The mismanagement of one of the biggest fighting games of recent memory continues. Bandai Namco Esports tweeted an image today with a very long statement from the Dragon Ball FighterZ development team covering the topics of the promised rollback netcode beta, the also promised upcoming balance patch and the announcement of a new Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour season.
Balance Adjustment patch, Rollback Netcode Beta Test and Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour update.#DBFZ #DBFZWT pic.twitter.com/ebzuCeezgS
— Bandai Namco Esports (@BNEesports) May 22, 2023
Rollback netcode beta delayed to unknown date
When rollback netcode for DBFZ was announced at Evo 2022, it was not clear how long we would be waiting for it. The first news of a time frame came earlier this year at the 2022-23 Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour Finals with the promise of a beta test coming to Steam in the Spring. Today the beta has been postponed to an unknown time frame to ensure “delivering the feature in its best shape,”.
This announcement shouldn’t come as a surprise if you’ve been following developer Arc System Works’ efforts elsewhere. The open beta test for Granblue Fantasy Versus Rising, scheduled for this month, was also delayed. Considering the developer’s ongoing challenges with online infrastructure in Guilty Gear: Strive, it’s understandable that they require additional time to refine the netcode across all their games.
When DBFZ does eventually get the netcode update, it will be exclusive to the next-gen console versions (PS5/Xbox Series) and Steam.
Upcoming balance patch drops the week of Combo Breaker, plus more patches coming
Returning to the subject of that Evo 2022 announcement, the development team announced at the World Tour finals in March that they were going back on their statement of “no more balance patches” and producing one more patch. It was hoped at the time of announcement that the balance patch would coincide with the netcode update to reinvigorate the game’s competitive community, but it seems Bandai Namco decided they wanted something out the door before Street Fighter 6’s release in June.
The 1.32 patch will be dropping on May 23rd, but we don’t know what’s in the patch yet. The statement promises the patch will be based on “voices from the community”, and encourages players to “experience both the characters you are familiar with, and those you have not used much in the past”.
This patch couldn’t come at a worst time for organizers in the community as it will go live on the eve of Combo Breaker 2023 this weekend. Combo Breaker has already advised they will not be using this patch for the tournament. Given the players competing at Combo Breaker 2023 will most likely be traveling to the event on the same day as the patch drops if not earlier, it’s the only sensible decision.
DBFZ Tournament Update:
CB2023 tournament consoles will be using the current Version 1.31 patch. They will not be updated with the Version 1.32 DLC releasing May 23, 2023.
— COMBO BREAKER (@COMBOBREAKER) May 22, 2023
It’s blatantly obvious that getting news out the door before SF6 is a priority for Bandai Namco, but it’s still pretty embarrassing to watch.
The image also promises that a second “round” of adjustments (read as: another balance patch) will be done “based on the results of this round.” Details to be announced later, of course.
The 2023-24 DBFZ World Tour begins at Evo 2023
The last piece of information in the image announces that a new season of the Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour will be kicking off with the first major stop at Evo 2023. They’re promising to continue a format that allows community tournaments to participate, which will help at least a little. The game really needs a shot in the arm in terms of grassroots growth be it better netcode to host competitions with or more incentives to compete offline.
Like with everything else DBFZ, details are TBA. Keep an eye on our Upcoming Major Events calendar for qualifier stops when we learn more.