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COMPETITIVE PERSPECTIVE: ARMAJET UPDATE 1.4


On the latest Armajet Dev Stream, Super Bit Machine spoiled its community with a sneak peek into the new 1.4 Update. It has since then been an interesting week with discussion and speculation about potential trailblazing changes to the current meta and how it should affect the competitive stage. Now that the update has dropped, it seems like a discussion was much needed. We asked HAMMERS6 to breakdown the update to the community and settle the ever so interesting meta debate.

 

UPDATE 1.4 SUMMARY

  • AI/Bot tweaks and improvements resulting in more intelligent and accurate AI/bots in Public Match lobbies;
  • Players are now able to penetrate or “shoot-through” friendly players by means of Primaries, Secondaries, and Ultimates;
  • Round time in Team Deathmatch (TDM) reduced to 3 minutes (3:00) per round from 4 minutes (4:00), a decrease of one minute in maximum playtime;
  • Kill count in Team Deathmatch (TDM) reduced to 30 kills from 40;
  • Integrated muffled audio sounds with player health to warn players in near-death situations;
  • Visual upgrades on the client-side;
  • Overall stability fixes and improvements.

META

Before we deep-dive into the changes of this update, let’s start by defining the meaning of “meta”. In gaming, “meta” is a prefix cleverly referring to itself, commonly practiced as the backronym “most effective tools available“. In Armajet, this can be reflected in the ideal composition of Primaries, Secondaries, and Ultimates between all four players on one side as opposed to the enemy’s composition.
 

This raises the question: what was the meta prior to Update 1.4? A mishmash of mid-ranged back and forth with assault rifles and playing tag with long-range sniper rifles? It’s a bit more complicated. While it was indeed a mid-to-long-range-based meta with the Blacktusk and Longclaw on the forefront, there was still room to change up your playstyle with short-ranged weaponry, even during competitive play, and have an apparent chance at turning the tables on your opponent. Weapon rebalances made sense in the long run and the game, in general, felt fair to most veterans.

SHOOT-THROUGH

With players now being able to “shoot-through” teammates, long-ranged weapons are now what teams should, and most likely will build their team compositions around. Along with their explosive counterparts (Badger and Havoc), teams will be focusing on a more defensive play-style, and develop even heavier “pack-moving” playstyles on the defensive side. While pack-moving may not work all the time due to the lack of aggressive options on the offense, it is still a very strong way to play defense.

USE OF SECONDARIES

Secondary weapons are going to see some large shifts in play as well. As talked about previously, the playstyle of teams is going to shift to that of hyper-defensive, with increased use of ranged options, with secondaries based around said changes. Pistols (Enforcer and Marauder) are going to stay as the best Secondaries of choice, but we will see an increased play in Incendiary Grenade, because of its zoning and support potential, as well as a possible use of Frag Grenade, due to its high damage output on the defensive side, although their lack of range denies it effective offensive capability.

(NON) USE OF SHORT-RANGED WEAPONRY

Along with the increase in defensive and ranged play, short-ranged weaponry will fall out of favor, even more, cementing even further their position as objectively the worst set of weapons in the game, with every shotgun except for Tremor losing practically all viability. Rifles with slow movement speed, Ironbark, for example, get hit terribly due to the higher prevalence of spacing and the increased amount of long-range weapons, the higher difficulty in fleeing from fights. The Wildfyre and Velocitas, too, may lose its charm as previously being the only weapons able to penetrate teammates.

USE OF ULTIMATES

Due to the fact that matches now only last 3 minutes tops, the use of Ultimates with a high charge is going to drop drastically, providing that charges for these Ultimates will remain untouched in future updates. Airstrikes cost the most and will, therefore, become nearly useless, seeing as players won't even acquire it once a round. The cheapest cost Ultimates, the Exo Modules (Exo Super Speed, Exo Trigger Happy, Exo Super Shield, and Exo Self Heal), are going to see a massive increase in play. They're almost guaranteed to get once a round, sometimes twice.

TL;DR

The changes Update 1.4 has brought with it could dramatically change the way we play the game. “Shoot-through” introduces new compositions and movement strategies favoring long-ranged gameplay. Shorter round times and a lower kills-to-win cause a shift in the use of Ultimates. Double Damage and Invisibility pickups will become more viable and decisive because of the aforementioned changes in gameplay.
 

In our opinion, we'd also like to point out the unseen dangers of trusting a 'casual majority'. We’ve seen with previous aspiring competitive titles that listening to a casual majority may come at the expense of neglecting your core competitive community, who also happen to have racked up a lot more matches and expanded more on their armory than casual players—see Paladins Strike and Mayhem. Ultimately, these are only our early speculations. Not enough time has passed since the update dropped for us to draw firm conclusions. Most of the changes only apply to Team Deathmatch, which might not even be part of future competitive playlists for us to be bothered anyway. We are excited to further experiment with everything Update 1.4 has to bring. Till next update!
 

HAMMERS6 is the competitive Armajet team for Hammers Esports and also the longest standing team still active in the game. Aside from competing, we are also active in the field of content creation. Follow our team on Twitter to see when they live stream or upload!

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-HAMMERS6