Development Update March 2021

A word from the Executive Producer of Nine to Five.

Hello, Mercenaries!

It has been a few weeks since the post-beta stream, so this is a good time to bring you up to speed with the changes we’ve been developing, which hopefully soon, you will be able to play.

We got a ton of great and valuable feedback during Beta Weekend and on behalf of our team, I would like to thank all of you again. Trust me, we couldn’t make it this far without your support and feedback.

We got a ton of great and valuable feedback during Beta Weekend and on behalf of our team, I would like to thank all of you again. Trust me, we couldn’t make it this far without your support and feedback.

Based on your feedback, we’ve defined three main areas of improvement to focus on right now:

  • Gunplay and second-to-second gameplay;
  • Game flows and communication;
  • Metagame simplification, predictability, and usability.

As you know, we don’t like to make promises or talk about things that aren’t done and dusted yet, but this time let me briefly explain each of these areas, so you can better understand our intentions.

Gunplay and second-to-second gameplay

Gunplay and second-to-second is the bread and butter of any shooter, and we obviously focus most of our attention there. The ultimate goal of Beta Weekend was to bring all systems in and let you guys judge and point fingers at the areas that need the most love and help. And you delivered!

Gun animations, sounds, recoil, and ADS were the topliners in your feedback, and we can promise they’re all being worked on right now!

Giving the guns more bang and strength, allowing the audio to be more prominent and distances easier to recognize; making the gun-ranges longer, ADS and recoil smoother and more predictable, and animations more polished and on-par with what you’d expect – these are the goals we are chasing as we speak.

We started by building an exemplary set of one primary and one secondary weapon with the quality that we, and hopefully you, are happy with. After that, we’ll polish the rest of the guns and items.

Of course, all of this goes hand-in-hand with the weapon rebalancing – starting with the infamous SMGs that were “not really there” during Beta Weekend as you very rightly pointed out!

Worry not – we didn’t forget about polishing and improving the movement, we’re making sure it feels much smoother and appropriate for mercenaries like ours.

Game flows and communication

The second most polarized topic was the 3rd round as well as some other features we used to balance out the rounds. For many of you, the effect of showing the enemies in round 3 was way too strong. For some, rounds were very unbalanced, and for others, all of it was just too confusing and strange. As a result, we’ve decided to simplify round 3 for all starting flows and stick with our classic 3v3v3 scenario.

No, this doesn’t mean we will never bring back the 6v3 options, especially not for the more complicated, later flows. But when we do, we’ll be much more careful and selective with the rules, and we aren’t going to use the “wallhack” in its current form.

We’re also looking into improving and simplifying the on-screen communication. Even though you did like the lore and the corporate lingo, we’ll certainly have to minimize its usage when describing game objectives to make tasks and missions simpler and easier to understand. And generally, rather than overwhelming you with on-screen text, we will come up with smarter ways to deliver the information you need. To achieve this, we will heavily rework the HUD – remove the irrelevant stuff and clean it up making sure players receive only the most important information and only when they truly need it. 

Of course, we did not forget about testing new flow variations, map scenarios, and pushing new cool ideas – but that’s a story for another time. 😉

Metagame simplification, predictability, and usability

Who doesn’t like to wait for their mission rewards? Well, you did not, and we’ve heard you. So, no more! We’re reworking how the missions were given, offering more options, and sharing the rewards right away instead of showing artificial timers. You’ll also be able to jump between corporations more freely to get the materials and rewards you actually want.

On that note, we’ve noticed that many of you liked the corporations, but mentioned that their presentation, benefits, and rewards were very unclear. We’ll work on making corporations unlocks and weapon crafting more transparent and more coherent. It does not mean that you’ll get all guns and items from day one, but you’ll be able to decide what you want to receive and when. 

More tests are coming

We know you are hungry for dates and opportunities to get your hands on the game – so are we! 

We certainly don’t want to give you any false promises, wrong impressions, or unrealistic expectations. It’s getting close though, so keep your eyes open for future announcements on Discord, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And don’t forget to add Nine to Five to your Steam Wishlist if you haven’t yet. Lots of cool things are coming soon and we’d love to receive your feedback as soon as possible!

There’s plenty of work to be done and that always means just one thing: more tests ahead!

All the best and stay safe!

Miloš Jeřábek
Executive Producer of Nine to Five