Having worked on the likes of ARMA 3 and DayZ, Bohemia Interactive have a certain cache with audiences in the shooter genre and competitive space, and Vigor sees them hand in both those areas again. The online post-apocalyptic loot shooter has enjoyed solid support from its developers since launch so far, leading to a steady playerbase that’s growing larger as the game becomes available on more platforms. In November, it will release for PS4, while a PS5 version is also confirmed. Clearly, Bohemia plan on keeping support for Vigor going, so recently, we sent across some questions to the developers, hoping to learn more about what the weeks and months ahead look like for the game and how its players can expect the experience to grow and change. You can read our interview with project leads Petr Kolář and David Kolečkář below.
"We’re always on the lookout for new ideas and trends in the community to improve the game as much as possible."
Given Vigor’s free-to-play nature, what has your approach been to in-game monetization?
Free-to-play is a broad topic, and often a heated one, so we tried to approach it from a direction we felt was fair for players. There are two main things players can pay for in Vigor – self-expression in the form of outfits and skins, as well as various time savers. The special parts are the so-called “social boosters”, where Outlanders can choose to enhance the Encounter for everyone in it, like adding more loot to the level or increasing the quality of the airdrop crate. This tends to create more tension, bragging rights, and interesting decision-making moments for all players.
The recent Renegades update was a meaty one, adding the ability to play trios, booby traps, new weapons, and more. What has your approach been to new updates in terms of what to add, what to remove, and what to change?
Bohemia is well known for closely cooperating with its community, and Vigor is no exception. We gather feedback from community members, as well as from our Vigor Partners, and implement it into new features. It’s always difficult to do it right, because we usually need to strike the right balance between what they want and what’s actually beneficial for players and the game in general. Having said that, we’re always on the lookout for new ideas and trends in the community to improve the game as much as possible.
Can you talk about what you have planned for Vigor in the coming months as far as new content is concerned? For instance, can fans expect more maps to be added to the game?
We plan to keep the regular bi-monthly major updates going with new seasons of Battle Pass. Added to that, we already mentioned that there’s going to be the Islands map released for Encounters in the near future, and we have a handful of maps that we are finishing as well. As for other new content, we are currently working on an original way to access customizations from previous Battle Pass seasons, as well as improving the Encounter dynamic so it’s more variable.
"We plan to keep the regular bi-monthly major updates going with new seasons of Battle Pass. Added to that, we already mentioned that there’s going to be the Islands map released for Encounters in the near future, and we have a handful of maps that we are finishing as well."
Reception to some of the changes, such as map rotation, has been quite positive. Is this something you’re going to stick with in future updates?
Thanks a lot! When we cooperate with the community, we’re always trying to design things they would enjoy. We have a long list of ideas, and it’s mainly a matter of prototyping them and testing if they actually work in Vigor. That means we can’t promise each update is going to be as packed as the Renegades season release was, but we definitely want to maintain a steady flow of interesting updates.
Vigor’s performance on the Switch is something that some players have had issues with, though there have certainly been some notable improvements recently. Has improving the Switch version’s performance been a priority for the team? Did the hardware and its capability present any initial hurdles in development?
Performance on the Switch was always a thing we had to take into consideration. It’s the weakest of the current-gen consoles, but it provides a ton of interesting options for players, like the possibility to play on the go. We focused on optimizing the game while keeping the overall experience as good as possible. As a result, we even had optimizations that help the Xbox version of the game as well. Given the art style of Vigor, there is hardly any space left for improvements now, thanks to the dedication of the whole Vigor team.
How has the general reception to Season 5 been? Can you tell us about any specific thing you’re working on as a direct result of that feedback?
As you already mentioned, the addition of map rotation in Season 5 was well received. There are features in Season 5 that are highly praised by our players, be it the addition of trios in Encounters, five-men teams in Elimination, the Lone Wolf option, bullet penetration, and improved hit detection. Feedback is always a mixed bag, like the addition of a second crate to the airdrop, even for solos. Based on the community’s feedback, we are adding one more crate to the airdrop in case there’s a trio in the Encounter. At the moment, we’re keeping a close eye on feedback regarding the Sawmill map and adjusting some spots where Outlanders may get stuck.
Do you have any plans to enable cross-progression in Vigor?
"When we cooperate with the community, we’re always trying to design things they would enjoy. We have a long list of ideas, and it’s mainly a matter of prototyping them and testing if they actually work in Vigor."
The PS5 features an incredibly fast SSD with 5.5GB/s raw bandwidth. This is faster than anything that is available out there. How can developers take advantage of this, what will it result in, and how does this compare to Series X’s 2.4GB/s raw bandwidth?
These SSDs have the potential to allow games to travel at high speed across huge dense worlds containing tons of entities without any slowdowns and/or loadings. But that can’t be achieved on the Xbox Series SSD yet and it’s still a bit early to determine what’s possible on the PS5 SSD.
There is a difference in the Zen 2 CPUs of the two next-gen consoles. The Xbox Series X features 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.8GHz, whereas the PS5 features 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz. Your thoughts on this difference?
The processor performance of both devices is in the same league. The Xbox will probably be able to achieve more stable FPS in CPU-intensive games, but I don’t think that the lower CPU performance of the PS5 will limit developers.
The Xbox Series S features less powerful hardware compared to the Xbox Series X, and Microsoft is pushing it as a 1440p/60 FPS console. Do you think it will be able to handle graphically intensive next-gen games?
The important thing is that the CPU hasn´t been downgraded, so the Series S will not limit the potential scope or features of games. The Series S shouldn’t have any issues with the same games on lower resolutions. Maybe some adjusted graphic effects.