Vigor is a new and exciting experience for both us as developers and you as players on Xbox One. Cooperating with the playerbase on improving the game before (and after) its release is one of the key tools which allow us to make the game better. The brand-new 0.6 Update: Ally is the first, larger result of the fruitful process of gathering feedback and reacting to it while the game is still in Xbox Game Preview.
Rally Your Ally
In Vigor, you’re a nameless Outlander, alone in the unforgiving environment of post-war Norway. You try to survive encounters with other Outlanders, claim valuable resources, and rebuild your home, the shelter. We all know games are better with friends, so in the Ally update we’re making the first step towards a co-op experience — you’re now able to invite a friend to your team and join an encounter together.
You’ll enter the encounter area side by side, so you can easily cover each other while looking for resources, or even try to claim the valuable airdrop before other teams. As you’re now a team, you need to operate as one. It’s completely up to you which loot you take and which you leave for your partner—including the airdrop! From now on, you also must keep your gun discipline: your bullets are as deadly as any enemies for your team member.
Speaking of guns, there are 17 more in the update. From the lowly M7 Bayonet knife, through to the iconic Thompson submachine gun or A74-KSU assault rifle, to the SVU sniper rifle, there’s something for everyone. Naturally, as some of the new weapons are made for longer distances, we’re also adding scopes to some of them. Be wary, though, while you’re watching your prey through the optics of your rifle, another Outlander may be lining up their shot on you!
Since Vigor contains so many wonderful weapons, we also need them to be fun to play with. We received some, frankly said, negative feedback on weapon handling, so making this experience better is one of our top priorities. A lot has changed under the hood to allow us to introduce a lot of improvements. Weapon handling is significantly better, partially thanks to a decent aim assist, which lowers the controller sensitivity when you aim at another character. Precision of guns was improved to provide more reliable results and reward skillful handling. Recoil and sway are used to better distinguish one firearm from another. These improvements also come with fixes of various shooting-related bugs.
Finding loot, rebuilding the shelter, and crafting are as much the core of Vigor as shooting, so it deserves some love, as well. We added a few more shelter improvements, changed the progression tree, and raised the level cap to 11. That also meant reevaluating the distribution of resources needed to build them; one of the important results is limiting “bottleneck” situations, when certain type of resource was needed, but hard to find in desired amounts. Improvements to some black magic systems behind loot also allowed us to increase the number of small, single-purpose loot containers and decrease the universal value of looting cars to get everything needed. In short, there is now more balance in the universe.
We also completely changed how acquiring and crafting weapons work. Originally, it was possible to craft weapons only for materials, when you had a blueprint, which could be acquired by deconstructing weapons into parts and collecting all of them. As a result, however, it was never beneficial to take a gun you could not craft yet into an encounter, since the risk of losing it was too high, as was the value of a potentially useful part. In 0.6, weapons can be deconstructed only into materials, and blueprints are found only in the airdrop. To simply craft a weapon for materials, you need not only its blueprint, but also an appropriate level of the crafting table shelter improvement.
It may seem harsh, but there’s also a new way to get weapons. Scattered in encounters, there are weapon parts. They are specific for each gun but getting a set amount of them is enough to craft the gun, regardless of your progression in the game. This way, you will always have some interesting equipment to play with—and some motivation for exploration, too! Weapon parts are specific for each encounter, so when a new map appears in the rotation, you’ll have new types of weapon parts to look for. We also changed the material compensation in case of death to reflect not only your loot, but also your loadout (i.e., including weapons, ammo, and consumables). Since you get more materials when you die during an encounter, you can jump well equipped into the next one more conveniently.
Brave New World
As the main purpose of having Vigor in the Xbox Game Preview program is to gather feedback, we need to do a better job in explaining the game. The core mechanics are now covered in the tutorial and during the first visit to the shelter. Items now have rarities, so it’s now easier to identify what’s worth keeping, and what can be discarded. Which, by the way, can finally be done from the inventory at any time. New players can better understand the basics, and since we wipe the progress for everyone due to the significant looting, crafting, and progression changes, all players start on an equal footing.
Exploration is an important part of Vigor‘s gameplay, although encounters may have felt more like aimless wandering at times. We added many points of interest to level maps, which you can discover—and usually find some loot while doing so. In general, there’s a lot of various UI improvements and tweaks. For example, colors of various map markers (and the markers themselves!) were improved to more clearly communicate what they show; including useful tooltips. The colors are also set up with various forms of colorblindness in mind. While this adds more interesting feeling to encounters, one more addition contributes to this significantly: each level now has two different weather presets, so you can enjoy the beautiful environments of Vigor in much more variety.
The list of new additions and improvements is too long to mention everything here. Instead of doing so, I would like to thank you on behalf of the whole Vigor team for playing the game on Xbox One and giving us invaluable feedback. We listen closely and work hard on making Vigor into a unique, enjoyable experience you’ll fall in love with. Stay safe, Outlanders, and see you at the airdrop!