It's time for an update. Get your coffee and start reading!
If you are wondering who I am, you can check my previous update here.
Now that we're caught up, let's talk!
I want to start by addressing the main concerns and telling you what's going on.
I've been reading through forums, reddit and discord and have seen three major concerns: technical issues, the content of the patches, and lack of communication. Let's go through all these one by one.
1) Technical Issues
Of course, the major topic here is the Netcode. To quickly recap, the way the game was handled in terms of server-client communication was optimized for Korea where the internet connections are great, but it caused issues in the rest of the world. The Cruise patch in September was meant to change this, but it didn't work the way it was intended and, as a result, we had extensive downtime and had to roll back this feature.
To explain the status now, I've good news and bad news.
- Bad News #1: The Netcode needs fixing and it's a difficult task for developers.
- Bad News #2: We don't want to break the game again, but internal testing is also insufficient.
Doesn't look optimistic, I know. However!
- Good News #1: We have an internal patch that's being tested!
- Good News #2: We will have a public test server to keep live servers safe while testing with as many people as we can!
ETA? None at the moment. It depends entirely on the internal test results. The sooner we feel comfortable with the results, the sooner we can start.
Expect more news from us in the coming days.
But Netcode isn't the only technical issue we face. There are some additional ones that are tied to the netcode. There are others that aren't directly related but aren't being handled as fast as we could because the focus is on the netcode.
These will also be tackled or finalized once the netcode fix is in place.
2) Patch Content
I noticed that some of you felt adding new skins to the game while there are issues was a bad sign. I understand how it feels, but please rest assured that there is no secret strategy here. As mentioned, the development team is focused mostly on the netcode. However, the graphical content released is created by different people in the team. The alternative would be to only let the relative coders work and tell everyone else to stop, which wouldn't make sense at all. Alternatively, we could tell more people to develop features and so on, but it would delay the netcode. So these patches are the natural result of the netcode focus.
3) Lack of Communication
This is something we'd definitely like to improve.
We'll start with HQ Reports. The updates are likely to be shorter from now on, but they should arrive more frequently.
No promises at the moment, but expect something between once a month or two. It will depend on how much time it takes and how much relevant things we have to talk about.
We'll also be monitoring your feedback as usual and see what else we can do.
Another topic I want to talk about before moving to comments on the future of the game is the Ranked System.
As you are probably aware, the Ranked System didn't work as intended and "the intentions" weren't very clear in the first place. Therefore, we will temporarily remove the system next week.
Ranked matches will of course come back and before it happens, we'll be sharing some information about it.
I know some of you are also curious about the game's future, what things will be added, and how things will change. At this point I don't have many details I can disclose, but I'd like to ask you not to be disheartened by the problems of today. This is a long journey we've set unto and early issues are frustrating, but better to be found and addressed now than later. As I wrote somewhere on forums, I'm looking forward to the days where we'll all go hipster and have sentences like "Back in OBT...".
Anyway, back on the topic future. After the netcode and following fixes, our list includes a few things that were already shared with you: going on Steam and releasing the game.
On the game side, of course, we will always look at more content: new items, new maps, and new modes.
But it's not just the new toys of course, we will also be looking at improving the existing features, working on balance, game mechanics etc.
There are several improvements we are talking and thinking about. I'm also aware that you have suggestions, expectations etc. They aren't ignored, but there isn't much to say precisely at this moment. These will be separate topics we'll discuss further in the future.
I'm looking forward to the future of the game and seeing through the evolution with you all. I'd like to hear any feedback, so I invite you to share your thoughts: Short, long, positive, negative, all are welcome.
- Netcode fix in works, expect to hear about the next version in the coming weeks.
- Smaller/Item patches are a natural cycle of the game and happen because the rest of team is concentrating on the netcode.
- We'll improve our communication with the community.
- We will talk more about the future ... in the future.
If you have any questions or if you would like to provide some feedback, feel free to answer on this forum post and I will be answering as many questions as I can.
See you on the next report!