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It’s been a little while since we’ve drawn the curtain back to give you an idea of what we’re working on behind the scenes. We’ve got a bunch of fun stuff to talk about for the next update, and we’re kicking it off by revealing some major improvements to something that many of you are enjoying every week.


Rivals Mode has been a great way to play with old friends (and make new ones) in Rock Band. Today, more songs are played in Rivals mode than any other and each week the level of competition kicks up a notch as crews compete to climb the ranks and reach Bloodstone. Today, we’re psyched to introduce you to Rivals Seasons – recurring collections of challenges with unique rewards and a handful of major changes to the way the Rivals system works.


Each season, your Crew will compete to get as far as you can over the course of an 8-week season. At the end of that season, rewards will be doled out based on what tier you end on, as well as where you stack up in that tier (being at the top of Bloodstone will offer better rewards than just being in the tier!). Every season will start with every crew in Bronze, for a level playing field. With Rivals Seasons, we want to switch focus to the thrill of promotion, rather than the fear of demotion. So, no more demotion. We’re also changing the percentages for promotion each tier to balance the lack of demotion.


This is a major change, and we’re bringing this to you early partly so we can gather feedback to potentially tweak some mechanics. After all, the goal is to make Rivals Mode as much fun as it can be for as many players as possible.


For the transition between current Rivals Mode and seasons, we’re considering every challenge from the launch of Rivals in October through this update as part of “Season 0.” To reward you for your hard work in Season 0, we’re going to introduce some sweet gear for your characters to wear based on which tier your Crew finishes in. If you’ve been on the cusp of getting into Diamond or Bloodstone, there’s no time like the present to rally your crew together and make a final push before the first Season begins and these rewards disappear forever! (Shameless plug: have you tried the Rock Band Companion App yet? It’s a great way to chat with your Crew and keep them motivated.)


With these changes it’s pretty important that we keep a level playing field, so let’s talk exploits. The next update is going to be addressing the following exploits that previously allowed people to achieve higher-than-should-be-possible scores:

Calibration settings affecting sustains

Calibration settings affecting drum fill timing

Pause rollback extending vocal overdrive


We’re also adjusting how pausing over notes works so it will no longer remove notes on guitar/bass (Behavior will go back to how it was before the patch that changed this behavior). This will continue to remove notes on drums, although it will now break your combo if you pause directly on top of a note (Not if you pause during a break between notes).


With these exploits fixed, some leaderboard scores will be unattainable and thus impossible to beat. We’ve got a few options and are really looking for feedback on how to approach this leaderboard integrity issue (knowing full well that everyone will feel differently about this):

1) We don’t touch the leaderboard. The current leaderboards remain as they are, and all new scores will be posted without exploits, knowing that some songs will have unbeatable scores.

2) We target only the very top entries on each song’s leaderboard and, rather than wipe them out, we lower those scores to a “safe” non-exploited value. This ensures that all leaderboard scores can be beaten without exploits after the patch, and the full combo laurels, percentage, and stars for these records will remain. This approach will only affect a small number of players, and all scores other than the very highest will be unchanged. The number of records targeted may vary per song, based on our projections of the exploited scores for that song.

3) We do a full wipe, and the leaderboards are cleared for everyone.


We’re genuinely interested in your thoughts on each of the above, as well as any options we might have been missing. Unfortunately, “just wipe the exploited scores” isn’t really an option as there’s no way to identify if a now-higher-than-possible score was attained maliciously or not.


Phew, that’s a big info dump. Take some time, mull it over, and let us know what you think! We’re committed to keeping Rock Band fun and exciting, but also fair and rewarding without cheaters gumming up the works for all the people playing legitimately.


We’ll be back with more info on upcoming content soon. In the meantime, let us know what you think!

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@Martha I have a spare wired rock band pedal you can have if you wish. Not sure which drum kit it came from, it's official and has been sat in my back room for years.

 

Sorry for not contributing so far this week, I was away until yesterday, went on last night and couldn't get on Xbox live. I could see my friends but it was saying "Connect to XBOX LIve" on the right hand side of the dash. Loading up Rock Band and online rivals was greyed out. Hope it is working when I get home tonight. Although I'll only be able to play a few songs if it is.

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I've failed dismally this week to be fair, really busy at the moment and when I do decide to play I'm at the mercy of the disc not wanting to work. We were just into the red zone last night, if anyone could have a look and let us know where we are I could try and do another 10 or so songs tonight if I get time. 

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I've really struggled this week, constant backache making it hard to get comfortable playing Rock Band whether sitting or standing. Off to the doctor this afternoon so will hopefully get it sorted. The perils of being an ageing rocker. 

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50 minutes ago, Garwoofoo said:

I've really struggled this week, constant backache making it hard to get comfortable playing Rock Band whether sitting or standing. Off to the doctor this afternoon so will hopefully get it sorted. The perils of being an ageing rocker. 

Hope you feel better soon.  Don't feel bad about it though (and don't play if your back's hurting)!  There will always be weeks when people are ill, away or busy and can't contribute as much as they'd like to (this week is a prime example of all those things).  Realistically I reckon we'll probably have to write off this week and face demotion as it seems impossible to stay up at the moment.  I don't think I can do any more on the spotlight songs (Twig's set an impossibly high score on That Smell) and though I'll play again later for XP I'm not sure it'll make much difference!  It's been nice to have a different selection of songs this week though.  It's the first time Smash Mouth have come up (probably not exciting for anyone else, but I have a bit of a soft spot for them)!  What's the drugs connection with Talking Heads though, does anyone know?

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1 hour ago, shirubagan said:

That damn double hit on the red pad in That Smell is killing my combos. It just fails to register 5% of the time, breaking my streak and ruining my score. 99% notes hit, 5*, nowhere near gold. :( 

 

Seems like a tough week for drummers all round, I was watching my son play that Willie Nelson song and he was like the Energiser bunny. It's a bit relentless. I felt tired just watching him!

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2 hours ago, Munty Cakes said:

I just checked and we're on 45 for spotlight songs and 49 for XP.  I sang quite a bit this morning - managed to improve my score on China Cat and move us up a couple of percent but apart from that nothing's really changed!

 

I'll jump on in a bit and see if we can cling in there, stops at Midnight though and I wont be on that late so we'll probably slide back down again but oh well! 

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Was someone talking about needing the adaptor for the ION Drum Rocker?  It's back in stock apparently. http://pdp.com/en/afterglow/rock-bandtm-wired-legacy-adapter

 

It looks like it's only available from America so it'll probably cost a fortune to get it sent over but at least they're making it again.

 

[EDIT] and they'll only ship it to Canada, Mexico and the US.  Er, sorry.

Edited by mr twig
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^ and now sold out, and then in stock again. not sure if anyone else is but i've certainly been after one. anyway, thanks for posting about it. i was checking every few days a month or so back but lapsed, at least i'll be able to look out for any other way of getting hold of it now :)

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56 minutes ago, Garwoofoo said:

Is that the first week where all three songs are DLC?  I'm pretty sure I don't have (or particularly like!) any of them.

 

:o Jesus of Suburbia is one of my favourite songs :blush:

 

I think you are correct with them all being DLC. Might be an easier week to get the top scores?

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40 minutes ago, reef said:

 

:o Jesus of Suburbia is one of my favourite songs :blush:

 

I think you are correct with them all being DLC. Might be an easier week to get the top scores?

Maybe!  We only have Jesus of Suburbia at the moment but play it whenever we need to increase our XP as it's so long (I do like it though).  I'm listening to that Marilyn Manson song now (never heard it before, or Jesus Christ Pose for that matter!), it sounds quite straightforward on vocals.  Soundgarden sounds like it may be a nightmare for everyone!

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On 26/04/2017 at 03:34, Thread Astaire said:

Im desperate to get hold of one. Ridiculous how this has been handled. Ms should just unlock for the 360 adapter as the ps one just worked without any probs.

 

I lay the blame squarely at Microsoft's feet - this is a USB peripheral and should only need a software solution, really.

 

They made the decision not to recognise Xbox 360 peripherals so they could sell more controllers. 

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JCP is a nightmare on drums. Like a lot of RB tracks, it's so much easier playing it on a proper drum kit. Really don't like Green Day post-Nimrod, but I do remember liking that last MM album after never having really liked him before. Might pick that up.

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9 hours ago, Fry Crayola said:

 

I lay the blame squarely at Microsoft's feet - this is a USB peripheral and should only need a software solution, really.

 

They made the decision not to recognise Xbox 360 peripherals so they could sell more controllers. 

 

Its frustrating as balls as want to join in but have to stay playing on 360a :(

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OK, so I managed to improve on Gin Blossoms and Pearl Jam this morning (I'm channelling my inner Eddie Vedder and developing a nice manly growl!), which edged us back up 2%.  However, we had somehow gone down to 40% despite everyone's best efforts!  How are the other crews doing so much better than us?

 

 

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It's been a constant problem in this tier.  We can easily top the tier below but then get absolutely stuffed in Diamond without any hope of narrowing the gap.

 

There was quite a lot in the last update from Harmonix regarding shutting down common exploits (and how to deal with the leaderboards once the highest scores are no longer achievable).  I'm wondering just how widespread the cheating is at this level in the game.  It'll be very interesting to see if our fortunes change once the fixes are applied.

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