Since the release of the Lost Planet multiplayer demo on Xbox Live marketplace on November 23, Capcom has received an amazing amount of feedback and suggestions for the online portion of the game. Our development team has been listening and has not only already made several key changes, but will also be working on a patch that will be available when the game launches in Europe and North America on January 12. The fixes will mostly address Lobby and Matchmaking functionality of the game, adding some elements not included in the demo (as always, demos are a work in progress) and slightly revising others.
Some of these changes had already been anticipated by the team and were included in the final gold master of the game. Others have come straight from the hundreds of thousands of people playing the multiplayer demo. Capcom has been reading boards, emails and blogs, collecting thoughts and ideas directly from our growing community. Capcom would like to thank all of those people who have taken the time to share their thoughts on Lost Planet; the game is now that much stronger for it.
We recently let people know that the team had fixed text display for players with standard definition TVs. The Lobby and Matchmaking system will undergo some major updates to the systems seen in the Multiplayer Demo, based on user feedback. Changes include:
- Private slots can be set by host
- Invite friends to a match
- Number of players in a room will be displayed next to name of the room
- Players will not be kicked all the way out to the main menu if they try to join a full game
- New button allows players to refresh the match list without going out to the main menu and selecting Quick Match again
- Players will now go to a post-game lobby at the end of a match, not kicked back to the main menu
- The ability to replay a match with the same group without leaving the post-game lobby
- Cycling maps on replayed matches when map selection is set to Random
- Text size on the team selection screen will be greatly increased when using non-HD resolutions.
- When manual team selection is set to ON, players will have 20 seconds to form teams.
- The time limit on each match will be maxed out at 60 minutes, instead of the current unlimited time.
- A playerís custom match criteria will now be saved.
Full details on all these great new additions follow.
In the demo version of Lost Planet, selecting Player Match presents three options: Quick Match for searching for all available games, Custom Match for defining search criteria to search for specific game types, and Create Match to create and host a match. This step remains the same in the final version.
Searching for a game brings up a list of open matches. This screen will undergo a number of changes.
First of all, due to user feedback, next to the name of each host hosting a match will be a readout of the number of players already in the room compared to the maximum number of players allowed, so players will know how full a room is before they enter.
The second update will be that if the player tries to enter a room that has been closed or where the match has already begun, the player will not be forced back out to the first player match menu to then re-search for games.. Rather, the player will be able to immediately browse and select a different session to join.
There will also be a button set to allow the player to Refresh the match list without having to perform a Quick Match search again.
Post Game Lobby, Rematches and Friend Invites
The second major area to receive an update based on user feedback is the addition of a post-game lobby where players can rematch. We heard you.
Currently in the demo, after a match is over the scores are shown. This screen shows the team placement for Team Elimination matches, as well as individual rankings and points, and the userís own stats such as Kills and Deaths. When players exit this screen, they are taken back to the Online menu where they can select Ranked or Player match or any of the other menu options (Ranked and other options are currently greyed out in the demo).
However the game will be updated to give all players in a match the option to play again with the same players. If the player that hosted the match opts not to play again, the game will be closed and all players will have to search for a new match to join. But if the match host opts to continue and rematch, anyone else who elects to rematch will be taken back to the hostís lobby, and the match will be open for new players to join.
Rematches will use the same match settings as originally set, including the stage. However, if the stage is set to Random, this will select a new stage at random with each match, much like Gears of War cycles through the stages in order when the stage is set to Custom Cycle. So players can continue to play with the same game type and same people, letting the game switch the stage each time. In order to change the game settings, the match must be disbanded and created again with the desired settings, just like in Gears of War.
Additionally, one option available in the retail release but not seen in the demo version is the ability to invite friends and reserve slots through Private Slots.
When setting up a match, the host will have the ability to reserve Private Slots for friends up to the max number of allowed players to allow Friends special access. With this, it is possible to hold completely private matches, and matches with enough slots for friends with room for additional players.
Combined with the Rematch option, players will be able to stick with their friends through multiple games.
So, if you wanted a fully private game in a party setting, all a host would have to do is specify that all 16 slots are reserved for friends and invite them in, set the map to random, and enjoy your session. If you wanted a semi-private game, but wanted to max out or increase the number of players beyond that of your friends, you can do that too by specifying a lower number of players for friend slots and letting Xbox Live fill in the rest.
Team Formation Changes
The next major set of updates is being made to the match launch countdown screen.
First of all, it was noted that the text for the Gamertags listed in the middle of the screen, showing which team each player is on with the option to change teams (when the Change Team option is turned on, something that was not available in the demo but that will be available in the final version), is currently small and difficult to read on SDTVs. The size of the text will be increased dramatically. However the development team has noted that in the event a game, such as Fugitive, has 1 player versus 15, the 15 names for the one team may spill over to outside the list area and possibly cover up the team name. But this unavoidable issue is minor and most likely will not be a probably for the majority of matches.
Additionally, another point that was raised regarding the match launch countdown screen was team selection. Currently there is no team switching available in the Demo version. However in the final version, the team selection will take place on this screen. Players will be able to press the button corresponding to the team they wish to join (2~4 teams).
When team switching is set to ON, the countdown timer will give participants 20 seconds to finalize teams on this screen. When team switching is set to OFF, players will be given 10 seconds to view the team list and confirm team sides and teammates.
The Lost Planet Team