The most recent community feedback survey was sent out last week and the results are in! Covering the main aspects of the update from gameplay changes to map performance we wanted to get a decent idea of how new additions and changes were viewed. We are committed to being as transparent as possible so we present the results of the survey so you can see exactly how the community feels about our most recent update.
As usual our first point to address was how the community received the update in it's entirety. The first question gave us a good idea of the time players had invested in the game up to now. With 44% having less than 50 hours in the game, the majority of submissions have more than 50 hours, meaning most of the respondents have a good understanding of the game.
Question two cut right to the chase to see how you rated our most recent update. Thankfully - the overwhelming majority rated this expansion highly, as over 75% of responses stating the update was good or excellent. While there is a number who are undecided or haven't enjoyed the update, our later questions allowed us to get a better understanding of why these players felt this way and gives us an idea of areas to improve in the future.
Out of interest we asked how many hours the players had accumulated in game since Operation III release. With the intention to gauge the longevity of the content and changes recently made we can see that a large majority had players more than 5 hours in the passed two weeks. 31% had just under 5 hours, with many stating reasons such as low player numbers or personal commitments preventing them from investing more time.
An important metric for the development team is seeing if players experience in-game has improved with the update, and the responses fed-back that the direction the game was moving is in the right direction. 74% of respondents stated their experience has been better with this update, reinforcing the team's confidence that Beyond The Wire is improving with each update.
The next section of the survey sought to drill down on some specific gameplay changes that were made with Operation III. The first item to address was the refactor of rally points, now called Spawn Points. These changes prompted a new interaction from players in order to disable enemy spawn points. We have been glad to see that this change is a welcome one, with 70% saying this system was better, with just 5.4% stating they preferred the old system, and 24.6% needing more time to decide.
Question two broached the subject of Main Spawn points which have been reverted to an older system where they would remain static rather than moving up with each sector won. With this change having such an impact on gameplay flow many players (35.7%) understandably need more time to decide if this was an improvement, while a larger share (36.4%) responded the previous system was better. Finally 27.9% said this was a better way to spawn. With the consensus being divided in such a way it shows the system needs more time to bed in before making any more major changes.
A topic that has been debated across the community was the inclusion of a delicate lighting effect on player silhouette's which has gone through several revisions up to now. Aiming to help target acquisition on night layers the effect has been tweaked and is now at a point where a majority find the effect to help, with just 22% finding the glow to be too bright. This shows that there may be room for more tweaking to strike the right balance.
Another hot topic has been the on-going changes to weapon handling, and specifically sway values. After recently revising the values back to an earlier build most players responded that we're in a good spot. While 35% of players said they hadn't noticed these changed, 40% prefer it while 24% preferred the old sway values. Again some changes and tweaks should be expected in order to find the right spot for the majority.
A side effect of the weapon handling changes will be the engagement distances players experience in-game. Fortunately the changes in Operation III have had the desired effect and the distances players have been engaging is closer than before. An overwhelming 81.5% of responses stated the distances had been closer since Op III release which is reassuring for the game design team and the direction of the game.
A follow-up to the engagement distances sought to survey player's usage of our melee system. As the melee system continues to be a core pillar of the game we have been encouraged to see the majority of players using their clubs, knives and bayonets. 34.2% of responses stated they use melee all the time, 54.8% said they use it sometimes while 11.1% rarely or never get into melee combat.
Another change that was introduced with Operation III was a new layout design for objectives in the Assault game mode. 59.5% of players said the changes were enjoyable while 12.5% stated they were not enjoying them. The final 28.1% said they hadn't noticed the changes to the gamemode.
Next up we looked at the new maps as well as take another poll on the community's favourite map. Vimy Ridge and Vieil Armand were the new maps introduced with this update and we wanted to see how their performance had been. An almost even split of 51%/49% showed that each map had their own issues and would need equal attention in coming updates for optimization and improvements.
An interesting poll which we try to include with each survey is the community's sentiment towards our library of maps. The intention here is to see which Fields of Battle are favoured, meaning our level design and environment art departments can expand on the good and extrapolate certain features to new and existing maps.
1. Zonnebeke 21.8%
2. Vimy Ridge 17.7%
3. Chateau-Thierry 14.1%
4. Poelcappelle 9.9%
5. Vieil Armand 9.1%
6. Ansoncourt 8.3%
7. Frise 5.8%
8. Cantigny 5.5%
9. Sechault 4.7%
10. Combles 3%
Lastly the topic of performance was addressed as effort towards optimization, stability and general performance are on-going. While 24.7% had noticed a decrease in performance listing issues such as game crashes and Easy Anti-Cheat errors, 33.9% had noticed an improvement while 41.4% noted the game performed the same which is somewhat reassuring given the introduction of new content and systems.
As always we are thankful for everyone who took the time to complete this survey as it gives our development team the best idea to how the community responds to all the changes and additions that are being made. With more updates and expansions on the way we will continue to survey the community sentiment on the game's direction and overall experience. See you in the trenches Soldier!