Dropzone Going Free-to-play on April 12, Gets New 3v3 Team Mode and More in New Update

Dropzone Going Free-to-play on April 12, Gets New 3v3 Team Mode and More in New Update

Sparkypants Studios have announced that their MOBA RTS hybrid Dropzone is going free-to-play! The game also received a major update bringing a highly requested feature, 3v3 team mode and ranked play.

Sparkypants Studios released a new update and made a major announcement today regarding their MOBA/RTS hybrid Dropzone. The developers announced that Dropzone will officially be going free-to-play starting April 12, 2017. Alongside making the free-to-play announcement, Sparkypants Studios will be adding a 3v3 Team Mode, which has been the most requested feature since the game launched. Ranked play is also being introduced in the new update among other changes, which can be read about below.

The announcement of the game going free-to-play is great news for both current players and new players looking to get into the game for the first time. Since its Early Access release in February 2017, the game has maintained a “Mostly Positive” rating on Steam.

Here is a full breakdown of the update which is available now, courtesy of Sparkypants Studios:

  • Team 3v3 Mode
    • Everything you love about Dropzone, now with friends! You and two allied Commanders will each take control of 1 Rig to form a squad of 3, in a 15-minute match against three human opponents or the AI
    • Control 1 Rig on a team of 3, and fight against a team of 3 human opponents
    • Join 2 other human players in a match against an AI team
    • Play solo, forming a team with AI companions in a match against a computer-controlled team
    • Gameplay seamlessly continues if a player drops out, as an AI takes over for that player
    • Teammates share XP, vision, and objective points
    • Team chat available in-game and during draft
  • Ranked Play
    • Ranked 1v1 is the ultimate test of skill for seasoned Dropzone players!
    • Pick your favorite Pilots during the draft phase! No duplicate pilots allowed, so pick wisely
    • The Sideboard feature allows you to preemptively put aside 10 pieces of gear in preparation to counter your opponents pilot and gear selection during the Edit Gear phase of the draft
    • Leaderboard to be hooked up for Ranked play soon. All match history will be preserved and taken into account when leaderboard is hooked up
    • Ranked 1v1 Divisions and Reputation Points system coming soon
    • Ranked Draft option in Custom Lobbies is WIP and will be arriving next week
  • Multi-queueing
    • Search for Team matches (versus Human or AI), Player vs Player matches (Ranked or Unranked), or any combination of the four
    • Select multiple network regions in which to search for matches
    • Infestation multi-queueing coming soon
  • Party System
    • Form a persistent Party with up to two other players (friends or chat acquaintances) and search the queue for team matches
    • Any member of the party can initiate match seeking, but only the Party leader can add or remove members
    • Once a Party is created, chat privately in your own Party Chat window and build your rigs together to form the best winning strategy
    • All members must be at the Main Menu before a Party Seek is initiated
    • If a party member resigns from a match, they will see their other members as “busy” until they finish or leave that current game (WIP)
    • Any party member that starts a solo-style match or watches a replay before seeking begins will be removed from the party (WIP)

Gameplay Changes

  • Base Armor Changes (Kavash)
    • Kavash Worker – Base armor increased from 0 to 2
    • Kavash Soldier – Base armor increased from 0 to 2
    • Kavash Kamikaze – Base armor increased from 0 to 2
  • Base HP Changes (Kavash)
    • Kavash Worker – Base health reduced from 120 to 110
    • Kavash Soldier – Base health reduced from 400 to 375
    • Kavash Goblin – Base health reduced from 500 to 400
    • Kavash Kamikaze – Base health reduced from 200 to 185
  • Detection and Cloaking
    • Owned Vision Towers now have an inherent 15m detection radius for their owner’s team
    • MASR Flare has a 15m detection radius
    • Goons/Totems created by Replicating Rifle, Cloning Laser, Plasma Drone, Nanite Wall, Lapse Generator all have 10m detection radii
    • Cloaked units that take damage will be detected by the team that damaged them for 2s
    • This does not decloak the cloaked pilot, merely detects them briefly
    • You still need some source of LOS to the cloaked unit to see them even if they’re detected
  • Vision Towers
    • ALL teams now have detection on the Vision Tower’s plate, regardless of whether or not they own the tower.
    • They do not have vision around the Vision Tower unless they actually own it
  • Alt-Click Pings
    • Players can now alt-click Pilot and Match UI elements to alert their team
    • Alt-clicking the Pilot Portrait or Tab will alert allies of your health level when you rig is alive, and your respawn timer when your rig is dead
    • Alt-clicking abilities will alert allies of your ability status, whether it is locked, on cooldown, or ready to use
    • Players can alt-click the match timer to alert allies of the current time
    • Players can alt-click objectives to alert allies of the objective availability
  • Skylance now has team colored FX
  • Drone Strikes now has team colored FX

Gear Changes

  • Palm Rockets
    • Replicating Rifle Turrets, Plasma Drone, Lapse Generator minions are now ignored by the hook
    • Kavash workers and soldiers are now ignored by the hook
  • Acid Cannon
    • Now does DPS to units in the acid
    • Ability DPS rescaled from 0 to 40
    • Unlock level increased from 2 to 3
    • Armor debuff rescaled from 0/5/10/15/15 to 0/0/5/10/15
  • Atomic Welder
    • Unlock level lowered from 3 to 2
    • Cooldown rescaled from 8s to 0/16/8/8/8
  • Inhibitor Field
    • Now does damage at the same time it applies the disarm debuff
    • Burst damage increased from 0 to 100
  • Null Field
    • Ability DPS increased from 30 to 45
  • M.A.S.R. Flare
    • The flare can now be seen by the opponent before they enter its LOS. Previously you had to be within the LOS range of the flare before its particle FX would render
  • Napalm Canisters
    • Unlock level lowered from 3 to 2
    • Stacks per cast rescaled from 1 to 0/1/2/3/3
    • Now adds additional stacks of slag for each cast as the gear is upgraded
  • Hive Link
    • Unlock level increased from 2 to 3
    • Cooldown at level 3 unchanged at 16s
  • Radar Mapping
    • No longer grants detection when the Tank casts a spell
    • Now grants a LOS boost when the Tank casts a spell
    • 0 / 15 / 30 / 45 / 45 LOS. Buff lasts for 8s
  • Argus Routine
    • No longer grants detection when standing on the VT plate
    • Now grants a large amount of extra LOS (+105 vs the Vision Tower’s normal +68) when standing on the friendly Vision Tower’s plate
  • Resource Redirector
    • Redesigned
    • No longer grants a flat damage bonus
    • No longer affects Kavash units
    • Now grants 10% of the target’s current HP as bonus weapon damage. (The more HP the target currently has, the more bonus damage)
    • Activation time lowered from 3s to 2s
    • Unlock level unchanged

Pilot Changes

  • Base Armor Changes
    • Tank – Base armor reduced from 17 to 12
    • Gunner – Base armor reduced from 12 to 8
    • Mechanic – Base armor reduced from 13 to 6
    • Summoner – Base armor reduced from 11 to 5
  • Base HP Changes
    • Tank – Base health increased from 700 to 775
    • Gunner – Base health increased from 500 to 550
    • Mechanic – Base health increased from 575 to 700
    • Summoner – Base health increased from 450 to 550
  • Recon’s Trait
    • Armor debuff max stacks reduced from 3 to 2
    • Max armor debuff changed from -6 to -4
  • Vanguard’s Trait
    • Armor aura reduced from 4 to 3
  • Vanguard’s Special Move: Angel of Mercy
    • Can now be targeted on an enemy unit
    • Tether break rules are the same as before, and the tether will now break if Vanguard loses sight of her target
    • Cooldown increased from 50 to 80
    • Cast range reduced from 70 to 50
  • Knockout’s Special Move: Haymaker
    • Cast point moved from 0ms to 450ms
    • Recovery time unchanged at 1000ms
    • No longer snares the targeted unit immediately, it now waits for damage at the 450ms release event to start the knockback
    • The punch now has a range of 15m, units that get far enough away from Knockout during the windup will avoid the punch
    • The cast point and punch now occur on the same frame, so it’s impossible to burn the cooldown without delivering a punch
  • Warhead’s Special Move: Encase
    • Cast point changed from 0ms to 600ms
    • Recovery time unchanged at 1200ms
    • The cast point and the damage now occur on the same frame, so it’s impossible to burn the cooldown without delivering the ability’s effect
  • Turbine’s Special Move: Stoke the Fire
    • HP Drain no longer escalates over time, now maintains a constant value
    • Total HP Drain over 10s reduced from 440 to 220
  • Pandora’s Special Move: Litany of Plagues
    • Cast point moved to 500ms
    • You are now guaranteed to get the first burst of damage when the cooldown is burned
Miscellaneous Notes
  • Builder Changes
    • Pilots are now displayed on the left portion of the screen in a grid layout
    • All players have received a 4th squad. This 4th squad is a dedicated Ranked squad and cannot be used in non-ranked modes
    • When the Ranked squad is selected, an “Edit Sideboard” button will appear under the gear list module
  • The Match Found notification no longer has a decline option
  • Challenge Matches will now send both the Challenger and Challengee a Match Found check when the challenge is accepted
  • The Watch List has been updated to include a 3v3 sorting tab
  • Updated menu flow reflects new modes and changes to Dropzone
  • Multiplayer Pings have been iterated on but are still WIP
  • Global Chat is now located on the bottom right side of the screen, next to the new Party UI
Bug Fixes
  • Fixed an issue where Crumple Panels’ SFX was not looping correctly
  • Fixed an issue where Plasma Rifle did not display a Command Grid icon when amplified
  • Fixed an issue where Cleansing Cells debuff immunity status was not using the correct icon
  • Fixed an issue where the player could use Stealth Plating to skip a step that involved casting Rocket Cluster on an Alpha
  • Fixed a pathing issue in ‘A Surprise Encounter’ – issuing a ‘Back to Base’ after the rescue dropship has landed will send all units to the dropship
  • Fixed an issue where the full-body animation on the Tank wasn’t playing when Momentum Shifter was cast
  • Fixed an issue where Regenerative Layering’s stack would not go to 0 upon death
  • Fixed an issue where Amoeba Protocol continued to play the HP Buff FX after earning maximum stacks
  • Fixed an issue where special characters were not displayed correctly in the name change text field of account settings
  • Fixed an issue where the Palm Rockets chain was not displaying correctly in replays
  • Fixed an issue where the Laser Lens hit FX would play on the rig much later than when the damage was done
  • Fixed an issue where Crazed Banshee’s targeting FX would persist on the target if the projectile never impacted
  • Fixed an issue where Landfall’s gear card did not mention the ability’s windup
  • Minor localization and text fixes
Known Issues
  • There are known issues with words bleeding outside of their bounding boxes for every language other than English. Fixes are on the way
  • Locking Observer slots in Custom Matches only works when both slots are empty
  • The Private Match setting only works when the game is already created, so someone can join in-between
  • Hive Link does not have a cast ring around hives to show where the ability can be cast
  • The ‘Easy Pickings’ achievement does not count Hives killed by a teammate towards the goal
  • Global Chat does not reflect your changed name until you have restarted the game
  • Sideboard Phase of 1v1 Ranked Draft is not preventing double software from being selected on Pilots with two of the same software slots. If confirmed, software selection will revert to previous loadout
  • The Watch Menu does not refresh when you access the Watch Menu a second time via the Watch Button on the Main Menu. You must click through the game mode tabs to refresh the list
  • Party members that did not initiate a seek will see incorrect checkboxes sometimes (WIP)
  • All the new Play flow menus and new game mode menus still need translation for every language except English and German

Dropzone is currently available on Steam via Early Access. Players can join now by purchasing the game for $19.99 or one of the Founder’s Packs. The game will go free-to-play starting April 12, 2017. Current players will be migrated to the free-to-play version, retaining all progress, unlocks and rankings.