Welcome to Developer Briefing #48! This week we’re taking a first look at an upcoming addition to Hell Let Loose - Loadouts!
We know that many players are dedicated to specific roles - often to fulfill a specific function or playstyle that they most enjoy. However, we’re also aware that some of the prescribed loadouts don’t reflect the historical variety many soldiers had access to, or are inappropriate for specific functions you wish to serve (for instance holding a long range SP with short range weaponry).
As a dev team, we’re also keen to widen the total armory available to better reflect the full scope of the war (Flamethrowers, Grease Guns, FG 42, MG34 just to name a few!). With 14 roles already available to you, loadouts are unlocked via role level progression, and are a way for us to reward your loyalty to a role as well as introduce new weapons and features.
Loadouts in Hell Let Loose
Will unlocked loadouts be better than the Standard Issue or lower level loadouts?
No. Loadouts are designed to broaden the spectrum of experience with a role - not to function as a straight buff or power creep. For example, while the Support role will eventually be given access to weapons like the Flamethrower in one loadout, they’ll also have access to a dedicated Logistics loadout that will increase the Supplies they can deploy. The Flamethrower will be formidable and useful on some maps and in specific locations, however on open field maps it would be wise to opt for a more useful long-range loadout. That said, our design philosophy is to allow you to be creative with each tool we give you, and so we’re excited to see the way you use different loadouts to different effect.
Another example is the Officer role. In Update 4 you’ll notice that the Officer will be able to unlock their first loadout at level 3. This contains a primary weapon change - allowing you to trade in your trusty SMG for a longer gun - something we know many Officer players have been asking for. Some players will find that very helpful for longer ranged maps, while some may opt to stay with the standard Issue, the choice will be yours.
Finally, some loadouts will be designed around flavor, or historical function. The Medic will have access to a Padre loadout that increases their total medical supplies, but removes all firearms - to better reflect the historical role of medics as non-combat personnel.
Will the current Standard Issue loadout be nerfed?
No. Besides several ugly gameplay loops around the ammo boxes and supply crate redeploy meta (as well as total bandage and morphine count for medics), we’re generally happy with the way each role is playing. We do not feel it fair to limit or remove gameplay features that you are already familiar with.
How many loadouts per role can be unlocked?
Each role for every force in Hell Let Loose will begin with the Standard Issue loadout (what you currently have access to in-game) and will unlock 3 additional loadouts at levels 3,6 and 9 respectively - bringing the total loadouts per role to 4. These will be introduced over the course of development as weapons and features are added.
Will this mean that everyone will use automatic weapons?
There’s a certain level of automatic weapon to rifle ratio that we want to maintain across the spectrum - for balance purposes, but more importantly - to preserve the historical ratio seen during the war itself. With this in mind, all our loadouts are tailored to preserve this, as well as reflect the slightly varied arsenal from the war. For example, the US Officer will initially have the Thompson, M1 Carbine and potentially the Garand. We’d then give him the Grease Gun as an option too when we add it.
Part of the reason for the load-outs is to vary and add weapons to the game without hard-swapping it out from someone’s favourite role (you can imagine how frustrated a player may be if we remove or swap the weapon they're most accustomed too).
Officers will soon have a longer ranged option for combat engagements!
Weapons we'd like to add to the game for the current forces are:
- Grease Gun
- MG 34
- Trench Gun
- FG 42
- 1 or 2 additional Tommy variants.
There’s also huge capacity here for us when it comes to adding more firearms, as well as melee weapons and more utility.
That wraps up this week’s Developer Briefing! The Loadout system will be rolled out in Update 4.
P.S. We know the EXP System is an important part of the loadout system and are aware of an existing bug that can inhibit progress. This week we’ve been working closely with our Discord community by running ‘punching bag’ servers to assist us in some bug fixing, with a primary focus on the EXP and server crash bugs.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s got involved, it’s been very helpful and progress is being made.
If you're enjoying Hell Let Loose we'd love you to leave us a Steam review.
See you on the frontline!