Greetings, esteemed Bloodhunt community! We are thrilled to share with you the invaluable insights garnered from your feedback in our recent survey, specifically focusing on the highly anticipated Tremere Update.
The Tremere Update was an ambitious undertaking, and the team is incredibly pleased with its successful deployment. The work we put into it was extensive, and our anticipation was high.
It contained the new clan Tremere, with the Scholar Archetype as well as another new free 100-tier Primus Pass. Additionally, the tutorial was revamped, and we added an Armory with a Gun Range for target practice. On top of that, we added a new weapon, two new TDM (Team Deathmatch) locations, and a new artifact.
The number of respondents in this survey was the highest since last summer, which is always a good thing as it gives us a better representation of the wider community's views.
The reception of this update by the community was overwhelmingly positive, and many of the respondents say it was the best one to date. The ratings were on par with the best ratings we have received since launch (even slightly higher!).
What many of you liked
The Scholar Archetype has been very well-received by most of you, and many of you say that while the powers can be quite powerful, they require skill from the player for them to be successful. For example, some of you mention that the Levitate power while useful to traverse also makes the player an easy target when used in the wrong manner. Still, many of you appreciate the smooth movement and traversal abilities of the Scholar and feel that it provided a much-needed variety to the Archetype selection.
Additionally, the new Armory received a lot of praise from most of you. Having something to do when queueing for your favorite game mode has been warmly welcomed and appreciated. The fact that you can also train your parkour skills in this area saw a lot of positive feedback.
We have also seen several positive mentions about the two new TDM-maps ( Rudolfinum and the Railway Station), both providing some exciting and intense matches. It has made the game mode popular, and we take that on board for future TDM-map additions.
Increase in the number of players
We have also seen a steady trickle of additional players in the game. The retention has been slowly increasing, which was something we hoped for.
With that said, it should be stated that these numbers do not come close to the numbers we saw in May of last year, and by the second week post-patch we saw a noticeable drop in our CCU (concurrent users). While we certainly are happy that the recent improvements to the game are well-received, more work on improving the game is necessary to be able to attract more players. For instance, many of you say that you want performance improvements, balancing to the aim assist, getting into Trios matches more reliably, and most of all: you want even more content more often. Let us talk about this feedback, and our plans to address these requests.
Improving server performance
One thing that stood out in the survey is the server performance. While many of you can play most matches without significant issues, there are moments during matches where they have become an issue that negatively impacts some of our players’ overall enjoyment of the game.
As this has been an ongoing complaint, we have done several internal benchmarks to trace what exactly is having a negative impact on the servers. We have already made some additions to our infrastructure by adding multiple additional Bloodhunt servers over the past weeks and reducing the number of running matches per server to mitigate the issues, and while we already have seen some improvements, we also needed to do some code reworks to better the server performance.
When we say server performance, it is not one single thing. It actually consists of several components that we have been working on. The physical infrastructure (hardware) and the netcode (software) are the two biggest. Besides improving the physical components, we have been making a large-scale review of our netcode. That process involved measuring the performance impact of all the different mechanics of the netcode individually to track down where we need to optimize.
In this investigation, we found multiple resource hogs that we are optimistic will lead to improved overall server performance. More details will be explained in our upcoming patch notes and the changes will already be in the next update planned for next week.
Balancing the Aim Assist
We have been taking an extra look at your feedback on Aim Assist since it was mentioned by some of you in the survey. Looking at the data there is still an overall disadvantage for gamepad users in many aspects of the game, but we do see a slight potential advantage in overall accuracy. This accuracy was disliked by some of our players.
Based on the survey feedback and the data for gamepad usage, we found certain improvements to make the Aim Assist more balanced and we have adjusted it to require a bit more player interaction. Let us be more specific.
We have adjusted how reliable the overall aiming down sight accuracy is, as well as the help that the aim assist provides when targeting the centre of an opponent’s character model.
Currently, the rotational assistance provides the player with a bit too much rotational help without input adjustment by the player, we have tweaked it so that it now will require some more manual adjustment, especially at close range. This is where we have spent our balancing efforts.
To reliably land headshots the player will now also need to use more fine-tuned inputs to not over- or undershoot, which requires more practice and continuous sight adjustments.
We have left the other aspects of AA (Aim Assist) be, as we still see a performance gap between the two input systems. There will still be aim assist, but there is a difference now with these balance changes as we have adjusted the tracking. As always, we will continue to monitor your feedback and adjust if necessary.
Trios' matchmaking times
We are making changes to how matchmaking will work in our Trios game mode. These changes are based on the feedback that we received from many of you. One of the main reasons why several of our players avoid Trios is because of its unreliable waiting times. Some of you mention that you would play this game mode more often if you could reliably get into matches.
We have listened to this request, and we will be implementing more consistency for the matchmaker in the next update. It will still prioritize putting as many players as possible into any match at any time of the day, but it will not wait for more than 8 minutes in doing so. We will continue to monitor your feedback and the data, and potentially adjust if necessary.
Your feedback on this subject has been vital, and that is also why we have put down a lot of time and resources into making this happen. Read more about these efforts in the recent Trios matchmaker changes article.
Most of you desire more features and content
What stands out by far in the survey is that most of you need more content in the game, more things to progress towards, and more changes to improve the replayability of the game.
The content and features we added in the recent update were quickly completed by some of you and it is now seen as "old" by some of our dedicated fans. For new fans trying the game, there is also still a sensation that the game feels a bit stale after a few matches.
Our current plan to address at least a part of this involves community voting. We mentioned it already in our previous learnings article, but the idea has matured a bit since then.
We are working on an interactive voting system in the game that will allow you to vote between pre-selected alternatives that will affect certain changes in the game. This feature is planned to be released after our April Update.
We will give you a more detailed overview of this community voting feature in a new article in May.
The community is the future
You, our dearest community are truly the lifeblood of Bloodhunt, and we fully cherish your dedication and commitment to creating community events, like the recent tournament organized by BezparT and Fahrenheit that had live commentary by PuHLuSioN. We appreciate the multiple community giveaways by Kahlior, the consistent support and feedback by our Discord community moderators, and all of you for providing insightful comments in our feedback channels and survey.
We are also incredibly grateful for all the cool educational videos provided by Motion Gaming, Kuhho, PatchMadeJay, and many more across multiple platforms, as well as the many incredible highlights you all share showcasing the brilliant skills that you possess. We encourage all of you to continue and have sent out redeemable in-game items as a small token of our gratitude. Thank you all!
If you have ideas about hosting events or doing more activities with or for the community, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We will gladly help and support them when we are able to.
The Tremere Update was our best update to date based on the ratings and community feedback, but we still need to do more. We need to improve the server performance and the balancing of the aim assist, resolve lingering issues with the Trios matchmaking, and add some more content to the game.
Many of these things are coming in the update scheduled for next week, while others are planned for later. We are pushing on, and we hope that after making the necessary improvements to the issues highlighted by the majority of our community - we get that increase in numbers and retention that we long for.
The team here at Sharkmob genuinely appreciates all of your community efforts lately, and we love seeing all the initiatives shown by so many of you. Bloodhunt would not be the same game without all of your efforts! Thank you!
Until next time,
See you at dusk!