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November Road Map

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#1 Russ Bullock


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Posted 30 October 2015 - 09:46 AM

With more and more of the team spending 100% of their time working on Community Warfare Phase 3, the patches over the next little while will be on the leaner side leading up to that release. Even still, we have some good updates to tell you about for November.
Before we get to that I want to provide a little summary and some information regarding a couple other items.

Group queue tonnage changes
Now that the changes have been out in the wild for a little while, and with some value tweaks since the initial release, the overall feedback I am getting now is that players like the changes. While it isn't perfect, all-in-all it is the best system we have had to date for the group queue. We can and will continue to tune the tonnage amounts for the various groups as we get good feedback, and we will continue to consider additional, more drastic changes should we come to the conclusion that they are necessary.

Rebalance effort and PTS
Progress on this continues daily, and although we do not yet have a set release date for this effort we can report that we are happy with the progress so far and feel we are heading closer toward a live release. We plan to have PTS #3 of the Re-Balance in the first week of November. Among many other things, that PTS will feature the introduction of Target Profile values which will influence targeting speeds against opponents depending on their size, a few value changes to Skill Tree items, and buffs to the base speed of Clan and IS SRM/SSRM projectiles.

Now to talk about the November updates.

November 3rd Patch

New Voting Screen
As I mentioned in the last town hall, MWO is getting a new game mode and map voting screen. Instead of dropping you into a match with the game mode and map already selected, you will instead be taken to a voting screen. You and the 23 other players in the match lobby will vote for one of 4 randomly selected maps, and for one of two randomly selected game modes. You have 30 seconds to cast your votes. Once the timer runs out the map and game mode which received the most votes begins to load.
If votes are evenly split, say with 12 players voting for Map A and 12 players voting for Map B, the map is selected randomly from those two maps – Map C and Map D would not be considered. Player names are not visible in this voting screen, so all voting is anonymous.

This new system provides two major benefits: the first, and most simple, is that it provides players with an opportunity to influence which map is played; the second and largest benefit is that the match maker no longer needs to account for the pool of player-selected game modes when finding the best possible match.

While it’s true that this new system will mean that players who have previously chosen to de-select a specific game mode will now sometimes need to play the game mode they would have otherwise never played, we feel that this change is the right choice going forward, as it should lead to improved wait times and PSR matching across the board while bringing another level of polish to the player experience.

New Disconnect Penalty system

Along with the release of the new voting screen comes a new disconnect penalty system, not unlike what you see in other games. Once the match has been found and you are presented with the voting screen you are considered to be in a match lobby. If you disconnect from the match before the death of your ‘Mech you will have 3 minutes to reconnect before a disconnect penalty is applied. If you reconnect within that 3 minute timer, you’re fine.

Once you are flagged for a disconnect penalty, the next time you begin to search for a match (whether solo or group) it will make you wait for the penalty to expire before your search can begin.
The penalty is intended to punish players who intentionally leave a match for good before they’re destroyed, which is why you still have 3 minutes to rejoin the match before a penalty is applied. In most instances that will be sufficient time to restart the client and/or rejoin if you experience a client crash or connection issue. For those players who may infrequently experience a system crash or need to reboot their system, the first penalty is a mere 10 seconds. In other words, it is only when a player purposefully disconnects from multiple matches that the real penalties will begin to pile up.

Here is the current breakdown of the penalties:
First Disconnect: 10 second delay for next matchmaking search
Second Disconnect: 2 minute delay for next matchmaking search
Third Disconnect: 5 minute delay for next matchmaking search
Fourth Disconnect: 10 minute delay for next matchmaking search
Fifth Disconnect: 20 minute delay for next matchmaking search
Each subsequent disconnect after the fifth penalty enforces an additional 20 minute penalty.
Your penalty level resets every 4 hours.
Each and every value outlined in this system is tune-able, and may change after the feature is in the wild and we can see how it plays out with the general population.

Changes to the new Camo Spec screen
Single-click application of your chosen color (drag-and-drop color assignment is still intact).
The ‘Owned’ filter will only display the hexes for your Owned colors (and all ‘Owned’ hexes will be grouped together).

Misc items
Rendering fixes for display and graphical issues when using triple monitor configurations.
A fix for the C-Bill charge incurred when removing Missile hardpoints from an OmniMech with Artemis equipped.
A few other general fixes.

November 17th Patch
***TEXT UPDATED November 13th***

Dropships in public queue maps
These will not be making the November 17th patch.
Dropships will be added to the remaining Public queue maps, with the exceptions of Terra Therma, Frozen City, and Viridian Bog, which await some particle fixes before Dropships are added. These Dropships won’t have weapons equipped, so don’t worry about getting tagged by one on its way out.

Misc Fixes (still coming November 17th)
Your custom ‘Mech portraits displayed in CW drop screen.
Window delimitation for mouse cursor during battle (no more wandering mouse).
A fix for War Horns not always firing.
Closing client using the X button will no longer cause a client hang.

Updated November 17th content:
‘Faction’ button is now the ‘Faction Play’ button.
• ‘Play Now’ button is now the ‘Quick Play’ button.
Addition of a ‘Special’ category to the existing Select ‘Mech Hero and Champion filters.
New UI messaging for Unlockable and One-Shot Patterns.
End of Round screen will now default to the Player Stats window first.
Informative, on-time pop-ups in the LFG and Social buttons for new players.
New Challenges in the MechWarrior Academy: Onslaught, and The Shooting Gallery
Changes to the Rapid Fire Challenge in MechWarrior Academy
Updated C-Bill Rewards
Hit-box adjustments for the following ‘Mechs:
We are also introducing refinements to the Map and Game Mode voting screen.
The timer is increasing from 15s to 20s (This change is not included in the November 17th patch).
The MWO client will flash in the taskbar when transitioning from matchmaking search to voting screen

Map and Mode voting will now be weighted.

Each time a player votes for a Map or a Mode that does not win, their vote weight for the next time goes up by one (maximum vote weight is 12).

Each time the player votes for a Map or Mode that wins, their vote weight returns to 1.
If a player does not vote for a Map or a Mode, then the weight for that category remains the same.
For groups, now only the group leader votes. For anyone that is in the group but is not the leader, the Map and Mode buttons are disabled. Also the Map and Mode selection of the leader will be seen on the other group members screens. The vote weights of the leader will also be seen on the group member's screens.

Voters are now allowed to rescind their vote by clicking again on the item (previously they could only change their vote to another selection).

Percentages are now based on the votes cast rather than the total number of possible votes (e.g. if only one person has voted, then the percentage would read 100% rather than 4%).
As always, thank you for playing and for your continued support.

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