What we learned from the PC Closed Playtest

Hello Bloodhunt Community!

Thank you so much for taking part in our PC Closed Playtest a few weeks ago.

It provided some much-needed insights into the state of development of our game and gave us the confidence that we needed that everything is ready for launch.

Overall, the reception and feedback was extremely positive, but we wanted to shine a light on a few things that you said could be improved.

As we are very close to launching the game, some of these issues may not be addressable in time for launch, but we will do our best to slot them into upcoming updates as we are always looking to improve Bloodhunt for our players.

 

Balancing and bugs

When it came to the balance of the game, one thing that stood out was the Ventrue – Enforcer ability.

To start with, we identified a bug that was causing issues with hit detection in certain scenarios.

This scenario was related to reloading your weapon while under certain poor network conditions. It led to the bullets in your next magazine being unable to do damage to players. We have a partial fix for this for launch, but we were unable to fully fix the issue, and instead of delaying the game we are committed to fixing it with an update shortly after the launch of the game.

With that in mind, we think that this bug elevated the perception that the Ventrue – Enforcer’s ability is too strong.

We would love for you to play the game again with the partial fix that is available in this upcoming launch build of the game and let us know if you still feel like this is an issue.

Also, we know from experience that when a new weapon or character is introduced, almost every player wants to try it out, giving the impression that everyone is using it simply because it’s really good. Additionally, it takes time to learn and adapt to a new archetype and their abilities, so we want to give our players a chance to discover and learn the counters and metas that are introduced to Bloodhunt through new content.

It also takes time to collect and analyse the gameplay data that we use to validate both your and our own thoughts on what our next steps will be when it comes to game balance.

In short, we want to give it a little bit of time before we start changing values as we would rather tweak things in small steps rather than tuning too early and too aggressively as we have seen that this can cause an even more negative effect on the overall balance of the game.

We hope that our new approach to balancing the game will lead to an better overall experience for the majority of our players.

 

The positioning of respawns in Bloodhunt mode

Some of you thought that the positioning of respawns in Bloodhunt mode was a little too close for comfort as it was felt that players you had just killed could very quickly return and engage you again.

There were many ideas from our players during the PC Closed Playtest in regard to how this could be improved, such as:

  • Making it more apparent when someone respawns on the map through visual and audio cues
  • Spawning players with lesser quality weapons
  • Letting players choose a spawn point that is far away from the action

Some of these are easier to implement than others, but we will be investigating various solutions to see what works best.

Additionally, we saw that ability to get an extra life from certain NPC once you have been defeated once was perhaps not fully understood by most players, and as this mode is more designed for fun rather than being competitive, we will likely see players play it a bit differently once they understand the dynamics of it.

More on this in the future once we have had the time to implement and do a few internal playtests to determine what works best and what is possible to do within the framework of how we designed the system.

 

Matchmaking

During the Closed Playtest we were initially focused on getting players into matches quickly, which caused some of you to end up in servers outside your regions. We then switched to focusing on higher-quality matches, meaning that we prioritised location rather than speed.

Of course, this not always easy to get right, depending on time of day and total amount of active players, but we will be tweaking this to fit our player base and we now feel like we have learnt what will work the best during the launch of the game.

During Early Access, we did not see a large demand for servers in Australia which led to long waiting times for players in that region due to the fact that it took a fairly long time to fill up those servers. To speed things up, we were utilising Singapore servers instead to determine if the experience was still acceptable in the hope of reducing matchmaking times.

From what we could see during the PC Closed Playtest, the result was somewhat mixed in the sense that players were happy that they could find matches quickly but with the negative being that there was a noticeable amount of lag.

For launch, we once again want to try to run the game in as many regions that we can, and we hope that we will see an increase in those low-player regions so that we can justify keeping those servers online.

At launch we will be running servers in the following regions/countries:

  • EU
  • US West
  • US Central
  • US East
  • Brazil
  • Australia
  • Singapore

We will, of course, keep an eye on player numbers across the world, and we will be tweaking the server locations to best fit the worldwide demand for the game.

 

Crossplay

Lastly, we wanted to mention some additional feedback that we received independently of the playtest, which is mostly related to the ability to being able to play in the same group as your friends through crossplay, and not only against each other in Prague.

Although we are unable to promise anything at this point, we want to confirm that we have heard your concerns. The ultimate goal is allowing every platform to play with each other.

 

Thank you!

Again, we want to thank you for your feedback and ideas in regards to improving Bloodhunt.

Honestly, it means a lot to us, so thank you! Thank you very much!

As always, you can also find us on our Discord over at discord.gg/Bloodhunt

Until next time, see you at dusk!

 

/Sharkmob

 

 

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