As we inch closer toward a global launch, improving the foundations of Catalyst Black is essential for long-term success. The nature of a beta means we’ll try all sorts of wild ideas to perfect the user experience. Feedback from early and veteran players will ultimately decide if these changes should become part of the game’s identity.
The next major update is going to be huge. In order to discern between your feedback on those features (did someone say new modes?) and the sweeping weapon changes this patch, we decided to do a mid-cycle update. Hence, welcome to Patch 0.14.1.
We’re introducing an entirely new experience to how guns perform. Bullet speeds are faster, aiming takes more precision, combat slowness, and a whole lot more.
TL;DR: GUNS BLAZING!
Bullets: Faster, but Take More Skill
Primary weapon bullets are now blazing fast. However, guns now demand much greater use of manual aim. Auto aim is significantly less precise and only useful in nearly point-blank encounters.
DEV NOTE: With Guns Blazing, we are testing moving Catalyst Black more towards a shooter combat sandbox. In this new sandbox, your skill at aiming really matters, and auto aim behaves more like hipfire in FPSes: a tool of last resort for when targets are at close range and moving at a very high relative speed. Aiming well and getting rewarded for it is a key part of the moment-to-moment game feel of great shooters. We want to create this feeling in Catalyst Black.
In addition, there are a few other quality of life changes related to aiming:
- Greatly improved the experience of aiming downwards, which was previously clumsy feeling.
- Most weapons now shoot past their original range. Bullets that exceed the distance indicated by the aim reticle (known as Optimal Range) will deal reduced damage.
- Old aim assist logic where bullets do not go exactly where you are currently aiming has been removed.
- A new method of aim assist has been added that makes it easier to place the reticle on targets, but your hero will now fire exactly where you aim. This excludes bullet scatter, which is a property of the gun itself.
- Shotguns have a much tighter spread, with a greater concentration of shots in the middle. Auto-aiming with Shotguns is especially vulnerable to players who are very close to you and thus have very high relative angular velocity. You should still manually aim Shotguns at close range.
Walking Speed When Shooting or Getting Shot
Shooting or being shot sets your movement speed to “walking,” which equates to 75% of your normal move speed. Shorter range weapons such as Shotguns and SMGs have faster walk speed, while longer range weapons like Battle Rifles and Snipers are slower. Chainguns remain at the same speed as before.
- Bullets have longer trails, a clearer glow effect, and leave behind smoke.
- Gunfire causes some camera recoil and haptics (can be disabled in settings).
- Explosive weapons like big mortars trigger camera shake and haptics upon explosion.
DEV NOTE: Some weapons benefit greatly from higher bullet speeds, while others lose a lot of their effectiveness due to manual aim.
DEV NOTE: Heavy ammo crystals now recharge much faster (from 30s to 12s), leading to an overall greater abundance of heavy ammo. Considering this change, the “big nuke” weapons deal less damage and are harder to spam but have higher ammo capacity. Weapons more on the spammable, high-ammo reserve side benefit enormously from more abundant pickups, so they need to be toned down.