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Field report 32: CRYENGINE V upgrade released!

22/10 - 2016

Hello and welcome to our thirty-second field report!

CRYENGINE V upgrade released!

We're extremely happy to announce that today marks the release of the next big milestone update to the Technical Alpha: The game engine upgrade from CRYENGINE 3 to CRYENGINE V. We've spent these past few months of the development with this upgrade in mind for our next big update to the game so we hope you'll like what you'll see.

But what exactly is and means an engine upgrade? How does it benefit the development of the game and thus also you, the players?

Ever since the first release of the Technical Alpha, we've been using the final CRYENGINE 3 version (at the time offered through Steam). This version of the game engine is nearly a year old now and since Crytek, the creators of the engine, is one of the technological leaders of the industry, the engine has naturally evolved quite a bit in that timeframe. Timing in regards as to when to upgrade is also a considerable factor. We feel like now is the right time to upgrade as CRYENGINE 5 is getting ever more stable and our amount of code written is still manageable (the further along a game is in development the harder it generally is to upgrade the game engine).

What benefits will the development of WoR be getting thanks to the upgrade?

CRYENGINE V comes with some big new features as well as a bunch of smaller ones. Some you may notice as a player while others are more geared towards the development of the game. Below is a list of some of the improvements CRYENGINE V brings to the table.

New volumetric cloud system

One of the most easily noticeable new features is that of the new cloud system. Clouds are actual volumetric entities now, giving them the ability of receiving different lighting and shading depending on the sun location and time of day which results in a much more realistic look. They are also producing real time shadows on the ground now. So if it is suddenly overcast on the ground you can look up and correctly spot a cloud in front of the sun now.

We've given the entire time of day an overhaul in CRYENGINE V and will continue to tweak and improve it even more in the future. Here's a showcasing video as well as a before & after screenshot comparison between CRYENGINE 3 and CRYENGINE V:

Directx 12 support & new renderer

CRYENGINE V offers support for Directx 12. This latest upgrade of the graphics API enables developers to custom tailor the package to their specific application for better performance use which can result in significant better performance yield of CPU's. While CRYENGINE V supports Directx 12, it is still in its early phases and thus won't make an appearance in WoR until it is more fully supported.

The updated version of the engine also features a completely new and optimized renderer resulting in superior performance compared to the old one.

Full source code

This is one of the most important reasons for us to upgrade to CRYENGINE V. Crytek is offering full source code with CRYENGINE V and while this may not be something that you, the players, will notice directly you will be noticing it indirectly as development continues on WoR. In short, full source code made available means nothing is "locked off" for our programmers in the code. This enables them to do pretty much whatever they wish to do with the code. This is an incredibly reassuring feature to have as we move forward with the development as it means so much more is potentially doable.

A few minor upgrades

The particle system, especially the particle editor, has been getting an update in CRYENGINE V, as have cloth simulation and procedural vegetation draw distance so expect to see improvements in those areas as development moves along.

Another possibly interesting feature is that of the engine now supporting VR (Virtual Reality).

Improved procedural vegetation draw distance in CRYENGINE 5

New content

While the engine upgrade has been our primary focus, today's update also includes quite a bit of new content added to the Technical Alpha. Below is a brief overview of some of the new stuff you can expect to see in-game starting from today!

New weapons

Updated Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle soon to be in-game.

The CRYENGINE V Upgrade update brings 6 new weapons in-game for you all to enjoy:

  • Colt M1847 Walker (Captain tiered backer reward)

  • Colt M1849 Pocket

  • Colt M1851 Navy

  • Colt M1860 Army

  • Whitworth Rifle

  • Sharps M1859 new model percussion rifle

Below is a short video demonstrating the newly added Sharps M1859 rifle which you will be using as either a Bucktail or US Sharpshooter in-game.

The 1859 Sharps Carbine and Rifle were an engineering marvel of the mid-19th century, first introduced to the public by its inventor, Christian Sharps, in 1848. The first models were produced in Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Connecticut as the years went by. Breech-loading rifles were beginning to be issued to militaries across the world, however several factors came into play, especially in the US. For one, longstanding officers in the War Department were set in their ways and considered breech-loading rifles as a way for soldiers to waste ammunition, and were made hesitant by the sheer cost, as in the case of the Sharps made for triple the cost in comparison to the 1861 Springfield Rifle. Due to these reasons, only 11,000 of the 1859 rifle were produced for the US military, primarily being used by Sharpshooter regiments if they did not languish unused in one of many warehouses. However, the rifle’s shorter brother became incredibly popular as the war began, so that over 90,000 carbines were produced and used by 1863. One oddity added to some rifles issued to troops was a hand-cranked grinder mounted into the butt of the stock, which in modern literature is thought to have been meant to grind wheat or corn.

New emotes

This update also brings the very first batch of emotes to the Technical Alpha. Emotes are basically bits of extra animation flair given to players in order to up the role playing and immersion factor of games. In our instance, the emotes will primarily consist of various ordered stances with the rifle.

Here’s a video showing the first set of emotes in War of Rights:

New playable regiments

As hinted at earlier, the update also adds a number of new playable regiments to the Technical Alpha:

1st United States Sharpshooters

The Sharpshooters of the North were not formed like other regiments of infantry, where the entirety was usually formed from one geographic area. Instead, the 1st and 2nd US Sharp Shooters had a company from each of various states across the North. The 1st USSS for instance had representatives from as far afield as Wisconsin, Michigan, Vermont, New York, and New Hampshire. At first the men had a large variety of rifles, and were denied being issued the 1859 Sharps Rifle due to Winfield Scott’s stubbornness and antiquated position on proper weaponry. It was not until May of 1862 that the rifles were issued after President Lincoln himself forced the issue. Even after that while many adopted the Sharps, several still kept their original weapons despite some target rifles with the new telescopes weighing close to thirty pounds. However, despite these problems the US Sharp Shooters proved to be efficient killers and dangerous foes.

42nd Pennsylvania & 12th South Carolina

Initially formed from the call for volunteers put out by the Confederate States’ president Jefferson Davis, the ranks of the 12th quickly swelled as war loomed. Their initial duty was to help guard the coast of South Carolina before being attached to the Army of Northern Virginia, first engaging their northern foes at the Seven Day’s Battle in A.P. Hill’s Light Division. It was this division that helped to process the 12,000 Union prisoners and supplies from Harper’s Ferry as the battle near Antietam Creek flared. When they and the other members of A.P. Hill’s Division entered the battle against the Union’s far left flank, they were initially confused as friendly reinforcements. This was due to their wearing the Union’s blue jackets freshly captured from the stores at Harper’s Ferry.

The 13th Pennsylvania Reserve Regiment, the 42nd PA Infantry, and the 1st Rifles are all names for the same unit, which is much more universally known as the Pennsylvania Bucktails. This name spawns from many members’ habit of wearing deer tails in their kepis. They served with great distinction throughout their time in service, and when they first enlisted were given 1837 .69 caliber smoothbores, which many refused since they were a rifle unit. They wanted the new 1861 Springfields that had been promised to them. While this was eventually issued, some even were able to get ahold of the 1859 Sharps Rifles, a weapon usually only given to sharpshooter units.

14th Brooklyn

The 14th Brooklyn originally was formed from a consolidation of various state militias in New York City, and was like many state militias as it became a sort of gentleman’s club, where members could state their membership as a form of martial pride, though the monthly drills turned into more of a social drinking event. Their iconic wartime uniform did not come to pass until 1860, when the nationally famous Chicago Zouave Drill Cadets came through Brooklyn in their French-inspired Zouave uniforms, which the members of the 14th were impressed by. They changed their uniform after this fashion, and were one of few northern units to avoid the standardization of uniforms that began in 1862. At the First Battle of Bull Run, it was General Jackson who gave them their nickname when he warned his Virginia units, "Hold On Boys! Here come those Red Legged Devils again!"

1st North Carolina Sharpshooters

As specific regiments of Sharpshooters were being organized in the North, the South had to react to this tactical hole left in their armies once members of the 1st and 2nd USSS proved their worth. In 1862, the Confederate Congress passed an act to also raise several battalions of Sharpshooters, though the recruits were mostly to be pulled from already existing regiments with those deemed skillful enough. However, the southern sharpshooters had to equip themselves with whatever arm they wanted to fulfill their duty. Those of the 1st NC Battalion of Sharpshooters made up one of the sixteen that were raised, and were pulled from two companies of the 21st NC Volunteer Infantry. So recent was the change that they were still attached to their parent regiment when the Battle of Antietam was fought. They went on to fight throughout North Carolina and Virginia until war’s end.

9th New York

9th New York showcasing some of the new emotes (parade rest, order arms, in place rest & salute) introduced in the CRYENGINE V update.

The to-be Colonel Rush Hawkins was practicing law in New York City when the call for volunteers rang out across the North following the bombardment of Fort Sumter. He immediately came to his state’s governor offering his services in the raising of a regiment of Zouaves. He was approved, and the 9th NY “Hawkins Zouaves” were quickly mustered into service. Their first taste of battle happened in early 1862 with their help in Burnside’s North Carolina Expedition, as well as in fierce fighting in the Maryland Campaign. Following their reorganization in 1863, they helped to quell the draft riots in New York City, however their dwindling numbers forced them to be part of the consolidation of multiple regiments into the 17th NY Veteran Volunteer Infantry in October of 1863.

1st Virginia Battalion

In the Civil War, foreign-born soldiers on both sides served an important role and helped to fill the ranks, with the Irish being a major player in the soldier population. Hence when the 1st Virginia Battalion was formed in May of 1861, most of the enlisted men were Irish laborers from various counties of northeast Virginia. Leading them were mostly native-born Virginians, many of which were also alumni of VMI. At the First Battle of Manassas they suffered 25 percent casualties of the 187 engaged. Unfortunately, despite being made the Provost Guard of Jackson’s Wing, they suffered themselves from a lack of discipline and rampant desertion, and were quite depleted by the time of their surrender at Appomattox.

The screenshot above shows the amount of new, unique, playable characters the CRYENGINE V Update brings in the form of 7 additional playable regiments.

Various character upgrades

Our Character Artist, Pat, has been hard at work on some of the finer details of the characters such as updated equipment and additional tweaks to faces and beards.

Updated equipment.

Updated equipment.

“California Joe” of 1st USSS fame and two other examples of improved hair shading in-game.

A few final words

If you’re interested in going through all of the update changes of this big update you can do so at our alpha section of the forum over at:

Some systems and content may seem less polished than the previous build of the Technical Alpha - this is due to the change of engine having required most of our systems to have been set up properly again as well as having to deal with different engine bugs/having to learn the ropes of the new engine. You should therefore expect new and possibly old bugs introduced as part of the upgrade. As always, we hope you’ll document your findings in the bug report section of the alpha forum over at: and we shall do our best to squash them.

The engine upgrade marks an important milestone for us. We are now more free than ever in regards to having full source code, we have more advanced graphical features and we have more content available in the drill camp than ever. The next big target is the very first combat oriented game mode: Skirmishes Phase 1. We’d like to thank you all for your continued support and patience. Developing a game such as ours isn’t a fast process - sometimes quite a bit slower than what we’d like but in the end the extra amount of time spent is usually what makes most of the difference between a good and a bad game. With CRYENGINE 5 we’ll be able to deliver an even better package going forward and we can’t wait to share that journey with you!

A few weeks ago we launched our player group focused tool, the company tool, in a test phase. That phase is now over and the tool has officially launched so if you wish to reserve a company name now is the time to do so. More information about the tool can be found in our last field report at:

That’s about all for now. We hope you’ll enjoy the latest update to the Technical Alpha and we look forward to be seeing you all on the servers honing those maneuvers, welcoming new testers to our unique community and generally enjoying yourselves!

Until next time, have a good one!