Following on from Turtle’s deployment to the streets of London, a new Merc is catching the eye of Jackal and the CDA; A Norwegian weapons tester with a giant rocket launcher on her back and a love of Lutefisk.
Javelin offers her explosive arsenal to take down strong defensive positions in the blink of an eye, and her experimental backpack automatically generates extra rounds for her ammo starved allies.
To give you an insight into Javelin, her abilities, her character and her design, we sat down with Game Designer c4Te and Lead of Art Nerd1princess to discuss some of the finer details.
The first thing many players will notice about Javelin is the arrival of a long-requested addition to Dirty Bomb’s arsenal; a rocket launcher.
c: “The rocket launcher actually has two different modes; we have a guided mode that is a nod to other, modern games but then we also have a standard fire mode that just goes straight forward as a fast rocket, a nod to old school shooters."
The danger of introducing such a powerful new weapon into a game like Dirty Bomb is balancing it against the existing Mercs, weapons and abilities, giving the existing pool enough tools to counter Javelin’s abilities and strengths.
c: “We’ve given Javelin a warm up time on her rocket launcher, giving people the chance to kill her before she fires, or the chance to evade and hide… Turtle is also a very strong counter to her, or, as with all other electronics in Dirty Bomb, we have Phantom, who’s EMP disables the guided mode on the rocket – causing people using it to fire their rockets off against the wall.”
One of the things we were keen to include were counters and plays for skilled players. It's possible to shoot down Javelin's rockets if you're fast enough, just as its possible to direct your rockets around a Turtle shield to destroy the generator and the players behind it.
Javelin has been tasked by Scandinavian tech startup Ghostclip to field test their new and experimental rapid ammunition technology, letting her shine when played in a supporting role.
c: “Like our other field supports she’s strong at destroying objectives, but she’s also a really good pool for ammo. However, compared to others that have to place ammo packs, she just needs to walk around and as others come close to her they get ammunition.”
Javelin has been tasked by Scandinavian tech startup Ghostclip to field test their new and experimental rapid ammunition technology, her design departing slightly from some of our more traditional Merc templates. As the flow of the Dirty Bomb team becomes more skilled and efficient as it scales up, players will begin to see more intricate designs.
Nerd1princess: "Hopefully it’s noticeable to players just how different Javelin is to the other Mercs. We’re trying to push the art, details and the tech forward, and trying to make her very readable in terms of appearance and functionality... We've been working a lot on how we design characters, both from a functionality vs appearance perspective, but we're also trying to push the tech as much as possible.
Taking care of every single detail on a Merc's body, not just their weaponry, but anatomy details as well. Javelin has a very detailed, high poly sculpture, so hopefully everyone will appreciate things like skin details and hair style which is a great cosmetic addition for Javelin."
While it's important for each of our Mercs to be unique in both character and design, it's also crucial that they fit into the world of Dirty Bomb, and are coherent with the lore.
N: "Javelin is an explosives specialist and she has a strong military background. She's a very tough girl... with a unique mix of strength and abilities. She's also an interesting character visually, and quite different from the other female characters."
As with anything in game development, honing the development process of new Mercs and other content is not always easy.
N: "There are always obstacles in development! Nothing goes smoothly or as planned, but at the same time that's a lot of fun. We've been very reactive in terms of issues and problems, we're making things better, faster and becoming more efficient"
c: "So far our testers are having loads of fun playing with her. We're incredibly excited to let the rest of the community get their hands on her."
N: "I hope she'll be well received. And I hope players will notice all of the attention to detail: anatomy, hairstyle, clothing - every single piece of clothing has been precisely designed!"
Javelin will be available in Dirty Bomb from Tuesday 22nd August. What do you think of her design and abilities?