Switchblade Roadmap: Winter 201810th October, 2018
Hi everybody! With our next update fast approaching, we wanted to share with you some of our plans for the last few months of 2018.
New Vehicle – Porcupine
Porcupine, a Scout-class vehicle in Switchblade.
This remarkable mobile weather machine is the result of a childish bet between the CTOs of Switchblade Central and Environment Central. If you ever want to know which department has the best scientists, either watch the Porcupine in action, or read the Switchblade chief’s unfortunate new facial tattoo.
Matchmaking Phase 1
Finding players in Switchblade can currently take a long time which can be frustrating. Here are some steps we are taking for the first matchmaking update to make a smoother process for players.
Under the Hood
Visually we’ve provided some improvements (see below) but under the hood things have changed quite a bit. While our old way of doing matchmaking basically ran on a first come first served basis, if a player wanted to join a match it would boot up that server and then wait for others to join. This led to almost empty, split lobbies as players would get bored of sitting in a lobby twiddling their thumbs and just start the match.
This new matchmaking system will pool players together before any servers are booted up. This way we can ensure that matches are (hopefully) full of players and a more enjoyable experience in Switchblade. In future updates we will provide a more streamlined UI as well as more balancing of teams as we reintroduce Competitive play.
Players will now be able to see
- How long you have been waiting
- What region you are searching in
- More detailed breakdown of server stats
- A player list of who is in your party
- Which map and game mode you are searching for
- Quick Play: If the matchmaker is taking too long we would inform you that you will be entering a game with bots and uneven amounts of players.
While the only map right now is Iceland, Monorail will be joining the roster in December. We will allow players to pick their preferred map when selecting Quick Play.
Late Join and Rejoin
During Phase 1 of Matchmaking, there will be no late joining. We are going to be implementing a “Rejoin” feature in a future phase of Matchmaking.
Invitations and Parties
The matchmaking system will still be able to handle players joining as a party (2-5 players). If a player is already in a match, we won’t allow players to invite other players to join, unless there are free spaces in that match.
New Vehicle – Sundog
Sundog, a Fighter class vehicle in Switchblade
After scientist at the Super-Cern high energy physics laboratory successfully led their fighter design to victory in the 3153AD amateur Switchblade leagues, they decided to turn pro and bring their sun-fuelled little scrapper to the professional Switchblade circuit.
New content includes:
- New helmets – please see the concepts below
- New flightsuit colours
- New eye colours
- New logos
- Vehicle skins
We’ll be sharing images and videos of the new map coming in December. Get ready for a whole new experience with Monorail.
New Vehicle – Big Bob
Big Bob, a Tank class vehicle in Switchblade
Based on a vehicle used by Environment Central to wrangle Patagonian Hyper-Moose, Big Bob’s mighty 6000mm cannon is easily capable of subduing a 200 ton Hyper-Ram. Its atom-powered ability to simulate a ritualistic threat display has been known to turn the head of many a young Hyper-Doe in mating season.
A mastery title is a unique title that is displayed underneath the player’s Username. Related to completing a particular accomplishment in Switchblade. For example a Title is awarded when the player has reached Level 20 with a particular vehicle or as a Season Reward.
Here is a selection of Mastery Titles to come!
Stormbringer – Reach Mastery Level 20 with the Porcupine.
Bastion – Reach Mastery Level 20 with the Fortress.
River Pig – Reach Mastery Level 20 with the Healing Hippo.
Founder – Purchased the Founder’s Pack
Beta Tester – Participated in the Closed Beta
- Unranked matches where players can host their own match
- Will allow both private and public matches
- Will require its own match select screen where the host can configure the custom match
- This screen replaces the Matchmaking screen in the Custom Match session flow
- We are overhauling our matchmaking system to ensure players are matched as evenly as possible.
- A minimum of 10 players must be present for a Competitive Ranked match to start.
- There are no AI Bots in Competitive Ranked. If a player disconnects/quits from a Competitive Ranked match their vehicle is immediately removed from the game-world.
- Players will have the opportunity to rejoin a Competitive Ranked match if they have disconnected/quit.
- Competitive Ranked matches will require players to be at least Tech Level 15. This ensures that players entering this high-stakes mode have a better understanding of the game.
- We are introducing an automated moderation system that penalises players who intentionally spoil others’ experience. Initially this will take the form of a penalty system that introduces time-limited bans that escalate for repeat offenders.
- If any player leaves a match within a short time after it has started, the match will be cancelled with no change to your season rank.
- We’re adding a more complete notification system informing team-mates of leavers, and giving players the option to abandon a match if they do not have a full team after a grace period (in which leavers may reconnect).
- Map selection will be randomised and Map Select will no longer be an option in Competitive play.
- Players can begin losing Stars when they reach Rank 5 (currently this is Rank 15).
- Winning Streaks will be available from ranks 1-24 and will only require 2 consecutive wins.
- At the end of a season, players’ ranks will be reduced by a set number of Stars rather than being completely reset. This means that at the start of a new season players will be matched against others of a similar skill.
- We are reworking our Rank Insignia to be more effective at communicating the player’s current skill “band”. We will also display the player’s current MMR when they enter the Superstar League.
- Players who reach the Superstar League will be ranked according to their current MMR and we are introducing a “Top 500 League” that adds a flourish to the player’s Rank Insignia if they are within the top 500 players in their region.
- Giving the player prizes for taking part in ranked matches
- 5 awards, themed together so each season has different prizes
- Will need additional UI to tell the player what they’ll win and when they win it