Developer Update - February 16th

– Rocksteady

Hello people of Metropolis! 

It’s been another busy but exciting week here at Rocksteady! We launched our first post-launch patch, and we’re also preparing for the release of Season 1 (cue Joker memes!), but more importantly, the team is working incredibly hard on bug fixing and improvements. You’ve all clearly been busy too! We’ve loved seeing the End Game busting builds you’ve put together, the insane displays of skill as you master the Squad’s traversal and the hype moments as you take on the Justice League and Brainiac. For this update I wanted to address the reception to the patch, as well as our thoughts on the effect it’s had, what we’re currently working on and what we’re looking at to work on in the coming weeks.

Top Priority Issues 

For our upcoming patches we are looking to address login issues & server issues. And while we might not be able to fix all of those issues right away, I want to assure everyone: This is the top priority for us. We hear and feel your frustration and we can only agree, it’s unacceptable for the players who are affected by this. We need to do better, and we’re working hard to fix these issues. It is, however, not an easy nut to crack because it’s not one single issue, it’s several smaller issues that are affecting some players in different ways. We can only ask that you remain patient and keep giving more information through Customer Support to help us address the issues.

Why did we release an End Game bug fix & balancing patch first?

Balancing changes can be done by our design teams, with little to no need for code support. Login issues and server issues are sadly not something a designer can fix. However, we don’t want to delay changes that can be implemented quickly and will improve parts of the game, so while we understand that you might wonder and be frustrated around priorities, keep in mind that we have different teams working on different issues in parallel. Rest assured, our engineering and network code teams are dedicated and completely focused on fixing network issues. 

At the end of the day, we don’t want to delay changes that we can make and believe will improve parts of the game. 

Patch & Leaderboard Update

In our latest patch, we addressed a game breaking issue with the Burn Affliction, and we introduced a new leaderboard to immortalise all of you who engaged with the Mastery Levels and quite literally broke the game. If you open the leaderboards in-game after the patch, you’ll be able to change the filter and view the “FINITE CRISIS – OG VILLAINS”. Which is what you all are: The original crowd. The trailblazers. The OG villains. 

We also changed the Mastery Level balancing based on feedback from you all, to make enemy health increases less steep at Mastery Level 46+. The intent with these changes was to allow for more build permutations and we’re really excited to see all of you now chase and explore new builds! We are even seeing some interesting Freeze builds emerge, which we think is pretty cool…. (see what I did there?) 

One of the other changes we made in the patch was to both increase the damage that enemies deal at Mastery Level 46+ a bit, and to reduce the damage reduction on Heat Wave’s Molten Skin and The Turtle’s Shell from 100% to 90%. We’ve seen that this was met with somewhat mixed feelings, given that enemies at this level were pretty threatening already. However, our intention here is to keep both these items as very powerful damage reduction tools, but to ensure players still have to master traversal to steer clear of danger on the higher Mastery Levels. We also hope this will make players consider more ways of reducing enemy damage further when making End Game builds, both with Talents and with Augments on gear. There are some pretty powerful combinations in there that might be obvious at first glance, but can create synergies. 

When we pair these changes with the decreasing rate at which enemies gain health throughout the Mastery Levels, our intent is that this will lead to a combat experience at higher Mastery Levels that is a bit more frantic and fast paced, where mastery of traversal, combat mechanics and your build become crucial if you want to keep pushing.

What’s Next?

The highest priority within the code teams at the moment is to first and foremost address the issues some of our players are having around login and servers. While that is happening, we want to share what else is in the works already and what we’ve got cooking for upcoming patches. 

Changes to the Promethium Game Loop

We’re seeing an imbalance where players need to play too many Metropolis missions to get Promethium for Incursion missions, Killing Time or the Mayhem mission. Some players have found ways to alleviate this by hunting the Cargonauts that are spread around the city, which is great to see! 

However, the Metropolis missions remain a concern for us and we hear you that this loop could be more interesting, and in particular that it doesn’t feel like you’re engaging with the open world as much as you would like. We want you to feel like you are exploring Metropolis and that there are reasons to engage with the open world beyond just traversing between missions.

That’s why we’re planning on doing a pretty big and fundamental change to this loop. 

Raising Hell will reward 3000 Promethium for completing Tier 1, and each subsequent tier will reward an increasing amount of Promethium. Essentially, Raising Hell will be the way to get Promethium quickly. 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this feature, Raising Hell unlocks in Chapter 6, it features our favourite Toyman (your nickname is starting to rub off on us though, I confess I initially wrote ToyBoy) and it revolves around “annoying the heck out of Brainiac” in Metropolis. There’s a set number of objectives to complete, that tie into both our combat mechanics and exploration, and once completed you face off against one of Brainiac’s Hit Squads. We’re also planning on giving these Hit Squads a bump so that they drop better loot rewards. 

We hope that this change will mean that you all get to explore and engage with Metropolis in new ways. 

Mutator Balancing: BOOM! & Affliction Immunity 

We’ve noted feedback from a lot of our players that certain Mutators are frustrating to play with, and that they limit the options available to you in combat. The culprits are BOOM! and, to a lesser extent, Affliction Immunity.

I first wanted to talk a little about the role of Mutators in End Game overall, before I address these specific ones. Mutators are supposed to act as playstyle changers, points in the Mastery Levels where you need to re-evaluate your build, which is why they’re mostly made to synergise with certain builds or Afflictions.

Having said that, we appreciate that BOOM! might be restricting the way you can play, especially when playing Harley and King Shark. We are therefore considering excluding Suicide Strikes and Shield Harvesting from triggering BOOM!, so that you can still use all your abilities, but will still have to consider your positioning carefully when taking on enemies with your other attacks. 

We are also considering modifying Affliction Immunity so that the effect will be removed from enemies whenever they take damage, rather than just on Critical Hits. 

The hope with these changes is that high Mastery Level combat will still require strategic play and positioning, but will open up the build and playstyle possibilities further! We’d love to hear your thoughts on these changes before they go live, so please let us know what you think!

Lower Tiered Legendary Items

Our intention with Legendary gear was that it would be a viable part of End Game builds, and in some cases even be cornerstone items in a build, and in other cases be complementary items to Notorious or Infamy Set gear. We are seeing several powerful Legendary items get a lot of mileage at higher Mastery Levels, which is fantastic!

However, we also think there is room for some of the lesser used Legendary Items to find a home with more experimentation. Some of these lower tiered Legendary items are not really being used in End Game builds, as they simply don’t seem to be able to keep up with the raw stats that other Legendary, Notorious and Infamy Set items have.

We’re taking a careful look at this, but before we action anything we would really love to hear if you have discovered a Legendary item that you think would be great in a build, but that you’re just not using due to it falling behind in terms of damage output or due to it being too situational or too hard to trigger or maintain. Let us know! 

Thank you all for the feedback you’ve been sending our way. We hear you and we see you! We’re looking forward to sharing more details around the upcoming release of our first Season soon, it’s going to be a laugh!

See you in the Elseworlds,
Axel & The Rocksteady Team