Bloodhunt Launch Learnings

Hello Bloodhunt Community!

Thank you so much for filling out our community survey!

We have now read through the 4000+ responses, and as always, we want to take a moment to not only share the results but also our thoughts on it.

For starters, the category that was by far the most asked for was more content - with Duo mode taking the lead.

 

Duo mode

If you were part of the Early Access phase, you know that we briefly featured Duo mode in place of Trio mode to get your feedback on it. At the time, we didn’t feel we had a big enough player population to support a separate Solo, Duo, and Trio queue at off-peak times. For the official launch of Bloodhunt, we decided to wait to see how many players we would end up getting before activating Duos concurrently with the other modes.

Now that we can clearly see that we have a much higher population of players, we felt confident we could support Duos with less risk of slowing down matchmaking.

Once we saw the result of the survey, we hoped to release it immediately. However, we always want to ensure high quality and we felt the mode still needed a bit more testing. On top of that, the text localization wasn’t finished yet, so it took a bit longer than expected to get it out.

Duo mode is already available as you read this and seems to be one of the most popular modes in the game. That said, we wanted to give you a short behind the scenes-glimpse into how even something seemingly straightforward can be more complicated than one might expect. Even a simple issue, like not having the correct text in place, can add a few extra days for enabling a mode.

 

More maps, modes, store items

While we can’t go into details right now because we want to excite and surprise our players with our efforts when the time is right, we can confirm that all of this is on our list.

One thing that we can share with you is that we are working on a new character rig for the Bloodhunt vampires, which we think will speed up the process of asset creation for Bloodhunt in the future.

When it comes to maps and modes, these things naturally take a long time to develop. Given the rich detail and density of a Bloodhunt map they require a lot of work and testing to get right. Also, our approach is quality over quantity, which we think is aligned with what is expected by our core community.

 

Bugs

The “hitreg” issue was, without a doubt, the bug that was mentioned most in the survey, and we have released a hotfix which has resolved this issue.

The hotfix introduced a new issue that sometimes causes a weapon not to reload properly. While this bug is much rarer than the previous “hitreg” issue, we still want you to know that it’s on our list of bugs to fix. These issues are a consequence of extra security checks we do on the server to prevent cheating, so they’re a good illustration of the complexities of trying to mitigate cheating without negatively impacting the experience for everyone.

When it comes to bugs that have a high impact on players, we always want to act swiftly while at the same time ensuring enough time to create and verify a safe and stable fix.

Depending on the complexity of the issue at hand and whether we have detailed information on how to reproduce the problem, the time it takes to fix it can vary significantly. This is especially true now that the game is on two platforms, which means that some of the work has doubled.

We really appreciate your help in identifying bugs and providing information about how to reproduce them as well as your patience as we work to address them.

 

Balance issues

When it comes to balance, there is one thing that stands out clearly at the moment, which is the community’s view on the balance of melee weapons. Some players think that melee is overpowered and some feel very strongly that it’s perfectly fine.

We want melee to remain a viable strategy in Bloodhunt, but we agree that it can be a bit imbalanced in certain situations. We are testing a tweak we believe will strike a fairer balance without negatively impacting the desired playstyle. More details to come once we’ve collected more data and fully confirmed our approach!

 

PS5 Specifics

We are thrilled to see that so many PlayStation 5 players decided to join us in Prague, and as this is a brand new platform we have gotten some unique feedback that stands out.

 

Crossplay with Friends

We see that you really wish to play in groups with your friends across the platforms, and not only against each other.

We are currently investigating if we would be able to do it. While this might sound simple in theory, there are quite a lot of complexities that we need to consider, such as:

  • As guests on a console platform that Sharkmob does not own, we need to ensure that we follow the rules set up by the platform holders.
  • We need to ensure that the platform holders’ privacy tools work seamlessly between both versions of the game, which includes things like block lists, muting functions, friend invites and online presence statuses.
  • We need to create and code the user interface to support all of this properly and ensure that everything gets properly and thoroughly tested.

All of this is quite a lot of work and will require the efforts from various people on the Bloodhunt team who are already working on other parts of the game. As such, we need to give you the heads-up that this feature, assuming we are able to implement it, would come sometime in the future of Bloodhunt.

 

Auto aim and gamepad sensitivity options

We can clearly see and hear that gamepad players want more options to be able to stay competitive against mouse and keyboard players. We have some short term and longer-term improvements in the works. Our philosophy is to keep a lighter touch with aim assist, as we don’t want to cause the opposite problem, but we agree that it needs some tuning. We also agree that more input customization is required. We hope to be able to share a general roadmap of gamepad improvements in the very near future.

As a small, peripherally related note, we are looking at supporting VRR for PlayStation 5 (players will need a TV capable of HDMI 2.1 supporting VRR). We think this will make the game feel smoother and decrease the risk of screen tearing.

We also wanted to take this opportunity to talk about a few other things that we know you have been asking us about.

 

Ranked Matchmaking

We have heard from players – and can also see it in the Ranked telemetry data – that once you reach a certain level, it takes a very long time to find matches. This is because there are not enough high-ranking players at the moment. Additionally, in certain regions, the player population has at times had difficulty finding enough players to get things going, so we have done the following change in the backend:

  • The skill band during ranked matchmaking has been increased, which means that you have a larger pool of players to play with.

We are currently evaluating to see how these changes play, and we will continue to tweak as needed based on the player experience and what we see in our data and your feedback.

 

Ranked matchmaking on PS5

As mentioned above, we understand that we need to do more to make gamepads more competitive towards mouse and keyboard players. As a quick fix, we will disable crossplay for Ranked mode on PS5 to see if it improves the experience for our PlayStation 5 players. We have a very large player base on PlayStation 5, so we expect matchmaking to continue functioning well in high population regions.

 

Additional bugs

There are a few other bugs that have come to our attention that we are currently focusing on:

  • An issue that sometimes causes Trios to start with only two players in a party. This is often due to a player leaving the game once a match has launched, but there is also a bug that can cause it to happen in cases where it shouldn’t
  • The “From Prague to Malmö” Trophy/Achievement not counting properly
  • Various issues related to quests, challenges, and the journal
  • A bug where you lose ammo after picking up a weapon
  • A bug that is causing an infinite loading screen on returning to Elysium

 

Thank you so much for reading and until next time, see you at dusk!

/Sharkmob

 

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