In the Caliber update 0.12.3, we rebalanced the Special Operation mode, which impacted the bots’ stats. In the patch note for the version, we pointed out what exactly has changed:
However, since not all players accepted and agreed with these changes, we will take a closer look at how exactly the stats of AI-controlled opponents have changed and why this was required.
The significant rebalancing of Special Operations in version 0.12.3 is not the first in Caliber. Players saw this mode in at least three variations: very difficult at the closed beta stage, moderately difficult at the open beta stage, and gradually simplified starting from version 0.9.0.
In update 0.9.0, Caliber introduced the Skills game mechanic. And since then, Special Operation has been simplified for players along with their progress in developing the operators and upgrading these Skills. Of course, other factors influenced the difficulty of the Special Operation (players learned the bots’ behavior, we changed their stats pointwise, fixed bugs of bots and maps), but in the long term, they turned out to be less significant.
As a result, to restore interest in Special Operations as a mode that challenges players, we began to change maps in it daily rather than weekly in the summer. It helped, but not for long.
In the end, it all boiled down to the fact that Special Operation began to contradict the original goal: to be a difficult mode designed for trained players. Users started going there to earn credits quickly. Moreover, even new players could quickly and painlessly win simply because others were «dragging» weaker partners with themselves.
The result is a paradoxical situation: Clearing, a mode for easy earning, ceased to be a source of credits, and the Special Operation ceased to bring the joy of victory through overcoming, as it did before.
We want to return Special Operations to its original concept: four players think over the tactics of passing, communicate with each other (for this, there is a system of tags, text chat, and voice communication), and use the entire arsenal of weapons and abilities of the operators.
The test should be the Special Operation itself, not an attempt to pass it using only a secondary weapon.
In any case, the resistance with which the players met the complication of the Special Operation is a temporary phenomenon. The percentage of successfully completed Special Operations always grows if you look at the average values among all players. Experienced players are rebuilding themselves to new rules, and new ones are gradually developing operators and their own skills, while content creators are making video tutorials. In a word, the Caliber community unites, learns, and eventually begins to win more often.
And we’re making changes again with new calls, challenges, and modes. We recently added Onslaught mode to Caliber, which is quickly spreading to an increasing number of maps. Weekly Quests have changed, the events of the Fog of War series are being tested.
Finally, the updated Special Operation remains largely the same. Yes, the bots have developed significantly, taking many stats from the Caliber operators. But the artificial intelligence and the scripts of their spawn and movements have not yet changed, so the experts of the mode have already adapted to the new Special Operation and were able to successfully complete it.
We can see that the new bots’ stats have imbalanced the difficulty of some maps. Win rates have declined unevenly, making some of them virtually impassable. We will fix this in the following updates.
Here, for example, are four standard Special Operations bots, which, in terms of their main stats, are similar to operators. But in essence, they remained the same: the shooter and the assault shoot with significant intervals and are almost always open for damage; the sniper with his scope glare notifies the players about the upcoming shot; the machine gunner is dangerous only in a direct confrontation (but it was not worth going to him up close and personal before rebalancing).
You can learn more about the bots’ behavior in a separate article.
Caliber is an evolving game, and we have a lot of changes, updates, and revolutionary innovations ahead of us. And we are glad that everything we do has such a strong response.
Thank you for being with us. See you in battles!