As Respawn Entertainment found out the hard way, removing multiplayer modes from multiplayer-only games is rarely a good idea. After facing backlash from gamers for restricting the PC version of Titanfall‘s Capture-the-Flag and Pilot Hunter modes to private matches and variety playlists only, Respawn is walking back their mistake and reintroducing one of them, CTF, to the game.
These two multiplayer modes were initially removed from the game’s matchmaking service, which is how the vast majority of Titanfall players find matches, because less than 1% of players were actually playing them. “With that few players attempting to connect, our matchmaking would just sit there, spinning forever, waiting to find a game to play,” reads a blog post on the game’s official site, “Our first step was removing playlists that were effectively broken. The second step is to continue refinement of our matchmaking.”
As a result, players who wanted to play CTF or Pilot Hunter could only do so via private matches or variety playlists, which randomly switches between the game’s other modes. The community responded with overwhelming anger, largely with regards to the removal of CTF, and as a result, Respawn will be bringing it back to the game. No word on whether Pilot Hunter will be making the cut as well, but the consensus among Titanfall fans suggests that that mode probably won’t be missed as much.
Improvements will be made to the game’s matchmaking service as well. Should there be a lack of available games for a player’s chosen mode after five minutes, the service will widen its search to include games in farther locations. “This means you might end up in a game with a much higher ping than you’re used to, but as players pointed out; playing is preferred to not playing at all!” reads the blog post.
Other welcome improvements include lobbies that display a “Connecting…” message on empty player slots to prevent masses of players from leaving seemingly desolate lobbies, and rebalancing of teams that have lopsided numbers. Part of the challenge of finding ways to properly rebalance teams will be accounting for parties of friends who intend to play on the same team, but as Respawn notes, “a majority of teams will have a party of 2 players and less than 5% of teams are a party of 6.”
Multiplayer woes aside, Respawn is working on adding new game modes to Titanfall. The game recently received its first DLC pack, titled Expedition, and at least two more are on their way.