The developer of Back 4 Blood has said it's discussing ways to address the lack of progression in solo mode after a player backlash.
Back 4 Blood players reacted negatively to a reddit post that revealed a message that pops up when you pick solo campaign (play on your own with bots) in Turtle Rock Studios' Left 4 Dead-style shooter.
"Uses solo decks created in the Fort Hope deck menu. Maps and objectives will be adjusted. Matchmaking and player invites are disabled. Earning Supply Points is disabled. Stat tracking is disabled. Earning progress towards Accomplishments is disabled."
You are forced to play online to earn anything in this game. Huge disappointment. I hope they change this. from r/Back4Blood
Back 4 Blood uses a card system that provides players with stat changes and abilities during a "run". Under normal circumstances, you use the Supply Points mentioned in the message to unlock these cards. In solo campaign, however - as the message reveals - you use solo decks, which means all cards are unlocked from the start, and you build a deck without having to spend any Supply Points.
So, you don't need Supply Points to play solo campaign. But why disable earning Supply Points from solo campaign? Players suspect this is an attempt to prevent players from farming Supply Points in solo play to then spend outside that mode.
The block on earning progress towards accomplishments (the game's name for achievements) is probably in place for the same reason. Turtle Rock no doubt wants to prevent players from earning accomplishments with full decks used in solo campaign.
Still, players didn't like the sound of how solo campaign works. "I was REALLY looking forward to being able to play this solo," said redditor xslimz, "but the lack of progression really kills it. I get that it might be strange to unlock MP stuff playing SP with bots, but they could at least cut it to like 25 percent of the rewards or something."
"Also the bots are already a handicap because that's just how video games are," xslimz continued. "It's nice that you can just play SP with bots and have everything unlocked, but I think I personally would enjoy it more if I still had to earn stuff while playing alone. I hope they change it around so you can progress at least a little bit in supply points or something while playing solo."
The reaction was significant enough for Turtle Rock to take notice, and it tweeted a message suggesting it may make some sort of change - although the language used is vague.
"We have heard your frustrations about progression in solo mode and are discussing ways to address the issue," Turtle Rock said.
"Thank you for your patience and feedback at this time - we'll have more news as we strategise on potential ways to make it happen."
? Attention Cleaners! ?— Turtle Rock Studios is Back 4 Blood? (@TurtleRock) October 9, 2021
We have heard your frustrations about progression in solo mode and are discussing ways to address the issue. Thank you for your patience and feedback at this time - we'll have more news as we strategize on potential ways to make it happen.
In the meantime, Back 4 Blood players are trying to come up with a workaround, although the suggested methods seem fiddly and not possible for all.
Back 4 Blood is an always-online game - something some fans aren't thrilled about - which means even when you play solo campaign with bots you have to connect to the internet.
Turtle Rock has said it's looking into ways it can support offline for the future, but this won't make it in for the 12th October launch.
The news has sparked concern Back 4 Blood may be unplayable if server trouble blights launch. That's what happened with the recently-released Outriders, which also requires an internet connection even when played solo.
And then there's the game preservation issue that comes with an always-online game. Eventually, Back 4 Blood's servers will switch off, and without an offline mode, the game will be dead. That's what happened with Gearbox's Battleborn.