Titanfall ditches separate CTF/Pilot Hunter modes: "not widely used; overlong wait times"
Chris Thursten questioned Titanfall's staying power in his review back in March, and that staying power is unlikely to be invigorated by Respawn's decision to remove the Capture the Flag and Pilot Hunter modes from the PC version of the game. Well, that's not entirely accurate - they've removed both modes as separate playlists, but they're still around in the Variety game mode, or if you decide to play a private match. The reason for their removal? They were "not widely used" in the PC version, causing "overlong wait times" for players who wanted to join. Removing said modes is one way to reduce wait times, I guess.
Here's Respawn's explanation in more depth, from a recent explanatory post on the Titanfall site:
"We have an amazing and large PC audience with the vast majority of users predominantly playing Attrition and Hardpoints game modes. CTF and Pilot Hunter have not been widely used modes on the PC version. Players trying to access these modes had overlong wait times to find other users and it was making for a poor experience. We want to make sure that not only is there compelling content in the playlists we offer, but that the experience of joining a match works well. We’re tracking what playlists players are choosing, and we’re going to continue to look at unpopular playlists and add new ones on both platforms."
'Not widely used' is of course not equal to 'zero', so there's bound to be some of you justifiably miffed that you can no longer play your chosen game modes competitively. Although Respawn state that they're "currently working on [...] new modes and updates" and will "still rotate Pilot Hunter and CTF in for future playlists as well as adding new riffs on game types that Respawn is currently working on", outright removing modes in a game many of you will already be close to exhausting content-wise seems like a crazy decision.
Would this have happened if Titanfall used a traditional server browser, rather than a console-style lobby/matchmaking system? It's hard to say. Numbers might still have been a problem, but at least players would be privy to that information, and could better arrange matches themselves.
While we begin the wait for new modes, at least we have three new maps to jetpack and titan-stomp around in (well, if you're willing to give Respawn/EA another $10), courtesy of the recently released Expedition DLC.