Two weeks after Respawn launched Titanfall 2, the studio's community management arm is experimenting with obfuscating balance patch details in a purported effort to avoid influencing player expectations.
Devs should pay attention to how this goes, especially anyone working (or thinking about working) on a live game with regular updates. While Respawn is continuing to let players know which things in the game have changed with each patch, when it comes to things like Titan rebalancing it's abstaining from providing specifics -- like say, how much damage a given Titan can take or how fast it moves.
"The reason why we are not giving you folks specific details on the balancing is because we want you to just play and feel it out and let us know if it works," wrote Respawn community manager Jay Frechette last week in the comments of a Reddit post about a new Titanfall 2 patch. "Telling you numbers and details could color your expectations before you play and then you're going into the game with a set perception."
Speaking to Waypoint, Frechette said the idea originated with Titanfall 2 producer Drew McCoy and suggested it might help cut down on instances of players responding negatively to a patch (and the developers who implemented it) before trying it.
""If I tell people up front 'Hey, we lowered Tone's shield wall by 20 percent,' you're going to have a lot of people, before they even play the game, say 'But the 40mm cannon is too strong!' or 'Her salvo core is too powerful!'" Frechette said. "They're already going into the game thinking that Respawn did it wrong, they didn't address the issue that I feel they should have addressed. They're already going into it with some negativity."