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Smart Weapon, Hover/Thruster Strafing, Ion Destabilizer and more!

Smart Weapons

Smart Weapons were voted top by over 14,000 players in the community ‘Quality of Life’ poll, so we got right to work and added them for this update.

  • Only weapons that can see your target will fire
  • This will prevent you wasting power on weapons that shoot parts of your own Robot
  • This will also ensure that as long as one of your weapons can see the target, that will be the weapon that will fire
  • So, no more occasions where your Rail doesn’t fire at that critical moment, or your side mounted Ion Distorters fire from the left side when your enemy is on the right
  • If you have many weapons that cannot see the target you will get reduced fire-rate and therefore reduced DPS, so building Robots well still matters
  • If you have no weapons that can see the target, they will still fire, but you will miss your target (obviously)
  • If you want full details on how the system works (under the hood), please read the notes at the very end of these patch notes

New Weapon – Ion Destabilizer

Ion Destabilizer is a mini version of the Ion Distorter

  • It is an Epic rarity weapon
  • It is mounted to a single full sized Cube like the Protoseeker, so has five connection points
  • Where the Ion Distorter fires 19 projectiles in a single shot, the Destabilizer fires 11 with the same spread
  • Its CPU cost is 145 (vs. the Distorter which is 245)

Garage Changes

  • You can now have up to 100 free Garage Bays
  • We have changed the garage widget to incorporate naming your Robot and dismantling your Robot on the thumbnail widget itself which frees up a lot of screen space
  • We have added controls so that you can re-order your Garage bays
  • We have added a setting (cog icon) to each Garage bay which allows you to set the ‘control scheme’ per Robot, i.e. between ‘Camera controls steering’ and ‘Keyboard controls steering’

Strafing Hovers and Thrusters

  • ‘Camera controls steering’ now works with both Hover Blades and Thrusters
  • So your Hovers can strafe
  • It is also possible to create strafing Copters, Rocket Sleds and Drones if you know how
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: Because Thrusters can now be ‘steered’ with the camera in the ‘Camera controls steering’ scheme, some newer users (who joined after the last update) may notice Copters and Airplanes flying strangely, to fix this simply set that Garage bays control scheme to the old ‘Keyboard controls steering’ and it will work as it did before
  • Although it is possible to create Copters that strafe using the Thrusters to steer if you build it correctly, Copters do not yet fully support the ‘Camera controls steering’ control scheme. That development is starting straight away and we hope to launch it with a future update soon.
  • We will eventually support the ‘Camera controls steering’ scheme on all movement types. If you’re curious how it would work with Wheels, Tanks, or Airplanes then think Halo 5. Remember, this is always totally optional and down to your personal preference

UX/UI Changes

  • We’ve made a few usability changes to the User Interface designed to help new users ‘learn’ Robocraft a little better and to improve the look and feel of Robocraft
  • Edit Robot now feels like a ‘game mode’, so the game feels more like a traditional game with a Main Menu where you have a mouse, and then a bunch of ‘Game Modes’ where you are in FPS controls
  • The Edit Robot, Play Game and ‘Select Robot’ buttons have been merged into one single button that simply says ‘PLAY’
  • Clicking on ‘PLAY’ brings up a simple menu with options in the order of your typical game flow, i.e. Edit Robot, then Test Robot, then Single Player, then Team Deathmatch, then Battle Arena, etc, we’ve also improved this menu visually
  • You’ll now see a very short splash screen when you transition into and out of Edit Mode, making it consistent with all other game modes, and helping to emphasize the transition from ‘mouse cursor UI’ to ‘FPS controls’

Edit Mode Changes

  • Edit Mode looks and feels a little different now too
  • We’ve removed the mouse clickable buttons on the top of the Edit Mode, so no more ‘Hold CTRL to get mouse control’
  • All shortcuts in Edit Mode still work as before, so you can still speedily get around the game if you are already adept at it
  • We’ve added two small hints for ‘Q’ and ‘T’ to help new users get into the game
  • Note, we have a full Tutorial in development, so these changes are in place of a Tutorial, they are just simple things we can do to help new users learn the game whilst we’re developing the full tutorial
  • We’ve added a new larger cooler looking CPU bar at the bottom of the screen
  • The new CPU bar shows you how much CPU you have used, and how much placing the next cube will use, showing it as red if the next cube will take you over max CPU
  • We have added build error feedback in the form of a small animated popup that informs you why you cannot place a block (i.e. if it’s overlapping, or if you’re over max CPU, or if the mirrored version is overlapping, etc.)
  • New music has been added to the Main Menu (Select Robot) mode

Other Changes

  • CTRL is now ‘Down’ as opposed to ‘SHIFT’, this is to mimic ‘Crouch’ in most FPS games where in most FPS games ‘SHIFT’ is ‘Run’, we’ll probably support ‘Run’ on ‘SHIFT’ in Edit Mode soon too
  • Tesla Blades damage reduced slightly as follows, Small Tesla – no changes (still 45000), Middle Tesla – by 7% (from 67500 to 63000), Big Tesla – by 15% (from 101250 to 88200)
  • Refined the boundaries of the Team Deathmatch Earth map to prevent players from climbing up to locations they weren’t supposed to reach
  • Respawn invulnerability duration (i.e. super heal after spawn) has been decreased in all game modes except Team Deathmatch. It’s 15 seconds in TDM and 3 seconds in The Pit and Battle Arena (inc. League Arena). Heal power was increased to help ensure invulnerability after respawn
  • We’ve added special effect and audio feedback to help you to see when a player is invulnerable after respawn, so you don’t waste power trying to kill them during this time
  • Reduced the delay when Rare items drop in crates, to speed up crate animations and help emphasize when Epic and Legendarys drop more. Note, we plan to allow you to speed up these animations and open Crates when you like in future, we just haven’t got that stuff done yet
  • We’ve added two new Holoflags for Turkey and Denmark
  • [NEW] The new key for pings during a battle is E by default – This shouldn’t affect existing players
  • [NEW] The new control for ‘go down’ is Ctrl instead of shift – This shouldn’t affect existing players
  • [NEW] Players who previously selected “Keyboard controls steering” will have all their bays set to that, and can change to “Camera controls steering” from each individual garage bay, and vise versa.

Smart Weapons: Under the Hood

  • Each weapon tests (using a raycast) if it can see the target based on its current facing direction
  • If there is a part of your own Robot in the way or if that weapon cannot reach the angle desired then it ‘fails’ the test, and it is skipped and the next weapon performs the same test
  • This all happens in a single frame in round Robin style until we find a weapon that passes the tests and that weapon then fires
  • In order to ensure that building still matters re. good weapon placement, each weapon that ‘fails the test’ and is ‘skipped’ applies a penalty to the cooldown of the next weapon that fires, and this penalty can accumulate over several shots
  • So, the result is that the overall fire-rate drops the more weapons you have that cannot see the target
  • In some cases compromising a little DPS (through lower fire-rate) for more build options will be OK, for example an Ion Distorter of Laser Leviathan mounted sideways on each side might be a more viable option now, and putting a couple of SMG’s on the underside of your Hover for extra redundancy won’t penalize your anti-air fire-rate too much, but putting 5 Laser Wasps on each side of a large cube shaped Robot would reduce the DPS too much to be viable or sensible
  • What you will notice with this system is that Top Mount Lasers placed directly on the front (as opposed to Front Mount Lasers) have a small fire-rate loss when you pass your aim from left to right as they cross the apex, as the Top Mount Lasers have to rotate a full 180 degrees to get from one side to the other, which takes time. Does this make the Front Mounts viable?
  • The reason we did it this way – as opposed to simply testing all weapons every frame, determining the number that could see the target, and applying an appropriate fire-rate – is to maintain a faster frame-rate for lower end PC’s, so we get the same overall effect but with less performance hit.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed the text in the controls menu so it says “Elimination” instead of “Sudden Death” (Sudden Death was the WIP name for Elimination)
  • A bug which caused the audio for a respawning/regenerating robot in Team Deathmatch to sound like they’re respawning behind you when they weren’t, was described as “2spookie” and subsequently fixed
  • Fixed a bug which caused an error reading “Invalid placement of cubes” to pop up when it shouldn’t
  • Fixed a bug which caused Spiked Electroplates to be mirrored incorrectly
  • Fixed some missing collisions on the Team Deathmatch Earth map
  • Fixed a bug which allowed you to spot an already spotted opponent
  • Fixed a bug which caused the camera to clip into objects and caused occlusion issues (the world disappearing) on the Team Deathmatch Earth map
  • Fixed a bug which caused nano healing to cost 0-power if projected through a DSM (Disc Shield Module)
  • Fixed a bug which caused Laser Wasps to hit themselves if traveling fast enough
  • Fixed a bug which caused The Pit to become inaccessible if a player declines a platoon invite then enters a battle
  • Fixed several component collision issues which displayed a part as ‘legal’ to place when it actually wasn’t. The parts affected are Track Bison, Track Mammoth, Halloween Mask, Mech Leg Colossus, Mech Leg Giant, Mech Leg Titan, Mech Leg Spartan, Mech Leg Centaur, Mech Leg Talos, Mega Wheel, Skies, Insect Leg Worker, Insect Leg Wolf
  • Fixed a bug which caused the in-game chat to fill with the /help system message
  • Fixed a bug which caused the Aerofoil Hawk’s yellow aerodynamic lines to show in its shadow
  • Fixed a bug which caused yellow spots to appear in certain locations of certain maps when using the FAST graphics setting. After consultation with a professional enviro-physician, the yellow spots have been mostly removed
  • Fixed a collision issue with the Wheel Stormer which allowed armor to clip into it