Posted Thu Nov 19, 2015 at 08:18 AM PST by Justin Clark
First major title update coming in December.
Harmonix has long talked about 'Rock Band 4' being a marathon, not a sprint, a platform upon which a better game might be continuously built, as opposed to the annual release road Activision clings to that pretty much strangled the genre into submission. The details have been thin thus far, but today, Harmonix is finally shedding a little bit of light on how they intend to accomplish their goals.
The tl;dr version of a pretty in-depth blog post on the matter is that they plan for a monthly update to the game. Sometimes it'll just be bug fixes and improvements. Other times it'll be massive feature additions. Other times, they'll be adding in some of the features from previous 'Rock Band titles'. There's already been a relatively small update earlier this month that adds the minor, but welcome addition that your custom band is now the default one you use in Quickplay. Next month's will be the start of the real deal, though.
The 12/8 update is mostly centered around the competitive side of 'Rock Band', adding a whole slew of leaderboard-style features to the game. A new indicator is being added that will let you know the second you pass a friend's score on a track. A new option will be added to the main menu that allows instant jumping into a track if your score's been beaten, as well as sending a friend a randomized Taunt message to let them know they just got served. Or owned. Or whatever the kids say nowadays to indicate dominance. There's also a few pro features being added, which will give a ton more detail and statistics at the end of a song, the most blessed of which being the addition of a Full Combo indicator which will denote when someone on the leaderboard got through a song without missing a note.
The full detailed list of changes included in the 12/8 update is posted below. the remainder is mostly smaller add-ons and bugfixes, though, hallelujah, they are finally making it so the Xbox's Store recognizes full albums and song packs again, and an accessibility feature is being added that will hit kick notes on drums automatically, which my downstairs neighbors will be very, very grateful for. A fix for the mic lag and the long-promised variable breakneck speed are due as well. Harmonix is also promising a new game mode that we'll be hearing about as we close in on the day, and lest something's changed since last month, 12/8's also the day you can import tracks from 'Rock Band 3' into the game. If Harmonix keeps this up month after month, we might be looking at an entirely different game come this time next year.
Score challenge features – This is a whole suite of features that is designed to leverage the competitive heart of the game:
In-game notifications of leaderboard events: Find out at the moment you pass a friend’s score with an all-new in-song indicator.
Activity feed: This is a main menu log of your leaderboard events and that also allows you to quickly jump to a track to regain your dominance.
Taunt system from the results screen: Let your friends know you beat their score by sending them a selectable randomized Taunt message. This taunt will appear in his or her Activity Feed.
Improved Calibration – thanks to your feedback, we’ve implemented some significant improvements. PLEASE NOTE that these changes require you to recalibrate.
Variable Breakneck Speed – One of the most requested features from the hardcore competitive community, Variable Breakneck Speed will allow players to individually set the Breakneck Speed of their tracks for the first time in a Rock Band title – up to 2X this time!
Full Combo Recognition & Indicator – The “Full Combo” (a perfect streak, no notes missed or additional strums/hits from start to finish) is one of the competitive player’s greatest achievements. Rock Band games haven’t kept track of this impressive feat in the past, and that all changes with this update. The game will now celebrate and track your FC success, and a subtle new in-song indicator will allow you to know if you’re still on track for an FC or if you’ve broken your streak. We also now indicate FC runs on the leaderboards.
More Song Results details – leaderboard info, plus detailed gameplay statistics will now be shown on the song results screen.
Player Stats – Want to know where you stack against your friends online? Access this new Player Stats screen from anywhere in the game to get a detailed overview of your complete Rock Band gameplay statistics, including cumulative scores, stars, and more.
New Items in the Rock Shop – we’ve got a handful of new assets in the Rock Shop, including one that celebrates a recent (and very awesome) game launch from a studio that we love.
Auto-kick mode – One of the most requested Accessibility features, this toggle will allow you to play drum parts by hitting the drum pads only while we automatically hit kick drum notes. This will be available as a toggle in the Options menu.
Packs and Albums in the XB1 in-game store are back in the store and contain content.
Fix to prevent hitches for PlayStation 4 players with 2000 Friends.
Leaderboards no longer mix player scores and percentages from different performances and instead show only the info for the single performance with the highest score.
Game no longer crashes when the vocalist joins a song that doesn’t have a vocal part.
Band History stats now list the correct total number of Rock Shop items.
Improvements to microphone lag.
Improvements to tambourine hit sensitivity.
Adjustments to track transparency.
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