Developer Letter 3 — 05/28/20

Dear community,

Welcome to the third iteration of our developer letter. In this letter we are going to provide an ETA, reveal more features and even show some ingame footage from the open beta! To begin with, we are pleased to announce that Xero open beta is estimated to launch in approximately 4 weeks from now. We are planning to launch with a new website, new ingame interface and a ton of gameplay improvements.

We thank you all for your continued support, the amount of positive feedback we have received following the previous developer letter was simply astonishing. Your patience, passion and love for this game allowed us to take it to the next level with high spirits, and now the sky is the limit! That said, today we will delve even deeper into the open beta, you will also get to see some of the concepts we've shown ingame for the very first time! As always though, make sure you read the previous developer letters if you haven't before you proceed with this one if you want to learn more about our road so far.

Open Beta Information

The open beta will be used as a testing ground for new features, user progression, balancing, performance and overall gameplay. The testing period is expected to run for a couple of months before full release, during that time we will be actively working on the full game and fixing any issues that come up.

Regarding account progression, when open beta ends accounts will be wiped and prepared for launch. However, the accounts or clans you create will remain accessible, and the currency (PEN / ZP) you earn during the open beta will also carry on with a potential % increase. You will have all the reason to keep playing and we will have all the data we need to provide you with an even better experience on full release.

And finally, the game will be receiving updates on a weekly basis, from new features to new weapons and cosmetics, we are constantly looking forward to your feedback!

Player and clan name reservation

To help prevent name monopoly on open beta launch we decided to provide a name reservation service and give everyone a chance to reserve their previous player or clan names if they choose to.

The service is temporary and will only last until open beta starts, giving everyone an opportunity and some time before a name potentially becomes unavailable.

Please note that this is a paid service, it is completely optional and contributes exclusively towards server costs. To reserve a player or clan name, all you need to do is head to the reservation page and select the plan you would like to purchase. We also provide a player and clan name check for insurance.

Server

Room master will receive a major change in the upcoming open beta. Instead of the host belonging to the master for the entirety of the game, it will instead cycle between team alpha and beta after scoring, giving it randomly to one of the two players with the lowest ping on that specific team and allowing both teams to hold the room host equally throughout the match.

A 30 seconds timer was implemented for an ongoing match's room lobby. Staying in a room's lobby while the match is being played for longer than 30 seconds will now result in a kick, clearing up spots and allowing active players with the intent of playing to join.

Balancing

As mentioned in the previous developer letter, we made it our mission to counter macros. As of now all hardcore macro situations have either been nerfed or completely neutralized. Here is a list of the affected gameplay mechanics:

Speed Counter: Nerfed slightly.
Speed Counter + CS Block: Nerfed heavily.
Airwalk: Nerfed slightly.
Airwalk + CS Block: Nerfed heavily.
Reload Cancel: Completely removed.

The removal of reload cancel may come as a surprise for everyone, however a new game breaking bug was discovered and it stems from what makes reload cancel possible.

Neden-3's bridge received a change to its respawn timer, it now respawns in 2.5 seconds instead of 30, preventing the scenario that locks a team out of the warehouse after scoring. Overall this should lead to a more balanced gameplay experience on this map.

Balancing overall is still being tweaked and perfected, we are on constant communication and running test games with top unlimited and swords only players to ensure a near perfect balance on open beta release.

Visual

This category seems to be the most popular one within the community, we hope that what you see next continues that tradition!

We believe some game footage is finally in order, please take a look.

Now let's break it down!

The footage starts with our loading screen, it is also the first thing you'll see when you start the game. The loading screen is based on 4K resolution, here is the concept in full size.

What comes next is a solid look at the ingame interface, during the upscaling process to 4K, it was completely overhauled. We also use our very own custom font now so there is no need for placeholders anymore! Here are some comparisons.

We then proceed to hit the "ESC" button and bring down the new pause menu, it is designed with future-proofing in mind for any and all sorts of features you'll be able to access while playing as development progresses, here is the concept in full size.

After showing off what is more or less static interface elements, we start running towards the fumbi. During the remaining part of the sequence we showcase multiple features that should provide players with a more immersive gameplay experience.

The first one being the optional SP meter that appears next to your ammo bar, it appears when your SP is either regenerating or being depleted and fades out when it's inactive.

Then there is the ammo bar, while it may not be obvious in the footage provided, your ammo bar is now dynamic and changes color based on the amount of ammo you have left in your weapon.

In the end we showcase the new TD animation, finalizing the full switch from green to blue team as it should have always been.

Now to top it off we'd like to show off two more concepts coming in the open beta!

The first one is halftime, which is now completely revamped! With the stars and waves animated, the scene should give you a relaxing view as you wait to get back in action! In this preview, "Character 1" is selected and "Character 2" is hovered on.

And finally we close it out with the legacy interface, a modern revamp of the original. As always, we are constantly trying to bring you new features and improvements, but at the same time we are keen on preserving the nostalgic identity of the game, and for that reason we made it optional to experience Xero with the classic layout.

That concludes today's developer letter. Hope you're as excited as we are for the open beta! A launch post will follow this one in the near future, stay tuned and see you soon!

Xero Team

Developer Letter 3 - Xero