Closed Beta Test: Phase 2 Report

CBT Closed Beta Test: Phase 2 Report

10/05/2021 20:25

Greetings, Sentinels!
Thank you so much for participating in Phase 2 of the Closed Beta Test.

The second phase saw the addition of the PlayStation®4 version and was mainly aimed at stress testing the server capacity.
In this report we would like to present the results of the test, and also inform you about the current development progress and our future operations.

Main Areas Tested in Phase 2

Based on the anticipated server load for Phase 2, the development team prepared for a server capacity twice the size of Phase 1. The results for Phase 2 showed approximately three times as many account creations compared to Phase 1, and 65% of total users connected simultaneously during peak time.

We had some initial concerns that the high number of simultaneous connections would cause quests to not start properly or control inputs to be delayed, but thankfully no major issues were seen. We also saw no effect on matchmaking due to high levels of server traffic.

However, we did discover and are addressing a bug where players’ connections would drop under certain circumstances, such as during Quick Match, which also resulted in other players having to wait for long periods.

Shifts in server stress patterns


Development Progress Report

We would now like to present some details of the development team’s progress in improving some of the areas that were mentioned in the Phase 1 Report. We are hard at work on these improvements and aim to have them reflected in the Phase 3 build.

Adjustments to the brushwork filter

Firstly, we would like to report on the ongoing improvements to the graphics. This was an area we received many strong opinions and requests about in Phases 1 and 2 of the Closed Beta Test, particularly regarding poor visibility. Accordingly, we have been working to improve the overall visual clarity, while still keeping the distinctive classic fantasy oil painting aesthetic.

The interactive screenshot below allows you to compare the graphics from Phase 2 with the graphics from Phase 3, where the filter has been tweaked. It has been re-worked so that background vistas still retain an oil painting feel, while fine details in the foreground, such as the ornamentations on cloth or the wood grain texture in flooring, are clear and easily discernible.

 

Move the slider to compare

Improvements to action gameplay

In Phases 1 and 2 of the Closed Beta Test, we also received feedback from many players about gameplay, noting requests to address sluggish movement and low responsiveness, as well as a general lack of excitement. As mentioned in our previous report, the action elements of the game will be getting major tweaks and adjustments.
Here is a video showing just a small number of the improvements we plan to implement for Phase 3 of the test.

We have carried out wide-reaching improvements in multiple directions to give BABYLON’S FALL the kind of responsive action gameplay that is PlatinumGames’ trademark. This includes changes to attack speed, re-working of combat motions, re-structuring how combos are put together, adding in unique actions for each weapon, and more. We will continue polishing combat even further after Phase 3 into the official launch, so please keep your valuable feedback coming.

We also received a wealth of feedback concerning other areas besides graphics and actions. As with Phase 1, we will go through all the comments we receive and consider if and how to implement them.

Play Data

Let’s look at the trends we saw among Sentinel Force members during Phase 2 of the test.

What was the most popular type of weapon?


What was the most popular attack mode?


We unfortunately did not have enough tutorials implemented during this phase to really allow players to understand and enjoy the differences between each of the attack modes. In the release version we plan on having a solid set of tutorials so everyone can fully understand the different characteristics of each weapon and mode and put together their own unique combat style!

Phase 3 Details

The schedule for Phase 3 of the Closed Beta Test has now been finalized! This phase will be a continuous 48-hour test held across the Japan, North America, and Europe regions simultaneously!

JP ServerMonday, November 15, 2021 18:00 – Wednesday, November 17, 2021 18:00 (JST)
NA ServerMonday, November 15, 2021 01:00 – Wednesday, November 17, 2021 01:00 (PST)
EU ServerMonday, November 15, 2021 09:00 – Wednesday, November 17, 2021 09:00 (GMT)

Phase 3 will add the PlayStation®5 version and enable cross-platform multiplay, letting players take on six challenging quests! We will also have reflected as much feedback from the previous test phases as possible, with significant changes to graphics and gameplay in particular.

Players who were selected for the previous phases of the Closed Beta Test will be able to participate in Phase 3 as well. New players selected for Phase 3 should receive an email explaining how to play around one week before the test is due to start.

Recruiting additional testers to participate in Phase 3!

Please see the notice below for full details of how to access the application form and apply.
The deadline for applications is Wednesday, October 27, 2021, at 18:59 (PST). From Phase 3 onwards we are also allowing participants to record and stream the game, so come and join the fun!

CBT Phase 3 Recruitment

Announcing the BABYLONS FALL Closed Beta Test Phase 3 preliminary broadcast (title TBC)!

In preparation for Phase 3 of the Closed Beta Test, we will be putting out a special show to look back over the previous two phases of the beta and to show off elements of the game that have seen major fixes and improvements before our players get their own hands on the new build. The full schedule will be announced via the official Twitter account and on the Hanging Garden website as soon as it has been finalized.

BABYLON’S FALL Operations

This is Shingo Fuchigami, Operations Director for BABYLON’S FALL at Square Enix. First of all, let me thank everyone who has helped us out with the tests so far. Today I’d like to tell you about how we want to approach the game’s overall operations!

I feel that listening to and communicating with the community so that everyone can enjoy the game for a long time to come is vitally important. We have already looked at all the comments and opinions sent to us in the Closed Beta Test participant surveys and on the forums, as well as those found on other platforms such as Twitter. We have collated and analyzed these and have shared our findings with the development team.

Of course, our wonderful operations teams in Japan as well as North America and Europe will also be helping and collaborating to make sure we see and consider feedback from all regions.

The feedback from players who participated in our beta tests is particularly valuable to us, and even at this stage it has already allowed us to decide on various additions and changes in the game. You will even see some of those changes as early as Phase 3.

On the other hand, we also very much want to preserve the unique aspects of BABYLON’S FALL that give it such a distinctive character, so we will make sure to get a strong understanding of what parts of the game are especially appealing to the fans and to refine that even further.

To that end, we believe that having a firm grasp of what all our players say, and sharing that with the development team is critical to our operations.

This “players first” policy is not just for this ongoing development period; we plan to adhere to it even after the official launch too, so I would be delighted to keep hearing your feedback and opinions moving forward!

I also have one announcement to make: We have decided to set up an official Discord server to further strengthen the BABYLON’S FALL community in the push towards official release!

We hope that fans can use this server to hold discussions about the game, to post opinions in a more relaxed manner, and as a tool for finding new comrades to take on dungeons together.

We plan to open the official server by the end of 2021, so it’s just around the corner.

In closing, the development team wishes to sincerely thank everyone who participated in Phase 2 of the Closed Beta Test and sent in their feedback! Thank you, and we hope you continue supporting BABYLON’S FALL!

Follow the official BABYLON’S FALL SNS account for the latest information about the game