Gravity-bothering FPS, LawBreakers [official site] has launched a “significant” patch, boosting player lifespans, dunking in a new map – Namsan – and bundling in a bunch of new features. There’s also a new game mode in the form of Skirmish – Team Deathmatch. I’ll get into a bit more detail on these bits after the jump but basically it’s the start of the developers at Boss Key experimenting with ways to bolster the game’s appeal and build its audience.
So first up, here’s the update video for patch 1.4:
LawBreakers is one of those games which I hear great things about from the people I know who have played it, but which has clearly struggled to find a player base – at least on PC. Here’s Samuel’s LawBreakers review so you can see what I mean. Gamespot had an interesting interview with the studio head, Cliff Bleszinski, where he talks about dealing with that situation and figuring out how to keep the game going and, indeed, growing.
Adding the Team Deathmatch mode via Skirmish is part of that process – Bleszinski notes it was a mistake to ship without it – as are things like new maps, daily activities for rewards, and new queuing options. The latter includes a quickmatch option which you can select to just find the fastest match across all game modes. I’m assuming that’s in response to how a small playerbase can often lead to painfully long wait times and thus feed into the problem of building an audience.
I’ll dig into the increased lifespan thing in a moment as that’s possibly the least immediately understandable change, but first here’s the Namsan map overview:
This is the top-level explanation from the patch notes:
“The main goal this patch is to increase average lifespans across the board, as we’ve found that many of our players are spending significantly more time staring at a respawn screen than we’d like.”
That translates to more base health for all roles (between 75-125 HP depending on the class) as well as passive regen for all roles when you’re not taking hits instead of just the Battle Medic. The other factor which should improve lifespans is that you’ll spawn more often with teammates than solo, so I’d assume there’s less of a risk of just getting into a spawn-get-picked-off cycle.
The patch notes unpick this further, as does the video, but the bare bones of it is that you (hopefully) get to be in combat more, doing more interesting things, and being freed up from specific team compositions.
The full patch notes for 1.4 are here. The team are also working on ranked mode, further additions to the skirmish rotation, multi-region queues, leaver penalties and the tenth class.