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The last update which removed CMM and made the Server Browser usable again brought me back after about a year without playing the game. Here are my impressions.
-Merc Balance is pretty good. I still think there are too many explosions and that the game doesn't require as much skill as it did before, but they don't seem too op, and the "non explosive mercs" are good enough to be used against the noob-friendly ones.
-Match Balance is good enough. I think it's largely due to the fact that the game is dying and that there are almost no new players, which means servers tend to be filled only with high ranked players, and you don't see as many dead weights as before (useless Vassilis, Auras that don't revive, you know what I'm talking about).
-Castle is good. Well-balanced, well-designed, it will become one of my favorite maps.
-Terminal Redux is pretty good too, I like the changes.
-Dome Redux is slightly better than it was, but a double bombsite system on the second objective doesn't fit in a game like DB. It was a good try to vary the maps a bit, but it doesn't work.
In Game progress
-WTF happened to drops????? I haven't gotten a SINGLE loadout case in more than 15 hours of playtime. Do they even exist anymore? All that I got was maybe 3 Fragment cases. I understand that now they give cards starting at Bronze rarity, but getting 20 fragments every 5 hours doesn't make up for the recycling potential leads and irons had.
-The grind is pretty bad. Obviously, I'm now missing quite a few mercs, and I can only imagine how horrible it must be for new players to grind hours and hours to unlock more than 20 mercs. That credit rate was ok when there were 10 to 15 mercs, but now that there are more, starting to play now must be a real pain. The game is not technically p2w as you can get everything with credits, but a lot of people will feel forced to buy mercs with real money. It's an acceptable way to monetize the game, but at this point retaining new players might be more important.
-Updates are insanely large. 1.3 GB for the last one, really? I remember an announcement in an old dev video saying they had done something about that at some point, and it did get better after that, but it seems like we're back to 1+ Gb updates. Sucks for people who don't have great internet.
-What was the point of removing texturepoolsize 1? It already should have been an in game option, but now we can't even enable it through the console? Come on, this is just a pointless removal.
-There is still no proper clan system after all that time.
-Finishing downed players with the knife can be a pain, the hitboxes are so bad.