• News
  • 5 months ago

Season 2 Dev Stream Overview

Hello Lumia Island survivors,

First off, thank you all for watching the Dev Stream even though it is only conducted in Korean and sorry for not being able to provide the English coverage this time. We'd still like to share the highlights of the stream with all of you, our non-Korean speaking players. 
In this overview, we'll be covering only the content related to the upcoming season and the future plans for Eternal Return. Since the first part of the Dev Stream was a review of Eternal Return 1.0's Official Launch, we won't include that part in the Card-News. 

*The information provided in the Card-News is subject to change upon the actual update.


[News] Dev Stream Part 1. Upcoming Changes

We're at a point now where thinking about how we need to change Eternal Return to make sure it's still fun to play in the future is key.
The game has changed significantly in every season of Early Access. 
And we think it needs to change, but knowing how much is not easy.

During Early Access, there were a total of 10 seasons, including Season 0. 
Each new season came with significant updates. Looking at it now, all the elements mentioned here are still important.
Season 6 was well-received, but we think that at the time Remote Drones and Kiosks were lacking compared to now.
Also, changes like the skill amplification revamp were painful drawbacks due to patches that were not well prepared.

New Season Features are now unlikely to be as game-changing every time. Instead, they'll be more of continuous improvements.
We need to focus and keep fixing the problems with the existing systems. 
We are introducing Escape Votes to fix the problems with Escape and we also need to improve the structure of the Temporary Safe Zones, where the third place decides first place, as well as the communication as a team.
New characters always seem to be the greatest source of power, so we're also looking to make a lot of changes in terms of augments, tactical skills, and items to keep things fresh for the new season.

Lastly, 90% of the development effort has been devoted to in-game play but many systems, including our BM, which many people have pointed out, do not have good foundations and need to be improved.
These lobby systems are a huge undertaking, and we'll be working on them one by one each season.


Innovative changes are still needed.
However, the normal preparation time for big features can range from as little as nine months to over a year.

If it is not complete after internal testings, these must be postponed, revised and then revised again.
Season 7's Skill Amplification Revamp's drawback, and the lack of detailed quality of the Battle Zones in Season 8, were largely due to the limited amount of time we had.

So, we're aiming to have our first Big Season with big changes around Season 4 or 5.
In this first Big Season, we're looking to produce another animation piece and to hold large-scale promotions simultaneously.


[News] Dev Stream Part 2. Season 1 Problems

We said we would work on the problems that arose this season, but when we talk about specifically which problems and how to deal with them, the answer comes from the four most popular questions on the survey.

The first is Ranked System. The feedback we received in regards to this can be broadly divided into four categories: 3-person premade teams, tier inflation, matchmaking, and 2-person premade teams. All these issues are interconnected and we need to look at them one by one to connect the four together.

First, the 3-person premade teams problem. The ultimate goal would be to separate the ranks.
However, this is still difficult to achieve because the number of ranked players, as well as the total number of concurrent users, must first increase much more than now.

We do not allow premade teams in the top tiers. This issue, coupled with the tier inflation that we will talk about next, is causing issues with matchmaking and exacerbating the problem of 2-person premade teams, so we're working on some improvements in these areas. However, allowing premade teams in top tiers at this moment would create an environment where playing ranked without a premade team would be virtually impossible, especially given the potential for players to achieve Rank status not based on skill but due to the abundance of opportunities, so we intend to continue limiting top tier premade teams.

We have implemented a premade team queue division for other tiers. The logic behind the division is simple: when attempting matchmaking, we gradually expand the queue range based on the person who has been waiting the longest and at some point, several triggers are activated. Until the trigger that mixes premade and non-premade teams is activated, premade teams are matched with premade teams, and non-premade teams are matched with other non-premade teams. The trigger improvement is a bit ahead of us right now and the current application rate of queue division is a bit low, so we plan to adjust the triggers to increase the division percentage.


The second issue is tier inflation, in other words, there has been a lot of feedback that it's too easy to reach the Diamond tier. Just to clear up a couple of small misconceptions, first of all, the tier stats on external stats sites are not the same as the actual values. Perhaps they only count views from those sites, so higher tiers are overrepresented.

It's not necessarily true that more games means you're in a higher tier, though there are plenty of Silver players with 500+ games, and quite a few Gold players with 1000+ games. You naturally get better as you play more games, so if you have a lot of games, it might mean that you're a little behind, but if you're in the same tier, you're still paying the same price.

We wanted to address this to prevent you from underestimating players with a high number of games. Nevertheless, we still believe that the feedback stating that it's currently easy to advance in tiers is true. However, the situation seems to change a bit from Mythril into the higher tiers as there has also been a lot of feedback about the entry cost being too high, making it challenging to increase scores.


The scoring system will be modified to reflect this feedback. Previously, the entry cost would increase by 2 points when you changed tiers or when you changed sub-tiers (Gold 1, 2, 3, 4), but now it will increase by 4 points when you move up a tier. As a result, the entry cost for Diamond tier 4 will change from 43 to 50 points. This change will likely put the Diamond tier in the top 5% based on Season 1 data.

On the other hand, moving up Diamond 4, 3, 2, and 1 now only increases the entry cost by 1 point which seems like a really big deal. And for Mythril or higher, players will earn 2 points instead of 3 for every 250 points.

As a result, Mythril's entry cost remains the same, but Immortal's 2000 entry cost will decrease by 8 points.
While one entry point may not seem like a lot, at Diamond 4, that's a mere 700 points deduction after 100 games, so it adds up. 
The feedback on the tier system will be collected each season, and adjustments will be made accordingly.


Next is the issue of queueing range. Other games have more than three times as many top tiers as we do. 
But a much bigger variable than this difference is the number of players in queues. In our case, 4,000 people queueing for Cobalt is super exciting to see.

Roughly speaking, the difficulty goes up by the square of the number of players, a 24-player match is about 6 times more challenging than a 10-player match. In fact, there is another battle royale game that requires 40 players, but it's three times harder than ours, so even with a high concurrent player count, there are still a lot of matchmaking complaints.
For now, we're continuing to work on this little by little. 

The matchmaking improvement took place in the 1.5 update, where the chance of a Mythril or higher player meeting a Diamond player was reduced from 91% to 72%. 
In exchange, we saw a 25% increase in the average wait time for Mythril and above queues. In the 1.6 update, we've taken it a step further, and we'll continue to tweak the queueing range. 

And again, the differences are significant not only between queue segments but also between queueing times, so when you give us feedback, the more detailed you can be, such as saying, "I'm in the Diamond tier, and I wait too long for a match at 7 AM", the better we can respond to that. Season 2 will also bring a significant variable with a soft reset, so things may change accordingly.

When it comes to ranked and matchmaking, one of the biggest issues we've seen lately is the 2-person premade teams. 

Our system has two major flaws when it comes to these teams, which account for 20% of all ranked matches. The underlying assumption of the system related to premade teams is that they receive some penalty because communication gives them an advantage. However, the penalty given to 2-person premade teams is shared with their matched solo player, which is the biggest problem. As a result, the average rank score gain for 2-person premade teams is about 1 point lower than that of solo players.

First and foremost, we plan to address this flaw in the system. Currently, the tier difference limit for premade teams is relatively lenient, but we intend to tighten it for 2-person premade teams. For 3-person premade teams, we're getting rid of the tier restriction except for Mythril+ players. However, matchmaking will be based on the highest tier in the team, so players need to choose whether they want to queue taking into account the disadvantages that may arise.

For 2-person premade teams, we will now only allow a one-tier difference. If this proves insufficient, we are also considering an option to match only teams with the same tier. By doing this, we will try to lessen the feeling of being at a disadvantage if players are matched with a higher tier player, for example, a Gold player being matched with a Diamond player.

Another significant penalty for 2-person premade teams is Team Composition. When it was first created 3 years ago, it was made so that 2-person teams take the burden. In this system, when there was a 2-person team and a solo player, the highest-ranked 2-person team was matched first with the lowest-ranked solo player. But upon adding Mythril, now a 2-person Diamond team might end up matching with Mythril or Diamond solo players, which can be unfair to both the lower-ranked solo player and the 2-person team. Season 2 will see a complete overhaul of the matchmaking structure, resulting in a much fairer distribution of MMR. 

These two changes won't solve all the issues with 2-person teams. When 2-person teams engage in unsportsmanlike behavior, it creates another problem for solo players. However, misconducts need to be addressed separately. In Season 2, the goal is to eliminate the structure where, regardless of good or bad behavior, 2-person teams face a loss when matched with solo players. If, despite these measures, 2-person teams continue to be a significant problem, the last resort might be considering the removal of 2-person queues. However, this would result in the removal of 20% of ranked participants, inevitably affecting the quality of matches on the other side. Therefore, it's something to be considered only as a last resort.


There have been different issues with Ranked System throughout the season. We were quick to acknowledge issues like Tier Inflation. However, we believed that, unless the score system reaches catastrophic levels, some consistency throughout the season is necessary. For example, the entry cost is 40 points at the beginning of the season, but by the end of the season, it's 45 points for the same tier. Such inconsistencies can undermine the reliability of the ranking system. Therefore, we made changes in line with the season improvements.

The remaining three issues—problems with the 3-person premade teams, tier-specific matchmaking, and 2-person premade teams—need to be considered together. This is because aggressively separating them and tightening queues could result in longer ones. The crucial question is how long players are willing to wait for quality matchmaking. However, with a large player base and significantly shorter playtimes per match compared to other games, there's a concern that attempting a 10-minute match could lead to a 10-minute wait.

So, our approach is to gradually improve the most prominent issues. Initially, the most significant problem was with 3-person premade teams at the beginning of the season, but now it seems that the latter two issues are more critical. Particularly, addressing the 2-person premade teams matchmaking problem is considered urgent, and it has been prominently included in the Season 2 improvements.

If the Season 2 Improvements application is successful, the focus may shift back to the problem of 3-person premade teams, and the 2-person team matchmaking issue may ease a bit. At that point, reinforcing queue division could be considered.

Ranked is our most important system and the one that players feel affected by the most, so we'll continue to gather player feedback and make improvements, slowly but surely.


The second thing that we've gotten a lot of questions about is the BM, or business model issue.
It's an issue that's been coming up from a lot of different angles, and we're going to take this opportunity to address it. 

We apologize and we'll make improvements one by one in the future.

Mileage Exchange (Ceiling) will be added in Season 2. Mileage will be proportional to the amount you spend, and you'll be able to choose the skin of your choice. Payments will be retroactive to purchases made after the 1.0 update, meaning that players who made purchases before will also receive the same amount of mileage. Of course, we apologize for the inconvenience if you've spent an unnecessary amount to get the skins you wanted at that time when Mileage Exchange was not available.

We'll work hard to make good skins, so hopefully you'll be able to use your accumulated mileage to get another skin of your choice. The redeemable items may be rotated in the future, but we're keeping it all open for now and see how things go.

Season Pack skins and ER Pass skins are kind of limited time sale items, so making them readily available in Store is problematic. However, we're looking to reinstate store sales for event skins that are well over a year old. Leon, in particular, doesn't have any skins in Store at the moment, but the Admiral Leon skin will be available in season 2. We'll be adding more event skins to the store each season.

We're going to do something different with A-Coin.

First of all, we're going to create free dissassembly vouchers and give them away at different events, and we're going to have a lot more events that involve A-Coin. 

You'll also be able to buy A-Coin so that you can dissassembly more easily.

In fact, what players most desire is the complete removal of A-Coin during disassembly. If you're wondering why we're making it so complex, well, we actually agree with you. 

We want to have a variety of events, but it's hard to make them all consist of skins and NPs, so we also want to make more A-Coin-related events. Since the A-Coin value highly depreciated during Early Access, we'd like to change that by stimulating the circulation of A-Coin while keeping it at the minimum. We will compensate as much as possible with multiple events, but of course, player feedback is the most important thing, so if it doesn't work, we will revise it again.

On the other hand, although it's a smaller issue, we think that opening a Research Center Data Box is not as rewarding as a Skin Data Box so we're getting rid of the Research Center Data Box keys and adding multiple goods to the box as well.


The BM side of the system takes a lot of development time, so we're planning to improve it in season 3, to make the process of opening boxes a little more exciting by introducing the Fever Time format. 

In order for this to be actually exciting, there should be a lot of benefits given to the players, so when this system is in place, things like the ceiling and skin preferences that were mentioned earlier will also be improved to the next level.

The third of the four major survey questions is about web events. There has been quite a bit of discomfort regarding web events, especially having to log in separately, which seems to be one of the most inconvenient aspects.

Unfortunately, it seems difficult to make significant changes to this system for the time being. There are several reasons for this. First and foremost is our lack of experience and expertise in web-based development. Events require a lot of web-based development, which is about five times more labor intensive than in-game development, and it's not something we're used to doing, so almost all of our events have been outsourced. 

The second reason is that the Steam platform is particularly tricky. While mobile platforms like iOS and Android are relatively easy in this regard, Steam is quite challenging when it comes to synchronizing user game information. As a result, Steam games seem to be less inclined to conduct events of this kind.

Given the numerous inquiries on this point, we are diligently researching so we can address this issue. A prominent RPG game in Korea, seems to excel in this regard. They use a method called webview to load the web within the game. However, even in this approach, there are constraints on events within the Steam platform, so further research and development may be necessary.

What we can do right now is to solve structured events in-game, which has a higher maintenance cost than the web, but if the event format doesn't change, it's worth implementing without going through the web. So we're trying to implement a basic attendance log in-game, which we're targeting for season 3, and we're also working on how to integrate it with the web view, so that we can provide a better event experience little by little.

The last of the four questions is Story, which, as mentioned briefly in the last Dev Stream, was somewhat put behind as we prepared for Official Launch. We were making big changes in a limited amount of time, changing the entire development team and had no room to touch the story. Some genres can be a game in and of themselves if the story is interesting. But Eternal Returns is a PvP game, and we think inherently, if the game isn't fun, you can't turn it into a story.

But now it seems that the priorities are a little different. Carefully, we've entered a stage where story can increase the game's appeal, so we've started working on story content internally. However, even after Official Launch, we'll be working on bug fixes, UI fixes, and other issues for a while, so we think we'll start to see some results from Season 3.

Season 3 adds a sort of achievement system for what happens on Lumia Island. 

If you meet certain conditions during gameplay on Lumia Island, you will unlock a short story surrounding these events. 

We don't want to make it a novel or long-form piece of writing, but we want to start at a point where it ties into the gameplay, so for example, if you get an achievement related to air supply, you'll see lore related to air supply along with boxes and other rewards.

In Season 4, we're going to have a character-specific special mission system. 

It's going to be a little bit of a romantic playthrough for each test subject, like the number of three-person archery targets for Yuki, or the number of kills from sniping for Bernice, and we're going to focus on scenes that show the relationship between the test subjects, whether it's dialog or short episodes.

All three of the survey questions, with the exception of the Ranked System, have one thing in common: the demand for adjustments in the development weight. 

If you look at the breakdown of development, creating new characters, tweaking existing characters, and creating skins takes up more than half of the time, and improving in-game and gameplay takes up another half. The business model, events, and story content have all been squeezed out of the rest, andthat's why the quality hasn't been as good as it could be. So, we can't suddenly reduce the emphasis on characters and skins and game systems, but as we said in our seasonal business plan, we're going to gradually increase our investment in the lobby system so that we can better meet our player expectations.


[News] Dev Stream Part 3. Gameplay Changes

First, the ABC problem. While ABCs are better than in the past thanks to the Lumia Island revamp and the addition of paid revivals, it's still a problem that seems to be a part of Battle Royale's DNA. We've gotten a lot of feedback that there are more ABCs on Day 3 and 4, and we're trying to increase the number of safe zones so that the space doesn't get too small for the number of teams left.

We're looking into kills, especially kills that result in a so-called victory bonus, which is a HP Regen and cooldown reduction. These are great for ABC, but it also affects normal 3v3 teamfights, so we're trying to refine that a bit more. The stronger the effect, the more powerful it is to kill first in a normal teamfight, and the harder the conditions, such as only triggering when the team is wiped out, the less likely it is to trigger in an ABC situation, so we are researching various conditions to strike a balance.

In fact, the ABC we want to address most strongly in Season 2 is the ABC of the Temporary Safe Zone.

One of the biggest issues right now is that the third place wins first place, which we kind of hinted at in the Patch Notes, but now the satellite radar and security console will no longer work during the safe zone phase. It won't even show you how many teams are left when you're down to three, so we're reducing visibility even further to prevent information victories.

Also, temporary safe zones outside of your line of sight are colored green. Although the minimap is blocked, it's still possible to infer information by moving the screen directly. We aim to block this information

And the moment there are 2 teams left, the safe zone phase ends. The temporary safe zone should only exist within the green area, but when the phase ends, teams can move around until the final safe zone is established again. This allows the team that finishes off another to have more opportunities for recovery and preparation.

The location of the temporary safe zone also changes. On the map, temporary safe zones are marked in greend and final safe zones in red.


Escape introduces the much anticipated escape votes.

After purchasing Rootkit, a vote will be held, and a majority vote will be required to proceed with the escape. If the vote fails, you can't vote again for two minutes, and after that you can vote again using the Rootkit. There was a lot of internal debate about whether to make it majority or unanimous, so we're going to try majority for now, and if that doesn't improve things enough, we can still fix it during the season.

We're also working on improving the visibility of Escape. 

When you get the Rootkit, the landing area will be highlighted, so it'll be a little bit more visible for new players, and when you go to the landing area, you'll receive a pop up, guiding you through the next steps.


Upon Official Launch, various improvements were made to the characters to fit Squad, but Augments were not improved as much. In Season 2, we will see a lot of improvements made to Augments. 
Augments that were excessively versatile, such as Stopping Power and Dismantle Goliath, among others, will either be removed or weakened. Additionally, those that were too challenging to utilize, like Reinforced Armor, will be replaced.

We aim to reduce aspects where augments work excessively as counter mechanics, like Oblivion Can Wait and Steadfast. Furthermore, Augments that can strengthen positions in team fights and support various playstyles will be added or improved. Augments with less than 0.1% usage, like Frenzy, Oblivion Can Wait, and Run It Back, will also be removed. There are also seven secondary augments being deleted and four new ones being added, reducing the overall number of augments. 

However, even though the Augment that played a role above the main augment level, Dismantle Goliath will disappear, the diversity of choices may increase due to the addition of other useful ones.

1. Havoc Augments: Open Wounds, Carnivore, Endorphin
2. Fortification Augments: Camping Guide, Unwavering Mentality, Cavalcade
3. Support Augments: Thrill of the Hunt, Amplification Drone, Healing Drone, Logistics, Urban Warfare

*The names of the new Augments are subject to change.

*We'll provide more details in the patch notes once the augments are finalized. 

[Havoc Augments - Open Wounds][Fortification Augments - Camping Guide]

[Support Augments - Thrill of the Hunt]











While Blink is the most popular tactical skill at 47%, there are still eight skills that are relatively well utilized.
We're removing four underutilized skills, including Blasting Bullet, which is only used 0.8% of the time, and adding The Strijder. 

The Strijder increases movement speed when moving towards enemies, deals some skill damage when attacking, and slows enemies at level 3. It is mainly suitable for assassins and melee DPS.

Additionally, improvements will be made to underutilized augments. Nullification was the most underutilized tactical skill at 0.1%, and while it's a very powerful skill utility, it seems that its effectiveness is passive after being hit by CC.

It now grants a 2-second movement speed boost when used, and gets faster as you level up. It's modeled after Isaac, but will be more effectively used by ranged DPS.
Protocol Violation, which was tricky to use due to its long cast time, has had its cast time reduced from 3 seconds to 2.5 seconds, and Soul Stealer has had its maximum charge increased, giving it a bit more of a high point. 

Quake, while not underutilized, was frustrating at level 3, forcing unnecessary movement to trigger its effect. 
We've changed the level 3 effect to deal damage to the area around you for a period of time, even if you stay still.








New skills will also be added to the items. Similar to augments, these items can enhance position-specific characteristics.

[Guardian Suit] Alex's attack speed slows down the moment Spearhead activates.
[Reaper's Scythe] activates when Armor Penetration reaches 30 or more, instantly eliminating test subjects with 8% or less HP.
[Pulverization] slightly reduces defense for 5 seconds when attacking enemies.
[Decomposition] deals skill damage proportional to the enemy's max HP for 3 seconds upon skill attack.











*We'll provide more details in the patch notes once the item skills are finalized.


The standard for improving or remaking a character's skillset is to keep it as playable as possible. The goal is to fix problems with the skillset, or add things that make it a little more fun, without making it feel like the test subject you're playing is a completely different one overnight.

[Hammer- Armor Piercing]: We've slightly reduced the width but increased the length, making it easier to connect with other skills.
[Eleven]: The passive "Ground Beef" now drops a slider upon skill hits instead of basic attacks. Additionally, hitting the W skill, "Food For Thought" adds extra damage.








We're also aiming to improve Hyunwoo, Piolo, Isol, and many other characters. 
The following is subject to change in the actual update.

1. Hyunwoo
We're adding more skill utility to fit the concept of Dogfight.
When you hit the Q skill Stomping Foot, Hyunwoo's movement speed will increase, making him more agile on the battlefield.
The stun duration of the E skill initiation and the charge time and post-delay of the ultimate nuclear punch will be slightly reduced, making combat actions faster.

2. Piolo
Using his ultimate, The Punisher while Well-Trained, will give him additional attack speed, allowing for smoother basic attack combos. He will also gain a shield, which gives Piolo some much-needed durability when he's playing aggressively, as he's the go-to guy in team fights.

3. Isol
Aggressive use of E-Skill will increase his deal potential. 
This also compensates for the power curve, which is usually lower in Late Game due to mastering E-skill last.
His ultimate, MOK Operational Mine, adds a coefficient based on the enemy's current HP, making Isol more advantageous in battles on well-designed terrain.
The ultimate then becomes a full skill check instead of a trap, gaining weapon mastery and triggering item effects.

4. Sissela
Sisela is returning with some skill utilities that were removed for Official Launch. Her Q-skill, Go Get 'Em Wilson!, deals damage along its path and deals additional damage when it explodes.
In order to lower the character difficulty, the damage dealt while moving was removed, which took out her skill's uniqueness.
The W-skill, Girl in a Bubble, became far less valuable as a survival skill has been reduced so much that we're increasing her movement speed increases overtime.
Also, her Q and E skills no longer stop her movement; if you watch her use her Q, you'll see her Q trigger while she's moving, making her play a little smoother overall.

5. Aiden
The requirement to have no enemies nearby to become overcharged is often an unreasonable requirement in teamfight, so using the E-skill Backstep when you have 5 charges will immediately activate Overcharge.

6. Yuki
Yuki's W-Skill, Button Up, has been changed to allow his buttons to charge even if he's stuck, making it easier for him to keep his buttons.

7. Nadine
Nadine levels up hunting wild animals so her teammates often had to adapt too much to her play.
Wild can now be gained from player kills, allowing Nadine to participate more actively in her team fights.

8. Ly Anh
Interaction will be possible while possessed. It may be meaningful in solos, but it is very inconvenient in team plays.
It's a really simple task in terms of coding, but it took a long time because a new interactive animation had to be created.
Animation is usually the most time-consuming aspect.

9. Hyejin
She will deal additional damage when Three Calamities is triggered. To compensate for the difficulty in gaining 3 stacks easily, passive damage will be added. The addition of skill amplification helps with the weaker power curve in Late Game.

10. Bernice
Critical Strikes increase the Critical Strik damage and the second shot becomes as powerful as the crit strike damage. Also, Critical strike will now let you turn around at the end of the first shot so that your attack and basic attack feel the same.

This is an adjustment to ensure that no stats are overlooked, but further observation is needed as to whether or not to make critical strikes the primary load.

11. Chiara
 If Chiara is in her Last Judgement motion and an enemy is killed before she can perform it, Last Judgement will still work.

12. Bianca
Bianca will be able to use Blink and Totem while casting her ultimate, Reign of the Vampire Queen.
Although it is a powerful ultimate skill, it was difficult to use due to the lengthy casting move, so you can now use it with a Tactical skill to increase its utilization.  

13. Xiukai
Xiukai's E skill, Wok It Off, will gradually become faster. This will improve the sense of control and areas where his dashes can miss.

Especially during the farming stage, it was very difficult to use E to open the box. In addition, E's second skill, Heavy Meal, now slows enemies down instead of reducing defense, and the way it contributes to the battle has been changed to tie up the enemy after entering first.

14. Tazia
If you get knocked back by Spada, which is a buffed Q, you won't get knocked back again for a period of time. We want to give you a little more room for counterplay when facing Tazzia.

15. Debi & Marlene, Adriana, Nathapon
Debi & Marlene's Critical Strike Chance will increase as her Critical Damage increases, reducing her wasted stats; Adriana's passive will move to her E-skill, Fire Escape; and Nathapon's Q-skill, Snapshot, will move to his passive as well, improving his skill level point distribution and resulting power curve.

We're working on a variety of other character improvements, and will announce them in Patch Notes as they are finalized.

This image is from the Dev Stream two years ago, when there were 39 test subjects, At this point we reduced the list of food, skills, and traps, and added tactical skills. Overall, the format of expanding victory plans continues. In board games, we use the term engine building, and depending on which items are attached to different types of subjects, what characteristics they have, and what tactical skills are involved, various synergies can multiply the number of possible plans. When a new augment is added, it affects other items or test subjects, creating new combinations. 

That's why we don't want to rush into adding or removing augments or key tactical skills during the season, but we do want to provide new play experiences through these variations as the season changes.

In addition to the Victory Plan, there are other in-game changes coming in the new season. First, one of the features we're most excited about is the Death Overlay. 
This is a feature that details the damage you take in the seconds before you die, and who did it and with what skill.
When you die, you'll have a clearer idea of what skills you've been hit with, and you'll be able to get more helpful feedback for your next playthrough.
As the number of test subjects grows, there is often a lack of information about enemy skills, and I think this could be a big help in that regard.


In the longer term, we want to provide feedback from more angles after the game is over. Currently, you can only compare the amount of damage you dealt, but we'll be able to graphically compare the amount of damage you took and other factors, as well as show changes over time, so you can feel better about your successes and better analyze games that didn't go so well.

Season 2 will add a number of pings that come from holding Alt and clicking. 
Skill pings that are currently unspecific will be more accurately labeled with the name of the skill, and pings will be added for clicking on enemy items, remaining players, Kiosks, and other Objectives that don't have Alt pings. 

Campfires and Launch Pads will also be correctly labeled when Alt-clicked. We're also working on improvements to dragging pings when you hold Alt or Ctrl while dragging, which will be coming in Season 3.

From Season 2 onwards, Team Voice support will be enhanced. 
Push to Talk (PTT) will become the default, allowing new accounts to listen without any settings, and players can press a button to speak. We encourage PTT for existing accounts, aiming to promote voice features. 
We're also preparing an automatic Chat Translation Function to facilitate communication with international players.

A feedback that has come up every Dev Stream is that it's hard to loot overlapping corpses.  Now, you don't need to press Alt to see corpse names. If multiple corpses are nearby, all will be displayed together. 

Of all the features related to player convenience coming in Season 2, this is probably our favorite.




After Official Launch, Kiosks have become a crucial objective in the game flow.

Timing coordination among teammates for Kiosk use is essential in team play. 
To address concerns about Kiosk box theft, Season 2 will remove the 2-second delay after ordering, streamlining the Kiosk purchasing process.

 

Regarding Solo and Duo Modes, there were many questions after the transition to Squads with Official Launch. 
While the desire for Solo and Duo Modes exists, it's currently challenging. The developers are open to revisiting these modes, but external validation and more game growth may be needed before attempting it.


We're unifying cooldown reduction items using multiples of 5 to enhance intuitiveness, replacing various percentages like 2% and 8%. For example, with Frost Petal Hand and Tindalos, you'll still get a 30% cooldown reduction, but now it's easier to calculate with 10% and 20%.

One issue with cooldown reduction is that it becomes more powerful as you collect more, so the same 5% cooldown reduction is more effective at 25% than it is at 0%. While other games adopt a skill acceleration system to maintain efficiency, we believe the current system in Eternal Return is better. First of all, it's much more intuitive. If you have a 10-second cooldown, and you have a 10% cooldown, you know right away that you're going to lose a second, but that's not the way it works with acceleration. Secondly, since you start with 5 Epic items in the Saved Plan System anyway, the cooldown reduction builds are only 30% of the way there, so this change in efficiency doesn't mean much.

And if the max cooldown is too high, then the skill cooldowns need to be designed accordingly. Paradoxically, we're worried that cooldown-free builds will become less fun because they'll use skills less often, so we're not adopting a skill acceleration scheme at this point, but we're introducing this 5% multiplier to enhance clarity.


There's been much feedback about controls, especially concerning the immediate cast range display feature.
The Quick Cast Indicator displays the range while the skill button is pressed.
The Q range is displayed while pressing Q and is activated when you release the Q button, but there is a difference in operation if you perform another action before that.
If you press W while holding down both Q, in other games Q is remembered and then Q is fired when you press Q, but in Eternal Return, Q is already canceled the moment you press W.
If you right-click the mouse while holding down Q, other games will not move and will simply cancel Q, but in Eternal Return, Q will be canceled and even the right-click movement command will be performed.
These differences make it difficult to connect smoothly, especially when using QWER skills while moving.
Most of these controls improvements require deep logic improvements, so they won't happen quickly, but we'll be working on more cases and hope to have them fixed in Season 3 and beyond.

A new system that significantly changes gameplay will be released later. Since there's no urgent need for such a system currently, various ideas are competing. If prototypes and internal tests pass, development will proceed, followed by further testing and potential release. Topics like Hacking and New Areas are approached with this perspective, but we can't show you specific plans yet.


[News] Dev Stream Part 4. Other Major Issues

Cobalt Protocol is a bit different from Solo/Duo in terms of dynamics, with the advantage of having fewer matchmaking players. As mentioned before, the 24-player and 8-player matches pose different levels of difficulty. Thanks to this, there's room for significant improvements in Cobalt, considering the current scale of the game.

However, Cobalt Protocol requires a major overhaul, similar to when Squads were revamped in Official Launch. Currently, Cobalt Protocol is not receiving much love. Despite being in light mode, the initial retention is quite low. We are aiming to make three significant changes:

1. We need to improve the Biosector Hunting route, making operational elements more accessible to newcomers by intuitively altering terrain and hunting routes, creating a more straightforward connection between hunting and occupation.

2. Addressing the randomness of Cobalt's equipment acquisition. The current random system doesn't contribute to gameplay diversity and often leads to a repetitive cycle of waiting for legendary equipment. Consideration is being given to changing the acquisition method to a store-based system.

3. Infusions add a random element to the game, but memorizing all infusions for effective use creates a significant entry barrier. To simplify this, we are exploring a method where players can select an infusion from the three presented options without feeling the need to memorize all possibilities.

We're in the beginning stages of a long-term overhaul, and just like with the Big Season, we'll release Cobalt Protocol 1.0 when we're confident it passes our internal standards.

If you count the bug fixes listed in the patch notes by version, the graph looks like this. With many new systems added during Official Launch, there were more bugs right after release. Typically, bugs discovered are fixed in the version after the next one. Immediate hotfixes are done for critical bugs, and if not possible, fixes are pushed in the next version. However, rushing fixes can be risky because it's challenging to predict the impact of changes on interconnected systems.

Issues reported by customers that weren't fixed but gained attention in the community are often due to the complexity of fixing certain bugs. The reason why 1.2 has the most fixes is because it's the version where we fixed the most issues that came up when we released 1.0. The first two months leading up to 1.4 were really a bug war, and we apologize for the inconvenience that it caused our players.

It's not just about the number of bugs, it's also about how serious they are. There are still a few bugs that we're working on that we haven't resolved yet, but we'd like to share a few of the more common ones that we've gotten a lot of questions about.

The mouse cursor sometimes turns into a pick or box cursor. This is a bug that we've been working around for a long time, and it's a bug in the Unity Engine itself. It's even listed as an open bug on Unity's official site, so it's very difficult for us to get our hands on it. If the conditions of occurrence were clear, we would find a way to bypass it, but it's a little more difficult because the conditions of occurrence are not known on Unity's official website. For now, it's something that Unity is working to resolve, and we'll try to find a way to bypass the engine bug independently of Unity. We apologize for the long delay.

There was a period of DDoS attacks on the servers. Servers responsible for chat and matchmaking were attacked, causing issues with starting games. Despite reinforcing server security, we had to resort to an expensive solution from AWS to mitigate DDoS attacks. 

Although this solution doesn't completely prevent all DDoS attacks, it helps identify attack points quickly, minimize server downtime, and reinforce breached areas to prevent future breaches. 

The replay feature faced significant issues for a while, and though it's generally functioning well now, certain situations might still cause problems. 

Replay is actually just a separate standalone mode from a code perspective. Earlier, the number of bug fixes was very high up to version 1.4, but has recently decreased a bit. In Patch Notes, replay-related bug fixes are lumped together and listed as one. We spent the first two months focusing on fixing bugs in the main game, and only recently have replay bugs started to be intensively fixed.

There are still several remaining issues that we are still investigating.

For example, there is a point where Rozzi's ultimate or Hyejin's moving part stops when you press the back button in replay, which is being fixed. However, since replay is a separate mode from Lumia, these cases need to be fixed separately.

We will solve the most frequent problems first so that we can quickly reduce the inconvenience of replays.

Along with bugs, a lot of people have asked about misconduct sanctions. Many people wanted to know if the person they reported was punished, but unfortunately, it is a violation of the Privacy Act to disclose sanctions. We can consider a solution similar to L-Game, where during reports, players are informed if actions were taken. However, this would require significantly more operational resources.

We don't permanently ban players for a single instance of bad behavior unless it's really serious, which is why we sometimes see banned players come back a few days later. Although we can't tell you exactly what they're banned for, if you look at the sanctions list, which is published once a month, you can probably make some inferences from the partially obscured IDs. We're banning people for leaving, we're banning people for intentional bans, and we're banning people for intentional bans. Profanity is almost certainly sanctioned if reported, as it leaves a chat history. However, in the case of two-way swearing, the reporter may also be banned, so if you hear swearing, please report it instead of swearing back.

Regarding AFK handling, we're making some systemic improvements in Season 2. 

If you're inactive for a certain amount of time, commonly referred to as AFK, you'll be forced to leave after a warning popup, and if a player abandones the game in a ranked match, their entry cost will be doubled, and innocent teammates won't lose points. This system currently only applies to direct game abandonment, but will extend to other forms of AFK in the future.

 

Next is the Colorblind Mode, which was added to the roadmap long ago but disappeared. Although it might take until Season 3, development has started, and we'll re-add it to the roadmap as well. Even if you're not colorblind, being able to customize the color of enemy HP bars allows for adjustments based on personal preferences.


For Halloween, we initially planned to give Lumia Island a spooky makeover, but we felt it might not be appropriate this year. Instead, during Christmas in Season 2, you can expect Lumia Island adorned with Christmas decorations.


[News] Dev Stream Part 5. Dev Stream Coupon



As a token of appreciation, we've prepared NP and Skin Data Sets for all our players. 
Thank you so much for playing Eternal Return.


[News] Dev Stream Part 6. ER Pass - Battle Maids


*This image is under development and may differ from the actual update.



2 more skins will be added to the ER Pass, for a total of five.
Apart from the 3 season-themed skins introduced in Early Access, we've included 2 special skins unrelated to the season theme.

 

[News] Dev Stream Part 7. New Characters

New Characters will be arriving to Lumia Island.

*Please note that new character names may be subject to change.
*This image is under development and may differ from the actual update.

 

[News] Dev Stream Part 8. Season 2 Skins

New Skins will be available!

*Please note that the new skin name may be subject to change.
*This image is under development and may differ from the actual update.
*The release schedule may change depending on the development schedule.




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