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Equipment Check!

Hey there, folks. We've been working on the Arsenal Update, a heavily gameplay-focused update that expands customization options for infantry weapons, uplifts some of the less-used faction weapons, and touches a fair amount of game balance on the infantry and vehicle side at the same time. There's a lot to go through, and you won't see all the details until the patch notes hit later this week, but we'll break down some of the larger beats in this dev note.

New Angled Forward Grips, for all factions.


Weapon Attachments

Let's talk about where the majority of work has gone in for this update: attachments. At the time of writing this, we've added 829 new attachments between 241 weapons with more in progress. You'll see a handful of new mainstays, like an Angled Forward Grip that heavily reduces first shot recoil, or a Heavy Barrel that reduces cone of fire bloom while aiming down sights, and there have been plenty of adjustments to existing attachments as well. Compensators, for example, were made more powerful, and attachments that didn't affect weapons much were swapped with something different (Forward Grips on Sniper Rifles, for example.) You'll also be seeing more weapons with extended magazines, barrel, and ammo options, and directive weapons will now all be able to equip attachments as well. Speaking of which...


Directive Weapons

We're taking a pass at directive weapons again to make them something you want to play with. Now that directive weapons will be capable of equipping attachments, some of the "baked in" attachment benefits and detriments will be going away, especially the ones that tried to push a weapon outside of the roles it would otherwise excel in (directive SMGs with built-in HVA and forward grips, are a good example of this.) Some weapons will expand on faction flavor, (for example: TR's Havoc shotgun will go fully automatic,) while others will emphasize class strengths (carbines will have new underbarrel Impulse Launchers.) Not every weapon will be quirky, but they will all be more worthwhile additions to your current weapon lineup. Lastly, directive weapons will be able to be used alongside A.S.P. benefits that give you access to weapons from another class, or be put into another loadout slot.

FL-34 and SPRK-33 have some new digs in the Sanctuary.


Balance in General

With the Arsenal Update, we'll be making some noteworthy balance changes in the realm of infantry and vehicles, and will be iterating on previous experiments. For example, some of the less-used weapons will receive additional tuning beyond the attachment changes; Nanoweave's small arms resistance will be moved to a sniper rifle resistance, and the movement speed penalty will be removed; Adrenaline Shield's energy recovery will be reeled in a bit; Nano-Armor Cloak loses its passive 100 shield benefit; Power Knives move to a two-bodyshot kill; shotguns are overhauled to become more consistent to use. In the realm of vehicles, the Chimera will gain some added health and main cannon damage, while the Valkyrie will gain some speed, damage output, and ammo capacity for most of its weapons. None of this is final, but it will be a part of what goes with our first test build, which we'll talk about later.


Empire-Specific Basilisks

New top guns will be defaulted to each empire's main battle tank (with the exception of NSO,) and Sunderers, Harassers, and ANTs will have access to these new weapons as optional unlocks. I'm referring to these weapons as "Basilisks" in that each weapon fits the "jack of all trades" mentality that the common pool Basilisk uses as an introduction to the game. However, each of these weapons have unique statistics, along with audio and visuals. Chimera's forward guns will receive slight stat adjustments as well, to differentiate it from the common pool Basilisk. All of this is an attempt to push our faction flavor a little bit further whenever we can, and create more opportunities for new art.

The new M18 Palisade on a Terran Republic Sunderer.


Mines, Grenades, and More

Along with the new vehicle weapons, we're also introducing some infantry deployables. Empire-specific mines (Concussion/EMP/Flash/Havoc,) and class-specific grenades (Cleansing/Havoc/Timed EMP/Impulse,) will make their way into the mix. The ANT will get a new "Deliverer Module," allowing it to become a spawn point wherever it can deploy (which is not in no-construction zones,) and provide vehicle ammunition in an area. The Galaxy will be offered the Lodestar Module as well, providing a deploy shield, and the ability to spawn in allies like the campaign's Prototype Lodestar currently has access to. Lastly, there's a new Black Market directive tree, so you can put all those Black Market weapons to good use. You'll see at least a couple of new Black Market weapons making their way to the store as well, and you will be able to purchase them with Daybreak Cash in addition to the A7 currency.


So When We Testing?

This weekend we plan to get our first build to the Public Test Server, and will follow it up with another build the following week. The expectation between the first and second build is that there will still be a lot of cleanup and polish to take place, but much of the functionality in the update will be available to start getting eyes on with the first build. We will not be conducting wide-scale playtests for this particular update, as the changes are a bit too nuanced to pull focused feedback, but we encourage everyone to jump on and report their findings via forums or Reddit. Patch notes will be posted late Thursday or early Friday in full and... it's a lot.


I hope this dev letter helps lend some insight on some of what we're currently working toward, and what you will be seeing and testing here very soon.

Thanks all.

-Wrel, Lead Designer