This update does not focus too much on gameplay changes but more on QoL changes. One big change that this update brings is hotkey system rework. All of you have (probably) noticed that some abilities/units/upgrades have no hotkeys, some share the same hotkey with other abilities and in short the hotkey system is a mess. You guys started a thread about this, at first asking for hotkeys for abilities that had none and later you came up with ideas for a rework of the whole system. One suggestion was to set all abilities that do the same to the same hotkey (e.g. all "throw grenade" abilities to have the same hotkey) but that ran into a problem with units that have e.g. multiple throw abilities. Then there was a suggestion to assign a hotkey to the UI slot and no matter what ability/unit is in that slot, it will always have that hotkey. We decided to go with this one as it brings several benefits.
The UI grid is set to the left side of keyboard in this way: And it translates into the game this way: Key "Y" is set for squad reinforcement.
Please note that this system is set for the ENGLISH keyboard layout. Some keyboard language layouts can have some keys swapped (e.g. the Czech layout has Y and Z swapped). If your keyboard layout is different, I would recommend switching the layout to ENG when you play BK - if you have english layout installed, you can switch between english and your native layout in Windows by pressing "LeftAlt+LeftShift" (you can do this before you start the game but also in-game). If you don't have the ENG layout installed, you can do so for free (you can google how to do so).
One of the advantages of this approach is that you can use 3rd party software that can remap keys to whatever you want when certain application is running. One such software is "Key Manager" - it is free, quite easy to set up and use and it can be used for other purposes than just gaming, but I am sure you can find other similar software (and maybe you're already using some). Since the hotkeys are set to a specific grid now, you can use software like this to move the layout to the right side or middle of your keyboard, or wherever you want, really. This wouldn't be possible if we used a system where a hotkey is e.g. the first letter of a name of an ability.
We know it will take some time to get used to this new layout, as many of you have had retreat, reinforce and other keys burnt in your muscle memory for years, but we believe that you'll get used to it after some adjusting period and in the end you'll find it more convenient.
However, there are literally hundreds of ability files in the game. Some are years old and no longer used, some are passive and so have no hotkey, some are commander abilities and so have no hotkey and so it was quite difficult for me to find and adjust all the currently used abilities. In fact, I am 100% sure that there are still abilities that have slipped the net. Therefore I would like to ask you to report any wrong hotkeys you run into during the beta in this thread:
Wrong hotkey reports (beta 5.3.2)
Based on replays watched and feedback from players, it seemed that basic infantry is often not used later in the game as it is easy to lose these units and players don't want to risk losing resources. For this reason we decided to make basic infantry a bit cheaper in general. It is not any drastic change but it should lower the impact of snowballing if you happen to lose a squad in early game and it should hurt a bit less if you lose such a squad later in a game.- Changed the general hotkey system
With the addition of "free" AP upgrade to tank destroyers, there was once again less of a reason to use AT guns at all. Tank destroyers are more mobile, more durable...you know what I mean. In this update Axis and US transport truck get the ability to spawn AT guns. This way you don't need to build such a gun in the base and wait for ages before it reaches the required spot. Infantry transports are otherwise not used too much in BK so the trucks also get some utility and hopefully, people will at least sometimes consider building them. This change does not apply to CW, as they can deploy AT guns from their trucks and gliders already.- Lowered the cost of Riflemen to 240MP (from 255MP)
- Lowered the cost of Volksgrenadiers to 245 (from 265MP)
- Lowered the cost of Sappers to 290MP (from 315MP)
- Lowered the cost of US and WM Spotters to 140MP (from 160MP)
In one of the polls people said that one of the hardest docs to play is Defensive doctrine. The reason most often given was "lack of breakthrough tanks". This might be true, but it is also in line with the intended playstyle/theme of this doctrine. The doctrine's intention is "defense and slow creep". It has the means for this but it is hard to "slow creep" without ammo, and it is hard to get ammo without a map control early in the game. Def doc has some good light vehicles that can be used for gaining the map control but they were rather expensive in their fuel cost, and so they slowed down teching if purchased and meant a notable setback when such a unit was lost. The costs of these halftracks were lowered. Def doc should now have stronger early game which should allow to gain more foothold before the "slow creep" tactics starts.- Opel trucks and US trucks can now deploy 37mm, 50mm and 75mm AT guns (both WM and PE)
There was also a lot of complaints about the 95mm Churchill. The complaints were mostly about the combination of strong armor, fast fire rate and relatively high accuracy. When the changes for "howitzer tanks" came a few patches ago, we made the stats of this churchill a bit better than those of 105mm tanks (StuH/Sherman) because the 95mm gun is a bit weaker than the 105mm. It seems to overperform to a level where people see it as a big problem. Since there haven't been complaints about the direct-shooting of StuH and Sherman, we set some of the Churchill stats to same values.- Changed cost of halftrack with flak38 to 300MP 20F (from 300MP 35F)
- Changed cost of halftrack with kwk37 to 300MP 20F (from 300MP 35F)
- Changed cost of halftrack with pzb41 to 300MP 20F (from 300MP 35F)
This update also brings a few fixes:- Set scatter of direct-shooting 95mm Churchill to the same as StuH (shots can land farther away from a missed target)
- Increased reload time of direct-shooting 95mm Churchill to 25 seconds (from 15)
- 95mm Churchill is now limited to 2 units at a time
Next we have map changes. As you 100000% had to notice already, we keep saying that people should play bigger maps because it solves many balance issues. As you have 10000% noticed, people still play small maps and still complain about balance issues that stem from doing so. For this very reason we decided to rework some often played maps to get them rid of bottlenecks and other undesired features. We also removed the "BKMod Tip" tag from many maps that indeed are very NOT recommended for BK. We will not delete maps that are literally crap for BK mod because nothing can prevent players from just downloading the maps again. We hope, however, that people will stick with the maps that actually ARE well balanced for BK mod. Kwok put together players who worked on the map changes, he will write something about the map changes himself.- US 105mm howitzers should now deal more consistently damage to Tigers and Kingtigers with their "Direct shot" ability
- CW Infantry sections from the FHQ glider now correctly have the Marksman upgrade available
- CW Infantry section should now correctly have either Bren or Recon upgrade
- CW T48 halftrack now correctly spawns with AP upgrade installed
- Lowered the DoT duration of Firestorm to 18 seconds so that the DoT doesn't last longer than the visual flame effect (from 18-20 sec.)