Hello Onward Community,
Overall update 1.13 has received great reactions and feedback. From how good the updated PVE feels to fun rounds of Basketball played on FOB Bassett. However, shortly after update 1.13 was launched we started to get a small number of reports related to performance, map bugs, and PCVR load times. We quickly jumped on reviewing the information coming in and resolving these issues.
This hotfix addresses a variety of things that were ultimately adding up thus resulting in performance drops and FPS stuttering. It also fixes a range of bugs for maps, including aggressive kill spots, culling/popping, and lighting issues. Additionally, while we were packaging this hotfix we opted to include some fixes that were ready to release such as some additional adjustments to Co-Op, A Caster Mode fix, and others. The details of adjustments in this hotfix are listed in the change log below.
Under the Hood
During our QA testing cycles version 1.13 was operating and testing normally and went through the typical process of testing, bug reports, and bug fixes. Testers did not run into any major moments of performance drops or moments that felt like it affected the intended gameplay. Our QA team can't cover the plethora of devices, connections, and setups that the playerbase could have, so making sure we listen and follow-up with our community is a top priority. When we started to get reports from the community about performance and map bugs, we wanted to address it right away, however, it was difficult to narrow down what the cause might be, so we worked directly with community members affected and also started going through the code to try and identify possible causes.
We were able to find some map issues like skyboxes for all maps being loaded, instead of just the ones that were needed. That has been fixed. We also went through and reviewed maps to find locations that needed improvements to the occlusion culling ("popping") and lighting. Those adjustments have all been made in addition to some other fixes.
We also identified that memory usage in 1.13 had become significantly higher than it had been previously, we found and addressed several causes for that. An example of this is making optimizations to the code that handles the weapons that bots use, addressing performance dips some players might have been feeling in Co-Op.
PCVR has much higher resolution and graphics quality throughout the game. Things such as multiple skyboxes being referenced, amount of shaders loading, and bot weapon handling will have a higher impact on the performance and memory usage for PCVR vs Quest. This caused some PCVR players' load times to increase or be unable to launch the game. As a result, we have made some improvements to launching parameters and cut down on some of the memory being used throughout the game. These adjustments should also additionally help Quest users who might be experiencing some performance issues or longer launching times. We will be continuing to look into this and improve this further in future updates.
For Meta Quest players: Meta Quest recently had an update to the Quest OS that was changing some players' default settings to run applications at 120hz. Onward is designed to run at 90hz. If you disable this setting in your OS, this should get you some additional improved performance while playing.
For PCVR Players: Some PCVR assets may still be using more memory than intended. We are going to continue to look into further reducing the memory used. If you continue to experience issues launching the game, please contact our support team.
Quest - Throwing Utilities
We originally made some adjustments to the Quest throwing dynamics based on information we had received about hardware updates for Quest devices. When testing the adjustments in dev sessions and in our QA process, there didn't feel to be a difference from the intended functionality. After the update, we again listened to the community and based on the feedback we received, made sure to go back and evaluate if it was the intended experience we wanted the players to have. After review it was determined that it was not the way we wanted the feature to work and we reverted the change. Throwing will now work the same way it did in 1.12.2.
Workshop & Custom Maps
Weapons and Utilities
Update 1.13 is here and we are thrilled to give you all the details of the work that is in this update. New maps, new bots, new equipment & much more. Many of these features were able to be completed because of the work put into the previous updates with upgrading our game engine and backend refactors.
For some of the changes we made, such as the AI refactor and environment parity, this current release is not its final form. We will continue to build upon the AI behaviors and overall Co-Op experience. Additionally, for the environments, we were not able to apply upgrades to every map in this update. The maps will continue to be worked on and updated to improve the visuals and performance for both Quest and PCVR.
This update is very feature focused. However, we also did take some time and address some major bugs that players have reported. Let's start going over those major features and updates that are now available. For the list of details on everything in the update, check the Change Log located below.
New & Updated Features
New map: FOB Bassett
FOB Bassett is now available for Free Roam and Social Modes (One In The Chamber, Gun Game, & Spec Ops). This environment is a medium size map designed to be an iconic overseas military station. It includes several locations within it such as a Gym, Rec Room, Infirmary, and a Training Facility.
Social Game Modes will have an opportunity to play on a large scale map with lots of twists and turns and spots to take cover. This will make Social Games more difficult and require more advanced tactics to find your opponents.
This map is also an ideal location for Free Roamers to meet up with their squads and go over tactics, practice maneuvers, or just hang out and play a game of basketball. Two Basketball courts with working scoreboards and weekly leaderboards have been included on the map. One is a single hoop and the other is a full court. Both locations will keep score for 2 point and 3 point shots.
New map: Cargo (Night)
Cargo has been a signature favorite CQC map for many years. With the new method we developed for updating and creating maps, the team decided it was a great time to introduce a night variant. Cargo Day and Cargo Night are the first maps to get an extensive graphics update for Quest and PC players. Updated textures throughout, New roof with directional lighting, and updated collision. Just to name a few.
With the graphical updates, Cargo Night is now one of the darker night maps we have. It offers a more realistic feel for being in a warehouse surrounded by high stacked objects and limited lighting sources. Night vision will be a requirement.
Updated Tutorial & Training
New players will benefit from the updated tutorial. We made several changes to how training is done. We have included improved text and visual representations to help new players understand more complex functions.
The new tutorial teaches you how to maneuver and use interactions based on your settings. Different settings such as Snap Turning, Weapon Grip, and Others will automatically be reflected in the tutorial run through so you can test how the different settings affect/improve your gameplay.
In addition to the improvements made in Training mode, we have added objective details and instructions (previously only visible in Fire Fight) to the whiteboard in all game modes.
AI Refactor & Co-Op Adjustments
The AI for Co-Op and Training has been completely reworked from the ground up. AI can now take the "direct path" or the "safe path", which allows them to flank you much more often and intelligently. Some other highlights for the new behavior include the following:
New PVE Equipment
Some additional equipment is now available in PVE modes. The ballistic shield and the defibrillators are able to be included in your loadouts. Please note - in previous developer communications it was said the defibrillators will cost 12 pts. However, after multiple tests and design reviews, the cost has been adjusted. The cost is now 14 pts.
Quality of Life Improvements
Night Mode Improvements
Over time, we have been gathering feedback and reviewing what can be done to improve the experience on night maps. A lot of the feedback we received was related to difficulty seeing teammates and being able to clearly maneuver across the environments. We have included several new and updated accessories to help address this.
Updates to Environment Graphics & Parity
PCVR and Quest maps have been consolidated to use the same map version. Bringing much needed parity and consistency to the environments. It is an important feature to offer a more fair competitive gameplay experience. This also ensures that any future adjustments and bug fixing will be equally applied to all platforms. All the maps have received small updates and improvements to them. Cargo, Suburbia & Downfall are the first 3 three maps to undergo a more extensive update process.
Quest 2 players will now have improved textures, added assets to better fill in the scenes, and a lot more noticeable details.
Quest 3 players will have increased LOD bias. so you will see less LOD popping. They also have increased resolution, and increased scope resolution.
PCVR Players may notice a few details have been removed like blades of grass, small plants, and some decals. PCVR still retains visual benefits like higher resolution textures, mesh quality, and LOD bias.
REMINDER: All platforms have now been set to using the same maps, however, not all maps have received their full upgrades. We are continuing to work on the maps and will be updating them over time.
Updates to Fire Fight
Based on feedback received and additional playtesting after Fire Fight was released, we have made impactful changes to improve the game mode and overall experience when playing.
Major Bug Fixes
Virtual Gun Stock
Hello Onward Players!
Absolute deLIGHT doesn t even cover the excitement you showed for the news we shared last month, especially related to the Night Vision features. We are going to be keeping up on that trend this month. You may not think it possible to be more hyped for this update, however, we have some big updates on features you have asked about for a long time.
The Devs' Desk will be going over the remaining features that will be included in Update 1.13. Make sure to read all the details because there are some things you probably are not expecting. We will also be providing some additional details for some of the features we talked about last month.
Update 1.13 is shaping up to be very impactful no matter which way you play Onward. From the Hard Core Competition players to the Role players, Social Warriors to PVE hunters. This update has features for everyone. The other thrilling part is that all of this will be available before the long Thanksgiving Holiday weekend in the USA!
From the Devs' Desks:
The Unity update in our last patch set the stage for a lot of the work we have done in this update. Making the changes to major tools and systems beforehand allowed us to make much more meaningful updates to features you have been asking for. Overall, Update 1.13 isn't everything we are working on, we still have work to do for some bigger features for the game. We have a lot of exciting stuff in development. Being able to release such impactful features to the players and seeing your joyful reactions the past couple months has brought us immense happiness.
As the Quest 3 ships out to people the first thing we are getting asked is "What is the difference in Onward for the Quest 3 vs the Quest 2?" Some improvements can already be seen when using the Quest 3 based on the improvements in the hardware. In Update 1.13 We've increased the LOD bias for Quest 3 so you will see less LOD popping, and we increased the resolution of both the game but more importantly for scopes, so scopes will be sharper and higher resolution.
More improvements are coming down the road as well, so that is just the first batch.
Updated Tutorial & Player Instructions
With the launch of the Quest 3 there are going to be a lot of new VR users and new Onward players. In order to help these new users and also current users become better familiar with Onward's gameplay and mechanics we have updated our in-game tutorial. The first big change is now the tutorial is located in the FOB Bassett training room. We made several changes to how training is done. We have included improved text and visual representations to help new players understand more complex functions. The new tutorial instructions and updates to AI in training mode should help players feel better prepared for battles when they join PVE and PVP games.
In addition to the tutorial improvements, we have added objective details and instructions to the whiteboard in most game modes.
One more piece of equipment we have included to help with night mode missions is an update to the Flare Gun. The Flare Gun has been updated to have Parachute Flares. This means when it is shot into the air it will now parachute in place for an extended amount of time, and actually illuminates the surrounding area. This is extremely helpful in situations like getting pinned down by enemy fire and needing to signal to your teammates where exactly you are located. Make sure to take caution when aiming the Flare Gun, if shot directly at someone, it will cause them to be engulfed in fire.
Additional Details on FOB Bassett
FOB Bassett is a US military station located overseas. MARSOC has been stationed there to help provide medical aid while helping fight off Volk forces from trying to take over the areas that contain this country's two most valuable industrial crops: tobacco and sugar extract.
This environment is a medium size map designed to be an iconic overseas military station. It includes several locations within it such as a Gym, Rec Room, Infirmary, and Advanced Training Facility. Social Game Modes will have an opportunity to play on a large scale map with lots of twists and turns and spots to take cover. This will make Social Games more difficult and require more advanced tactics to find your opponents. This map is also an ideal location for Free Roamers to meet up with their squads and go over tactics, practice maneuvers, or just hang out and play a game of basketball.
When we say play a game of basketball, we mean it. FOB Bassett has two ways to play. One is a single hoop and the other is a full court. Both locations will keep score for 2 point and 3 point shots. It also has its own weekly global leaderboard. Basketball can also be good training for improving your grenade throwing skills.
Currently there are 4 different versions of every Onward map. There are PCVR versions (Night & Day) and Quest Versions (Night & Day). This means when we fix bugs, we need to fix them 4 times. This also means that some assets are on some maps and not others causing some visual and cover compatibility issues. With a lot of the updates that have happened over the past several months, we have been able to address this by consolidating our environments to one version. This means PCVR and Quest players will now be on the same version of the maps. This will bring a lot of much needed gameplay parity to PCVR and Quest players. It also ensures that when bug fixes or updates are made to maps, it will be easier for us to keep those fixes consistent across platforms. This is a big improvement for the competitive players. Overall, it means less time spent redoing map fixes and more time for other improvements to the game like making new content and features and fixing bugs.
Before you worry or any assumptions are made, this will not be a graphics downgrade to put all maps on the current Quest 2 versions. As part of this process we have updated the graphics throughout the maps. For Quest players this means improved textures, added assets to better fill in the scenes, and a lot more. For PC Players this will affect details like removal of blades of grass, small plants, and some decals. We've made the decision to remove some smaller details that could provide concealment on PC that Quest players could just see right through.The list of all the work that was done is really long and we think it will be more impactful for us to show you. Images below are examples of Quest and PCVR Graphics in 1.12.2 and what it looks like in Version 1.13. The Version 1.13 view is how all players will see the environments after the update is released.* PCVR retains visual benefits like higher resolution and LOD bias.
It's important that we also note that all platforms have now been set to using the same maps, however, not all maps have received their proper upgrades. We are continuing to work on the maps and will be updating them over time. Some maps may feel like a complete remaster.
Click the images to see them at full resolution.
Note - PC resolution and textures for 1.13 will be a bit better than what is able to be seen in these posted photos vs when in headset. In addition, some work is still being done on maps and environments may change slightly from images shown in the 1.13 versions.
Fire Fight Updates
We have been closely listening to your feedback and reports about the new game mode. Based on your feedback and additional playtesting, we have made the following changes in the game mode:
An Advanced Enemy Approaches
This is the news a lot of players have been waiting years for. We have made drastic improvements to our AI for our PVE modes. We have made several smaller changes to AI over the years, such as animations and response adjustments. However, what we really wanted to do is completely re-do their behaviors. In Update 1.13 we have been able to do just that. The AI has had a complete refactor done. AI can now take the "direct path" or the "safe path", which allows them to flank you much more often and intelligently. Some other highlights for the new behavior include the following:
That's right, picking up AI inventory is back! This is something you have been asking for and we have been working hard to bring it back into the game. We would also like to note that this refactor launching with 1.13 is the foundation for work that we plan to build upon to make additional improvements to the AI in the future. For example, in 1.13 the Rifleman AI has returned and we are currently working on other AI types like Snipers, Automatic Rifleman, and more in future updates.
We are excited to see the dynamic improvement this refactor will bring to your PVE experiences. More details on the AI changes will be shared in the patch notes when the update releases.
All this news is HUGE. If you haven't tried Co-Op or it wasn't your thing before, you should try it again with all the adjustments that have been made. Make sure you have enough time over the holiday weekend to experience all the new updates.
The AI is not the only major update to Co-Op. Some other highly requested updates will also be added. You can now use the ballistic shield again in Hunt and Evac. In addition, the defibrillator is also available for 12 loadout points.
Our Custom Map Maker Showcase entries are wrapping up and there are some exciting maps to play on. We will be reviewing the maps and announcing the winner on our social media channels soon. Be on the lookout for that announcement and make sure you try out the map for yourself.
Keep your head on a swivel!
We have just released another hotfix to address additional issues when Update 1.12 was released. This will fix a variety of bugs happening throughout different game modes and fix some errors that were happening in the settings. Speculative fixes are due to the limited amount of testing we can do on various devices and setups in our QA cycle. If any of the below issues continue to happen, please use our Discord to report the bug(s) you are experiencing.
Fire Fight is a hit! When Update 1.12 released, Fire Fight quickly became and continues to be a top played game mode. We are thrilled to see that you are enjoying this new addition. Some bugs did come with Update 1.12 due to some unpredictable behavior that happened due to the Unity update that was done. We are trying to get hotfixes out more quickly to get you back to playing and minimize the impact to your gameplay.
This month we have an update for additional fixes coming, some of the next features that are coming to Onward in the Devs' Desk and an update on our custom maps in the Community Center.
From the Devs' Desks
We are continuing to work on some lingering bugs and should have Patch 1.12.2 coming out tomorrow (9/20). This will include several fixes for bugs in Fire Fight, multiple Uplink spawns, heartbeat audio staying on, and more. The full list of fixes will be published when the patch is released. Patch 1.12.2 will also include a speculative fix for Pimax and Windows Mixed Reality users not launching correctly. The reason this is a speculative fix is due to the limited amount of testing we can do on various devices and setups in our QA cycle. Additionally, this also means that with all the different variables that come with PC gaming, we need to spend more time looking into other PCVR bugs that came as a result of the Unity update.
Next, we wanted to shed some light on some of the features coming to the game.
For the next update (1.13) we are not going to leave you in the dark about our goals to improve some aspects of the gameplay. Our vision for this is to help encourage you to be better equipped for anytime a battle may take place. If you haven't picked up on the subtle hints yet, we are going to be making updates to how you play at night!
New and Updated Night Vision Goggles
We will be adding updates to Night Vision Goggles for you to choose when making a loadout. There will now be two different versions of NVGs. The current NVGs will be automatically included for free in your loadout by default on night maps. There are also now Ground Panoramic NVGs that can be picked from the loadout options menu for 3 points, greatly increasing your field of vision. Both NVGs will include new customizable filters to choose from: Amber Phosphor, White Phosphor, Green Phosphor, and Digital (Multi-Color). The single color phosphates will be 0 cost for your loadout, unless you want to use the Digital filter. The Digital filter option will require you to spend 3 points to include in your loadout. These new color options and different goggle types should be a huge change to how you view night gameplay.
IR strobes are blinking infrared lights used in real world combat for friend or foe identification. They are being included on the character models on night maps. This will make identifying and locating your teammates easier in the dark environments, and makes night maps actually play different, not just look different. This should also help reduce team killing from not being able to clearly see the players uniform color. You will be able to see this addition located on your teammates helmet when night vision is enabled. Enemy strobes will not be visible for gameplay purposes and to reflect the manner in which these tools are used in real life, so this will not paint a bullseye on your head. Infrared strobes are a server option and can be disabled, but are on by default.
New IR attachments will also be coming to help improve your tactical options when building your night loadouts. IR attachments include items such as infrared lasers and infrared flashlights. In addition, normal laser sights are now colored red and green (by faction), and have high and low powered modes. Low powered laser sights show the dot, but not a beam. As far as throwables go, we've added chem lights (with liquid physics) you can snap and shake to activate and mark locations or signal your teammates.
Main Menu Scene Update
We have seen your comments and delight over the new Main Menu scene, the improvement in graphics quality and the difference it makes on immersion. We are thrilled to announce that this scene will be available as a full playable map. The map is named 'FOB Bassett' and will be released for Free Roam and Social game modes. These modes are quicker to implement and we don't want to rush out unbalanced versions of Uplink or other modes on this map. We are looking into extending it to other game modes, let us know in our Discord which mode you think would play well on this map!
Long-term projects being worked on
Not everything we work on makes it into the next update. Some features take longer than others to develop and some rely on other updates to release first.
You have heard us say for a while that we're working on our AI for PvE modes, well it's just about time for us to deliver on that promise. Our engineering team is working hard on a large refactor of our AI system which includes... We can't wait to share more, so stay tuned as we get further along in this feature's development.
We have introduced a new community program for custom map makers. Around once a quarter DPI will be hosting a Custom Map Showcase. We will be posting a theme for the custom map makers to build a new map made for the showcase. There will be one map submitted per person, and one winner will be chosen for the showcase. The winner will receive a community prize pack and the coveted Purple Pen that they can use in game
Our first showcase theme is 'Spooky / Fall Season'. We have already received a couple submissions that look to be really enjoyable to play on. The first showcase will wrap up around mid October. Just in time to get you some great new maps to fit the season.
Any level of map maker is welcome to submit an entry. Submissions are reviewed for a variety of criteria, anyone has the chance to win. If you are interested in starting to make custom maps join the official Onward Discord and head to the Custom Map channels.
The future's looking bright!
We have just released a hotfix to address some issues that came up since we released update 1.12 earlier this week. Most notably, we have added lateral translation to gunstock calibration, and fixed a number of issues related to Fire Fight, gunstock calibration, and map voting. The hotfix is available for download now.
As mentioned earlier this month, you didn't have to wait long for this update to become available to you. We felt your excitement and couldn't wait to get you access to the new game mode, Fire Fight. The team pushed hard to get all the features wrapped up and also did some important additional bug fixing.
Let's go over the new additions, major features, and quality of life improvements included in this update. For the detailed list of all changes, including bug fixes, make sure to read through the Change Log located at the end of the patch notes.
We updated the version of our game engine, Unity. This update gives us more opportunities going forward to improve the quality of the game. An example of this is we are now able to use Vulkan, which improves performance considerably over the rendering API we were using. It also gives us access to a working version of the SRP batcher, which will help us with optimizing draw calls. The short version of all of that means that in this version performance will be better, and we have a lot of performance headroom that we will be using in the future to improve things like graphical fidelity.
New Main Menu Environment
With the major focus of the development team being on the Unity update, we also wanted to find a way to showcase the graphics improvements that are now possible for the game. The new Main Menu environment should give you a fresh new level of immersion when you log into the game. The level of details and graphic quality is something Quest users have never seen before. This is our first environment that is exactly the same on both PC and Quest. Make sure to do a full 360 view of the area when you log in to get the full experience of the new location. We are not going to be providing photos here because we think it will be more impactful for you to see it in the headset.
New Gloves Models
Everyone has at least once needed to remind themselves what faction they were on when on the battlefield. The easiest way to do that was to quickly look at your gloves. The gloves have always been a signature piece of identifying equipment that is important to the gameplay. It's one of the reasons we chose them as an additional piece to demonstrate the quality upgrade we are striving to roll out. It might take some getting used to, since some people have been relying on those glove visuals for over 7 years. However, we think they will be a welcomed visual upgrade during gameplay.
New Game Mode - Fire Fight
This new game mode introduces a completely different dynamic playstyle for PVP. Your team is split into two fire teams. Each fire team will be deployed to different parts of the map. One player on each fire team will be assigned as the Corpsman. The Corpsman is the only team member who can help bring back critically injured players back to the battlefield using the new equipment item, defibrillators.
Dev notes: We understand in real military ranks, Corpsmen don't carry defibrillators, defibrillators cannot actually bring dead people back to life. This was a design choice we know may feel like a gamified option, same as the syringes. We did this in order to provide a better quality experience when playing. While testing this mode we tried a few different, more realistic healing mechanics and found that with the scale and pacing of Onward, slow healing mechanics were just not fun. It's the same reason we have a syringe to stop bleeding and pick up downed players. It's fast and fun.
There are two objectives that must be completed to claim victory. This mode requires strong teamwork and communication as the strategy can change at any given moment. The first is to locate and secure the hard drive. The second is to escape with the hard drive.
The tablet has been updated to scan and locate the hard drive position and it will also indicate where the extraction point is. Scanning for the hard drive will start once the team is deployed. You hear the beep, indicating the scans complete, showing an icon of where the hard drive is located. Once the hard drive is located you can track it in real time.
Dev notes: We have made some adjustments to the tablet specifically for this game mode, including additional functionality and some icon changes. Because this game mode requires you to change your tactics at any given moment, it was important to us that we equip you with tools to help your team be able to make informative decisions. With the added ability for Corpsman to bring players back from the tent, we needed to find a way for players to identify if their teammate is down or back in the tent.
After about 5 minutes a helicopter will come to pick up the player with the hard drive. Only the player with the drive needs to board the helicopter to win.
If you are downed or bleeding, syringes will work just like in other game modes. If you end up back in the tent, the corpsman can still bring you back. In the tent you can spectate and see which Corpsman is closest to where you went down and use the tent radio to let your team know what happened and where you are.
Dev notes: We've had a ton of fun playing this mode. Whether we're playing with a full 12 player lobby or with just 2 players on each team the number of options in terms of strategies really opens up the game. Using smoke grenades to cover teammates as the Corpsman moves into revive people. Faking out players by running off with the hard drive while our team goes the other way, and just fighting in parts of the maps where we ourselves have never had a fire fight before just added to the fun. One particular developer liked to stake out where the evacuation site was to pick off anyone trying to escape. No one game ever felt the same. We're really looking forward to getting this mode out to you and seeing what strategies you can come up with and hearing your feedback on the mode!
You can create a server for Fire Fight from the multiplayer menu or search for Fire Fight lobbies using the Fire Fight game mode filter option in the lobby browser.
Redesigned Gunstock Calibration
The Gunstock Calibration feature has been completely redesigned. The Gunstock Calibration process is now made in the same environments as the battles. This change alone drastically improves the accuracy of the settings when used during gameplay. We also made additional updates to the feature. You can now calibrate your weapon positionally up and down, in and out, and rotate around your gripping hand. This will help ensure your weapon is aligned exactly where you need it.
We also added the option to set a Universal Calibration. If a calibration has been set for a particular weapon, the "Set As Universal" button will be selectable. After, if clicked the Universal Calibration will be utilized for all un-calibrated weapons.
Once a calibration is saved, when the user equips that weapon with both hands, the weapon should automatically move to that calibrated position & rotation.
Video Instructions for how to use the redesigned Gunstock Calibration can be found here.
Loadout Expansion & Cloud Saving (Quest & SteamVR*)
Loadouts have been updated to now allow up to 24 different loadouts to be saved per role, per faction. You will also be able to edit the name of the loadouts. Simply click on the pencil in the upper left corner of the loadout and use the keyboard to make a custom name. With all those loadouts made, it was important to also be able to save them.
Your Loadouts, Gunstock Calibrations, and game settings will now automatically save and reapply in the case of something like an application uninstall/reinstall. The data is saved to your account via Cloud Saving. This means if you share your headset and game library, each account will have their own loudouts and settings automatically applied when the accounts are switched. Whenever settings are changed and saved during gameplay, the Cloud Save will be updated. Please note, Quest App and SteamVR are different platforms and different accounts. Any Loadouts and Settings made on Quest are not transferable to a SteamVR account.
*This option is not available on Oculus PCVR software due to Cloud Saving not being offered on the platform.
Quality of Life Improvements
Global Killhouse & Range Leaderboards
You can now see how your scores stack up against other players, not just in the lobby, but throughout the whole game. The current week's Global Scores for Killhouse runs and Marksman targets will now be displayed on both scoreboards throughout Shooting Range lobbies. Scores will reset every Wednesday at 12AM PT.
Connecting to Friends
Some changes to the Quest OS system when Update 1.11 launched caused some of the features people used to connect to their friends to no longer function correctly. In order to get these features working correctly again we needed to rework some of the code and have it go through the full development process.
While we were reviewing some of the Quest OS changes and working on getting these functions working again, we made some changes to how some of the direct OS inviting works. One of the major changes that happened on the OS side was people on your friendslist are now able to directly join your game sessions without requiring a direct invite. We reviewed the implications this might have for players who use private lobbies and overall game functions.
We made the decision, in an effort to protect the intention of private lobbies, to disable the ability for people to be able to join private lobbies via the join on friends option from the OS friendslist. In order to do this, we had to additionally disable the ability to send direct invites to OS friends while in a private lobby. The best way to connect to your friends when in a private lobby is to send them the lobby code and password.
For Public Lobbies, direct invites and the newly added join on friends from the OS friends list feature is available.
The "Show Friends Only" filter should work the same as before for friends who are on the same platform.
Player Reporting Updates
Now that the full implementation of the updated reporting system has been rolled out and we have had some time to review the reports and feedback. Upon review, we have made some adjustments to the system. The system was already designed to protect players from spam reporters and others making reports with malicious intent, however, we have heard your concerns and have additionally added a max number of reports that can be made per 24 hour period by a person. This setting will work in conjunction with the already included settings to keep false reports, spamming, and retaliation reports to a minimum.
As with the other details about the design of this feature, we will not disclose what the max is set to, in order to protect players from others that would try to manipulate the system. Users will not be notified that they have reached their max, they will simply stop counting against other players. We suggest people use their allotted number of reports per day to report players that are breaking the community guidelines. Players found continuing to try and abuse or manipulate the system against other players will have actions taken against them, such as temp bans or as far as permanent banning from the game.
This is not the only adjustments we are looking into for the system, simply what we were able to implement during the ongoing development of this update. We are continuing to look into other additional methods and options to continue to advance this system.
If you are concerned about a report not counting or simply want to make sure evidence is provided for a player's behavior, you are encouraged to continue to use the method of emailing the evidence that shows the player's in-game name and the behavior that breaks the community guidelines. Our customer Service team will be happy to help you and process the reports.
Happy August Onward Players!
This month we have lots of information to provide you about the development progress for Update 1.12. We will be revealing new features being added to the game and updates to some features we discussed last month. We will also be going over a topic that has been on everyone's mind: Fire Fight! We are giving you some developer insights into its creation and a detailed description of the new core game mode and what players can expect from it.
In the Community Center we will discuss some development changes to the previously announced Reporting System update roll out as well as upcoming league events you can join.
Let's jump right into the Devs' Desks to start talking about the stuff you really want to hear about.
Before we get into all the information related to Update 1.12, we want to make an official update to a previously announced feature from several months back. We have paused development on the Iraq map, Intercept, for the foreseeable future. We understand you were really looking forward to it, and we felt it best to be upfront and notify you about this change as soon as the final decision was made. Now, let's start discussing the things we are working on.
Update 1.12 continues to move forward and quickly. We are excited to announce that we have some game additions that have been highly requested by the community going into it. With the back-end changes that we made earlier in the year, it gave us the opportunity to finally develop these features and make them available to you.
Even though gunstock calibration was already in the game, we made some major changes to how it operates. One of the first things that was requested the day it came out, was the ability to calibrate vertically. We not only made that update, but several others to how it operates overall. Let's start at the beginning.
Gunstock Calibration will no longer be done in the tent, but after you load into a map. This ensures that calibrations you set are exactly what you will be using during gameplay. After you load into the map, you will grab your tablet and you will see a "Calibrate Gunstock" button. (Make sure you have the "Physical Gunstock" setting applied in your settings menu before loading into the map).
Additional updates that have been made are that the front hand's rotation is no longer taken into account. Only the back hand's (pistol grip) rotation is used. We also included a Universal calibration setting. A weapon can be set as the universal calibration and will be applied to any weapon without its own calibration.
We know this will be a big improvement to gunstocks and help improve your overall accuracy while using them. Now that we have these really nice gunstock calibration settings, it would be really nice to save them. Good thing, that's another addition to this update!
Cloud Saving (Quest & SteamVR)
You just made the perfect loadout. You were able to spend all your points and get that tactical edge you were hoping for. Loadouts will now be saved in the cloud in case you ever have to reinstall the application. Your Loadouts and any Gunstock Calibration settings will save to your account. Additionally, your progress through the tutorial, first time user experience, and most of your game settings will also be synced, so you will not need to do all of that again.
But Wait, There's More! Not only did we make cloud saving possible, also increased the number of loadout slots for each role to 24! Additionally, you can edit the name of the loadouts so you have an easy way to know which loadout is for which situation. This should help you be able to really fine tune your set-ups and be able to swap them in and out when you want to change tactics quickly.
There are some limitations to this feature. Due to cloud saving not being supported on the platform, this feature will not be available to players using Oculus PCVR. Also, because the cloud saves are linked to your account, cross-platform saving or importing/exporting is not available. If you play on Quest and SteamVR those will be different cloud save files, so calibrations and loadouts will need to be made per platform.
Last Update we introduced the Revamped Shooting Range & Improved Killhouse. Since then we have seen you share some amazing runs and shots of accuracy. Once players started to improve their scores they started asking for a way to see how they match up against other players. This request led us to developing the Global Leaderboards.
Players will now be able to see how they compare to the top Marksman and Killhouse runners throughout the game. The Global Leaderboards reset each Wednesday, so make sure to grab your opportunity to snag top spot or defend your title before the next reset.
You may have seen some of the sneak peeks and hints on our social media channels about Fire Fight. We have seen your questions and guesses about what the new game mode is and how it will work. Some people came VERY close to describing what the game mode will be. Let's start the deep dive into what Fire Fight is and what you can expect from the game play.
Fire Fight was designed by Tribly, a Military Veteran and a veteran developer at Downpour. His vision was to introduce a new way to play that would require strong teamwork along with objectives that could change the gameplay at any given moment. Coordination and the ability to think on your feet will be very important for game sessions. During developers testing sessions no two game sessions ever felt the same.
There are two objectives you must complete to claim victory for your team. Locate and secure the hard drive. Then, once the extraction team has landed, at least one person from your faction must evacuate with the hard drive.
To cover more ground your team will be split into two fire teams and deployed to different parts of the map. Embrace the fire team dynamics of fire and maneuver, or link up to consolidate your forces; the choice is yours. Beware, splitting up of the team and randomized deployment applies for the other team as well. They could be anywhere. So move carefully, communicate, protect your Corpsman, and you'll make it through.
Each fire team will be assigned a corpsman to provide additional medical support to your team. Syringes are good to bring for bleeding and injured squadmates, but they won't cut it for a mission this tough. The Corpsman is equipped with a new tool, the defibrillator, to heal critically wounded or incapacitated squadmates to bring them back into the fight. The Corpsman is just as well trained and equipped as others on the team but they are the only ones that can use the defibrillator so make sure you protect them.
Your tablet has been updated with software to scan and locate the hard drive position and it will also indicate where the extraction point is. Scanning for the hard drive will start once the team is deployed. Make sure to work together and get into positions while it scans. When you hear the beep, indicating the scans complete, you need to be ready to push forward and find it. Once the hard drive is located you can track it in real time so you can change maneuvers with your team to intercept in case the enemy is able to capture it before you do.
After your team has had its boots on the ground for a set amount of time, the extraction team will land and you will need to get the hard drive to the extraction point. Move quickly because there is a set time to complete this mission.
This game mode introduces many new firsts for Onward. It is the first game mode where both teams are performing the same objective. It is also the first introduction of the ability to bring severely injured teammates that have returned to the tent back to the battlefield, and the first to introduce multiple fire teams to a faction. Finally, it's the first game mode that can be played with up to 12 players!
With all that information we know you are excited to try all this out! You won't have to wait too much longer.
Player Reporting & Banning Update
Last month we notified you about our plan to roll out the updated reporting and banning system. As the roll out was happening members throughout the community showed some concerns and provided us feedback about how players were being affected. We reviewed the feedback and concerns and made adjustments, reducing the amount of days the temp bans would last. The day we made the change we made an announcement on our Discord that included the following immediate changes.
We have completed rolling out this system so all notices to affected players have been issued. We are already in the process of looking into further adjustments and we are continuing to monitor the process and listen to feedback.
VRML Season 15 Starts Soon
Take your passion for virtual reality and Onward to the next level! The VR Master League is calling all VR/Onward enthusiasts and gamers to embark on a world of virtual reality competitions and games. About VR Master League: The VR Master League is a dynamic community that brings together VR gamers from all around the globe. Whether you're a seasoned VR pro or just getting started, our league provides a platform for players of all skill levels to connect, compete, and elevate their VR experience.
Thrilling Competitions: Showcase your skills in exhilarating weekly matches. Challenge yourself and others in head-to-head battles that test your skills, strategy, and teamwork. Community & Friendship: Forge lasting friendships with like-minded individuals who share your love for VR gaming. Our community is supportive, welcoming, and dedicated to growing the VR gaming ecosystem together.
Joining the VR Master League is simple and rewarding. Head to our website, create your player profile and explore the ongoing leagues and events. Engage with our community, make friends, and jump into competitions that align with your interests and skill level.
Greetings Onward Players!
We have received a lot of positive feedback about the slower paced movement speed when playing. We know that it will take a lot of getting used to and we are confident that this will bring some improved tactical strategies to your gameplay. We also understand that it has not been well received by everyone, especially for game modes like Assault, and we are reviewing this feedback.
Hotfix 1.11.1 helped resolve a large portion of the issues people were reporting when 1.11 released. However, we know it didn't fix all of them. One of the features that unfortunately was not able to be fixed was the gunstock calibration. We understand a lot of you use this feature and we are on track to have this fixed in the next update. We will be providing updated details about that feature in the Devs' Desk.
Also included in the Devs' Desk are replies to some of the top feedback we received about Update 1.11 and details about our major focus(es) for the next update. The next update, 1.12 is already in the works and we know you are excited to hear about it, especially since you have been anticipating what might be coming after the Quest 1 drop. We won't be able to talk about everything this month, but we hope what we do provide will give you an idea of what is in the works.
Important Reminder: We will no longer support Quest 1 devices as of July 31st, 2023.
For more details about this please see our FAQ page:
What we have planned for Update 1.12 is going to be for the long haul of the game. It will not be a full graphics overhaul for the game that some people might have been hoping for with the support drop of Quest 1. What it will be is the starting point to make a major needed and required update that will lead us towards the direction of being able to update graphics and features.
What exactly does that mean? For Update 1.12 a major undertaking for us will be updating Unity by several major versions. But before we get to that we wanted to give you an update about some feedback and reports that have been sent to us about Update 1.11.
Thank you to everyone who took the time and sent us videos of different locations where maps are not behaving as they should. There are different reasons this can be happening in the environments, one of which includes the feature we included to fix exploits in the last update. We are looking into each of these reports and addressing them. Please feel free to continue to report any locations you find with images or video in our Discord. We are additionally making sure to closely review our maps and fix as many of these types of issues as soon as possible.
Connecting to friends easily is a very important feature. After the launch of Update 1.11 we started receiving reports of the "Find Friends Only" lobby filter as well as the direct invites not working. We quickly looked into this and a fix has been set for Update 1.12. In the meantime, please continue to use the Server ID system to get your friends easily connected to your lobbies.
There is a lingering question about the Gunstock Calibration feature and when it will be fixed since it wasn't included in Hotfix 1.11.1. We are going to be completely re-doing the Gunstock Calibration feature. We know that it may come as a shock to the people who use it, so let us provide you with some background information.
One of the reasons it didn't correctly work at launch with update 1.11 was due to its connection with the character rig (or rather, lack thereof). It used a different type of character rig in the tent to hold the gun and after Update 1.11 it didn't quite match the character model you played in-game, where you are going to use the gunstock.
Currently we are redesigning the feature to move the gunstock calibration process from the tent into the game. In the tent the setting will tell you to spawn and use your tablet. Your tablet will have a button to enter gunstock calibration mode, at which point you can no longer move and your controller sticks will move the gun. This enables you to be able to calibrate in the same character model that you play in-game. This will make the gunstock calibration work as expected in every circumstance with none of the oddities you may have experienced before.
This update also gives us the opportunity to include Y axis calibrations. That's right, the highly desired functionally is to have the ability to calibrate horizontally and vertically.
Onward currently runs on an older version of Unity game engine. Our team has been working hard on upgrading to a newer major version of Unity. When you think about software versions, this is a pretty big jump that will give us a lot more than we can go over here, but let's quickly go over what it is going to do for our ability to improve things like the graphical quality of the game.
One of the things updating Unity gives us is the ability to turn on Vulkan, a more efficient alternative to the renderer we're using now. The other important thing it gives us is access to a tool that "arranges" things more efficiently for the GPU to render. To put this simply, these two improvements will increase our rendering power significantly, giving us the headroom to make the game look better while maintaining performance. This Unity update gives us a lot more than these two things, and we're excited for you to see what this allows us to do to make the game better over the next few updates.
Now, given this work and us dropping Quest 1 support, we know you guys want to see some graphical improvements. You will see a few small graphical improvements in 1.12, but you'll see the more drastic improvements over the next few updates into next year. These things take time, and we are working on them as quickly as we can.
Let's talk about the graphic improvements you will see in 1.12:
Did we just say new game mode?
We sure did!
New Game Mode
Update 1.12 will be introducing a whole new game mode we're calling "Fire Fight". Keep an eye out for more information about it coming soon.
We are still in the early-ish phases of defining a lot of Update 1.12 features and updates going into it. We will make sure to provide you more next month.
When playing Onward we want you to have the opportunity to connect with other players and have a great gameplay experience. We are continuing to work on our commitment to you about addressing player toxicity. We have been closely reviewing and monitoring the effects of the in-game reporting system and it has led to us making additional improvements related to the feature.
Player Reporting and Banning Update
We are introducing warnings and temporary bans to players earlier on in the reporting process to help those players understand their behavior is not desired and they are at risk of being permanently banned. If players continue to receive reports after warning or temp bans it will lead to a permanent ban from multiplayer.
In the next couple weeks, we will be rolling out this expansion to a percentage of players over time. Based on some players' current reports, as this rolls out, players may start to see warnings, temp bans, or permanent bans applied to their account when they next log in. Warnings and Ban timers will start when the player next logs in.
Please make sure to refresh your familiarity with the community guidelines here.
VR Charity group Summer Tournament Update
Congratulations to the champions, team CTRL ALT DEFEAT in the VR Charity group Summer Tournament! While competing, The VR Charity group raised over $2,600 for the Make a Wish Foundation, making us the largest fundraiser for their Summer of Wishes program this summer! Thank you to all the participants and supporters for helping make these events happen.
To find out more info about taking part in the VR Charity effort, connect with them in their Discord.
We are happy to hear so many of you are enjoying all the new features that have come with Update 1.11. We also understand that when Update 1.11 launched there were some unintended behaviors that happened as well. Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit reports and provided images/videos to help give us details to quickly understand some of the bugs you were experiencing. We were able to quickly look into some of these and got to work right away on some high priority fixes. Details about all bugs fixed are in the change log.
Additionally, we wanted to also go over some game settings that might help with some of the newer changes that have been added to the game.
Height Setting & Movement
Player height setting plays an important role in how your character moves. We have improved our system settings to more accurately gauge your real life height. A warning will be issued and the screen will go black if your height setting does not match your actual height. You will not be able to play with modified/inaccurate height settings.
If you feel like your character is unable to sprint please try the following troubleshooting methods:
At the moment, Gunstock Calibration does not correctly support the "Lowered" pivot setting. We will resolve this in the future, but for now we have added an in-game warning when players try to use it. Currently, you should set your Weapon Pivot Setting to the default and this should help with being able to use this feature again.
The day has arrived! Update 1.11 has been released. This is a large update. Please note on most platforms it reinstalls the whole game when updating, so make sure your headsets are charged. Due to the large amount of features and updates in this patch we will not be repeating as many details about the features we previously communicated in the May & June Sitreps. Otherwise these patch notes would get even longer, very quickly.
Let's get right into it and take a look at everything included in the update. You can also find the detailed itemized list of all changes and bug fixes in the Change Log.
Two new high capacity Light Machine Guns have been added. The M240L for MARSOC Support Class and Ultimax 100 Mk3 for Volk Support Class.
New Tent Design & Interactions
The tent environment has been updated to a new design throughout the game. The new tent also includes updates to improve accessibility and movement for the whiteboard. Additionally, you can now access the full settings menu inside the tent.
Player Exploit Fix has been Added
Players will be killed when trying to forcibly enter geometry such as walls, rocks, vehicles, or other various items they're not supposed to.
Player Animations and Movement have been Overhauled
We've added brand new animations for player characters. In addition, the overall player movement has been slowed down. Along with the overall slow slowdown, gun weight* has been added and will affect movement speed.
*Gun weight is based on the heaviest weapon on your person, whether it is held or holstered, or whether it is primary or secondary, and is indicated by the "Movement Speed" stat in the Primary Stats menu. There are currently five weights for weapons - Very Light, Light, Medium, Heavy, Very Heavy, each weight class progressively slowing you down compared to the previous one. For example: If you are dual wielding SMGs and you have an LMG holstered, the LMG is used to determine your movement speed. This is indicated by "Movement Speed" in the weapon stats menu
Ability to Simultaneously Hold Weapons in Both Hands
You will now be able to use both your hands to hold weapons at the same time.
Revamped Shooting Range & Improved Killhouse
The shooting range map has been extended to 600 meters. We've added multiple new rows of further range targets and a new shot display on the Shooting Range that scores your target shots.
The Killhouse has been upgraded to be more interactive and will provide stats and a score for each run through. A scoreboard has been added outside that will break down the scoring of your last Killhouse run and the top players in the lobby for both target shots and Killhouse runs.
Weapon Recoil Overhaul
Balancing changes include foregrip and non-foregrip recoil adjustments & Bipods have been updated to be more accurate. New additions to the recoil system include horizontal recoil and stance based recoil (crouching and going prone will net you a recoil advantage).
Custom Maps will be included in Lobby Map Voting
Custom maps can be selected and played without needing to be downloaded prior to playing. Custom maps download automatically any time you do not have them installed already, whether joining through the server browser or through map vote. In addition, custom maps can appear in map votes even if nobody in the lobby has them installed.
Connecting with Friends
We have introduced Server IDs in lobbies (found in the back of the tent) and a filter in the lobby browser to search for server IDs. When a friend creates or joins a lobby, they can simply provide you with the Server ID. After entering the code in the browser it will narrow down all the options to quickly find your friends' lobby.
Social Game Mode Improvements
Various improvements have been made to the game modes One in the Chamber and Gun Game
New Watch Design
The graphics and overall look of the watch have been updated. The new design includes a compass and a more clear numbering system for directional callouts.
Added Additional Hand Movement Settings
Added the option in the settings menu to choose whether you want to use the controller in your dominant hand or your in your non-dominant hand for movement.
Tablet UI Improvements
Tablet icons can now be seen scaling down on the Tablet when the player moves away from them. The icons on the tablet map are always positioned on the boundary line between the user and the object it represents on the map no matter the rotation of the tablet. Additionally, the compass visual on the tablet has been improved.
Did you catch our trailer in the Meta Gaming Showcase? In case you didn't, you can check it out below. This month the Devs' Desk will be going over the features that were shown off in the video as well as some other additions coming to Update 1.11.
Exciting stuff right? Some of these updates have been in the works for a long time and we are excited to get them to you. Did you also catch in the video that you won't have to wait long for them? We are working hard on wrapping up some bug fixes and getting ready to release Update 1.11 on June 27th!
While you wait for the release, read on for additional details about the items that were showcased and other additional items coming with Update 1.11.
There are so many features we are excited to talk about that we didn't know where to start! We decided to go with the order you see them in the video and add details along the way. Also included, towards the end, are new updates on things that weren't shown in the trailer.
The two new weapons that will be added to the game are the M240L (for MARSOC) and Ultimax 100 Mk 3 (for Volk).
You will be able to find these weapons under the Support class. Yes you read that right. These are the first new weapon additions for the support class since the game became available on PC in 2016. The support role provides sustained covering fire to keep enemy combatants pinned down as their squad advances and flanks.
These weapons can be used to suppress the enemy's ability to return accurate fire, or to hamper the maneuver of the enemy's assault element. They fix the enemy in position and isolate them by cutting off their avenues of reinforcement. Having more bullets allows them to provide cover while the rest of the team can flank a target and destroy it.
This is a major feature you have been asking for, and we've been working on, for a long time. Getting leg movement working correctly in a VR game has taken a lot of work and iteration. When we were working on the animation we also wanted to improve how the characters moved overall.
In addition to the overhaul of the character animations, two additional changes have been made to the way your character will move. Onward's gameplay has been focused on a slower, more tactical style vs a run and gun type system. Overall leaning towards a more realistic, to almost a fault, feeling than making the game easier for players. As different hardware devices were introduced we were challenged with how to properly balance the intended game design, hardware capability, and networked movement related concerns. It took a lot of research, development time, and testing to find the proper balance that we were happy with.
At any given time when you log into Onward and go to the lobby browser you can find pages of Shooting Range lobbies to join. We understand players use the Shooting Range for a variety of different play styles and training sessions. We wanted to enhance your time on the range by giving you more tools to help you improve your accuracy, reaction times, and strategies to further build your skills for the battlefield. Challenging your friends is also a great method to stay sharp and look for ways to make improvements to your tactics. The following updates have been made to achieve this:
The tent has always been your base of operations during game sessions. It's where you set strategies with the team, prepare your loadout, and maybe even do a little trash talking with your opponents. We wanted to take the time to enhance the overall experience when in this space. Not just graphically either, we have also added additional functionality when inside the tent. We even brought back a version of an old interaction from back in the day.
There are a few other important updates that were not in the trailer, And we wanted to make sure you know these are coming as they will be bringing some additional quality of life to your game.
Reading about all of these features here and the ones in last month's Sitrep, you can see there is a lot to look forward to in Update 1.11. Make sure to check out all the details for everything that's included in Update 1.11 when we post the patch notes the day the update is released.
We saw a lot of you get really excited about some of the scenes in the trailer that premiered at the Meta Gaming Showcase. We have captured some of those iconic moments and have uploaded them for you to use as wallpapers for your computer. Check out the Media Page to view and download them.
Our community member Blxxn has been making some very informative videos to help teach people basic and advanced techniques for Onward. If you are a new player or looking to learn some advanced features during gameplay, make sure to check the full list of videos available on his YouTube page.
New Community made Custom Maps have been added to the Workshop area. As a reminder, once Update 1.11 is live you will be able to start seeing maps like these in the map voting scenes during tent map votes.
The custom map makers continue to make some fun new environments. The following new custom maps have made their way to the workshop:
We were thrilled to see the positive reactions to these updates from the showcase and we are looking forward to getting them to you soon.
Brace for impact, later this month.
Your kind words after our last communication meant a lot to us and we were happy to hear that you are excited to see what is coming next for Onward. This month in the Devs' Desk we will be going over some of the changes that will be going into Update 1.11. The features that are coming soon will address community feedback in addition to offering better quality of life details into the game.
In addition to the changes we are discussing this month, we have some other major updates that are also included in 1.11. However, writing about these features just doesn't feel like it would do them justice. We are working on some alternative ways to showcase these to you. Be on the lookout for more details soon.
The focus for update 1.11 is to bring features that will help your overall experience. Some of these have been in development for a while and will be completed and ready for update 1.11 and others were specifically picked to address community feedback.
A major update is coming to Custom Maps: Custom maps can be set to populate in lobbies without needing to be downloaded prior to playing. Currently, if you want to play on a custom map you have to make sure everyone you are playing with has the map prior to starting or it won't show up in the map vote. After update 1.11, while in the tent players will automatically download the custom map during the map transition after the vote occurs if they don't have it installed yet. When you set up a lobby you will have four options for how custom maps can populate in the map vote. Options that can be set will be:
When joining servers you will also have a filter to search for lobbies that are Downpour maps only, custom maps only, or anything in between.
Our hope is that these changes dramatically improve the visibility of custom content in Onward, and allow for more players to check out the awesome environments our custom content authors are producing.
Evolutions to Current Social Modes
To enhance our social game modes we have made expansions to Gun Game and One in the Chamber. These new options can vastly change your experience in these game modes.
Gun Game will have randomly generated loadouts that include random guns, attachments, and equipment. The host can choose four different progression options: Linear (the original non-procedural progression), Increasing Power, Decreasing Power, or completely Randomized Power. Every loadout progression ends in a finale stage, like the current shield and knife. However, there are now different finales you can possibly end on. The host can also determine how many stages are in the progression as well as if stages include hand grenades.
One in the Chamber will include options for weapon types and weapon sights. These will allow you to play the mode with the original pistol, or shotguns, or bolt actions, or even RPGs! In addition, when the last two players are left alive, their watches will beep and you will be able to see the opposing player's location on the tablet. This signals the start of Sudden Death, which will require one player to kill the other within two minutes or they both lose. Additionally, spawns will be randomized each round as originally intended.
Two additional updates will be made to both modes:
We will also be addressing a common exploit where players use various methods to enter locations, on various maps, which they're not meant to be in. We took some time to address the issue in order to make sure there was proper balance for intended gameplay tactics while being able to address people using exploits to cheat or play in an unintended manner. Players will be killed when trying to enter geometry they're not supposed to. This should help address and alleviate the frustration you feel when other players resort to using these types of behaviors during matches.
We all know that playing with friends is probably the most fun you can have in Onward. Last year we introduced a way to invite people directly into your game if they are on the same platform as you, and in this update we're turning it up a notch by allowing you to quickly find your friend's lobby even if they are on a different platform. We will be introducing Server IDs to lobbies. You will easily be able to find your friends' games using the "Server ID" option in the lobby browser. When a friend creates or joins a lobby, you will have them simply provide you with the lobby ID number. After entering the code in the browser it will narrow down all the options to quickly find your friends' lobby.
Quality of Life Adjustments
Included in update 1.11 are several quality of life adjustments to the game. Adjustments like these may initially sound like small changes, however, the impact of how it affects your game sessions over time can be massive. Some of these adjustments include:
Our team continues to tackle and fix a large list of bugs. We understand that as we make major adjustments to the game and update backend features that it has caused some unintended behaviors to happen in different aspects of the game. We have been closely monitoring the community reports and are working on fixing many of the issues we have seen reported. Some issues reported may require more time as they might be a larger project or are being considered for redesign. Thank you for being patient with us while we continue to work on these.
We hope you enjoyed the Onward tips that were shared on our social media accounts. It seemed a lot of players learned some new techniques to add to their gameplay tactics. If you missed them, you can still review them on our social accounts.
In line with making quality of life improvements to the game, we have been making some quality of life updates to our Discord community as well. We have reformatted the way you can make game suggestions, report bugs, and also how to get help if you are experiencing any issues with the game. This will provide you with easier visibility to developer responses and ability to connect with other players about the game.
On a final note, by popular request, we have now made the new loading screen artwork available for you in desktop wallpaper formats. To check out all the beautiful 4K scene options, head over to the Media page to download them.
We are looking forward to giving you even more information in the coming weeks. Until then...
Stay alert, look to the horizon.
We wanted to update you on the status of the studio in regards to the layoffs at Meta that occurred earlier this month. Meta acquired Downpour Interactive two years ago, and Downpour operates within the Oculus Studios group in the Reality Labs portion of the company. Meta recently had to make some tough decisions in regards to staffing throughout the organization. Unfortunately, this did impact our studio.
Onward is not being shut down, and we are continuing to support the game. Our team at Downpour is a passionate group who remains dedicated to bringing you improvements, new features, and bug fixes. Expect a May Sitrep from us soon that will include updates on some exciting features coming in update 1.11.
Beyond update 1.11, the plan of work that we have laid out in previous Sitreps is likely to change. We will need to first take some time to evaluate our internal processes to ensure that our team focuses on what is the most beneficial and impactful for you, our players.
Finally, we'd like to take a moment to thank you for allowing us time to process the loss we are feeling for our fellow colleagues and friends. Downpour started as a small team and grew into what felt like a group of friends working together to expand on an amazing game in this new technology space. Our friends will be greatly missed, and we wish them all the best in their future endeavors.
As we say goodbye to these talented individuals, we must move.. ONWARD.
The Downpour Interactive Team
Hello Onward Players,
We were thrilled to hear how many of you are enjoying all the new content and updates that came with 1.10. When update 1.10 released, the team was continuing to work on the issues with the lobby stability, which is the major focus for this hotfix. In addition, we were also able to fix some small bugs that came with 1.10. However, we know this hotfix does not include all of them. We have reviewed the feedback and are continuing to work on bugs that you have reported. Please see the list of fixes included in this hotfix and the list of known issues.
Happy March Onward Community,
Did you draw a battle plan for Egress? Is the MP7 everything you dreamed it would be? We hope you are continuing to enjoy all the new content that came with update 1.10. We were thrilled to see all your positive reactions and feedback.
Some of the items that made it into the game we understand you are less thrilled with. Some of the major community reports being the performance issues on Suburbia for PC players and the weapons unintentionally releasing from your hands. Based on the amount of feedback we received we understand these major pain points so we're prioritizing looking into these issues. Additional bugs that you have reported we are actively working on addressing as well. There will be a hotfix coming soon and more details about what will be included in it can be found in the Devs' Desk.
Another topic we want to address is the departure of Downpour Interactive founder Dante Buckley, who has resigned from Meta. It's not hyperbole to say that without Dante, Onward and Downpour Interactive would not exist. Dante's vision for Onward and approach to VR game development was the foundation for our work and how we make games together here at Downpour. We want to thank him for his many contributions, and wish him the best in all his future endeavors while we carry on his passion for Onward. As a studio, we will miss Dante but are as committed as ever to continuing to deliver great gaming experiences for you all.
A major focus since 1.9 has been to address the outstanding issues related to networking. This includes issues where players are experiencing getting kicked from lobbies or whole lobbies are being dissolved. We have been working hard on identifying and properly fixing the issues. Network and server related work can be very delicate and takes a lot of development time and testing. We are in the process of testing a fix that is set to be released as Hotfix 1.10.1. We don't have an exact date to share yet, once the hotfix is fully tested it will be released.
In addition to the hotfix, we are also working on our next update: 1.11. This update will include some major quality of life improvements, new content, and of course bug fixes. We will release more details about what is coming into the update soon. Stay tuned for more information.
Do you know every tactic and mechanic there is in Onward? Over the next couple weeks we will be releasing a series of social media posts with videos and images showing off some of the more nuanced and obscure things possible in Onward. If you are looking to broaden your skill set, be sure to watch our social pages.
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Stay Focused, Stay Alert
The content update you have been waiting for is here! We have shared a lot of information with you about what to expect with this patch over the past couple months and the design direction around what went into the update. We know you are excited to try the new weapons and play on the new map, so we will jump right into letting you know what is included in this update.
Two New Weapons
Two new weapons have been introduced to the game: the MP7A2 for MARSOC and the SR-2MP Veresk for Volk. The MP7A2 is one we heard a lot of requests for. You'll see it has its 40 round magazine, drop free magazine, and bolt release button, while the SR-2MP Veresk's has a 30 round magazine, drop free magazine, and cheaper point cost to balance it. Both sport a high fire rate and are excellent choices for CQB. You won't need to worry too much about your barrel getting obstructed as it might with longer weapons. We're happy to have a chance to provide more close quarters options, plus finally get an SMG onto Volk!
We have been listening to community feedback and requests for a European map. Egress is a brand new urban city map set in Estonia available for all game modes with both day and night versions, and it's our second map to make use of snow. You will need to be careful when moving around to not give your position away when others can hear it crunching beneath your boots. Egress offers a variety of cover and interesting locations to discover including warehouse storage, a hotel bar, and more. Get ready to learn some new call outs.
This time around, we wanted to make sure all our weapon and map content in this update connected and fit well with each other in terms of both gameplay and setting. SMGs were a great fit for the close quarters urban fighting that's seen in Egress. The MP7A2, in addition to being a commonly requested weapon by players, can be seen used by both American and Estonian special operations teams. The SR-2MP Veresk is a natural gameplay counterpart that is used by Russian security forces and thus makes sense for Volk to have their hands on, not to mention that its country of origin is just across the border. In future update content, we plan to connect our guns, maps, and overall content similarly as long as we are still satisfying our content goals giving you things you want to see in-game.
Regional servers allow players to play in matches hosted closer to their location where they can have better connections. Upon launch after downloading update 1.10 players will be asked if they want to pick a preferred region. There are 4 options to choose from; US West, US East, Europe, Asia. Players should pick the region closest to their current location. If players ever want to change their preferred server region, they can do so at any time in the Settings menu.
Choosing a preferred server region will set your game to attempt to join lobbies in that region when using the quick play options for Core, Co-op, and Social buttons found under Multiplayer. If a lobby can't be found in your region, it will start checking other regions. Whenever you choose to host a lobby, your lobby will always be hosted in your preferred server region. This gives you more control over this function, and not just assume you always want to host in whatever region is closest to you. So if you have a few friends all located in another part of the world, and want to host a lobby for them that is physically closer to them so they can benefit from a lower ping, you can always go to your Settings and choose their region. When looking for a lobby to join in the server browser, you can see which server region a lobby is set to in the server info area at the bottom under "respawn mode". You can also use the server browser's filters to narrow down which regional server lobbies show in the browser. If you're ever in the middle of a match and unsure what server region you're in, you can always look in the back of the tent.
AI Enemy Animations
AI enemy animations in co-op and single player have been completely overhauled. Every animation has been replaced, including walking, shooting, throwing grenades, dying, and more. Fighting AI and getting kills especially will now feel even more impactful, immersive, and responsive.
Now, over to the full change log!
Workshop & Custom Maps
Weapons and Utilities
We hope you have enjoyed all the images that have been appearing on our social channels throughout the last month. All of the posts related to things included in the upcoming update 1.10. This month on the Devs' Desk we will be discussing the images, their meaning, and how they relate to the upcoming update.
We know you are excited to play on the new map and use the new weapons. Update 1.10 is expected to drop on February 21st. Keep your eyes on our socials to know the exact time the update becomes available for download.
We can now confirm that our next map, Egress, is coming in update 1.10. Egress is a snowy urban map taking place in a port city in Estonia, with a focus on CQB and medium-range combat. Establishing lore and story background in Onward is important to us, and we're trying to emphasize deeper immersion through story with our future level content. The newspaper articles that were shared on our social media actually appear in-game, placed throughout the level. Each one gives hints as to why Volk and MARSOC are there, and what led up to the fight. When you load into Egress, you'll see a location and summary of the engagement as with all our other maps. But if you can connect the dots there with the articles, you'll learn much more. See below for the mission summary seen in the loading screen:
Volk has bribed a dockhand to falsely report a bomb threat, causing an evacuation. Volk aims to kidnap a scientist on the CBRN response team. Nearby MARSOC on a joint training operation have been given permission to move in.
For the level design of Egress, we knew we wanted to emphasize the close-quarters weapons available in Update 1.10. The map is tightly packed with alleyways, warehouses, loading docks and a centralized hotel that make for a variety of ways to strategize with your team to cover ground effectively, outflank your opposition and make gameplay fresh with each round. We want to take this moment to share more images showcasing some of the outside areas on this level and leave the rest for you to discover.
In our very first teaser image, in addition to lore and setting, we left a nice little hint as to the weapon content coming in 1.10. Those in our community with a keen eye could see there was text in the bottom right hand corner of the page in that image reading "1316G1B", which decodes as follows:
We can confirm that the "MP7A2", an oft requested PDW style SMG, is coming in 1.10 with the SR-2MP Veresk as its counterpart. Two image teases for the weapons showcased the amazing work the team does on the details when making weapons for the game. We showed extreme close ups of both guns, and then later showed off full on renders. You can see the close ups compared to the full weapon images below.
It was important to us that these new pieces of content fit together in a cohesive way that makes sense for both the gameplay and setting. These two PDWs are perfect for the confined urban CQB of Egress since they are small, lightweight, tight quarters weapons designed to be used against conventional armored combatants. Furthermore, we can see that the MP7A2 is used by both American and Estonian SOF, with Russian forces making use of the SR-2MP Veresk on their end as well. With adding these two guns, we have grown our CQB play and further expanded our suite of weapons in a way that makes sense for the update's map and all other Onward maps, not to mention finally getting an SMG onto Volk!
In addition to the other two major features we talked about in previous Sitreps (regional servers & improved AI animations), we wanted to highlight that major fixes and updates will be applied throughout our maps. The foundations we've laid in our previous updates now allow us to refocus on releasing improvements we've spent the last year working on in the background, such as map fixes etc. Starting in update 1.10 you will start to see a big flow of map updates coming out again. This includes things like updated textures, misaligned collision fixes, fixed exploitable locations, and more.
More details for all the features and bugs fixes that are included in update 1.10 will be announced with the patch notes when the update goes live.
VR Central shared a fun video of some of the interesting things that happen during his gameplay in Onward. Some of the clips included are some skilled kills, funny moments, and some acts of ultimate betrayal during game sessions. We are glad to see that he has such a good time during his game sessions and makes the most out of some of the situations that happen on the battlefield. You can check out the video On YouTube.
The Custom Map Makers have done it again this month. We have 6 new custom maps for this month! Make sure to head over to the Workshop in game and add them to your library to test them out.
To focus our development efforts, we will no longer support Quest 1 devices as of July 31st, 2023.
For more details about this please see our FAQ page
Happy 2023 Onward Community!
We would like to start by welcoming all the new players that have joined the Onward community! We saw a large increase in players and number of lobbies through the month of December. We hope you all are fighting the good fight and enjoying all the different game modes that Onward has to offer.
After our 1.9 release, our focus has been to work on stability in addition to new content for the next update. When we moved our game over to a new hosting service in 1.9 we realized some additional server work was needed and we wanted to address it as soon as possible to enhance your experience. We produced hotfixes through December and January to improve the server and game stability. Update 1.10 is the next update that will be released and will include the new content you have been asking for.
Let's take a look at some of that new content the teams have been working on.
Our level designers are providing a glimpse of what the inside of one of the major buildings looks like on the upcoming 1.10 map. It looks like something happened to cause this area to have been evacuated quickly. Luckily, the photo of Mr. Falafel Fluff appears to be undamaged.
The weapon artists are putting the last bit of polish on the two new weapons. What we can take a look at, well, listen to, is the audio of the new weapons being used at the shooting range.
We hope you've been enjoying our teases about update 1.10's new content and backstory on our social media. We've been reading and enjoying all of your theories! If you look closely at what we're posting, and read between the lines, you'll see some hints on what's to come.
The Custom Map Makers have been working hard and added some great new maps to the workshop area. These new maps are available now to be played on PC and Quest.
We are looking forward to showing you more as the time for release gets closer.
Over and Out
When patch 1.9.3 released there was an issue that was causing some lobbies to have incorrect spawn timers. In addition, there may have been other lesser reported compatibility issues for some players. These issues should now be resolved. It is highly encouraged that you update the game to version 1.9.4 to avoid any compatibility issues.
We have started the year refreshed and hit the ground running by addressing some major pain points the community was experiencing after the 1.9 update. Please see the change log below for what is included in this patch:
Hello Onward Community!
December is bringing 2022 to a close and we are happy to look back and see all the work the team has been able to accomplish this year and how all that hard work will help us make even more improvements and open the door for new additions in 2023.
The game got a lot of much needed improvements and additions to help the longevity of development and set the game up to have new content and fixes come in next year. This month, in the Devs' Desk, we wanted to showcase all the additions and improvements that went into Onward this year. What isn't included in the list is the hundards of bugs that were fixed through the year. If you are curious about all the individual details that went into the game, you can always read the details from the previous patch notes.
The community also had some great additions inside and out of the game this year. From intense competitive matches, fun custom maps, to fun videos and fan art. Check out the Community Center for some of our favorite clips and events that happened this year.
Our office will be closed from December 22nd - January 2nd (including support). The team will be taking this time to recharge so we can return and hit the ground running in 2023. Expect more info about the new 1.10 content once we return.
The major focus for the year was improving our backend systems to give us the ability to continue to expand the game and improve the game's foundation. Some of the systems had not been worked on since the game first launched in 2016. This investment helps give us the ability to add new features and content and allows current systems to be improved on.
Onward 2022 Wrap-Up
Newly added features
A total of 32 new custom maps were added to the game this year! The community map makers have been hard at work offering a variety of new themes and environments for players to experience. If you are interested in learning how to make maps or connect with the people that do, make sure to check out our custom map creators section in the official Discord.
The competitive Esports organization VRML had a booming season this year. 1,527 players, making up 116 teams, competed this year. That's 846 intenses matches of PVP. Check out some of the highlights from this season on their YouTube channel. Their next season is starting soon, if you are interested in joining, make sure to check out the details here.
The VR Charity group ran two Onward charity tournaments this year raising over $7,500 for some great causes like Breast Cancer research and StackUp for Veterans. If you are interested in joining the community for future charity events check out their Discord.
Lastly for the community portion, check out some of the community highlights from throughout the year:
Thank you for all the great matches, feedback, and support you show the game and the team. We are looking forward to everything we are going to bring to you in 2023.
Happy Holidays from everyone at DPI!
Thank you all for your patience while we worked hard on getting hotfixes out after the release of 1.9. While settling into our new hosting service a number of issues came up that needed to be addressed based on the new backend work that was done. The bugs that emerged related to the amount of traffic and volume of games being made. These types of bugs are something our QA team couldn't have caught or replicated before the launch. We tackled the bugs as quickly as we could and got fixes out quickly to get you back to fighting the good fight. Bugs that you may have experienced that have been fixed since the release of 1.9 are as follows:
Fixes released a few hours after release:
Fixes released in 1.9.1:
Fixes released in 1.9.2:
If you are still experiencing any of the above issues, please make sure you uninstall and reinstall the game and are on the latest version of the game (1.9.2). The new server infrastructure made it much easier for the team to deploy hotfixes. Update 1.9 gave us the ability to address things quickly and this improvement will continue to help improve our development process. We continue to work to resolve issues related to the 1.9 release, such as the "Error 7" error message and players being kicked back to the main menu during gameplay. We are hoping to have these resolved soon.
Since we are now in a better place with our backend and the game stability, our focus for the next update is new content. We have some exciting new features that we are working on. Check out the Devs' Desks for the latest on the new stuff coming to Onward.
Work continues on the Iraqi map we teased in our May Sitrep, which given its unique layout has necessitated some extra time in development and will not be coming in update 1.10. Instead, expect to see a totally new and yet to be revealed map in our next update. This unannounced map has come together very nicely in recent playtesting, and we are excited to reveal more about it soon. As for the details, we don't have anything to share yet other than the fact that Volk is up to no good and you should keep your eyes peeled on our social media for more info.
We are working on not just one, but TWO more weapons. More information on the weapons will be released as information becomes available.
This is the first major animation update which will be rolled out since the game launched. We've long wanted to address the animations and have certainly heard your wishes regarding updating our character animations for Onward. Starting off you will see big improvements visually to all the AI animations. We've even added new crouching and death animations, as well as smoothed out the directional movement of the NPCs.
Adding Regional Support
Many people believe that Onward uses "peer to peer" networking, but this is not the case: it is server / client with one user being designated the "master client". That is the person with the star by their name, and they get more authority in the lobby, but they are not actually hosting the lobby. Until now, all Onward lobbies have been hosted in the US East region, even if the "master client" was in another region. This means that if a player was not in the eastern United States, they would experience laggier gameplay or latency. With our new backend we now have the ability to offer regional support. You will now get to pick from a list of available lobby regions to create your lobbies in, and gameplay will feel more consistent for people in those regions. Lobbies from every region will be shown in the lobby browser together, but you can filter for specific regions. Lobbies you create or quick join into will use your "preferred region" which is set from the settings screen. On launch of the update, we will have the following regions: US East, US West, Europe, and Asia.
We have resolved the issue of the map creator's name not showing on the customs map menu. New instructions for custom map makers have been posted in our Discord so the map creator can link their names to the maps in game. You should start to see the names of the map creator appear in the workshop soon.
In addition, we have a new map in the workshop for you to check out.
Chinatown Day submitted by Bluega (For PC)
"Volk have placed a bomb in central Chinatown. Civilians have been evacuated. The terrorists must be eliminated or the bomb defused."
When 1.9 launched the rating for the custom maps were reset. If you enjoy a custom map, don't forget to go back to the workshop and rate it. It helps the custom map creators understand what maps players enjoy and provide valuable information when new maps are being created. It also helps players see what maps other players have and when those maps are downloaded by other players, those maps are more likely to show up during map voting in matches
We hope you are looking forward to all the new content being developed for Onward! Don't forget to follow our social media to keep up to date on news and information between Sitreps.
Last week we released patch 1.9.1 to address a number of high priority issues. At the time we were aware that some issues remained, particularly related to lobby stability, which caused players to be kicked back to the main menu. Today we release hotfix 1.9.2 to address these issues. The patch is available now and should download for you automatically.
We hope you are continuing to enjoy the features like the improved audio and reporting system that came with 1.9. Given the amount of work and changes that were done to the back end of the game, we were happy with the overall stability of the update. Once players did start to report problems related to things like lobby visibility and access or player names not being visible, the change to our new host gave us the ability to quickly identify the causes and jump into action to resolve some of the issues within a matter of hours.
There are still a couple of lingering bugs that were discovered and quickly fixed, however these require a game update in order to resolve them. We are releasing hotfix 1.9.1 to address those issues reported. Below in the change log is the details of what issues were fixed.
Independent of this hotfix we are looking into lobby stability issues you have reported to us over the past week, some of which seem to affect the co-op lobbies in particular. Until we are able to address these issues a workaround for some of the issues is to start new lobbies regularly, and for co-op lobbies in particular, playing with a lower number of bots.
In our sitrep last month we stated 1.9 would come before the end of the year and today is the day! If you have kept up with our dev blog, you know that most of the work that went into 1.9 was back-end work. However, there were also a lot of bug fixes and a couple new improvements that are included as well. For the full list of the bug fixes, make sure to check out the details in the Change Log.
This latest back-end update was a big one. We moved the entirety of the game from where it was hosted to a completely rebuilt infrastructure. It doesn't sound like a big process, but in fact it is a massive undertaking. It may feel like we should be able to just drag and drop the files over to a new location, like one does when moving an image file from one location to the other. We wish it was that simple. The best way to describe what had to be done is to imagine you are moving a house, you have to pack everything up, tear the whole house down, move it, rebuild the house, and then set everything back up exactly the way it was previously. It's a lot of much needed work. This change has given us more stability, and will provide more opportunity to grow and continue to develop the game with new features and content.
When this update was tested by Unit 51, they asked us why this update is labeled a major update when it seems to have fewer changes than some of the previous maps we released, specifically those in the 1.8.x family. While it's true that 1.9 does not include a new map or new weapons, there is an astonishing amount of work in the changes on the backend and servers that power Onward. In effect, we have rewritten the entire multiplayer system which comprises most of the code that runs the game. If we've done our work right, you will notice very little from these changes now, and as we mentioned in the last couple of Sitreps, this is laying the foundation for more major changes down the road including new weapons and maps.
Now let's get into the details of what is included for update 1.9 that you can see.
You will now have the ability to report other players directly in the tent. Players can be reported for using hateful language, inappropriate drawing, hacking/exploiting, harassment, and team killing. You can report a player once per game session.
We heard the concerns some of you had when we first announced the feature. We want to note that there are systems in place to prevent spam reporting or abuse of the system.
Additionally, you are still able to report players, with video evidence, who do not follow the community guidelines. Videos should be sent to email@example.com. Banned players will now receive a notification of being banned when they launch the game.
Updates have been made to the Steam client side that have changed the launching parameters. Previously the game would launch from OnwardLauncher.exe, the game now launches from Onward.exe. The best method to ensure you have the correct version of the game and no lingering legacy files is to uninstall all previous versions of the game and reinstall then restart the Steam client before launching the game.
In addition to the executable name change, the launch options have also changed. The "(Legacy)" launch options of the game have been removed. There are now only two options, "Launch Onward in Steam VR Mode" or "Launch Onward in Oculus VR Mode".
Auto Reconnect for Lost Audio Connection
If voice chat connection is lost, the server will automatically try to reconnect. There is an icon indicator on scoreboards indicating when a reconnection is being attempted.
Ammo Crate Graphics
The graphics for the ammo crate have been improved.
The "Friends Only" filter (for friends who are on the same platform as you) now takes your platform privacy settings into account. This means if in Oculus or Steam if you are not set to show your game activity online, you will no longer show in-game for your friends using this server browser filter.
In addition there has been a fix implemented so you will now again see an icon to indicate that you have a friend (friend on the same platform as you) in a lobby in the server browser.
Descriptions have been added to filters to give information for what each filter means and describes the game mode choices. This should help new players understand more about what game is being played when looking for lobbies to join.
With moving to a rebuilt infrastructure, this means all currently downloaded custom maps have been deleted. You will need to go to the Workshop and subscribe/download the maps again.
Currently, all rating and author names have been removed. We will be working with the Custom map creators over the next couple weeks to relink the maps to their authors. Ratings for maps will begin to acquire as people start voting for them starting from today.
We have also introduced additional Workshop filters. The workshop can now be sorted by additional criteria:
Weapons & Utilities
Happy Fall, Onward Community!
The leaves are dropping from the trees and so is the news from our dev team! We have several major updates for you this month including a status update on the next update release, some changes on the store front, and information regarding accessing previous versions of the game.
As we stated in the previous sitrep, the team has been focused on the final batch of major backend updates. We are happy to announce that the work is wrapping up and the next update (1.9) will be released before the end of the year. We will be going over some of the details of what will be included in the 1.9 update in the Devs' Desk section of this sitrep.
Before we dive into the upcoming updates we need to talk about Onward 1.7. Over the past two years since our release on Quest the hardcore PC players among you sometimes went back to play this version of the game. We wanted to facilitate that option for as long as we could, in recognition of the PC community who supported us when the game was originally launched and continued throughout the early years of development. However, with all the fundamental changes we are making to our backend it is no longer feasible to keep running the legacy systems that version 1.7 relies on. We have made the choice to remove access to it starting October 27th, 2022. We remain committed to Onward on PC, and we are focused on the future of the game as we continue development.
On to more exciting news! We have long believed we should build Onward so that you can play on any platform you want, and with the success of Airlink and an increased interest in playing Onward on PC, in November, Onward will be available as a cross-buy title on the Meta Quest platform. This means that if you own Onward on the Meta Quest store, you will get access to the Oculus App for PC for free and vice versa. Please note: The Steam version of Onward is separate (not covered by Meta Quest cross-buy) and will still require a separate purchase of the game. Stay tuned for updates and exact launch day as time gets closer.
We are currently focused on finalizing update 1.9 for release. While the bulk of the work is focused on infrastructure and backend, we are also working on a new feature and also a number of bug fixes the community has been asking for.
Coming in 1.9 is an all new in-game player reporting system. Players will now have the ability to report other players directly in the tent. Players can be reported for using hateful language, inappropriate drawing, hacking/exploiting, harassment, and team killing. The goal is to provide an in-game solution to make it easier to report toxic players, cutting down on overall toxicity in the game, resulting in more enjoyable game sessions.
With this new feature, we expect to be able to more effectively identify disruptive players. If a player is banned they will now receive a notification that they are banned. When a ban is issued it is permanent and the banned player will need to go through the appeals process in order to try and have the ban removed. If you have any questions about what are considered bannable offenses or behaviors not accepted in the game, please read our community guidelines.
We also wanted to take this time to highlight some bugs the community has been inquiring about that will be getting fixed in the upcoming update:
For the full list of features and bug fixes, make sure to check out the patch notes when update 1.9 is released.
With 10 total teams participating, the VR Charity Tournaments raised $1,400 USD for StackUp. The money will go towards helping veterans who suffer from PTSD, depression, anxiety, and more. The VR Charity group is still accepting donations year round with their link here.
Fast Action Response won the SPINOSAURUS tier
Unicorn Sparkles won the TREX tier
Congratulations to the winning teams and thank you to everyone who donated to this great cause!
New Custom Content Releases
We're excited for the upcoming releases and getting back to bringing new content to the game.
We hope you are enjoying all the new features that came with update 1.8.11. Before we reply to some of your feedback, we want to first take a moment and talk at a higher level about the Onward project and introduce some of the new people who are working on it. For over a year now you have seen us introduce not only new content, like maps, weapons, and weapon features, but you've also heard about the backend improvements to systems throughout the game, such as the refactor for our lobbies and the latest one for our weapons. We want to be clear and transparent that as we continue to develop the game, we still have more of this type of work to do. Dante, who as many of you know is the creator of the game, wanted to personally take a moment to let you all in on some of the things that are happening behind the curtains and what it will mean for the game and for the team.
Dante here - It's been a while since you've heard from me, but I wanted to let you know that I'm still alive and kicking and have been working with the team and Meta on building the future of Onward.
Another important thing I want to acknowledge to our players, is that your feedback on lack of game updates has not fallen on deaf ears, and you deserve some transparency on why things have been slow.
In short, the two big reasons why updates have been slow are -
Since joining Meta we have gotten access to more senior developers and producers, who have begun to improve our development process. In fact, I'd like to introduce 2 recent Downpour hires that are helping us achieve these goals: Mike and Mike.
Michael (Mikee) Tsarouhas. Mikee was the lead game designer on Insurgency Sandstorm and has joined us to help take Onward's gameplay to another level. You will see a lot of Mikee's design impact in 2023 after we finish our infrastructure work for 2022.
Michael (Mike) Syrnyk. Mike has worked on and produced major AAA titles such as Bioshock Infinite, COD Advanced Warfare, COD WW2, and COD Vanguard. He brings a seasoned perspective and wisdom to our development process that will help propel Downpour Interactive forward. Don't worry by the way, we are not turning Onward into COD. Mike will be focused on production and planning and I will be focused on creative direction and gameplay.
I appreciate your continued support of Downpour and Onward. We are in this for the long haul and sometimes you have to move slow so you can move fast. We remain committed to delivering you the best modern military tactical shooter in VR, and we're not finished yet.
We hope you understand the direction the studio needs to take right now. You've been incredibly patient with us as we go through this process, and we hope you are looking forward to getting back to content updates as much as we are! Over the next couple of months we don't expect to have many written updates for you, but rest assured we have a lot of new content and features that are being evaluated and worked on for the future. The first step, however, is getting that foundation work completed.
We have been receiving a lot of community feedback on Update 1.8.11. We want to address a couple specific points we have been hearing and discuss how we will be moving forward.
You have told us that the hand alignments for the weapons in 1.8.11 feel off. We'll be making changes here to get them closer to how they felt before the update, while also trying to retain the benefits of the weapon systems refactor that will make it easier for us to add new weapons in the future.
We have heard your requests for the ability to vertically adjust the placement of the weapon, and reports of a few general bugs. We are evaluating fixes for these bugs and continuing to look into further development of the feature.
Some players have reported issues, such as connection loss, when it comes to the voice chat stability while in game. We are looking into what is causing these issues and hope to get them fixed as communication is one of Onward's core design pillars.
In regards to some players that are reporting not being able to get communications to work at all, that is possibly due to some countries' regulations to block VoIP chats systems. If you are continuing to have issues where voice chat is not working, please check the list of countries below and/or your countries regulations regarding VOIP services:
Belize, Bahrain, Caribbean, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Mexico, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore
Removal of Player IDs
A change that was not noted in the 1.8.11 change log was the removal of player IDs from being visible in the tent. If you need to report a player, you can follow the same instructions as before. The User ID is no longer necessary or required.
We are continuing to evaluate feedback, work on improvements to address these concerns from 1.8.11 and others, however it will likely come after we finish up the larger tasks of foundation work in the upcoming update. We will continue to keep you updated and communicate with you as development progresses.
VRML announced its Season 12 winners. Congratulations to Rome for their victory! Season 13 is already underway. If you would like to join the VRML in their current season or are interested in getting more information about playing in the competitive league for Onward. Join their Discord.
New community custom maps have been added to the game. All of these maps are available now on both PC and Quest.
Engagement Practice submitted by BlackAvarice
A midrange map designed around the idea of engagement and suppression practice, with a viewing deck providing officers a place to view from a safe angle.
Poligonal submitted by Rubio
Cover small map ,faster uplink Polygonal a small symmetrical map with operations modes , both defense and attack have the same coverage
Facing Worlds Remake submitted by Shelderino
Ode to the Unreal Tournament Classic! This is a sniper's paradise.
Contrast submitted by Virus
A clean FreeRoam oriented map made up of 3 floors.
That's it for this month.
This latest update includes the addition of two new features to the game, some major gameplay updates, and bug fixes throughout. With the addition of new features and these updated systems to the game, it took a lot of quality time to make sure things were implemented correctly and tested thoroughly on multiple platforms.
Big improvements include friends being able to join matches directly via invite, gunstock calibration, and rebalancing equipment point costs. These changes should help improve your experience throughout the game. From the moment you start a lobby, get your friends in, calibrate your weapons, make your loadouts, and get on the battlefield, you will feel the difference.
Let's start by going over the details of the new features and changes. For a detailed list of additional adjustments and bug fixes make sure to read through the change log.
Using a gunstock adds to the immersive feeling while in game. The snap you experience when drawing your weapon to fire, the feel of the stock pressed into your shoulder, and the balance of both controllers in the gunstock makes the experience all the more engaging. Many of you hardcore players use a physical gunstock to help provide more control and accuracy in game. In this update we've added "Gunstock Calibration" for players with these accessories. Accessible in the Loadout screen, Gunstock Calibration lets you tweak the positioning of every Primary weapon to match your gunstock shape. This means you'll have a much easier time lining up your eyes with optics at any height, as well as experience better weapon feel in general.
Instructions for how to set up and use gunstock calibration can be found on our FAQ page.
Friends can now join matches directly via invite
Playing with your friends, competitive teammates, or a really cool person you met in a lobby is a great experience in Onward. To help connect more easily with the people you want to play with, we have added a way to help you send direct invites to your friends, who play on the same platform, when in a lobby. Steam and Meta Quest users can open up the platform UI from inside the game and send an invite directly to a person on your friends list and your friend will be able to accept and directly join into your lobby. Players can accept invites both while playing in Onward and outside of it before they've started the game.
Detailed instructions for how to invite friends per platform can be found on our FAQ page.
Loadout Points Rebalance
After several years of gameplay, it was clear that one thing that needed to be updated was the equipment points. With the increased growth in players and evolution of the game this felt like a much needed update to the game.
In the updated system there are now more points overall and the system is more granular, allowing us to better balance and distinguish item costs. The goal is to bring new options for players to explore, while addressing existing issues in the balance that have led to the "meta" loadouts that have developed over the years.
When we started the process to redesign the equipment points, we looked at it from a lot of different angles. For example, just in the weapons category we took a detailed look at the following when determining the cost per weapon:
We hope to promote more strategic choices when you compose your loadouts, as well as encourage team tactics when you jump on the battlefield. Since they are so numerous and affect almost every single item in the game, we will not be listing the exact point by point value changes in the patch notes. We encourage you to check out the changes in the tent.
To make it easier to create new weapons, fix pre-existing issues, and make changes with weapons we have rebuilt the system on which the weapons run. Currently you should not notice a difference, but will start to see the benefits of this work in future patches.
One of the features that took a bit of the team's time during this update was changing our voice chat system. It felt like having a bunch of audio wires all knotted up together and having to pull each one apart one by one to detangle it all and then reconnect all the devices together with new wires. It was a lot of work! You shouldn't hear too much difference from the previous version, however it did bring some improvements to select players during game launch and this change will also give us a long term solution with improved support.
Weapons & Utilities
As we finish wrapping up the final changes and go through testing, we are pleased to announce that in just a few weeks we will be releasing an update to the game. The update will include some new features we have discussed in previous Sitreps as well as a couple that have not yet been announced. We really pushed to make sure we address some long-standing community concerns and include features players have been looking forward to. Here are some the features that are expected to be released with patch 1.8.11:
More details will be given in the patch notes when the patch is released.
As we focus on wrapping up this patch, we continue to work on the other features we have previously talked about as well. Continue reading From the Dev's Desks for details on other updates that are still being worked on. Also make sure to check out the Community Center for the news related to community content and events.
We continue to work on a number of features that the community has been asking about, and want to keep you in the loop on our progress. This work takes time, but we want to make sure you know where we are at with it.
Congratulations to the IVRL Season 1 Winning team Raptors! They won the North American bracket against Dark Matter, and went on to fight the European bracket winner, Vikings. After some intense battles they pulled through and were the IVRLs first official season winners. An additional congratulations to the IVRL for hosting their first season in Onward Esports.
Both IVRL and VRML league seasons are currently wrapped up, and new seasons are looking to start up soon. If you are interested in playing Onward on a competitive level in the Esports leagues, check out our discord and head to the League Lounge channel.
Our community custom map makers are staying hard at work and providing more new maps for you to play on. The following new custom maps are available:
Missile Silo submitted by Gargarbot
MARSOC must infiltrate an active Volk missile silo and deactivate the systems.
Dyno submitted by Sheldorino
Welcome to the Dyno Climbing Gym! CQB & Verticality-focused.
Point Exodus submitted by Gridder
After MARSOC cleared out the surface of the snowy peaks of the Ural mountains they descended down using elevators to underground facilities uncovering something else. Once they are down there they are on their own...
We hope everyone will enjoy all the features that the new patch has to offer, and we continue to look forward to the updates that come in the future.
We understand you have been waiting for a Sitrep, and we're excited to share some updates with you. We recently released hotfix 184.108.40.206, which addressed an issue with our custom maps. We are now back to working on some major game updates that will include both new and redesigned features, in addition to back-end work for game stability.
The devs' desks will go over some new features and fixes that are in the works. But first we want to take a moment to be more transparent with you and discuss our upcoming redesigned development processes.
Communication to you is a top priority for us and a commitment we will continue to honor. We understand that as our development projects have grown our feature details and timelines have become a bit more vague than what you have seen in the past. As the needs to best support the game and you, the players, continue to fluctuate, we want to make sure we are communicating realistic expectations that we can deliver on.
The Onward player base has grown at an exponential rate and the game now runs on multiple platforms across several different devices. As a live crossplay multiplayer title, this requires a lot of work and testing to make sure we continue to raise the quality bar we strive to clear. We are constantly working to keep up with the demands while also improving the quality of the game and creating new content. This can sometimes mean more work and time has to be spent on building out and enhancing back-end systems to prepare for new features or fixing issues on a larger scale rather than individual bugs.
To help prioritize all the ongoing necessary requirements and upcoming features, we are reviewing the design of features currently in the game as well as those we are developing for future releases. We are putting careful thought into each upcoming release as we work on balancing player needs, long term infrastructure support, and new features for Onward. This will help us build a solid foundation to provide you the best Onward experience possible.
Let's get to the exciting new features we are working on located in the Devs' Desk section of this Sitrep! In the Community Center, you can also find details regarding some upcoming community events and new custom maps.
We are developing three exciting new features to help strengthen gameplay, correct a current exploit, and provide new content to you! We have prioritized these, alongside some of our other current projects, in order to better balance and enhance the game.
Equipment Points Rebalance
When we started reviewing the overall game design, one system that stuck out was Equipment Points and its impact on gameplay. After several discussions and design iterations we decided to update this system. We are not just changing the values of some weapons, but the whole structure. Let's dive into the why and how:
Why are we changing the points structure?
The loadout point structure was introduced many years ago and has had very few changes after its first iteration, despite the game having changed significantly around it. With the rapid expansion of the player base, updates to areas throughout the game, and the addition of weapons and equipment, we think a redesign of the structure will bring a new balance to Onward's gameplay. In addition, we aim to bring new options for players to explore, while addressing existing issues in the balance that have led to the "meta" loadouts that have developed over the years.
Onward's focus on tactics and team communication remain unchanged. One of the major considerations for the points rebalance is to force players to make more strategic decisions when building their loadouts. The intention is to help facilitate players' need to communicate with their team and develop a more tactical approach to combat opposing forces.
How points were determined when designing the updated system
When we reviewed the loadout points system we took a lot of things into consideration. For weapons we looked at damage output, tactical advantages and disadvantages, and other details including feeding, caliber, fire rate, mag capacity, damage points, charging mode, mag location, mag release, and fire modes. In addition, we looked at the accessories that can be added to the weapons and how those pieces change the player's role on the battlefield.
The redesigned point systems should help players focus their builds - such as a long ranged sniper or breacher role rather than an all-in-one soldier. We are looking forward to seeing the dynamic roles and tactics people create with this redesign!
Geometry Exploit Fix
There has been an ongoing issue with some players being able to manipulate their playspace and navigate into locations they are not supposed to be able to be in. We understand it is a very frustrating issue many of you have been experiencing and reporting to us. It is a complex issue that has taken us time to fix, but a fix has been developed and will be introduced soon.
A new map has been in the works with our level design team. We don't have any images of the new map yet, but we can provide a few details:
Stay tuned for more info on this map soon!
The Onward Charity Community held its finals this past weekend and we want to give a big shout out to the Tournament winners and to everyone who participated and donated!
Congratulations to the members of Bossfight on the win in the Hero Bracket and to Astro for the win in the Rise Up Bracket.
The Onward Charity Community was able to collect over $6,000 in donations to help the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Thank you to everyone who continues to be a part of this organization and play Onward to help support great causes. If you would like to be a part of future tournaments please check out their Discord!
IVRL Season 1 Playoffs start April 23. To watch the intense show downs leading up to the IVRL Finals, check out their Twitch channel
New Custom Maps
New custom maps have been added. Head over to the workshop area to download and give them a try.
Omega Fun Center - (PC) & Omega Fun Center - Lights Out (PC) submitted by Sheldorino
"After a totally rad birthday, it was time for the afterparty to get started."
Skyfall (PC, Quest) submitted by Glitch0320
"MI6 Marsoc Agents have been sent to eliminate a group of Volk arms dealers in the heart of enemy territory."
The Complex (PC, Quest) submitted by Linkster
"Volk are taking over an industrial complex in search of supplies. Eliminate them!"
Valley (Day & Night) (PC, Quest) submitted by Gargarbot
"In an attempt to expand control of the surrounding region, MARSOC needs to capture a Volk base protecting a critical transportation route. Fog renders night vision less useful."
Backrooms (PC, Quest) submitted by Gargarbot
"How did we end up here?"
Dead Forest (PC, Quest) submitted by Whitefang
"Volk have invaded a campground in middle America. MARSOC must clear them out. But be warned - local legend warns of something worse than Volk that occupies these woods."
Garage (PC, Quest) submitted by Gargarbot
"MARSOC must infiltrate an abandoned parking structure that is being used by the VOLK as a communication hub. Night vision is discouraged for competitive play."
Retro Factory (Quest) submitted by Ho11ow
"A fun reconstruction of a classic FPS multiplayer level. Great for Gun Game and One in the Chamber."
Desert Compound (PC, Quest) submitted by BassSlappa
"Volk has taken over this site and it's time to take it back. Fight it out within the compound for intense CQB action, or head to the mountains with your trusty 12x to get some sniper practice."
A fix has been released to address a security concern related to the custom maps. We have disallowed specific components on custom maps. All existing custom maps will continue to work, but any newly submitted or updated maps that do not follow the new security protocols will show up to players as corrupted.
Custom maps that go corrupt will become inaccessible to players until the custom map creator makes the required updates. In the event this happens, please remove the map from your library. You can follow the custom maps channels in our official Discord for updates of when some removed maps might return.
We will be reaching out to the Custom Map Creators directly to make sure these adjustments get made to minimize the amount of maps affected.
Happy 2022 everyone!
2021 was quite a year for us here at Downpour! From large backend updates to settling into a new home for our studio, and new guns and mechanics, the team has done a lot this year to enhance Onward. We continued to work to make sure we can build on and make improvements to the game. We love what we do, we love our community, and we want to continue to build the best game we can for you all to enjoy.
The 2021 Summary for Onward
In addition, we have been updating some of our graphic assets in different parts of the game to improve the visuals for PC and Oculus players throughout the year. These are additional graphics updates that are different from the upcoming PC graphics update being worked on by the team currently.
Example of Old vs. New graphics that has been updated in the game
Onward continues to be a labor of love for everyone here at Downpour. We ended the year releasing update 1.8.10, which received tons of positive feedback due to the additions of the two new guns and the rerelease of Turbine. This added some new ways to play and tactics to explore throughout the game. We understand there were some hiccoughs with the newly added weapons after the release and we made it our priority to get those corrected at the start of the year.
We will continue this year by working on finalizing some bigger projects that have been in the pipeline for a while now. The Devs desk will go over some of the major projects that we are currently working on.
From the Devs Desk
The physical gunstock is a gaming accessory that holds your VR controllers in place to simulate the pistol grip and foregrip of a weapon. These have been used to help with accuracy and immersion when playing. The Gunstock calibration feature will help calibrate physical gunstocks to the guns in Onward for a more realistic feel when aiming and firing.
Major improvements to player character models and AI models; character models will now have more realistic walking and arm movements. Originally the plan was to have the AI animations come out first and then release the player animations shortly after. We have since decided to release the animations together. We would also like to take this moment to introduce the person who was brought on to lead this project, TomN.
Hello, I am the lead animator for Downpour Interactive. I have been a professional animator (among other titles) for 23 years. Originally, I trained to become a traditional animator. During my last year in college, I realized the media industry was evolving and changed gears. As such, I devoted myself to the exploding field of computer animation. Soon after graduating, I joined a small video game studio, Point of View, Inc
From there I started crafting game cinematics for a variety of other studios and their projects. This led to animating commercials, music videos, television series, and over 20 feature films. Recently, I worked with Disney Imagineering - where I created visual effects and character animations for upcoming attractions at Disney theme parks. I came full circle 18 months ago and returned to video games animation. Among these, Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond with Respawn Entertainment and character rigging for The Odd Gentlemen, a small boutique studio in Los Angeles.
Dante reached out in 2020 and asked me to lead the animation team. This team of talented professionals Dante assembled is a daily pleasure to work with. We've been hard at work revamping and developing new animations for Onward. Expect remarkable creations from Downpour!
Improvements to IK System
The IK system is the system that renders your hands holding the controllers and how and where those hands are in the game. We are working on making improvements to this system to be more accurate with where someone is located.
Connecting to your friends
Getting together and jumping into Onward with your friends is a popular method of playing the game. The game is offered across three different platforms and with a large player base, we understand that it makes it a bit difficult at times to easily find your friends' lobby to jump into. We are looking into developing some new methods to help make connecting with your friends easier.
While most of the intensity experienced is on the battlefield, the tent is the main hub where the majority of setup and communication happens. It is important that when you first join a lobby you feel that immersion when in the area where you begin your setup and communications for the objectives to come. We want to improve the experience you have when you are in the tent. Below are first ever looks at some concepts of design work for an improved tent environment
Did you notice after the holidays the increase in lobby pages? There are more lobbies and games being played than ever before! We want to take this time to welcome all the new members to the Onward community. We hope you are enjoying the different game modes and the new teammates you have met. Please make sure to review our community guidelines and have a great time playing out on the battlefield.
New Community Custom Maps
Cap Practice submitted by FLapinski
Create a private competitive lobby and join volk. Once you load into the round you will be able to disable the code even before the timer is over. This is one of the best ways to increase your capping speed.
Homestead submitted by Glitch0320
Intel suggests that Volk forces are setting up operations on a small farm in the Midwest. A Marsoc unit is sent to investigate and eliminate the threat.
Refuel submitted by Koiz
A beautiful Caribbean island once home to a South American cartel is now under Volk control. The island has become a major contributor to the Volk war effort, and you and your squad have orders to dismantle the smuggling operation and eliminate any hostiles found.
Lookout submitted by Gridder
MARSOC deploy around the mountain region in northern Europe for suspected VOLK activity. Recon has found a small forward operating base that VOLK are using to operate around the area and MARSOC begin the assault on it.
There is a lot in store for 2022 and we have only just started! Stay updated here and on our social media pages.
We have just released a hotfix to address an issue where an incorrect pivot point caused an issue where the AK104 wasn't handling as expected.
The patch is available now, and will download to your device automatically.
After our release of update 1.8.10 we saw a lot of community excitement and positive responses to the new map, Turbine, and new weapons that were introduced. However, one thing that unexpectedly happened was an unintended change in how Virtual Gunstock operates. This became our top priority and we immediately went to work on getting this fixed for you.
While we were working on this fix, we were able to review additional community feedback, and we were able to include some other bug fixes, as well. Please see the list below for detailed information on the adjustments included in this patch.
Weapons and Utilities