With its third season coming to an end, Rocket League is getting an update. Season 4 begins on March 22 and will give gamers a whole new ranking system and a free game mode. The new mode is called Dropshot.
Dropshot will be played in a futuristic-looking hexagonal arena. As opposed to Rocket League’s Standard, Snow Day, Hoops, Rocket Labs, and Rumble modes, Dropshot will not have open goals for either side. Instead, players will have to make their own. Every time a player hits the ball in Dropshot, the ball will be charged with electricity. More touches before the ball hits the ground gives it a greater charge. When the ball is spiked into the ground, a shockwave of electricity will disperse. The size of the wave will depend on the charge.
When a certain spot in the arena gets charged enough times, it falls away into a pit. If a player can get the ball to fall through a hole that has been made on their opponents’ side of the arena, they will score a point. After a team scores, their side of the arena will not reset but their opponents’ side will. This means defense will steadily grow harder and harder until a team is scored on. With the arena’s floor always in a state of flux, there will be no boost pick-ups to grab. Instead, player’s cars will automatically regenerate boost after it has been used.
On paper, the new mode sounds amazingly fun but I am worried about how much appeal it might have for the general Rocket League community. Hoops has not proven nearly as popular as the other game modes. Although popular at its release, more and more players have gravitated back to the original game mode or the frantic Rumble mode. I have to believe it is because Hoops, unlike the other game types, requires a bit more aerial finesse and ball control than I think most Rocket League players have.
Changing the goal posts on the ground to hoop rims in the air meant players with an easy grasp of flight or flicking the ball in an arc dominated the game mode. No competitive version of Hoops exists, which is why casual players will occasionally run into competitive ones. Dropshot could fall victim to a similar problem regarding the gap in casual and competitive players. Although players do not seem to need to have to pull off complicated stunts like air dribbles and freestyles, the trailer for Dropshot does suggest players will need to have an elementary understanding of spiking to score and dribbling to maintain and boost the ball’s electric charge.
However, even with my misgivings, I am excited for the new game mode. I have been preaching for Psyonix to add a volleyball-style game type since they gave us Hoops and proved a Rocket League game mode centered on an aerial play style was possible. This definitely seems like it could be it.