It is time for another developer blog - and boy, do we have some good stuff for you!
First, I would like to announce that the PC update is pretty darn close - but not quite ready. We’ve been doing internal testing with select community members behind closed doors, and that testing has proven to be really, really, really fantastic - we’ve found bugs that we would have never found in a thousand years thanks to your help. We are eternally grateful for the community’s contribution to Hawken. We have come to the general consensus that the PC build still needs a slight bit of polish, and we’re working hard on polish items that we deem appropriate for the PC relaunch.
We still plan on launching the PC update within this month, however the date is fuzzy (and not of the bunnies kind).
We do not intend to change the date from this month.
There’s a 33.33333% chance (repeating, of course) that it will be sooner, later, or on time.
We would like to also mention pre-emptively that you may want to stop using custom configurations when we launch the big PC update. You won’t get in trouble if you use these however, you may experience issues on launch day with any settings that are in your configuration files from community configurations as a lot of the settings are crash happy. We have been working with the community to fix a few of them, but in the slight chance you use a custom config and experience crashes, that’s likely the cause.
We plan on removing the PS4 and XB1 forum logins today. The goal is to have players only using a PlayHawken account to post on the forums. As you may have noticed, the XB1/PS4 forums are merged into the general populace, and we want to hear from everyone equally in our fantastic community.
Now that we’ve explained what we are doing with the PC update (probably the whole reason you read this post, arguably) it’s time for some good ol’ fashioned previews.
The UI Revamp
You heard that right - that seafoam green tint is going away, and is being replaced with a nice blue that’s better on the eyes, better on your PC’s CPU/GPU, and just in general better.
Additionally, the featured screen has been revamped. The tiles are in a better spot, and generally more readable. The background cinematic of the garage has returned.
The Mech Grid is now the default UI element instead of the Mech Web. This is going to coincide with a change which we will explain later in this post.
Here’s a few screenshots of the UI:
Ranked PVP + Competitive Ranking Leaderboard
Upon logging into HAWKEN for the first time after the update, you will see an icon in the top right, near your XP, Emblem, and Pilot Ranking. This will remain greyed out until you play a PvP match and earn a Seasonal Placement Rating. This rating will replace your general matchmaking rating for the duration of the season.
Upon completion of that first match, you will be ranked among all other HAWKEN players. There are quite a few tiers that you can eventually rank up to based on your performance in matches.
You will obtain rewards for competing in a season - it’s not just for sport!
An emblem is available for participating in Ranked PVP Season 1, and there are additionally end of season rewards that you will be able to obtain for placing high in ranking. Who knows what that reward might be?
First Time Player Experience
We have made a ton of adjustments to the experience when you first log into the game. You’ll be greeted by a familiar face named Laila. She’s taken some time off from the VR Training to spend some time with the newer pilots. We’ve provided helpful dialog, tips, additional pro-tips and other goodies for new players when they first get into the game (Free Vanguard anyone?).
In addition to this, new players should find it easier to get in the game and start playing. We’ve removed the match countdown timer and now instantly spawn new players in their Mech where they are bombarded with cool information about how to pilot it.
There’s also something really cool in the pre-match area for all game modes, but we’re not going to spoil it…
HDR Tone-Mapping and new Visual FX
We have implemented HDR into HAWKEN! The game should, in general, look better and feel better. It should feel more vibrant in light areas, and you should see some more detail in darker areas. There’s also some new bullet effects for hitscan weapons, which are really rad too!
Co-Op Team Deathmatch adjustments
Have you ever experienced someone just not readying up for a game, standing there AFK? We have also hated that! Co-Op Team Deathmatch games will now start automatically when a player joins, and begin the ‘blue forcefield’ state immediately. No more waiting; just fun!
Quickmatch + G1 Mech Experience/HC Boosts
Every day, experience a new gamemode with the Quickmatch functionality, which provides a boost to experience or HC. The Quickmatch bonus changes daily, so be sure to check it out!
G1 Mechs additionally gain bonuses to HC and/or XP. This is for those die-hards who want to impress corporations for extra payouts. G2s are still locked by progressing the G1s.
All The G1 Mechs Bundle (!!!)
Coming sometime after this content update launches. You will be able to get this bundle and receive EVERY SINGLE G1 Mech, current and future. This does not include the G2 variants of the Mechs. Bundle price to be determined.
Bugfixes, Adjustments, and Tweaks:
- Thrust Vectoring and various movement speed abilities are now working again that were once broken. (such as the Raider’s ability. Better get ready to go fast again!)
- Armor Fusor has experienced a considerable nerf to the percentage based values which puts it more in line with the PC version of Armor Fusor.
- Power Surger has experienced a buff by converting it to a percentage value, and now applies to run, boost, and dodge speed.
- There is now a “Dead Zone” slider. This allows console (or controller users in general) to adjust the ‘deadzone’ of the controller. (0-40, defaults to 20)
- Stats should sync without as much music hitching.
- Mech corpses last a little bit longer before despawning.
- Music playback should be cleaner during stats syncing, map loading, and map changing.
We’re really, really excited to bring this update out to all of our Hawken players. We’re also excited to end a 2 year drought of no new content for the PC players.
We have a lot more content on the way, and the future for Hawken looks incredible.
Feature parity is important for us. However, the PC build will generally receive updates before console builds. Console releases need to be spaced out a little more than the PC releases, partly due to the patch size and release certification testing requirements and partly due to the fact that we can iterate faster with the PC build - we want to take advantage of that since it will benefit all platforms.
This will be the last update where console comes before PC. And we’re really excited about that.
We know that ‘2017 Will Be a Great Year for Hawken’, and we promise to deliver on that. See you on the battlefield, pilots!