A Year In Rocket League: 2018



Sun 6th Jan 2019 - 11:11am

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog representing the opinion of the writer alone.


Moving Up in the World

Rocket League has changed for the good, overall this year. I have been playing the game from almost the minute it was released and the majority of this year has felt like the good old days back when the game was an up and comer within the community. Psyonix seemed to reestablish that connection between the game and the players. The thing that made me fall in love with the game early on was the fact that constant updates were happening and we were being told about them frequently.

This year the Rocket League team filled us in on all the new content they had planned for over the summer and this was the best move they made this year. Fans were flooding back to the game and this communication between the developers and the players has stayed its course throughout the league.

Speaking of community, in the past the developers didn’t help or promote content creators such as YouTube channels, training pack creators and fan artists. However, this year we have seen extensive promotion from the devs for all of the Rocket League content creators. They have now added an article they do regularly called Community Spotlight. These usually have a theme to them, focusing on one type of content creators.

We have seen exclusive flags been added to the game that is personal to certain YouTube creators. Unfortunately, not everyone can be added and so the bigger channels usually get these flags. The majority of the articles are based on the training packs and their creators. Psyonix usually put the pack code and the creator into a table, usually based on trending packs and other topics as such, giving the creators more incentive to go out and create more for the community, One final piece of promotion I have seen over the past year is the fact they regularly promote fan art on their Twitter page, which is just a nice thing to do for people who put a ton of hours into making stuff like that.

Although some of the stuff I just listed are very small things and aren’t personal to me in any way, they help massively with the relationship a developer had with its playerbase. Well done Psyonix! This was a massive improvement over the past 12 months!

Gameplay Improvements, Changes and Additions

Over the past twelve months, we have seen a fair few changes to gameplay within Rocket League. Nothing too drastic but changes that needed to be made to keep the game fresh at every level. We have seen multiple new techniques and mechanics added to the game and instead of Psyonix ignoring them or not acknowledging them, they embraced them and actually added them into how they promote the game, especially at the esports level. One of the new mechanics that was added is called the hel-jump. This is basically when you jump onto the front end of your car and reset your ground flip, so you can flip whenever you want when you are flying.

The other major mechanic that was added to the game is known as the ceiling shuffle, essentially you rock your car from side to side to allow yourself to drive across the ceiling of the arena, rather than just dropping off. This has impacted the game massively and definitely for the better. Although these mechanics affect the top tier players more, this has definitely made some lower tier players better as a ripple effect.

Other gameplay changes have seen the more casual game modes such as Hoops and Rumble put into their own competitive modes. This has been talked about for a while in the community, especially since the addition of Hoops. However, Psyonix never really addressed it until this year. As a person who does like to play more casual game modes with my friends, this was a great change because it gave more meaning to the modes. The modes themselves still don’t attract a decent number of players but it was a change the modes needed as it gave people the chance to achieve ranks they may not have the chance to achieve in the more serious and traditional competitive playlists.

One major addition to the game over the past 12 months was the introduction of the Rocket Pass. At first, many were skeptical of this addition as many thought this was just a quick cash grab by the developers. However, I quite enjoyed the Rocket Passes, both one and two, as it gave me a new way to progress in the game. It gave even more meaning to games as it was another progression element in the game, one I need to keep me playing Rocket League.

Esports Improvements

Now, this has been a massive sector where Psyonix have improved within. The Esports scene has grown tremendously over 2018, pulling in a massive new number of watchers and fans. This was mostly down to Rocket League promoting the tournaments much more frequently and to the specific audiences they needed to. I know from personal experience that I saw constant reminders that the games were taking place on Twitter and Reddit. The players themselves got more involvement and interaction on Twitter with the official Rocket League channels. Overall, the marketing of the esports this scene was brilliant, so fair play to Psyonix for doing that.

Obviously, RLCS LAN was a fantastic tournament and event, with it wrapping up the entire season perfectly. Although Dignitas didn’t win everyone thoroughly enjoyed the entire event an that’s was thanks to the amazing organisation of the event. The entire event was a credit to Rocket League and perfectly showed how far Psyonix had come in 2018.

Hopefully, these improvements stay around for next year, especially in esports because everyone wants to see the game improve and stay healthy. No one wants to see Rocket League become stale and eventually die, especially considering there is so much more the game can offer.

2018 Was a Vast Improvement

In my honest opinion, I have thoroughly enjoyed Rocket League in 2018. There’s been a lot of highs this year. Hopefully, Psyonix can see these changes have been for the better and keep up the effort they have made this year.

However, the game still has a long way to go to reach the massive potential it has. The game is very fun and entertaining to watch as an esport and has the potential to be one of the biggest esports of 2019.

Well done to Psyonix for 2018. Just please keep the effort up for 2019 and make Rocket League the game it should be for everyone.