Since yesterday the community has been gossiping about the upcoming changes to the game with Patch 1.11. The developers shared the full information today, with a lot of changes coming to the majors that we see the most in the competitive games, that’s one they are done ahead of the First Strike Championship. The characters that will change the most with the upcoming patch are Breach, Cypher and Killjoy. Besides that, the new hero Skye will be available in the game, together with the new map, Icebox being now added to the competitive rotation. The other changes feature economy rules update, ranked mode adjustments, and the long-awaited left-handed view model.
With First Strike on the horizon, the balance team has been hard at work making our last round of major balance changes before teams start duking it out. We want to ensure that the top teams don’t have to constantly adapt to a changing game while they’re playing in the tournament. Minor balance changes may occur during the span of First Strike, but we won’t deploy changes like the ones in this patch that heavily impact a team’s strategies.
One of the trends we have observed is that attacking teams can have a really hard time breaking entrenched defenders. Although every piece of the game can influence this type of trend (move speed, weapon tuning, map design, Agent balance), we think there are a few targeted character changes that can help give attackers more opportunities to break entrenched defenders. Each is listed below.
—Max Grossman, Lead Character Designer
Flash Tuning: The fade out of the flash debuff remains the same duration but now fades slower at the start
Initiators create concentrated windows of extremely high threat to help their teams break onto sites. To this end, we are slightly increasing the duration of debuffs from some Initiator abilities (mostly flashes). Our goal here is to increase the opportunity window that Initiator’s teammates have to capitalize on their utility and further differentiate Initiators from Duelists.
- Full flash time increased from 1.75 >>> 2
Similar to some of the changes we made with Sage, we want to increase the depth of decision making when playing Sentinels while also providing enemies with more counterplay to “trap” abilities. To reduce the total potential impact of these abilities, autonomous traps are now disabled when the deployer dies (e.g., Cypher’s Trapwire disables when Cypher dies). We want to encourage Sentinel players to play more thoughtfully and carefully around their traps while increasing the reward for taking out the Sentinel player.
- Disabled and revealed upon death
- Disabled and revealed upon death
Killjoy is most effective when locking down a single site. Killjoy has to stay near her Turret and Alarmbot for them to remain active. Her global recon should be hit pretty hard here but we have slightly boosted her stalling power to counterbalance that nerf. All in all, we hope to keep Killjoy in a very similar place power wise but give her a stronger identity as the premiere on-site defender.
- Alarmbot and Turret now deactivate if she is more than 40m away from them—reentering the 40m range reactivates her little friends.
- Cooldown after pickup reduced from 20 seconds >>> 10 seconds
- Range at which Alarmbot can be detected decreased from 9m >>> 7m
- Cooldown after pickup reduced from 20 seconds >>> 7 seconds
- Range at which Nanoswarm can be detected decreased from 5m >>> 3.5m
- Damage increased from 40/s >>> 45/s
- Damage now ticks smoother and faster while in Nanoswarm, instead of in chunks of 10 every ¼ of a second
- Icebox enters the Competitive map rotation
- Icebox will be available for use in official esports competition (e.g., First Strike) after four weeks in Competitive queue (November 29, barring any issues)
- Shorter Unrated queue times for the highest-rank players
- We’ve taken steps to further solve issues for elite players experiencing long queue times for Unrated. We’re also further investigating improvements to reducing long queue times for all primary modes.
- Added location of the current gamepod to the loading screen for all modes
- Adjusted Combat Score to factor in non-damaging assists
GAME MODE UPDATES
- “Play Out All Rounds” option now available in custom game lobby options,
Play Out All Rounds makes it easier to run practice sessions. When enabled the game will no longer end when a team reaches 13 wins; instead the match will continue until both teams have played a full half of 12 rounds on each side. After 24 rounds the team with more rounds will win. In the case of a tie the game will proceed to overtime (dependent on the Overtime option selected in the lobby screen).
Updates to Economy Ruleset
- Attackers who lose but survive the entire round without planting the Spike receive a reduced number of credits (1,000)
- Defenders who lose but survive the entire round after the Spike has detonated also receive reduced credits (1,000)
- Dying to the Spike will no longer count as a death in KDA statistics
- Additional economic information added as a tooltip when hovering over the exclamation mark next to “Min Next Round” in the shop
Context: These changes are intended to increase richness in decision making regarding when it is worthwhile to save your gear vs. go for the round win. Additionally, this will allow teams that can secure round wins to more effectively chip away at the economy of opponents that opt to save out expensive weapons on a round loss.
- Minor improvements to observer flashed indicator
- New setting for observers: ‘Show Player Keybinds on Map’
- New Custom Game Option: ‘Play Out All Rounds’
- Both teams play a full 12 rounds on both attacker & defender sides, followed by overtime/endgame (if applicable)
QUALITY OF LIFE
- Left-handed view model is now available for players. Players can swap their first person view-model to lefthanded by going to the settings menu and swapping their view model to “Left-Handed”. Changing this will also show all other players as left-handed when spectating.
- You can now send a direct message by clicking a friend’s name in chat instead of having to type their name out
- Players that have been AFK or alt-tabbed for more than 5 minutes will now appear as ‘Away’ in the Social Panel
- Adjusted team colors to remain fixed for the full duration of a game for observers instead of having the Attacking side always appear as red, and the defending side always appear as green
- The experience of having teams switch colors at the half from a viewer perspective was a bit confusing, and also led to some difficulties for broadcasters to match their overlays to this behavior. This change will allow the viewers and tournament organizers to have a more consistent experience for the entirety of a game.
- BETA Experimental Sharpening
This graphics setting accidentally shipped with the last patch, and we were going to remove it, but your feedback asked us to keep it. So It stays, but with some more tuned defaults. We don’t know when we’ll get to optimizing its performance, or tune it further, so consider it an ongoing Beta.
- Fixed one source of combat hitches we’ve seen from player reports
- We’re continuing to investigate the combat hitches that players have been reporting in recent patches. This patch includes a fix for one of the most common hitches that we’ve seen during combat. While we hope that this will resolve the issue for many of you, we’re still actively tracking down a couple other hitches that we’ve seen from your clips.
- Jett now can’t rope dash lel
- Fixed a bug where incoming Party invites would remain active in the Social Panel after being declined
- Players no longer see the spike location when reconnecting to a game
- Fixed issue where player corpses could cause collision issues
- Sage wall segments no longer breaks if a player dies on top of them
- Fixed a bug that would disable queueing for any mode if a player closed the client during the Match Found countdown.
- Fixed a bug that was displaying Act Rank badge on the MVP screen outside of Competitive Queue.