Crytek has prepared a series of improvements for its stealth shooter Hunt: Showdown, including a fix for a long-standing technical issue: the dreaded out of sync teleport that most of us have experienced while climbing ladders or trying to get stuck through the same door as your teammate. .
The upcoming 1.9 update is currently being tested on Hunt’s public test server, but a full release date for the changes is yet to be determined.
While there are new gun skins, legendary hunters, map tweaks, and other things on the way, most of the changes are technical in nature. Here’s what stood out to me the most about Hunt’s 1.9 update as someone who put 200 hours into the game this year.
Propagation of the sound of gunshots
Crytek states: “Improved audio related to distant interior gunshots for better readability from a distance. This should make it easy to determine if a gunshot was fired indoors or outdoors.”
Are those shots someone frantically killing a boss inside, or is it a spontaneous encounter between two teams? This small but significant change puts more emphasis on listening as a skill, one of my favorite aspects of Hunt.
Spend your Blood Bonds on the Black Market
A new rotating store type, this appears to be a more themed implementation of the daily discounts currently in Hunt’s in-game store, featuring “several infamous vendors”. We’ve seen this sort of thing in other online competitive games. I like the idea of getting legendaries I already own with an occasional discount on Hunt Dollars, which Crytek says you’ll be able to do if one of your items appears in the rotation. A separate store for Blood Bonds should also dispel the confusing shopping experience that Hunt currently has, where some items can be purchased with earnable Blood Bonds and others are $9-$15 direct purchases.
Changes to ammo (and corresponding gun balance)
- “Uppercut damage slightly reduced at close range, but retains damage better over distance”
- “Reduce extra ammo for slugs by about 30-40%”
- “Slugs now differentiate between medium and long barreled shotguns, resulting in a slightly higher damage drop over distance with medium barreled shotguns compared to before.
- Increased Winfield 1876 Centennial rate of fire by approximately 20%.
- “Reload speed increased to shorten Winfield 1887 Terminus reload time”
- “Increased the base damage of poison ammo to be in line with regular ammo.”
- “Minor adjustments have been made to the ballistics of the long ammo pistol cartridge to slightly reduce damage dealt at close range while maintaining higher damage at slightly longer ranges.”
This is a wide range of changes that will hopefully make a few more weapons more viable in higher MMRs, where Hunt’s meta is most stagnant. Most notably, the dominant Caldwell Conversion Uppercut (an expensive pistol that fires rifle bullets) has been nerfed slightly at medium range, so it’s not as powerful in all scenarios.
“We’ve improved in-game error correction, which should allow for faster and fairer feedback in cases where desynchronization may occur. The goal here is to reduce instances of abrupt and unexpected teleports.”
Anyone who plays Hunt has experienced the sometimes annoying teleportation that occurs when climbing mud hills or falling off a ledge. It’s good to see this being addressed, but I think aspects like this are often overstated by streamers and high-level players, who tend to focus on the rough edges that affect high-level play. .
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Two new legendary hunters
Meet “Bartender”, who apparently still needs a name, and Hawkshaw Jack, another black-clad fighter. There’s also a broken bottle (it’s unclear if it’s a standard knife or a heavy knife), which will no doubt be available in a bundle with the bartender. I can’t wait to hear the names of the drinks served in Hunt’s 18th century saloons, hopefully it will make an appearance in the stuffed tradition morsels on the menus.
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Some areas of the map have had scales or windows added or subtracted, or cover added. Take a look for yourself in the images above. The biggest change is to the Kingsnake Mine, which gets a new tunnel entrance under the compound, a slippery path that leads to the main and side building.
“Improved player spawning: there is now a minimum distance between spawning players of 110m on DeSalle. This prevents some unfair spawn setups and allows us to place more spawn points in general. This does not affect currently than spawns in DeSalle because previous maps already have longer distances between spawns.”
I enjoy the unpredictability of Hunt’s asymmetrical spawn points. I love participating in early game fights and unexpectedly encountering players in the first compound. In my own experience, the distance between spawns doesn’t necessarily need to be increased, but I don’t have the advantage of Hunt’s full data to draw on. I just hope surprise first clue encounters don’t happen less frequently as a result of this change.
More information in the match debrief
After nearly every match, my teammates and I look at the “match summary” screen and try to piece together a cohesive narrative of who we fought and how it went. It can be a bit tricky to decode this information: it’s not clear when you’re frightening the same player twice, or which team won a bounty first. Some players have already noticed that the test server icons aren’t distinct enough, but I’m just glad to see the attention to this part of the UI that I think most players interact with every time that they play.
Matches are shorter
Matches are now capped at 45 minutes. Interestingly, Crytek shared that “only 1% of all matches exceeded the 45 minute mark”. After dying at the end of a grueling 30 minute campfest/showdown last night, I’d like to see the match length even shorter to discourage stalemates, although we know Crytek has other undisclosed plans to address camping.
The full patch notes for this not-quite-final patch can be found on Hunt’s Steam page.