Hello again, dear Bloodhunt community!
We now present to you what we learned from your feedback in the survey we sent out just after the patch release.
The September Update was intentionally a smaller update by comparison to our earlier seasonal releases.
It had a 30-tier Noir Pass as well as multiple improvements to the game, including a reworked rating model for balancing who faces whom in the matchmaking. It also contained a list of important bug fixes.
In addition to this, we have continued our efforts in combating cheaters, banning over 19,000 accounts since our efforts started. We will continue with these efforts and make sure to keep the ban katana sharp and ready.
You shared your thoughts about this and the game in general, so let us start digging into your answers.
The state of the game according to our players
While the written positive feedback about the game has increased significantly in your comments, the survey rating is still at the same point as the previous update. We interpret it as that the game is good at its core, but you have higher expectations for what is in our updates and rate it accordingly.
The biggest reasons you provide for the current rating are the lack of significant content and feature additions. Many of you also mention that you want more vanity content, so while the Noir Pass was well-received by most of you, it was not enough.
Additionally, the mention of the absence of true crossplay between PS5 and PC is also something that sticks out, and something we spent time investigating whether it was feasible or not.
Since neither the PS5, nor the PC populations are sustaining with the current game-loop, we are very unlikely to see a significant enough boost, neither in new players nor returning old players by adding the ability to create squads with friends between PS5 and PC. In hindsight this is something that should have been in the game at launch, but our conclusion is that investing resources into this right now is not something that will bring back enough players.
There was also concern about how regular these Battle Pass updates would be. For this one, we have an immediate answer: there will be another new pass with additional tiers in the next update! This is currently planned for release in the second half of October, in other words very soon!
There are also requests for more game modes. However, the addition of Team Deathmatch, that we refined in the previous update, has not led to a situation where we are seeing an increase in fresh players or retaining more players. In fact, unfortunately, quite the opposite has occurred: Our concurrent player count continues to go down. This indicates that, at the very least, adding a game mode like TDM is not enough.
We will continue our work and explore our options – but at the same time be realistic in terms of what we can achieve with the game and the increasingly stiff competition on the market.
So, what was asked for and WILL be coming to the game?
The next update of the game will come with several improvements, including the bot backfilling that we mentioned in the previous learning article. Bot backfilling will mean that players across regions and time zones will be able to get games with shorter wait times. Our low population region players will also be more likely to play on servers with better latency, resulting in a smoother gameplay experience. With this addition we can now also increase the lobby size back to 42 players, which improves the pacing of all matches. We believe that this will give new players a better first impression, as well as provide an overall more enjoyable experience for existing players, especially outside peak hours. We are aware that some prefer waiting longer to face human players, and for those we are reactivating the Trio mode without bot backfill! Trios is a mode that we know is popular with our streaming community, so we are very happy to be able to bring it back.
The October Update also contains a new 25-tier free Halloween Pass with new seasonal vanity items, as well as 8 favourites from the past. This has always been – and continue to be – popular, and thankfully, we are able to deliver it relatively quickly with the Big Rig system.
Furthermore, we have upcoming improvements to the aim assist for PS5 to ensure that the game is even more fun and playable in the same way as the PC version.
We also are performing several balance changes across weapons, powers, and Archetypes as there were some standouts in the feedback and data, all in line to emphasize strengths without making something too powerful in relation to the rest.
All of these and more have been selected from among your most wanted lists in the survey, so it has been something we have made sure to include in the October Update.
Our focus right now is to make sure that you spend less time in matchmaking and get matches sooner, as well as making sure that those matches are balanced better in terms of opponent difficulty. To achieve this with the current player base, we need to use bot backfilling to compensate for our current player number while we continue to evaluate our rating system.
We also hope to see players across the globe playing more matches and having a better gameplay experience, and that this leads to some much-needed player growth.
Until next time, see you at dusk!