XDefiant is hosting an Open Session from June 21-23 for all players on PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PS5, giving ALL interested players a chance to check out the free-to-play 6v6 arcade shooter ahead of its launch later this summer. XDefiant’s Open Session will go live and be available for download on June 21 at 10:00AM PT. Additionally, anyone who participated in April's Closed Beta will be able to participate in the Open Session's early access, starting today at 10:00AM PT. The team behind XDefiant made several updates to the game after the Closed Beta to improve player experience and prepare for launch, and Ubisoft News caught up with Executive Producer Mark Rubin to learn more about some of the updates players can expect.
A New Netcode
One of the biggest changes from XDefiant's Closed Beta is its new netcode, which, according to Rubin, took top engineers over a year to create, and is a complete rework of how the server and client talk to each other and prioritize messaging.
During the Closed Beta, some players found themselves getting shot from behind walls, or would die after running for cover behind a corner. Rubin is hopeful the new netcode will fix the issue. "From what we've seen, a lot of those issues have been vastly improved, and one of the reasons we want to do this Open Session is to stress test the new netcode system before we go live. There are caveats to any netcode, but we should see in the Open Session much less getting shot around corners, even if there's some ping differential between you and another player."
Players should also notice improved server stability. According to Rubin, the night before the Closed Beta went live, the team found a bug that could only happen live - it didn't present during any testing with bots, QA, or Microsoft and Sony's validations. To fix the bug, the team had to reconfigure the servers used for the test, which led to some of the unexpected glitches and crashes players experienced. While those were largely resolved by the end of the Closed Beta, Rubin says the Open Session will be a much smoother experience. "We're going back to the server type we originally anticipated and prepared for; we've tested it like crazy and know that the server infrastructure works."
The DedSec Faction
When XDefiant launches, the fifth faction, DedSec, will be available for purchase or will be earnable through XP progression. However, the faction will be available to play during the entirety of the Open Session and players can complete the Ubisoft Connect DedSec challenge to permanently unlock them at launch. During this time-limited challenge, players can unlock DedSec at launch by earning 125,000 XP and claiming through their Ubisoft Connect account.
During XDefiant's Closed Beta, many players called out the Libertad faction as being overpowered, and players will see several notable updates to the faction's abilities, but not necessarily the ones they expect. The nerfs - and buffs - implemented are:
The BioVida Boost's healing rate has been reduced, and the HP boost now maxes at 100HP (down from 120HP)
El Remedio's cooldown is now 30s (up from 20s), lasts 25s (as opposed to until cancelled or destroyed), heals at a rate of 40hp per second (down from 60hp), and reduced health deployable from 120 to 80
Espiritu de Libertad trait has been reinstated, allowing health regeneration to begin without delay, and will continue until health is full (not stackable with other Libertad abilities)
"It's super interesting - this is one of those moments in game development when you're running a live game and the sentiment value from the community doesn't match the data," explains Rubin. "The data from the Closed Beta showed that Libertad wasn't necessarily overpowered, that the kill death ratio, while the highest, wasn't that much higher than anything else. The win ratio wasn't higher; when teams were mostly or all Libertad, they actually performed much worse than teams that were mixed factions. So, we translated that sentiment value, knowing that a change was expected from the community, and looked at some of the problems and bugs we had with Libertad, and made some updates for this open test. I think the community sentiment value will be happy with what we've done, and the data will be good because we're still in that ballpark of efficiency and effectiveness."
Improvements on Console
Console players will also notice significant improvements both in controller latency and aim assist. During the Closed Beta, the XDefiant team noticed controller latency was over 60 milliseconds, well above the normal range of 15-25 milliseconds. With the team's adjustments, XDefiant controller latency is back in that normal range, averaging 20 milliseconds. Aim assist, meanwhile, has been strengthened by about five percent.
"Our philosophy towards aim assist is that we've actually tried to significantly reduce it so it's not as overbearing as other games, where it feels like the aiming is done for you, to allow player skill to be more prevalent" says Rubin. "What we found in the Closed Beta is that the settings didn't necessarily present themselves the way we expected in a live environment, so we did buff it up a little bit on console to match the PC experiences."
For details on every change coming to the XDefiant Open Session, check out the full list of patch notes below:
- Sonar Vision Ultra animation improved to make it feel more powerful
- Echelon players will appear on the minimap if the Intel Suit is used on them
- Black patches are no longer observed on the weapon when Digital Ghillie Suit is active during the match
- EMP does not cancel the Blitz Shield
- Player holding Blitz Shield no longer takes incendiary damage from enemy Cleaner bullets
- Faction now unlocked for everyone through Open Session
- All DedSec characters are available to select
WEAPONS AND ATTACHMENTS
- Increased ADS (aim down sights) time
- Decreased ADS walking speed
- Corrected ADS and spring out time
- Increased RPM (rounds per minute)
- Decreased RPM
- Increased ADS and sprint out time
- Better aligned bullet trajectory with crosshair when aiming down sights
- Reduced headshot multiplier
- Increased headshot multiplier
- New Dark Flashbang option in settings menu
- Various improvements to audio
- Health regeneration delay reduced from 5s to 4s
- Spam behaviour penalty slightly reduced