Edited Friday to add point 2d
Edited Saturday to add points 2e and 4c
Just wanted to thank the devs for reverting the brogan bounties and adding the skill charge at the beginning. While I don’t agree with leaving the run-time as-is, I understand for solidarity’s sake why the decision was made. I also think that in combination of charged skills at match-start, changing to two 30-second zones is a really effective solution since the real problem is reducing zone time, thus reducing effective damage time. See section 4b below.
END OF EDIT
Whew boy HHG, you really did it this time. Lots of gut reactions from the players; obviously this is a highly controversial change. I want to dive into the pros and cons of it with some well-thought-out feedback rather than simply bashing my head against the keyboard like many seem to have chosen to do.
This is a LOT of text, so I apologize in advance, but I want to be thorough and give a comprehensive, non-kneejerk summary of everything, good, bad, or otherwise.
1. Positive Changes
1a. Less Weekend Time Needed
Ok, let’s get this out of the way first and start off on a high note. The primary positive from this is that the bounty event is now MUCH less draining from a time perspective. Rather than babysitting your phone all weekend, we’re able to blow through our lives much quicker, this is good thing that I think everyone will agree on.
1b. Trash Enemy Cleanup Reduced
This is pretty minimal, but the amount of ‘trash’ enemies that need offing has been cut in half. Before, you clear the first two zones of everyone and then focus on the bounty for the third zone. Now, there’s only one zone in which you must clear the rest of the enemies. [unenthusiastic] Whoop-dee-doo [/unenthusiastic].
2. Negative Changes
2a. Skill Loading Time
This should be painfully obvious. HEROES HAVE SKILLS. And these skills take time to charge. 45 seconds is not at all enough time to fully utilize what makes a hero unique. Because of this, every hero feels lifeless and uninteresting. Using Dogface for example is no longer a fun way to take advantage of the synergy between his two active skills. Nope, just lifelessly aim for the head and pray you can get his two skills off even once.
2b. Transition Time
This is a HUGE problem. Let me lay it out based on raw numbers taken from a shanty town bounty screen recording (NOT estimates). We have 45 seconds available to us. It takes right around 5 seconds before the bounty is in position. At 25 seconds, the bounty leaves zone 1, arriving in its zone 2 position at 20 seconds. The remainder of the match is spent hopelessly mashing ‘shoot’ until 3 seconds are left, at which point the bounty leaves.
5+5+3=13 seconds have now vanished from the mission, an alarming 30% of the mission is spent watching the screen and just WAITING. Now don’t forget that you had to clear the trash mobs from the first zone. We’ll be reasonable and call this 5 or so (unless, god forbid, you’re running it on auto). We have now lost 40% OF THE MISSION TO USELESS NOTHINGNESS. I can’t even express how awful this is from a playing standpoint and I find it flabbergastingly difficult to believe that a single one of you play-tested this even once.
2c. “Getting Your Bearings”
This one is less tangible, but it’s a feeling that every player will be familiar with, perhaps without even realizing it. Every transition that happens, there’s a span of time where you’re “getting your bearings” on the current situation. You’re getting a handle on where your pilot hero is, and where the enemies are, and if they’re moving etc. There’s a lot that goes into this short period of time.
The problem with the changes is that our zone time is reduced from 30 seconds down to 22 (It’s really closer to 16 though because of the time taken for the transitions themselves). What this means is that this “getting your bearings” time now represents a MUCH higher percentage of the match, which makes the whole thing feel rushed, panicked, and abrupt (And not in a good way, as is sometimes done). It’s disorienting at best and headache-inducing at worst.
2d. Edited To Add: Stumble/Stun Severity (Thanks @WalleWu!)
WalleWu brought up a great point in the comments. With such a painfully short time available (only 16 seconds per zone!), the severity of getting stunned or even stumbled has been increased tremendously. A knockback can easily cause 3-5 seconds of precious time to vanish if hit during a reload. Keep in mind that’s nearly 1/3 of an entire zone’s worth of time!
2e. Edited To Add: Superhero Damage Gone (Thanks @Phil50579874!)
As Phil mentioned in a reply, the ENTIRE point that we all love bounty is the rush of that dopamine-triggering damage feedback. Seeing those huge chunks of hp fall off is mouth-watering. This is an important point so I’m going to emphasize it: Nobody plays bounty seriously for the rewards - It’s about feeling like a superhero.
I think this whole thing is indicative of the fact that the devs don’t really get why players love bounty. It’s a pissing contest! We all just want to sling our numbers around VIP chat and talk smack to everyone else about our ridiculous multi-billion damage scores. THAT’S IT. That’s why we play bounty. We want to be able to prove that our ludicrously high damage output is higher than the next guy’s ludicrously high damage output.
Therefore, the whole value of bounty is the built-in perspective in what kinds of damage numbers are high. This has been built up in players’ minds for months and months and gets reinforced again every other weekend. By overhauling the system (in a reduced way), you shatter that. You completely ruin the invincible feeling that makes it so awesome. No existing player will ever be able to enjoy bounty again if the system stays how it is. There will always be that lingering feeling of “ok that was decent damage, but it’s still nothing like what I did before the changes.”
3. Other Notes
This isn’t related to the aforementioned changes, but I feel it’s worth bringing up. Since the actual numbers aren’t published on how many players have each hero, I can’t give an exact figure here, but I think it’s safe to say that (outside of the top few alliances), fewer than 1/1000 players currently have Brogan. So what do we do about all the Brogan-required bounties??
If your alliance is one of the hundreds that doesn’t have a single Brogan, you’re screwed. And before you say “Ok well just don’t do those ones”, just wait until every single alliance that’s active in bounty has a queue filled with 25 Brogan-only bounties that they can’t clear out. So now you have hours worth of bounty in which not a SINGLE bounty can be fought. Genius .
3b. No Announcement
AARRGH this one is SO frustrating. You guys clearly have the means to announce things. DO IT. You now have an entire community of people thinking that there is a bug in the biggest event in the game. MAKE. ANNOUNCEMENTS. That way you can get feedback ahead of time, forewarn the playerbase about changes ahead of time, allow everyone to prepare for the changes, allow for a smooth transition to a new way of doing things… The benefits are endless and the negatives are nonexistent. It’s absolutely ridiculous that the community has to rely on one little post on DISCORD of all places to know that this was intentional in the first place. GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER.
3c. This Explains Past Bugs
This is just my own observation, but we now have clarification about what exactly happened during the last two bounty bugs. The timing bug that happened several bounties ago can be explained by a premature release of this abortion of an update making it into the production code.
There was also the bug the first time ‘bonus’ bounties were available in which they would automatically lose half their starting hp at the end of the match on top of what was dealt by the player. While this was fun in the moment, it was obviously a bug. Coincidentally, we now have bounties with half the health they originally did. Donning your tin-foil hat will reveal that this is another accidental code release onto the production server.
4. Final Thoughts
Wow, thanks for making it this far!! I applaud not only your attention span but also the amount of boredom I have at work right now.
HHG, this update SUCKS. (There that’s my one knee-jerk reaction). But seriously. The players hated the accidental “preview” of this a month or two ago, and we all hate it now. PLEASE revert this back, and don’t wait until the next bounty. Accept that you made a mistake and revert it now. The players will thank you for it and you’ll look great in the eyes of the community despite not deserving it. Let me repeat that louder for the people in the back:
DON’T WAIT UNTIL AFTER BOUNTY - REVERT IT NOW
4b. My Suggested Solution
Here’s the best solution I can think of. I think it addresses every positive and every negative pretty well. Make the bounty last one minute instead of 45 seconds, but keep the two zones. This reverts the zone time to 30 seconds, which felt fair; and it also allows for a healthy recharge rate of skills. It also serves the purpose of lowering the overall time expenditure for the event as a whole.
4c. My -Revised- Suggested Solution
I’m adding this after editing the post to add point 2e. The magistrates bounty was going to be the culmination of power in bounty. Everyone was flexing their heroes in chat and getting pumped up about the insane highscores we were going to get.
Let us have it the old way, if only for the next bounty. PLEASE, let us all get the magistrates bounty that we were craving and revert back to the old system; even if you’re set on changing it afterward. Just give us this last one to go out with a bang and then we can all try to mentally adjust what “high” scores look like. Phil’s point (2e) made me realize that my suggested solution may not be correct, because what we all really want is to maintain what’s been engrained into our minds for so many months of what scores should look like.
THANKS FOR READING