Publisher Square Enix and developer PlatinumGames have published the “Closed Beta Test: Phase 1 Report” for Babylon’s Fall, which addresses issues and user feedback from the first phase of the game’s closed beta test.
The companies also announced that Phase 2 will be held on the following dates:
- Japan – September 10 from 19:30 to 22:00 JST
- North America – September 11 from 19:30 to 22:00 PT
- Europe – September 13 from 19:30 to 22:00 BST
The following accompanying articles were also published:
Get the full Closed Beta Test: Phase 1 Report below.
Firstly, please allow us to offer our sincere thanks to everyone who participated in Phase 1 of the Closed Beta Test for Babylon’s Fall!
We’ve managed to take an important first step towards establishing stable service for Babylon’s Fall.
■ Main Areas Tested in Phase 1
Steam Version Game Client Download and Installation
No major issues were discovered with downloading and installing the game client.
Steam Version Account Registration and Authentication
We received a lot of feedback from players who were unable to progress beyond the Software Agreement screen due to keyboard controls not being supported. We plan to support keyboard controls from the retail version of the game onwards. We also noted some cases where running the game in full-screen mode would cause the login screen to respond exceptionally slowly, making it difficult to start playing the game. We will continue investigating and working on this issue.
Server and Network Behavior
The servers remained extremely stable. However, we received reports of the game freezing immediately after entering a dungeon. This was caused by the game waiting for loading to complete for all matched members. We will be working on addressing this issue.
In addition to the above, we also managed to gather a lot of other valuable data. In particular, we received a lot of feedback expressing that the controls were not intuitive, or that they were difficult to understand. We will be looking into how we can improve this. Thank you all very much for your help!
We’d like to share some feedback we received from the survey about the online service, which was one of the main aims for this round of testing.
How was the waiting time for matching with other players for quests?
How was your multiplayer experience in terms of latency?
For most PC setups and play environments, we were able to provide a smooth experience. However, we are also aware that the game felt unstable on some setups and that some people were unable to have a satisfying experience. We will be investigating the causes of this and working on solutions.
■ Feedback / Questions
Babylon’s Fall‘s Development Directors, Mr. Kenji Saito and Mr. Takahisa Sugiyama from PlatinumGames, respond to your questions and comments from the survey and the forums!
The pace of the game is slow, and the action didn’t feel very exciting.
During this first phase of testing we received a lot of really valuable feedback saying that movement and responsiveness felt slow, and that the gameplay didn’t have a sense of exhilaration. When we released the E3 trailer in June earlier this year we also saw similar opinions about the action. In light of this feedback, we’ve begun work on reviewing and improving these aspects.
To make Babylon’s Fall a game that players enjoy playing for a long time, we’re focused on designing a gameplay experience that stands up to repeated play sessions.
To give the game replayability, we aimed to implement straightforward controls and, in terms of difficulty, we envisaged a style that would focus on simple choices—such as whether to attack or defend—rather than a more demanding style of action, which would require players to read the individual frames of animation. However, this focus ended up slowing the pace of the game and reducing the sense of exhilaration. We’re aware that this is something that needs to be resolved and have begun work on enhancements.
Unfortunately, due to the development schedule, we were unable to reflect these changes in Phase 1 of the beta test, but we are planning improvements in the following three major areas.
- 1. Player character movement and responsiveness. We’ll be implementing the following improvements to make the game feel more responsive.
- Adjust attack startup animations
- Revise attack startup frames
- Revise attack transition frames
- Revise hitstun frames
- 2. Add characteristics to each type of player weapon. In addition to improving the gameplay, this should improve the pace of the game and the sense of exhilaration.
- Add upgrade cycles to each weapon
- Conduct major rework of Rod and Shield
- Add abilities that trigger when equipping multiple weapons of the same type
- 3. Revise enemy behavior and enemy reactions upon receiving damage. Improve the sense of exhilaration from the action by improving gameplay.
- Improve enemy reactions when taking damage
Babylon’s Fall uses a “Client-Server System” to provide greater security, maintain a smooth gameplay experience, and prevent cheating. This system will always cause some issues with synchronization, no matter how short a delay, due to the time lag from data on player movements being processed on the game server side before being sent back to the client. We are looking into implementing a new structure to improve the existing latency.
While we are working full steam ahead on all these improvements, we also want to make sure that the game will be solid and stable the next time we show it to you, so the changes may take us some time. We are working toward having you play that version of the game with all these improvements implemented in Phase 3. Please bear with us while we continue to work wholeheartedly on further development!
To all the players looking forward to Babylon’s Fall, I would like to offer my sincerest apologies for making you wait so long, and I thank you for your understanding.
The brushwork filter (oil-painting-style filter) making visibility bad.
We’ve received feedback that the current brushwork filter impedes visibility, and have received requests to change it. Throughout development, one of our aims has been to make players feel immersed in a painted world reminiscent of classic fantasy art. We now see that the balance between the painted world concept and visibility needs further adjustment.
The development team is working on some major improvements to the art—we’ll be considering visibility as a top priority, alongside the original concept of an atmosphere that feels like stepping into a painting.
At the moment, we’re working on additional features to support these changes, as well as the associated adjustments to all the environments. I apologize for the wait, but this may take some time.
Are you planning to support keyboard controls?
I would like to apologize for the inconvenience caused here. Keyboard controls will be supported from the retail version onwards, so I ask for your patience.
Will you be able to sell unneeded equipment in one go?
We received a lot of feedback about various inconveniences in the game, like being unable to get rid of multiple equipment at once. This was something that we’ve been wanting to resolve as well. I’d like to move forward with making improvements to various features that allow for batch operations wherever possible.
In the control menus, there are a lot of different functions with very similar screens, so we’re aiming to make it as user-friendly and integrated as possible. Please bear with us while we work on consistent improvements to the entire system.
It’s difficult to check the additional effects of equipment, which felt kind of annoying.
We received feedback that additional effects of equipment were difficult to check. This is really important information for a hack and slash game, so I’d like to improve this to make it easier to find, with consideration for the current layout. In particular, we’ll be considering improvements to make it easier to check the additional effects on individual pieces of equipment.
It was difficult to identify which NPCs and objects could be interacted with.
I apologize for all the inconvenience caused from us not having prepared tutorials which introduce the flow of the game step-by-step for this round of the CBT. In addition to improving the visuals to make these aspects easier to detect, we are also planning to implement additional guidance according to the player’s progress in the final game.
The button icons displayed during dungeon mechanics and Gutwork are small and hard to see.
We’re continuing to make improvements to make the game easier to play, as we refine the balance between the art style and visibility. We will improve the design of these icons for increased visibility.
There’s a lot of game-specific terminology that’s difficult to understand, like “Handling” for attack speed.
It seems like some things couldn’t be understood very intuitively, so we’ll be working on improvements, including reviewing the actual terms used. We will continue to polish this aspect in close collaboration with the scenario writer, Mr. Iwao, to ensure that each and every word that appears in the game is consistent with the world and lore, as well as being understandable.
I couldn’t understand the difference between attack modes such as “Mars mode” and “Diana mode.”
In this closed beta test version, the explanations for each attack mode were insufficient. We will add tutorials and such in the retail version so that you can understand the characteristics of each attack mode and use them properly.
■ Future Closed Beta Test Schedule
We plan to hold Phase 2 of the Closed Beta Test according to the following schedule. The aim of Phase 2 will be stress testing, and while the test will be held for a shorter period, we will be selecting more people to increase the number of testers. In addition, we will be adding PlayStation 4 to the supported platforms! We have already sent information successful applicants, so please be sure to check your e-mail.
- Japanese Server – Friday, September 10, 2021 19:30 to 22:00 (JST)
- North American Server – Saturday, September 11, 2021 19:30 to 22:00 (PDT)
- European Server – Monday, September 13, 2021 19:30 to 22:00 (BST)
Additionally, those who were selected for Phase 1 can continue to participate in Phase 2. There is also a new quest to play in Phase 2, so please do join in!
What are your plans for development moving forward?
Thank you so much for all of the feedback during the Closed Beta Test. We understand that there is still room for improvement when it comes to the visibility of the graphics, the controls, and having an easy-to-use UI/UX, so we will focus on improving these elements.
It will be difficult to reflect these changes for Phase 2, but we will focus our efforts so that we will be able to show you an even better Babylon’s Fall which is of an even higher quality in Phase 3. Please look forward to it!
Phase 3 is scheduled to be held around November 2021. We are terribly sorry that this will mean that those who applied to play on PlayStation 5 will have to wait a bit longer. The whole team will continue to work on development so that we can give you all an incredible experience. We hope that you will continue to support Babylon’s Fall.
When will new information on Babylon’s Fall be announced?
As we will be focusing on development, we will not be presenting the game at events such as Tokyo Game Show 2021 anytime soon. We plan to release new information around November when Phase 3 will take place. We would like to say sorry to everyone who was looking forward to more information, but please wait a little bit longer for details on the content of the game, and new new Babylon’s Fall videos.
Babylon’s Fall Directors
Kenji Saito and Takahisa Sugiyama, PlatinumGames
Finally, we are deeply grateful that so many people took part in Phase 1 of the Closed Beta Test, despite it only being held for a short period of time. We hope that you all will continue to support Babylon’s Fall!
Babylon’s Fall is in development for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and PC (Steam). A release date has yet to be announced.