PAX East: Titanfall Panel Recap – Customization, Expansion Packs, eSports, & More

By Published April 12, 2014 at 8:07 pm
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Respawn Entertainment today hosted a Titanfall panel featuring CEO Vince Zampella and Lead Designer Justin Hendry, each working to deliver key information pertaining to the game's future objectives. Prior to PAX East, Respawn released their first title update for Titanfall on the XBOX One and PC. This patch included small changes as well as the first big change—something that the community was very interested in having—which was private matches.

 

Starting with the Map Pack - Titanfall: Expedition

The Expedition map pack will have three maps: Swampland, Runoff, and Wargames. These maps will not feature the intro/epilogue feature that's seen in currently matchmaking as it takes place after the “campaign.” There will be cinematic scenes, but how those play into the maps was not revealed.

Swampland is the map featured in the Expedition photo above. It has an “archaic, alien technology kind of thing going on” and features tall trees that players can wall run on. Being able to wall run on the cylindrical surfaces as well as being able to bounce between trees makes the “Attack on Titanfall” jokes all the better. They've even incorporated “Zip Vines” which will work just like the zip lines we are already familiar with. Players will also have the ability to run on top of trees, though ejecting from a titan first is required.

Runoff was described as having a lot of pipeage and water (because the name doesn't suggest that) and Wargames is a “Tron-like” map that is another pilot training grounds level.

The Expedition map pack will be available in May. Titanfall map packs can be bought individually for $10 and a season pass is available for $25.

Future Game Modes

A wingman version of Last Titan Standing is coming in the future. Wingman LTS is a 2v2 version of the game mode that is already playable in matchmaking. A game mode currently referred to as “Attrition Elite” is a possibility in the future. Developers wanted to find a balance between Attrition, which counts Pilot, Titan, and AI kills and Pilot Hunter, which counts only Pilot kills. Attrition Elite is a game mode that counts Pilot and Titan kills only. This is one of the Rifts, or Variant, game modes that Respawn will be testing out via multiplayer. Whether these game modes will stay or replace current game modes depends on player participation.

Titan Updates

Customization is coming for Titans in the form of Decals. What these will look like, how they are earned, and what else will be available is unknown, but it is in the works. The other update coming for Titans will be Titan Burn Cards. So far Burn Cards offer Pilots certain perks – like a temporary stats boost or weapons upgrade. These Burn Cards will be for Titan weapons, abilities, etc. If they mimic the Burn Cards already being used, just imagine an Amped Arc Cannon that will fry anything in a 50ft radius. Worth it.

eSports and Competitive Titanfall

Respawn did create a private match lobby that is currently live, but is not yet fully customizable. This feature is still in the works and will eventually have things like a spectator mode. When discussing the addition of a spectator mode, Producer Drew McCoy mentioned that the community asked for a “spectator mode with no HUD because people want to make videos.”

Spectator mode is a feature that is primarily used to spectate a game for learning or entertainment. It's a feature that exists in a lot of competitive titles that makes streaming, commentating, and presenting tournaments more enjoyable for viewers. I'm all for the addition of a spectator mode, but not in the sense that I want to jury-rig it in order to make Titanfall edits. This feature is currently being used in Call of Duty: Ghosts and it is incredibly difficult to use and is effectively useless. Being able to freely roam around a map with no HUD is something that should be included in a theatre mode (you know, for games that have theatre mode), but isn't useful for a spectator mode.

Respawn is already testing a playlist that matches players based on skill. They are looking to add stat tracking, ranks, and more challenges to the game. All of these things are being added because players have the desire to make this game competitive. The skill-based playlist that exists doesn't have a visible ranking for players. Whether the ranks that are coming will be visible in matchmaking or will only exist in profiles, online, or otherwise is unknown.

Respawn did not release any eSports details, but did briefly mention it being a possibility. With the inclusion of private matches, as well as the already-known Pilot vs. Pilot game mode that was announced before launch, Titanfall is moving towards becoming a competitive title.

Other Updates

Jon “Slothy” Shiring mentioned a future update that will help bridge the website and in-game interaction (hopefully not resembling Battlelog). With the use of a hashtag – like #PAX, #PennyArcade, or #YOLO – players using identical hashtags will be put onto teams with other players who have used this hashtag. Shiring didn't go too much into detail about how it works. This will ultimately allow players to meet other players with similar interests. The possibility of this hashtagging feature being abused is infinite, though.

#icantbelieveitsnotbutter #icantwaitforpaxsouth #idratherbeplayingbattlefieldfourbutitsstillbroken

Closing

Respawn has listened to the community since the beta and reiterated their commitment to keep listening during their panel today. While they're listening to the players and patching the game, they have a year's worth of content updates already planned. The only confirmed date is the Expedition map pack available in May, with a lot of TBAs for all of the other features currently announced.

If you'd like to learn more about Titanfall, check out our YouTube channel for gameplay footage, benchmarks, and other similarly-tagged items.

- Paige "dino pillow" Spears.

Last modified on April 12, 2014 at 8:07 pm

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