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Developer update: July 22, 2020

Hello, Essence hunters,

Welcome to another Crucible developer update. We have a medley of topics this week, so let’s jump right in.

Release cadence

Since launch, and up until a few weeks ago, our goal was to put out a new release each week. This approach allowed us to quickly address the issues we saw at launch, but it came at the cost of reduced internal efficiency. Our goal moving forward will be to put out new release every two weeks. This is more sustainable for the team, and it gives us some extra time to make sure we’re putting out quality releases—which is important considering there are a lot of changes coming in the next few weeks and months. You’ll see some of those changes in our next build, which is currently slated for next week. This one’s a chonker: We’ve got the mini-map coming online, new context-specific pings for the quick comms system (including 2,500+ new voice lines), the first part of our planetary event system rework, client and networking performance improvements, combat and UI polish, and a slew of bug fixes.

Pictured: The new mini-map in its home in the upper left corner of the HUD. Please note that this screenshot is taken from the dev environment for sneak peek purposes only, and is not meant to represent an actual match.

 

Closed beta strategy

We’re seeing a lot of discussion in the community right now about player concurrency numbers and Crucible’s marketing, so let’s talk a bit about our overall strategy for closed beta. As we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, we’ve paused most of our marketing efforts while we deliver the features on our closed beta roadmap and address the shortcomings in the new player experience that turned a lot of players off at launch. We believe that bringing in a bunch of new players before those changes are in is not going to be super effective, so we’re mostly focused on our current players (you!). This is why we’re running weekly tournaments, for example. They’re not intended to market the game and acquire new players, but rather to provide content and opportunities for our existing players.

 

However, we do need to introduce new players to the closed beta from time to time to ensure that we’re on the right track and that the changes we’re making are doing what we expect. Starting on July 31, every four weeks or so we’ll be inviting waves of new players into the closed beta to participate in our weekly playtests. We’ll closely monitor how these players interact with the game—how long they play, if they come back, what they’re doing—and use this information to identify areas where we need to invest more time and effort. Once we feel good about the progress we’re seeing and the feedback we’re getting in these closed beta tests, we’ll look to transition to hosting broader tests—which is when you’ll start to see more marketing activity.

 

Playtest schedule and beta registration

Starting this week and moving forward, playtests will be from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT on Fridays. This lines up pretty well with daily peak play hours and will allow our team to play more! You can still play Crucible outside of playtest hours, but we recommend that you hop into our Discord server to find other players to group up with. Check out the #faq channel to learn about the new role we’ve added to help coordinate pick-up matches.

 

Finally, in case you missed it, closed beta registration is now available at https://www.playcrucible.com/en-us. We’ll be sending out the first wave of new player invites before next week’s playtest—which will include all of the features and improvements we previewed above!

 

Thanks again for your continued support for Crucible!

 

Have a great week and stay safe,

-the Crucible team


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