Greetings, Agents!

As we perform the final tweaks for Update 1.4, the focus for this final week of PTS is on addressing a very heavily debated topic in the last few days; difficulty. Thank you so much for all your feedback and taking part in this great discussion. Beyond the pure balancing feedback, your ability to discuss such an important topic in a healthy and respectful manner is astounding! Thank you.

Overall, the discussion highlighted one important thing: the definition of “fun”, “difficulty” and “rewarding” are very subjective and everybody has their own view on them. We’ve seen that there is a clear split between players wanting the game to remain just as fun and rewarding as it is currently on the PTS, and those who believe that it has now become too easy and should be made harder. Our goal is to find a solution that should satisfy everyone, with the right middle ground between these two opinions.

One aspect that has been brought by the community and that we believe contributes heavily to the perception of the game being too easy is the inconsistent difficulty between Underground Challenge Mode and Main Mission Challenge Modes. Our own data analysis confirmed this inconsistency, and even showed that it could be faster to farm Underground Challenge Mode as a solo player rather than playing it with a group.

This issue is due to the fact that Underground Challenge Mode does not scale to group size the same way that main missions do. In order to address this problem and add more consistency between activity types, we have decided to apply the following changes to Underground:

  • Underground Challenge Mode will now scale to group size in terms of enemy health and damage, but no longer in enemy quantity. This means that when playing solo or in a smaller group, you will face more enemies in Underground Challenge Mode than in the past.
  • To go with this change, chances to drop items from random enemies in Underground have been slightly lowered to ensure that an increase of enemies does not lead to even more loot.

We are making two changes to elite enemy’s health and damage. Thanks to the discussion on Time to Kill and Be Killed that appeared recently, we have identified a bug that reduced NPC incoming damage by an extra 15% on top of the 15% we had initially announced for PTS 3. This led to a total 30% damage decrease between PTS 2 and PTS 3 instead of the intended 15%. We have now fixed this bug.

  • Fixed a bug where NPC damage was reduced by an extra 15% leading to a total 30% reduction in PTS 3 instead of the 15% announced. Their damage is now correctly reduced by 15% compared to PTS 2, and thus increased by 21% compared to PTS 3.

Also, after looking at the results of the change to Elite Armor that we did in Week 3, we realized that it proved unnecessary. We have therefore decided to remove it and come back to the same Armor values that we had in PTS 2.

  • Reverted change done in PTS 3 to Elite and Named NPC Armor, to bring it back to its level of PTS 2. This equals an increase of 20% armor compared to PTS 3.


Part of your feedback in PTS 3 also showed that Health on Kill had become rather overpowered, to the point where it could even replace the need for healing skills or medkits. To answer this feedback, we have now reduced the amount of Health on Kill received from items:

  • Path of the Nomad
    • 2 pieces: Reduced Health on Kill bonus from 20% to 14%

  • Reduced Health on Kill rolls on items by about half

Finally, we reduced the Armor bonus received by the Robust talent on chest pieces, as it was inconsistent with other talents that provide lower bonuses with more constraining requirements:

  • Robust Chest piece bonus reduced from 30% armor to 10%

The combination of these changes should bring back slightly more lethality to enemies, but mostly ensure that Challenge Mode difficulty remains consistent between all activities, and better approached as a group. It should be soloable, but only with optimized equipment and the right amount of min-maxing.

A change that we had previously tried to implement with Week 3 where the base Ammo Capacity was reduced from 100% to 50% was not included for week 3. This change has now been implemented with the Week 4 patch. Keep in mind that this is still a 50% increase from the base level that is in the current live game.

Bug fixing

  • Fixed a bug where Armor Damage Mitigation was capped at 60% in World Tiers 2 and above. It will now correctly cap at 70% in all World Tiers.
  • Fixed a bug where players were unable to equip sharable mods.
  • Fixed a bug where named bosses respawn time in the Open World was not correctly set to 4 hours.
  • Fixed a bug where characters could be stuck on ladders when jumping on it after sprinting.
  • Fixed a bug where some weapon skins would not be correctly converted to vanity items, and thus be lost.
  • Fixed a bug where Underground Operations may not start correctly when interaction with the train.
  • Fixed a bug where using AlphaBridge Gear Set could result in UI issues.

Skills

  • Fixed several instances of Ballistic Shield becoming unusable for the player.
  • Fixed a bug where First Aid could not be self-cast when the player was about to receive fatal damage.
  • Fixed a bug where Smart Cover would be destroyed by friendly or enemy explosions. Smart Cover can now only be destroyed by enemy Sticky Bomb (Flashbang) and EMP grenades.
  • Fixed a bug where the Support Station Ammo Cache bonus could be lost if another Support Station with the same mod was destroyed in the vicinity.
  • Fixed a bug where Mobile Cover Blast Shield damage was not calculated correctly and resulted in ridiculous amount of damage.