Howdy, loyal FAS fans! Excuse us for the extremely long delay for this news post but our only carrier pigeon got tangled in the barbed wire. More accurately, I think trying to get video coverage for each news post is simply too much overhead for us to handle right now when we also have to focus on developing the game. For the next few updates you can expect more pretty non-moving pictures with descriptions and we’ll save full videos for special occasions and features that make the best use of the format. Today we'll be showcasing the Gunnery skill and a whole family of Sterling variants as well as giving a little insight into how these different versions behave relative to one another.
Gunnery 2.0 Changes
Among the benefits of Gunnery from 1.0f, we were quite happy with the faster reload speeds, draw times, and holster times, as these were a great help and to the player and effectively portray a proficiency in weapon handling. However, the deployable ammo cache granted by the third tier of Gunnery was an item that very few people were inclined to use. One of the difficulties with the Ammo Cache was that players had to be relatively stationary to retrieve ammo from it, and had to focus on the box while holding the use key to do this, leaving them exposed and defenseless. This didn’t prove to be as intuitive as we had pictured, and the spare magazine supply of the caches was rarely exhausted. Additionally, placing the box on the ground meant that players had to be within arm's reach to supply one another - an awkward tactical misstep if ever there was one.
Taking these issues into consideration, we redesigned the Ammo Cache so that its FAS 2.0 incarnation is far more lightweight and mobile. The caches now automatically refill a player’s ammo when within their radius proximity for 20 seconds, and are thrown a short distance rather than dropped when deployed, allowing the user to lob them over cover or out of windows without exposing themselves. Even observed from our internal testing, the third tier of Gunnery has proven to be much more simple and effective to use, which naturally means it is used more often by members of a team as well. Even still, a common trend of players only using the first tier of the skill in their loadouts persisted from earlier versions, meaning the second tier wasn’t attractive enough to entice them. We've shored up the second tier benefits FAS 2.0 by allowing it to grant players an extra pair of magazines, which is all the more effective in light of 2.0's lowered magazine counts on the majority of weapons - a step taken to encourage more diverse loadouts and better use of mechanics like ammo boxes and caches from Gunnery.
With all of these changes we believe that Gunnery can finally hold its own when matched evenly against the other skill trees. It mixes several very beneficial selfish skills with a critical team support ability for players who are constantly pushing forward and dumping ammo.
- +25% Faster Reload Speed
- +25% Faster Weapon Handling Speed (Bolting & Pumping)
- +50% Faster Draw and Holster Speed
- +2 Extra Magazines
- Ammo Cache: Deployable ammo box to resupply ammo for 20 seconds
Sterling & Variants
While the more astute of you may notice that we have showcased a screenshot or two of the Sterling sub-machine gun in a past update, we're finally able to dedicate an update to showing off the dynamics of its different variants: the L2A3, L34A1, and Mk.7A4. The L2A3 is the standard Sterling configuration, with a slow firing rate compared to other SMG's and a higher magazine capacity of 34 rounds. It fires a 9x19mm Parabellum round, which paired with its lower cyclic rate makes for a very reliable, easily controlled weapon. The Sterling’s role in Firearms Source makes it ideal for medium range combat rather than the usual CQC, though it remains quite proficient for that as well. With a further effective range than any of the competition, it's a weapon that you can count on to gun down those mid-range targets with maximum efficiency.
The L34A1, the Sterling’s integrally suppressed brother, operates very similarly to the L2A3. It shares the same ammo capacity and rate of fire but makes use of its internal suppressor to dampen the report of its subsonic ammunition, rendering it very hard to detect especially in the heat of battle. In order to keep a good balance between the L34A1 and the common Sterling, the damage output of the L34A1 is somewhat lower to compensate for its effectiveness as a covert weapon. Even so, the L34A1 provides for an ideal stealth SMG for getting behind enemy lines.
Alternatively, players looking for a cheap Personal Defense Weapon may be inclined to pick up the Mk.7A4 Sterling Para Pistol. The para pistol's shortened barrel and low cost lends itself to a compact PDW role. It can be easily carried alongside an expensive primary and still packs a significant punch at decent range compared to the lower effective distance of other PDW's. One the primary drawbacks to the Mk.7A4 is a smaller magazine, limiting the weapon to only 15 rounds, easily expended on automatic. While the Mk.7A4's slow ROF helps to make every bullet count, its user will need the aim to land the majority of these in order to make the best use of it.
New Positions Available
The FAS Development Team is looking for a VGUI Programmer to help us code in our new and fairly complex User Interface. We have designed a custom “Armory” menu section for players to browse and choose weapons before entering a server to ease the User Experience of FAS. However, for this task we are currently down to a Gameplay Programmer who is still working hard on the mechanics of FAS, so we would like to bring aboard someone who can focus on the programming of our User Interface. The candidate must be proficient with C++ and the Source SDK. Knowledge of Valve’s Graphical User Interface is definitely a plus. If you are interested in the position, please check out our Jobs page.
In addition to the VGUI Programmer, we are also looking for an Environment Sound Designer. As the Environment Sound Designer, you will be working with both level designers and other sound designers in creating original soundscapes to add more depth and immersion in our levels. The candidate does not need previous experience with the Source Engine, but must be experience with recording on location and provide high quality samples. Again, if you are interested, please apply on our Jobs page.