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GRO > News

26-09-2012

Developer Q&A - September '12

The developers respond to your top issues.

Throughout the multiple Ghost Recon Online betas, we've been diligently monitoring player feedback. We use your feedback as one of the main pillars for making decisions on game improvements.  Since we entered Open Beta we have read some great feedback concerning the game.  To provide you with insight into some of the major issues you have raised, we gathered up experts from our development team, held them at nerf-gunpoint and asked them nicely to respond to these issues. 


Check out what they have to say below.


1. Because we’re in “Beta”, does that mean your primary focus is on bug and balance fixes, or should we expect new content like the Arctic Pack on a regular basis? 


Samrat Sharma (Business Operations Manager): The game is in beta because we are constantly improving and evolving the game based on user feedback, at the same time working on our infrastructure to let more and more users play. This does not mean that we will not update the game with new features or content packs. We will continue to develop and update the game with new features, content and improvements.


2. Speaking of being in "Beta", does it mean that there will be a data wipe or reset in the future?


Samrat: This is the real deal. There will be no more character wipes. What you earn or purchase, you keep. We will continue to balance and improve existing content in addition to adding new content, however. Think of GRO's open beta as the beta of an online service you constantly use - the experience is created specifically to gather more and more data and improve the game by using metrics (this includes analysis, playtest and player feedback). 


3. We're experiencing the so-called "cover glitch" where players behind cover can shoot at their targets without them receiving damage from opponents. What is being done about this?


Joe McGinn (Senior Game Designer): There are a small number of covers that have exposed a bug where, in certain angles and in a certain character stance, a player can shoot without exposing themselves to enemy fire. Obviously we take this very seriously. But please be patient, it probably won't be fixed in the next patch. It's not that the fix is all that complicated, but the nature of the fix requires a comprehensive test of all cover locations, in all stances, with all weapons, to ensure that the change does not introduce more serious cover bugs. 


4. In terms of weapon balancing, a lot of changes have been made and still, some the items are considered overpowered like the SR25 or the MK16. How do you address these balancing issues?


Samrat: The process of balancing an online game like GRO is constant. We have heard your complaints, and moreover, our designers are constantly monitoring usage data to drive balance improvements. Stay tuned to our patch notes for balancing news concerning the weapons you personally find imbalanced. That being said, we are in the process of releasing this data in a digestible format to our users which will help them see how the weapons stack up.


5. A lot of players are abusing the "flinching" exploit; where the camera of a player being shot moves upwards abruptly into the air, and causes that player to be unable to defend themselves against high rate of fire weapons. How do you plan to resolve this?


Joe: We plan to change flinch to be based on the amount of damage done - currently it is a constant value, for all impacts. With the new feature an SMG bullet will result in smaller flinch, as will a glancing shotgun blow where you are only hit by one or two pellets. We haven't implemented and tested this yet, so don't expect it in the next patch, but it's pretty high priority - we do have someone working on it.


6. I’m outside of a supported region but I’m still able to play GRO. Is this an issue?


Samrat: While our current supported countries get the most attention, we are in the process of rolling out the game to more territories in some time. Unfortunately supporting disparate geographical regions is a time consuming and slow process. Stay tuned for more news about your country.


Please keep in mind that we are always going to be fair to our users. Whenever we change servers, or temporarily block certain countries to learn more about connectivity in that region, or to better support the existing regions, we will ensure you get a smooth transition to a supported service, and your money spent will not be lost.


7. Are there plans to make GRO available to other countries?


Samrat: We are monitoring and slowly working on our regional expansion. 


UbiSpectre (Community Developer): Theo Sanders (GRO Creative Director) mentioned in one of his messages before that we are planning to expand to other regions at a later time. We're currently focusing on improving our services on the countries GRO primarily was released in. We'll make sure to inform everyone once we get updates on this.


8. Matchmaking keeps sticking me with players who are a lot better or worse than me. What plans do you have to improve this? 


Samrat: The new patch 0.8.1.1 goes some way to address this, by readjusting the matchmaking algorithm. The two biggest results of this are that the game will now start new users off with other new or inexperienced players and the search will now disregard users of significantly low or high skill than yours.


This will obviously be monitored closely, and based on the data we collect our next update will fine tune our matchmaking even further. We have some very exciting changes to the way we make matches up our sleeves, which we will roll out in the coming months. 


9. We don't like quitters. Is there some sort of reward or penalty system you'll be implementing for those who would leave his/her team while in a match or who would stick around to finish the match?


Samrat: The biggest penalty right now is that quitters do not get the match completion bonus RP. As those of you who collect this know, this is a significant chunk of your RP earnings, and those who do not quit can easily purchase weapons, grenades, and gear if you save it right.


Those who quit constantly have a hard time collecting enough RP. That being said, we are constantly monitoring quit rates per round and match, and will update the game when we see that number increase significantly. The new matchmaking updates should help towards that as well. 


10. The critical shots seem to inflict too much damage in some body parts (foot for ex.). Will this be changed?


Joe: All damage to extremities was changed in 8.1 from 80% damage to 50%, and this applies to crit’s too. Crits also had a general nerf on all automatic weapons in 8.1. Please post on the forums and let us know if you still have problems with critical hits.


11. Some players experience low FPS due to the system requirements. Will you be optimizing the game for those who meet the minimum system requirements?


UbiSpectre: This is one of the top issues we've been seeing from the community feedback. We currently have a team working on the system optimization. Basically when we add new content, we also work on stability and performance thus, improving the game in this aspect is an ongoing effort for us. We can assure you however that we have action plans to address this.


End


Samrat Sharma is GRO's Global Business Operations Manager. Samrat plays a major role in the overall content planning and he oversees all aspects of the game that are delivered to you. He also has the right to shoot nerf darts at people's faces if the content doesn’t meet the expected level of quality or isn't released on time. Because he does this, he has been tagged as a "crazed bully" by members of our team. 


Joe McGinn is one of our Senior Game Designers who works mainly on level design, weapon balancing, tweaking gameplay, answering forums, facilitating playtests, etc. This list could go on. So yes, he's the guy who can give you very reliable answers on game design topics. He's pretty much a guru of GRO.


GRO Community Developer, UbiSpectre contributed a few answers as well. 


Thanks to Joe, Samrat and Spectre for taking the time to answer these questions.  As always if you have feedback, post it on our official forums.


Cheers,


-The Ghost Recon Online Team




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