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Field Report 42: Picket Patrol Released!

8/3 - 2019

Hello and welcome to the forty-second Field Report!

Hello everyone and welcome back to our field report news segment. The past 3 months following the Steam Early Access launch in early December have been extremely busy for us at Campfire Games.

We have released 16 alpha updates in the timeframe, focusing on many of the user reported issues such as long loading times, admin functionality, performance and stability issues, updates to the auto-ban system to weed out the worst team killers and much more.

While a great number of issues have been fixed there is also a great number of them remaining. We will continue to iron out bugs, work on performance optimizations and server stability throughout the development of the game.

Currently, we’re undertaking the big task of rewriting the code handling network connections in an effort to resolve connectivity issues.

The past 16 updates have also come with new content in the form of a new skirmish area, a wintery drill camp map, end game events and a benchmark in the game. We’re currently working on several content-related tasks such as the South Mountain battlefield, a radial menu for officers in order to give them a wider selection of available orders, game systems needed in order to implement player controlled artillery, artillery branch specific uniforms and assets and much more.

But enough of what we’ve been up to and what is coming to the game in the near future. Today, we’re excited to be launching the 2nd game mode of War of Rights: Picket Patrol!

A new game mode: Picket Patrol

We have developed this new game mode based on the feedback we’ve been getting for the last few months from our veteran players primarily, asking for a less guided tactical experience than Skirmishes and instead seeking a much more open ended game mode, where no engagement is going to be entirely identical - not as a replacement to Skirmishes but rather something different to co-exist with it.

The above feedback is what we focused on when designing Picket Patrol - we hope the mode will provide our players with something quite different to Skirmishes as it is our belief that different game modes need to drastically differ in design in order to justify the need for several game modes at all.

We’d like to thank you all for your feedback, old and new, and we hope you will continue submitting it in order to help us grow the game.

Now, let’s get into the specifics of Picket Patrol!

Picket Patrol features

Picket Patrol is, as the name suggests, our take on being on picket duty for two armies in close proximity to each other. Pickets were commonly used to spot possible enemies, engage if needed and warning the army of any likely danger, often done so by going on guard patrols.

The main objective of Picket Patrol is simply to kill the enemy force you’ll encounter. The round ends when all enemies are killed or the timer runs out. Whoever has the most kills when the timer ends, wins. The teams kill count is hidden until the end of the round where a winner is declared.

Players only have 1 life per Picket Patrol round and will be able to spectate their team members for the remainder of the round should they die.

Due to the mode being a single life mode, formation requirements will be stricter than those found in the Skirmishes game mode, not allowing players to be “out of line” for more than 30 seconds.

When a new player joins the server. The player will automatically be put into the spectator camera for the duration of the ongoing round.

If less than 12 players are present on the server, the formation restrictions will automatically be disabled and new players joining the server will always be able to spawn once in the ongoing match, regardless of how much time is left.

The initial version of Picket Patrol in War of Rights features 11 patrol areas - those of you having spent a lot of time on the drill camp servers might have a small advantage here as the 11 patrol areas are all situated on the drill camp map.

Each patrol area has roughly 7 team spawn points placed in various positions in the area. Whatever team spawn point is selected for your team (and for the enemy’s) is entirely random. This ensures a truly different experience each time you play as no teams will know where the enemy is located nor if the best strategic option is to find a defensive spot and wait it out or actively hunting down the enemy picket patrol in a much more offensive manner.

The time of day as well as the weather will also be randomized at the start of each new Picket Patrol round - expect to be on patrol in all kinds of weather and in all kinds of hours.

The openness and the randomness of the game mode will ensure a very different experience compared to Skirmishes. Sometimes you might not get any proper contact with the enemy going before the timer runs out as you will have spawned far from each other and your movements might have been off or one side may decide to hide away in a farmhouse somewhere for the entire match, etc. While at other times you will be greatly surprised just how close the enemy is to you - all in all the above should result in a more varied round-to-round game mode.

As today marks the first alpha test of the new mode with more than a handful of players, things are most certainly going to be tweaked based on your feedback - patrol areas might get increased or reduced in size, spawn points may be moved further or closer to each other and the round timer may be increased or decreased.

We look forward to be experiencing Picket Patrol with you all and to your feedback!

That’s all for now. Until next time, have a good one!