The latest update for Titanfall will make the game more welcoming to casual players, and also introduce new competitive elements to let hardcore Pilots show off their skills.
The eighth update for Titanfall goes way beyond tweaking settings and performance issues. It adds the first co-op content to the game and finally gives players a way to skip the frustrating challenges required to rank up their Pilots. It also sets the stage for another, entirely new game mode that takes advantage of Titanfall’s wall-running system.
The major content updates for Titanfall, or the map pack expansions that added entirely new levels to play on, were publicized well in advance, probably because Electronic Arts wanted people to know what they were coughing up their money for if and when they bought a Season Pass for all that content.
Frontier Defense, however, is a huge addition to the game and the first time anyone heard about the new mode was when developers from Respawn announced it Wednesday on Twitch. Frontier Defense is a 4-player co-op survival mode, where players have to defend an objective against waves of increasingly difficult enemies.
While “Horde modes” like this are common, Frontier Defense will allow players to take advantage of Titanfall’s unique elements and apply them to an activity that doesn’t involve getting shot in the head by someone better at the game than they are, which is a first for Titanfall.
Another welcome change for Titanfall players who don’t fit the hardcore mold is the ability to skip the skill challenges that act as gates for the Generation system. Completing challenges allows Titanfall players to advance from Generation 1 to Generation 10. The Generation system is a way to demonstrate both skill and how long you’ve been playing the game.
Some of the skill challenges are preposterously difficult (and some would say decidedly not fun) to complete. Update 8 will allow players to spend the credits they earn during matches to skip challenges altogether.
For the hardcore set, Ranked Play will introduce new challenge tiers that can be completed on any map, and in any mode. Ranked Play is being launched in beta form, and the testing will continue at least through October, if not longer. Once released, Ranked Play will operate in “seasons,” with a new season beginning on the first of each month.
Map Stars are another new skill metric being added to all game modes and all game types. Players earn Map Stars by meeting score requirements during a match. There are more than 500 stars to earn, which gives seriously competitive Titanfall players another source of bragging rights. And all the changes mentioned so far are just the highlights for update 8. You can read the totality of the upcoming changes on the Titanfall website.
The update 8 post also announces a second, entirely new mode, called Deadly Ground, which fills the bottom of the map with electrified smoke, and therefore requires Pilots to wall-run to navigate the levels safely. It not only ought to be a fun skill challenge for experienced players, but also excellent trial-by-fire training for those of us who haven’t quite the mastered the skill, yet, because we can get away with it in other modes.
No date was given for the release of update 8—it was not live when we checked this morning—but the post cites that Deadly Ground mode arrives on Nov. 5. The rest of these changes should arrive in the very near future.