Major Update - Alpha 1.14.3 (Fortification Tweaks | Horde Improvements | QoL++)

Friday February 4th,


Hello everyone, we've had another great week and we're release on 1.14 build on the default branch today. 1.14 contains a lot of community found issue fixes. We're focusing on issues and tightening up gameplay for the next few builds. That's not to say we wont be introducing some cool new bits like the chainsaw and crossbow! We'll discuss the 1.15 build and more in coming devblogs. This blog only showcases a few of the features in 1.14 so be sure to check out our changelog for a full list of what we've accomplished with this build.


Horde Improvements and Fortification Tweaks


Some big changes are coming to the hordes in Survive the Nights. Wrapped up in the horde changes you’ll find fortification improvements as well. Our original concept for Survive the Nights focused heavily on structure fortifications. The original spark and idea for the game itself stemmed from Call of Duty’s Nazi Zombie mode. James and myself (JB) we’re fixated on this mode, the ability to add planks to structures, the feeling of holding down a building, repairing entry points and keeping the hordes at bay while doing your best to kill them and survive is still super appealing to the team and somethin we aim to deliver in the upcoming builds.


There are a couple of core changes in the works. The player will now find as they advance through the zombie hordes that not only do the numbers increase but their strength does too. We’ve made all fortifications stronger, around 3 times stronger than the previous implementation. Increasing zombie difficulty aims to alleviate the issues where players take advantage of pinch points. Pinch points like staircases or narrow halls, this renders the entire game loop useless it also makes fortifications pointless.


The upcoming changes and improvements aim to fix these issues. We’ve made fortifications useful again. Players can now take full advantage of boarding up a structure. Doing so will actually hold zombies back, zombies will not instantly gain access, the player should really have an opportunity to stand their ground now. We’ve upped ammo spawns as well, making shooting to kill way more viable. Along with these changes zombie hordes will no longer be skippable. We never intended them to be, STN has always been about fighting zombies and now the player will be able to properly do so.


Fire Improvements


We’ve found via feedback and just simply watching players play that our UI can occasionally be unnecessarily cumbersome. James has spent some time this week improving fire machines across the board, hearths, campfires, barrels and stoves. He has completely removed the UI and the need for a UI. The new system is far more fluid and simple. The player only has to aim at a fire source and press E to add wood.



We plan to expand on these UI improvements. Removing the need for a UI for other in game machines or cleaning up and making any needed UI simple and easy to understand.


Improved Rain and Weather Performance


Andre spent some time this build tweaking and improving both the look of weather effects and their performance on clients and servers. Rain particles have been updated and optimized, rain emission on lower quality settings have been adjusted for better performance among other changes. The results are rather pleasing, the rain particles themselves look far more realistic and impact performance significantly less.


New Rain Particles


Continuous Placement Crash


Many of you have created tickets for this one. Currently in 1.13 you may run into a client crash involving item placement. This was caused by a bad loop and continuous placement should cause no further issue in 1.14.


Improved Tree Felling


Oh yeah, there has been a report or two about this, something about trees perhaps flying off like the falcon 9 when they’re chopped down etc. Jokes aside, we've decided it’s time to address the insane tree issues and we’ll begin to tweak things and get those trees falling properly in 1.14.


Along with improving the general mechanics behind the system we’ll introduce a totally bad ass chainsaw for quick tree felling and zombie mutilating, just be sure to wear chaps chainsaws are very dangerous.


Improved Fortifications


Many of you have requested we add holes to doorways and ledges to free placed fortifications like the plywood and tin walls. Andre has spent some time modeling up some steps for these barricades and the results are a lot of fun. You’ll also notice walls without steps now have a shooting slot just above the center support. The improved visibility and ability to shoot without damaging your own fortification really improves gameplay and practicality of these fortifications.


We will continue to add and improve the entire fortification system moving through the next few builds as we feel it should be and always was meant to be a major part of gameplay.


Improved Fortifications (Steps and Slots)

Improved Fortifications (Steps and Slots)


Quick Play


The game is fun and it’s a lot more fun with other players. James has spent some time balancing and tidying up our main menu. A lot of the issues people seem to encounter with STN are solo/hosting issues. Rarely do people who jump in game and immediately into the top server have major performance issues or gameplay issues in general. Solo can double the system requirements currently, resulting in less than ideal performance. Hosting at this time is really for the more advanced user, port forwarding and opening being requirements that the average Joey Bag o’ Donuts just doesn’t have the time for.


The introduction of the “Quick Play” feature should alleviate some of these broader and more generalized issues. It’s also a fantastic way to experience the game, especially for the first time. Being able to open up STN and simply hit one button to join the most populated server is simple and requires no actual effort. You’re instantly getting into the action. Solo and Hosting options have not gone anywhere, you’ll find solo in the host tab now.


Quick Play Feature

General Fixes and Improvements

  • Tree Felling

  • Garage Door Issues (if you know you know)

  • Improvements to fortification balance

  • Support tickets not appearing to work (stuck at 84%)


Changelog


Patch 1.14.3

  • User reports can now be submitted again.

  • Missing garage doors on 'under development' building in union point now rendering.

Patch 1.14.2

  • Commercial generators visible.

  • Electric garage doors no longer disable at close range.

Hordes / Zombies

  • Reduced zombie amounts by 10%

  • Hordes can no longer be fled.

  • Horde zombies now increase in strength as hordes become more difficult.

  • Fix for one of the zombie female variants having a really short render distance caused by broken mesh

Passive AI

  • Fix for getting 0 meat when harvesting some animals without a tool

  • Fix for health of animals being too high

  • Fix for harvesting of chickens sometimes being difficult caused by a collider issue

  • Fix for harvesting breaking when chicken ragdolls roll away too far

Tree Chopping

  • Tools no longer become less effective as they wear out.

  • All tree chopping point now highlight as you walk near tree.

  • Choppable area now bigger to make tree felling easier.

  • Fixed various collision issues which caused tree to fly off.

  • Removed small delay in axe hitting animation

  • Axe fire rate reducing slightly to make chopping faster.

Optimizations

  • Widespread adjustments to shadow casters of small design props.

  • Improvements to some performance spikes related to terrain loading

  • Reduced the amount loaded electrical items at any given time.

  • Rain particles updated and optimized

  • Lowered rain emission on lower quality settings for higher performance

  • Improved performance issue related to zombie physics

  • Sound dampening optimizations

  • Small vegetation optimization on low quality settings

  • Small zombie animation optimizations

Item Placement

  • Fix for small drops falling through objects when placing/dropping them

  • Fixed issue where continuous placement mode would crash game client.

  • Changed continuous placement so that it only happens for drops where that would be the desired behavior.

  • Placement mode no longer breaks when moving far away from initial place.

Fortification

  • Fortifications are nearly 3x more affective.

  • Replaced Wooden Fence barricades with 2 new variants. 1 With a viewing platform on the back edge and the other with a hole for shooting through.

  • Replaced Metal Fence barricades with 2 new variants. 1 With a viewing platform on the back edge and the other with a hole for shooting through.

Quick Play

  • Added Quick play feature that joins the most relevant server. Can also be used to rejoin previous sessions.

Localization

  • Updated translations from crowdin. 28th Jan 2022

  • Added link to crowd in translation contribution link on language selection page in-game.

  • Added Lithuanian support. Translations and Proof readers required here

  • Added Czech support. Translations and proof readers required here

  • Added Thai support. Translations and proof readers required here

  • Removed 200 duplicate entries for the translation source file (further improvements to follow)

Quality of Life (QoL)

  • Fixed broken collision between vehicles and garage doors

  • Campfire grills now open the inventory when pressing E on them.

  • Fluorescent light fittings now start with more bulbs.

  • Breaker on/off switch button now only goes grey when there isn’t enough breakers to activate.

  • Added gap in solid exterior doors to provide improved ability to kill zombies on the other side.

  • Added broken glass to exterior doors

  • Increased amount of ammo spawns.

  • Decreased amount of consumables spawns.

UI

  • Help videos now take longer to show by default.

  • Improved quick guide wording for starting a fire.

  • Death message now works correctly again. No longer says Dehydration for all deaths

  • Fixed text clipping in the crafting tab title.

  • Padded the text in the main stats area in the inventory

  • Horde direction indicator on the map no longer has a circle outline.

  • Updated new life UI wording to reflect importance of fortifying to survive.

  • Campfire grills a now Shift E pickups to save confusion.

  • Campfires now function fully without a separate UI window.

  • Fixed position fires now function fully without a separate UI window.

  • Inventory UI no longer flickering when hovering over certain items.

  • Host and Solo tabs condensed into single tab for clarity under 'Host'.

  • Servers tab now called 'Join'

  • Improved layout of status read outs in various machines.

  • Fixed issue which incorrectly stated ban as the reason for all disconnections.

Sounds

  • Fix for zombie sound dampening ignoring doors

  • Fix for zombie sound dampening not working in some structures

  • Fixed issue where too many footstep sounds would play for certain walk/run animations.

  • Generator sound volume lowered (Missing from previous version.)

Visual effects

  • Fixed glowing wood on fires

We'll be doing a patreon exclusive blog early this week with some really cool previews of what's to come with alpha build 1.15 and beyond.


Thank you for the continued support, we’re working on issues you’re finding so please keep reporting any bugs and making any game suggestions you can think of.


Links


Patreon

Discord

Changelog

Twitter

Facebook

YouTube