Is it strange to get excited about Patch Notes? Because we are HYPED to roll out Patch 5.0, which brings a brand new Season, a filled-out trophy case, a working jukebox, changes to Soda Ball and Sniper Ball, a drastic increase in the max controller camera sensitivity, the ability to launch the game from Steam without installing Origin, and so much more! All this in our lead up to going free-to-play in Knockout City: Year Two, aka Season 6.
There’s so much to look forward to, read on for all the details!
New and Improved Features
- It’s finally here! The Trophy Case in the Hideout has been fixed up and polished and will now display any Trophies you’ve earned since Season 1!
- This displays the highest Trophy you’ve earned in Street Rank, any Trophies you’ve earned from each Season of League Play, and the highest Trophies you’ve earned from each Season that included a Brawl Pass (or from Season 5’s Season Contracts).
- The Trophies displayed in the case belong to the player’s Hideout that you are in. So if Josh were to join into Lynn’s Hideout, then the Trophies on display will be Lynn’s, even if she were to leave the Group. Josh would need to reload into the Hideout to enter his Hideout and see his Trophies. This way, the Trophy Case isn’t just for you… It’s for showing off to your friends and crewmates!
- Someone has replaced that old broken Jukebox in the Hideout with a brand new functioning one!
- To start rocking out to Knockout City’s exclusive soundtrack, all you gotta do is SMACK the Jukebox. Just tackle it or throw a ball at it and a random song will start playing. The name of the song and the Knockout City band that performs it will also be displayed in the lower left corner of the screen. To stop the music, just SMACK it again, then SMACK it once more to start up a different random song.
- You’ll be able to enjoy all 18 tracks from the original game soundtrack.
Sniper Ball Changes
- We literally had a task in our database called: “Make players hate Sniper Ball less.” However, the real goal is: “Make players LOVE Sniper Ball.” So here is our first pass at addressing some of the issues we have seen with Sniper Ball, and we’d love to hear what you all think after a few weeks of getting used to it.
- Sniper Ball has had a series of alterations to make the ball more enjoyable and useful to use, and less frustrating to defend against.
- The maximum lock-on distance and Sniper Shot speed have both been reduced. It’s still an extremely useful weapon at a distance, as its name suggests it should be, but these changes should make things a little more fair for the brawler being targeted. They won’t be able to be targeted from as far, and it will be easier to break a lock by moving farther away. Also, the reduced speed should make it easier to time a catch. The speed is still ridiculously fast, so don’t expect to be catching Sniper Shots from 10 meters away, but it will be easier at a distance. Which is good, because other than tackling an opponent into a train, catching a Sniper Shot is still one of the most satisfying moves to pull off in the game.
- Throwers now have more options, as they can now Fumble Throw the Sniper Ball as a Curve or Lob Shot! Once you fully charge, you’ll still only be able to Straight Throw a Sniper Shot, but if you Fumble Throw (throw the Sniper Ball anywhere under 100% charged) you’ll have the option of Curving it or Lobbing it. This makes the Sniper Ball much more versatile at close range and when chasing down opponents, which should have a big impact on the cadence of Sniper Ball matches. So make sure to chug a few cans of Potato Punch before heading into a match to try this out.
Quantifiable summary of changes
- Sniper Ball Lock-On Distance: Decreased from 70 meters to 60 meters.
- Sniper Ball Sniper Shot Speed: Decreased by 12.5% (which now makes it about the same speed as a Tier 6 Overcharged Shot).
- Sniper Ball Fumble Throw Types: Added Curve and Lob.
Soda Ball Changes
- Like the changes to Sniper Ball, the Soda Ball has been improved on both the attacking end and the receiving end.
- When used offensively, the Soda Ball’s short fuse time made it too hard to find just the right window to hit someone, despite brawlers having more control over when that fuse started than a Bomb Ball. So the fuse time has been increased to give you more time to break through an opponent’s defenses, or return fire on a rebound or after a catch.
- When caught in a Soda Ball’s blast, the screen effects were stronger than intended, essentially making brawlers sitting ducks for an extended period of time. We’ve made several changes here to help maintain the benefits of splashing an opponent’s screen, while giving them more opportunities to remain an active participant in combat. The overall length of the effect has been reduced by 25%, the strength of the effect has been slightly reduced, the border warnings and teammate HUD (like names, hearts, offscreen indicators, and emotes) return much sooner after the start of the effect, and the splashed effect now ends immediately if you take a hit. That should make it much easier for splashed teammates to coordinate character throws with their teammates or dodge an incoming shot at just the right moment.
Quantifiable summary of changes
- Soda Ball Fuse Time: Increased from 4.25 seconds to 6.25 seconds.
- Soda Ball Splashed Duration: Decreased maximum splash duration from 8.5 seconds to 6.5 seconds. Taking damage ends the Splashed Effect immediately.
- Soda Ball Splashed Effect: Slightly reduced overall intensity of the splash effect.
- Soda Ball Border Warning Suppression Time: Decreased from 2.5 seconds to 1.5 seconds.
- Soda Ball Teammate HUD Suppression Time: Decreased from 2.5 seconds to 1.5 seconds.
- Steam players will now be able to download and launch the game directly from Steam without needing to launch Origin. You will need to have your Steam account linked to your EA account to play the game and pick up where you left off, as cross-progression is tied to your EA account. If you do not link your Steam and EA accounts, the game will display a login screen for Origin, to make sure your progress carries over. Your Steam friends will also now be available in game!
- This is one of the changes tied to Velan taking over publishing duties, which we talk a little more about over here.
Lockdown Throwdown Balancing
- Courtyard Ball Spawner: The Ball Spawner in the middle of the Courtyard has been moved up to Entrance. We’ve seen a lot of hectic bunching up in the Courtyard, and not enough play around the perimeter of the map, so this should help to alleviate both issues. Courtyard is still a junction point and still has a Cage Ball spawner in the form of the Spotlight/Turret, so there is still sure to be tons of action at that location.
- Initial Spawn Location: The initial spawn location inside Lockers has been moved to the Alleys, on the end that leads to Entrance. Let’s call this the “Couch Spawn.” This change gives that team some more distance, options, and access to balls (especially with the new Ball Spawner location) so they aren’t at an immediate disadvantage from the team spawning at Lighthouse, and creates some more variety in where the teams' first encounters will take place. The initial spawn location at Lighthouse is unchanged.
Alien Smash Site Balancing
- The UFO Saucers in Alien Smash Site have proven to be a bit overpowered in competitive play, especially when one team controls all the higher Saucers. Despite the size of the level, their speed allowed a team to quickly descend on respawning opponents and keep the pressure on in such a way that made it too difficult to come back from early defeats. We’ve made a series of speed adjustments to make this situation more fair without compromising too much on the value the Saucers bring to the map.
- Saucer Base Speed (when not charging a ball): Very slight reduction in speed (but still slightly faster than Sprint).
- Saucer Charged Speed (when charging up a ball): Now slows the speed of the saucer as you charge, to a little less than Run speed.
- Saucer Dash Speed (the speed boost from dodging onto a saucer): This action still works, but the air friction has been increased to bring you back down to Base Speed more quickly.
- Progression and Contracts data now use specialized databases to improve robustness and reduce lost progress. This is the previously promised “Progression 2.0” update, which is mostly invisible and behind-the-scenes, but should fix various issues around Contracts resetting or not tracking their progress, incorrect or missing League Play rewards, and more. Woohoo!!
Increased “Controller Camera Sensitivity” Settings
- As promised, players using controllers can now DRASTICALLY increase their camera sensitivity. Like seriously, this thing goes up to “Plaid.” The direction given to the gameplay team was “Make the fastest speed faster than even the most superhuman player could use.” So the choice of speed is now entirely up to you, further decreasing the already small differences in ability between controller players and mouse & keyboard players. So let’s make a deal… If you promise never to ask for an even faster camera speed, then I’ll promise never to make a Contract to “Win a match with a Camera Sensitivity of 20 without throwing up.” Love, Jeremy.
- The “Controller Camera Sensitivity” settings now goes from 0 to 20, and can be found in the Controls tab of the Settings Menu. The default speed is still 5, and a speed of 10 is unchanged from the speed increase given in Update 4.0. My recommendation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7IZZXQ89Oc
Unreachable Ballform Players
- WARNING: Knockout City's Surgeon General warns that prolonged exposure to the immense downward hover field that keeps our cars, buses, and construction equipment afloat will result in headaches, dizziness, and ultimately a complete and total knockout.
- Players will now take damage over time when hiding in Ballform under hovering technology. This change is to help prevent players from hiding under geometry like the crane in Concussion Yard for extended periods of time. The health depletion is slow, so it is unlikely to affect normal play throughout other levels, but should significantly reduce frustration in modes where hiding under certain geometry for long periods of time can feel unfair.
- Additionally, “Dodge Grabbing” players or balls hiding under geometry should now be slightly more effective. Previously, players or balls grabbed or held while Dodging under geometry were released from your hands about two thirds of the way through the Dodge, but you will now hang onto them for the entire length of the Dodge. This also means it’s a bit safer to Dodge under a train in Jukebox Junction without losing your ball or accidentally dropping your held teammate right into the train.
Respawn System Improvements
- The Respawn System has had two adjustments to improve the fairness of where you or your team will respawn after being KO’d.
- The process of respawning after the countdown ends is snappier, reducing your down time after being KO’d.
- The moment the respawn location is selected now happens just before you actually respawn. Prior to this change, it was happening earlier in the process, which meant you could have been respawned in a location the system thought was safe earlier, but no longer was.
- This may take a while for you to really notice the changes, but if you still feel you are often spawning in bad locations, let us know (with video or details) so we can continue to improve the system.
New “Joystick Deadzone” Settings
- Players using controllers can now manually adjust the dead zones for each individual joystick on their controller from 0% to 50% in the Controls tab of the Settings Menu.
- Increase this if you are experiencing joystick drift issues, or decrease it for even tighter controls. The default setting is probably as low as most players will want to go though, and is the same as the dead zone has always been: 20
New “Curve Throw Direction” Setting
- This setting has been added to the Controls tab of the Settings Menu. This allows you to select between three different methods for the game to choose which direction your Curve Shot will be thrown. The three options are:
- Manual: Always throws the Curve Shot in the direction the player Spins, which is determined by the direction (left or right) last input by the player at the start of the Spin.
- Auto: Automatically picks the Curve Shot direction based on the clearest trajectory (or longest trajectory if none are clear).
- Hybrid: This is the default setting, which is unchanged behavior from what’s been in the game and is essentially a hybrid of Manual and Auto. First, this behaves like Manual and attempts to throw the Curve Shot in the direction the player Spins if there’s a clear shot at the target in that direction. But if there are no clear shots in that direction, then Auto takes over and picks the Curve Shot direction based on the clearest trajectory (or longest trajectory if none are clear).
- Note: we are aware of an issue that may cause the Hybrid setting to not function as intended. We will update you with more information as it becomes available.
New “Glide Button” Setting
- Players can now choose whether they want Glide to be a Toggle or Hold action in the Controls tab of the Settings Menu. The default setting is the same behavior as before: Toggle.
- Dodge-Deflections (when you Dodge into an incoming ball to deflect it away without hurting you) were erroneously Deflecting balls that were hitting you from behind. This has been fixed, so you must correctly Dodge into a ball to Deflect it. This should be less frustrating for throwers that correctly guessed the direction the opponent would dodge and accounted for it in their throw type, as well as reduce the effectiveness of Dodge-spamming.
Lock-On Camera Snapping Improvements
- There are a few minor improvements to how the camera snaps onto targets you lock-on to.
- Passing should not snap the camera to your teammate unless you hold it for 1 second, but some situations were causing it to snap right away, causing the camera to jerk toward your teammate even if you just tapped the button. This has been resolved, so a quick pass should never snap your camera.
- We’ve also fixed some edge cases where you could throw a completely uncharged ball at an opponent in such a way that the camera wouldn’t snap to the target.
- Players will now see helpful tips after being KO’d and while waiting to respawn. This should help new and existing players alike remember some of the information taught in the various Training sessions, and even pick up a few new tips you may not have been aware of.
- Respawn Tips can be turned OFF at any time in the Gameplay Tab of the Settings Menu.
Improved Bots Behavior
- We’ve been doing a lot of playtesting with our bots to improve their behavior. Our current goal is to make them help new players learn how to play the game and be good teammates, so a lot of the improvements are things we want players to see and try to emulate themselves. Don’t forget to use those “Throw Me!” and “Pass To Me!” emotes!
- Bot matches can now appear in Galaxy Burger, Holowood Drive-In, and Alien Smash Site.
- Bots caught in Ballform by enemies will try to mash out.
- Bots held in ballfrom by teammates will sometimes emote “Throw Me!”
- If a player is being held in Ballform by a teammate bot and emotes “Throw Me!”, the bot will throw them.
- Bots will sometimes enter Ballform when near a player.
- Bots will pass to players more often, especially when a player emotes “Pass To Me”!
- Bots are now properly affected by Soda Ball explosions.
- Bots are smarter about throwing Bomb Balls.
- Bots will try harder to get balls in hard-to-reach places, and give up if they can’t.
- Bots should run into trains less often in Jukebox Junction, as we’ve taught them that they can’t catch a train on this map.
- Reminder: Bots still ONLY appear in matches with new players, mixed in with other new players for their first 5 to 10 matches depending on how well they perform (and how many other new players near their region happen to be matchmaking at that moment). You can also play them at any time in a Practice Match in the Training menu.
Street Play and League Play Access
- For new players, the requirements for unlocking non-Team KO Street Play Playlists and League Play have changed. Previously, this was based on Street Rank. However, due to many new additions since launch to how players can earn XP, and due to how Crew Contracts work, many new players were able to immediately level up beyond Street Rank 10 before they even played a single match, therefore granting them access to the entire game. This both made for a bad experience for new players trying to understand the game, as well as made it easier for “smurf accounts” to quickly get up and running. To prevent this from happening anymore, the new requirements are based on actually playing matches:
- Unlock access to all Street Play Playlists: Complete 5 matches of Team KO in Street Play.
- Unlock access to League Play: Win 10 matches in Street Play.
New “Sprint Cancel Delay” Setting
- Okay this one is getting a little down into the weeds, so feel free to leave this setting alone and skip to the next note…
- A new setting has been added to help reduce instances of simultaneous or near-simultaneous input of Sprint/Cancel and Throw accidentally cancelling your Throw. This setting adds a miniscule delay (unnoticeable to most players) between the time that you input your Sprint/Cancel and the time that it actually cancels your Throw and Sprints, only if you are holding the Throw button. This has actually always been in place for Passes, we have simply extended this functionality to Throws as well, and exposed it as a tunable option in the Controls tab of the Settings Menu.
- If you find yourself accidentally canceling Throws or Passes a lot because you are trying to Sprint immediately after throwing, try increasing this setting. If you actually notice the delay in your Sprint/Cancel input and it bothers you, try decreasing this setting or turning it off completely. Most players should probably just leave this setting alone.
Additional Features and Improvements:
- Visual effects that Ultimate Throws make on surfaces now handle moving objects better, like cars in Knockabout Roundabout.
- This was a longstanding annoyance for one of our engineers who finally got the chance to fix this. Whenever you see one of these effects--called a “decal” in graphics lingo--and think, “cool!”, know that engineer just smiled a little bit.
- Improved performance in Midnight Madness
- Some of you had experienced poor or laggy performance in Midnight Madness. This has now been improved. Thanks for bringing this to our attention!
- Report Server button now “Report Server Lag”
- The intention of this option is to help track down lag issues specifically, so we’ve updated the name of the button to reflect that. The “Report Server Lag” button won’t help if you’re experiencing other types of issues with the game or if you’re looking to report a player for bad behavior.
- When a Caged or trapped player hits force-glide height, they will now automatically break out and Glide instead of getting KO’d. This won’t affect throwing players over the edges, only if you ever found yourself throwing an opponent straight up in the air.
- Hitting a trapped player in Basketbrawl no longer extends their trapped timer. Hitting trapped players will still pop them up in the air, giving you a better chance of grabbing them in time, but this should help prevent trolling that would keep a person stuck in Ballform for extended periods of time.
- The ragdoll camera has been improved to prevent egregious clipping through geometry.
- PC players can now use a controller to change the Network option on the Title Screen.
- When players open the Contracts menu, it will default to the leftmost incomplete Contracts tab, to help players focus on the next item that needs to be completed.
- Now, when players lose health outside the Face-Off ring or hiding under an object, a sound will play to let them know that their health is deteriorating.
- Anyone else see these tiles that someone named Veritas has put all over Knockout City? This obsession with the alien invaders is out of control!
- Fixed an issue in cinematics sequences in matches with two teams that could cause the sound effects for the second team’s vehicle to be delayed.
- Fixed an issue that was causing player emotes to not be audible over 20m away. (Maybe they just weren’t hearing “Pass to me!”? Maybe?????)
- Fixed an issue that allowed extra bots to join matches when a spectator leaves.
- Fixed a case where the “Regifting” Crew Contract was progressing when hits weren’t overcharged.
- Fixed an issue in the Match Rewards screen that could cause some contracts progress to be skipped.
- Fixed issues with several Contracts that were not accurately tracking progress.
- See also: Progression 2.0 in the Features section
Cosmetics and Shops
- Fixed an issue sometimes causing the Style icons for Outfits or Gloves to be blank.
- Improved the loading speed of Outfit previews when perusing the Brawl Shop.
Friends and Groups
- Fixed being able to queue multiple group join requests when using Join Group multiple times.
- Fixed an issue that could cause players changing Groups, leaving a match, and then joining another player’s Hideout to incorrectly join back into the previous match.
- Fixed an error message that displayed on PS5 when leaving a group from the Match End screen.
Gameplay, Environment, and Physics
- Fixed the player being stuck in Ultimate Throw ball form in Chain Reaction matches.
- Dev Note: We previously fixed one instance of this happening, then when Chain Reaction returned as a Daily Playlist, we were able to identify another instance of this occurring, which allowed us to investigate further. Please let us know if you continue to see this issue.
- Fixed a physics issue that could cause players in Ballform thrown underneath moving objects (such as in Concussion Yard) to be launched into the sky and KO’d.
- Fixed an issue that occasionally caused characters to play their fall animation when on an upward moving platform.
- Fixed the delay in the ability to pick up coins at the start of Coin Hoarders matches.
- Fixed a mismatch between the Voice Over and text when swapping views while spectating in Superpowers!
- Fixed several cases where players were not stunned when dodging into unmovable objects on various maps.
- Fixed logic issues with awarding MVP. MVP should now always be awarded to the player with the highest KDR (or other special game mode ratios, like Diamond Ratio in Diamond Dash).
- Fixed an issue that could make players stuck in a wall behind a Bounce Pad in Holowood Drive-In.
- Fixed Lob Passes potentially missing players who were gliding high above the passer.
- Fixed a bug that could cause players in Private Matches to start on the wrong team if they joined at a specific time.
- Fixed an issue that showed an incorrect message when trying to start a Practice Match while in a group with four or more players.
UI / UX
- Fixed a missing group indicator when a player leaves and rejoins a group during a match in the Match End screen.
- Fixed the labels for both the top and bottom Crew Logo being updated when a new logo was selected.
- Fixed an issue that could cause the targeting indicators to not appear on Group members or the Dummy in the Hideout.
- Fixed abrupt camera movements when navigating the Crew Options and Find A Crew screens.
- Fixed a bug that could cause players joining or returning to a Hideout to receive an additional Daily Login Bonus.
- Fixed an issue that could make it look like a player was picking up two balls that were very close together at the same time (even though only one was being picked up).
- Fixed a bug that could cause the KO Card animation to repeat in the Match Rewards sequence.
For anything related to lag or server issues, or if you need support on a particular issue, please visit support.knockoutcity.com and include as many details as you can. Thanks for your assistance!