Rocket Pass 3, Psyonix’s equivalent to Fortnite’s Battle Pass, is around the corner. The second edition ended last week and the community is eagerly awaiting the announcement of the third iteration somewhere in April. Two of our Rocket League writers, Michael Kloos and Ellis Lane, sat down together and talked about potential new ideas and improvements Psyonix could employ to make the Rocket Pass more interesting.
The previous two Rocket Passes have both followed a set formula that consisted of a new battle car — which has a hit-box based on the current meta-cars — and 70 levels of premium items for those who purchase the premium pass, or 26 to 28 on the free pass. This time around though, Psyonix has confirmed that this Rocket Pass will introduce Challenges, following the success of Fortnite’s Battle Pass. Psyonix has yet to announce what exactly these challenges will entail and whether they’ll entice players enough to participate with rewards or bonus experience.
Another feature we will likely see make its return is the Special Edition items. These are Rocket Pass items that look more unique and have a chance to drop every tier once a player has reached the maximum of 70. While a painted item is already guaranteed for rewards over Tier 70, Special Edition items are much rarer and more valuable than their standard or painted counterparts.
I’ll start off with a big one that’s definitely not making it into the soon-to-be-released Rocket Pass. There are a lot of plays that aren’t rewarded in any way while they can play a significant part in a team’s win. With challenges coming in, I’d love to see Psyonix implement a way to show how much pressure a player has put on their opponent. This could count up to a minimum amount to complete the challenge, spread over any amount of games.
Of course, it’s difficult for an AI to determine what “pressure” is, but I think there are some ways to do this. Firstly, any kind of bump or demolition in the opponent’s half within several seconds before a shot on goal is registered could count as pressure. If the shot is saved, the striker could be given points for pressure as well.
Secondly, any large boost grab in the opponent’s corner while they are within a certain distance could also add up.
Thirdly, with Psyonix’s algorithm for their Director Cam, it looks like their AI can predict which side is the attacking side. Perhaps it’s possible to utilize this in order to determine when the pressure stat should be applied and when it shouldn’t.
A Pressure stat should, in my opinion, be calculated similarly to how score is calculated. Rather than having “3 Pressures” like someone might have three shots, it should instead be a counter that rewards an amount of points to the stat so a player might have a total score of 1307 for Pressure. A bump before a shot might reward 30 pressure points, which would bring the Pressure score up to 1337. Perhaps the full 1337 points can be added to the player’s total score, or perhaps a percentage can be added. I’ll leave it to Psyonix to balance these things out. I just come up with the ideas.
Looking at the Fortnite Battle Pass, it’s hard not to think the initial challenges Psyonix would set players would be “score X amount of goals” and score those goals using specific shot types such as bicycle, aerial, or turtle goals.
While these would be fun initially, I can’t help but think this would steer players into a frenzy of ball-chasing to score every opportunity for themselves instead of focusing on team-play. Like Pressure, I’d like to see the battle pass incentivize Saves, Clears and Assists, and Center Balls, which will in turn encourage players to consider rotating and centering.
Psyonix’s new training options were interesting when they came out, but they were still fairly basic. While they said they weren’t done with the feature, we have yet to see an update for it. Rocket Pass 3 could help with this by adding challenges to new training packs that could appear on a weekly or semi-weekly basis. Completing these training packs could reward players with items depending on how well they did, similar to end-of-season rewards (e.g., a regular item for any completion, a painted item for 60% completion, and a Special Edition item for 100% completion.) And if that’s too much to ask, perhaps some bonus experience?
In this iteration of the Rocket Pass I’d like to see Psyonix release a new batch of avatar borders, as that’s the area of the game with the least customization so far apart from the default borders that players unlock at specific XP levels.
Besides that, community feedback suggests that the Special Edition item drop rate isn’t quite to satisfaction, considering this is a paid pass. After level 70 the pass begins to drop items at random. The Special Edition wheels have been calculated to drop at a 2.5% rate. However, active members of the RL community have expressed how they’ve reached levels above 300 and haven’t received a single Special Edition item.
If Psyonix isn’t prepared to increase the drop rate of the Special Edition items, then I’d like to see a trade-up feature implemented. This will allow players to trade in five items of the same type into a random colored variant of the Special Edition version (e.g., five Rocket Forge Wheels traded in to receive one Rocket Forge Special Edition Wheels).
I’d also like to see Psyonix take into consideration the items that players desire most and reduce the amount of unwanted items in the level 70+ RNG drop. It has been a running joke in the active community that they’re ecstatic at how many colored drones they received.
There are many more ideas and we could go on forever, but in the interest of time, we’ll leave it here. Is there anything you agree or disagree with? Let us know in the comments. Interested in what else Michael and Ellis have to say about Rocket League on a daily basis? Make sure to follow them on Twitter!
Dutch football (soccer) and Rocket League fan, spending much of my time watching the former, and playing and watching the latter. Also an avid fantasy/scifi reader and writer. I spend most of my time trying not to be in the real world.