Devblog 179

Progression (blueprints!), raid balance, base changes, and more.

28 September 2017
Video Update
Progression

I switched gears to progression this week, and I've made quite a lot of progress. We're hoping to have this new gameplay system go live with next week's forced wipe, October 5th.

First, other than default blueprints like campfires and spears and stuff, everything is locked. You'll need to obtain blueprints to learn how to craft more advanced items. How do you do that? Well, one way is via the research table, and I think this is its fourth incarnation. You throw a source item into it along with a specific number of scrap and it will produce a blueprint item. No "percentage of success" or anything like that, just a pure cost. This means that blueprints are tradable. In fact, I spent a good amount of time getting vending machines functioning with this system, so they can now buy and sell blueprints. When searching for items in the administrator menu, just click on the little blueprint icon next to the item of your choice (if applicable) and it'll sell/buy it as a blueprint instead of the source item.

How do you get scrap? Well, you'll find it in the world, and some items will produce it via recycling.

One other thing: workbenches. Based on the tier of item, it will require a specific level of workbench to craft. You'll be able to find the lower level workbenches at some radtowns, but have fun dragging all your stuff there to craft. The idea here is that each workbench will require a bunch of stuff that can only be crafted at the prior tier of workbench, so you can't really "skip ahead". Workbenches will also decrease how long it takes items to craft: the lower their workbench requirement relative to the workbench you are at, the quicker you can craft them, up to a 75% reduction in time.

All of these changes mean that I have to do a major overhaul of the loot tables, as we will once again need to drop full items at radtowns. One thing is for sure, this is gunna be a game changer. Hopefully for the best.

Everything is subject to change. We need to do this while we're still in EA. And I will try and get this on the staging branch as soon as possible. Stay tuned.

Base Renovations

I made some Quality of Life changes this week that I hope everyone will appreciate. For starters, you can now place shelves overtop of existing wood boxes! But that's kind of redundant because I've also made it so you can pick up and replace small and large wood boxes, fridges, and furnaces! There are some caveats: they must have an empty inventory, and you must have tool cupboard access and a hammer equipped. They'll lose 20% condition when picked up, and you can also now repair them in repair benches. I hope this makes your lives a little easier when starting out. I know it helps me.

The furnace now costs 100 less wood to craft, but also no longer spawns with 100 wood. Because of how the code works, you could pick up and put down the same furnace and keep generating the starting wood each time. Also, because you can now pick up boxes, it means you can now change their skins at the repair bench!

Car Changes

I didn't do much on this because I was focused on progression, but you will notice that the sedan now has headlights you can toggle on/off with your light key, as well as brake lights. I also updated the collision model to be a lot more detailed on the client, including different impact effects when hitting the seats (cloth) compared to the body (metal). Again, cars are only available to admins, but figured I should mention the minor changes here.

No More Map Item

The map item was a ridiculous hoop people had to jump through for a feature very few people ended up using. So you can now press G at any time to open the map. The bad news is you can't currently paint on it or craft it. We'll address this in the future if its actually important, but for now enjoy spawning, pressing G, and typing 'kill' in the console!

Raid Balance

We're making some big changes to raiding this week. Let me start by explaining our thought process. The main driver behind this was the fact that high external walls could be circumvented by twig raid towers far too easily for the amount of resources it costs to build and maintain a wall. After going back and forth on our options, only one solution could achieve what we wanted without making building overhangs completely overpowered. We decided to make only wooden ladders, twig foundations and twig floors bypass building privilege. This means you can no longer use twig to build over high external walls, but you still have the twig floors available to get around building overhangs that would otherwise block ladders.

Why not only allow ladders?

We've had this a while ago, and the result was that everyone added overhangs to their bases to protect against ladders. This leads to every base looking exactly the same after a week and ladders being rendered useless.

What about barricades on overhangs to block ladders?

We've made some adjustments to barricades so you can no longer completely block ladders with them.

How annoying will it be to carry around all those ladders?

Ladders now stack to 5, which should make them a pleasure to carry.

What about boosting?

If you want to leave one person of your group behind for every floor you climb instead of spending the resources for one ladder then so be it. We feel like that's a fair tradeoff.

But high external walls still suck?

We've made some improvements to the barbed wire placement and damage volumes of high external walls and high external gates to ensure that getting over a wall takes a good amount of health off the attacker.

What about roof camping?

Roofs still aren't 100% safe and roof campers will have to spend a fair amount of resources to protect themselves, so let's see how it goes before complaining.

What about raid towers?

Raid towers are still a thing if you build them outside of the tool cupboard radius and extend into it with an overhang. They just won't be as easy to use anymore as you will have to find and exploit base design weaknesses.

Large Furnace Placement

You know how you had to place your large furnace before the metal floor grills above it because they would prevent placement? Which also made it near impossible to replace a large furnace once destroyed? Yeah, that's now fixed.

Invisible Loot Crate Fire

The loot crates that are spawned when a bradley or patrol helicopter was destroyed had a bug where their flames were invisible but still dealing damage. This was a regression from last week's entity parenting changes and is now fixed.

EAC Launcher Issues

There've been a few issues with the EAC launcher that prevented EAC from installing or updating. This should now be fixed.

RAM Usage Info

I've added RAM usage to the performance text when the perf convar is set to 5 or higher. This is mostly supposed to give us an idea of what's going on when we receive videos of performance issues, so make sure to enable it if you want to send a report our way.

Raw Belt Meat

I've changed the default inventory selection when picking up items such that raw and spoiled meat no longer go straight to the belt toolbar. This was a side effect from back when we made consumables go straight to the toolbar.

Snow Biome Improvements

The work on the snow biome continues. I have spent most of the week greyboxing the new icebergs and added ice sheet meshes that will float around them. In order to give them a less random feeling, I have handcrafted a couple of iceberg scenes that will be added to the proc map, similar to how we setup the monuments.

In addition, I've began working on the snow biome edge. The goal here is to add ice sheets along the shoreline and extend the playable area further into the ocean. Ideally, they will connect to the iceberg prefabs, allowing people to reach the ice bergs by foot, or by constructing bridges.

Sadly, the icebergs will most likely not make it into next week's wipe. They still need polish and playtesting. I'd rather make sure they are properly finished, rather than rush them in. Below are some screenshots to tide you over. Pun!

What should however appear next week are the ice lakes. I have spent the rest of the week creating additional ice lake variants of different sizes and shapes, and I'm now waiting to merge them to the main branch.

AI

The navigation of NPCs is proving to be quite complex to solve, and it's one thing to get the concepts working in a controlled environment, but another to get them working properly in the complex world of Rust. So this week I have taken the new navigation technology and integrated it properly with our current AI systems, but fell short on having it ready for the patch. On the same branch I have flexible Navmesh resolution for the Navigation Grid working as well, which will make baking faster in areas we don't need as much detail, but it can't work without the new navigation technology.

Fixed some garbage collection trouble related to bad equality operators in some of our structs, which I was using for the Navigation Grid system.

AK47 World Model

There was an issue with the AK47 world model that caused skins to not display as intended. This should be fixed.

Viewmodel Organisation

All remaining files have been finished this week, as well as fixing a few issues. One of those has been the new arm mesh highlighting the awkward pose and bending of the wrist on the AK47 base pose. A tricky fix, as rotating the hand means the fingers no longer grip the gun from the other side (which is very visible when using ironsight). The solution now uses two seperate poses. Anyway, here's the current arms next to the update:

There's still some texture and material work needed to improve the skin. Once Taylor has time to take a look and do his thing, I'll be merging everything to main.

BBQ

Last week I had to halt progress on the low poly of the nail gun to start work on a BBQ! Progress has come along well: the high poly has been modelled and sculpted and I'm currently working on the low poly game ready mesh.

If you remember Paul's concept above, Helk decided we wanted an amalgamation of 1 and 4. Pics to come next week. When this is finished, I'll move back onto the nail gun.

Player Animations

I spent this week going over the climbing, jumping, and swimming animations as they looked a little stiff.

179 September 28 2017
  • new

    Added RAM usage to perf text

  • new

    Can pick up empty furnaces

  • fixed

    AK47 world model not displaying some skins correctly

  • fixed

    Fixed parenting on bradley and heli loot crate fireballs

  • fixed

    Fixed large furnace placement being blocked under floor grills

  • updated

    Updated EAC launcher

  • updated

    Only wooden ladders, twig foundation and twig floors can bypass building privilege

  • updated

    Tweaked barricade placement rules, damage volumes and collision meshes

  • updated

    Tweaked external wall and gate placement rules, damage volumes and collision meshes

  • updated

    Eliminated GC allocs from player model LOD refreshes

  • updated

    Increased external gate open and close animation speed

  • updated

    Raw and spoiled meat no longer goes straight to belt when picked up

  • updated

    Wooden ladders can be stacked to 5

  • updated

    Wooden ladders can be repaired

  • updated

    Furnace costs 100 wood less, spawns with no wood

  • updated

    Can pick up empty fridge

  • updated

    Can pick up empty large & small wood boxes

  • updated

    Can place shelves over existing boxes

  • updated

    Can change skins of boxes at repairbench

  • updated

    No longer need map item to open map

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