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Re-Worked Vision Modes

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#1 Matthew Craig

    Technical Director

  • 867 posts
  • LocationVancouver, BC

Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:04 PM

Keeping in the spirit of Paul's last Command Chair post I figured I'd post my own Epic regarding some new changes to the default Night Vision and Thermal Vision Modes.

First of all why change them?

The modes as they currently stand were largely unchanged from CryTek defaults and weren't truly representing PGI's vision for how these modes should function. The community has been waiting patiently for us to make some changes and we figured they had been on the To Do list for long enough now.

Before we get into the screenshots, I'd first like to describe the creative filter through which these modes were created; there are essentially three major considerations that we will continue to follow when creating new vision modes, in priority order:

* Game-play
* Visuals
* Accuracy

First and foremost we want to ensure that the game-play experience is only positively impacted by the changes. Secondly we obviously want the effect to look great, and finally we want to ensure that the effect bears some semblance to reality. Obviously throughout all of this we listen to what the community would like to see as well.

The reason I outline this, is understandably when first viewing images of a new effect we tend to look for accuracy, please note that while this is a consideration it is a lower priority consideration. These modes are also not set in stone and we will be open to further tuning based on feedback received.

Both of the new vision modes have been tuned to work well out to a distance of 700 meters. This is intentional to re-balance the vision modes and ensure that no vision mode is vastly superior to any other, the goal is for the vision modes to be useful in different scenarios but no one mode should dominate all the time the way the current thermal vision mode has been doing.

Normal Vision (River City Night)

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As expected we can’t see any Mechs in regular vision mode (maybe the Jenner at a push)

Night Vision 2.0 (River City Night)

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As you can see the goal has been to remove a lot of the bloom and interlacing that was making night vision painful to use, it is now a much more effective mode to navigate with on dark maps (as you'd expect) but as you'll quickly notice it is not the best mode for highlighting Mechs.

Though we can now make out the Jenner clearly and the head of a Centurion at a push in the background.

Thermal Vision 2.0 (River City Night)

Posted Image

Here you can see that we have gone back to a gray-scale approach for thermal this is again intentional for a number of reasons, the color graded approach was leading to thermal being an easy vision mode to spot Mechs and devolving into instantly switching to thermal find a blue blob and start firing at it.

With the move back to gray-scale Mechs can more tactically hide in hot areas without overly sticking out and the information at a distance is not sufficient for accurate head shots. Though here we can clearly see the Jenner outline and now more clearly the top of the Centurion in the background.

Once you get to play these changes you'll see that thermal is great for finding Mechs within 700m that are hiding in foliage for example on forest colony but won't be as much use when running between buildings on a night map.

Now for all those snipers out there that are starting to hate me, hold your horses, the goal here is not to cripple snipers, though there is a definite intention to force you back into regular vision mode for some of those long range shots as you'll see below.

We will look in the future to support additional vision modes that are equipped as modules to give various tactical advantages, but will come at a trade-off. It's safe to say that the zoom module will be getting a re-work and should be a very viable choice for those snipers that want to crank up their head-shot stats.

To demonstrate here are some more shots of the new modes on Alpine Peaks:

Night Vision (Alpine Peaks)

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Not much help here

Thermal Vision (Alpine Peaks)

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At these distances on a cold map the thermal signatures of a Mech are negligible.

Normal Vision (Alpine Peaks)

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As you can see regular vision can now be the best option in some scenarios.

Before you mention it we agree that there is still too much heat being shown from the environment for thermal; however, to do it full justice we need to do a more detailed pass with the art team at a later point calibrating the heat information the environment generates. You can expect further improvements in this area but we still felt that the changes as they stand mark a noticeable improvement and are worthy of releasing and gathering feedback for future tuning.

Also we will be masking out the Mechs cockpit from the effects at a later date.

We look forward to expanding on the base vision modes in the future and catering to different play styles, we really hope you enjoy these changes and the intended balancing effect behind them.

As stated earlier we are always open to feedback and please know that we read and were guided by a lot of your feedback for this revamp so we hope you enjoy these changes.

*Sorry for the blocking artifacts in the first image imgur wasn't playing nice.

These changes are currently scheduled for the April 2nd Patch.

Thanks and see you on the Battlefield


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