First update sets tone for rhythm game's long tail next month.
Harmonix has revealed details regarding the start of their post-launch support of Rock Band 4 and provided insight into their plans for the long-term future of the music game. The first major update will release to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players for free on December 8, with a focus on usability improvements.
A set of "score challenge" features will be implemented to improve competing on leaderboards. Notifications will appear during songs to indicate when a player has exceeded a friend's high score, and it will be possible to taunt such friends from the results screen after finishing a song. A new activity feed will help track these events and provide direct access to songs in contention.
Players more interested in challenging themselves than just having a good time with friends will see new features also. Breakneck speed will be adjustable on tracks up to 2.5x, providing more range of difficulty. The game will also acknowledge on leaderboards when players accomplish a "Full Combo" (a performance with all notes hit, and no extra notes added where none exist) and indicate during play when a Full Combo has been broken.
The update will also provide some bug fixes and improved calibration for instruments and microphone lag. A full list of these can be found in the full post on the Harmonix blog. Also in the update will be a new gameplay mode, the details of which are being withheld until closer to its release.
Harmonix has stated previously that they will not be pursuing multiple Rock Band products over time, and will instead develop Rock Band 4 over time as a platform with a combination of free and paid downloadable content. Going forward, Harmonix plans to release monthly updates to Rock Band 4 with similar fixes and improvements, as well offering new features. The developer noted that it intends to implement features found in previous installments of the series, while introducing some never seen before.