Weekly Update 2/18/21

The first new weekly update discussing the next major patch.
Fault News

Welcome!

Hello Fault family,

We have decided to start weekly community update posts! These updates will be quick informational posts containing what we are working towards each week, and may even contain potential teasers on upcoming content.

Our first weekly update is very large in order to cover our work from the past few weeks, it contains information on the next patch to hit Fault and some of the features included within it. Patch 13.0 will be the largest update the game has seen since release. This patch will include code changes which work towards creating a stable and strong foundation for the game for us to build upon, along with a large dose of new content.

We will post a full Dev blog going into all the details of every feature listed here closer to the release of the patch.

Some features listed may not make it to patch 0.13.0 if we feel they need more work before releasing and still wish to push the update.
We do not have a set public date for patch 0.13.0, but we can state that everything mentioned here is already well underway and close to final testing.

VFX/SFX system rework

This is a large step towards a quicker hero creation pipeline, it is a full technical pass on how the VFX and SFX runs but also a re-design of the tools used for that purpose. It is also part of our efforts in creating systems that will stand the test of time as the game grows in the coming years.

The rework will provide the infrastructure to add many features in coming updates such as :

  • Centralized VFX/SFX codebase allowing for better maintainability for years to come.
  • Allow to prepare better tools for our artists to be more involved in the process of applying their VFX/SFX to the heroes.
  • Allow for T3-T4 skins to have different VFX/SFX for their abilities, as well as improvements on hero VFX in general.
  • and more.

Even though this rework is mostly technical and won't immediately show results (They will rather incrementally show up throughout future updates), it has also given us the opportunity to do a remaster of hero VFX used throughout the game. So you will still notice minor or major improvements per-hero like adding more VFX where it's lacking or fixing sync problems between gameplay and VFX/SFX.

This is separate from :

  • Our full animation overhaul.
  • New sound packs for old heroes.
  • A more immersive sound system.

All of which are different features in the plans that are still being actively worked on.

Client side prediction system

We have completely reworked our projectile system and ability system to contain far more client predictions to allow for a smoother experience overall on all ping levels. The major feature of this rework is new client prediction code that allows the server and client to be in sync as much as possible. For projectiles, this will hopefully fix false positive hits such as Narbash thunk bug. Furthermore, it will allow for perfect vfx spawn locations that are in sync on all clients (such as on hit vfx) which should make the game feel smoother and consistent overall. For aiming abilities, this will allow the client and server to be 100% in sync as to where you are aiming when you confirm the ability. Also, a lot more gameplay effects will be predicted on the client to create a smoother experience with as little delay/lag as possible.

Ability casting system rework

The new casting system will affect many aspects of gameplay like the way stuns effect players and opposing heroes abilities/cooldowns, how/when mana is consumed, and much more. The main purpose of this rework is to improve smoothness and immersion during fights and, along with our new client prediction systems, it will drastically improve how the game feels overall.

Input buffering

Players should be able to buffer ability commands, meaning subsequent abilities and commands can be queued to automatically occur. Activating an ability (including LMB) or item during another ability or item's cast and recovery duration will queue the ability or item to occur immediately after the current cast and recovery duration is over.


River objectives

We will be introducing 'Shrines' into the jungle of Fault. These objectives will provide new buffs when taken, along with special effects when in the process of taking them. 

The HUD

The HUD is a major feature the team has been wanting to update for some time now, if you are new to Fault check out our dev blog explaining our decision to create it in-house and some of our plans for it here.

The HUD contains many new features and systems that are being worked on and tested daily by the SMS staff. The new HUD is more then just changing the visual aesthetic of the display itself, but also changing how all information is presented to the player. this includes buff/debuff timers, new ping systems, animations, sound effects, status icons, and more.

We will provide a full list of everything changing with the HUD in the next Dev blog, but for now, we would like to reveal one of these new features and animations.

Faults new death recap system

New damage pop ups
These teasers are just a small portion of everything coming with the HUD, and everything is subject to change during/after implementation. Everything shown in these weekly updates also follows this, as we want to be able to show you more, even if its not finished like the examples above.


Conclusion

These weekly updates may be brief, but as stated above any major items that are mentioned in these updates will be followed up with a full Dev blog containing information and comments directly from the Devs that worked on them. We feel these posts are a much needed form of communication with our community and we are happy to implement them.

As always, stay tuned Fault fam, and thank you again for joining us on this journey to full release.


— Strange Matter Team
February 18, 2021