Payday 3’s Operation Medic Bag gets offline mode and more

Payday 3’s “Operation Medic Bag” brings offline mode, matchmaking overhaul, solo mode, content updates, and more, aiming to revitalize the game in 2024.

Payday 3, the heist-themed cooperative shooter, launched with high expectations in 2023. However, the initial experience fell short, marred by persistent matchmaking issues and an online-only requirement that alienated players. Recognizing the disappointment, developer Starbreeze Studios has announced Operation Medic Bag, a comprehensive plan to revive the game’s fortunes.

The biggest news for many will be the arrival of an offline mode. Implemented in two phases, solo players will initially be able to bypass the often-problematic matchmaking queues, although an online connection will still be necessary for progression and unlocks. The ultimate goal, however, is a fully offline experience with minimal online checks, granting players the freedom to tackle heists even without an internet connection.

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Beyond offline accessibility, Operation Medic Bag promises a range of improvements. The often-criticized matchmaking system will be overhauled, aiming to facilitate smoother connections and cooperative play. The user interface will also receive tweaks for better usability, and a dedicated solo mode is planned, catering to players who prefer to go it alone. For those seeking quick action, a quickplay option will be introduced, streamlining the process of jumping into a heist.

In response to community feedback, Starbreeze is re-evaluating the pricing structure of upcoming downloadable content (DLC). Three DLCs and one free heist are still slated for release in 2024, but players can expect a more consumer-friendly approach regarding pricing. The developer has acknowledged concerns about the in-game store as well, with a promise to revisit the topic next year.

While initially envisioned, Starbreeze has made the strategic decision to temporarily reallocate resources toward addressing Payday 3’s current issues. The Unreal Engine 5 update remains part of the long-term plan, but its implementation will be delayed to ensure a stable and enjoyable core experience first.

Despite the lack of concrete release dates for most features, Starbreeze has outlined a roadmap for improvements within 2024. By summer, players can expect the initial implementation of quickplay, the ability to rename load-outs, regular content drops to keep the experience fresh, controller improvements for a smoother console experience, a vote kick option for dealing with disruptive players, rotating stealth modifiers to add strategic variety, an unready button for more control over matchmaking, a play again feature for convenient continuation, automatic merging of players into parties after successful heists to foster community, daily activities with rewarding incentives, a mask vendor with a weekly rotating inventory for customization enthusiasts, and improvements to the communication wheel for more efficient in-game coordination.

With Operation Medic Bag, Starbreeze is demonstrably taking steps to address the shortcomings that plagued Payday 3’s launch. While time will tell if the promised improvements materialize and ultimately satisfy player expectations, the outlined roadmap undoubtedly represents a significant shift in focus and a commitment to reinvigorating the heisting experience.