The Sparks Update - 17/06/2015

(Chris Mullins) #1

Welcome to the Sparks Update! We’ve got the eponymous new medic, Sparks, the extension of the Trade-Up System to Cobalt rarity, numerous UI improvements and some brand new bundles in the store just waiting for your attention. Get all the details below and Play Dirty!

New Merc: Sparks

Sparks is a qualified doctor, and has the papers to prove it. But then she also has the papers to prove she’s at least five other people, including a pilot, an attorney-at-law, and a California Highway Patrol officer named Jeff. The point is, she has friends in high and low places, which helps her get her hands on cutting-edge medical tech like the REVIVR. Killing and reviving people under gunfire is by no means the worst job she’s had. Just ask Jeff.


Primary Ability: Revive Gun

Sparks’ signature ability is this special hunk of advanced medical tech called the REVIVR. You could ask what REVIVR stands for, but what really matters is what it does: Fires a highly charged projectile which, if it strikes an Incapacitated ally, will revive them with an amount of health dependant on the REVIVR’s charge level.

Of course, its still a gun, and its Sparks’ best weapon. Hitting an enemy with the REVIVR will deal heavy damage, again dependant on how much the weapon’s been charged up. The REVIVR won’t fire if you don’t charge it up a bit, and if it’s used too often, or holds a full charge for too long, it will overheat and become useless until it can cool down, but that’s a small price to pay to be able to Revive your teammates without worrying about getting your own head shot off!

Secondary Ability: Small Health Packs

Sparks’ method of healing her still-living allies are the Health Packs, throwable and picked up just like the ones Sawbonez uses, but don’t think they’re the same. While Sawbonez’s Large Health Packs will restore a large amount of health over time, and get stopped the moment your patient takes damage, Sparks’ Health Packs will immediately and always restore 35 Health when picked up, 45 Health if caught on the fly, making them far more powerful when picked up under fire, more than enough to turn the tide of a close firefight.

Loadout Details

As with all Mercs, Sparks has a set of Loadout Cards, featuring a variety of augments and the following weapons. Each of her Bronze Loadout Cards can be purchased directly for 17,500 Credits or $3.49 USD, or all of them in a bundle for 100,000 Credits or $19.99 USD. As with all Mercs, every current combination of weapons and augments available for Sparks is available as a Bronze Card.

Minimum Level Servers

We have now introduced minimum level servers which means you can now more consistently play against enemies of a similar level to you. You can find these servers by using the browser, or by using ‘Quick Join’ as it will prioritise you to join those servers first.

Daily Credit Bonuses Doubled

In the previous update we introduced Daily Credit Bonuses, and now we are doubling how many Credits these award you. So now instead of 250 Credits, you’ll be swimming in 500 and recruiting the Mercs you want in your Squad even faster.

Cobalt Trade-Up

Trade-Up has been extended to Cobalt Cards! No longer will unwanted Gold Cards be there to clutter up your inventory, as you’ll now be able to trade them in for a Cobalt Card of the Merc of your choice. Each Cobalt Card you Trade-Up to will cost you 6 Gold Cards and 10,000 Credits, so don’t grab one unless you’ve got a healthy supply of both.

New Bundles on Sale

We’re introducing three new Merc Bundles for you to help you fill out your Squad for a hefty discount! Check them out below and find all three of them in the Shop under the Bundles section!
Please note: You will be able to purchase a bundle even if you have any or all of the Mercs within the bundle already unlocked. Be careful, and please spend your money wisely.

Explosives Bundle

The Explosives Bundle is here, featuring three Mercs highly skilled at blowing anything and everything into orbit! Containing unlocks for Fletcher, Fragger, Nader and two Elite Cases thrown in to boot, this bundle has a value of $40, but will only set you back $19.99 USD (or local equivalent)!

Deployable Bundle

Say hello to the Deployable Bundle, which is all about our Mercs that bring their own fun to the party! Featuring Bushwhacker, Proxy and Sawbonez, along with a pair of Elite Cases, you’ll be able to grab this $32 bundle for only $15.99 USD (or local equivalent)!

Sharpshooter Bundle

And finally, here’s the Sharpshooter bundle, with three Mercs who are all about picking their shots just right. With Arty, Kira, Vasilli and two Elite Cases as well, this bundle has a value of $32, but can be purchased for only $15.99 USD (or local equivalent)!

Terminal Improvements

The Attackers spawn on Terminal has been something we’ve looked at for quite some time and we have now made a few changes to see how the play out. These changes are:

[li]Removed MG at top of the stairs that overlooks the street[/li][li]De-cluttered several interiors[/li][li]Relocated the Ammo cache[/li][/ul]

These should relieve some of the pressure defenders are able to use to their advantage.

Ammo Cache Locations

A number of Ammo Caches have been moved or removed from the game. Some were too advantageous to key combat spaces - We want players to have to take a detour when using them to prevent defending objectives too effectively.



[li]Reduced Turret health to 120hp from 140[/li][/ul]


[li]Reduced Ammo-station health to 120hp from 140[/li][li]Increased Orbital Strike cooldown to 50s from 45[/li][/ul]

Dreiss AR

[li]Increased reload time to 2.2s from 2.0[/li][/ul]

Tølen Machine Pistol

[li]Reduced reload time to 1.7s from 1.8[/li][/ul]

Empire 9

[li]Reduced reload time to 1.7s from 1.8[/li][/ul]

User Interface

[li]Users can now set a maximum game size when using ‘Quick Join’[/li][li]Added ‘Fire Mode’ to weapon info when viewing Loadout Cards[/li][li]Added drop chances to Case descriptions for different rarities[/li][li]Increased the Case opening animation to include 30 cards (was 15) to more accurately represent drop chances[/li][li]Increased speed of various page transitions[/li][li]Updated crosshair hit-indicator appearance[/li][li]Improved matchmaking “Accept” dialog[/li][li]Help-up progress indicator now includes player names[/li][li]Reworked the tutorial level end review screen[/li][/ul]


[li]Updated ambient lighting on Underground[/li][li]Numerous collision fixes on Underground & Terminal[/li][li]Removed some visual clutter from Bridge and Terminal[/li][li]The EV on Bridge now moves at a fixed speed regardless of the number of escorting players[/li][/ul]


[li]Removed or reduced reds in various environment props to minimize confusion[/li][/ul]


[li]Updated BR-16 animation set to include all body-types[/li][li]Updated the Minigun firing shake and camera animations[/li][li]Updated frontend male animations[/li][/ul]


[li]Reduced minimum revive health to 30hp across the board from 40hp[/li][li]Revived players now spend a second getting-up before they can move[/li][/ul]

Notable Bug Fixes

[li]Leaving a competitive match after accepting will now always incur a minor penalty[/li][li]Fixed ‘Quick Join’ failing and server browser pings not being displayed after playing a match on some systems[/li][/ul]

(Bangtastic) #2

Y I see the picture now, the bundles are a good choice but how long will they be available? I bet you plan such sales on a regular basis^^

Anyway cannot wait how the changes play out.

(BioSnark) #3

No recoil/spread increases so that’s good. Good to see that turret/space laser/dreiss are slightly nerfed although those aren’t quite the changes I’d have made. Revive nerf seems the most important balance change and I look forward to seeing how that plays.

(spookify) #4

Thanks Guys!!!

Only 2 Bugs?
Any Performance Updates?
Server Side or Server Smoothing Updates?
Ghosting Server Bug? (15/16 Full Server)
Time Out Server Join Bug? (Join a Game, Finish Leave, Cant rejoin another server!)
MG Death Animation Bug"s"?
Stair Walking/Sprint Animation?
Wall Jump Spam (More/Higher Spread!) (More Yet!)
Better Match Making?


(tangoliber) #5

No accuracy decreases! I commend this update out of principle.

(Szakalot) #6
  • sticky bombs still disappearing? (and fragger’s nades)
  • no high-lvl servers? no fix to team stacking?

Revive nerf makes me happy though!

(Chris Mullins) #7

[QUOTE=Szakalot;531622]- sticky bombs still disappearing? (and fragger’s nades)

  • no high-lvl servers? no fix to team stacking?

Revive nerf makes me happy though![/QUOTE]

High level servers will be there. Just deciding what levels to start off with and will play with them in the future.

(Szakalot) #8


(ragnak) #9

Audio fixes where ? ;(.

(Erkin31) #10

Ok, this new merc is just bad. More bad than the previous version.

  1. Please, pleeease, give an option to be able to toggle the charge of the medic gun. On click = Start the charge, another click = Fire. I hate to have to press the button continually. It deteriorates my aim and it’s tiring for my hand.
  2. The overheating of weapon is a pain. I can’t be concentrated in the action/shoot and look at the same time the gauge. Moreover, we can’t reset the gauge witch the weapon switch.
  3. We can’t anymore shoot without charging …
  4. The abilities key-bindings are not consistent with the others medics. Med packs are on differents keys.
  5. The movements are still way too slow when you charge your weapon. Not really a fast FPS with it.
  6. If somebody in your team go in front of you when you shoot to revive, he take the it and the laser doesn’t revive the other players. Very annoying when you have to charge your weapon.

(Herculeeeeees) #11

Wow sparks is out now. I’m happy that i won her on the monday stream.When will i receive her ?

(Erkin31) #12

What I would prefer for this merc:

  • Medic gun : Ability with cooldown.
  • No overheat.
  • Be able to run or switch of weapon during the charge. You click, the charge is started, like a button on/off. You can play with other weapon and when you switch again on the medic gun, it’s charged, and you can fire.
  • Laser goes through teammates.

(Szakalot) #13

I personally like the way its made. You’re not supposed to play sparks as pure Q3 rail merc, its a support ability. main reason for revive gun is to… revive; and the combat option is good as a difficult choice. the heat goes out really quickly anyways (at least with the ‘battery’ perk), I can fire fully-charged shots with just a few seconds break inbetween.

Any more buffs to the ‘gun’ part of sparks and she’ll become too strong in combat.

(Glottis-3D) #14

I will be somewhat on Erkin31’s side here.

Give us a choice between press/release or click to charge/click to shoot mechanics.
Boost mechanics is not for everyone. i personally hate to aim with additional tension in my fingers

(ragnak) #15

As a side note, why so little balance changes ? Fragger is still the best merc in the game by far, vassili could use a nerf on moa as well, i really do hope you wont let people wait for months, again.

(Szakalot) #16

[QUOTE=Glottis-3D;531662]I will be somewhat on Erkin31’s side here.

Give us a choice between press/release or click to charge/click to shoot mechanics.
Boost mechanics is not for everyone. i personally hate to aim with additional tension in my fingers[/QUOTE]

i know what you mean, but its worthwhile pointing out that your aim will improve if you learn to relax your aiming hand when firing.

I myself find my right hand clenching tight so as to ‘control’ the mouse movements better, but in fact relaxing all the muscles and letting your brain do the work will keep your aim even more consistent.

Regardless, I see no reason to have two methods of operating the revive gun as far as UI (toggle vs hold)

(BomBaKlaK) #17

Revive animation … OMG ! what’s just happen ? I just puke my lunch !
again : ET style is much better !

And match making … Bug, crash ! trying to reconnect via the retry button 2 times, got 2 crash again, finally the game launch and I can’t join my mates, finnally after a match in 4v5 I join the room to play with my mates and ho joy I got a 30 min penalty …

Very nice update …

(Szakalot) #18

So I love Sparks, she is a great merc, fun to play; and her amazing revives are very well balanced by her poor combat ability. Ease of her revives highlighted an issue that imo still persists in the game - medic trains.

Rhino pushing forward with Sparks hiding in an unreachable corner is an unstoppable machine; its so hard to gib them you might as well not try. I’ve played a 7v7 on minlvl10 server with lots of good players on both sides, and even though killed repeatedly, Rhino kept pushing n pushing.

I really like the revive animation change; it looks better, feels better, and gameplay benefits all around.

However I’d still like to make it little harder for the medic trains, my preference would be buffing gibbing, by lowering HP of bodies on the ground by 20-25%
Rhino will still be hard to stop with medic support, but at least there is a chance a few well timed heads will put him down. I don’t really see any downsides to such a change, its not like medics will suddenly become unviable, lol. Comp will still need two, and pub teams with medics will have an advantage over those without.

Possible counter-change to even things out, is giving just a tad more zombie-time after getting-up, as currently you are vulnerable as soon as you can move, which is frustrating. Sth like 0.5 second longer zombie-time would be welcome already.

(Glottis-3D) #19

[QUOTE=Szakalot;531679] by lowering HP of bodies on the ground by 20-25%

exactly what i sugested before.
best solution.
-it removes insanity in revive parties, while keeping them as a meta.
-it doesnt take away consistency in players’ feel - both as a downed player and a killer.

(BioSnark) #20

What do people think of allowing gibbing during the revive animation? I think Brink had that but I might be remembering self-revives or phoenix.

I haven’t played enough hours of the update to have much thoughts on revives, yet,