- screenoverlay now switches off instead of "null" to prevent a bug where some other mapper decided it would be a good idea to put their custom material file into the raw materials folder while also calling it "0", causing the overlay to switch to that material which could be fucky
- adjusted trigger-spheres around JACK to be kosher to Hammer++ - opening the vmf of the map should no longer shower you in error messages.
- Updates to the "JACK in Base!" Alarm System:
-- Now ONLY activates if the enemy carries/throws the JACK into your base. You can freely move into your base with the JACK and it will not trigger the alarm or announcer voice line.
-- Picking up the JACK while the alarm is active in your base will disable it, too.
This should make the alarm more reliable and reduce the amount of times it plays drastically.
- Added visual effect on user screen border whenever they are under the effects of the JACK! It's a green/purple one, similar to the visuals of the JACK beam itself.
This should much more reliably inform players when they are in the JACK Carriers range and under the JACK buffs, as players previously didn't notice and as such didn't take advantage of the buffs.
- Added new "flank" on the left (blu looks to red) side of mid and closed off the tunnel with a gate:
This small room is lit by a truck inside the tunnel and also contains a small HP pack.
Mid was perceived as a bit too chokey by players which led to a few gameplay issues. This "Viaduct_pro-esque" flank tunnel should help with that without causing mid to scatter players. I am somewhat skeptical of this, but we'll see if it positively impacts gameplay.
- Replaced the truck with the flatbed with a dumptruck, granting players a bit more space on mid
- Added pipes to jump onto to reach left high-ground. Should allow spies to reach engineers building there now.
- More Optimization work
- Various smaller visual tweaks and fixes
- Various clipping done to prevent the JACK from getting stuck in specific places
- Reduced JACK HP heal rate 10 > 8
- Reduced JACK Fire rate Bonus 25% > 20%
- Reduced JACK Reload rate Bonus 30% > 25%
(Sentry Resistance remains @ 40%)
- Adjusted Announcer countdown/up voice lines to be a bit more consistent
- You will no longer instantly respawn in case a team scores during Overtime
- Minor visual fixes and improvements
- The point at which the ball hits the wall when spawned is now broken
- Updated MOTD image
- Increased loser speed boost by 1 second
Long story short, it seems like the map now both plays well and runs well on most machines..
If nothing else comes up and I remain satisfied with the layout and gameplay, I will probably move onto a release. And with that, the funny PASS Time+ template that contains all the crackhead logic.
EDIT: Recent tests have shown that despite the obscene amount of power given to players, they *still* cannot deal with Sentries. Looks like this will stay in the oven for a bit longer.
One day I will upload the map without uploading an Xa version after 6 hours. One day.
All this update does is:
- Mention the Sentry Resistance in the MOTD image
- Increase the Sentry Resistance from 20% to 40%!!
The most important rule in testing things like this is to test in extremes. These usually give you better data to work with and generally give you a better impression of what the changes actually do. Then adjust these extremes - if they even turn out to be extremes in the first place.
It's worth mentioning again that this resistance does not apply to the JACK Carrier themself - only to their comrades. You can't use this sentry resistance to walk past a sentry and score - the buffs are exclusive to their bodyguards.
Goal is per usual to lower the threshold of coordination required to make a play.
- Increased reload speed buff of the JACK: 20% > 30%
- Added new radial buff for the JACK: 20% Sentry damage resistance.
An experimental change that tries to account for the lack of traditional uber pushes you see in gamemodes like Payload due to the nature of PASS Time's back and forth/uncoordinated pub setting.
This 20% damage resistance should make it a bit easier for players to push up against sentries while still allowing Sentries to be a dominating part of defense.
- Players under the influence of the JACK will now receive a team-colored ring effect under them. This should make it much easier to tell when an enemy is sauced up compared to the dim green trail the JACK usually emits.
- Added 2 new Tips.
- Visual improvements to the vent sticking out of the hoodoo.
- Minor visual fixes and improvements.
- Reduced size of the ammo pack on the ground in the goal zone from medium to small. Engineers should still have 2 medium packs available to them, but as it turns out having 3 of them available made it so it's easy to sustain 3 engineers. And even considering the new buffs, this still was pretty rough for players.
B6 unfortunately had a bug in my implementation of the new "Buff Sphere" - the trigger I was using really didn't like me doing DisableAndEndTouch and would, under still unknown circumstances, crash the server by entering an infinite loop internally.
Is this crash fixed now? I honestly can't tell. I changed the method of implementation and generally cleaned up a lot of I/O clutter/Optimized when some logic is fired.
Hopefully this map does not crash anymore.
The crash fix isn't the only thing that comes with this update, though! There are some bigger changes in here, too.
- Replaced TTS WillFromAfar with a real man: The incredible @MegapiemanPHD has lend his voice for the role of the PASS Time Announcer!
This includes the Announcer voice lines (Countdown, match start etc.) as well!
This version is kind of a test flight. I don't doubt that there are a few files where the mixing isn't perfect, but this is what testing is for.
He will also be part of the planned PASS Time+ Logic pack, which should release soon(tm).
- Extended mid displacement ramp upwards and forwards a bit + removed the small rock that previously used to be there. You can now reach the defensive top area from the ramp and also the bonus goal in case you are attacking.
- Removed the vertical jump pad that used to be on top of the mid ramp.
Players accidentally activated and were generally confused about it's presence. The space can now be used to actually stand and fight on and this also prevents snipers from doing the thing where they use it to peek over the entire map.
- Added a crackhead side-ways vent on the right (blu -> red) hoodoo.
This is a pretty crazy one and has a *ton* of applications which should make for some fun moments. The vent will launch you horizontally on the left (blu -> red) hoodoo and can be activated by:
- simply walking off the right (blu -> red) hoodoo
- jumping into it from the mid slope
This allows defenders to rotate to the top-rope from the right and low ground *much* faster and in a pretty fun way.
With a bit of strafing, you can also use it to get to pretty much all high ground areas in your goal area.
Attackers can also use it as means to catapult themselves into the Run-In or for a drive-by Throw-In goal.
Because it's pretty high up and horizontal, it does not impede on gameplay space either. You won't activate it if you try to jump under it, too.
- Changed and "opened" the gates of the right (blu -> red) flank. This now gives attackers two routes from that flank into the enemy base and also offers a different angle to attack various sentry spots.
This shouldn't re-introduce the "rat" problem of people constantly sneaking into your base as the defenders have all the visibility they could ask for into that flank + the entry from mid to that flank being relatively open.
- Disabled and changed the volume of a variety of official PASS Time SFX to reduce audio clutter. You will no longer get your ears blasted away by the Bonus Goal Unlocked sound, for example.
- Disabled the majority of lamp collisions.
- Redid top playerclipping off the rockwall along the right (looking from blu to red) wall. Should be a lot less likely to get you stuck if you are trying to go for fancy plays.
- Raised playerclip ceiling.
- Sanitized Tips - reduced them to only PASS Time specific ones/generally more useful ones.
Last playtest was a pretty valuable lesson in confirming my initial belief: PASS Time as a gamemode *needs* a JACK buff.
Without the buff, pacing has slowed down massively, and avg. round duration went back to your usual "round goes to time". And while I don't doubt that the usual 6 designated PASS Time Engineers had a lot to do with it, older demos which had the usual engineer action but included the minicrit buff still had way faster pacing.
I can recognize the problems and frustrations the minicrit buff brings, though. As such, I will not bring it back. Instead, I think I have found a more reliable and better alternative that keeps the pros without most of the cons.
- The JACK Carrier will now buff both Fire Rate and Reload Time of teammates around them by 20%! This is a pretty powerful offensive buff that doesn't come with the downsides of minicrits; fall-off remains intact and someone dipping into the zone for 1 sec to fire a single shot will no longer gain any notable benefits. This means no laser heavies and no soldiers one shotting you because they just happened to dip into the zone for a second.
To really benefit from these new buffs, players will have to remain in the zone, as it just reduces the damage downtime. And given players no longer skip out on fall-off, it should be a lot less disorientating to fight against while still offering a powerful advantage to the JACK Carrier team.
The other good news is that I can adjust this value with laser accuracy - if it turns out to be too weak/too strong, I can adjust it number by number. Unlike the minicrit buff which was a binary "take all of these benefits or drop them punk."
The increased fire/reload also helps against sentries, which is always a good thing in PASS Time.
Unfortunately due to the way this attribute is implemented internally, the Sticky Launcher, Grenade Launcher and any and all melee weapons do not benefit from the fire rate buff. I have emailed eric about this, might get lucky.
- The JACK Carrier will now offer Ammo regeneration to teammates around them! This is more of an afterthought to guarantee that players can keep pushing if they have the JACK and don't have to take a pitstop for ammo. This does not grant metal.
- Reverted JACK Carrier heal rate change back to 10HP/s.
- Increased custom JACK buffs radius ever so slightly. The custom buffs were a bit too small before and didn't cover the in-game range. Should be much more accurate now.
- More Optimization work. As is tradition toying with Occluders is dangerous stuff - so as always, let me know how perf is.
- Fixed and adjusted various minor visual issues.
- Added prop on the small building top on the left of mid (looking from blu) - this should allow Scouts to fully climb to the high ground.
- Updated PASS Time tips
- Updated MOTD Image to account for the new adjustments
- Gave the edges of the broken building a visual overhaul in an attempt to make it a lot more convincing: