Concerns From Titanfall 2 Beta Players Are Leading to These Changes
Respawn responds to fan feedback from the first beta weekend.
Respawn Entertainment has already explained how this past weekend's beta allowed it to test Titanfall 2's networking infrastructure. Now, it's gone into detail on the fan feedback it's heard and how the game will change going into launch.
A new blog post from multiplayer game designer Steven DeRose discusses these changes and reiterates what we'd heard previously--that the version of Titanfall 2 players played during the beta is based on a build that is "a couple months old." That means some changes have already been made that weren't present in the first beta. Some of these will be available in this weekend's second beta test, while others won't be seen until the game launches.
"Many players are wondering why we changed the mobility from Titanfall 1," DeRose said. "We identified two major issues we wanted to solve in Titanfall 2. The first is that a lack of player predictability would often cause players to be shot from the back or sides. While flanking is an important part of gameplay, death often felt random instead of skillful. The second issue is that close range firefights were overly chaotic due to erratic player movement. So, changes to Pilot mobility stemmed from a desire to improve our gunplay, and not a desire to slow down movement."
Despite the deliberate changes that were made, both air speed and wall-running speed will be made faster. On a related note, an "unintended side effect" that caused momentum to be lost while wallrunning has been resolved. DeRose also said Respawn is "testing scaling back some of the dampening factors that were limiting bunny-hopping as we don't want these restrictions to impact normal traversal."
In an effort to reward players for focusing on objectives, Respawn adjusted the way you earn a Titan--Titanfall 2 no longer passively builds your meter as time passes. However, this decision has been reversed, and you will gain "a small passive amount of Titan meter every few seconds."
Some other issues are attributed in part to the limited amount of content in the beta. Some have worried the game's map design is flatter than that of Titanfall 1. According to DeRose, Homestead (one of the first beta's two maps) isn't indicative of anything; it's just a flatter map than we're used to. The second beta weekend features a new map, Forwardbase Kodai, and others will be showcased in the weeks to come to highlight what Respawn claims is a "wide variety" included in the full game.
Another issue stemming from the small amount of content in the beta involves Titans' slow movement speed. DeRose said fans might be concerned simply because the beta doesn't include the game's faster Titans. However, Titan dashes will now recharge faster, giving the slower ones a chance to be more mobile.
Finally, there's the issue of Titan survivability, which DeRose said is "one of the more complex issues to address for several reasons." Among the changes in Titanfall 2 is what players can do after jumping on enemy Titans. In the first game, you could sit on top of an enemy Titan, shooting at it and forcing the enemy Pilot to get out. As we noted in our piece raising some questions about the beta, this process now simply involves ripping out a battery (or throwing a grenade if the battery is missing) and jumping right off.
"First, we've changed from Titans having energy shields to a new Titan battery system which we believe improves rodeo gameplay and rewards teamwork," DeRose explained. "In Titanfall 1, rodeo was lethal to Titans, forcing Pilots to disembark and engage in a 50/50 fight. In Titanfall 2, the rodeo Pilot steals a battery and damages an enemy Titan. If they can give that battery to a friendly Titan, the Titan receives a shield and the Pilot gets Titan meter points. As players become more familiar with the system, we expect that Titans will live longer. This is an area we will continue to monitor leading up to launch."
DeRose attributes some of the Titan balance issues, again, to a lack of content in the beta. "For example, some Titans that aren't in the Tech Test have strong defensive abilities, certain Titan kits provide defensive upgrades, and even Pilots have a boost that can improve Titan defenses." He also said changes have been made in recent months that weren't included in the beta that "tone down the amount of damage many weapons deal to Titans."
Titanfall 2's second beta test goes live on August 26, starting at 9 AM PT / 12 PM ET. As announced previously, the second beta introduces the Amped Hardpoint mode and a new map. The beta is only available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but not PC. The full game follows on October 28 for all three platforms.