Closed Beta Recap & What's Next

Greetings LEAP Mercs!

We’ve spent the last few days reviewing an enormous amount of data and feedback from the beta test last week. Thank you once again for taking part and sharing your experiences with us. We wanted to provide a development update and overview of what’s coming to the game in the near future.

When designing LEAP, our goal was to create a fun, visually striking, high-octane gaming experience with few boundaries or roadblocks. The idea was to combine thrilling movement mechanics that let you go anywhere, with large and interesting worlds designed to encourage all kinds of crazy combat opportunities. We think last week's beta test was a great starting point and an example of how it can all come together.


At LEAP’s current stage of development, changes are often made as subtle nudges without mention of numerical value, in an attempt to shift focus from the raw numbers to the raw experience. With that said, let’s go over some of the key areas we are focusing on.


Gameplay Pacing & Player Counts

Gameplay pacing varied quite a bit, depending on the skill level of players in a server and total player count. For some players, jumping into a 60 player server with abilities and explosions constantly going off was too disorienting and we’d like to ensure players can have a smoother experience with the game.

You may have noticed that on day two of the test, we lowered the max player counts across all maps and game modes. This was an experiment to see if smaller player numbers helped to reduce clutter and the feeling of chaos in a match. This helped to a degree, and we are still evaluating the optimal player counts. Ultimately, we’d like to support both large and small battles, both can be a ton of fun when teams are fairly balanced.


Abilities

Expect the Pathfinder’s shield to be less spammable and less visually obstructing. In addition to this, many other high-power, difficult to track abilities have been adjusted to provide fewer frustrating deaths for players on the receiving end. Some cooldown times have increased to reduce the frequency (Airstrikes for example, these were way too common in high population matches).


Performance

We’ve put a huge focus on improving both server and client performance. This beta test was our first time seeing the game played by thousands of players and it revealed some key issues that we are focused on. We’ve already completed a big sweep and you should see some strong performance improvements with the next update. This process is ongoing so expect more and more improvements as we continue towards release.


HUD

The ingame HUD can be too complex and difficult to read and we’ve done a small overhaul to improve this design. Check out the image below to see a before and after comparison.




Team Balance

Team balance systems, as well as related systems for mitigating spawn-camping opportunities will be implemented as well. The beta test actually revealed a major issue with how players join and leave a match, essentially leaving behind ‘ghost’ players which would artificially fill up a team, resulting in teams sometimes having far more players than the opposing team. This is being fixed, in addition to a change to home base spawns.


Previously, players had one spawn point to choose from which made it too easy for an enemy team to block you in at your home base. Now, we are giving multiple spawn point options at your home base, making it much more difficult for an attacking team to trap you in your own base.



Balance Changes

We have made minor adjustments to many general weapons and abilities, with the general intended meta: accurate, skill-based weapons should be crisp and rewarding, and our strong, area-of-effect weapons should be quite accessible to casual playstyles without being too infuriating to die to. Player survival should be enhanced through the reduction of time players remain spotted, and reduction in the player’s base radar radius to find enemies. We made some gentle tuning adjustments to several weapons’ distance-based damage falloff, which should shift their effective ranges.


Everything Else

We are improving the “join game” experience and other menu/UI quirks, map-based issues, aesthetic/cosmetic items, and lots of bug fixes. There are also brand new cosmetic store items coming through every day for players to enjoy. In these and many more ways we continue to grow and improve the game, elevating underwhelming systems and easing ones that hinder overall enjoyment.

Ultimately, our goal is to provide the community with an exciting, rewarding, unforgettable game, which is familiar yet unique, accessible for all, and elevates the standards for the genre as a whole. Thanks for your participation so far, and we look forward to seeing you on the field of battle!


We always want to hear from our community members, if that's over social or through our community Discord.


If you want to take part in future playtests please sign up by clicking the link: Playtest Signups


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