Even though the game has been out in stores for a while, Guerrilla remains committed to keeping Killzone 2 one of the strongest multiplayer experiences for PLAYSTATION 3. This week sees the release of Patch 1.27, which introduces a number of tweaks based on direct feedback from the Killzone community. We sat down with Eric Boltjes, Guerrilla’s Lead Multiplayer Designer, to walk us through the most important changes and the reasons for their implementation.
First of all, Eric, can you run us through the highlights of Patch 1.27?
Sure! Most importantly, we’ve added functionality to make the process of finding and playing with friends much easier, tweaked the Skirmish Mode to keep it interesting for players with lower-bandwidth network connections, introduced a new ‘High Precision’ option to the controller configuration menu, and improved the overall balance of the game. There’s also a host of smaller changes as well, but I’ll save that for the change log.
Let’s start with the first one: finding and playing with friends. How has that been changed?
We’ve examined how party systems work and added similar functionality to our game where possible. The ‘Join Friend’ option has been changed so that the player can automatically join a friend’s faction and squad – even if faction balancing is on. In addition, squads and their factions are now persistent over multiple games, so friends can keep playing together continuously.
You said the Skirmish Mode been tweaked – can you explain?
Well, we’ve decided to unlock all the badges in Skirmish Mode. Considering that the game has been out for a while, and that many players have already reached the rank of General, we believe this is a nice way for players with lower-bandwidth network connections to experience the full range of weapons and abilities available in the Warzone.
Control-wise, what exactly does the new ‘High Precision’ option do?
When this option is switched on, it makes the analog sticks more responsive to small movements. Turned off, the controls behave exactly as they did before the patch. It’s not a radical overhaul of the control system, so the layout and the ‘weight’ of the controls remain the same.
Still, a lot of us here at Guerrilla really enjoy the new High Precision option, so we’ve decided to switch it on by default for new players. Existing Killzone 2 players will have the option turned off by default after patching – we wouldn’t want to force a sudden change to the controls on you!
How have you improved the overall balance of the game?
For starters, Patch 1.27 allows players to switch factions manually if the factions are unbalanced. If the factions consist of, say, 13 players versus 11 players, a player from the largest faction can manually switch over to make it an even 12 versus 12. Switching in the other direction is not allowed, so players from the smaller team can’t defect to the larger team if the battle doesn’t go their way. Players who switch over retain all their points, but squad affiliations will of course be lost.
Furthermore, we’ve removed the temporary invulnerability awarded to players who spawn at a spawn point other than the base camp. The players will still be safe at their own base camp, but custom-placed or mission-based spawn points do not yield temporary invulnerability anymore. This will hopefully give opposing players already at this location a fair chance.
Finally, we’ve made a couple of changes to the Badge abilities. The Assault Badge, for instance, was deemed too powerful by many players – so we tweaked down its Armor ability from 100 hit points to 50 hit points. The Tactician Badge’s secondary ability (to request air support from a Sentry Bot) has also been tweaked to make the Sentry Bot more useful. It can aim more accurately now, and its health is a little higher as well. To make it even more useful, we’ve reduced the way automated turrets target them, so they’re not shot down as fast. It should certainly make the Air Support Specialist ribbon easier to obtain!
Thank you for your time, Eric!
Thank you, and thanks to all the Killzone 2 fans out there! We hope this patch demonstrates our continued support and dedication to Killzone 2. Stay tuned for more downloadable content and more tweaks coming in the near future!
Eric Boltjes, Lead Multiplayer Designer, Guerrilla Games