We've been busy and we know you have been as well since the release of Tikamoon Plains. We felt a lot of gratification as the peak player count for the game jumped to its highest point since the release of the base game more than a year ago and enough time has passed for us to see that a lot of you really are having a great time with our African DLC and bows.
Without further ado, let's dig into the recent past and the near future.
By rmth2 (Discord)
Let's start with the future, why don't we?
In case you missed it, we have released a roadmap that covers some of our plans well into 2024. Among other things, we are hard at work on Map DLCs 3 and 4 (both slated to release next year) and we are still planning to deliver previously announced trophy variations and the ability to change ammo types. What's newly announced is the future addition of one of the most community-requested features - hunting tripod stands. But we also have a few more goodies to deliver in an update before the end of this year, scope out a few more details on that a bit later in this Hunter Log.
In other news, we have recently released the Steyr Arms Pack DLC featuring four new rifles from our friends and partners at Steyr: Monobloc ARMAD Green-Brown (.270 Win), SSG M1 (6.5 Creedmoor), Mannlicher CL II Fullstock (9.3x62), and finally, Steyr Gams (6.5 Creedmoor). Fun fact - that last one is newer than the others! We have had the unique pleasure of featuring Steyr Gams in Way of the Hunter in a simultaneous announcement and release with its real-life counterpart. Super-light and intended for high altitudes, we had a chance to take it for a spin in the Austrian Alps and had a blast (pardon the pun). We are happy to see these rifles making it to the regular arsenal of many of you and your overall response has been very encouraging. If you missed it, check out the trailer below and find the DLC on Steam, EGS, GOG, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S.
We've made a habit of releasing free updates alongside DLC releases and this time was no different. Version 1.24.2 could be seen as something of a Quality of Life update and these are a few of the points that resonated with you the most:
Added: Video option - Sharpness
Added: Gameplay option - Hunter Sense screen effect intensity (on/half-visible/off)
Added: Ability to skip the story race mission in Aurora Shores
Fixed: Animals not changing need zones in response to hunting pressure
For the full patch notes, check out this summary.
By Василич (Steam)
Let's linger on that last one for a moment as Hunting pressure has been an on-and-off topic of discussion in the community since the launch and we think it warrants a bit of clarification. Without spilling all the beans, this is how Hunting pressure works as of version 1.24.2:
Hunting pressure in a need zone can increase with every shot taken by the player that has one of these results:
An animal dying,
An animal getting hit,
An animal hearing a shot,
An animal hearing a shot impact.
An animal dying/getting hit adds more hunting pressure than an animal hearing a shot/shot impact.
They don't affect every species in the game the same way. The more skittish species are more affected.
To take effect, they have to happen within the area of a need zone or in its vicinity.
If Hunting pressure in a zone exceeds a certain threshold, the herd will start using the need zone previously labeled as "Frequency of use: Rarely." You will notice that it has changed to "Often".
Hunting pressure in a zone fades over time.
By Adrian Lahoda (Facebook)
And to cap things off, a quick PSA: the Hunting Season One edition for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S of Way of the Hunter has just hit store shelves, packaging together Aurora Shores DLC and Tikamoon Plains DLC, as well as bonus items from the Hunter's Pack and the Free UTV DLC at sweet 29.99 USD/EUR. A perfect Christmas present for that friend of yours who has been waiting for bows to be added, perhaps? :)
How you've been
One great thing about this community is that you never shy away from a challenge. That's why we came up with a somewhat devilish one for Halloween and you blew it out of the water. We knew someone would come close to a clean high trophy harvest at the witching hour of 03:33 AM but we aren't sure if anyone expected several of you to do it pretty much perfectly.
Put your hands together for the winner, a hunter named rmth2 who put the new Mannlicher CL II Fullstock to good use, going straight for the heart of this absolutely dominant 99.46% Red Deer.
And the runners-up:
LiquidFire with his 94.96% albino Cape Buffalo that heroically took two .338 Lapua Mag shots to the spine:
Exxtar who didn't leave anything to chance and also grabbed the .338 for a short-range Greater Kudu hunt, securing himself a shout-out and this 81.82% trophy:
JacekB with his 76.18% Springbok:
And SERYIRBB who just barely missed the 03:33 mark by a single minute but made up for it with this beautiful 95.66% Mouflon:
Once again, congratulations to the winner, and a big thanks to the many of you who participated!
We would be remiss not to also give a shout-out to one of this community's most dedicated librarians. You may know him as ToothlessChuWawa on Discord and for many weeks now, he has been putting together and updating the single most comprehensive handbook/journal on the mechanics of Way of the Hunter.
At almost 150 pages and based on what is no doubt many, many hours of gameplay tests, as well as on findings of other industrious members of the community, it covers ballistics, animal life cycle, the trophy system, and so, so much more. Although it is not officially sanctioned by us, nor did we provide Toothless with any game data, and we cannot guarantee that every last detail in the handbook is 100% correct, it is definitely a rabbit hole worth jumping down. Check out the latest version here and once again, kudos!
As we mentioned earlier, we are gearing up for one more update in this calendar year. Although we'll save new additions as a surprise, we would like to share - as per usual - what are some of the current issues that we are working on and aiming to address in this upcoming update:
"This Action is Not Allowed" message remaining on the screen after holstering Bow while aiming at a vehicle
Trophy score decreasing for some taxidermies
Removed tracking markers reappearing after game reload
Bad animation while using the rattling bag caller crouched
MP: Dead animals disappearing for client
MP: Client being unable to harvest an animal
We are also still investigating the issue that prevents some Xbox players from loading the server list or joining their friends' lobbies. We recognize that some of you have been inconvenienced by this particular problem for quite a while now and we fully understand if you've been growing restless while waiting for a fix. Nevertheless, we kindly ask you for a bit more patience as we inch closer to a solution.
Last but not least, we are still actively working on further optimization of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions of the game in both Quality and Performance mode to better balance smooth framerates and pleasing visual fidelity.
By [HG] Gildão Hunter (Discord)
What we have been up to
In October, we had the awesome privilege of meeting up with our friends and partners from Steyr Arms in the beautiful Austrian Alps at their annual Steyr Challenge. We did the normal thing and let a small crowd of attendees and enthusiasts play a Way of the Hunter (fun fact - Austrian hunters and marksmen barely need tutorials!) but we also made sure we spent some time with a few of our favorite Steyr rifles at the shooting range. From our favorite Monobloc to the hot-off-the-presses Gams, we had a great time. For a few more words and pictures from the event, check out this summary.
Before the days got too short, we also said goodbye to the summer the only way we know how - with barbecue, open-fire goulash, and football (the order may vary depending on who you ask). Do we already long for the days of sweater weather and the sun setting later than 5 PM? You bet.
There was one more event that we wouldn't miss for the world, and that's Game Days 2023, Slovakia's biggest game developer conference hosted every year in Kosice. We look forward to coming back to Kosice every year but this time was special. With a record-high number of attendees, the local community of developers and artists felt more abuzz with creative energy and love for video games. You could see and feel the trend as you perused the many demo stations and pro-led workshops - Slovakia is putting itself on the map in a big way.
Thank you for caring about Way of the Hunter, and if you have any thoughts to share, you know where to find us (and if you are not a fan of social platforms, drop us a line at info[at]ninerocksgames.com).
On behalf of Nine Rocks Games,
Michal, Community Manager
By gateiro (Discord)