Foxhole is launching into 1.0 later this month and along with it will come Inferno, a pretty large update to the game. Before reading the rest of this post, it’s recommended that you catch up on our latest Devstream for details on the update or if you’re looking for just a very quick overview you can watch our preview video.
The purpose of this devblog is to provide additional context for what to expect from Inferno, specifically for Facilities which is an entirely new logistics player activity that will be introduced in the update. We also want to cover any key details that were missed in the Devstream last week.
What to Expect From 1.0
While we’re really excited about all the buzz that the Inferno announcement stirred up last week, I do want to remind everyone about what we’ve been trying to communicate in our 1.0 FAQ over the last year: In many ways Inferno is just another big update. It will be exciting and offer something new for existing players, but it won’t be perfect and it won’t immediately revolutionize the game.
We are adding some very big features like Facilities and Trains, but due to the nature of Foxhole, like any other big additions in the past they will require fine tuning to get right. We hope to refine things in the dev branch based on community feedback and then continue to iterate through updates.
What Inferno will do is set the stage for a very exciting roadmap we have ahead of us. We’ve always been about steady improvements over time and once this update goes out the door we’ll be heads down again working on the next step for Foxhole.
1) Why were Facilities added to Foxhole?
There were several important goals behind Facilities. First, we wanted to have an in-depth activity that allows logistics to unlock better technology and scale up their operations as a war progresses. We planned for this activity to provide a sense of progression over time and for there to be a high amount of player agency and replay value. This would be a contrast to the existing logistics activities in the game which remain fairly constant throughout most of the war.
Secondly, we wanted there to be a system for working towards “mountain goals”, such as late war tanks or other large vehicles that we intend to introduce in the future. Under the old logistics game the only progression mechanism we had for this was the tech tree and lots of monotonous grind. We built Facilities as an alternative with hopefully more engaging progression.
Finally, we wanted Facilities to serve as valuable player driven strategic targets in the world. Right now, the victory towns are the main objective and while that will still be the case we would like to see scenarios in the future such as raiding enemy tank facilities or even coastal bombardment of enemy ports one day.
2) What do the basics of Facility gameplay look like?
Facilities at a basic level plays like a factory building game where resource collection, creative building, and management are key parts of the gameplay. However there are some differences.
First of all, due to our goal of making Foxhole as player driven as possible, the amount of automation will be limited. While things like power and pipes can be more automated, the transportation of other resources will still be manual though there will be ways to streamline such as Minecarts and Trains.
Secondly, due to the persistent nature of Foxhole and the length of wars lasting for weeks, the progression will be slower than what’s seen in other similar factory games. While players will have the agency to expand their industrial bases as they see fit (so long as they can maintain resource and power requirements), certain tiers of technology will become unlocked through the tech tree as the war progresses. The grind requirements will generally be higher since players are expected to work together to build Facilities. That said, we were careful to ensure that building a facility still feels fun and engaging for individuals.
3) How are Facilities intended to work with the existing logistics game and logistics towns?
Facilities do not replace the existing logistics game or logistics towns in the world. In fact, much of the logistics game that existed in the game prior to Inferno will work the same. Players will produce essential weapons, supplies, and vehicles at rear line towns and deliver them to the front just as they did before. The only big change is that vehicle variants will no longer be bound by faction tech tree decisions and produced at logistics towns. Instead they will be produced at Facilities (this is described in detail further below).
While it’s our eventual goal to make the existing logistics game and Facilities more unified, they may feel a bit like separate branches of gameplay in the initial release. Throughout development, we had to make a lot of difficult trade-offs between Facilities having a more prominent/central role and not destabilizing the game for existing players. In some of our prior updates in Early Access, we made the mistake of changing too many fundamentals of logistics in a single update and have instead taken a more measured, iterative approach this time around. The mere introduction of a feature as big as Facilities is already a very big change to Foxhole, so we felt it was wise to lay down the foundations first while not contending with the challenge of upending the existing logistics game.
As we learn more and more about how players interact with Facilities and as new content is introduced in the future, our goal is to make Facilities feel more cohesive with the rest of the game.
4) What kind of production benefits will Facilities provide in this first iteration?
Facilities will allow players to produce the following in the initial release:
Front line materials like Sandbags, Barbed Wire, and Metal Beams
Some refined resources like Concrete and Petrol
All vehicle variants including new types coming in Inferno
New heavy tank classes like Battle Tanks and Super Tanks
Artillery shells like 120mm and 150mm
Ammunition for all new tech coming in inferno such as Flamethrower Fuel, 94.5mm, and 75mm
Logistics equipment like Stationary Cranes, Stationary harvesters, Pipes, Minecarts, and Trains
5) Why can’t Facilities produce all types of items?
As mentioned above, while we would like for Facilities to potentially produce more types of items in the future, we are being cautious about not destabilizing the existing game. Foxhole has a very delicate ecosystem that’s balanced between combat, supply lines, production and other factors. When one part of the ecosystem is upset, the results can lead to snowballing effects, imbalance, or other issues. Allowing any item to be produced at a player built facility has the potential to undermine the supply line game which is central to that ecosystem. As we learn more about how Facilities interact with the rest of the sandbox, it’ll be easier to extend their capabilities further.
6) How exactly are vehicle variants produced?
To build a variant, players must first produce the base version of a vehicle and then deliver that to a Facility for it to be converted into a variant. For example, a base vehicle like a Hatchet light tank is produced at a Garage or Mass Production Factory and then delivered to an Assembly Station to be converted into a variant like a Kranesca.
While this will add an extra step for producing variants, it will give players the freedom to produce any variant they want instead of being bound to what the faction votes for in the tech tree. There is also the potential for certain Facilities to be more specialized at producing some variants over others, creating localized strategic targets in the world for the enemy to go after.
In addition, vehicles and variants can then be further upgraded into higher tiers at Facilities through the Modification Center. This will be a resource intensive operation though that may not be worth it in all cases. We still wanted higher tier vehicles to feel special and didn’t want them to be spammed by everyone.
Some new vehicle variants will take a significant time to produce. The intention is for such vehicles to serve as strategic targets for enemy operations. We were careful however to minimize the extra effort needed to produce variants that players are already used to fielding in the past. To that end, old variants like Spathas are relatively quick to produce and the cost of base vehicles have been reduced to further offset the extra effort involved in transporting a vehicle to a Facility. Still, we will be looking for feedback in the dev branch to further balance this new mechanic with the existing game that players are used to.
7) What are some other significant gameplay changes being made to integrate Facilities?
When adding Facilities to the game and figuring out how to integrate it into the existing economy, there were many difficult decisions to be made. On one hand to accommodate Facilities, we couldn't keep everything exactly the way it was, but on the other hand we wanted to be careful to not make any changes unless it was absolutely necessary.
Fuel has needed some major revisions for a long time and through the process of integrating Facilities we realized that some changes were finally necessary. This has led to some challenging balancing changes which include a significant reduction in the transportation capacity of Diesel and Petrol in Fuel Tankers.
To minimize the impact this change will have on the economy, we have reduced the input requirements of Salvage, Sulfur, and Component mines. As a result it should now be possible to keep these mines fueled without player interaction for a longer period of time. In addition, all vehicles have had their fuel consumption rates reduced by 50% (meaning vehicles can drive twice as far on a full tank). Lastly, Players will be able to produce Petrol at their facilities and be much more abundant, but will require more effort to move around.
Large Items on Pallets
When we shipped Entrenched a year ago added the Small Shipping Container and increased the capacity of the Large Shipping Container by 50% as a means for logistics to deal with the expanded world. This was a temporary solution to a transport problem that we had always intended to resolve with trains. Now that we’re finally here, the Small Shipping Container is being removed but we are keeping the 50% increased size on the Shipping Container.
Pallets will instead be used to make direct deliveries from player facilities to the frontline. This will include certain hard-to-move items such as 120mm, 150mm, 250mm, and 300mm Ammo types, as well as some new ones.
Players will still be able to produce most of these ammo types as crates at the logistics town Factories, but will also be able to build some of them individually at Facilities. If doing the former, players can then submit the crate to a Pallet for direct delivery to the frontline in a more streamlined manner similar to the old Small Shipping Container.
Bunker Modifications Changes
Certain defensive modifications on bunkers will now use Barbed Wire, Sandbags, and Metal Beams instead of Basic Materials as they used to. This will unify the way frontline defenses are produced and encourage players to bring more of these larger, bulkier materials to the frontline. Another motivation for this change is a step towards integrating Facilities with normal logistics flows as these materials will be producible at Facilities that can be built by players anywhere in the world.
While we do hope that trains will help alleviate the added logistical burden of this change we recognize that it may not be enough. Similar to the other large items listed above, players can produce crates of these materials at the factory and submit them to pallets for more direct deliveries.
And one more thing!
Players will now be able to stockpile most large items in the new bunker Storage Rooms (which replace the old Ammunition Rooms). This will include items like Tripods, Tripod weapons, and of course the large materials like Sandbags and Barbed Wire.
Base builders should consider adding Storage Rooms to their existing bunker designs so that active defenders can rapidly deploy additional defences to counter any threat.
8) How will Facilities be expanded upon in future updates?
We see the current iteration of Facilities as a foundational starting point that we hope to expand upon. Facilities was designed with the future roadmap in mind and while they are currently used for producing more specific categories of equipment, expect them to play a more central role in Foxhole in the future.
1) How does railway construction work?
Players will be free to lay down railway tracks anywhere in the world so long as they can overcome landscape obstacles. Tracks snap to each other and can scale in length, similar to how walls function. Tracks can branch off from existing railways to form forks. When a railway is forked, an interactable switch is spawned that can be used to change which branch is taken. Tracks can be elevated above the ground to overcome small ditches and hills in the landscape. However, some landscapes will be too difficult to build on even with elevated tracks.
2) What kinds of tracks are there?
There are three classes of rails:
Normal Railway - Used for full sized train cars
Small Gauge Railway - Used for small train cars like Minecarts
Crane Railway - Used exclusively for the Heavy Rail Crane
3) Can trains cross the border?
Yes, trains will definitely be able to cross borders. Tracks can be built all the way to the edge of a border. From a neighboring region, such tracks will be visible and thus can be connected to when building new tracks, forming a continuous cross border railway. Tracks built near the border will not incur rapid decay as they will not block players from traveling into a region.
4) How do trains traverse through towns or across rivers?
Certain parts of the world will have fixed tracks that player built tracks can connect to. This is to help trains get through difficult environments. Certain key towns will have fixed tracks running through them in most cases and train bridges have been added to help get over rivers in many regions.
5) How difficult will it be to produce and deploy a train
Small gauge trains will be producible early to mid war and full sized trains will be producible mid to late war. Full sized trains are considered mountain goals and will require significant Facility development, cooperation, time, and resources to produce.
6) Are there limits as to how many cars can be connected in a train?
Currently, small gauge trains (Minecarts) can pull up to 4 cars behind the locomotive. Full sized trains will be able to pull between 15 and 20 cars, but we are still finalizing the number.
7) Will trains be able to destroy obstacles by ramming into them?
This was a challenging problem to solve. While we had considered implementing more complex ramming mechanics, but due to technical constraints we settled on a simpler model that allows trains to damage small vehicles like Bicycles, Trucks, but not larger vehicles like tanks (though the exact list of vehicles to be impacted is still being determined). We were concerned about the situation where a player might position a high end vehicle like a Battle Tank slightly on a track only to have it destroyed by accident by a moving Train.
1) How does fire generally work?
Fire is a new type of damage in Foxhole that can be inflicted by Infantry Flamethrowers, Armoured Flame Vehicles, and Incendiary Rockets. Fire causes damage over time. Once a structure is on fire, the must be sustained and grown by causing additional fire damage to it. If left alone the fire will eventually settle on it's own.
If the fire on a building has grown enough, it will reach a point where it will affect any player that enters it. For example, a player entering a Garrisoned House that has a blazing fire can cause the player to catch on fire as well.
2) How does fire interact with the environment?
Fire can spread between buildings based on wind. Under the right conditions, if enough structures are on fire, the flames can theoretically spread across the town. There is finally an incentive here for players to not just build their structures right next to each other in every single situation.
Rain and Snow will counteract fire and make it settle faster.
3) How does fire interact with vehicles?
Fire can damage light vehicles like Trucks and Utility Vehicles. Fire will also increase the temperature, allowing you to effectively thaw a frozen vehicle.
4) How do fires get put out?
The main way to put out the fire on a building is to throw Water Buckets at it. Water Buckets can be refilled at any body of water or wells found in towns. If a player catches on fire either directly or indirectly by being in a burning building, they can instantly put out the flames by jumping into a river or lake.
We were intending to showcase a few more pieces of unannounced content in this blog, but unfortunately most of them were deferred to a future update due to time constraints. We'll see them in future but just not for now! In the end, only one piece of content from that list made the cut and it did since it serves a more important balance role.
Colonial Rocket Artillery Emplacement
This will be the counterpart to the Warden Field Rocket Artillery, similar to how the Warden 120mm Emplaced Artillery is the counterpart to the Colonial Field version.