We promised you more details on how production is going when we announced the 1.16 patch. It took a little more time than expected, but here is some info on the upcoming content for Absolver. We hope you like it, and please let us know if you have any questions!
All the best,
First of all, most of the team here is busy working on the new coop PvE content. PvE has been one of the most popular request since launch, and we certainly intend to deliver some cool content in which players will be able to fight new enemies with improved AI, explore new environments, and even discover some of the Guides’ best-hidden secrets. This new PvE game mode will be playable in solo and co-op, and has been designed to provide great replay value to players. We will be sharing all the details of this PvE expansion in July, so stay tuned!
As we stated when rolling the 1.16 update, the School System is scheduled for an in-depth rework. The designs are mostly finalized and we have started work to adapt the network architecture to the new design before we can move on to the most exciting part of the Schools update: the School Challenges! These will be launched at the same time as the PvE expansion; we’ll give more information on the new School features in a future post.
On the purely gameplay side, we have made great progress on the next Combat Style. Most of the animations of the style are now done, along with plenty of new attacks. We are currently testing the special abilities of the style and the balance of the attacks; careful iteration is needed to add another combat style without unbalancing all the game!
We have also implemented new Powers which are also being tested currently to make sure they bring interesting tactical opportunities to the game without being overpowered (note that the existing powers are being rebalanced too). You can expect the new style, attacks, and powers to be released later this year at the same time as the PvE expansion.
On a more technical side, we have done a lot of debugging and made improvements to the core combat; some issues on lag have been fixed, as well as input tracking and other improvements (see below).
Technical: online architecture, engine upgrade…
These past few months, we have also spent a lot of time improving our online architecture, from gameplay replication to matchmaking, in order to improve stability and performance and fix various remaining issues. The upcoming 1.18 patch will deliver some of these tentative changes on our online architecture and we’ll be monitoring the playerbase feedback in the coming weeks to make sure the fixes work as expected and to identify other remaining issues. You can expect the 1.18 patch in a couple of days.
Besides this, the programming team is constantly on the look-out for crashes to fix and possible performance improvements. For instance, we have invested time in updating Unreal Engine to the 4.18 version. Since we use a custom version of the engine, updating versions takes some time, as we need to make sure all our existing systems are compatible, especially the ones that required some core changes to the code. Switching to UE 4.18 will bring a number of improvements and optimizations, needed both for the PvE game mode and for the upcoming Xbox One version (see below).
All this is “behind the scenes” work, so although it’s not directly visible, we hope these efforts will make the overall Absolver experience as fluid and polished as possible.
Xbox One version
Finally, to all Xbox One players expecting the game, we are happy to report that the Xbox One version of the game is making good progress and entered the first rounds of QA testing last week, so we should be able to announce a release date soon™. :)