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Change is coming...

Let's talk about official announcements.
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Dr.Ido

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Change is coming...

PostWed May 14, 2014 9:41 am

Hey there,

We would like to share a few things with you about how well the game has done so far and where it is headed. You'll see that we have some very interesting things coming up in the next few months and beyond...

The beta has been open for three months now and the results are mixed. On the positive side, there is a core group of players who are enjoying the game and willing to spend money on it. In general, we also receive very positive feedback from those who try the game and, even after 3 months, we still get a decent number of new players everyday.

But there is a major negative: our game is just not "sticky" enough, which is marketing speak for "we lose new players too fast" (usually after the very first days). The player base doesn't grow like it should and revenues from the game remain far too small to support development costs.

We analyzed tons of data; did surveys; looked at the game from a variety of angles and, finally, made a list of our weaknesses.
1) It is way too complicated and costly (both in time and money) to build a company.
2) Leveling up units is a long and sometimes frustrating mechanism, especially when a newly leveled up unit brings your company over the AP limit.
3) The injury system is just not fun.
4) Our game modes are not as interesting as they should be.
We are not saying that these are the only issues, but they are the most important as regards to our main concern: players leaving in their first 10 days.

The patches we released since the start of the beta were attempts at fixing the issues we identified, but they were too conservative and ultimately didn't change the dynamics of the game. About a month ago we decided that we needed to bring something else to the game, something that would address all the issues at once and that would improve the overall experience without changing what it is: a true hardcore tactical multiplayer game.

So, what will change?
1) Units will be split in two categories: Troops and Heroes. Troops will be very cheap to purchase (approx. 100 ducats) and will make up the bulk of your companies. Heroes will be much more expensive (like legendary units) and will be key to the game (more on that later).

2) Troop units will be available in a variety of specialized profiles, each with specific skills, attributes and AP cost. These profiles will be even more specialized than those currently in the game.

3) Neither Heroes nor troops will level up: they won't gain experience and there won't be any skill tree... Troop profiles will be designed to give you plenty of options to build your company and to try and test whatever you want, without having to level up units first.

4) We will merge all current game modes (VIP, King of the Hill and DM) into one new mode that will become the main mode of the game. You'll need to play with only one Hero and a company of limited AP (probably around 250); there will be several different ways to achieve victory (snipe the VIP, kill all opposition units, score the most points,... ) and controlling the battlefield will have a significant impact. Note that other modes will still be available for friendly matches.

5) You'll need to have a Hero in order to play and, as I wrote above, Heroes will cost a significant number of Ducats or Cyans. But if you haven't purchased any Hero, there will always be one free in each faction.

6) No more injuries from battle. We're still thinking about whether to keep the other sources of injuries or not.

That just about sums it up. There will be other minor changes, mostly related to the six above. I don't want to go into too much detail here, but feel free to ask questions in the thread. We aim to release all this by mid-June.

Note that this will change the content of the game and previous content will become obsolete! We will, of course, refund everything that you have purchased in order to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Unless we're totally wrong, this will solve many of our problems and should mark the end of the beta and of our work on the "core" of the experience. Then we'll be able to focus on the addition of new Heroes and new factions.

We expect to release approximately one Hero per month and a new faction every 6 months or so. The first Heroes will be arriving during the summer and, after that, the first new faction. In case you are wondering, the first new faction to be released will be the Dwarves of Mid-Nor. It's difficult to set a date right now, but we aim to release them before the end of 2014.

Thanks for reading such an awfully long post. In the coming weeks I'll keep you up to date on developments and I'll give you more details about Heroes, troops and the rules of new game mode.

See you soon.
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Hod

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Re: Change is coming...

PostWed May 14, 2014 11:00 am

Definitely sounds interesting. I look forward to seeing the changes.

My one thought is: why end the beta right after these big changes? Isn't there going to be a feel out period where the same type of small tweaks that have been made over the last three months are going to be needed in this new version of the game?

Any spoilers about who these heroes are going to be?
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Dragon_Warrior

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Re: Change is coming...

PostWed May 14, 2014 12:14 pm

Looks really interesting - and even more like oryginal C3-3,5.

Im happy about the idea and only little afraid of changes to come.

That just about sums it up. There will be other minor changes, mostly related to the six above. I don't want to go into too much detail here, but feel free to ask questions in the thread. We aim to release all this by mid-June.

So we get this big patch month from now ?
ign: Draconnor, Cynwall player, 23 years in computer games, 14 years in battle games, 8 years in Confrontation Universe, 4 years of making own battle games.
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MhBlis

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Re: Change is coming...

PostWed May 14, 2014 1:08 pm

If you are willing to add a little here

Are you guys moving to a 40k Style list building or the more Warmachine style? Both work and both are fun so I'm asking more out of curiosity. Sad to see the XP go though since it actually makes you feel like your men are going somewhere and that they are yours.


The mega mode with too many victory conditions really has me worried since that is just a nightmare to balance and often leads to disjointed play. As long as the victory conditions are limited and clear you can build strategies around it. If not it really becomes the crap shoot VIP and KotH is currently. I've seen it before and never seen a success yet so really as they said you should really test it out extensively is my advise.

I'm also liking the idea that you are focusing on a single AP bracket. I suspect it will make your balancing efforts have far more impact and smooth the way in future for new content. Though please give us the option to play bigger games sometimes you just want a war.
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Dr.Ido

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Re: Change is coming...

PostWed May 14, 2014 1:36 pm

Let me answer some questions :

Hod wrote:why end the beta right after these big changes?

There will certainly be a period of tweaks after the changes, and at the very least there will an observation period between the release of the patch and the moment when we officialy go out of beta. I should have said that we hope that with this changes, after a few inevitables tweaks, we'll be able to go out of beta and start producing content and moving forward :)

Hod wrote:Any spoilers about who these heroes are going to be?

It will come, be patient :)

Dragon_Warrior wrote:So we get this big patch month from now ?

That's the plan, we're doing our best to meet the deadling, but we'd rather delay a little than release something not good.

MhBlis wrote:The mega mode with too many victory conditions really has me worried since that is just a nightmare to balance and often leads to disjointed play. As long as the victory conditions are limited and clear you can build strategies around it.

It's easier to balance one mode than 3, and we agree that victory conditions should be limited and clear. I might have given the impression that we were looking to add tons of victory conditions, that not the case, the 3 conditions I indicated might very well be the only ones. The mode is still a work in progress.

MhBlis wrote:Are you guys moving to a 40k Style list building or the more Warmachine style?

I don't know Warmachine, I need to check with the game designers :)
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Deuzerre

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Re: Change is coming...

PostWed May 14, 2014 1:43 pm

Lots of pleasant things to read out there. Many good news. Much wow.

Small opinions:
Troops VS heroes
So, in a way, it'll be like a mix of Strategy and MOBA. This could be a very interesting idea, but will be a major change in the game. This may displease some of your "stable" playerbase.

I guess that soldiers, archers & assault will be like creeps in a MOBA: relatively minor impact, but can't be ignored, while the Hero will be a caster, or an elite-legendary-based unit. So the balance will be between those heroes... This will most certainly provide an easier balance for you guys, but it runs the risk of being rock paper scissors. Worth he try. That being said, this may need to call for a change of name to bring back the old players that came and left to show them how different it became.

No level up
This line is a bit confusing: there won't be any skill tree, while the rest of the paragraph hints at building the units and rearranging their skills to customise the company. Could you clarify? Is it "lots of different units with specific skills" or "several units you can upgrade and 'un-upgrade' however you like"?

Still is probably the best thing in the game, since it'll appear the be less P2W (even if it never was P2W)

That will however reduce your income, so you'll probably have to work on more "items" like skins to compensate for the loss of revenue from level-based items.

Merge of game modes
This is very interesting. VIP never was that interesting due to the VIP being more of a liability than a bonus, but if it's a main character, it'll be nice. Also, multiple objectives is a great way to go. Kudos to you guys.

Injuries
I won't be sad to see them go away, however... If I may suggest something... Keep them as "not affecting gameplay", simply as history of the company.

For example, a random injury could be "lost an eye" and there would be no stat change, however it would give character to your company. Disfigured, battle scar, limp, traumatised, memory loss... these are funny injuries that could be set to give your company members some history so they aren't just "Members".

You could also add nicknames/titles to the game: While injuries are from battles where they have been defeated, killing a hero or being the last survivor could provide interesting history: Beast slayer, avenger, survivor, berzerker, unstoppable... that could be given for various reasons. Beast slayer would be for killing "X" wulfen in the same battle, Avenger would be granted if you kill the unit that killed your hero on the same turn, before the defeat, Survivor would be granted if he's the last alive and wins, berzerker for killing 3 guys in the same turn, unstoppable for killing the unit that killed you (when possessed IIRC)... Like Achievements. They would motivate people to show off and motivate to do things that aren't really strategic but epic. That kind of "goals" is what makes some people (like me actually) stay on some games: We're completionists.

as for mission injuries, they could be temporary non-availabilities: 1h to lick his wounds, then back on track.


Actually, permanent injuries and titles could be a nice way to affect mission success rates. It doesn't affect battles, but only quests. a character with a limp would take +50% time to accomplish a mission for example.



Lots of ideas...
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Dragon_Warrior

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Re: Change is coming...

PostWed May 14, 2014 2:25 pm

Are you guys moving to a 40k Style list building or the more Warmachine style?

Its most similar to oryginal Confrontation - both 40k and Warmachine have much more restriction than "one - must have hero".
But it propably be something like obligatory warcaster for warmachine without any minimal number of units or obligatory slots like in 40k.


My only concern is connected with heroes.... While idea looks good and same as in Confrontation - im afraid of
"We expect to release approximately one Hero per month"
- becouse Confrontation didn't have many heroes in 50% of factions... and i really don't want to see new 'out of nowwhere' heroes like in facebook card game - killed by ridiculous manga style and easter egg heroes... I can live with some new faces but only if they will be keep in right convention.


Troops VS heroes
So, in a way, it'll be like a mix of Strategy and MOBA. This could be a very interesting idea, but will be a major change in the game. This may displease some of your "stable" playerbase.

I guess that soldiers, archers & assault will be like creeps in a MOBA: relatively minor impact, but can't be ignored, while the Hero will be a caster, or an elite-legendary-based unit. So the balance will be between those heroes... This will most certainly provide an easier balance for you guys, but it runs the risk of being rock paper scissors. Worth he try. That being said, this may need to call for a change of name to bring back the old players that came and left to show them how different it became.

I gues that you are far from the point - Heroes in Confrontation was (mostly)better versions of regular units... so you can have regular unit for 30 ap and hero of this type for maybe twice the cost with almost the same stats, some additional skills and maybe its own discipline (that can modify priority roll at the start of each turn)
Last edited by Dragon_Warrior on Wed May 14, 2014 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ign: Draconnor, Cynwall player, 23 years in computer games, 14 years in battle games, 8 years in Confrontation Universe, 4 years of making own battle games.
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Dr.Ido

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Re: Change is coming...

PostWed May 14, 2014 2:26 pm

Deuzerre wrote:Is it "lots of different units with specific skills" or "several units you can upgrade and 'un-upgrade' however you like"?


More like : lots of different units with specific skills. But I'd rather say, specific profiles instead of specific skills, as one unit could share one or more skill(s) with other units from the game but the global design of the profile will be unique.

For example, we will have 3 troop profiles derived from the current Fang Warrior (Wolfen) and each will be a unique with its own stats, AP, skills and attributes.
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Dr.Ido

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Re: Change is coming...

PostWed May 14, 2014 2:39 pm

Dragon_Warrior wrote: i really don't want to see new 'out of nowwhere' heroes like in facebook card game -


We don't want to ruin the balance of the game by over-releasing Heroes. 12 Heroes per year, if you consider that the number of faction will only increase with time, that's not so much. And 2 to 3 years from now, we'll probably have players complaining that there's too much delay between the release of Heroes for the faction they're playing.
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Deuzerre

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Re: Change is coming...

PostWed May 14, 2014 2:53 pm

So "Mage of Alahan" could become:

"Mage of light spark"
"mage of light explosion"
"Mage of light buffs"

etc?

Seems good.
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