Hello, Extinction Elites!
Our first update is now live! Supply Drop #1 delivered Mission Difficulty Settings, so you can set Hard or Insane levels for your mission attempt. We can already see some of the feedback coming in about how you’re treating these settings, such as the desire for an Easy mode for solo players or making Insane even more insane. Keep sending us the feedback, and we’ll keep adjusting these settings to best fit what you all have in mind.
The goal for these State of The Game updates is to keep a line of communication open from us to you. Of course, you can reach out at any time via our Discord, but a lot of that can be lost in the chatter, so this letter is a vehicle to talk about three specific things.
What Have We Learned
As mentioned above, Mission Difficulty Settings was the first update to the core game experience. This was done as a result of the early feedback we got during our playtests about how 3-player experiences aren’t challenging enough. Fun fact: not one mission played by a group during the playtests experienced a mission failure. Not that we expected mission failures, but compared to the people playing on their own, there was a dramatic difference in mission success between solo and group play. Mission success rates are going to be a metric we look at to see how well we have done in making a mission “Insane.”
This is why we went in this direction for our first update: to address feedback about the game too easy for groups. We were also aware of the feedback that playing solo was difficult and made plans to address that. Being a small team, however, we had to pick our battles and chose to focus on the core team-based experience we had set out to make.
Players who have made progress along the upgrade track have managed to find character builds and play-styles that make solo-ing missions viable. That element was intentional but the path to discovery and progress being mostly an experience of having to painfully claw through countless defeats and failures to get there wasn’t. This is what we’re hoping our upcoming Expedition Mode will address, giving players a space to complete bite-size content of varying difficulty and to smooth out that curve.
What We Are Doing
Speaking of solo, if you’re a solo player by choice, be assured that that experience is our first priority! If you’re a solo player by circumstance, be assured that that experience is also a top priority! Matchmaking in general is something we’re working to improve on substantially, and we have been reviewing the feedback related to this.
Suggestions by the community that we are looking into:
- Session Browser: Being able to directly advertise your mission in how you want to run it. Want to run Homebound in fewer than 20 minutes on Insane? Only want to match with people in your region? Want to run with newbies and show them your awesome strats?
- Custom Lobbies: Be able to create your own mission lobby and invite players via ID rather than befriending them on Steam
- Joining your friends’ mission-in-progress
Hand-in-hand with supporting multiplayer is in-game communications, and we’ve also identified this as a high priority. We’re looking into ways to implement thoughtful and considerate communications of all the issues that come with this feature, including enforcing our policies that prohibit toxic speech.
These aren’t the only things we’re working on, but they are our highest priority.
What We Have Heard
From the very start, we’ve been encouraging players to give us feedback. Any kind of feedback, as long as it’s constructive. And you all have been great at giving it to us! We’ve gathered over 400 individual pieces of feedback, both specific and generalized. For many of them, we’ve said yeah, that’s a good idea. Some we’ve chosen to consciously not prioritize at this point; however, the following list could be considered a “backlog” of things we’re looking into and potentially working on over our Early Access period. The list is a direct result of your feedback, but it’s not comprehensive as some feedback was very small and specific. But we’ll make sure to call out the feedback we implement in our patch notes each update.
- Weapon and Upgrade rebalancing
- Character ability rebalancing
- Respawning improvements
- Rosy’s Static Barrier improvements
- Action priorities – i.e., canceling reload
- Enemies being not threatening enough
- Enemies being too few
- Enemies not being responsive
- Characters are too fast – being able to avoid enemies via sprinting
- Character skill customization, such as skill trees
- Dinopedia or some sort of lore unlock or reward for exploration
- More information on Weapons, Abilities, Upgrades in their screens
- What classes use the weapon
- What the weapons actually do
- The actual numbers behind an upgrade and their effects
- Access contract status in-mission
- Get new contracts in-mission
- Loadout templates
- More custom options for weapon upgrades
- Material/research tracker and/or inventory for in-mission
- Screenshot options (i.e., removing the HUD)
- Gore settings
- Longer loot availability time
- Rarity coloring on loot that has dropped
- Clearer notifications in-game
- Ways to deal with players who refuse to participate with the team
- Melee weapons
One Final Note
As always, we continue to work on any technical problems that prevent players from playing the game. One such issue that is becoming prevalent is that the game doesn’t launch but is shown in Task Manager. We suspect it’s a graphics issue, but if you are experiencing this problem, please reach out to Customer Support via Zendesk. Each PC configuration is different, so the more information we get from players experiencing this issue, the more information we have to work with when finding a solution.
We appreciate you, our players, and are really happy that you are with us on our Early Access journey. Please keep the feedback going in Discord. We’ll see you there.
The Second Extinction team