There are two goals for this post. The first is to give everyone a quick update on Foxhole's development schedule and second is to offer a quick preview of Update 49, which will be a very small maintenance update that focuses on bug fixes, optimization, and other less flashy features. Most of the team is busy working on the next big release for Foxhole, so treat Update 49 as more of an iterative patch that may improve a few things if you are playing the game regularly, but doesn't offer anything significantly new to the current experience.
Edit: Due to the small size of this update and the dev team being busy working on 1.0, there won't be a Devstream for this update. We will continue to do Devstreams in the future though.
Roadmap & 1.0
Last December we shared the roadmap below and explained our process of major and minor updates. The only thing that has changed since then is that we're adding another minor update (Update 49) before the 1.0 release to take care of some maintenance and other changes to prepare the codebase for the next big update. We've been working on 1.0 for some time now, and Update 49 represents a small checkpoint and allows up to ship and test a more recent version of the codebase.
Once this update goes out the door, the dev team will be heads down focusing on the next big update, which still has many months of development before release.
To everyone that's new to the community, it bears reminding that the 1.0 release isn't going to represent a major change in development for Foxhole. It's just going to be a big update with some exciting features but development will be business as usual afterwards, with regularly updates continuing for years to come. For more information on this release, I urge everyone to read through the 1.0 FAQ.
Update 49 Preview
The next update will be rolling out to Dev Branch today. As a heads up, this is probably one of the smallest updates we've ever shipped, but hopefully there's still something interesting if you're actively playing the game. Here's a rundown of the features.
New Tank Variants
There are two new tanks coming to the late Tech Tree. It should be noted that these tanks were implemented towards the end of the Update 48 development cycle, so they've been sitting in the wings of internal builds for many months. Their goal was to make additional use of the new tank chassis introduced last year and to add more content to the late tech tree.
We aren't expecting these tanks to significantly shake up the balance of things, but we hope they will add some variety to the late stages of the war. The Colonials get a Quad R.P.G. variant of the Bardiche, while the Wardens get a dual 20mm Cruiser tank.
Improved Vehicle Physics
It's been almost two years now since we added a proper vehicle physics model to Foxhole. Vehicle physics in Foxhole has always been challenging because we are supporting hundreds of potential players per server, which means dozens of vehicle simulations happening simultaneously on the server. We aren't able to use conventional physics models that are available in single player games or multiplayer games with only a few vehicles and instead must use a more optimized approximation.
Things aren't perfect yet and it's still an approximation as opposed to a fully realistic model, but several key improvements have been made:
More accurate collision modelling
More realistic suspension modelling (bouncing)
More stable movement when driving tracked vehicles over trenches
Smoother movement when driving over rough terrain or when hitting obstacles
Due to Foxhole's unique requirement of supporting hundreds of players in a region of the world, much of our engineering effort throughout Early Access has been on server optimization. That is, finding ways to make the simulation on the server run faster so that more players can be supported.
We've finally come around to do a pass on client optimization. That means improving performance on the player's machine. The goal is to reduce the amount of hitches experienced during gameplay (which is different from lag). This would manifest itself in sudden pauses where it feels like the game locks up for a split second.
There are two areas of improvements that will be most noticeable. Firstly, players should experience less hitches when walking in and out of areas with Trenches and Bunkers. Secondly, frame rate should be improved significantly when viewing a very large Squad list. Other changes should result in an overall smoother experience on the client side.
Light Tank Resizing
All Light Tank models have been downsized. For some background information, the Light Tanks were the original tanks added to the game back in 2017. Since then, we've added many new tank classes and through this process realized that their scale no longer made sense in the current lineup of vehicles. They now better reflect the scale of light tanks from WW2 and also leave room for even larger tank classes we have planned for the future.
We've been working with both professional translators and the Foxhole community to localize the game over the last few months. Some early translations were ready in Update 48 so we had them available during the initial release, but they were deemed too incomplete and rough so we disabled them temporarily. The translations have been since improved and so we're re-enabling them again in Update 49. There will still be bugs and errors, so please report them as you see them so we can get them fixed as swiftly as possible.
Large scale game balance is not the focus of Update 49, but several higher priority adjustments have been made:
Sniper Rifles (all classes) have increased economic cost, reduced stability, and require crouch
All deployed Tripod weapon health is increased
Ignifist 30 equip time decreased
UV-24 "Icarus" weapon range increased
T8 "Gemini" weapon range and ammo capacity increased
Emplaced AT reload time increased
Balfour Rampart 40mm deals less damage against structures (damage against vehicles unchanged)
For more exact details, please see the release notes. Note that game balance may change throughout Dev Branch testing.
There are other small notable changes, including the ability to demolish build sites, a new region chat tab, and other small changes.