As you can imagine this week's big focus has been the beta release of the CQC update on PC and Mac. This update includes a number of changes which need hammering by you wonderful beta testers. As can be expected there are certain features that really need mass testing to shake out any issues.
CQC Championship is the headline feature and as well as the matches themselves the matchmaking system is a different system to that used on the Xbox One and so needs as much of a hammering as you guys and gals can give to it.
The background sim has also had a range of updates, in particular reducing cooldown periods which will help make changes quicker. With the addition of more player groups that should make things a lot more dynamic across human space. Any groups participating on the beta should give these a good testing so we can make sure they behave as we expect them to. We've started a thread for discussion and feedback on this here:
As always the audio team have been busy, not only with supporting the new content (for example there is a new music system for CQC), but updating and tweaking issues in the game. They've worked hard on optimisations to address some specific audio performance issues.
We were very pleased to hear that this year we have been nominated for 4 Golden Joystick Awards which is marvellous. We've been nominated for Best Audio, Best Gaming Moment (entering hyperspace), Studio of the Year and Best PC Game. I hope we can count on your votes! And you can vote your support here:
The process for the beta is changing as well. The period of beta testing will extend to two weeks to gain more coverage. We will issue more builds during this phase, the number of which will depend on the issues encountered during the test. We're also adding a stage of mass testing before releasing the update. This will work in a similar fashion to the gamma phase before launch and will be available to all players to help stress test the game and the servers. Like the beta, this will take place on the test servers and no progress will be carried over but the benefit is that all players get to practice their close Quarter Combat skills before the official release (where having ready honed skills may work in your favour).
We have identified an interaction between the launcher and the game that may have caused some stuttering issues on some people's machines. The new launcher will be released when 1.4 has completed its test process and released. We are still investigating other possible causes.
For the Xbox One we are currently preparing a GPP3 release which will bring the Xbox One version into line with the current beta build. This includes a number of changes to improve matchmaking and we're looking for useful feedback on those in the wild. All changes for this build are encapsulated in the change log released for PC/Mac beta build.