After a long wait, we can finally share more of what to expect for the next major release of Project Reality: v1.4. The much anticipated Falklands theater will make its re-introduction, but what else is there? Here is a listing of some of the major features you can expect to see in the next release.
Throughout this announcement, many topics will be linked to previously released blogs and highlights with more detail. This is by no means a full and complete list of all features and content. For that see the full changelog which we plan to release tomorrow. We plan to release v1.4 in the next few days. But unforeseen consequences could push this back. Let us now introduce you to the changes:
The Falklands Expansion has finally been fully integration into v1.4, and it has received quite an update since it was last released with v0.981. Featuring the British and Argentine factions with kit and weapons from the 1982 war, with some brand new infantry weapons, such as the L4A4 Bren LMG, the Sterling submachine gun and the Shorts Blowpipe to name a few. There are also some new stationary weapons such as the Tigercat SAM and Rheinmetall Rh 202 AAA gun also make their appearance. Both factions feature a varied arsenal of new aircraft and weapons for our pilots out there.
Alongside all the new content; We are also introducing new gameplay systems such as the CLOS SAMs, retarded bombs and more!
Both factions will be playable on 2 maps; Goose Green, a 2x2km map focused on infantry combat and The Falklands, our first 8x8km map featuring the entire Falklands Islands and an overview of the entire war, with lots of airspace for the aircraft to fly around in!
There are too many small and big features coming with this expansion to list here so we'll keep most details for closer to release and leave you with some screenshots to explore.
Do note however that the naval features that we have previously teased will unfortunately not be making an entry in v1.4, due to real life circumstances of key-developers that has delayed this major task and will take a little more time to finish. We aim to release them some point in the future but we wished not to delay 1.4's release.
Armor - Gameplay changes
The coming release will feature two major changes to the way armored vehicles take damage in PR. The collision meshes and material mapping of our tanks and many other vehicles have been redone. Many exploitable weak points such as tracks and small areas of glass or cloth material have been fixed. You can see a visualization of that below in the screenshots. The meshes now have only front, side, and rear/top armor materials.
The second part is a rework of the damage values that different weapons do to tank materials, such as how much damage a light AT weapon does to rear armor on a tank, or how much damage a tank AP shell does do the side of another tank. The frontal armor of our modern tanks is now much more resistant to ATGMs and other HEAT projectiles, but they are more vulnerable on the sides and rear than before. While this will make it harder to kill a tank from the front, it will also be the end of a tank surviving a HAT missile into its rear. Every anti-armor weapon will now do serious damage to a tank from behind.
We will be monitoring how this goes when the update goes live and make changes where necessary. To read a bit more in detail of these changes you can read this highlight.
Note: Don't pay attentions to the specific colors used, these colors are randomized by the editor in which the screenshots were taken.
Maps - New and old
Like in any release, there will be many quality of life improvements to all our maps as well as balancing the over 400 gameplay layers we have in PR today. But next to those, we will be introducing some big changes to some of our current maps as well. In particular Al Basrah, Beirut, Gaza, Grozny, Kozelsk & Wanda Shan are significantly updated in this release to improve their gameplay and look.
Besides those changes, we will also be adding more variety by adding several new layers into the mix as well as making major changes to others. Most notably Fallujah West, Silent Eagle, Pavlovsk Bay, Qwai River and Xiangchan have seen drastic changes to their gameplay.
Next to the two maps being introduced with the Falklands, we have also added a brand new map: Bamyan, a 4x4km map inspired by Takistan from Arma 2. This map is located in the rural regions of Afghanistan and will feature a scope-less USMC fighting the Taliban and MEC on both Insurgency, AAS and Skirmish gamemodes. We can't wait to have this gorgeous map in the players hands. As it happens, this will also be the 50th map in our map pool!
For our COOP players we are also happy to say many new maps have received COOP support including Kashan Desert, Goose Green, Bamyan, Battle of Ia Drang and Operation Soul Rebel.
Jet Aircraft - New flight model
Balancing and tweaking jet physics is hard work. That's why we decided to implement a new flight model to our jet aircraft that will allow us to better tweak them to their real life counterparts as well as introduce new features to them in the future. We hope this will bring more balance and fun to flight. Thanks to The Falklands Expansion there will be many new aircraft with new bombs, rockets and missiles to use with them as well!
Weapons - Variations and more variations!
We have many new weapons and variations in this release to add to our already quite extensive weapons library. This includes the Type 56 (Chinese AK-47), PM md. 63 (Romanian AKM), Obrez (Sawn-off Mosin), SKS with PU scope, AK-74 with PGO-7 scope, M16A2 DMR, M4 with handguard-mounted Mepro red dot sight and more! Many existing models in the AK series have also been adjusted to look more like their real-life counterparts.
We are also happy to announce that muzzle flashes on night layers are back, thanks to optimizations in the effects department.
Vehicles - 2 new additions
We will also be introducing two new vehicles. The T-72 lineup has been expanded with the addition of the T-72S and T-72B variants, while the M163 VADS has been added as a new SPAA. This finally brings an authentic AA vehicle to the IDF, as well as more capable T-72 variants for the MEC and Russian forces. British vehicles will also see the addition of SLAT armor on insurgency maps.
We also altered the chance of your vehicle becoming disabled so it will happen more easily. Together with the changes to armor listed above, expect quite a difference when playing ground assets.
Programming & Gameplay - The heart of PR
Besides all of that new and altered content, 1.4 also brings a number of gameplay tweaks.
We altered the overrun mechanics of FOBs and hideouts. They now become unspawnable when 8 soldiers are within 150m, 4 soldiers are within 100m, or 2 soldiers are within 50m. They will remain overrun for 30 seconds, and become spawnable 90 seconds after being built.
For the Insurgency gamemode, civilian medics will now be considered as helping the insurgency, as will civilians that build deployable assets or use their shovel. The spawn point on unknown caches has also been removed.
On AAS, you can no longer hold a flag while attacking. Now if you don't have at least twice as many players as the enemy on the flag, it will return towards neutral. We also fixed players being considered as capturing a flag in situations they shouldn't, e.g. when wounded.
On a more technical note, as some of you may know: Gameplay Coding in PR:BF2 happens through the Python programming language. With help from the community, we have upgraded this language to a much more recent version - making lots of gameplay coding more efficient and stable. This might also allow us to introduce some new features that we couldn't previously. Our programmers are very excited about this upgrade! We also re-wrote large parts of our code base to improve and optimize it. For our admins we are also introducing several new admin commands to make their job a lot easier.
Support Project Reality!
As you can tell by now, 1.4 is a very significant update. We hope you will enjoy it after the long wait. And Project Reality is far from done, we can't wait to start working on future updates! We would also like to thank those who have donated in recent months! The Project Reality Team develops this modification completely free of charge for its community to download and play. If you would like to show your support, please consider donating to our team. These funds go directly towards website expenses, including bandwidth, hosting, domain registration, and maintenance. We never use donation funds to directly pay team members.
For more information, please feel free to join us on our IRC channel or visit our public forums to discuss this and other news. Also, be sure to connect to Project Reality through Facebook to stay informed and receive up to the minute updates, the occasional leaked bit of information, and more! See you on the battlefield!
- The Project Reality Team