Patch 1.4.1 is Now Live featuring changes to the playlist system, and several bug fixes. Read full changelist here:
Patch 1.4.1 Now Live
Given feedback to update 1.4, we’ve decided to make some further changes to the playlist system. We’ve been listening closely to the community’s thoughts and opinions, and we are actively working to iterate on the system in a way that is healthy for the community and its playerbase. Please continue to share with us your feedback, and know that we will be making further changes as necessary as we did with this patch and the hotfixes before it.
It is important for us to understand our playerbase better and learn what experiences our players want the most. Do note that these experimental changes are not set in stone, and we will be closely listening to the community’s feedback. As mentioned earlier, we do welcome constructive feedback to these changes. We just made a new Suggestions/Feedback forum on Steam, and encourage the community to post feedback there. Please read the pinned post to ensure the best results to your feedback and suggestions.
In the interest of remaining open and transparent, here are our motivations behind each change:
The Skirmish playlist found under Versus has been removed
To remain committed to the overall health of our game, we have decided to remove Skirmish from official matchmaking to help better populate matchmaking, decrease queue times, and addresses the issue of splitting the playerbase. This mode isn’t getting as much attention as we had hoped it would as its own playlist, and has been historically less popular than our other Versus modes both in Insurgency 2014 and in Sandstorm. As we evaluate different systems and modes, we’re focusing on ones that we have the time, bandwidth, and resources to support fully, and Skirmish is not on that agenda right now. The low player count and overall experience of this mode is not representative of the experience we want for players, especially new ones. We want players to get into games playing on fun game modes quickly. It is important to note that Skirmish will not be entirely removed from the game. It will still be available in community servers for anyone to host.
Push and Frontline modes have been merged into a shared playlist: Ground Battle
In addition to removing Skirmish to better support the player queues and overall health of the game, we have also decided to merge Push and Frontline. These two modes are the most popular and similar in flow, so we feel it makes sense to combine them and let players vote in between matches what they want to play next. While Push is the most popular mode, we are hoping that by adding Frontline to this queue, it will give the mode more exposure so we can better evaluate the degree to which the community enjoys it.
Casual and Competitive Firefight have been given a fixed 2x XP boost
To evaluate the health of the Firefight mode, both in Competitive and Casual, we will be adding a perpetual double XP boost. We are hoping this motivates players to play Firefight and helps us better evaluate the interest in the Competitive scene as a whole. We will continue to explore data, and make decisions based on these changes and what we’re discovering there going forward.
Additionally, we have added a Steam group specifically for Competitive Player Feedback. We hope to start a dialogue next week with Competitive players to give updates on what our plans are in supporting and facilitating Competitive going forward, and to invite constructive feedback from the community on how to improve the Competitive scene.
Versus Firefight player count has been increased from 8 v 8 to 12 v 12
To improve the overall experience of Versus Firefight, we’ve increased the amount of players. This is seen to be better gameplay and makes it more distinct from Competitive Firefight, which was 5 v 5. Our 8 v 8 change did help address player population issues, but given the other changes in this patch we are hoping that 12 v 12 can still provide a healthy playlist population.
The frequency of Limited Time Playlists will be reduced
As we have been exploring Limited Time Playlists, we have made the decision to reduce their weekly releases to a more gradual cadence in an effort to limit the amount of playlists featured at any one time. We hope that by reducing the frequency at which we introduce new modes, it will make them feel more exclusive and special as well as prevent unnecessary splitting of the playerbase. We still have plenty of new playlists to come, but we feel we need to be more conservative with how many and how often we show them.
We will continue to monitor and evaluate the impact of all these decisions. Thank you for bearing with us through these iterations of the playlist system. We hope that this patch and the hotfixes before it demonstrate our commitment to improving Sandstorm’s first time player experience and adding new game mode content in a way that does not split the playerbase. We cannot thank you, the community, enough for your continued support and positive feedback and suggestions. It is as it has always been since the Insurgency mod: critical to our development and direction we take the game. We will continue to monitor our social channels, forums, Reddit, etc and listen to the community. In addition to these changes above, our team will continue to work on bug fixes, new content, optimization, and other improvements based on community feedback. In this latest patch, we address a collision issue that caused grenades, players, or other large projectiles to properly pass through broken windows, added new first person Melee, Sprint, and Run animations for Mines, and more.
See the full changelist below:
(provided in link)