Firearms: Source is showing off the latest additions and edits to the Field Medic skill tree. Additionally, we are explaining some of the changes we have made to the bandaging and treating system and introducing our medic crates. For the kicker, we are showcasing a new weapon that has been a classic in GoldSrc FA, the PP-19 Bizon.
Posted by DysPatch on Sep 26th, 2011
Today we get to show off one of the most critical skills in the Firearms: Source line up: Field Medicine. Before we get down to the juicy details however, a word or two about where we stand in terms of development. Under ideal circumstances we would love nothing more than to have already released FAS 2.0 by this point, but we want to make every effort to pack this Steam release full of top-quality features that improve the user experience and generally add a layer polish to the game that far outstrips our past versions. In addition to this we have been developing with a rather tight team as of late and could use more skilled hands to expedite this release. If you are interested in helping out, be sure to read the Help Wanted section below. With that being said, FAS 2.0 is nearing the point where we can finally bring in players for large scale stress testing. A few things are still pending completion so that the new testers can give us the feedback we need, but we feel that we can finish these tasks within a month or so. Rest assured that we will keep you all updated as to when we will be bringing in testers.
The Medic skill has received quite a few interesting changes, not necessarily to the number of abilities a medic can use, but rather to the mechanics of how they are used. As we have disclosed briefly on the forums, “Treating” or healing a player has undergone significant changes since the last update. One of the more visible problems with the previous implementation of the skill was the propensity for medics to clump together in order to treat one injured player up to 100 health as fast as possible, presenting an incredibly easy target. In some cases a single soldier could be injured behind cover and as many as three medics might rush into the line of sight to heal him over and over again. Similarly, a number of players would grab the medic skill simply to heal themselves back to full health without any incentive to aid their team, conserving bandages for personal use only.
The new treating system now allows a medic to heal allies a single time for a set amount as in 1.0, but also applies a gradual regeneration effect which persists until they either take damage or reach full health again. Players with Field Medic can still treat themselves for the initial bonus as before, but will only regenerate if operated on by another medic. In addition to the initial point reward for healing an ally, a small amount of score is awarded for every point of health the target regenerates after the fact. This incentivizes medics to protect those that they have just treated in order to receive the full benefit for their bandages, and allows critically wounded players to eventually reach full health again without constant attention and expenditure on the part of the medic. It's no longer necessary, for instance, to follow around seriously injured players, repeatedly bandaging them rather than completing objectives or seeking out new patients. The Hospice Flag is still present in 2.0, but now it also doubles the speed at which players restore health after treatment as well as the potency of the initial heal, making well-placed hospices a critical element in treating injured teammates back to full health and returning them to the front lines as fast as possible.
We have also altered a few of the mechanics of how bandages are supplied with regard to common confusions and awkward design inherent in the 1.0F system. For one, players unfamiliar with Firearms often didn't know to load out with bandages and were loathe to spend their credits on something of unclear worth, so they would frequently bleed to death without grasping the importance of the item. Similarly, the individual bandage pickups used on many of our maps were only rarely available when people actually needed them, as a single player passing by could remove them from play for the next 30-60 seconds even if they had no real need for them. To fill this role more effectively, we've taken inspiration from our ammo crates and introduced the new medical supply crates that you may have seen in some of the recent gameplay footage. As this effectively grants players in the vicinity an infinite supply of bandages given enough time, we've reduced the overall number of bandages players can carry and removed them as a loadout item. All players now automatically receive 2 bandages upon spawn, with each level of Medic increasing how many you spawn with and can carry, capping out at a total of 7 for Medic III. For use on the front lines and in remote locations far from supply crates, Hospice Flags now slowly resupply bandages to players in their radius as well.
One of our main goals with Firearms: Source 2.0 is to improve the quality of all of our content, which includes updating our older weapon models to new higher standards. When it came time to touch up the existing Chang Feng (CF-05) SMG, it was apparent that the model would have to be recreated from scratch for any appreciable boost in quality. While this isn't an absolute dealbreaker, if possible the time spent recreating it would be better rewarded elsewhere. It was apparent that we needed a different gun to fill the same role - one that could be made to our new visual standards without beginning from the ground up. For many Firearms veterans, the answer to this dilemma is probably already starting to take shape: “Bring back the Bizon!”
The PP-19 Bizon shares numerous parts and behavior with the modular AKM system that we have recently created for all of 2.0's Kalashnikov variants, so the obvious choice was to fill in the missing pieces and bring back the old FA classic. Gameplay changes would obviously have to be made to accommodate for the Bizon's 64 round helical magazine (a significant 14 more rounds per magazine than the CF-05) but this was helped somewhat by its lower rate of fire at 700 rpm as opposed to the Chang Feng's 800 rpm. For those who enjoyed the CF-05's unique style, you need not worry, as we do plan to bring it back after our initial release. For now, all praise the Bizon in all of its beautiful bullet-hosing glory, now featuring an optional suppressor and aimpoint courtesy of our attachment system!
While we continue to chug along with the development of FAS 2.0, we could still use additional help in a few departments such as Programming, Level Design, and Audio Engineering. Most immediately we are seeking programmers who have a strong background with the Source SDK and C++ programming. We have a handful of remaining FAS features that need to be implemented, and you will be working alongside our existing programmers so they can help you get familiar with the code base. Level Designers should ideally have a few years of level design experience and be comfortable with Hammer 4.0. We have some wonderful environment artists that have been pumping out a wealth of beautiful content that is looking for a home in some FAS levels. If you are interested in helping us get FAS 2.0 out faster to Steam, please head over to our Jobs page.