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Developer update: July 30, 2020

Last week we mentioned that we were planning to push a new release out the door this week and welcome our first wave of new beta testers. Unfortunately, due to a few critical bugs we recently identified, we’re postponing the release and the invites until next week. We know that’s not exciting news, but these bugs impacted core gameplay and we need time to thoroughly test out our fixes for them before pushing the release live. The upside of the situation is that the registration cut-off for the first wave of invitations is being extended to Sunday, August 2, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific.

We’ll be running a playtest like normal tomorrow (on the current build), so you can still jump in for some matches. After the release ships next week we’ll be making some updates to our public development roadmap to reflect features that have shipped, add some new projects, and update details on some existing projects.

An update on AFK players

We’ve been keeping an eye on the number and frequency of players being detected as severely AFK (that is, those who stopped playing long enough to significantly hamper their team’s chances of winning). Severely AFK players crop up in about 13% of matches, which is more or less in line with some of our competitors, but it’s something we know we need to improve.

Of the players who are detected as being severely AFK, most (about 85%) only do so once or twice over the course of a month. These are the players that are going AFK to answer the door or to help carry in the groceries—you get the picture. While this is frustrating for the other players in the match, we understand that life interferes with gaming from time to time and we don't want to bring down the hammer too harshly on infrequent offenders. That said, we’re going to take steps to cut down on the impact of the others—the players who repeatedly and intentionally AFK during matches. Today we doled out week-long suspensions on the worst offenders. This is something we’ll be doing regularly moving forward.

In addition to taking action on players who repeatedly go AFK, we’re considering lowering the threshold for what we consider “severely” AFK (meaning more players would end up on our radar). We’ll be asking for your input on the matter in next week’s post-playtest survey (which you can access from the Crucible main menu).

That’s all for now—we’ll see you in game!

-the Crucible team