Crucible Team Lead Colin Johanson started off today’s developer blog video by acknowledging that there’s been a “great response to the premise and promise of Crucible” but also a lot of “feedback that the game needs more work at this time.” That pretty much sums up my personal view of the game, so what’s to be done?
The game will stay in its “pre-season” mode “until those features and polish that have been identified by the community are completed.” A public development roadmap is forthcoming, with the Heart of the Hives mode being pushed as the “core experience of Crucible.” In fact, it’s going to be such a focus that the Alpha Hunters mode will be retired in the near future, and “down the road, when we feel that the onboarding process to the game is better,” Harvester Control will also be removed. This will allow the team to re-work the map with just one game mode in mind, as opposed to having to cater to the needs of all three.
Development will have two main focuses: building and iterating on core game systems and “raising the overall quality bar” on several others. Many of those features were talked about in last week’s developer video, and Johanson added to the list things like custom games and tournaments, Steam friends list integration, better frame rate and hit recognition — and a mini-map! Hallelujah!
Johanson finished the dev blog by insisting that “We’re not going anywhere,” despite the game’s lackluster arrival and continually diminishing player count. That’s what he has to say, but the proof will be if we’re still talking about the game in a year’s time. Given its rocky start, I think that’s still an iffy proposition.