|Release Date||March 29, 2023|
|PTS Begins||March 2, 2023|
|PTS Ends||March 6, 2023|
Each week leading up to Season 3 contained more information from the development team and were presented in the below order. CW means Calendar week for each information release.
- CW 4 - Giving a fair chance to everyone
- CW 5 - A new menace
- CW 6 - Technical updates
- CW 7 - Prospect Station upgrades
- CW 8 - Visions of TC:F
- CW 9 - Public Test Server
- CW 10 - Pass of the Fortuna kind
The state of The Cycle: Frontier had several large changes following the release of Season 3. Listed below are some of the major ones, what they meant, and how they impacted the game moving forward.
The game no longer have a forced wipe after each season. The last global wipe happened on the 29th of March along the release of Season 3 and several things are being looked into to accommodate this change.
No forced wipes
No more global wipes does not mean that players themselves cannot initiate a wipe. The exact details are not yet available, but the below were expected/hinted as part of it.
- Manual Wipe for players
- Players will be able to manually wipe (prestige) their progress, rather than have a forced wipe. This allows anyone to start fresh at any time (exact requirements, if any, to be able to wipe haven't been revealed yet), while not forcing anyone who does not wish to do so.
- Potential rewards will be handed out for players that prestige.
A large part of the Economy were changed with Season 3, outlined below are some of the changes.
- Weapons have had their costs changed.
- Crafting have had its cost and recipes changed.
- Some new recipes were added for attachments.
- New recipe for a grenade using howler materials.
- Ammo were split into new types and rarities, and each weapon now require one of these (instead of the usual Light/Medium/Heavy) and may require scrips.
- Key usage have been changed and some keys are available in the shops.
- New key available: "Progenitor Corridor Key".
- Rarity of some keys will change.
- Loot rooms were overhauled with new appearances and different loot.
- Loot rooms that have their keycards' rarity increased will have more and better loot.
- Quest rewards were reworked.
The Faction campaigns are getting overhauled and Badum will receive his own quest-line.
- Early quest-lines have been reworked.
- Certain quests have new objectives.
- Certain objectives have been adjusted for less grind.
- New quests have been added in the early and mid-game.
- New quest-line from Badum at end-game.
- Some quests have been removed or replaced in mid-game.
Mark I and Mark II weapons
Season 3 added variants of existing weapons, these are of a different rarity than the original weapon, with separate stats and modding capabilities.
- Mk.I Weapons are weapons that are of a lower rarity than their original counterpart and will allow players with less progression to attain and test high-end weapons with less risk.
As an example, Exotic and Legendary weapons only have Mk.I versions of a lower rarity.
- Mk.II Weapons are be weapons that are of higher rarity than their original counterpart and will give players the possibility to use a weapon that they are comfortable with, further into the progression.
As an example, White and Green weapons only have Mk.II versions of a higher rarity.
- Original weapons act as MK I or MK II depending on the new weapon added, but retain their normal name.
- A handful of MK I weapons are available in shops.
- Mk.I ASP Flechette
- Mk.I Hammer
- Mk.I ICA Guarantee
Changes to Matchmaking
Several changes and tweaks for matchmaking were implemented for season 3, in order to ensure longevity and allow players to manually wipe, without putting themselves in a bad spot.
Work were also done in order to further ensure that players get the best experience possible, with fairer matchmaking, but also making sure to keep the mix of tension and excitement of not knowing who you will run into.
All these changes were done through changing and adding additional parameters into the matchmaking and should have resulted in a better experience for everyone. One such addition is gear being added as a factor in MMR.
Full details about the new matchmaking can be seen in the notes for Patch 3.0.0
Changes to starter packs
How starter packs work is be changed.
Everyone gained their usual starter pack at the launch of Season 3 and are expected to be regranted on manual wipe.
Public Test Server
A public test server was available from 2nd of March until 6th of March. Separate client download was required.
Content in the PTS was not final. Some planned features could have been missing, while other features might have been work-in-progress. Players were informed to expect bugs and issues to occur.
Feedback and bugs for the PTS had specific channels on the Discord in order for Yager to gather information easily during the test.
After the PTS was concluded, Yager closed of the PTS-channels on discord and compiled the feedback.
Yager later provided some answers and response in the PTS Feedback summary blog, giving some insight into further changes and planned areas to improve on before release as well as for post-release patches.
Season 3 included changes and updates too the Audio, making the game sound better and more immersive than ever before.
The Howler freely roam the skies of Fortuna, changing how Prospectors approach each area.
Using sound for locating and attacking prospectors from a distance, this new menace provide new challenges and tactics for both low and high-tier prospectors.
The howler require more effort to bring down compared to the already existing creatures, but is not be the only risk involved, as other players will hear and see the fight from afar, forcing anyone brave enough to take on this flying beast to also keep an eye on the ground.
The Howler boasts from a number of different attacks, both melee and ranged. These ranged attacks can get stuck on terrain and act as area-denial mines.
Scattered throughout Fortuna are the Howler's nests containing dangerous eggs. These nests have slightly altered the area they occupy, making some of the already well-known places of interest more exciting, and giving new reasons to explore them again.
While a good source of loot, prospectors need to be careful when approaching the eggs in a nest and be prepared to relocate and heal when necessary.
Anyone entering the area of a howler nest will need to stay alert and be able to adjust their plans accordingly as the eggs will protect themselves.
Offering new loot for prospectors, one should not only be wary of the nest itself, but also of other prospectors, coming to discover the new secrets that these areas may hold.
By collecting Howler Darts from the Howler, prospectors are able to craft Howler Grenades. These Grenades can be used for crowd control as they deal minimal damage, but adds a disorienting effect on anyone hit by them, much like the howler screams.
Prospectors have the possibility to save up to 3 different loadout-presets in order to more quickly get back on the surface for further prospecting.
Free Loadout Runs
When dropping onto Fortuna III, prospectors are able to select if they want to use their own gear or use a random faction-based loadout for free.
This Free Loadout Run allows players to land on the surface without the risk of losing any gear, while still being allowed to evac with anything they can carry.
The feature is aimed to help prospectors that are low on gear and resources, as well as to allow players to try out new weapons, without having to worry about losing money in the process.
In order to mitigate the impact on the economy these free items have, the loadouts' randomization is limited to a maximum of Rare (blue) items, and a cooldown period must pass before you can use another free loadout. For those that do not like their random loadout, they can re-roll it once every 24 hours.
Changes to the station
The station got a rework for Season 3, overhauling the experience a prospector will have on Prospect Station.
The overall feeling of the station is more of a dirty, gritty place in lack of space. More things are in temporary storage along the walls and areas, etc.
More NPCs were added around the station in order to make it appear more lively and give it a more natural feeling, along with busy robots and drones roaming the station to handle its needs.
The key changes were as follows:
- Facelift on the shops and faction headquarters.
- More buildings and more compact layout of the surrounding parts of the station.
- Some new objects were added and some were removed.
- Most grass, trees and flowers were removed.
- Some of the signs got a makeover.
- New NPCs with additional behaviours.
- Roaming drones that fly around the station.
- New building for Osiris.
- Captured creatures and samples of dead creatures scattered around the station.
New skins and archetypes
As always new skins and archetypes were slated to come with season 3 and we got a sneak-peak on some of those during Frosty Frontier Fest.
New Advocate skin coming in season 3
Weekly updates and developer media
Below is a list of official articles and media released, covering content and changes for Season 3.
- Giving a fair chance to everyone by providing Free Loadout Runs for players, reworking the matchmaking and planning for the future.
- A new menace, Howler is coming in season 3, along with minor map-changes, new loot, quests and more.
- The war on cheats is continuing on all fronts. A lot has been done but more is on the horizon and Yager is dedicated to reduce the impact from cheaters.
- Prospect station overhaul will give a new face to the station, making it feel more alive, but also represent the constraints of living in space.
- MK I and MK II weapons are coming in Season 3, giving the weapons we have come to know, new utility and broader usage.
- Season 3 Public Test Server is available from March 2'nd until March 6'th.
- PTS Feedback summary and input from developers on planned changes and tweaks.