With Alpha-2 being hamstrung by audio-related issues, we spent all last week crushing bugs and improving stability. We launched into Alpha-3 with a much more stable build. 429 rounds were played over the weekend, with an almost even split of 211 Attacker wins vs. 218 Defender wins.
Balanced maps don’t necessarily mean fun maps, so we asked testers for their thoughts. Their feedback was that Defenders kept jumping to unintended locations on Factory maps, making it incredibly difficult for Attackers to plan since Defenders could literally be on top of anything. This week we’ll be adjusting level generation to make climbing object clusters more difficult in addition to the usual bug-crushing.
Snow and friends breach through a fence
Stellaric reminds us to check our corners.
Flanking Attackers through their own breach
Rundar’s long flank was the correct decision.
Yangjo finds the opening in a door’s hinge.
Frsoty takes things down to the wire.
The biggest part of Alpha is gathering player feedback and adjusting the game accordingly to address it. Some of these changes are obvious, such as weapon balance, map screen upgrades, and tweaking the amount of available gear. Other changes are more subtle, such as adjustments to the level generator.
One of the biggest changes was to “green doors.” Originally, these free entrances were brutally difficult for Attackers to overcome. They typically had devastating 180 degree kill zones, tons of cover for defenders to hide behind, or incredibly narrow chokepoints that served as death funnels unless Attackers were all playing perfectly. This is most obvious on the map “Freedom Wolf.”
This map was noteworthy for its abysmal win split of 2 Attacker / 12 Defender. If ARGUS chose to use the northern green door as their primary entrance, they were first faced with a long hallway, which funneled into a bathroom with numerous places for Defenders to hide. In the event bathroom was taken successfully, Attackers were faced with another massive chokepoint and no other options available to them.
We decided to try a different approach to level flow to see how it affected gameplay. Exterior green doors will now typically have two branching paths through a level and the initial entry won’t be quite as mean. In the above example, if Attackers choose to enter the north green door they have two options available to them. Their plan is still predictable, but way less of a death trap. The above map, Vulcan Fist, had an even 11/11 winrate.
Preparing for Alpha 4
This week, we’re crushing bugs that revealed themselves during Alpha-3, as well as adjusting Factory cover to prevent would-be-spidermen from climbing to the top of the level. We’ll be sending out another 100 keys this Friday, so keep an eye on your inbox! Some of our Alpha invites have been eaten by the dreaded spam folder, so if you haven’t already, please join our Discord server since we can verify your Discord handle as well. See everyone next week for another update!