In this update, launching on August 22, we're also making some big changes to the cost of Mercs in the Store.
We launched on Steam in 2015 with 12 Mercs split into two price tiers. Since then, we've almost doubled the number of playable Mercs in the game, all releasing at the higher price point.
Over the years, many newer players have felt that most Mercs seem unattainable; Once the 'cheap' Mercs have been purchased, the jump to the next price point felt too steep. Some of the cheaper and less team-focused Mercs (we're looking at you, Vassili), have also been bought by newer players to the detriment of their teams. To improve this, we're introducing a five-tiered price point system for the Mercs.
Five Tiers of Frags
From the 22nd of August, we'll be breaking down Mercs into the following tiers:
50,000 C / US$9.99
45,000 C / US$8.99
40,000 C / US$7.99
35,000 C / US$6.99
30,000 C / US$5.99
These tiers are based on a number of factors, including general difficulty and how long they've been in the game.
Alongside these changes, we'll be updating our Steam DLC bundles to suit, and replacing the existing in-store bundles to the following:
Veterans Bundle - US$19.99 (save 50%)
5 x Mercs (Sawbonez. Arty, Proxy, Rhino, Aimee)
10 x Golden Equipment Cases
1 x 6 Hour Booster
Strikeforce Bundle - US$29.99 (save 50%)
5 x Mercs (Fragger, Fletcher, Kira, Phoenix, Redeye)
10 x Golden Equipment Cases
2 x Elite Cases
1 x 12 Hour Booster
Firestorm Bundle - US$29.99 (save 50%)
5 x Mercs (Thunder, Vassili, Sparks, Nader, Stoker)
10 x Golden Equipment Cases
2 x Elite Cases
1 x 12 Hour Booster
If you want to get in early and purchase a Merc that will raise in price, or one of the many that will get cheaper (hey, we're not ones to judge if you like spending money!), you have until August 22.
Any thoughts on the new pricing? Let us know and discuss with others in the Official Forums.
Ahead of Dome's re-release on the 22nd of August, we're giving you a look at some of the changes to come.
Dome has had a long and colorful history in Dirty Bomb.
The map always felt too big for 5v5 and 6v6 games, but even in larger 8v8 servers there were some issues that meant Dome wasn’t as fun as we would like.
We removed Dome from Quick Match recently to do some work on it and now we want to give you a peek behind the scenes before its re-release later this month. We want to tell you what we’ve changed and, more importantly, why we’ve changed it.
The History Of Dome
As you can imagine Dirty Bomb has changed a lot since its early inception, and one thing that has changed is the game’s focus. We found that as more and more people became exposed to the game the optimal player count was becoming clear; Dirty Bomb skewed best towards 6v6 and 5v5 matchups. They were tight, intense and competitive and, subsequently, 8v8 became less popular.
Dome has seen several small tweaks over its lifetime, but this is the first large scale rework it has seen. It’s also the first map rework of this scale in Dirty Bomb’s history.
Why Has It Changed?
Dome was built with 8v8 in mind and is easily the biggest map the Dirty Bomb team have ever built. This meant, however, that in 5v5 and 6v6 matchups Dome really struggled to be an engaging map, with too many flanking routes, and too many options for the attackers. To give us a greater insight into what we did to improve it, we sat down with Associate Creative Director Exedore and Senior Level Designer Vilham:
Exedore: “We wanted to keep a lot of the best things about Dome, but in doing so we also wanted to focus the action and give people clearer ways to go and have it be much less confusing… It was really overwhelming with all of the routes”
Vilham: “We found that teams were getting split up too much, that was especially difficult as defenders as we found an issue on Objective One (delivering the Override Cores) where attackers would do a ninja delivery. They would immediately run down one of the less defended routes and win the first objective straight away which absolutely wasn’t our design intention!”
How Has It Changed?
V: “We’re specifically updating the layout for Dome, with some other minor changes to the assets and lighting. For instance, there’s now clouds that pass across the sky casting shadows.”
“The first problem we ran into [for the rework] was working out just what we needed to do. We knew we had to make changes, but we didn’t want to make radical ones. We had to figure out that sweet spot in the middle; improving the layout without ruining the map in the process.”
Objectives One and Three (Destroy the AA Command Center) were under the most scrutiny, with the “ninja deliveries” on Objective One proving a real issue for many players.
V: “On Objective One we hope there will be no more ninja deliveries! It really shouldn’t happen anymore if the defenders are playing well and are observant. The secondary objective on Objective One is still very open; It no longer opens the main door, but rather a window overlooking the plant site, and a flank on the right side of the map”
We’ve blocked off several routes in Dome as well, forcing players, and the action, in certain directions. This was a tough balancing act though:
V: “The right-hand flank route on Objective One is now gone, that was one of the crucial areas we were seeing players split up. The remaining left route wasn’t enough though, so we’ve added in extra little flank routes there, which really focuses the gameplay around the objective”
This was the crux of getting Dome’s rework; we knew that moving the action was key, not a rework of the objectives themselves.
E: “I wouldn’t actually expect the objectives themselves to play that differently. It’s the approaches to the objectives that have seen the most attention. The approaches now force the attackers to go in more as a group. The main difference will be the intensity of the action around these points.”
V: “Exactly. Defenders are now holding closer to the objective, because that’s where you want people to defend – not ahead of the objective, where can people can easily sneak around you. We’re seeing really good results of that location shift in our in-house playtests and on the PTS.”
Objective Three’s rework focus was the same; stopping easy flanks for the attackers while focusing action on the objective itself. There’s a key change to another favorite location on Dome though…
V: “On Objective Two we’ve made some changes to the rooftop between the two sites. It used to be the hold spot; you could see both bomb sites, you had great cover and were protected from fire. We’ve now made it more exposed, the walls have been opened up a lot more so you’ll get hit more, air strikes are much easier to place up there and it’s no longer as strong a position as it used to be.”
These changes are made to improve the map’s flow for players, but as developers we also have pride in the original map and favourite locations that are often hard to say goodbye to.
V: “One of my best spots used to be the secondary objective on Objective One; it had cool and interesting fights around it, and being able to long jump between the two buildings made it really dynamic and fun. Now, though, I really like the arena on Objective One. Combat has been pushed back towards it and its now used as an actual, exciting combat space, that’s where the defenders hold and it’s much, much more interesting now.”
The ultimate goal was to bring Dome in line with our other maps; a tightly packed, violent crescendo between attackers and defenders, not a desperate chase after a rogue Proxy who’s broken the defenders’ lines.
E: “I hope it’ll strike a good balance between people who liked the original map and those who found it daunting. There’s still a lot of freedom of movement and it has some really good space, so I think the soul of the map hasn’t changed and hopefully it’s a little more accessible for people.”
Dome’s rework demonstrates the latest big change to Dirty Bomb, and our commitment to the title. Jump online now to try the new version of Dome and let us know what you think on the Forums, Twitter or Facebook.
We've staged three separate attacks on the Containment Shield in the space of two days, but the CDA have already started repairs.
Unless we attack every single pylon at once, that thing is going to hold. MercSERV don't have enough contacts on British soil, and we can't afford an army...
We're running out of... Sorry? A Holo-what?"
The End of Execution
Objective and Stopwatch modes have always been our bread and butter, the ultimate realization of what makes a Splash Damage game great. Ever since its release in 2015, Execution Mode hasn't fully gelled with our fast-paced, multiple objective-based vision, and so it's with a heavy heart that we've decided to remove it from Dirty Bomb. You can read more about this decision in a forum post here.
Execution will be in the game until the 22nd of August. To round it off with a bang, we're taking things back to where they all began:
Final Assault Event
When Execution was launched, we introduced our first Limited Edition Loadout Cards: Containment War cards.
To celebrate the mode's last hurrah, we're introducing Second Edition Containment War cards, including some small changes to the skins and cards.
From now until Tuesday 22 August, you'll be able to get your hands on them in a few ways:
Final Assault Equipment Cases
Every Equipment Case in the game has been replaced with a Final Assault variant, giving you a 2% chance of getting a Second Edition Containment War card.
These drop at the end of matches, and are purchasable with Credits in the Store.
Final Assault Event Cases
You can also pick up Elite Case bundles, which come with bonus Final Assault Event Cases that guarantee you a Second Edition Containment War card.
London (BST): 11:00 Thursday, August 10 - 11:00 Tuesday, August 22
Los Angeles (PDT): 3:00 AM Thursday, August 10 - 3:00 AM Tuesday, August 22
Sydney (AEST): 8:00 PM Thursday, August 10 - 8:00 PM Tuesday, August 22
Phantom Obsidian Operative
As if Phantom didn't think he was cool enough, he's had a full makeover with a brand new, super-suave skin available until August 22nd.
This includes a carbon-fiber katana skin; the first melee weapon to receive this treatment.
Pick up one of three Loadouts available in the store, or snag them all with the Merc himself before they disappear.
Daily Play Bonuses
This update sees Daily Play bonuses being completely reworked. This new system rewards simply playing a single match, meaning you can play the modes you enjoy without players intentionally unbalancing matches to try to get a win.
Get rewards simply for logging in, playing a single match and then claiming your bonus - The more consecutive days you play over a 7-day period, the better your chances of unboxing a higher-rarity Loadout Card become.
Proxy Cyber-Eye Case Unlock
Turtle's work is complete! Proxy's new CoreSEC cyber eye is ready, and she's ready to go back to being binocular.
If you purchased a Cyber Eye case during the Shell Shock event, it will now be unlocked in your Barracks and ready to open.
To improve performance for older machines, and to ensure everyone has a great experience with the menus in the game, we've implemented a new automatic resolution system.
This continually checks your frame rate to make sure you are always hitting at least 30 FPS. If the game identifies that you are running below this target, it will start to downscale the in-game graphics to achieve a better performance.
You can tweak the settings in the main menu and in-game, under 'Video'.
Dynamic Resolution (On / Off)
This simply allows you to turn the feature on or off. By turning this feature off, the "Render Scale" option becomes active. Dynamic Resolution is On by default.
Dynamic Min FPS (30 - 60)
When Dynamic Resolution is On, changing this value will tell the game to start downscaling the graphics if the frame rate dips below it.
For example, if you change this value to 60, the game will downscale the graphics in-game if your FPS drops below 60. Dynamic Min FPS is 30 by default.
Render Scale (50-100%)
When Dynamic Resolution is Off, you can set this percentage for the game to downscale the graphics by without running checks on your frame rate.
For example, if you run the game at 1920x1080 and set this value to 50%, the UI resolution will still stay the same, but your in-game graphics will render at 960x540. Render Scale is 100% by default.
For most players, this won't have any effect on your performance, but players on low-end hardware should see frame rate improvements.
Merc Balance Improvements
After an extended hiatus, we're diving back into tweaking Merc balance to improve the game. These changes are the first of many we'll be implementing in the coming months - As always, we'd love to hear your feedback on these and potential future changes.
To bring Aimee's SNITCH Device closer to the effectiveness of Vassili or Redeyes abilities, we've made a slight improvement.
Reduced detection time to 0.3s (from 0.6s) This means that the SNITCH Device will detect players much more quickly when they come into line of sight
We've fixed a bug that prevents the Potent Packs Augment from improving the Healing Station. To compensate for that, we've reduced the base healing rates so that with the Potent Packs the Healing Station heals at almost exactly the same rates as before.
Reduced base healing rate to 26hp/s (from 31hp/s)
Reduce base self-healing rate to 24hp/s (from 28hp/s)
While effective at guarding routes and weakening the enemy, Bushwhackers Turret was still too easy to destroy, so we're making it slightly tougher and quicker to replace.
Increase Turret HP to 120hp (from 110hp)
Reduced Turret Cooldown to 30s (from 35s)
We've made some changes to make Fletcher's Sticky Bombs less spammy, while still rewarding direct hits.
Increased Sticky Bomb cooldown to 9s (from 8s)
Reduced maximum radial damage to 75 (from 85)
Direct hit bonus damage remains at 15
Phoenix's Self-Revive is something that isn't be used nearly often enough, as vigilant players will make sure to finish him. While we don't want to make the ability more powerful directly, we do want to allow more opportunities to use it.
Reduced Self Revive Cooldown to 25s (from 60s)
While Stoker's Molotov is very effective at area-denial, we've tweaked it to become more effective when used offensively.
Increased Molotov fire damage by ~10%
With Thunder continuing to be overly effective in combat, we've reduced his overall health pool and marginally reduced the impact of his Concussion Grenades once more.
Reduced health pool to 160hp from (170hp)
Reduced maximum blind and stun duration by 0.5s
Considering how long it takes to destroy Turtle's Shield, we felt that Turtle could too quickly spin up a replacement.
Increased Shield cooldown to 30s (from 25s)
Extender Augment now increases Shield size by 25% (from 20%)
Arty / Skyhammer / Sawbonez / Sparks
So that Health and Ammo Packs can be picked up by the next spawn wave if missed, we've increased the amount of time it takes for Packs to de-spawn once dropped.
Increased lifespan of dropped Health Packs or Ammo Packs to 35s (from 25s)
Kira / Stoker
To make Ammo Stations more about good-placement than cooldown management, we've significantly reduced the cooldown for these Mercs.
Reduced Ammo Station Cooldown to 15s (from 25s)
Fixed bug where players that failed to accept Ranked matches could get stuck in a broken party
Fixed bug where it was possible to invite more than 5 people into a ranked party
Fixed bug where players' ranks were not initially visible when joining a party
Fixed bug where explosive damage on mid-air players could cause instagibs
Fixed bug where Molotovs weren't dealing damage to Objectives
Fixed bug where Obsidian Operative skins could first be visible as a basic skin when spawning
Fixed bug where the katana spin animation was not interruptable, and improved the animation itself
Fixed bug where shooting Turtle's shield counted towards accuracy
Fixed bug where doors and lifts would move off-center slightly after each interaction
Fixed bug where broken text was visible for the Taco Trinket in non-English languages
Fixed bug where numbers were cut off in the Spectator Camera Speed options panel
The results are in! With the Shell Shock Event ending today, Proxy's new eye has been decided and Turtle will soon be getting to work. We've also got a new event for you to sink your teeth into, and the release of a long awaited trinket...
Proxy's CoreSEC Cyber Eye
Today marks the end of the Shell Shock Event. Over the last three weeks, you've worked your way towards picking your favourite new skin for Proxy...
If you bought a Cyber Eye Event Case, Proxy's Limited Edition Loadout Card will be with you next week.
We're also making a visual change to better reflect Loadout Card release dates, giving all First Edition Proxy Loadouts her original, two-eyed look.
This means that Proxy will have a few visual variants in the game:
First Edition Loadout Cards: Original, two eyed Proxy
Second Edition Loadout Cards: Bandaged Proxy
Cyber Eye Limited Edition Loadout Cards (and Third Edition, on release): Cyber Eye Proxy
With the changes coming to Proxy's First Edition Skin, we're celebrating by launching 'First Edition Week' today.
First Edition Week
For the next week, you'll have the chance to craft First or Second Edition Loadout Cards for any Merc.
This means that Loadout Cards with different augment sets, and Proxy's original two-eyed look, will be available in all rarities, rather than just Bronze.
You'll also be able to buy First Edition Cases and Case Bundles in the Store, to quickly bulk out your options.
First Edition Crafting Week starts today, so start stocking up on Fragments and Credits to Craft that original skin Proxy Cobalt!
London (GMT, UTC): 11:00 Wednesday, August 2nd - 11:00 Thursday, August 10th
Los Angeles (PDT): 03:00 Wednesday, August 2nd - 03:00 Thursday, August 10th
Sydney (AEDT): 20:00 Wednesday, August 2nd - 20:00 Thursday, August 10th
It's. Finally. Here. We promised you a Taco Trinket at 30,000 YouTube subscribers and we're delighted to say that we've passed that magic mark.
From today until the 15th of August you'll get the Taco Trinket for free when you load up Dirty Bomb. After that, it'll cost you 15,000 credits.
Casual Matchmaking Tests
In last week's Fine Tuning Update, we mentioned a lot of 'under the hood' work for the future release of Casual Matchmaking.
With some more tweaks introduced today, we're in a position to start running live tests. Rather than running a full-scale worldwide test, we'll be running several smaller, region specific tests to give us better quality data.
Over the next few weeks we'll be running these tests, and announcing them on our Social Channels shortly before they go live. Like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter to stay in the loop.
If you experience issues when playing during a test, we'd love to hear from you. Simply click the 'Report a bug' button at the bottom of the Home Screen in-game, or leave your feedback on the Bug Megathreads on the Official Forums or Reddit.
But what is Casual Matchmaking?
In a nutshell, Casual Matchmaking is a system that gauges your skill level over time, to put you into matches that will give you the best possible experience.
Casual Matchmaking will be the future of Dirty Bomb, replacing 'Quick Join' as the way to find and join matches. It should both improve match balance, and allow you to Party Up with 1-5 of your friends.
Some of the changes we've made since the last test are -
The addition of 'back-filling', allowing players that drop out of matches to be replaced.
A complete overhaul of the netcode and UI code, giving us flexibility with future functionality
Fixed bug where the game could crash when using Arty’s Artillery Designator
Fixed bug where the game could crash if a player joined a server just as the match ended
Fixed bug where Phoenix’s Healing Pulse was missing effects
Fixed bug where players could get disconnected from a Ranked server
Fixed bug where enemy player names were visible in Ranked
Fixed bug where debug text was visible in Ranked lobbies
Fixed bug where players were unable to join password protected servers
Fixed bug where the ‘Disconnect’ and ‘Lock In’ button were out of place in lobbies
Fixed bug where clicking on the ‘Go to store’ button on Ranked Cases would highlight the wrong item
Fixed bug where Aimee’s default Loadout Card did not display her holding a gun
Fixed bug where the Gold Operative Case would appear as locked
Special Edition Proxy Loadout Cards released before the introduction of Second Edition Loadout Cards still have her 'bandaged' look. In a future update, we'll be changing these to her original, two eyed look.
We wanted to thank everyone who took part in the Bonus Hexad Weekend! How are we doing that? By giving you even more Hexads.
From now until the end of the Shell Shock Event (Tuesday 1st August, 11:00 GMT), we're boosting the Hexadic Trinket's bonus earnings from 50% to 100% - effectively doubling your Hexad drops at the end of every single match!
And that's not all; we are also doubling the bonus you give and receive from other players from 5% to 10%. This means that a 10 player server, each with a Hexadic Trinket, will earn 300% the base rate of Hexads!
If you haven't picked one up yet, it's not too late - You can get the Hexadic Trinket in the Store right now for just £3.99 / US$5.00.
You can also grab boosters from the store to increase your chance of Shell Shock Event Case drops!
HEXAD BOOSTING EXAMPLES
If you have the Hexadic Trinket equipped, you'll earn 20 Hexads when a match is complete instead of 10. If everyone on your server has one equipped you'll earn 30!
On the hunt for some exclusive Shell Shock loadouts? Looking to earn some extra Hexads? This weekend is the perfect time to play.
Extra Hexads Weekend
From Friday until Monday, get 20% extra Hexads in every match you play. If you have the Hexadic Trinket you'll earn an additional 50%, and also you'll boost everyone else in your server's drops by 5% (up to an additional 50%). So the more of you that have the Hexadic Trinket, the more you earn!
You can also grab boosters from the store to increase your chance of Shell Shock Event Case drops!
London (GMT, UTC): 11:00 AM Friday, July 21 - 11:00 AM Monday, July 24
Los Angeles (PDT, UTC-7): 4:00 AM Friday July 21 - 4:00 AM Monday, July 24
Sydney (AEST, UTC+10): 9:00 PM Friday, July 21 - 9:00 PM Monday, July 24
HEXAD BOOSTING EXAMPLES
If you earn 10 Hexads when a match is complete you'll now earn 12. If you have a Hexadic Trinket equipped you'll earn 18, and if everyone else on your server has one you could earn 24!