Rocksteady’s Suicide Squad has finally arrived, and been met with something of a mixed reception. PCG’s Morgan Park was pleasantly surprised by the endgame but, getting there’s something of a grind and you wonder how many players will even stick around that long. Rocksteady’s aim is to keep the game vibrant with regular updates, and the “live service” label hangs on this thing like an albatross, but we’ll have to see how that shakes out over 2024.
The game’s launch has, from a technical perspective at least, gone pretty smoothly: until now. Rocksteady’s issued an update on the game’s Discord about a bug that’s allowed players to acquire Mastery Levels “beyond our wildest expectations.” When the developer began looking into why, it soon realised the problem was with the Burn status effect, which applies damage over time.
Turns out Burn has been scaling incorrectly. Rocksteady’s intention was for it to scale somewhat as players rose through Mastery Levels, but “a major unintended bug” meant that Burn’s damage was increasing so much that it “basically meant that if you used a Burn build, every Mastery Level had the same difficulty.”
Surprisingly enough Rocksteady says it wondered both “what can we do to fix this, and more importantly, should we fix it at all?” This is because one of the game’s design goals is for players “to continuously find a new meta and then break it by finding a better one.”
But Burn was just too powerful, to the extent that left untouched it would’ve been the only viable endgame build. Rocksteady says it’s going to fix the scaling on Burn to make it work as originally intended, and it should remain viable but “no longer scale infinitely.”
The bigger problem is that the fire damage to the leaderboards as-they-are remains. Such that Rocksteady’s decided the best thing to do is mothball everything achieved so far and create a new leaderboard. “All the entries on the current leaderboard will exist in perpetuity and will be a permanent record of all your achievements,” says Rocksteady. “We want to applaud you all for both your dedication on getting this high in the Mastery Levels (and also breaking the game).”
Rocksteady emphasises that players’ unlocked Mastery Levels, Finite Crisis rank, and all their gear and squad levels remain unaffected. Alongside this Rockstady’s making some other tweaks, including a nerf to enemy health at the higher Mastery Levels, and a nerf to two items (The Heat Wave’s Molten Skin and The Turtle’s Shell) that previously granted full invincibility but now reduce damage by 90% instead (again, you were just too good at exploiting it).
The studio ends by saying it’ll aim to issue weekly updates on the game from here on out, and is preparing to start talking about season one and future playable characters and enemies (some may have leaked already). It does look like Suicide Squad is in for an uphill battle: but then, I suppose they knew what they were signing up for.