New Arena Load-Out
There had been a request by the fans for awhile now for a simple non-vehicle load-out that could be used in our small maps and for modes other than DeathMatch. To help give players this option, we have added an Arena Load-Out to the small maps Junction, Relay and Glade, and it includes the Shield Generator, Pod Cannon, Supply Bunker, Watchtower, Auto-Turret, and Wall. This new load-out is available for CTF, TDM, Zones, DM and Assault.
Reduce Grinder Damage in Singleplayer
Sure, most of our updates have to do with Multiplayer but we never lose sight of the solo experience! And for that reason, we felt we needed to make a change to the Grinder only in the campaign. For those of you who played the SP campaign in Starhawk, you may have noticed that when you got the Grinder, it was CRAZY easy to cut through enemy units under a stream of molten sparks. In fact, it was too easy. To help balance this weapon and maintain the right level of difficulty for the later missions in the campaign, we have reduced the Grinder damage by 33%.
Added Grizzly to LoneWolf [Blitz] Load-Out
This change is very straight-forward and is simply a bug fix so LoneWolf and LoneWolf [Blitz] load-outs use the same Build & Battle units.
Replaced Cloak & Shield in GateKeeper Game Mode
GateKeeper mode is very fun however some players had found that when using the Cloak and Shield in this flight-focused mode, a player could essentially be unstoppable. And the fans were right it was exploit-tastic. We looked at a variety of solutions and the one we settled on for the 1.04.003 Update was to replace the Cloak and Shield pick-ups with the Homing Missile and Flak Cannon pick-ups respectively. This change is isolated to just this gameplay mode and makes a huge improvement to the balance of GateKeeper!
Removed Outposts from Small Maps
The small maps we added in the 1.04 Update were a great addition to the over-all set of maps in Starhawk! However, the fact that you could use Outpost Build & Battle structures in these intentionally very small maps was really not yielding the proper game experience. To resolve this, now Outposts are removed from the load-out if you choose one of the small maps like Glade, Junction or Relay. This change helps make these maps feel much better and the removal of the Outposts really helps drive more tactical gameplay rather than just the Outpost spam we were seeing.
A point of clarification: You can still choose the Trooper load-out on a small map like Glade, for example. It will show you that the Outpost is contained in that load-out however when you get into the game, the Outpost will be selectively pruned from the Build & Battle wheel. And again, this change is only for the small maps.
Cluster Bomb Weapon Balance
Due to the way the Cluster Bomb was being used there were a couple of changes that we felt needed to be made. We still want to preserve the weapon's power on the battlefield but the sheer volume of Cluster Bomb kills relative to the other weapons needed to be adjusted. To resolve this we have made the pick-up take a bit longer to respawn. It was previously 60 seconds and now it is 75 seconds. While this may seem like a subtle change, 15 seconds does make a difference!
The second change we did to the Cluster Bomb was to combat the degenerate behavior of using the weapon at nearly point-blank range. In this situation, a player flying a Hawk could just jam a Cluster Bomb down the throat of a player or more often a group of players at such a close range that there was no real counter defense. To help resolve this, we have fixed the Cluster Bomb so that its explosive area of effect can damage the player who launched the Cluster Bomb. This means that a player STILL can do a point-blank Cluster Bomb attack however there is now some significant risk to do so.
Fixed Spawn-in Bug for Assault Game Mode
When we released the new gameplay mode Assault in the Starhawk 1.04 Update, players were able to find a bug that allowed a player to spawn into the enemy team's base during certain rounds. This, as you can imagine, resulted in an erosion of the gameplay experience were were looking for! The 1.04.003 Update simply fixes the bug so you can no longer spawn into the enemy base.
Changed Skill Score Leaderboard
We had received many comments about our Skill Score and Skill Score Leaderboard. Some players were seeing odd behavior like their Skill Score going down after a game they just won or other such seemingly odd changes. This definitely needed to get fixed. So we spent some time investigating and found that while the underlying math for the Skill Score is actually working quite well, the issue seemed to arise from server delays when a player's Skill Score was updated. This would result in you never really seeing the proper Skill Score when you looked at the Leaderboard.