February Update

16 February 2021

Hi Explorers,

If you’re counting down to the next time you can jump back into Scavengers, you’re not alone - we’re counting down with you!

As we head into March, our team is busy working on all the things we mentioned in our last major blog update, and then some.

Here’s a little update on some of the progress we’ve been making and some of the changes you might see the next time you venture back into the cold wasteland...

Frozen Lake

Map Scanner:

A big focus for us recently - and which Explorers will notice next time they’re in the game - is the change to the minimap radar scanner.

Previously, the radar sent out a scan that picked up all nearby opponents. Now the scan is motion-based. This means that adversaries will only appear if they are moving in the open. They will not show up if they are:

  • Hidden in a storm. This can be a risky tactic, considering the damage ice storms can cause, but a tactic that could yield interesting results when it comes to the element of surprise.
  • Sheltering inside a building. Safety now means a little bit more security away from sharp, prying eyes.
  • Standing still. But, how long can you wait it out for when there’s danger at every possible corner?
  • Crouch-moving. This also includes sliding!
  • Have been rezzed recently. Staying off-radar in the initial moments of being re-cloned will give you some extra breathing space.

There are some exceptions to the above, including making noise, so firing a gun will still reveal your location, regardless of other factors, for example. Another new change is that players in vehicles have no radar - the "red blips" don't appear. The electromagnetic drive system of the hovercar messes with the radar, so bear that in mind if you opt for a fast getaway!

We’re very excited about these refinements to the scanner. They open up a whole new range of stealthy, sneaky tactics for players looking to take advantage (or disadvantage!) of the opposition and situations. Start thinking about ways you can utilize the scanner, next time you’re back in-game.

Match Features, including Dynamic Playspace Scaling:

During Closed Beta, we saw many comments around how matches with fewer players led to a limited gaming experience. Thanks to this feedback, we’re now working on improving the balance of player numbers and the match experience, with dynamic playspace scaling.

What does this mean exactly? It means we’re working specifically on density, and making sure that the size of the map is right for the number of players in the match. There are multiple benefits to this, but the key ones are better player density, more enjoyable matches and shorter queue times. Additionally, because the available playspace is randomized from match to match, it also makes the sessions more varied, creating better player experiences overall.

Alongside this also comes improved match-making, which we’re refining to make it easier to find matches and then to get into a match much faster. We’re also tweaking to create better and more flexible match times too. We’re aiming to have sessions running between 20-30 minutes, depending on conditions on the ground and the many variables found in the game.

Trees

Game Balance:

An ongoing and important focus for us is finding the right balance of gameplay between PvP-seeking players and our more PvP-avoidant players. We’re always investigating tools that enable more strategic counter-play - a concept we call “Information Warfare”.

It might sound quite mysterious right now but don’t worry - we’ll explain more about it in an upcoming special dev blog, where we delve more into our design values and the thinking behind it. Stay tuned!

Leaderboards & Progression:

During Closed Beta, we also saw comments and suggestions around leaderboards and player progression, which has given us plenty to chew on. We understand that both are crucial to keeping that exciting, competitive edge to Scavengers, as well as ensuring that players get to progress in a satisfying and rewarding way.

We’re working on giving players short and long-term goals throughout Scavengers and we’re working on a new set of leaderboards. There’s the in-match leaderboard, which shows everyone’s scores during the match, but there will also be a new, additional leaderboard. This new leaderboard will appear in the lobby, and will display high scores, across a handful of metrics, as well as the top scorers from each of those categories. An example category might be “Most Data”.

This potentially could shift the dynamic and styles of gameplay for players who were looking to dominate the leaderboards.

For progression, one of the many things we’re developing is to fold the talent system back into the flow of player progress.

Additional updates:

  • Work is always ongoing to tune and tweak items, including weapons and Explorer abilities. We’re also on the first iteration of customization, to allow players interesting and fun choices in their personalizations of their Explorers.
  • Thanks to the feedback during Closed Beta, more tweaks and improvements are happening around anti-cheat and better detection for anti-toxicity. We’re currently integrating reporting and CS features to help us identify and deal with cheaters and hackers. We want all our players to have a great gaming experience with Scavengers and player safety and fairness is an extremely important factor for us.
  • The tutorial and general onboarding for first-time players continue to be worked on.
  • Improvements to the spectator cam have been made.
  • For those who live to slide in Scavengers, get amped - there’s better animation for the jump slide incoming!
  • Ongoing performance improvements. This will always be a focus for the team and we’ll be working on performance refinements with each new release.
  • We’re looking forward to welcoming more players to Scavengers, as we add additional international languages into the game:
    • French
    • Italian
    • Latin American Spanish
    • Korean
    • Japanese
    • Traditional Chinese
  • There’s a major engine upgrade lined up and our teams are working hard to move the game over to UE 4.26 (Unreal Engine 4.26). This will optimize several things and will allow us to do some very exciting things in the near future!

Endgame



Overall, it’s a busy time for the team as we ramp up towards March, and we want to just take this opportunity to say thank you - to you, our community - for being so patient and waiting it out with us. We really appreciate it, and we’re looking forward to when we can get you all back in-game!

While we can’t give an exact date of when our servers will be online again, we hope to share more information about Scavengers with you over the coming weeks - starting with our previously mentioned special dev blog on Information Warfare.

Stay tuned for this and more. In the meantime, don’t forget to keep your questions coming in to be featured in our Questions of the Week!


Keep Warm,

Midwinter

Questions Of The Week - 2

19 February 2021

You ask the questions, we answer them. Our second batch of community questions is in!

Questions Of The Week - 1

11 February 2021

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