We wanted to share a quick update with you to let you know how the investigation into the NPC AI has been progressing after the removal of the Engineers weapons for the NPCs and what the next steps are.
The development team have been hard at work investigating these bugs. To give you a little more information, it appears that the unusual weapons attacks were caused by some form of networking issue which allowed the NPC AI to merge weapon stats and abilities. Meaning that all new and never before seen (sometimes devastating) weapons were created, such as a rail gun with the fire rate of a pulse laser. These appear to have been compounded by the additional stats and abilities of the engineers weaponry. (We don’t think the AI became sentient in a Skynet-style uprising! ). However, the valiant Mark Allen from the Development team has managed to terminate these NPCs in their tracks.
The bug fix is expected to go live in our next point release which is planned for the end of this week/early next week but we’ll have more news on the exact time in the normal patch notes forum.
I would just like to take this opportunity to clarify a few misconceptions. The AI has in no way been reduced, it remains the glorious, improved version from the update. The only action that we’ve taken so far has been to remove the engineer weapons to allow us to investigate the issue and address a key bug. Once this bug fix goes live we’ll be able to see how the AI is performing and then, over time, should we feel that the balancing is right to introduce a very select few high end engineers weapons to the highest ranked NPCs we will investigate that option. However, that won’t be immediately as we want to ensure that the balance is just right.
Edit: Please note this point update will be PC specific and the Xbox One update will need to follow after. We'll let you know as soon as we have more information.