With the second round of closed beta testing for The Cycle: Frontier wrapping up last month, it’s time for Yager to process the test’s results and player feedback, and share what it’s learned and what it’s planning in a recent dev update video.
The video, with executive producer Jonathan Lindsay, generally calls the last testing round “intense” and a good learning experience while also expressing his pleasure with the engagement numbers of the shooter. However, he does call to attention three major pain points brought up by players: the game being too unfair and difficult, bad stability and performance, and issues with onboarding and the user experience, all of which Lindsay discusses one by one in the video.
Starting with difficulty adjustments, The Cycle will now feature a new logarithmic power curve (rather than a linear one) that will grant big power level jumps at the interim and then incremental min-maxing power improvements at later levels; spawning in won’t be visible on the map to reduce spawn killing; and PvE encounters are being tuned down in terms of AI stealth detection and chasing time. Lindsay also brings up solo vs. squad complaints, repeating matchmaking fixes that are in the works.
On the subject of stability, Lindsay admits that the 16,000 concurrent players in the test caused some problems including network disconnects and progression resets. Here Lindsay promises that more backend work has been done to improve newtork performance and that these problems are now “solved” in his own words. Graphical performance is also being addressed, with the team finding the root problems and working to fix them.
Finally, Lindsay talks about the user experience and onboarding problems, with promised improvements like keeping new players out of matches with experienced ones, making the sell feature and its importance more obvious, and fixing the non-functional friends list.
The video closes with Lindsay saying these improvements are far along and that the team is “very close” to launching The Cycle; a release date or release window isn’t announced, but Lindsay does see launch as happening soon. “The main thing is we don’t want to just rush this out,” he says. “We want to make sure that we’re happy with it and that you [the players] are super happy with it.”