Outriders devs promise more frequent updates but players are fed up

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People Can Fly, the developers behind Outriders released a patch for the game on Thursday and promised to update Outriders more frequently, but players aren’t sticking around to see those updates.

While Outriders was fun at launch we cautioned against a purchase before the launch issues had been resolved. Unfortunately, as People Can Fly has fixed problems, it has also created many more.

One of the bigger issues right now is a bug that sees enemies killing the player in one shot. We’ve encountered this bug and it is incredibly frustrating when despite managing your HP, armour, ammunition and ability cooldowns, a small enemy is able to kill you with a tap.

There have also been calls from the Outriders community to improve the drop rate of Legendary gear, the highest tier of gear in the game. As it stands we have received zero Legendary drops in-game aside from one boss fight where we suspect the Legendary was guaranteed as a Legendary weapon dropped at this point across multiple play-throughs.

So did the latest patch fix any of these problems? Of course not.

The patch released on Thursday is four points long and weighs in at 800MB on Steam. Here’s what the patch notes say:

  • Implemented a block that prevents players from kicking other players towards the end of an Expeditions session.
  • Implemented Region Based Matchmaking to improve the quality of multiplayer connections.
  • Updated the login signing in text to better reflect the current signing in process step.
  • Fixed crash and memory leak issues.

But what really irks us is how badly People Can Fly is handling this situation.

Rather than being transparent with players, the developer is being obtuse and guarding how its in-game systems work a bit too closely to its chest.

For instance, last week People Can Fly wrote the following in response to complaints about Legendary drop rates.

“We’re aware that some players are unhappy with legendary drop rates as they currently are. This is a topic that, across various game modes and difficulty levels includes many layers and further questions. To that end, we’re planning to share more information about legendary drop rate mechanics in future to help you understand the system a bit better and to help make your farming more targeted and less frustrating,” the developer wrote.

Let’s back up here for a moment. People Can Fly has never – at least to our knowledge – detailed how players can farm for Legendary gear in a targeted way. During the free beta test earlier this year the developer did lower drop rates as players found a clever way to farm one Captain over and over again for gear.

Since then, nothing, not a peep.

Now the developer is using the same line when it comes to the aforementioned survivability bug.

“We are investigating continued reports of player survivability issues. As we previously explained in our recent ‘Latest News and Known Issues’ blog post, we are looking to explain in the near future some of the deeper mechanics at play with Outriders,” wrote People Can Fly.

Silly us, we’ve just been playing the game wrong, as has every single one of the 3.5 million players who picked up the game in the last month. Here’s a wild idea though, maybe you could tell us what we’re doing wrong People Can Fly instead of being as a cryptic as possible?

The most bizarre bit of news from this update post, however, is a single line that really has us scratching our heads.

“Players can expect more frequent updates as we look to make the best possible Outriders experience,” the dev wrote.

This sounds an awful lot like a type of game People Can Fly is adamant it’s not – that being a live service game.

Back in February 2020, lead narrative designer on Outriders, Szymon Barchan told VG247, “We’re launching with a full game that you can enjoy with everything there. That was the plan four years ago, and those are decisions and directions we’re sticking to.”

While we understand bug fixes need to happen, right now it looks like Outriders is getting updated more frequently than Destiny 2, which is unabashedly a live service game.

Unfortunately People Can Fly’s efforts seem to be too little to late, at least for PC players.

According to data from Steam Charts, Outriders has lost 20.01 percent of its playerbase in the last 30 days. In April Outriders had 125 123 players on Steam, over the last 30 days that number has fallen to 20 525.

To illustrate how bad this is, yesterday at 19:00 Bungie released a sizeable patch for Destiny 2, at that time – while players were downloading the patch – there were 24 000 players playing Destiny 2 on Steam compared to a frankly embarrassing 4 000 in Outriders.

Of course, this doesn’t take players on other platforms into account but given the tone of the Outriders sub-Reddit, we’re inclined to believe that players are fed up regardless of what platform they’re on.

People Can Fly needs to take drastic action if it wants to turn Outriders into a franchise because right now it’s more of a cousin to Anthem than a Destiny killer.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.