In a recent video update, Crucible franchise leader Colin Johanson addressed the state and future of the game. A few new things were mentioned, including the developers’ plans for organized community events and competitive tournaments to showcase high-level play.
Removing the battle royale mode
That same video update announced something that is bittersweet, but ultimately good for the game – the Alpha Hunters and Harvester Command modes are being phased out. A lot of gaming news sites focused on the removal of these modes, and we can’t deny that angle makes good clickbait.
However, the fact is Crucible is removing the two modes because nobody is playing them. Alpha Hunters offers a scaled down The Cycle style battle royale experience, but the majority of Crucible‘s systems are geared towards more strategic gameplay. And Harvester Command is more or less a tutorial mode.
By channeling all power away from these modes and into the core Heart of the Hives mode, Crucible will improve in the direction its players prefer. This is before we even consider how much better queue times and matchmaking would be with just one mode. As Johanson puts it, by focusing on Heart of the Hives, Crucible‘s developers “don’t have to make compromising design decisions across three different modes,” and can instead deliver “one mode that is phenomenal.”
The video update also confirmed more work is being done towards the promised features coming for the game. Voice and text chat are in the works, as are improvements to the ping system. Notably, Crucible will also have better response systems for AFK players, and it will include a Surrender option – so you don’t have a terrible time just because your team sucks.
The native fauna will also evolve in some way, as Johanson mentioned that the studio is looking at changing the creatures. We don’t know what that means just yet, but we imagine it would make them more dangerous, and add some stakes to the PvE aspect of the game. Currently, creatures are just farm waiting to happen.
Finally, the video update mentions that the studio plans to start running community events and tournaments in order for the the competitive side of Crucible to be showcased. These events are specifically set to come after all the other features and polish are addressed, but they are nevertheless in the works.
Crucible does seem to have a strong foundation for esports. The game’s MOBA-like mechanics create decision-based gameplay. The starting roster of hunters is well designed, with an additional layer of upgrades that will allow competitive balancing without blundering into Overwatch‘s problem of being unable to change any one hero without rattling the entire meta. And there are no dedicated supports or tanks, which means competitive Crucible gameplay will not be artificially constricted by archetypes.
“We are not going anywhere,” Johanson said near the end of the video, adding that Crucible is receiving full support – presumably from Amazon – to keep going for the core community the game has built so far. This is a very deliberately worded message, aimed to address the “dead game” chant that often picks up a few seconds after a new game launch.
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