July 3rd Update: Community Server Fixes and Feature Improvements

(Chris Mullins) #1

In this update we’re fixing a selection of issues with Community Servers and made a few small tweaks around the place


Warmup Auto Shuffle

Earlier this year we asked you which shuffle method you prefer and it was pretty unanimous. We’re now happy to say this is being implemented, however we’re also taking it one step further:

  • Before the map intro videos play, if team balance can be improved the game will automatically perform a shuffle
  • If teams are imbalanced by more than one player at this time, a shuffle will happen to make team numbers equal

By adding in these improvements match balance should improve significantly and no match should start with team numbers unbalanced (i.e. 5 vs 3). This feature has also been added as an option in Community Servers.

Merc Stacking Cooldowns - Community Servers

Merc Stacking is a common complaint and while we would love to solve this issue, it’s not as black and white an issue as it may seem. In order to make steps towards resolving this we’re adding a new feature to Community Servers which increases the cooldown of Merc abilities when multiple Mercs are being used on the same team at the same time:

  • For every duplicate Merc ability cooldowns are increased by 50% (This only applies to the original cooldown duration)

There are some special cases as different abilities work in different ways:

  • Mercs that have multiple uses of an ability (Ammo and Med Packs, Sticky Bombs, Proxy Mines etc.) - The penalty applies to every instance of the ability used
  • Mercs that have an ability that lasts a certain duration (Phantom’s Cloak, Redeye’s IR Goggles etc.) - The penalty is applied and scales appropriately according to the duration of the ability used
  • Mercs that have weapon abilities which can overheat (Rhino’s Minigun, Sparks REVIVR) - The duration of the ability does not change, but the cooldown timer is affected by stacking penalties if overheated



  • Fixed issue where server admins could be vote kicked from the server
  • Fixed issue where unbanned players could not reconnect to a community server until the active match had finished
  • Fixed issue where long server names were cut off in the server lobby
  • Fixed issue where the game would crash when returning to the main menu from a match lobby (Speculative fix. We’ll continue to monitor this closely)
  • Fixed issue where there was no confirmation to use RADs when all Contracts had been completed and no re-roll tokens remained


  • Ability cooldown times aren’t accurately represented when Merc Stacking Cooldowns are active - For example, if an ability has a 60 second cooldown and a second of the same Merc connects that cooldown will now take 90 seconds, but the cooldown timer will still show 60 and each second will display for 1.5 seconds

(Chris Mullins) #2

(Press E) #3

An entire shuffle for a team that’s 2 players down?? That usually doesn’t last longer than 30 seconds before someone else joins. 3 people down sure, but having a player and their friend leave a server shouldn’t shuffle over everyone jesus, that’s just going to be a nightmare, especially in PUBs where people constantly come and go

(XsnipergirlX) #4

It says “Warm Up Auto Shuffle” so I am sure this is for when the server balances matches like 8v6, 7v4, etc.

(Chris Mullins) #5

This will happen before the match starts. Edited the notes to make this clearer

(Press E) #6

Oh thank god, I nearly had a heart attack lol

(Chris Mullins) #7

Could you imagine a shuffle every time a match went imbalanced by two players? D: It would be terrible. I know we make some questionable decisions, but give us some credit :wink:

(Press E) #8

It’s okay, love you shoe <3
thanks for the crashing fix, I’ll jump on to test it out when I can!

(K1X455) #9

The approach to Merc Stacking solution can be improved.

  • A lower scoring player with a duplicate merc in a team can be given a server message saying that his/her abilities are curtailed (flashing amber icons on abilities, or a server message that scrolls across his view screen that he stacked an existing merc; which will annoy the F of fng)
  • Players joining an ongoing match should be warned of bringing in a merc that has a potential to stack with another player (ie, double Artys, Skyhammers, Kiras, Phantoms, Auras, etc); This can be an issue for new players who have very little choice of mercs due to mercs on rotation and their unlocked mercs. A highlight of unlocked non-stacking mercs in the menu can be implemented, however if a veteran player mains a merc, his XP on the merc can be gained towards who can get priority for choosing the merc; which is a potential can of worms for players who keep playing with the same group cause he’ll get marginalised into other mercs he might not prefer to play (ie, Aura).
  • Scaling of ability cooldowns on stacked mercs has a detrimental effect on public games. It would be a good idea to remove this feature for now because stacked mercs are already penalised.
  • We need 7 more mercs across 5 merc classes (2 on Obj Specialist, 2 on Assault Class, the rest gets 1 each) to broaden the choice of mercs :grin:

(SckatCat) #10

Aw yis. No longer will I be fighting 4v6

(Your worst knifemare.) #11

Now stacking 3 Arty’s on chapel will be punished :guardian:

(Jigstraw) #12

The only thing i’m worried about (and it’s probably only because of the phrasing) is abilities that are shared by multiple different mercs.

The post says “for every duplicate ability…” but i’m not sure if this applies to, for example, having both an arty and a skyhammer, or both stoker and kira. Will the ammo pack/ammo station cooldowns be penalized? They’re technically duplicate abilities, just not duplicate mercs.

(DarkangelUK) #13

Those arent duplicate abilities though, arty strikes arent skyhammer air strikes.

(Freadanator) #14

Uhm, several little VERY big questions about the merc stacking.

So this will punish every duplicate merc right? Even those who have a main squad that they roll as? What happens if every mec they have is currently being played and one of the mercs that is being used is doing the worst on the team and because of they they want to help, but now there’s two pheonix’s.? Just quit and find another game?

Honestly this is a pretty poor move, it should not be so bare bones as there’s so many things that can make a huge difference, and just having two of the same merc is not that bad, but having more already starts punishing the team as they can do less now. It doesn’t help that the roster is so small either. And you have lock in as three mercs. It should be removed for now and revised and held in the back pocket until there is more options.

Oop, hit the wrong reply button. Sorry about that.

(Jigstraw) #15

you stopped reading too soon, i was talking about ammo packs and ammo stations being shared, not airstrikes/arty strikes.

Sky and Arty both have ammo packs, and Stoker and Kira both have ammo stations.

(DarkangelUK) #16

Right I get you now sorry, quick skim read.

(Thisoneguy) #17

Merc penalty is garbage. Then the option to pick mercs should be after teams are dicided as to prevent duplicates, you know, like in overwatch. Just go all the way and restrict more than one person using the same mercy all together, like overwatch. Not like people pay for or grind for the mercs anyway.

(AlbinMatt) #18

Everything sounds nice, but Merc stacking penalties seem to be quite poorly done, in my opinion.

Honestly, it just violates all of our muscle memories to mess up cooldowns. And 50% might be nothing forercs like Phoenix or Aura that either has low cooldowns or has persistent abilities, but getting knocked with a 90 second cooldown on a Skyhaggis Strike would be infuriating. I could repair that rusty, tetanus ridden, EV without an engineering degree multiple times in that one and a half minute. (Sure, you could have Kiras or Arts, but they could be stacked just as well).

Oh, and if anyone missed the recent pandemonium over medics, adding more cooldown to a team with less medic options is just going to hurt even more. The two medics meta is still strong for somewhat serious play, which is why mamy of us were clamouring for private servers.

Maybe an XP penalty would work better. Hell, how about allowing us to switch mercs mid game? You could still have the three squad system, just allow us to change them periodically. Maybe have it so that changing a merc costs about one spawn wave worth of time or something.

(_charon_) #19

For sure there is potential for improvment, but statements like “Merc penalty is garbage…quite poorly done…etc” are just counter productive…

Imo this update is a huge surprise. Admitting Merc stacking is a problem a n d making “…steps towards resolving this…” is just amazing :+1:

SDs “…questionable decisions…” over the past 12 months made me almost quit playing after 2000+ hrs. But with launch of community servers and this update it seems, they finally place a stronger emphasis on core gaming experience. Ofc there is still a lot to be done, but for me its a little silver lining :smiley:


I like your idea. That’s the implementation I would go for if I were a dev.
But there’s one problem SD has to overcome first.

Not everyone wants a one-merc rule game. Sure it may be the most enjoyable form of DB but we still have players who enjoy clusterf*** games with merc stacking. Forcing the one-merc rule would be forcing competitive style gameplay on some who would rather just play casual.

The only solution I see to this is by creating a new 5v5 competitive mode and have these rules only apply in that mode. That way players who aren’t interested in 1-merc rule games aren’t forced into it. Lets be crazy and call this new mode Ranked-Redux.

The real question is whether SD would be interested in putting in that kind of effort.