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Vampire: The Masquerade battle royale ending public testing, delaying launch

Does this suck?

After entering early access in September and intending to launch this year, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodhunt has delayed its full launch and is preparing to shut down the servers until it's done. The developers, Sharkomob say they want to focus on improving the battle royale game following feedback, including fighting cheats. While the Vampire: The Masquerade game people really want is mired in unknown development hell, I know some have found comfort in sucking drops of satisfaction from Bloodhunt—what say you, gang?

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"The plan was to launch the game this year for both PC and PS5 as we moved out of Early Access: Founder's Season," Sharkmob said in yesterday's announcement. "Based on key learnings from this early season, we have decided to take the time needed to address the valuable feedback we have received and postpone the release until early 2022."

More than postpone the full launch, they're temporarily shutting the game down. They say closing servers will help "ensure the development teams full focus on the implementation of feedback collected" during early access.

Servers will close on Monday the 22nd of November at 9am, though they're boosting XP a lot before then so you can try to finish your battle pass if you want. People who play before then will be invited to further tests before launch too. Unlocks, Tokens, purchased items, statistics, and such will carry over to the full launch.

As for what Sharkmob think needs such attention to fix, issues they intend to focus on include boosting performance, expanding character customisation, improving onboarding for new players, and doing something about cheats. Cheating has been a huge problem for the game, cited in so many of the negative reviews on Steam (in spite of that, it has a 'Mixed' rating over all).

"While we have addressed most of the major exploits that have been reported so far and are resolving some new ones that seem to have cropped up recently, we are not satisfied that our processes and systems are where they need to be," Sharkmob say. "We are currently investigating various solutions for making it harder and more frustrating for banned players to create new accounts, looking at better reporting tools, and even evaluating other anti-cheat vendors. We hope to be able to share more information soon."

Sharkmob's announcement has plenty more info on various changes and plans.

If you fancy a go before it goes, you can download Bloodhunt free on Steam. Reader dear, have you played? How is it?

As for Bloodlines 2, the last we heard is that Paradox considered outright cancelling it before deciding to take the game from its original developers and handing it to a yet-unknown other team. They still haven't explained what's going on or why.

Disclosure: Cara Ellison, a former RPS columnist and my former flatmate, used to work on Bloodlines 2.

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