Greetings fellow Kindred!
This is the second part of the article series in which we will talk more about what we have learned, take a glimpse of what’s in the next update and talk about long lingering bugs that took us a bit more time to fix than we had hoped. In the previous article, we wrote about the challenges we must overcome, our takeaways from your feedback, and what we are doing to meet your expectations for the new update set for mid-July so make sure that check that one out if you haven’t done so already : https://bloodhunt.com/en-us/news/what-is-going-on-with-bloodhunt-part-one.
The Hydra Bugs
The Hydra in the legend was a many-headed beast. You know the story, chop one head off and another one appears. We use this term to explain when one bug is multiple different ones. What on the outside seems to be one thing interconnects with many other things of varying complexity.
This hydra is further complicated by the fact that important improvements to the game that we have been working on (such as the BIG RIG) have created additional dependencies for our bug-fixes, meaning that we need to release these improvements first for our fixes to have effect. Not only did we have multiple heads to deal with, but they also must be dealt with in a particular order.
The reloading issues have become more apparent after we addressed an issue with bullet hit registration. The famous “reload bug” is a part of this hydra, meaning it started showing its head more often only after we addressed the former. What made the process of attempting to solve this issue more difficult was that there was not just one cause for it, but several, including a backend to client mismatch (desync) when a reload was interrupted by the player leading to non-damaging bullets being fired when the weapon was used, as well as issues with ammunition not being synchronized properly between the client and the server leading to the server moving the bullets out of your magazine, forcing you to reload again to be able to fire again. In rare instances this could occur more than once in a row.
Without a doubt addressing this was important to us, not only based on the detrimental effects it has on our players and the competitive elements of the game, but also because of the additional issues it created.
After investigating and addressing the root causes of the problem in internal testing, we have managed to improve and verify the remaining issues to a point where the occurrence of this issue has minimal impact on the player experience. Any potential anomalies to this can swiftly be addressed in the form of hotfixes as we no longer must wait for dependencies on other components of the game to be finished.
“Red gas” Hydra
The fact that our players had experienced different versions of desynchronization of the red gas has been known to us for some time. But as it is with this type of issue, it has several causes that are intertwined. However, they are divided under two major categories
- Player taking damage despite visually being outside of the red gas
- Player taking no damage despite visually being inside of the red gas
Once more, the culprit is instances of server-client mismatch. Or put simply: the server and the client do not agree on the size and shape of the red gas border. We have improved the method which is used to send information between the client and the server. This improvement has been tested internally, and in these tests, we have not found it to recur.
In both these cases, it was not a case of simply doing smaller tweaks to remove the bugs, but partial rework to make a more robust system that is able to handle edge cases more gracefully and be less sensitive to other elements of the game being finished before we can address this one.
The testing has been looking very positive, so we feel quite confident that the summer update will show an improvement in the overall player experience.
A new way to experience Bloodhunt
One of the things many of you told us in your feedback in the various surveys and discussions about Bloodhunt was that the new player's experience can be a bit overwhelming. Once you enter a game as a new player after having completed the tutorial, even the cultists can put you out of the game quickly resulting in your demise and having to find a new match.
So we hear you, there needs to be more forgiving ways of playing the game so you can experiment with your powers and learn the game while still enjoying the gameplay. We also know that there is a large audience that is interested in Bloodhunt but not Battle Royale games.
We are therefore excited to bring you a sneak peak of a new way of playing Bloodhunt, TDM.
Team Deathmatch (BETA)
Let us start with a brief overview of what this new mode will contain:
- 8v8 (Duos)
- Unlimited respawns
- First team to reach 50 kills wins
- 5 levels (Based on sections of Prague)
- Team-specific spawning
- Timed universal ammo and loot spawns
- Max resonance at game start
We felt that 8v8 was a suitable number of players, you can enter the fight along a friend, or alone. Unlimited respawns means that you do not have to be worried about making mistakes, which means that you quickly can get back to the action and have your vengeance. But do not be careless with your unlife, you will still want your team to reach 50 kills and win before the other team does!
We are launching TDM with 5 different arenas, that are based on predetermined locations across Prague, chosen specifically for their suitability for this game mode, and they provide a good variety between them. Each arena has a spawning area for spawning, and there will be timed and random spawns of ammunition and loot within grasp.
Additionally, we wanted you to feel what it’s like to play a fully buffed vampire in this game-mode, which is why everyone will start each TDM game with max resonances. You will therefore be able to use your powers more often which is something that you seldom experience in the other game modes.
So, we believe you’re really going to be enjoying this new mode in Bloodhunt that’s coming out with the summer update.
Later, we will send out a survey where we kindly ask about your feedback on TDM and the latest update. Your feedback continues to be essential in how we will continue to develop the game.
We have improved the overall performance in the game with the summer update, which in general should give you a smoother stutter-free gameplay experience. The improvements will help reduce the occurrences of the performance indicator being displayed, which showed up even though there were little or no changes in what you as a player felt when you played the game. What should be said though is that these improvements are for DirectX12 on Windows only.
Additionally, from a technical standpoint, we have improved the caching of our Pipeline State Objects (PSOs).
What are those? You may ask.
Well think of them as a sequence of real-time events handling the graphics, and the caching of them is keeping hem around in the memory for times when they might need to be reused. This caching process previously suffered from some bugs, inefficiencies, and bloat.
But now we have improved the following:
- Bloat has been addressed, meaning going from 800,000 redundant cached PSOs to 10,000. Resulting in faster startup times.
- We fixed an issue with caching useless default value PSO’s
- We improved the speed by making sure that the same PSO is not compiled twice
- Now 75% of all the PSOs used are compiled on startup of the first game, the rest over the next few games.
- The performance indicator (the small warning icon that shows when issues appear while playing) now is more representative of actual issues, these will be less frequent as you continue to play the game.
What does this mean in practice?
You should see noticeable changes in-game with much fewer stutters, increased framerates, and overall, a much-improved sense of control of the game which helps you focus on shooting your enemies rather than losing immersion from being frustrated by the previous issues you may have experienced.
The summer update is closing in quickly
Mid-July is approaching rapidly, and we can’t wait for you to get your hands on the next update!
Also did you have a chance to check out our latest Trailer yet featuring Team Deathmatch?
Check it out here:
Oh wait! What is that? We have some nice cosmetics coming up in the next update. Here is a small tease of what you can expect:
Until next time, see you at dusk!