Home Editorial Titanfall April patch notes and analysis

Respawn announced the details of the next patch. There is still apparently more to come so be sure to check back here when more details are released!*

*Xiant apologizes to Bin profusely for not getting to this sooner, but in the case you haven’t seen the patch notes, here they are in their entirety. You won’t, however, get his wonderful analysis on ANY OTHER SITE!

 

NEW FEATURES (All Platforms)

Private Match (beta) – This is the first public test of our new Private Match mode. This gives you a way to organize matches with and against your friends, for casual or tournament play. Some features are unfinished or not yet implemented, and we welcome your feedback. A few highlights:

• Private Match supports 2 to 12 players, with 1 to 6 players on each team.
• You can start a new Private Match lobby by choosing it on the main selection screen (alongside Campaign, MP, and Training). Invite your friends in or have them join you at any time.
• Choose any of the game’s maps or modes (CTF, Pilot Hunter, etc.) to play in.
• Choose which team you’re on.
• There is no XP gain, challenge progress, or achievement unlocking while in a Private Match. For this beta, the Last Game Summary screen will display what you would have earned in normal play outside of Private Match, but be aware that this progress will not be recorded to your lifetime total.
• For this beta, there is no concept of a “lobby leader”; any player can change game options in the lobby or start/stop the match countdown.
• All Private Match games are still played on dedicated servers via Xbox Live Cloud Compute, just like normal matches.
• New options like round time, score limits, and much more will come in future updates.

See that? TOURNAMENT play. Everyone who now wants to play Titanfall in a competitive environment now has the means to do so but with all the stats/rankings being tracked by an external site of their choosing. To hold up to my promise in my last Titanfall piece, I am working on a ladder system right now. The system looks to be pretty comprehensive for any kind of private match you’d want to run.

Party Colors – Your party members and their titans now show up on the mini-map with green colors, instead of the normal blue colors that other friendlies use. Their names are also drawn in green on your HUD, the obituary text, and in the pre-game lobby. This helps you figure out where your friends are and what they’re up to, especially in the heat of combat.

YES! Now I know where my party-mates are and when they get obliterated! Perfect!

Auto-Titan Color in Obituary – Your auto-titan’s name now shows up in the obituary with the gold color that your own name does. Previously it had the same blue color as any other friendly. This makes it easier to keep tabs on how your titan is doing.

Removed Wall-hack Exploit – PC cheaters were able to modify their local configuration files to enable a sort of wall-hack cheat using legit game code. We’ve closed the exploit that they were using.

Always nice to see exploits being fixed.

Menu Changes – “Play Multiplayer” is now the default (top) option on the private lobby menu, if you’ve completed both the IMC and Militia campaigns. It has also been renamed from “Play Classic”, since the term “classic”, which we used internally, proved to be confusing to some players.

Excellent, no more accidentally joining a Campaign lobby and hammering my Escape key to death.

Game Version on Main Menu – The main menu now displays the game’s version in the bottom-left corner. Now you don’t have to wonder if you really do have the latest version of the game, and we can use that to double-check things if support is helping you troubleshoot issues.

NEW FEATURES (Xbox One)

Party App Shortcut in Menus – Added a shortcut on all menus that opens the Xbox One’s “Party” app by pressing Left Trigger on the controller, similar to the existing Right Trigger shortcut that invites friends. You can then press ‘B’ to close it when you’re done, or leave it up. (This is much easier than the manual method of going to the Home screen, opening “My games & apps”, selecting Apps, scrolling a few screens over to the “Party” app, and opening it.)

GAME BALANCE CHANGES

The Gooser Challenge – Based on recent feedback from fans of the game, the Gen 5 challenge requirement ‘Gooser’, requiring players to kill 50 ejecting pilots, will be reduced to 5 total. We had a couple of design goals for Regeneration. One was to give players a structured way to discover and experience ways of playing the game they might not have otherwise tried on their own. The second was to recognize players’ mastery of various skills, going beyond just ‘time played’. We went a bit too far with this challenge, especially considering the unique conditions that have to be met just to have the opportunity to get a kill on an ejecting Pilot. We understand some players have already completed the challenge, or have already earned more than the new requirement so we will be internally noting those players so we can recognize their accomplishments in a future game update.

inb4 “My reward for doing this optional challenge when it was more difficult isn’t substantial enough to my liking or give me an unfair advantage when playing, Respawn is the worst company ever”. Should be interesting to see what they do with this. I’m putting my money on something cosmetic rather than a temporary reward like a shit-ton of rare Burn Cards.

40mm magazine capacity for default and Extended Mag – The default magazine size was making the 40mm too powerful. It is intended to be the only weapon that can take a Titan down without reloading, if used skillfully. However, 20 rounds per magazine were proving to be too high and overly tolerant of indiscriminate fire. We’ve reduced it to 12 rounds per magazine, which still allows players to take a Titan down without reloading, but helps balance it out against other Titan weapons. The extended mag has also been dropped from 25 to 16, with the same design principles applying to this change.

This should make Titan combat more interesting. Now I need to work in changing every single one of my Titan loadouts to not have the 40mm.

Titan Quad Rocket mag size change – During development, there was a time when the Quad Rocket was too powerful. We made a lot of changes to pull it back before shipping (lessened the screen shake impact, lessened the duration of the first person impact FX, lowered the magazine size, pulled the damage back, etc.) It currently can struggle against other Titan weapons and going back to the 5/6 (default/extended mag) magazine sizes helps balance the weapon and allows players to miss a few shots and still be effective. It was 4/5, now its 5/6.

Excellent! If there’s one thing Titanfall needed, it was more rockety explosions.

Titan Quad Rocket damage vs Titan shields – It was taking too long to drop a Titans shields with the Quad Rocket (5 shots). This meant you had to reload before you could even drop an enemy Titan’s shields. This was the only Titan weapon that had this issue. We’ve now upped the damage against Titan shields so that it can drop a shield with 4 shots. Combined with the increased mag size, this damage increase effectively gives you one more volley in the mag to deal serious direct hull damage.

And added incentive to use rockets! Hurray!

Titan Quad Rocket ‘Rapid Fire’ Mod’s mag size change – We upped the magazine size for the Quad Rocket’s Rapid Fire Mod to help it compete with the changes made to the extended magazine (from 5 to 6). The Rapid Fire Mod’s magazine size is going up from 16 to 18.

Amped Kraber Titan damage change – We upped the damage that the Amped Kraber Burn Card does to Titans. It is now the only significantly effective “small arms” weapon against Titans. Note that this only applies to the Amped version of the Kraber. The damage goes up from 100 to 800. We added this to give the Kraber Burn Card a little bit more character, as well as to give you something to shoot if you have a hard time hitting those little Pilots with the Kraber. So snipe away at those Titans…before they kill you!

So how long until people start complaining this doesn’t work before they re-read this and notice it’s the amped Kraber that can damage Titans?

Hardpoint Domination scoring changes – We wanted to reward and encourage players to go out and capture enemy hardpoints. As important as defending a hardpoint is, capturing them is more important and a tougher task, generally speaking. We did not want to completely remove points for defending, but attacking players were getting too little credit for their efforts. Here is a breakdown of the changes:
• Capturing a hardpoint from 150 to 250
• Assisting in capturing a hardpoint from 75 to 100
• Neutralizing a hardpoint from 50 to 150
• Assisting in neutralizing a hardpoint from 25 to 75
• Killing a player inside an enemy hardpoint from outside (nearby) from 75 to 50
• Killing a player inside an enemy hardpoint from outside (far) from 75 to 50
• Killing a player inside an enemy hardpoint from inside the hardpoint from 75 to 50
• Killing an NPC inside an enemy hardpoint from inside the hardpoint from 25 to 10
• Killing a player outside of a friendly hardpoint whilst inside of a hardpoint from 75 to 50
• Killing a player inside of a friendly hardpoint whilst inside of a hardpoint from75 to 50
• Killing an NPC outside of a friendly hardpoint whilst inside of a hardpoint from 25 to 10
• Killing an NPC inside of a friendly hardpoint whilst inside of a hardpoint from25 to 10
• Defending a hardpoint now goes from 75 to 25

inb4 “Defending on Hardpoint is useless now because you don’t get points for it”. Looks like dedicated defenders will end up getting fewer points whilst having the same impact, stopping the scoreboard from looking like everyone just needs to turtle to win.

CTF scoring changes – We wanted to make sure the big payoff in CTF came from capturing the flag. Killing the carrier and then returning the flag was worth 400 points (combined), while capturing the flag was worth 500 points in comparison. These changes are meant to reward players who capture the flag a bit more than those who kill the carrier and return the flag. Defense is still a very important aspect of CTF so we wanted to make sure to keep defending points high enough to still encourage playing defense. Here is a breakdown of the changes:
• Capturing a flag from 500 to 400
• Returning the flag from 250 to 100
• Killing the flag carrier from 150 to 100

inb4 “Defending on CTF is useless now, you don’t get points for it”. See above commentary on the Hardpoint changes.

BUG FIXES (All Platforms)

• Fixed an issue where a Titan firing ordnance would not show on the minimap correctly.
• Fixed a rare bug with Pilot health pools that would make them virtually invincible. – Thanks Respawn. I’m sure playing whilst invincible was good fun but it’s good to see your dedication to balance.
• Fixed rare cases where Titans could be called in through solid geometry. – Pfft. There goes THAT emergent gameplay. Indoor Titans best Titans. 
• Titan shields now protect friendly rodeo players from explosion damage (such as from an Arc Cannon). – Brodeo strategy just got a lot more terrifying/viable.
• Fixed a case where a Pilot could embark a Titan through walls. – There goes my theory of ‘future magic’ making this possible. 
• Spitfire LMG and XO-16 firing sounds will no longer sometimes cut off before the gun is finished firing. – Clearly that was just the hidden silencer mod working as intended but before its official release.
• The Archer now locks onto the top of a heavy turret rather than the base of the turret.
• The Archer’s rockets now home in on Titans correctly when those targets are kneeling. – Archer rockets now only function incorrectly when the target has minimal health left.
• Fixed shadows incorrectly shimmering on a particular area of Lagoon. – More covering up of the evidence of future magic. 
• Fixed Satchel Charges and Particle Walls causing pilots to permanently rodeo other pilots. – This wasn’t a bug, it was a hilarious feature!
• Fixed certain characters not rendering properly in French and other languages. – How the hell does a language change stop shit from rendering? Not surprisingly, it was French causing the problem.
• Fixed an issue where “Initializing…” would be displayed if a server wasn’t found. – Well it WAS initializing, it was just taking its sweet time.
• Fixed being unable to scroll to the top of the datacenter list after scrolling down. – Hey, if you want to change datacenters, you need to commit to that shit. It’s exactly like marriage.
• Greatly reduced the bandwidth used when connecting to a server. People who previously could not progress past the load-screen when connecting to servers should be able to play now. – Always a good thing.
• Grunts now show up on the minimap when they shoot.

BUG FIXES (PC)

• Fixed issues with Asian fonts. – くそ、彼らはコードが壊れている!
• ‘-nojoy’ command-line parameter now disables gamepad input.
• All anti-aliasing modes should now properly be displayed in the video settings menu.
• Fixed graphics corruption and some GPU underutilization for SLI and Crossfire configurations.
• Fixed a crash in the options menu when toggling between Low and Medium shadows.
• Mouse buttons can now be used for voice chat in lobbies. – Expect to hear people configuring this incorrectly and hearing their heavy breathing with every shot.
• Titanfall will no longer override your Windows microphone volume setting when it is launched.
• Fixed the Smart Pistol reticle so it scales properly based on the Field of View setting. – “Still not been able to fix why people think it’s broken, though…”
• Fixed crashes on machines with 32 or more cores.

BUG FIXES (Xbox One)

• Fixed a rare full-screen blue/red flash. – “All relevant Kinect data of your reactions has already been catalogued.” 
• Audio should no longer overlap after going to the Xbox dashboard and back into Titanfall.
• Fixed a crash when saying “Xbox go back” on certain menus. – “Xbox delete all root data” still works as intended.

COMING SOON IN FUTURE UPDATE

A selection of improvements that will be released in an upcoming update:

• More Custom Loadout Slots with Custom Slots per Game Mode – Custom slots per game mode?! Dream. Come. True. This is the thing I’m looking forward to most along with re-naming loadout slots.
• Ability to rename Custom Loadout Slots
• Last Game Summary shows the scoreboard from the previous match – In case you didn’t get yet another bloody screenshot to post to reddit in time.
• Additional customization options in Private Match
• Better 120hz monitor support
• Pick-up prompt for dropped Amped weapons appear in a different color than for normal weapons

• Enhanced interaction with Challenges. You will be able to review your Challenges by the following criteria:
o Completed (in your previous match)
o Most progressed (in your previous match)
o Almost completed (overall) – As someone not wanting to regen until I’ve done all (well, most) of the challenges, this is very useful.

• Scoreboard icons will reflect 3 new states:
o Player Evacuated
o Player Dead with Auto-Titan Still Alive
o Player Alive with Auto-Titan Still Alive

 

And more…stay tuned!

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