While Star Wars: Squadrons is one hell of a dogfighting game, its deadliest foe wasn't an Imperial ace or Rebel smuggler. Instead, janky matchmaking issues have been slowly wiping out fleets, with more games than not ending up abandoned and offering no reward.
Hopefully, that ends with today's 2.0 update, which overhauls the way Squadrons handles leavers and losses.
Headlining today's update is a new "forfeit" system, replacing the "Safe to Leave" and "Match Not Scored" qualifiers that previously affected abandoned games. Winning a game should now always net full rewards, regardless of how many opponents dropped out. Losing after a teammate abandons—either through defeat or choosing to forfeit the match—will still count as a loss, though you'll lose substantially fewer skill points in doing so.
Ranked lobbies will now also backfill should someone drop out during the pre-game briefing. Players who duck out (whether through choice or disconnect) during this phase will still lose a couple of skill points, but won't be counted as a leave or loss.
"Overall, we hope that these changes will mean that players will play in full games much more often," EA wrote, "and when things do go wrong, players will still be properly rewarded for their time and feel more in control of their experience."
There's a bit more housekeeping in today's update, too. A particularly nasty bug that hit me is one that would break your ranked score, leaving you at a permanent zero regardless of performance. With today's update, you can now reset your rank once per Operation (season). You'll have to redo your placements, sure, but at least more of your games should count towards that completion.
Back in space, Motive has taken aim at the somewhat powerful TIE Bombers. Plenty of pilots were starting to catch on that you could park one underneath an enemy capital ship and just unload on subsystems, tanking incoming turret fire. To that end, hull strength has been dramatically reduced, while capital turrets are now much, much scarier when approached slowly or out of phase.
The patch notes contain a good list of smaller changes, my personal fave being more obstacle courses in the game's practice mode. As a nice bonus, everyone should also find 1,200 Glory in their wallets—enough to buy one legendary cosmetic for your rebel or space fascist.
Fixing up those matchmaking bugs has cleared up a lot of the frustrations keeping me from getting back in the cockpit. Still, it's a bit of a downer knowing that there are no plans to grow Squadrons into more than it is right now.