Earlier today, VRFocus reported on an official ‘Ask Me Anything’ (AMA) being hosted by Payday 2 developers, Overkill, regarding the forthcoming virtual reality (VR) edition of the videogame. A few interesting tidbits were revealed in the AMA, including the launch date for the beta testing phase.
“Yes, the [Payday 2 VR] will be free to all owners of the base game or the Ultimate Edition, no update will be required to gain access to VR,” stated Payday 2 VR producer, Tobias Remmers, known in the AMA as ‘OVERKILL_Tobias’.
Furthermore, Remmers confirmed that Payday 2 VR will allow for VR and non-VR crossplay:
“[Payday 2 VR] is developed for PC and it will be fully compatible with between desktop players and VR players. During the beta however all players will need to be on the beta branch.
“The VR and Desktop players will have acsess to the same content. They will be able to play together on all heists. [sic]”
Remmers and his team are obviously aware of the balancing implications allowing VR and non-VR players to play together will incur, especially in a fast-paced first-person shooter such as Payday 2. Further discussing the cross-compatibility, Remmers stated that a period of the forthcoming beta will be devoted to addressing just that.
“There will be a beta period devoted to game balance. There will be difference between a VR player and a Desktop player. However our approach is not to match the VR player exactly to the PC player but rather giving them a different way to play that will be let you have the same survivability.
“You can shoot around corners this is one of the ways the VR players can reach the same survivability as a desktop player. Our approach is not to match the VR player exactly to the PC player but rather giving them a different way to play that will be let you have the same survivability.”
That beta edition of Payday 2 VR will officially begin on 16th November 2017, and will arrive in different ‘phases’. According to Remmers, each period of the beta will add content and focus on different aspects.
Moving on to the specifics of control in Payday 2 VR, Remmers confirmed that only a ‘system similar to a teleport’ has currently been developed and will be available during the beta. However, he later stated that the team would be open to a free locomotion option given the player demand.
“We are using a system similar to a teleport where the player dashes to the location rather than an instant teleport with a screen fade. We try to make the movement as easy and fast as possible without being disorianting. In 3rd person this will look like you are running. [sic]
“The development has focused on using the dash system.We can look into a trackpad system once the beta has been released.We are not against the idea since a lot of people have request this.No changes will be made until launch of the beta. [sic]”
Remmers suggested that ‘more info about the control scheme’ will come ‘closer to the release of the beta’. He also offered some information on the weaponry and skills that will be available in the beta version of Payday 2 VR.
Overkill are clearly intent on recreating as much of the original Payday 2 content appear natural and balanced in Payday 2 VR. As such, there will be modifications to many aspects. For example, in Payday 2 VR melee weapons will inflict more damage, and akimbo weapons can be fired in different directions.
“There will be changes to skills for VR. There are some skills that will not be working as intended in VR. There will be addressed during one of the beta periods. The actual dash range and cooldown will be subject to balance changes during the beta. We welcome you all to try it out when it’s out to give us your feedback. The guards can see you mid dash so there is no way to teleport past a guard. Stealth is one reason why we used a dash system rather than a true teleport.
“The ambition is that all weapons should be supported. For the first beta period not all weapons will be available. For example the bows will not be released in the first beta period.”
Rounding up the selection of new information offered today, Remmers stated that Payday 2 VR is currently only in development for HTC Vive, but when questioned suggested that Overkill may look into Oculus Rift support after the beta testing period. However, there was no mention of PlayStation VR support.
“The game is developed for the Vive. If there is a big interest in the Oculus is we can look into it later in the beta period or post release.
“For the beta the focus has been the Vive and this room scale system. Oculus is something we can look into in the beta or post release.”
The Payday 2 VR beta testing phase will begin on 16th November 2017, and will be available to all current and future owners of either Payday 2 or the Payday 2 Ultimate Edition at no extra charge. You can read the full AMA with Overkill here, and check out the official Payday 2 VR website. VRFocus will keep you updated with all the latest details on Payday 2 VR as the launch date of the beta approaches