an on-going matchmaking game, the party members are not able to perform a seamless transition to the next server. [Appearance] In very rare cases, after a level switch or team swap, some characters may render incorrectly and be displayed as the wrong team. [Bots] There is a small percentage chance for a bot to spawn with a missing torso cosmetic. [Audio] Sliding sounds may sometimes not play. This was fixed for footsteps as written above, but still remains for sliding. View the full article
  9. We want your feedback on what you want to see happen in Insurgency: Sandstorm. Please take just 15 minutes to fill out our survey here[www.surveymonkey.com] and let us know what new content and changes you would like to see. Our ears and doors are open! Questions include topics like: New weapons (semi-automatic shotguns, grenade launchers, assault rifles) Match length Weapon sway and suppression “Mutated” custom game modes (Bolt-actions Only, supply point gain by player score, drop live grenades on death, etc.) Community player reporting system Vote kicking players Check out the link here [www.surveymonkey.com]and let us know what you want to see! View the full article
  10. A lil somethin somethin: You can find the details for this event on the announcement page here. View the full article
  11. Today we’re patching our Community Test Environment (CTE) to test the content in the upcoming version 1.4 game update. You can try out update 1.4’s new snow map, new game mode, new weapons, new cosmetics, and a brand new playlist system right now on the CTE by going to your Steam Library and downloading “Insurgency: Sandstorm Community Test Environment”. Please be aware that this is a developer test build of the game and you may encounter unexpected bugs or issues. Content shown in the CTE is not final and may or may not be implemented into the public version. There are no restrictions on recording, streaming, or discussing the CTE, however, it’s important to disclose that any footage or feedback is in relation to the test. The CTE will close at the end of the testing phase. Please see our blog or social media for details. Information on the CTE can be found here. We welcome your feedback on the CTE, so please direct any bug reports or general opinions to the CTE sub-forum here. Stability Fixed a crash on Hillside Frontline caused by opening the tactical map after capturing objective Charlie as Security when the objective was neutral. Critical Fixes Fixed 2 potential causes for invisible bots occuring. If you experience any further instances of this occurring please report them in the following thread here. Fixed a potential cause for players falling through the map and becoming desynced to other players caused by vaulting. Again, if you experience any further instances of this occurring, please report them to us on the forums, providing as much information as possible. Fixed an issue where first person footsteps would sometimes stop playing entirely. This was caused by the significance manager, which handles optimization, wrongly adding these footsteps to the global pool when near larger groups of players or AI, and marking them as unimportant to hear. Gameplay Improvements Frontline Made changes to gameplay in an effort to create more objective capture back and forth, and less time spent purely fighting for central objectives like Charlie. Each team now starts with 20 waves up from 15. Objective capture time is now 23 seconds down from 30. Teams now gain one additional wave on objective capture instead of 2 waves. An objective can now be captured even if your team's objective needs to be decapped, but not if an enemy is still inside of your team's objective. Weapons Increased AKS-74U fire rate from 652 rounds per minute to 720 rounds per minute to give it closer parity with the Mk 18 CQBR. Galil/Galil SAR horizontal recoil has been decreased. Galil/Galil SAR weight increased by two units. Galil SAR now has an integrated bipod by default just like the Galil’s. Both Galils now have tracer rounds. Visual Improvements Added a selection of new special idle animations for the character customization menu. Finalized the equipment physics system that allows gear items to jiggle and move when the player is in motion. Added different gear physics profiles for in-game and the Customization menu. Added a scrolling text widget which applies to level, game mode, scoreboard and server names when the character amount is too high to display them in full. Third person free look animations while reloading are less restricted. Damage effects are now no longer shown when an attack failed to deal damage. Friendly fire messages are also not shown to players when attacks fail to deal damage. Improved quality of arm rotation when reloading and improved restricted AO calculations. Added weight to different menu idles, to control how often they play. New first base and foregrip draw animations for rifles. Insertion vehicles in Co-op now slightly restrict first person vertical movement. Changed the “Find Match” text to “Waiting For Leader” when the local player is not the leader of the party. Bug Fixes Fixed a bug where the Observer had an unintended effect of increasing capture speeds when on the objective. Fixed an issue where if you threw a deployable item such as C-4 and another player picked it up and threw it back to you, and then you picked it up again, you would not be able to select any of your weapons or items. Fixed an issue where it was possible to deploy a bipod on another player and remain deployed even once they have moved away from you. Fixed an issue where the various items attached to backpacks would be visible in the insertion vehicle, even though backpacks are not intended to be shown during insertions. There may however still be some minor visual artifacts. Fixed an issue where the player could utilize the gunner position of a vehicle to gain access to the outside of the map in some specific situations. Fixed an issue with the normal maps on the first person and third person M3 MAAWS launcher. Fixed an issue where the following new weapon icons were not apparent in the stats menu: M82A1 CQ, M99, QBZ-03, VHS-2. Fixed an issue where the character’s knee would snap into position during the third person rifle walk sequences. Updated player rows on the scoreboard if a player has developer status or XP changes. This should solve issues where a player row is created before that info has finished being queried and would not be updated until the player’s position on the scoreboard changed. Fixed a bug with disabling IK and forced hand bones on draw and holster motions. Fixed bug with the Mosin and M24 when bolting. Fixed an issue where sniper rifles and rocket launchers would disappear when being reloaded in third person. Fixed a morph issue with the military boots and cargo pants cosmetic combination on Insurgents. Fixed a bug where the laser sight attachment was clipping with the rail cover on the M16A4. Fixed animation assignment issues with foregrip shotguns. Reduced frame count on idle animation in main menu. Added two handed Hardcore Checkpoint sprint to bolt-action rifles and shotguns. Fixed an issue where first person sprint animations were not playing initially on spawn. Fixed an issue with the Winter jacket Insurgent Torso cosmetics where the first person sleeve colors did not match the third person sleeve colours. Fixed morph target issues with the Shell jacket Security Torso cosmetics. Fixed an issue where the metal detectors on Ministry were not triggering audio correctly. Fixed an issue where it was not possible to deploy a weapons bipod when inside a smoke cloud from either artillery, 40mm or smoke grenades. Fixed an issue where no infographic icon was shown for the "slide" action in movement Lesson. Added Galil and Galil SAR to the weapon table on the Range Tutorial map. Fixed an issue where entering the headshot state would not mute the auxiliary busses leading to some odd audible feedback. Dropped magazines from the Galil speed reload now have no bullets in them. Fixed an issue where the default soundscape was not audible on the firing range. Map Fixes HIllside Expanded Checkpoint Security Objective E capture zone. Fixed an issue where the borders of some door assets would not allow for bullet penetration. Further detailing added to some areas. Fixed an issue in Frontline where you could destroy the Security weapon cache from far away. Fixed an issue in Firefight East where the two rooms on the first floor of objective Bravo's building were not entirely covered by the capture area. Fixed an issue in Firefight East where a pillar was clipping through the wall on Bravo. Fixed an issue in Firefight East where you could get stuck if you vaulted over a wire reel in the corner in the A objective. Fixed an issue where you could become stuck between a fence and the cliff wall in the far back of the level on the road leading into the hill. Fixed several issues that allowed players to escape the playable area. Farmhouse Fixed an exploit where the player could capture objective Charlie from an unintended spot on Skirmish. Fixed an issue where the restricted area covered an unintended position on Checkpoint Security B objective. Summit Fixed an exploit where players could crouch jump into an unintended building. Ministry Adjusted playable area to have a bit of a safety net when players end up outside the map due to dismounting vehicles. Added extra blocking volume for a few buildings with thin walls to block vehicle traces when dismounting Crossing Fixed an issue with the out of bounds area on Skirmish near objective D. Known Issues [Visual] Combat Goggles Security Eyewear cosmetic glass may be visible through smoke on certain settings. [Connection] Some players have reported issues with server connection or pings showing as '0'. If you experience this or have information on this issue please post here. [Audio] If the same level is loaded twice in a row online, the default soundscape stops working. [Audio] Soundscapes may update incorrectly after spectating another player even after respawning. [Visual] [AI] The insertion truck driver can sometimes T-Pose [Party System] Should a Party Host leave an on-going matchmaking game, the party members are not able to perform a seamless transition to the next server. [Appearance] In very rare cases after a level switch or team swap, some characters may render incorrectly and be displayed as the wrong team. [Supply] Supply costs for some attachments may currently be incorrect. [Checkpoint] On first join via Matchmaking during the Insertion truck sequence, some characters may display incorrect animations. [Bots] There is a small percentage chance for a bot to spawn with missing torso cosmetic. [Audio] Sliding sounds may sometimes not play. This was fixed for footsteps as written above, but still remains for sliding.View the full article
  12. : You can find the details for this event on the announcement page here. View the full article
  13. Today we’re launching our Community Test Environment (CTE) to test the content in the upcoming version 1.4 game update. You can try out update 1.4’s new snow map, new game mode, new weapons, new cosmetics, and a brand new playlist system right now on the CTE by going to your Steam Library and downloading “Insurgency: Sandstorm Community Test Environment”. Please be aware that this is a developer test build of the game and you may encounter unexpected bugs or issues. Content shown in the CTE is not final and may or may not be implemented into the public version. There are no restrictions on recording, streaming, or discussing the CTE, however, it’s important to disclose that any footage or feedback is in relation to the test. The CTE will close at the end of the testing phase. Please see our blog or social media for details. Information on the CTE can be found here. To hear more information about the new playlist system, see yesterday’s community update post. We welcome your feedback on the CTE, so please direct any bug reports or general opinions to the CTE sub-forum here. Below is a list of changes, please note that this does not include all changes: New Features New PvP game mode “Frontline,” which can be thought of as a tug-of-war inspired “two way Push” mode Capture all enemy objectives one by one, and then destroy the final weapon cache objective to win. Defend your own objectives and weapon cache from being captured or destroyed. After the neutral middle objective is captured, your team must defend your own objective and also attack the enemy’s objective. Every time a team captures an objective, they will gain respawn waves and respawn their team. A team loses all their respawn waves when the enemy team reaches their final weapon cache objective. New map “Hillside” with support for the following game modes: PvP Push Security Push Insurgents Firefight A Firefight B Skirmish Frontline Team Deathmatch Co-op Checkpoint Security Checkpoint Insurgents Hardcore Checkpoint Security Hardcore Checkpoint Insurgents Frenzy Checkpoint New light machine gun assault rifle hybrid weapons for the Gunner class: Insurgents Galil Security Galil SAR Official matchmaking games will now allow players to vote on the next map and continue playing with players in the same session instead of returning to the main menu between matches. Complete overhaul of the Play menu and official matchmaking, which now uses playlist based matchmaking instead of individualized matchmaking by game mode. This decision was made to give us room to add more game modes both this year and in 2020 without concern for splitting the playerbase or server hosting costs. And also to allow us to add new content to the game more rapidly, even on a weekly basis, in between content updates through limited time playlists. Read more about the playlist system and what led to its creation here. A playlist contains one or more similar game modes. A player selects a playlist, searches for a match, and is put into a game in one of the game modes that the playlist features. When a match ends, a map vote starts, and players can vote on a new map and mode within their current playlist’s supported game modes. “Limited time playlists” that offer unique gameplay will be added and cycled through usually every two weeks without requiring a game update. These limited time playlists are meant to be an iteration of the Arcade system. Limited time playlists will feature “Arcade-inspired” game modes that will typically be derivative of existing modes, but with special twists on gameplay. While they won’t necessarily be as unique or fully produced as Arcade modes like Frenzy or Team Deathmatch, they will come much more rapidly and outside major content updates. We aim to have one limited time Co-op and one limited time Versus playlist available at any time, staggered so that one switches out every week. They will typically be modified through our new “mutator system,” which adds new game rules to an existing mode. The system allows for a wide variety of options and combinations like: Hot Potato Firefight (dead players drop a live frag grenade) Hardcore Push/Frontline (decreased player speed, but no equipment loss) Headshots Only Team Deathmatch Headshots Only Team Deathmatch, but you get 100 supply points Supply Gain Checkpoint (gain Supply Points as your score increases) Supply Gain Checkpoint, but you only start with 1 Supply Point Etc. The mutator system is also available to community servers, so community server hosts can apply and combine mutators to their servers as they wish. “Community Servers” is now a fourth button in the Play menu. This is meant to bring better visibility to our community run servers. Official playlists for update 1.4 will be as follows: Co-op Normal Checkpoint Security Checkpoint Insurgents Hardcore Hardcore Checkpoint Security Hardcore Checkpoint Insurgents Frenzy Frenzy Checkpoint Versus Ground Battle Push Frontline Point Capture Firefight Skirmish (some maps now have smaller layouts) Competitive Firefight Competitive Firefight Additional CTE playlists will be available during the CTE, but will change as the CTE continues. They will start as follows: Versus Hillside Ground Battle Hillside Push Security Hillside Push Insurgents Frontline Co-op Hillside Normal Hillside Checkpoint Security Hillside Checkpoint Insurgents New Weapon Upgrade 3x Type 03 scope for QBZ-03 New Cosmetics Security Soft Shell style jacket Shell Shell Rolled Shell Camo Shell Camo Rolled Insurgent Winter Sport style jacket Winter Black Winter Blue Winter Red Winter White Equipment (backpacks, vests, pouches) will now shift and jiggle with movement. Added Competitive rank decay where in Diamond and Platinum ranks your rank will slowly decay if you do not play often enough. Later during the CTE, we aim to add exclusive cosmetic rewards for every oon to be paired with exclusive glove cosmetics for competitive players. Audio Panning rule dropdown added which allows selection of speakers or headphones to provide the best positional audio experience for your hardware. Effects slider added which controls the volume of all in-game sound effects. Added an option to mute the ear-ringing layer of the explosives and flashbang shellshock effect. VoIP no longer uses auto-ducking but instead uses side-chaining. This provides a more natural ducking of game audio when VoIP is used, and also prevents an issue where even if VoIP volume was set to 0 that game audio would still be ducked when VoIP was transmitted. Spectator and Replays New camera controls and options added. Camera zoom Hide Hud Disable camera smoothing Known Issues [Visual] Combat Goggles glass may be visible through smoke on certain settings. [Animation] Deploying the PKM while standing causes issues with the third person character arms. [AI] On rare cases, bots may appear 'invisible' or show as floating vests. If you experience this or have information on this issue please post in this thread. [Connection] Some players have reported issues with server connection or pings showing as '0'. If you experience this or have information on this issue please post in this thread. [Audio] If the same level is loaded twice in a row online, the default soundscape stops working. [Stability] There is a crash in Frenzy that happens under certain conditions where idle or spectating players far away from others. We are currently working on a fix for this issue [Hillside] Double windows of several buildings in the map cannot be vaulted or have weapons pointed through by players even if there is no glass in the frame. [Visual] [AI] The insertion truck driver can sometimes T-Pose [Weapon] [Animation 3P] When prone and bolting or reloading with an M24 or Mosin, the weapon disappears. [Party System] There is a Steam issue that sometimes stops players from inviting others to Party via the ingame UI. A potential workaround is to invite via Steam overlay.View the full article
  14. : You can find the details for this event on the announcement page here. View the full article
  15. Hey everyone, my name is Michael Tsarouhas. I am the lead game designer on Insurgency: Sandstorm. Today we’re gonna talk about the brand new “Playlist System” coming in our next update. This system will overhaul the official matchmaking experience in some pretty substantial ways, and while it offers a lot of new opportunities, it will also be a shift in what players have grown accustomed to when it comes to finding a match. We feel it’s important that we are transparent with our community in regards to why we’re making these changes, what these new changes will mean, and what to expect in the future as a result of these changes. You can try the new playlist system tomorrow on our Community Test Environment. Just go to your Steam Library if you own Insurgency: Sandstorm and look for “Insurgency: Sandstorm Community Test Environment,” and download it to play. Also included on the CTE is our new map Hillside (a remake of Insurgency 2014’s Sinjar,) Frontline mode, Galil weapons for the Gunner class, and more. Why the change? When we first launched Insurgency: Sandstorm, our intention was to allow for a quick and easy official matchmaking system that would allow you to find the exact game mode or modes of your choice. However, as we continued to develop and add new content for Sandstorm post-release and heard community feedback, we found out there was a bigger appetite for new game modes than we expected. Players wanted something fresh aside from just new weapons, maps, and cosmetics, not to mention a compelling reason to keep coming back to play aside from whenever there was a big update every few months. This presented a challenge to us, because realistically speaking, we couldn’t have our community be split between a dozen different game modes, and we couldn’t deliver content any faster than we already were. We didn’t want a situation where players are stuck in queues trying to find a match because everyone is split between a number of different game modes, especially in low population regions or during non-peak hours. But we also of course didn’t want players to be leaving because there was nothing cool and new to check out outside of big game updates. Having more game modes available and being added more frequently would put a pretty significant strain on us, requiring a lot more resources and expenses on our end to ensure servers are always available for every mode and ensuring that those new game modes are fun to begin with. One of the ways we tried to address this is with the Arcade, which has so far featured Team Deathmatch and Frenzy Checkpoint game modes. The intention was to rotate through these Arcade game modes and keep creating new ones, with all of them always being available on community servers when they went away from the Play menu as Team Deathmatch did. However, unique Arcade modes proved to take a significant amount of resources and development time. We reached a point where we couldn’t continue making dedicated game modes like these that offer totally unique experiences so consistently and easily with all the other content we have planned for 2019 and beyond. This brings us to our creation of the playlist system. With playlists, we can add and rotate through unique content very rapidly, even on a bi-weekly basis. We can keep players from being split up, but also keep them well-fed and interested. We can have an avenue for adding fresh new content, and better take into account player feedback in how we iterate on and add that content. So how do things work now? For the most part, pretty much as they always had, but with a better presentation (especially for new players,) a few limitations, and a whole lot more possibilities. The Play menu now looks like this: First, you can see Community Servers have been given their own dedicated button to improve visibility for those who want a community experience. Second, you can see there’s no longer a “Match Preferences” button at the bottom right. This has been changed to “Region Preferences” which works as it did before where you can select one or multiple regions. Now, you choose your preferences of a match within a Play section itself. Let’s say I want to play a Versus match. I click on the Versus button, and then I see this: Now I can see the available Versus “playlists”: Ground Battle, Point Capture, and a limited time playlist called Hardcore Ground Battle (but more on that later). Each one of these playlists may have multiple game modes within it. The Ground Battle playlist will feature both Push mode and the upcoming Frontline mode, and is focused on high intensity action with centralized linear objective combat. Point Capture on the other hand features Firefight and Skirmish modes, with some Skirmish layouts by the way being adjusted to a smaller scale due to community feedback. These two Point Capture modes focus on decentralized objective combat, giving players more choice in how they navigate the map and providing a greater depth of strategy depending on which point is approached for capture or defense. Every playlist has a set of “Features” which includes the game modes it contains as well as any other changes to general gameplay (i.e. the “Limited Equipment” of Hardcore Checkpoint). These are accessed and explained in detail with F2 and then cycled through in separate modal popup menus. When I click “Find Match” with Ground Battle selected, it will put me into a Ground Battle match on either a Frontline or Push map scenario. In this system, I can’t choose between which of the two modes I want to play right off the bat. However, once that match is over, instead of being kicked back all the way to the main menu, I can vote for exactly what mode and even map I want to play next. Much of our community asked for a map voting feature in official matchmaking after the match ends. This is going to be an important part of the playlist system. You can see the only available map scenarios are Push and Frontline ones, as this is a Ground Battle match and those are the only modes available in the Ground Battle playlist. The idea here is to group similar game modes together so that new players have a better understanding of what they’re getting into, and that all players can have some gameplay variety while still being able to direct their own experience through map voting. We understand that there is a loss in a system like this where a player can, for example, no longer queue up specifically to play a Push mode match and play Push mode only. But again, as stated above, we feel like this is the best solution to allow ourselves to add more game mode content to the game without putting a huge strain on our own resources and not splitting up the playerbase. New game modes can have their own dedicated new playlists or be placed into existing ones, and players can vote as they want at the end of every match to play whatever mode they want within their current playlist. And remember, as always, there are community servers with XP gain which can host whatever it is they want, now even more visible in the Play menu right beside Competitive. One of the biggest advantages of this system is that it allows for a constant flow of new game content not just in terms of upcoming new official modes like Frontline, Outpost, or VIP escort, but other modes as well. These are added and represented through rotating “limited time playlists,” which are essentially an iteration on the Arcade system. In the concept below you can see Hardcore Ground Battle is a limited time playlist, indicated by its hourglass icon. Playlists like these will typically only last for two weeks at a time, and will usually be derivative of an existing playlist or game mode. Most will utilize our new “mutator system”, which can modify gameplay conditions like movement speed, supply points, loadouts, health, ADS time, gravity, and more. There are a ton of possibilities here, everything from Headshots Only Team Deathmatch to Headshots Only Team Deathmatch with 100 supply points to Checkpoint with 1 supply point at the start and supply gain by player score to Firefight where everyone drops a live frag grenade when they die. In this particular example above, as promised in our 2019 roadmap, Hardcore Ground Battle features Push and Frontline with the movement speed of Hardcore Checkpoint, but without any of that brutal equipment loss or limited supply crates. If well received, this kind of playlist could potentially become a permanent one. However, we need to take into account server costs and player population whenever making a decision such as that. It’s important to mention again that these modes, mutators, or limited time playlists can be hosted on community servers in whatever way players want. The community server browser has had a mutator filter added to make the process of finding those kinds of games easier. Limited time playlists will also feature new content after an update, so you no longer have to just sit around in queue with your fingers crossed hoping to play a new map like Ministry. Right now we plan for update 1.4 to launch with limited time playlists dedicated to our new map Hillside on all Versus modes, another for Hillside on all Co-op modes, and a third for our new game mode Frontline exclusively. The Co-op menu is getting the same treatment. Here the official playlists offered will be Normal, Hardcore, and Frenzy. When Outpost mode is added later this year, it will be added into each of these three playlists, so you’ll be able to play both Frenzy and Hardcore versions of Outpost in addition to Normal. Players will vote within a match whether they want the next map to be an Outpost or a Checkpoint one, and yes, as you can see in the playlist description for Hardcore Checkpoint, night maps will eventually be a part of this system too once they are added. Every playlist, be it Co-op, Versus, or Competitive, may feature both day and night, day only, or night only maps in its rotation and map pool. On playlists which support both day and night maps, players will vote if they want to switch to or away from a night map. We intend to include night maps in each of the three main Co-op playlists above, and have the occasional limited time night playlist in Versus as well, Versus and Competitive playlists being more focused on daytime play due to important balance considerations. Co-op will see its own limited time playlist to feature Outpost once that update releases, and plenty of others as well to follow. Also rotating every two weeks, Co-op limited time playlists offer a ton of fun possibilities. In the example above you can see “Running in the 90s” which will feature more old school FPS play with locked free-aim, increased health, faster movement, and other mutators to help bring back those Quake and Half-Life feelings while still keeping things Insurgency. And if that’s not to your tastes, just wait a couple weeks, and see what we bring next. We are keeping our ear to the ground in regards to player feedback regarding all of these playlists. If people want to see some mutators applied differently, or have an idea for a new playlist or mutator entirely, we’ll hear it and we’ll consider it. We want to try to keep one Versus and one Co-op playlist always active at any given time, most likely staggered so there’s a change in playlist every week. This will allow us to keep things fresh and interesting in between major content updates. The Competitive menu will see improvements with the playlist system beyond the playlists themselves. The presentation is now much cleaner, so new players don’t need to read a single massive wall of text to get themselves acquainted. With playlists, we can apply mutators to normal Competitive Firefight, or create entirely new competitive versions of other game modes with their own dedicated ranking. What will this mean for the future of Sandstorm? The possibilities really are vast with the playlist system. Instead of waiting every two or three months to see new content, you’ll see it every week on the dot. We already are finalizing our schedule of playlists from now until the end of the year, I can tell you we already have a lot of unique playlists and mutators created and planned. They’ll put a fresh spin on gameplay you’d never expect but suddenly wish you had, just like Hardcore Checkpoint did for many players. We understand again that some players may miss the ability to choose to matchmake straight into a game of Skirmish, or straight into Checkpoint Security. However, this was a move that we feel we had to make out of respect for our long term free game mode content plans going into 2020, maintaining the original vision of the Arcade system, allowing us to add new game modes without splitting the community, keeping content coming outside of major updates and more frequently than every few months, and within what is most realistic internally from a server hosting cost and density-maximization perspective. Keep in mind that these limited time playlists and the mutator system are going to be content that is coming in addition to our other commitments for this year. They are not intended to replace new game modes or other forms of free content. We’re still committed to adding everything we showed off in the 2019 Roadmap and more. If you have any feedback, please feel free to share. We’d especially love to hear your ideas for new limited time playlists you would like to see both with and without mutators applied. We hope you are as excited about this new system as we are, because at the end of the day what this really means is that Sandstorm is evolving. More new content will be hitting you faster and at a schedule you can plan around, and that’s including all the other free new maps, weapons, game modes, cosmetics, and more coming this year and into 2020. Check out the Community Test Environment tomorrow by downloading “Insurgency: Sandstorm Community Test Environment” in your Steam Library to try out the playlist system, our new Hillside map, Frontline mode, new Galil weapons for Gunner classes, and more. And stay tuned on our social media below to keep up to date with our development, and get a first look at new game content. Instagram[www.instagram.com] Twitter Facebook[www.facebook.com] Reddit YouTube Thanks for reading! View the full article

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