If there’s one thing to take away from this generation, it’s that a constant barrage of balancing patches and online fixes is a downright annoyance, with games being updated after launch, meaning that you’ll need to wait for a download before playing.
Thankfully, Guerrilla Games are hoping to solve this issue in the next generation with PS4 launch title Killzone Shadow Fall, as they’ll be able to update the game and balance weapons “on the fly” if they feel as though the gameplay demands so, as they stated in an interview with OPM:
“What we can do now for example, is in multiplayer, we can track all the weapons. So if a specific weapon is overpowered, 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.”
He says that there will still be patches however, with content – such as how a weapon looks – needing to be included in a patch. If it’s just the variables such as weapon balance or how it fires, then that can all be done server-side.
OPM also asked lead designer Eric Boltjes how their PlayGo streaming tech worked, essentially allowing you to play the game while it’s still downloading:
“Basically how that works is that we’ve split up our engine in such away instead that instead of having to have everything to work you can download parts of it. And a large part of the game is obviously the weapons and gameplay mechanics.
“So before you can start playing we have to look at, well, what does the first level contain? Well it contains these enemy types, these weapons, these textures, these sounds etc.
“We make a package out of that, and that’s the first bit you download which is a lot smaller than the entire game. So once you have that part and where it gets really interesting is that level 2 might have the same enemies types, just a few extra. So to play level 2 it’s actually not a lot more data to download. After you’ve done that first initial download, you start playing level 1, in the background it’s downloading level 2, level 3, level 4, depending on how fast your internet connection is. Hopefully, there’s going to be wait times, but hopefully there’ll be a lot less wait times than having to download the whole game.”
I’m really liking all of this stuff for next generation, it seems as though they’re really advancing and cleaning up the few mistakes this generation made, as it was born in the infancy of online play on consoles. It’s not quite no patches but it’s definitely less, and that’s a good thing.
Source: OPM UK