Laser League Community Blog – 15/2/18
Firstly, we want to say a HUGE thank you to you guys! It’s been a week since we launched Laser League into Early Access and you’ve flooded our community channels with some incredible feedback, suggestions and your general thoughts! To have such an enthusiastic player base already is just unreal and honestly, it means everything to the team, who have spent years working to bring Laser League to life.
Since launch, we’ve been keeping a very close eye on our community channels and want to address some of the hot topics that have been appearing on our forum and social media channels. Not only that, but we want to give you all a glimpse into what’s going on behind the scenes and what’s to come.
But first, let’s talk about what’s not gone perfectly: that dreaded ‘sliding’ network error.
On Monday we thought we had that fixed, but we merely reduced it. Good, but not good enough. Hotfix 2 deployed earlier this morning, and we hope you see the same improvements we saw in test. We’re very keen to see video of what’s on screen for you prior to the error, so if you’re able to make a video we’d be very interested to see it.
The knock-on effect of this is that our planned roll-out of the Beta Bonus Pack is now delayed until next week. The more things we change at once the more likely we are to create new problems, so please accept our apologies for the delay.
COMMUNITY FEEDBACK AND SUGGESTIONS
You guys clearly want more of them and we hear you! Behind the scenes we’re finishing off new maps and stadiums, and we’re confident you’ll be blown away. Please try and understand though that putting out a well-executed map does take time. Remember the excitement you get when switching a laser the moment rivals are activating the node? It’s not accidental. That excitement is designed in, and the result of lots of iteration rounds.
Class Balance and Matchmaking Fairness
Matchmaking and class balance has been a hot topic since launch. So, let us explain how this stuff works… Matchmaking is NOT based on your in-game XP level. Instead, we have a hidden ‘player skill’ system that accurately calculates your relative ability level to pull out the best available matches. A good player will get to level 15 more quickly than an average player, but both will get there if they play for long enough – hence that is not a reliable measure of skill. With our system, we know who the best players in the world are.
Consider this also: the average Laser League match in a 3v3 runs for around seven minutes. At peak times you’re waiting maybe 30 seconds to get into a match? Clearly during that window, the majority of players are already in matches. As the player base scales, you’ll start to see the matchmaker producing more balanced games.
We could force everyone to wait longer for a game – that would increase the likelihood of ‘better’ matches. At launch though, the priority was getting you to the pitch in an acceptable timeframe – would you rather we change that?
Vote in our poll!
Regarding class balance, we as a team believe the classes are balanced, and we’ve spend hundreds of hours in test to get to this point. The point a few of you make about only allowing one of each class per team is interesting, and we’ll continue to muse on that one.
We are happy to say that sportsmanship is a trademark of our community. Good banter is part of the game and emojis are a nice way of communicating with other players in a humorous way. We encourage our athletes to be respectful to each other, and the majority are. But there are exceptions, and that’s why we offer you the option to disable in-game chat in the Options menu.
It’s great to know so many of you are fans of the Laser League soundtrack! So are we. Unfortunately it’s not as simple as releasing the mp3s, we need do some negotiating with the record company. The composer, Alan Myson, records under the name ‘Ital Tek’ – check out his latest album ‘Hollowed’ in the meantime, it’s fantastic. Maybe show him some love on Twitter too – @italtek.
Like you, we’re keen to get the player base growing as rapidly as possible. Our promotional plans are still running, of course, and we are still contacting reviewers, curators and influencers. We know our game proposition is quite unique and hope that our athletes become our best ambassadors.
From a development point of view, we believe the game could strongly benefit from cross play with other platforms. For that to work we need console versions released, and at the same content benchmark as PC. Plans are afoot to speed this up.
The best way you, as a community, can help with this is word of mouth. It’s hard to capture the magic of Laser League in a trailer – but once people play it, they get it and they love it. Spread the word.
Ranking system / Player Lobbies / Clans / Private lobbies / eSports
First of all, yes. Of course we see the value in these. But we see them as more advanced evolution for a game that’s a week old and trying to find it’s feet. We’ve said all along that you can’t just ‘decide’ to be an eSport – if you’re good, eSport decides for you. So our focus in the short term is to get the second to second gameplay perfect, get the player base growing, and then we’ll see where the road takes us.
Think of Early Access as the walk before the run. A brisk walk. More of a jog, actually.
A few of you have asked about 144hz, and that might be quicker fix. We’re looking into that.
From the Laser League team here at Roll7 and 505 Games, we want to huge thank you once again to everyone who has joined us so far! We are super grateful for all the feedback and support you’ve shown us. Let’s keep pushing!