Ready To Rumble: Rocket League’s New Mode Out Today

The new ‘Rumble’ mode for Rocket League [official site] is coming out today, say developers Psyonix, bringing giant boots and springy punching gloves to the beautiful game of car football. The power-ups will add yet more wackiness to the field following the basketball and ice hockey modes that came before it. But there’s also some money-minded stuff included in this update. The “crates and keys” system we heard about in the summer is also being implemented, meaning that crates will sometimes drop after playing competitive matches and to open them, you’ll have to buy a key.

Let’s look at the new mode itself first. There will be eleven randomised power-ups with which to cause a bit of chaos. Here’s a list of them and a description of what they do.

The Boot (Kicks an opponent’s car)
Disruptor (Forces the opponent to drive uncontrollably)
Freezer (Freezes the ball in-place)
Grappling Hook (Pulls you toward the ball)
Haymaker (Punches the ball)
Magnetizer (Attracts the ball to your car)
Plunger (Snaps the ball to your position)
Power Hitter (Hit everything harder)
Spike (Attach the ball to your car when you bump into it)
Swapper (Change positions on the field with your opponent)
Tornado (Sweep up the ball and cars into a giant funnel cloud)

We’ve seen a lot of the boots and tornadoes in previous trailers. But I quite like the sound of the Swapper too, which could cause all sorts of problems. Imagine teleporting your car into the place of a goalie and doing an idle donut as the ball – which your displaced opponent could have saved – soars into the net.

Now, about those crates. It’s described as an “optional” feature by the developers. Exactly what that means we’ll have to wait and see, but they have previously said that you will be able to turn off the system completely in the options with a simple tickbox, so it is likely to be that easy to avoid. If you do receive a crate after a competitive match, and want to open it, a single key will cost you $1.49, but you will also be able to buy them in batches – five keys for $5, ten keys for $10, and twenty keys for $20. The money from this “will help fund upcoming esports events and prize pools,” says Psyonix. Things like the Rocket League Championship Series.

The items within will be stuff like exotic wheels, decals and other cosmetic goodies for your wee rocket car, which can also be traded with other players. Although the devs have also distanced themselves from having any kind of Steam Marketplace integration with the crates, probably hoping to avoid the kind of controversy that struck CS:GO with the springing up of gambling websites.

“We are definitely aware of the problems related to third-party gambling in other games,” vice president Jeremy Dunham told Reddit, “and we are not interested in taking that approach.”

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  1. ButteringSundays says:

    “The money from this “will help fund upcoming esports events and prize pools,” says Psyonix.”

    I understand that this isn’t unique in the professional play-time world, but I don’t really get why you’d need to inflate the prize pool anyway? The same group of 100 obsessives will compete whether the top prize is £100,000 or a £10 W.H Smiths voucher. Are the people that shout into the microphones really that expensive to hire?

    • Mctittles says:

      News stories / free advertising.

    • gunny1993 says:

      If you want decent commentary yeah, looks at the difference in quality between some of the earlier rl stuff to the newer

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      oWn4g3 says:

      It sounds simplified but the more money you put into esports the better the quality gets (if you spend it wisely). People that usually cast games in their spare time can become full time casters that are able to spend time analysing playstyles and improving their casting. Better casts and polished tournaments attract more new players to your game which might want to compete in the long run as well. Higher prizepools attract more sponsors to your esport environment which means that (fulltime) pro players can earn a salary besides their potential tournament winnings, improving the match quality even further. So far Psyonix has been doing very well, their first championship has been very exciting. If they use the new funds well, we can expect a lot of great things in the coming seasons.

    • Ksempac says:

      Having more money improve everything for player, for viewers, for staff on and off the field.

      See football. 5th English division (whatever is called) is worse than Premier League. Since there is not enough money you get players who are not professional and can only play a few hours a week, resulting in lower level of play. The guy in the stadium commenting is not professional either so probably hasn’t time for research and training. Therefore he probably doesn’t know the names of the players of the visiting team and he may fumble some calls and make less insightful comments. The stadium itself is probably crappy with wooden seats, where spectators are freezing to death because there is no protection against wind and rain and they don’t have a TV to get a closer view of the action.

      For esports it’s the same. The standard of play will be better if the top 100 players in the world can play full time (ie become professional). Casting will be better with professional sound equipment and professional casters who can dedicate their full time researching teams and improving their knowledge of the game (usually with ex-pros chiming in). Viewers will get a 1080p stream controlled by a dedicated observer with 2 pro casters dedicated to comments rather than a 480p stream controlled by a single caster who need to handle both camera work and commenting, and thus, making a poor job at both.

      • Ksempac says:

        And yes, dedicated observer is a thing in the top level esport competition, an actual job.

        That’s the person who spend the whole game deciding which part of the map they should show, from which angle, etc. which therefore free up the casters from actually controlling the game (usually they have their own monitor, but it’s not their view which will be showed to the viewers) and only focus on casting.

        It’s basically a one-man/one-woman team replacing a cameramen crew and their producer (the observe both control “cams” as well as decide which one to show to the viewers at any given time to best showcase the action).

        And you can definitely tell the difference between a professional observer and an amateur one, the viewer experience will be much better with the former.

  2. godunow says:

    And linux support is coming!

  3. fatherjack says:

    I’d rather they said the money was for more hats. Something that would benefit all players, not just the subset that care about esports or the microscopically small percentage that take part in them.

  4. h_ashman says:

    I hope they can find some time to introduce some form of cross-platform party feature along with all this. Not especially fussed about any audio, just a way of playing competitive with my friends who own it on console without just hoping they end up in the same game as me.

    Wouldn’t be that hard to do, person A creates a party, game generates an ID which they can distribute to other players to use to join.

  5. wondermoth says:

    Crates are bad, sure. Especially as some of the rare animated decals look amazing. But the new car customisation options are very welcome; being able to have a different setup for blue or orange team means I can now use more than the handful of items that look good with both colours.

    Rumble is silly. It’s almost completely skill-free, just endless power-up chaos. Reminds me a bit of Mario Kart, but I’m hardly ever going to play it, because I’d rather play the game properly. The exciting thing is the Octagon map in Rocket Labs, which looks like it could easily be converted to have four goals. Because that’s the mode I want – bigger teams! more teams! 11 v 11! 1v1v1v1! \o/

    Maybe next month?

    • noodlecake says:

      That’d be pretty fun for the unranked mode. A bunch of 3 team or four team maps. I’d definitely play those from time to time if they were there. For 3 teams they could just add a yellow/green colour team. The fourth team would be harder as there’s a lot of colour overlap in the choices for red and blue already. Maybe the fourth one could be monochrome?

    • noodlecake says:

      Sepia tone could be one too, although it wouldn’t really fit with the bright and loud vibe of the rest of the game.

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