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Fired up Harvest community gets its way

Concept art for The Harvest

In-development blockchain game The Harvest will dump its new battle royale mechanics and restore the game’s original win condition after a community roasting over updates released during a closed beta week in early February. 

The free-to-play game’s MOBA mechanics will also be reinstated.

“We heard the community loud and clear,” chief marketing officer at Harvest publisher Falco, Alessandro Rosa, said during a community AMA on Friday.

“And we’re happy to say we are shifting the focus back to what we think makes the game unique – and what the community said made The Harvest unique.”

Battle royale mechanics got a firm thumbs down from The Harvest community.

The game is set in the futuristic world of the planet O’Ree-Jin, where up to four teams of three players race to harvest the most essence, the galaxy’s most valuable resource, in 10-minute matches. 

In its original form, the game was a new and interesting play on third-person shooters that combined strategy and MOBA mechanics. 

But in the February build, battle royale elements such as a ring system, where a ring starts closing in on the planet, were introduced, as was a new win condition. The winners were now the last team standing, rather than the team that had collected the most essence. 

The feedback on these changes from The Harvest community was far from favorable.

The Harvest is a free-to-play blockchain game, where teams compete to collect the most essence, planet O’Ree-Jin’s most valuable resource.

“We had this idea of testing a battle royale mode – a lot of people had suggested it – and we thought it could make the game better,” Falco CEO Luiz Puccini said during the AMA. 

“So, we made the change, tested it with the community – tried it ourselves – and it didn’t work. 

“The previous version of the game was more fun. It was more engaging. It was more unique.

“So we took the community feedback to heart and we reverted to the previous version.”

The community had also made it clear that the MOBA elements were what made the game unique, Rosa said, the parts of the game that allowed players to “level up, equip the cards, and fight NPCs, fight a boss that spawns in the middle of the map”.

Another issue identified by the community was the game’s lack of balance, and at the higher levels of gameplay, it had too much RNG. Most of the time the matches would end with a massive fight at the first place base. 

This wasn’t a bad mechanic but it left some players a little upset when they lost. The project is now looking at ways to make this mechanic fair and fun for everyone, no matter what their skill level. 

Harvest’s new chief technical officer Ricardo Chavarria, who has 15 years of game dev experience, including working for Lucas Arts shipping Forced Unleashed 1 and 2, said improvements were also going to be made to the map, “so it doesn’t feel as barren, including jumpers, new movement mechanics, and new revival methods”. 

He said they would make draining from bases more difficult, so it should no longer be easy to just sit and hide out at a base and get essence.

They also plan to make all the units in the game feel more impactful and balanced. The NPCs were almost irrelevant in the latest release, but in the next update, NPCs should be something players need to watch out for. 

The Harvest may also add new NPCs that will make the game more interesting and diverse. 

The player heroes will also get an update and be better balanced. 

Puccini said the changes were being worked on now. 

“We are changing everything back to how it was with the bases, the essence, and the essence stealing.”

“I think it was important for us to make this test, and understand what works and what doesn’t work inside the mechanic of The Harvest. 

“I would like to thank everyone in the community again for their candid feedback. This is how we can improve the game.” 

The Harvest is already available on Steam, but it has also been approved for the Epic Games store, as well Steam’s web3 competitor Elixir. 

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Cavan "Caveman" Roe

Caveman is one of Polemos' core content producers and a game expert with more than two decades of experience. He has been an esports professional and hosts Polemos Bridge on YouTube.