Greetings contestants! We had a great result with our first run of the Test Servers on Wednesday. Thanks to everyone who came out and joined in, and special thanks to those of you who shared your feedback with us.
One thing we heard was that many of the changes were too small to be noticeable. Challenge accepted. With the new build (available now), we’ve decided to try several bold experiments. Keep in mind that not all of these things have been balanced against each other, so we’re looking for feedback on how each individual item on the list feels as well as how the game feels as a whole.
With this update we’re also branching out from just tweaking the melee combat mechanics. This time we’re throwing in some broader balance changes as well. Remember: these changes are EXPERIMENTAL! If you’re not thrilled with something (or if you love it), let us know on DISCORD or the STEAM FORUMS. We read the sub-reddit religiously too (i.e., “Oh God, why am I reading this?”).
Here are the changes you can try out (servers live TONIGHT, May 13th, from 9PM-12AM EDT):
Server Location Testing:
We are aware that our current East Coast-only server solution is not ideal for a large portion of our North American audience. We are investigating and experimenting with alternate solutions for server hosting. We haven’t arrived at any conclusions yet, but we are running tonight’s play test on servers that utilize one possible solution (a central location in Dallas, TX). We are very curious about ping and general network performance experience for all North American players.
Highly Experimental Gameplay Changes:
If you shove a player who is not blocking, YOU will be staggered (and vulnerable to a counter-attack). Shoving currently doesn’t have a counter and since it looks, sounds, and feels very much like an attack from the receiving end, it often results in the victim blocking. What happens when shoving an opponent at the wrong time has a penalty? We’ll find out!
Stamina has been tweaked to regenerate more during combat situations. We don’t feel like players should run out of stamina during the course of a normal fight. Stamina’s role is more about chasing and escaping, so sprinting will still have the biggest stamina penalty. The stamina-sapping weapon perks should still be valuable (although they have been rebalanced). Please pay attention to your stamina in fights and tell us how it feels.
Weapon speeds have been adjusted. Our goal is to keep meaningful differentiation between weapon speeds and find the right balance of feel, skill-based play, lethality, and network-friendliness. Simple, right? To that end, we have lowered the speeds of the ** and *** speed weapons a bit, narrowed the gaps between the speeds, and made those gaps equally spaced. We have not made an effort (yet) to balance weapon speeds vs. stagger times and we still need to look more closely at how weapon speeds affect duration of fights with various tiers and speeds of weapons. We also need to look more closely at charge time vs. stagger times and how much damage you can deal to a staggered opponent with a given speed of weapon from the same tier. Your thoughts on how each weapon speed works for you is very welcome as we continue searching for the sweet spot.
“Trident Might Not Be The Best Weapon In The Game Any More” Changes:
Cyclops Air Drop now includes Steel Snare instead of Orange Juice
Trident damage reduced to 9-27 (previously 10-30)
Axes felt weak compared to spears, so the Expose wound increased to 10%, 15%, 20% (previously 5%, 10%, 15%)
Blades felt weak compared to spears, so Bleed wound damage increased to 6, 10, 14 over 10 seconds (previously 4, 8, 12 over 12 seconds)
Damage to Stamina caused by Mangler and Submission perks reduced to 50% of weapon damage (previously 135%). With the other stamina functionality changes our goal is for Mangler and Submission to still be valuable, but we’ll need testing to find out.
“The community can’t possibly be angry at us for doing this!” changes:
Fix for a bug where you could stack Punji Sticks in certain situations
Fixed a bug where perks and customizations would not always load in offline mode
Removed the player highlight that was indicating a player had Dig Deep perk equipped (looked too much like Iron-4-Skin highlight, we’ll implement something custom later if the UI icon is insufficient)
Med Kit now fully heals players with Big Boned perk
Fix for floating lily pads and detritus allowing traps to be placed on top of them
Fix for bug where disarming a player who was charging a throw was not always working properly
Changed default video settings, added option to auto-detect video settings (from front end menu)
Improved several hit reaction animations and reduced the distance players move when taking the hit
We can’t wait to hop online tonight and try out the changes with all of you! The million-FUNC question is: Do you want us to bring these changes live or try more iterations before we patch? Let us know.
We’ll see you on the (test) island!
Test Server Instructions
Anyone who owns the game should find “The Culling Test” in their Steam Library (you may need to restart your Steam client to see it). Once you’ve installed the test build, you will be able to join us in testing during designated times when the test servers are live. Solo, Teams, and Private Matches are all available.