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Release Notes: September 23, 2020

Release Notes: September 23, 2020

Developer’s note: Today’s update is a big one for us! It’s packed with a lot of work described on our initial roadmap from June (which you can see here). We can’t wait to hear what you think of the changes! We’ll be playtesting this Friday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Pacific Time, so come join us and try out the new-and-improved Heart of the Hives experience. Thanks for being part of the community!

Spotlight

Heart of the Hives Improvements

Developer’s note: Back in June we announced that we’ll be doubling down on Heart of the Hives and making it the premiere Crucible experience. This allowed us to revisit many of the systems in the game that were originally designed to work with all three original modes and begin iterating on them with only Hearts of the Hives in mind. As a result, this update introduces some fairly significant changes to gameplay.

For the most part, the map you’ve come to love with remains untouched, but we’ve made some adjustments to better facilitate Heart of the Hives gameplay. First, the center harvester has been repositioned to up near spaceport. This creates more of a “ring” of harvesters that circle the center of the map. What’s in center now, you ask? Central is now where amplifier objectives will spawn each match, creating a centrally located objective area. Yes, this means that each amplifier event now only include a single amplifier. We think this will help reduce randomness and create more telegraphed team fight opportunities outside of Hives. Also, we removed the death fog around the outside of the map so you’ll be able to take in all of those beautiful alien vistas that our environment art team has been working on.

  • Moved the central Harvester (C) from the center of the map to the woodsy area between north passage and spaceport. Harvesters now form a rough ring around the interior of the map.

  • Swapped the Harvester designation letters around to match their new arrangement.

  • Amplifiers always spawn in the center of the map, where the C harvester used to be.

  • All Objectives/Amplifiers now spawn a single objective, rather than two.

  • Added a new cave area on the southwest edge of the map.

  • Hive spawns and creature camps all have significant visual treatment in the map to help teach you where they are.

  • Removed the death fog and shield around the edge of the map. Enjoy the view!

 

Developer’s note: Next, we’ve shaken up farming quite a bit. In the previous version of Crucible, creatures spawned in consistent locations around the world, but the locations weren’t communicated all that well. It was especially difficult for new players to understand what to do when there wasn’t a clear objective or Hive to fight over. In this update, you’ll find that creatures spawn in dedicated camps spread across the map, and each of these camps is called out on the map and mini-map interfaces. As creature camps are defeated, the camp icon disappears from the map and won’t reappear until their internal respawn timers have completed. This means you’ll always know where to go to get some Essence—but so will the other team! When you come across your first Stomper camp, you’ll notice a new creature variant – the Healing Stomper! This intimidating fellow has more health than their peers, is worth more Essence, heals their allies, and on death drops healing spores that will restore your own health. Very useful for topping off your health between fights.

  • Creatures are now spawn in fixed camp locations in the world. These camps are highlighted on the mini-map when they are active and will disappear when the camp is defeated. Camps and their creatures will respawn after a set timer. Creatures will not attack players unless messed with first (other than the pesky Lurkers). Here's a breakdown of how the various camps will work and details on the new type of Stomper:

Stompers:

  • Each camp has three Stompers and one new Healing Stomper.

  • Stompers never attack unless attacked first.

  • Four minutes after all stompers have been defeated, a one-minute timer will start, after which a new camp of stompers will spawn.

New Creature: Healing Stomper

  • The Healer has 1000hp.

  • Drops 600 Essence on death, twice the amount of a normal Stomper.

  • When a nearby Stomper dies, the Healer will rear up and release a cloud of spores that fully heals all other nearby stompers, including itself.

  • When a healing Stomper dies, it explodes in healing spores, leaving a zone on the ground that heals players (but not creatures) for 1400hp over 10 seconds.

Spitters:

  • Each Spitter camp has five Spitters.

  • Spitters will not attack players unless attacked first.

  • Increased Spitter’s attack range from 40m to 60m.

  • Removed invulnerability from Spitters in their dormant state – you can now shoot them while they are hiding in the ground.

Lurkers:

  • There is a single camp of 10 Lurkers located in the center of the map.

  • Lurker health increased from 300 to 450.

  • Damage from a Lurker’s full beam attack has been reduced from 256 to 128.

  • The Lurker camp always spawns 10 seconds before an amplifier would spawn.

  • Lurkers will attack when damaged, but also sense players within 5 meters.

  • Lurkers will attack anyone who interacts with the amplifier.

  • To match the updates to creatures and introduction of creature camps, the amount of Essence required to level up has been updated, along with Essence granted from defeating members of the opposing team.

    • Increased the XP to level from 1 to 2 from 1800 to 2700.

    • Increased the XP to level from 2 to 3 from 3200 to 3800

    • Increased the XP to level from 3 to 4 from 4600 to 4900

    • Leveling from to 5+ remains 6000 essence per level.

    • Essence from defeating a level 1 opponent decreased from 650 to 520

    • Essence from defeating a level 2 opponent decreased from 700 to 560

    • Essence from defeating a level 3 opponent decreased from 750 to 600

    • Essence from defeating a level 4 opponent decreased from 800 to 640

    • Essence from defeating opponents level 5 and above decreased from 850 to 680

Developer’s note: We’ve made some significant changes to Hives and where they spawn. Previously, Hives would spawn in fairly random locations across the map and could sometimes spawn very close to each other. Our goal was to make this a more consistent experience and ensure that each Hive fight location is unique and interesting. To accomplish this, we’ve reduced the number of available spawn locations to six and changed up the terrain surrounding each Hive. Player spawning (and respawning) points has also seen some changes, with the same goal of consistency.

  • The Hive spawn and player respawn systems have been reworked to make them easier for new players to learn and to reduce randomness in high-level competitive matches. Instead of a variety of potential respawn points ringing the map, there are now six player respawn points that are equidistant from the map center, with each team owning three of them. These points are used for both the initial drop and respawning.

    • Players no longer have control over their initial spawn. The game chooses two spawn points on opposite sides of the map to spawn the teams. The drop sequence is slightly faster and both teams will drop at the same time.

    • For each hive, both teams have a drop point that is exactly the same distance away.

    • Hives no longer remove nearby respawn points. Nothing about respawn points changes over the course of the match.

    • Respawn points have shield bubbles around them, owned by the team that owns the drop point. These bubbles cannot be moved through or shot through by the opposing team, and they heal the owning team at a significant rate.

    • Increased player respawn timers from 25s to 32s.

    • Hives will now spawn at 6 fixed locations. The terrain around the six Hive spawn locations have been updated to make them better balanced for the fixed team respawn points.

    • A hive can only spawn at each point once per game.

    • Only a single Hive can be active at any time. Once a Heart is captured, the next Hive’s spawn telegraph will start.

  • Updated the in-game match scoreboard to better surface vital information.

    • Moved ally portraits and health bars to the top scoreboard and added portraits for the enemy team. When an ally or enemy dies, you will now see their respawn timer over their portrait for each team to know who is in (or out) of the action.

    • Added each team’s level, level progression bar, and the amplifiers captured by that team.

    • Added a match timer.

Old version:

New version:


In-Game Damage Numbers (Floaters)

Developer’s note: Okay, we hear you—you want to see how much damage you’re doing! Now you can!

  • Added an option in the general settings menu to enable damage floaters (numerical values) that display how much damage your attacks are dealing in the world.

    • Critical hits are displayed in red.

    • Damage over time is displayed with a separate floater that moves in a different pattern to distinguish it from direct damage.

    • Damage over time will display damage in 1/4 second increments.

    • Direct damage will accumulate into a single floater as long as the damage dealt is within .25 seconds of the previous damage.

New Player Matchmaking

Developer’s note: Updated matchmaking for new players is one of our three big new player experience improvements in this release. This is especially important for when we’re bringing new folks into the closed beta—these are shark-infested waters!

  • We've improved matchmaking to better ensure new players will be matched together for a better introduction to Crucible. Previously, matchmaking was based on party size, region, and underlying skill rating generated from wins and losses (not from character level). The system now contains an additional field determining if a player is new to Crucible and attempts to place them in games with other new players. If a new player joins a party with a veteran player their group will be placed in the veteran player’s search.

  • NOTE: this feature will be most noticeable during weekly playtests when there’s a higher number of active players and queue times are shorter. If a new player is in queue for a long period of time they will eventually be matchmade with higher skilled players.

Game Guide and Updated Tutorial

Developer’s note: Here are our other two new player experience upgrades. We’re especially excited for the Game Guide, which allows players to see the actual Crucible map and try out all the core gameplay mechanics without the pressure of teammates or enemies.

  • We’ve updated the new player experience to better teach the fundamentals of Crucible. These updates will better prepare new players to hop into a match and know what to do when they land planet side.

    • Updated the tutorial to be more concise, teach additional important gameplay elements, (such as the use of plants), and better reflect Crucible’s environment. We believe this version to be more informative and less frustrating for new players.

    • Added the first version of the new ‘Guide’ mode, which serves as an extension of the tutorial. The new player is dropped into the Heart of the Hives map to learn core concepts of the game before they enter matches against other players. It covers farming creatures, capturing harvesters, objectives, and fighting over the Hive. Players of any skill level can use the Guide to explore the map and practice gameplay.

Hunters & Gameplay

General

Changes:

  • Improved the feel and hit registration of explosion attacks such as Summer's Fireball [Right Mouse Button], all grenades, and Earl's Upshift [Right Mouse Button], especially in higher latency environments.

  • Updated how and when successful hit visual effects (VFX) are shown to prevent the game from displaying them when the shots missed on the server.

  • Added tooltips to the character select screen for abilities and upgrades. Text has been updated and improved for Captain Mendoza, Summer, Earl, Shakirri, Tosca, Bugg, and Ajonah.

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed a bug that was causing hit VFX to linger in the world.

  • Fixed a bug preventing the new interact VFX from properly aligning with some character’s fingers.

Captain Mendoza

Bug Fixes: 

  • Flash Grenade [E]: Fixed a bug that was causing Mendoza’s grenade to blind for 1-3 seconds instead of 1-2 seconds.

  • Supply Drop [Q]: Fixed a bug that prevented Mendoza’s Supply Drop bunker from taking melee damage.

Drakahl

Changes:

  • Chop [Left Mouse Button]: Added a window of time during Drakahl’s Chop attack where abilities can be queued to fire off after the swing ends. This should help Drakahl feel more fluid in combat.

  • Rush [Shift]: Added VFX for when Rush comes off cool down, and for when Rush cool down decreases due to Second Wind.

  • Resonating Quake [E, Right Mouse Button]: Updated the timing on Resonating Quake’s VFX to improve the feel of the hit.

  • Sonic Shock [level 1 upgrade]: Added VFX for Sonic Shock to help show the player (and enemies) when this upgrade is active.

  • Ok, Now I'm Mad [level 3 upgrade]: Added VFX to better display to the player and enemies when this upgrade is active.

  • Revised and polished VFX for most of Drakahl’s abilities including Chop, Sonic Pulse, Resonating Spin, Resonating Quake, and Enraged Claw.

  • Revised and polished Drakahl’s animations when using Jink forwards, Sonic Pulse, and Chop.

 

Earl

Changes:

  • Revised and polished Earl's quick melee animation.


Rahi & Brother

Changes:

  • Knuckleduster Force Punch [Right Mouse Button]: Revised and polished Force Punch VFX.

  • Laz Beam [Left Mouse Button]: Updated VFX on Laz Beam to better display how it is applying shields to Rahi.

  • Laser Precision: [level 2 upgrade]: Updated VFX on Laz Beam to help clarify the damage difference created by Laser Precision.

  • Pushing the Boundaries [level 3 upgrade]: Added versions of Force Punch for Pushing the Boundaries so you and enemies could tell when you have this upgrade active.

  • Save the Day! [level 5 upgrade]: Added VFX to better display to the player and enemies when this upgrade is active.

  • Knuckleduster Charge-up [level 5 upgrade]: Updated VFX for Knuckleduster Charge-up to better display to the player and enemies when this upgrade is active.

  • Added new VFX for Rahi’s reload.


Sazan

Changes:

  • Restorative Exchange [level 1 upgrade]: Improved VFX for VFX to better display to the player and enemies when this upgrade is active.

  • Full Blast Shot [level 3 upgrade]: Added special muzzle flash and hit VFX for Full Blast shot to better display to the player and enemies when this upgrade is active.

  • Disruptive Charge [level 5 upgrade]: Updated VFX to better display to the player and enemies when this upgrade is active.


Shakirri

Changes:

  • Synergistic Blade [level 3 upgrade]: Added VFX to better display to the player and enemies when this upgrade is active.

  • Strike to the Heart [level 5 upgrade]: Added VFX to better display to the player and enemies when this upgrade is active.

Bug fixes:

  • Disrupting Strike [Sword Stance Right Mouse Button]: Fixed a bug preventing Disrupting Strike VFX to align with the attack when Shakirri is facing up or down.

  • Force Dome [Q]: Fixed a bug that prevented Force Dome from taking melee damage.


Summer

Changes:

  • Revised Summer's jump animation to resolve an issue where her character model could be slightly misaligned with her actual location when jumping.


Tosca

Changes:

  • Z-Ray Lenses [level 3 upgrade]: Updated Z-Ray VFX to better display to the player and enemies when this upgrade is active.


Map & Matches

Changes:

  • Removed the medical stations found near Harvesters. The spawn point bubbles, healing Stompers, and an increase in the spawn rate of med kits and healing plants should give players plenty of health options.

  • Removed the Harvester Master Control amplifier.

  • Updated the Essence Canister Scenario to create a more engaging scenario throughout the course of the match.

    • This scenario now begins immediately upon game start.

    • There are now 8 canisters initially, and these 8 are all placed in the outer reaches of the map (minimum 220m distance from center).

    • A new canister spawns every 30 seconds (anywhere on the map).

    • Increased number of refineries (stations where canisters can be converted to Essence) from 2 to 3.

    • Updated refinery placement to be equally spaced and all the same distance from the center of the map.

    • Essence per canister lowered to 1600 (was 3000).

  • Removed the Essence Eruption scenario.

  • Updated the Health Boost Pods scenario to now provide a team-wide benefit (previously they were an individual boost). Health boost increase per pod collected reduced from a 1% to 0.25%.

  • Updated the Damage Boost Pod scenario now provide a team-wide benefit (previously they were an individual boost). Damage boost increase per pod collected reduced from a 1% to 0.25%.

  • Removed the Global Scanner scenario. Developer's note: Right now, this doesn't have the level of impact we want from scenarios, so we've pulled it out of the lineup.

Bug fixes:

  • Metamorphosis now correctly affects Wasp and Hive spike damage.

Technology

Changes: 

  • Improved framerate during the longest and heaviest frames by 5-10%.

  • Reduced networking desyncs from Drakahl in close quarters combat, which should improve the feel of Drakahl’s melee combat.

  • Reduced networking desyncs overall by 50% compared to previous release!

Bug fixes:

  • Fixed a bug causing shadows to flicker after changing graphics settings during gameplay.

  • Fixed a rare bug causing blurry textures to display on various creatures and characters, most noticeably on the Hive.

 

User Interface & Usability

Changes: 

  • Added objective icons next to tutorial checklist steps.

  • Polished and revised mini-map.

  • Updated ping markers with a new edge-of-screen floating indicator.

Bug fixes: 

  • Fixed a bug preventing players from placing pings on the respawn map.

  • Fixed a bug preventing various events from appearing on the post-match scoreboard.

  • Fixed a rare bug causing parties to appear empty after a player successfully accepted an invite.

  • Fixed a bug causing disconnected players to display a nonsensical respawn timer value.

  • Fixed a rare bug corrupting player’s parties and displaying a visual corruption.

  • Fixed a rare bug causing nameplates and interaction information to become unresponsive.

  • Fixed a bug causing the healing/damage to misalign on the player's health bar.

  • Fixed a bug causing the health bar to flicker when healed to full.

  • Fixed a bug preventing the scoreboard from updating while displayed in certain cases.

 

Developer’s note: Whew, that was a lot! If you made it this far, congratulations!

With a few exceptions, this moves most of our roadmap to the ‘Done’ category—at least for initial implementation. Custom Games is one of our outstanding projects, and we’re expecting those to come online some time next month. So what comes after that? The team is in the middle of planning and building out our next priority list and feature roadmap, largely based on the feedback we’re hearing from you. Some of the roadmap will be finalized based on how your thoughts coming out of our next few playtests. We plan on sharing it with all of you as soon as it’s close to being finalized. This is a reminder that your feedback is incredibly valuable to us and is helping us determine what we focus on next.

Thanks for reading! We’ll see you on Friday to put all these new features through their paces!

Known Issues

  • A Drakahl who has been Blinded may have their Blind persist until death and respawn.

  • While playing as Drakahl, various visual effects may display incorrectly, including playing when the skill or condition they represent is not active or not displaying at all.

  • Drakahl players may find that their framerate degrades over the course of each match. We're working on a fix for this issue as soon as possible.

  • Players may be unable to open overlay menus (Escape menu, Scoreboard, etc) after the drop sequence at the start of a match.

  • If a match ends while a player is on the respawn screen, that player may not see the end-of-game notification or post-match scoreboard.

  • Banners related to Hives spawning and Hive heart captures may display the incorrect message or at the incorrect time.

  • Players may be unable to select a respawn point.



Update notes: 6:00 p.m. September 23

  • Fixed a bug that caused Blinds on Drakahl to persist until death.

  • Fixed a bug that caused VFX on Drakahl to display improperly.

  • Fixed a bug that caused the framerate for Drakahl players to degrade over the course of a match.

  • Fixed a bug that caused some players to be unable to open overlay menus (Escape menu, etc) after the initial drop sequence.

  • Fixed a bug that caused Hive spikes to deal more damage than intended.


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