Team Deathmatch comes to LawBreakers

Lawbreakers - Namsan

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.

7 Comments

  1. Unclepauly says:

    Was enough for me to bite. Was waiting for a game with a high skill ceiling.

  2. PrestonFranklin says:

    Anyone here actively play this? I saw the average concurrent player count had dipped to ~120. Hard to imagine finding matches with what might as well be 0 players.

    • JedeOff says:

      Lots of cool and active users in the discord, myself included.

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      Yep! At least on the EU server and at my skill level, initial queue times are almost always in the instant to 2-minute range for me, and subsequent reconfigurations of teams are typically under a minute, with occasional minute-ish warmup (deathmatch) periods while people load. So I would say it’s easily possible to find random games.

      But to be fair, at this population (usually >150 when I’m on, mostly during weekends), the resulting matches can be unbalanced with not insignificant frequency. But more but, I find the well balanced matches are a ton of fun and well worth the quick pummelings of either polarity.

      Your milage may vary, of course, but I heartily recommend giving it several goes during peak hours, if you have the chance.

  3. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    So: This team deathmatch mode is way more fun than I expected from this game, despite me being pretty bad at actually hitting people. Supportive play still works well, much to my surprise, and the 3D movement maintains the “UT99 plus extra weirdness” feel I’ve been hoping for and enjoying from the start.

    Note: Helping my enthusiasm here was the matchmaker being on a real roll, in my case. 10-ish games in a row with the majority ending in 5-point leads or closer, out of the 50-point limit. A couple even came down to the last point. @_@ Chat was pretty pleasant around those matches, too, as opposed to the usual mostly-civil.

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