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Developer update: September 3, 2020

Hello and welcome to an edition of the Crucible developer update where talk about what’s in store for Heart of the Hives! We’re talking about stuff that’s not shipping immediately, rather than the current happenings of the game. Well, we might touch on current events a little bit, right at the very end. But the meat? The sweet and savory filling sandwiched between the bread of this introduction and the other bread of the inevitable farewell? It’s all about the future, baby.

We’ve talked a bit (including in our roadmap) about how we’re looking at making some changes to the map and matches to make Heart of the Hives into the best version of itself. Some of the things we’ve done already are: better messaging for Hive spawns, better UI for Hive weak points, and a revamp to the event system to make which things are most important more clear. Those are on top of other changes (like the addition of the mini-map) that are just about making the whole game experience better.

Right now, we’re testing a build internally that has even more significant changes to Heart of the Hives. Those changes include:

  • Locked spawn points: We’re testing out a system that uses respawn points as the initial drop points and always start teams out on opposite sides of the map.

  • Centralized objectives: To ensure fairness, we’re looking at making all objectives spawn in the center of the map. We’re moving the harvester currently known as Central to accommodate the change. As a tasty bonus, we’re putting creature guards around objectives.

  • Creature camps: We’ve already talked about these a little bit in our Behind the Screens blog on creatures. Not much to add to this one right now, but it is in the version of Heart of the Hives that we’re testing with all the other changes. They’re visible on the mini-map, and they respawn a few minutes after being entirely depopulated.

  • Preventing duplicate Hives: We’ve made a change that prevents Hives from spawning in the same place twice over the course of one match, because variety is the spice of life.

  • Pods for all: We’re experimenting with having damage and health boost pods be much less potent but apply to your whole team.

  • Objective timing: We’re experimenting with tweaking the timing around objective spawns. We’re thinking that the first objective would spawn at around 3 minutes, but subsequent spawns would have a cushion of about 5 minutes between them.

  • Essence-per-kill changes: Potentially trimming down the amount of Essence (or XP) earned for player kills by a bit to put more focus on creature camps and harvesters.

You can see a preview of some of the changes (like creature camps, centralized objectives, and the new harvester layout) in this screenshot of the mini-map. Developer's note: This screenshot is from a work-in-progress update and doesn't represent what the final implementation will look like. In fact, we've already changed up the icons for creature camps, so they won't be yellow triangles when we ship them.

We’re still a way out—probably about a month or so—from getting these kinds of updates out into the public version of the game. That means that things might still change along the way, and they might not all come out in the same release. That said, we’re feeling pretty happy about the feedback internally, and we’re excited to get these kinds of changes out in the not-too-far future.

Until then—we’ll see you tomorrow for the weekly playtest, the following week we’ll be inviting in another new wave of players, and as always, we thank you for playing the game.

All the best,

-the Crucible team


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