Design Note: To help improve the balance of Escort results between patches we've been actively adjusting the armor/health values of the Atlas VIP based on live results; this is a change we can make without the need for downtime or server maintenance.With the burden of securing victory resting more heavily on the Attackers, along with the usual learning process inherent with the introduction of a new Game Mode, Escort matches were often ending in favor of the Defending team in the days following the December 13th patch. In recent days however, Attacker and Defender win rates have started to reach a point of greater parity.One unintended component of Escort was the presence of Ammo in the Atlas VIP 'Mech, which we have opted to fix/remove in this hot-fix. While the removal of this Ammo from the VIP will increase its chances of survival and favor the Defenders, we were not comfortable with the random nature of Ammo Explosions influencing the core objective of this Game Mode.We'll continue to monitor community feedback regarding Escort, along with its metrics, to improve the balance and fun of this brand new mode.
Design Note: Providing players with a way to toggle the persistent display of Friendly HUD elements was a welcomed addition with the last hot-fix, but it brought with it certain caveats for use that negatively impacted the availability of critical information if a player had toggled the icons off.
To address some of those issues, with this change you will still be able to identify friendly 'Mechs, Turrets, and UAVs at a quick glance, even if the Friendly 'Mech Icons toggle is off, by passing over them with your Arm reticle.If you've set the toggle off, ending up face-to-face with an ally after rounding a corner should now better enable you to avoid reflex-driven friendly fire under such circumstances. More critically, this change will also enable players to perform status checks on their allied forces with a quick glance, without needing to worry about hitting the manual toggle to restore icons.
Design Note: While the forces of the Inner Sphere have at times made decent gains in the Scouting Tug of War during the recent Conflicts, the greater distribution of higher Skill Tiered players on the Clan side, combined with a greater presence of organized, high-tier Units also aligned under the Clan banner, still make Scouting engagements an uphill battle for Inner Sphere forces.
We should stress that Tonnage changes such as this, and the previous adjustments to Invasion Tonnage seen since the December 13th patch, are not intended to be the sole balance mechanic for Clan/Inner Sphere Conflicts.We are listening to all feedback on this front, and are very much cognizant of the potential avenues for improving Conflict balance. That said, these Tonnage changes do provide us with a 'live' method - not reliant on downtime or patch cycles - to account for dynamic changes in Clan and Inner Sphere populations.
Design Note: The amount of Intel for Scouting Tug of War progress is being reduced to provide greater elasticity in the Scouting Tug of War.
Design Note: Conflicts since the December 13th patch have tended toward Clan domination by the end of each Conflict cycle, with a bulk of those Conflicts seeing extended periods of Invasion-only engagements. With the positive reception to the introduction of Skirmish, Domination, Conquest, and Assault Game Modes into Faction Play Invasion, and with player and Unit populations currently favoring Clan forces in the higher Skill Tier ranges, we've seen some desire for a greater presence for these Modes when playing Invasion.To that end we've set even distributions for all Game Modes within the Invasion Tug of War. With this change we have also pushed the Capture Threshold a little closer to the endpoint.These changes should result in a greater likelihood of dropping into the one of the first four Invasion Stages, and will hopefully intensify last-minute Tug of War action near the Capture Thresholds.In the same vein as the Clan Scouting Tonnage change listed earlier, we'd like to stress that these kinds of changes are not the definitive or sole methods for balancing Clan/Inner Sphere Conflicts. We are listening to all feedback on this front, and are very much cognizant of the potential avenues for improving Conflict balance.