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Upcoming Patch - Public Test, Matchmaker, Large Group Sizes And More.

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#1 Russ Bullock


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Posted 23 June 2014 - 10:46 AM

I wanted to be the first to give you some very exciting information regarding the upcoming July 2nd patch. First off, in the category of house cleaning: The patch will be Wednesday July 2nd instead of the usual Tuesday, because of our July 1st Canada Day holiday. I am sure you understand. With that out of the way let me tell you about the good stuff.

Match Maker Update
The new MM as described in the recent VLog now contains the long awaited 3/3/3/3 or “4x3” functionality. This means every basic match should conform to this new breakdown of weight classes. However, the MM has been built flexible and in some situations; When we are at lower population levels, the MM has release valves that will allow the 4x3 functionality to flex a little and allow a match of a slightly different configuration. Even in these situations, the MM ensures that both sides contain the same make up of weight classes. In fact, everything about the MM is a tuneable value that can be changed in real-time without downtime of the servers. This all allows us to continue to work on additional functionality such as exact tonnage matching and future needs of Faction matching for Community Warfare.

Perhaps I saved the best for last: The New MM also allows for group sizes larger than 4. Yes, you will be able to create groups in sizes 2-10 and 12. How this works is that players that choose to continue to play in groups of 2-4 will either be placed into the “Solo Public Queue” or the “Group Queue”. Players choosing to play in groups of 5-10 or 12 will ALWAYS be placed into the “Group Queue”. While matches in this Group Queue are always formed of players in groups only, groups of 2-4 will appear in both queues. Players in the solo queue are ensured that there will be only one 2-4 sized premade per side. In the case of 12-person group, this means a positive change in that they no longer need to just hope another 12-person group happens to be searching. In the case where you launch with a 12-person group, the MM will first look to see if there is another 12-person group to match up against, if there is great, if not it will piece together 12 from the rest of the group queue for you to fight against.

You may have noted that “these do NOT go to eleven”. In short, groups of 11 are an odd problem, only solved by either throwing unsuspecting random solo players into the likely much fiercer group queue games as the only player NOT in a group, or adding the complexity of giving solo players the option box to tell us they don’t mind getting thrown into the group Queue. Either way feels undesirable at the moment and we’re going move ahead with the one invalid group size.

All players in a group will be happy to learn that the “'Mech Select” button from the private match window has made its way into the group window. So now, quick selecting of 'mechs along with consumable management will be much more convenient while in a group.

A final note on this subject would be a suggestion that with this new MM, you should be paying even closer attention to the player queue size window. Not only will this lead to shorter wait times but it also supports the 4x3 feature in making it function as smoothly as possible. If you don’t mind helping even out the queue sizes, please do! I am continuing to explore ideas on how to reward players that choose the currently suggested weight class. New UI functionality in the group window will help players conform to the 4x3 functionality as well as show them the group queue sizes when hovering over either mech select or launch.

Clan Targeting Computers and Command Console
We are happy to see these systems enter the game especially the long awaited IS command console. We can post some numbers on how they behave this week, though I am sure player feedback will continue drive adjustments and tuning.

Scalar falling damage
In essence, this feature means no longer can you let yourself fall however high your JJ take you and receive negligible fall damage to your legs. As the name implies this is scalar based on weight class and tonnage, so light 'mechs won’t notice much of a difference but the Heavies and of course Assault' mechs will notice a significant change. Your typical jump-sniper Heavy or assault is going to take leg damage that is going to add up fairly quickly unless they change their ways. Pilot’s will need to learn to cushion their landings with their JJ’s and that means saving some fuel for a landing. They can either achieve this by not jumping as high in the first place or perhaps spending more tons on JJ when building their 'mech. All of this should add up and have the desired impact on MWO, which is to lower the overall significant advantage JJ-capable 'mechs have in the game, at least not without more of a trade-off.

Public Test
We are planning a public test for this Tuesday the 24thJune. The Matchmaker Update, Clan Targeting Computer and Scalar Falling Damage are each included in this Public Test.

Jump Jet Heat
While not included in the test, I want to add a note here about the new JJ heat system you have been hearing about. We had this feature integrated and all set to release in the upcoming Test and July 2nd patch, however over the weekend I have decided to hold it back for the time being, here is the explanation: The feature was working just as intended with tuneable values and all looked good. However, before creating this new JJ heat system we were already aware that the JJ thrust code in our game was still in need of some work: Many players in our game currently only use one JJ and they are receiving too much thrust and capability for having just the one. Even though this new JJ heat code was working as intended; If released without first dealing with the JJ thrust issue, it was just going to exacerbate that existing problem. Any larger 'mechs properly running perhaps 4 JJ’s would be generating this new additional heat while the one JJ 'mechs would be generating very little extra heat from what they do currently. It forces more players to adjust and adopt into the one JJ game play and really penalizing certain Clan 'mechs that are forced into a JJ count with no ability to lower it. As such, we will keep the JJ heat code shelved for the time being while we direct out attention to fixing the other half of the problem and make sure the entire thrust provided per JJ is re-tuned. This will mean one JJ will become much more limiting then it is currently and you will need to take more JJ’s to accomplish what you can now. Once we are happy with the amount of thrust per JJ, we can introduce those changes along with the new JJ heat code as a complete system and feature. A positive side effect is that we can introduce and allow the Scalar falling damage system to settle in first and gather player feedback before we add this extra layer of new JJ thrust and heat levels.

Thanks for your feedback!

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