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HELL LET LOOSE
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We’re now seven months into our Early Access period and we’re hugely excited to bring you Update 5. At a changelist length of 13 pages it’s one of our largest so far. We also feel that it’s one of the most important ones we’ll do to better encourage communication and teamwork within Hell Let Loose.
Below you’ll find the major content additions, the full changelist, some known issues and then an idea of what’s to come. Next week we’ll be releasing our updated roadmap for U6 and U7 so you can know what to expect in the short term. Due to community feedback, we’ll also be putting together a long-term roadmap, as we know many new players aren’t sure of what our full vision for Hell Let Loose will look like.
As always, we’re excited to read your feedback. Hell Let Loose is shaped by the community and we’re always keen to implement fixes and changes suggested.
We want to thank you for your patience, generosity and friendliness in the way you interact with us as a dev team on all our channels. It makes communication really easy if we know that we can have a friendly conversation with the community about changes, fixes and issues. We’re also very thankful for the positive way the community welcomes new players and relates to one another.
While we know new content and features are exciting, we also want to assure you that over the coming months our focus will be turning to optimisation and performance. As we bring in huge overhauls and engine upgrades we’ll be profiling the systems and broader game to make sure we increase FPS across the board. During the last four weeks we’ve begun upgrading some internal workflows and systems to enable us to optimise far easier. We’re excited to spend time focusing on delivering you a smoother and more performant experience.
If you want to find out more about what’s to come, we go into some detail after the Update notes. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the full changelist!
Purple Heart Lane map with both Warfare and US Offensive modes
Purple Heart Lane is a wet, brutal battle down a single road and across four bridges.
Warfare sees the battle unfolding under stormy skies in torrential rain, while the US Offensive mode is clearer in a sun-shower.
We’ve worked hard to push the photo-real quality of Purple Heart Lane, as well as create an even cover density and level of micro-terrain to make fighting across the flatter landscape more fun and rewarding. We expect that control of bridges and crossings will be key to pushing across the battlefield.
PHL will also be the last Norman countryside map that we produce for a while (we are not upset about moving away from fields and hedges!), as we look to flesh out new battlefields with different styles of combat and environmental challenges. While we’re producing new maps, we’ll also be going back to overhaul the older maps – so that each one feels consistent in its visual quality, optimisation and variety of gameplay.
You can read more about Purple Heart Lane here.
During the last couple of years we’ve learned a huge amount about the Hell Let Loose level design process. Initially we used to place every single prop by hand, with each artist working in isolation. Over the past four months we’ve spent large amounts of time revisiting our workflows in order to achieve much better consistency of quality, variety of gameplay, greater detail and all wrapped up in a faster workflow. We’re very excited to show you what we’re cooking up for the future!
Overhauled Non-verbal Communication Systems (Markers and Pings)
We now have all new non-verbal communication systems and totally overhauled markers and icons across the game. To mark locations, simply hold MMB to open up a radial menu. To quickly PING a location, click MMB. Otherwise, you can open up your map and click RMB to open up a drop down menu. We’ve spent a huge amount of time thinking about the way the markers relate to other units, roles and the Commander. For more detailed information you can always read the dev briefing in which we outline the design behind the system here.
In addition, we’ve added an array of new options to allow each player to tailor their visual experience to show as much or as little information as they like – or in the manner that they prefer.
- Hide markers with HUD (press T to show and hide it)
- Marker display duration
- PING! display duration
- HUD display mode
- HUD display duration
Added Sherman Jumbo 75mm and 76mm variants
Sherman Jumbo 75mm “Cobra King”
The 75mm is the only tank so far to have smoke shells added to its loadout. The German tanks will soon be supplied with on-vehicle smoke canisters. Use the smoke shells carefully to block lines of sight in order to better manoeuvre against the enemy AT positions. We are being careful with giving many tanks smoke shells due to optimisation load from hundreds of smoke shells being fired.
The 75mm main gun produces more shrapnel than the 76mm – making for easier infantry kills, but will struggle slightly against the thickest armor of the Tiger.
A true assault tank, the strongest armor is at the front. Make sure to stay at the front of the column in order to protect your less armored companions.
Sherman Jumbo 76mm “Nice n’ Easy”
The 76mm is equipped with the same armor as the 75mm variant, with the key difference being the higher penetration power of its main gun.
Best serves as an anti-tank platform and is the best counter to the Tiger and Panther, as it’s main cannon has an easier time of penetrating both of them when compared to the 75mm.
Like the 75mm, the 76mm is a true assault tank. Try to stay front-on and mitigate clear shots of the side or rear.
A note on vehicles:
The Sherman Jumbos signal a change in the way we’ll be adding new vehicles to the game. Previously, we’ve been adding a base amount of vehicles to each side with a rough balance applied. We’ve only had five or so different types of tanks – which has meant that the starting lineup has always been relatively contained and similar across all the maps.
However, as we continue to add a large variety of vehicles, we designed the Commander role specifically to house the additional variants we’d be introducing. Therefore, as we start to introduce more and more unique vehicles and variants to the game, we’ll be tailoring the initial lineup of each map and gamemode to better reflect the design and historicity of the battle (this is a mixture of historical account and asymmetrical balance), but at the same time enable the Commander to spend Fuel in order to spawn new or different variants onto the battlefield should resources permit.
The desired outcome of this is that each team starts each battle with a balanced but asymmetrical lineup of vehicles that more closely match the historical account of the battle, but that the Commander can work with their Armoured units to spawn specific additional variants in order to turn the tide of battle and enable organised teams to play specific strategies.
Moving into Update 6, you’ll start to see the Commander vehicle-specific abilities come online as we start to tighten up the vehicle roster and widen the Commander’s functionality.
- Commanders can now dismantle friendly Garrisons
- Added an option to hard enable HUD with T (as opposed to having it pop up all the time) – allowing for fast hide and reveal.
- Make Server Browser sort by Player Count & Ping by Default
- Increase Map/Kick vote cooldown times – this is to immediately cut down on the endless spam. We will be reworking this feature drastically in the following Updates as it is rarely useful and needs a lot of refining.
- Drastically increased server browser refresh speed.
- Experience V2 has been implemented, resulting in increased experience gained across the board – with many of the slower leveling roles having their actions balanced to earn more experience. We will continue to watch this, but our intention is to significantly increase the gain compared to our first iteration (which was too slow and too punishing for many roles).
- Added new German “NCO” Officer Loadout
- Added new US “NCO” Officer Loadout
- Added new German “Veteran” Assault Loadout
- Added new German “Veteran” Automatic Rifleman Loadout
- Added new US “Veteran” Automatic Rifleman Loadout
- Players are awarded significant exp for being revived – as opposed to giving up. The intention here is to reward players for being patient in waiting for a Medic.
- Fixed significant armour issues eg. the German Panther tank can be one-shot by a US Sherman medium tank.
- Added ‘Reset Hints’ button to options menu
- Additional speculative fix for exp bug. We expect this to solve it but will continue to monitor.
- Fixed: Users can edit the ‘Engine.ini’ config file to remove some shadows and all FX
- Player’s camera now shakes when going prone.
- Consolidated and made uniform / weapon and gadget slots across all roles.
- Added Stuart Light Tank to Foy Warfare
PLEASE NOTE – Our experience system always saves your accumulated experience during a battle. This means that if you leave early before the battle ends, it will save the experience you’ve earned so far.
Currently, the notification when you leave indicates that all you will lose are your end of match bonuses. We will work to make this notice clearer, as many players believe instead that they lose ALL experience if they leave a match early – which is not the case.
- Removed Game Analytics. Many players will see FPS and stutter issues fixed by this.
- Re-work sandbag walls to remove internal geometry and bring within poly budget.
- Fixed: Spawning on a Garrison in a fully populated server, in a busy area, can cause a locked frame rate
- New sound engine has been integrated and tested thoroughly. From here we will start to overhaul and polish sound and mix treatment within the game (this is similar to an Unreal Engine upgrade – now that it’s done we can begin working with the new tools). This allows for better directionality, clearer highs and lows, location-specific sounds.
- Integrated SFX into the mapping process so that all maps will now have area specific ambient and prop specific sound (fire burns, flies buzz etc)
- All bullet casing eject audio has been overhauled to be sensitive to the surface the casing is dropping on, as well as new assets and where it sits in the mix.
- All tanks now have a separate fire sound for the interior positions of the vehicles
Shells now have proper flyby sounds as they fly past you – each according to the weight/caliber of the shell.
- New audio now plays when your vehicle is being repaired.
- New gravel footstep and bullet hit sounds
- Fixed: the frontend’s music can be heard skipping soundtracks
- All new player role icons
- All new spawn location icons
- Overhauled deployment screen key
- Overhauled Create Unit screen
- Added new marker placement radial menu (hold MMB)
- Added quick ping function (Click MMB)
- Overhauled ability to mark map directly (RMB opens up menu when clicking on map)
- Overhauled view team and view personal buttons on final screen
- Redesigned deploy button.
- Redesigned artillery icons (this treatment will be given to the rest of the emplaced weapons we add, as well as current ones – such as AT guns)
- Animated spawn point icons
- Adjusted Commendation messaging to make it much more obvious (per community feedback):
– Increase Commendation time by 10 seconds
– Place an explanatory line of text at the top of the Commendation screen so that people know what to do.
– Show who Commended you.
- We now hide unoccupied seats in seat nameplates (increased work on vehicle nameplates is to come)
- Commander interface appearance has been overhauled
- Adjusted look of Barracks UI
- Redesigned most inventory icons.
- Redesigned bandage/morphine prompt
- Redesigned deploy weapon prompt
- Redesigned enter vehicle prompt
- Redesigned all vehicle position icons
- Created unique icon for Heavy Tanks
- Added Early Access disclaimer on boot
- Added social links to landing screen
- Fixed: the text format used for the Outpost, Garrison and HQ tool tips are inconsistent
- Fixed: the “Unit Member” icon found on the in-game map legend does not match the icon used on the map itself
- Fixed: [Omaha] the first strong point icon is misaligned on the UI
- Fixed: In the US Barracks, the Grenade and the Smoke Grenade icons have scaling issues
- Fixed: After the user has finished performing the animation of bandaging or reviving, the heal/revive button prompt will briefly show again
- Fixed: The keybindings for switching seats is found in the ‘Common’ keybindings
- Fixed: All tanks display “1” as the keybind for their shell types
- Fixed: When a player is unable to be muted, an empty tooltip will appear when hovering beside their name on the scoreboard
- Fixed: Inconsistent Icon Placement for US Helmets unlocked below Role Level 10
- Fixed: Map Player Icons scale inconsistently with map zoom
- Fixed: The Tiger tank map icon doesn’t scale correctly
- Fixed: US resources can be observed after the user has joined the server, but before they have joined a team
- Fixed: The player will see a message that states “No Bandages” if they are killed by an explosion while injured
- Fixed: “+0,000” is briefly displayed before the experience calculation begins
- Fixed: Attempting to enlarge the map’s key for the first time in a server results in the key to quickly enlarge and shrink
- Fixed: Currently equipped cosmetics are not highlighted while on the ‘Barracks’ screen
- Fixed: If a player is kicked from a unit, they are still shown as part of the unit they were kicked from on the scoreboard.
- Fixed: Make the unit prefix on the voip notification better spaced and larger and more obvious.
- Fixed: Foy HUD Compass is noticeably off set
- When you mouse over a cosmetic option it will now preview on your character.
- Fixed: Unrealistic movement of flying cockroaches
- Fixed: The player can observe the horizon reflecting off the inside handles of the drivers view port while inside a Tiger tank
- Fixed: In the Barracks, multiple helmets are very low resolution with the Low Video Preset.
- Changed the main menu background lighting and look.
- Fixed: The LOD of the Heer Winter coat noticeably changes once within 6 meters.
- Fixed: Stretched polygons are visible when the German LMG wearing the Heer Summer Uniform goes into prone, critical or fatal stance
- Fixed: The German Commander’s coat animation appears to reset when switching from a weapon
- Fixed: The US Melton Winter uniform, German Commander’s coat, and Heer Winter uniform gets stuck to the front of the player after going prone
- Fixed: The US Anti-Tank’s rocket bag on their back stretches depending on where they’re aiming
- Fixed: Shadow incorrectly baked on German Anti-Tank role’s hand within the Barracks
- Fixed: In the Barracks, multiple Roles have a clipping issue on the crotch with the Heer Winter Uniform
- Fixed: Observing the German Commander’s coat while he is in the prone position results in an animation issue
- Fixed: Heads that use the winter headscarf will clip through some German helmets
- Fixed: In the Barracks, the Allies Assault’s backpack is stretched when the Summer Uniform is equipped
- Fixed: In FPP, when a player switches from certain stances or vaults while looking directly downwards, their equipment moves to the left briefly
- Fixed: [Omaha] The propeller on the Higgins Boats does not appear to be animated
- Fixed: Lowered loading screen progress widget
- Fixed: Character models will not cast a shadow when looking at them at a distance with Binoculars or a Sniper Scope but all helmets will.
- Fixed: Players can observe a graphical issue with the Bazooka in FPP when vaulting over objects
- Fixed: Backface culling observed on the right hand in FPP when vaulting with the M1 Carbine
- New Assault Vest uniform for the American forces – we were going to implement the US Airborne, but community feedback led to us looking at how we may better implement this from a game design perspective ;).
- Fixed: Users would be booted out of the queue (and the queue was reset) when a game would end). Users now stay in queue and join the server as expected after the map transitions
- Fixed: The player character is seen to climb up in air and teleport to their destination, when climbing a ledge.
- Fixed: If players are killed during a climb/mount animation the player camera will be locked to 180 degree rotation on respawn
- Fixed: The ‘Team Killed’ notification will sometimes dismiss itself through no input from the user
- Fixed: Application can become unresponsive during the transition from the Enlist screen to a server while minimizing the window
- Fixed: Player can clip through part of a log pile asset while prone, allowing them to see through the object
- Fixed: A particular couch asset reflects the sky on Low and Medium graphical presets
- Fixed: The Tiger Tank wreck has a small gap in the panel on the turret where players can see and shoot through
- Fixed: Players will result in having stuttered and inaccurate collision when exiting a tank that is at an angle
- Fixed: The Axis Helmets Icon Box automatically scrolls back to the currently selected helmet
- Fixed: In-game hints are being reset after the user closes the game
- Fixed: Placing the cursor between the third and fourth row of helmets on the German Sniper role violently shakes the helmet list
- Fixed: Border highlights for cosmetics will not appear correctly if the user traverses over the icons quickly
- Fixed: Pasting large amounts of text into the search bar on the Enlist menu will cause a severe performance drop
- Fixed: On the scoreboard, there is no tooltip present when hovering over the Mute icon
- Fixed: On the scoreboard, when a player is muted and the icon is greyed-out, it can be difficult to see
- Fixed: When headings or servers are highlighted on the ‘Enlist’ screen, there is no audio cue to accompany their highlight
- Fixed: The player cannot initially build constructibles if the player equips the watch/wrench and opens up the UI in quick succession
- Fixed: Tank coaxial machine guns do not automatically reload after resupplying until the player swaps seat or exits and reenters the tank.
- Fixed: A player that gives a Commendation to a user that already has 5 Commendations will use up their Commendation
- Fixed: Initially joining an Infantry unit results in the ‘Rifleman’ description to be missing
- Fixed: The cosmetic helmets list does not refresh to the top after changing tabs or menus
- Fixed: If the player begins using a bandage on themselves while prone and stands up during the animation, it will end the bandaging animation
- Fixed: On the loadouts screen, the Anti-Tank’s wrench displays the opposite team’s tooltip
- Fixed: The ‘Redeploy’ option is not greyed out on the post-match screen
- Fixed: Players are unable to reposition Commander abilities slightly left or right of the map icon
- Fixed: Players are unable to reposition the Commander’s Munition abilities on the predicted path when it is going certain directions
- Fixed: On the deploy screen if the player changes the loadout then selects another role before deploying, they will be given the incorrect loadout
- Fixed: Incorrect amount of Resources lost by the Defending team once a full column/row is lost
- Fixed: While performing an overhead grenade throw, pressing the button for the under head throw results in the grenade immediately being thrown
- Fixed: Joining a Recon or Armor unit without a Leadership role puts the player as the Leader, however without any leadership functionality
- Fixed: Multiple windows can be produced by repeatedly clicking the button to kick a player from the unit
- Fixed: [QL][Enlist]– The banned players can join the server queue
- Fixed: The player is unable to select Commander role after a map change if the previous Commander has not yet loaded into the map.
- Fixed: Users can create empty Units
- Fixed: Once a player has been kicked from a unit, the player can create empty units and subsequently deploy into active gameplay as an empty unit
- Fixed: The second US smoke grenade cannot be ‘cooked’ and is immediately thrown
- Fixed: Cooking a German grenade while running results in the running animation to play in the hand holding the grenade
- Fixed: The Walther P38’s magazine can be seen flying into the player’s hand during the TPP reload animation
- Fixed: Inconsistent animation between commander and unit leader when using the watch/pocket watch to place a garrison
- Fixed: There are clipping issues with the cables attached to the Heer Panzer Cap from a TPP
- Fixed: The German sniper has incorrect TPP sprinting animations when running forward-right/left
- Fixed: The German Sniper has incorrect TPP walking animations in certain directions
- Fixed: Destroying a tank just before a map change from a map vote may cause multiple users to crash