Things clearly move very quickly in the world of game development, and that's especially true in the case of Lords of the Fallen. Just days after the developer addressed a major point of criticism, saying it will remain as it is, things have already started to change.
Starting with patch 1.1.224, which went live today.
One of the more contentious aspects of Lords of the Fallen has been enemy density, and their seemingly limitless ability to continue chasing the player for the entirety of a level. I criticised both of those design decisions in our Lords of the Fallen review, and they've come up in many other reviews.
Many players also agreed, so the issue was brought to HexWorks' attention in a livestream last week. Asked whether there are any plans to respond to feedback and adjust either of the two, studio head Saul Gascon said that they won't be adjusted.
Just a few days later, however, the developer has begun making changes. Patch 1.1.224 kicks this off, and it's one of two patches planned this week that will address the two issues. After installing the patch, enemies should no longer chase after you forever.
The update essentially limits enemies' leashing ability, making them more likely to return to their spawn points earlier than they used to. Thursday's patch, too, will expand on that by reducing the number of enemies altogether - but only in areas where the developer believes have the most issues.
The update should also reduce instances of enemies swarming players and landing multiple attacks at the same time. This will make them less aggressive and less prone to trapping players.
The current enemy make-up will remain in New Game Plus, however, as it is intended to be a more challenging experience. Speaking of NG+, the new mode has itself invited a lot of criticisms about the unexpected changes it makes to the game's world.
Before the patch, NG+ removed a lot of the Vestiges (bonfires) entirely from the game. The rationale was that all shortcuts players unlocked will be open, so there was no need for constant checkpoints. Going forward, however, NG+ will allow players to start at the standard difficulty.
Thursday's patch will reduce the number of Vestiges, but not to the degree NG+ currently does. The plan is for each consecutive NG+ option to gradually cut more and more of them, until all Vestiges are removed (save for some very crucial ones).
Down the line, you can expect a more involved NG+ modification system, which will enable players to customise their experience and pick what they want to keep, and what to remove. That extends to Vestiges, too.
The modifier will allow for more meaningful tweaks, such as adding a permadeath mode, item/enemy randomisation and so on. This is the sort of thing that mods typically bring to Souls-likes post-launch, so it's good to see HexWorks create those systems in-house. You can expect those those to arrive before the end of this year.
Check out the full change log for patch 1.1.224 at the link.