Rogue Company Announcements Include New Game Mode, Year One Pass, and More During HRX 2021
Traditionally, Hi-Rez Expo (HRX) is where all of the major announcements for Hi-Rez Studios games would be held. Sadly, COVID-19 means HRX has to be held online. While I will miss the overwhelming feeling of togetherness and hype that the Hi-Rez community brings, we still have tons of news to talk about! Earlier this week, I had a chance to talk to the Rogue Company developers, to learn all about what we can expect in 2021. Rogue Company has been the biggest launch of any Hi-Rez game to date; I should know, I’ve been there for pretty much all of them. But with 15m players enjoying this new shooter across a variety of consoles, there’s so much to talk about. What can we expect from Rogue Company in 2021 as far as announcements go? I’m glad you asked!
Of course, thanks to Scott Zier (Creative Director) of First Watch Games for taking the time to chat with us!
Army of Two
Rogue Company’s 2020 was exceptional. We started off with 12 Rogues, each with their own unique capabilities, gear, and skillset. The maps were gorgeous, and the gameplay was tight. Heck, there were even huge crossovers with esports/streaming superstars. The Dr Disrespect map and 100 Thieves skins leap immediately to mind. But why stop there? There’s no time for Rogue Company to rest on their laurels, after all.
The biggest of the 2021 Rogue Company announcements for me was a brand-new mode. 2v2 Skirmish Maps are in the near future for Rogue Company! The new mode itself is called Wingman, which will use the Skirmish Maps. These maps are designed for these 2v2 conflicts, so will be smaller, more compact. These maps include Depot and District. The best part is that Wingman goes live next week!
I love that kind of gameplay. Sure, you can win a match even when your performance is poor in a 4 or 5 man team. You’ve got lots of people to carry you to victory. But in a 2v2 setting? You’ve got to be on point. It will be very clear if there’s a lack of teamwork or skill on the Wingman maps. I want to see 2v2 tournaments with the best shooters coming together. That would be pretty awesome, yeah?
We can also expect other fun modes/LTMs on the Skirmish maps, I imagine. We talked about that briefly and it was said that it will be pretty easy to run matches like “Melee Only” on the Skirmish maps. With as many wild LTM/Daily Matches that SMITE has, we can expect similar here I imagine.
Kestral And The Hollows
The next Rogue to come to Rogue Company was revealed in the 2021 announcements – the fashion icon from India, Kestral! Kestral’s kit sounds very exciting for me personally. She has command of powerful mini-drones, that she can use to deliver explosives to her target foe. We don’t have much about her yet, but in the coming weeks, we’ll know more about what she can do in-game. I can tell you that she looked amazing, and the teaser of her kit should really get Rogue Company fans excited for what she can do. Sadly, I couldn’t sneak out some information about Kestral just yet – it wasn’t for lack of trying!
That’s not all we can expect for Season One though. A new map is on the way, The Hollows! A hidden Jackal base in the South Pacific, The Hollows has a gorgeous style from what I saw of the concept art. Perhaps one of the biggest parts of The Hollows map is the Rocket Launch facility, making it a must-pacify target. The Hollows will be playable in all current game modes, but will also have its own LTM (Limited-Time Mode). In this mode, the Rogues have to stop the launch of a deadly rocket coming out of this Jackal base. There are several more maps coming to the game over the course of the year; this is just the first stop.
Best of all? When Season One kicks off in the first week of February, both The Hollows and Kestral will be there for you to try out.
Battle Pass #1 and Year One Pass
Everyone who plays in Season 1 of Rogue Company, which is coming soon, will be able to unlock free cosmetics in Rogue Company through the Battle Pass. The Battle Pass is probably going to be the biggest of the announcements overall for Rogue Company in 2021. Like other Battle Passes before it, there’s a free track where you will unlock a series of free cosmetics, and a paid track with even more awesome cosmetics. This Battle Pass’ paid tier unlocks the “One Shot, One Kill” skin for Fixer.
There are 50 tiers for both, and there’s also the Legendary “Hellfire Protocol” Scorch outfit to look forward to. Speaking of Scorch, there are eight new Rogues coming this year total. They will be obtainable for free via Reputation, but there is another way. Similar to other Hi-Rez games, there will be a Season Pass.
The Rogue Company Year One Pass will unlock the next eight Rogues as soon as they’re released. It will also feature an exclusive Legendary Skin that you won’t get anywhere else. Instead of the one-time unlock (Per the Ultimate God Pack in SMITE), they are going to do these Seasonally. It looks like they will run about 24.99. Dropping 25 bucks a year on a free-to-play game isn’t so bad, especially when it saves unlock grinding.
Season One’s goal is to provide the best ranked experience so that players are being matched up against worthy foes. In Ranked Mode for Season 1, players will undergo 10 placement matches, as is traditional for other online games (SMITE, League of Legends, Paladins). This will determine where you start the season off. Instead of Levels, there are Tiers/Divisions to conquer.
There are six tiers to climb: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Rogue. All of the tiers, except Rogue, have five divisions to climb. Winning matches has you climbing through the division to get ahead on the ladder. One thing I did take the time to ask, was about cheating. Cheating’s a really hot button issue right now, especially in shooters. With games like CoD not featuring Anti-Cheat, I was curious to hear if there have been any issues with cheating as of yet in Rogue Company. So far, that hasn’t been prevalent in the game, which is nice. At the very least, boosting/smurfing hasn’t become a public issue or an issue that the team has noticed. The main goal right now is to make sure Ranked is fully featured and is as solid as possible.
I was also curious about the placement matches. With 10 matches, there’s a lot of room to climb or fall. They weren’t sure at the time what the cap is that a player can reach, but it will for sure not be Rogue. It may depend on the quality/rank of players they went against on the way up, so there’s bound to be variance.
I did ask if there is going to be any PVE content, but sadly, there’s nothing to announce at this time. That is one of the things I enjoyed about Warface and Overwatch, to be honest. They did say that one of the goals for the year is to improve the AI for Bots, which, in my estimation could lead to PVE. If the AI for bots in practice modes is improved, it will ultimately make creating other modes easier. The tech will already be in place for smart, challenging AI. There is nothing to confirm or deny on that point.
It sounds like the First Watch team really has a lot on the ball right now. Rogue Company was a game that surprised a lot of players – or at least, players that are new to Hi-Rez in general. Paladins after all, is a Hero Shooter, there’s also the Battle Royale Realm Royale. But newcomers to the team may not remember Tribes: Ascend, an FPS from Hi-Rez dating back to 2012. It’s a group of people very passionate about shooters. Scott Lussier after all is a former Halo pro (Carbon), and MLG Caster. He’s someone who knows what he wants in a shooter title and is dedicated to making it as good as possible.
Finally, I asked about esports. That’s our thing, after all! It was said that First Watch Games is working closely with CMG on a variety of competitive tournaments. Custom Matches/Spectator is coming this year as well, to make ranked tournaments possible. They went to grow esports alongside the player base, as Hi-Rez does with all their games. As the community wants to do tournaments, we’ll likely see Rogue Company support them, with drops and features. Watch this space for esports in Rogue Company! I can definitely see it going well.