Over the past few weeks, we have had vigorous stress tests to ensure the game doesn’t fall apart upon release. During those stress tests, we have noticed an increase in client crashes but the haven’t seen any server crashes. The other good news is that we are at a point where the client crashes are being isolated to map change. This has been an issue that we have had for a while now and have had difficulty diagnosing. Furthermore, we don’t feel that this crash would prevent us from releasing the Open Beta, and perhaps with the community’s help we can resolve this crash. These larger player tests have also given us greater perspective on the game design, and more specifically our current armor and damage model. At the moment, the consensus is that people are dying a bit too quickly, so we are going to look at increasing the armor absorption rate. We are also looking at maybe having a more aggressive damage fall off. We feel that, while the code continues to be optimized and debugged for the open beta, we can still work on refining the gameplay. Even with an Open Beta, we realize people will make judgments about the game as a whole and its direction.
We also have completely new content being worked on, aside from the usual updates. For a while now, we have been using an old M249 SAW (MINIMI) model that was contributed to us by Schmung back in 2007/8. However, due to new requirements for attachments and art changes, we decided it was best to redo the MINIMI from scratch. Oelund has taken on the monstrous task of modeling, texturing, and animating that beast of a weapon. At this point we have the new MINIMI in-game and are in the process of adding and balancing all of its attachments. We are also starting to focus more on the web site’s development, as we realize there are a few silly errors with the forums, and the website seems a bit bare. However, we have a designer now fixing up the FAS branding so that we can get the ball rolling, and see how far we can get with the new website and fixing up the forums before our open beta. This includes stuff like our crash reporter, bug tracking, and feature voting, all critical for the community to work with.
Lastly, FattestPUNK will be streaming some more FAS Stability and Competitive testing this Sunday. He will also be having another giveaway so make sure you tune in to check out the status of FAS, as well as earn some free prizes. Internally we have been discussing a release date, but we want to first make sure we can hit it, so our next news post may have more information on that.