Echo Arena Kronos Patch Preview
Spectator, Balance, Party, Private Match Updates, & More!
Last week, we at Ready At Dawn were dreaming of stuffing ourselves silly among our friends and family over the long holiday weekend while checking in the finishing touches for one of the biggest Echo Arena patches to date: The Kronos Update. The Kronos Update combines a number of major feature additions, balance updates, and more based on the feedback we’ve heard from you, our community.
Before the update is deployed, we wanted to share a preview of what we’ve been building over the past several weeks and express our thanks for the players that were able to join us in our first Public Test Server to kick the tires on this update and share their thoughts in the post-testing survey. We’re just as excited as you are to finally get this baby out into the wild, and we hope you like the changes!
As always, we’ll be in the Echo Games Discord and you’ll likely see a few of us floating around in game — we can’t wait to hear what you all think.
Players can now become a Spectator in public and private matches. Public matches support up to 4 Spectator players (10 players total in a match), while private matches allow a maximum of 13 players in the Spectator role (in case you’d like to watch a 1-on-1), with a max of 15 players in a private match. The Spectator role provides a unique viewing experience that captures all the action from various different angles including point-of-view, 3rd-person-follow, and disc-follow (as seen in the GIF below).
Spectators can observe a match in VR within their headset, or remove the headset for a 2D experience on their monitor. F1 lists the hotkeys which make it easy to jump from player to player and puts a powerful broadcasting tool right at your fingertips. Watch out, PooNanners and Blu! ;)
Our network engineers have been hard at work to bring you…
- No more mismatched team sizes! Players should no longer find themselves in 2v3 or 1v3 matches. If, for some reason, the match becomes imbalanced after a player quits a single player will be added to the match to re-balance the teams. Otherwise, late join players will always join in pairs.
- Matches will start more quickly once found.
Shiny New Lobby Screens
To replace the blank screens in the Lobby where the Leaderboards used to live, there are now 5 new screens with various pieces of important information such as where to report players violating the Code of Conduct (it’s “firstname.lastname@example.org”), how to catch up on the latest news through our social channels or blog, and a large reminder of the weekly VR Challenger League cups put on by Intel, Oculus, and ESL.
New Barrier Display
The Arena barrier in front of the goal now shows helpful information about the match and updates after a goal is scored to call out who scored it, who assisted, the number of points accrued, the speed at which it entered the goal, and more.
Private Match Updates
Using the podium within the Arena, the Party Leader can now set custom rules for the match such as time and the amount of points each team will start with.
After a Private Match has concluded, the Party Leader can access a podium that has a “Rematch” option to reset the teams to the spawn points and start a new match automatically without first relocating all players back to the Lobby.
Once a private match has begun, it’s now possible to restart the match using the podium in the spawn room.
There is now an option at the end of the match for returning to the Lobby rather than being automatically transitioned.
Team/Role Switching in the Arena
Players can now swap teams (and even move into a Spectator role) on the fly by using the spawn room podium, without needing to first back out to the Lobby or rely on the Party Leader to do so.
Increased Party Sizes to 15 Players
Private matches now support up to 15 players, allowing up to 5v5 matches with up to 5 Spectators. Please note that there are some bugs related to playing with more than 10 players in a party.
We’ve removed the gates preventing entry into the Arena in Private Matches, so now teams can practice against each other in a no-stakes face-off. Please note that goals are disabled in Practice Mode, and Practice Mode will end as soon as one team member on each side marks their team as “Ready” on the podium.
Balance & Game Mechanic Changes
Reworking the Joust
Joust advantage goes to the team that lost the last point. The disc will now spawn closer to the team that lost the last point in front of the top center tube. As a result of this change, the “Joust” award has been removed.
Regrab Timing Increased
The “regrab” timing window for the disc has been increased to .25 seconds from .10 seconds. After a steal, a player won’t be able to regrab the disc back until a certain amount of time has passed.
Piggy-Backing Speed Reduced
Piggy-back riding another player while holding the disc will now apply the 4.7 m/s speed clamp to all players in the chain.
Players will interpolate and extrapolate under high ping to bring players closer together. It will now be easier to anticipate steals and punches.
“Speed Tapping” Removed
1.5m/s speed boost from quick taps off of players and the catapult has been removed.
AFK Timeout Added
Players who have removed their headset for 5 minutes in the Lobby or a private match and 60 seconds in a public match will be disconnected from Echo Arena.
Catapult Grip Break
Players holding onto the catapult ring when it reaches the end of the tube will automatically be detached without needing to let go. No more abrupt stops!
There are a few known issues that accompany this patch; many of which we’re already working on a hotfix that we’ll deploy in the near future.
- Selecting “Back” just before joining a lobby can cause the client to become unresponsive.
- Party members are unable to ready up after the party leader has left their team.
- Party members of a large party can spawn in the other team’s starting area of the Arena.
- Player names constantly flicker on the team lists of the 2D Spectator UI.
- Transitioning into a private match as a Spectator has a higher chance of bugs happening. You can work around this by entering the match as one of the team players, then swapping into the Spectator role using the podium.
- Late-joining party members may not transition out of a private match. Restarting the game client can resolve this issue for that game session.