HLL Developer Briefing #13 - Metagame Update!

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Hey everyone,

Welcome to Developer Briefing #13. This week we’re sharing with you an update we’ve made to the Hell Let Loose metagame following community feedback in January’s closed beta.

If you missed the previous Developer Briefing, where we revealed our new in-game tips feature, you can find out more about it here.


Metagame Update

After January’s closed beta, the team have been busy going through all the feedback that our participants have shared with us. This was a crucial test to allow us to make various tweaks, updates and bug fixes to the game.

We also took the opportunity to listen to what our players were saying around the core metagame and whether it was providing a consistently satisfying and dynamic experience. It was pleasing to hear that the overall feel of the game was going down well with our beta players, however we spent a lot of time both playing and listening to community feedback and noticed some critical things that we felt should be addressed, more on that below.


The New Metagame


Map markers can only be placed by the Officer/Commander roles.

The updated metagame for Hell Let Loose is as follows:
  • Only one sector in a column is now in active play at any one time, down from three.

  • Every time the map is played, the sectors that are in play are randomised, creating different scenarios in different matches.

  • When a sector is captured, the next available sector to attack/defend will be selected depending on if it is adjacent, or diagonal to the current one. This eliminates the need to walk to the opposite end of the frontline.

  • A victory occurs when you capture the enemy HQ sector. A loss occurs when you lose yours.

  • When a HQ sector is in play, the defending team cannot spawn in that sector. Instead, they must spawn in the adjacent HQ sectors, or make use of an OP/Garrison.

  • The team that captures an active sector will gain ownership of that entire column (three sectors).

  • The map coloration has been updated to clearly show the progression of the battle along the entire length of the map.



Issues & Solutions

The feedback that led to this change, as well as the logic behind the solutions can be found below:

Issue One: Player density was too low for the majority of the match. This lead to a boring experience and rarely feeling like you were experiencing the full intensity of the battle.

Solution One: The vast majority of players will focus on one sector, creating higher density gameplay. While one sector sounds like it would create an unacceptable bottleneck, we’ve found that the 400m wide sector nicely consolidates Infantry, Armor and Recon units, as well as rewards units that manage to widely flank the opposing sector in order to cut off the enemy.

Issue Two: Players who defended empty sectors seldom saw action and combat - therefore being punished for doing the “right thing”. In addition, games were often won in a similar way to Alpha - with small groups of players walking around the sides and cutting off the main battle.

Solution Two: Players can now choose to proactively flank and penetrate the enemy lines in new, dynamic ways - instead of being forced to defend an empty location. Similarly, your team will no longer lose enormous groups of sectors due to small groups walking past.

Issue Three: Seeding servers was unappealing as confrontation was rare in low population servers.

Solution Three: Even low population servers will have a focal point of where the action is, assisting in seeding new servers. We will be watching this and looking at further refining the way in which low population servers are seeded.

Issue Four: Battles never felt large or competitive, as you were never sure if you were fighting the full breadth of the enemy force or just one unit.

Solution Four: Players will always be engaging in the biggest conflict in the server, whilst keeping the options to flank or retreat from combat. Defeating an enemy in a sector is much more rewarding now, as it means the entire enemy team has been forced back.

Issue Five: Artillery, tanks and other large-scale abilities aren’t as effective as they could be due to the breadth of the battlefield.

Solution Five: Artillery and other assets now have a determined location to attack/defend.

Issue Six: Newer players unsure of where they should be heading or respawning.

Solution Six: Simplification of the way we communicate attack or defend locations will direct inexperienced players to where they should be.


To the next battle!

When making the metagame changes that we’ve described above, we were keen to implement quality changes based on community feedback without sacrificing anything in the process.

We feel we’ve achieved that, increasing the intensity, frequency and scale of battles, without sacrificing map size, objective play or the wide range of strategic options available to our players. In our team testing, we’ve actually found that the majority of player tactics are now more effective and viable with a consolidated objective. Additionally, due to the randomising nature of the objective order, you’ll be fighting a very different battle every time you play each map.

We have several more metagame functions to polish, refine and add to and this testing time will be critical for us in making sure the game is satisfying every time you play.

That wraps up this week’s Developer Briefing. We hope you’re pleased by this player feedback led update and would love to hear what you think about it, so pop your initial thoughts in the comments below!

Be ready for the frontline by wishlisting Hell Let Loose:

View: https://store.steampowered.com/app/686810/Hell_Let_Loose/


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