Killzone: Shadow Fall Developers Can Balance Multiplayer "on The Fly"

Killzone: Shadow Fall Developers Can Balance Multiplayer "on The Fly"

Killzone: Shadow Fall uses PS4 tech to make balancing patches a thing of the past.

Patches can be a nuisance. Sometimes you just want to play a game without having to wait five minutes to download version 1.0124, which tweaks the hit detection of those destructible mannequins in that one map by .01 percent, before jumping in because you've only fifteen minutes to play and no time to spare. Well, it seems the PS4 can dramatically reduce the number of annoying updates dramatically by allowing developers to upload balancing tweaks "on the fly" without a patch.

Speaking with OPM, Killzone: Shadow Fall lead designer Eric Boltjes explains that the team will be able to upload balancing patches for the game's multiplayer based on analytics and player feedback in real time.

"So if a specific weapon is overpowered," says Boltjes, "you know it's killing too many people and people start complaining, we don't have to release a patch any more. We can, on server side, tweak the damage down on that weapon and instantly everyone will just have a less powerful weapon."

That doesn't mean the days of downloading patches are over. Real-time patches can only alter minor backend elements of the game. In order to change anything that will change any perceivable aspect of the game - visual, audio, etc. - will have to be patched in the old fashioned way.

"There are going to be patches," says Boltjes. "For example, if we have to change how a weapon looks, that's content. That's content and then it becomes a patch. But if it's variable, numbers that we can change, like weapon balance or stuff like that? That we can do that on the fly. If we want to add new sound? It's a patch. If we want to change how often a weapon fires? That's on the fly."

Source: Official PlayStation Magazine

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God dammit that's some neat future tech. I remember playing Guild Wars back in the day, my friend handed me a sword from the expansion pack I didn't own at the time, unfortunately the model was a big chunk of white texture (I was still using vanilla assets) but after switching areas game client quickly downloaded the model and viola the sword became all nice and shiny. If I remember correctly GW could also download patches during area exploration and apply them on the fly (don't know if wow could do that though) so yeah good thing 2005 is back.

I can see this leading to every gun being nerfed into the ground until it takes about a minute of solid shooting somebody to kill, people complaining about this, dev's patching damage all the way back up again, and the process starting all over again xD

All that in one day probably :3

That's very cool but I can see that as being kind of a pain in the ass for some players. If you run in knowing exactly how much damage your weapon will do and it fails to do that because of a no-warning update, there's going to be some frustration.

vrbtny:
I can see this leading to every gun being nerfed into the ground until it takes about a minute of solid shooting somebody to kill, people complaining about this, dev's patching damage all the way back up again, and the process starting all over again xD

All that in one day probably :3

My hope? We won't get embarrassing bullshit like all those children insulting and threatening developers for saying they changed a reload time for a gun. Hopefully this can remove the need for even making posts about it and people will just play and not notice the major changes.

343 already implemented a version of this in Halo 4. Looks like these guys need to play catch up.

yeah, hotfixes are not a new thing, but maybe they're building it so that more things are hotfixable?

 

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