Development Letter IV: Season 5 and Hot Community Topics

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Development Letter IV: Season 5 and Hot Community Topics

Postby nAFAI » 18 May 2015, 11:04

Hello all,

Hope you had a great weekend, as some of you already noticed there has been some hot topics being discussed and while some of them are right on the spot, others are slightly (or largely in some cases ;)) inaccurate, so I think it’s the perfect time for our 4th Development letter where I hope to give you some clear insights on the status of the game:

- Season 5 & Balance: Good news first, today we’ll reset the ladder and kick off PvP Season 5 that will last till 13th July, on top of that we’re finishing a Balance build that will come shortly next week, once we sent it to Apple for approval I will create a thread with all the changes, but I can advance that we wanted to balance the new impact that cards like Montgomery were affecting the meta and also revamped some barely used common and uncommon cards so they can be used more competitively, this will also help starter people to have more competitive decks.

- Platoon Points: Well, what can we say about this, it’s been our own nemesis for the last month, so many hours have been thrown into this and while we have definitely diminished its impact there are still some cases where the reset is still being applied, we are just now deploying a new build for Browser versions (Facebook & Kongregate) with a new fix and more additional tracking, we will monitor that build for the next couple of days and then deploy it for Android and iOS, if you experience a Platoon reset while playing on Kongregate or Facebook from tomorrow on, please let us know as soon as possible.

- Player Base & Retention: This has been also a very hot topic during the last weeks and I wanted to share some light on it because is something that it can be easily misinterpreted. You have to understand that games like ours, specially indie games that cannot invest in Marketing its player base is established by its Daily New Users rate in a huge % and by its retention in a low % (Different from Marketed games that it’s retention rate is what makes them hits or failures). With that being said, when you experienced those PvP player peaks, where mostly because the game was featured in some way (Kongregate Frontpage) or with the addition of a new Platform because that hugely impact our Daily New Users numbers, however as those things fade, so is the player base which will slowly go back to where it should for the Genre and theme of the game which is currently around 1500 Daily Active Users. On the other hand since we added the Platoons, and our new tutorial our retention rates have improved, so the game is getting better and better, of course the Platoon bug is hurting a lot, but that’s specifically to veteran players (which on the other hand is the base I don’t want to hurt :cry: ) but in terms of numbers is a very low % of users compared to the whole player base, so TL;DR: The player base is steady at the numbers which we always had, it’s just that after a featuring or a huge income of players the game will always go back to where it started if you do not invest in marketing.

- PvP Queues: Another hot topic, with some great suggestions from your side, most of them we will love to implement, but in the end we will face the same problem, with our current player base: Limiting or Adding queues will have the opposite effect, the problem is the concurrent player pool is too low to have several matches just like it was months before Kongregate arrived. What we need to do is encourage the players through balance and gameplay to play more PvP daily. We have some ideas for that we want to add daily PvP missions and balance the game a bit more so that low rarity decks can be more competitive. In resume, the PvP will always be affected by the current player base, is not that people is getting smashed in pvp (which of course some are) is that the concurrent players are not as high as when the game was featured. As always as an indie game we have to work with the numbers that we have…

- Historical Missions Difficulty: This is also something that I’ve been reading more frequently and honestly is something I want to put a stop on it, you know I’ve been always 100% transparent to you all in terms of accepting mistakes, errors and even sharing internal numbers with you all. With that said, I would definitely share with you if we had increased the difficulty… but it’s not… we haven’t touched the balance on historical missions since their launch and reading comments implying that we’ve done it is a bit discouraging, especially since I always wanted to be as sincere and close to you all since the beginning.

TL;DR: This are rough times, but we have been here before, and now the game is definitely much better than when it was before, the retention rates usually reflect that and they have improved. Do not forget we are an indie studio and we have limited budgets, manpower and infrastructure, our top priority is right now fix once and for all the platoon points error, but things are definitely not as bad as you may see/perceive.

As always thanks a ton for your support, for your encouraging words, criticism and feedback, you guys that read this is what help us make the game better and better each day, cheers and have a wonderful week!
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Re: Development Letter IV: Season 5 and Hot Community Topics

Postby T_e_K » 18 May 2015, 11:37

Great news!

We're behind you guys, can't wait to start next season and see the balance changes! :)
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Re: Development Letter IV: Season 5 and Hot Community Topics

Postby Assassin » 18 May 2015, 15:32

You took a lot of time to make your points clear...appreciate it!

I think some players are missing how hard it is to make a game like this work so well...the play balance is very good in the sense that there are LOTS of different strategies...(although there are some cards who cant be avoided)...and no two games are alike!

I was a bit worried about the low retention...i sometimes thought the game future was bleak (and i think it is a great game)...but if you say it isnt really critical then fact i see a lot of player came and go...i guess i am old guard by now...

I would say if you sort the platoon bug game will win a boost...platoons were making more players play...even PVP.

Keep up the good work...
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Re: Development Letter IV: Season 5 and Hot Community Topics

Postby 5Cats » 19 May 2015, 04:17

Thanks for spelling it out for us!

I do know that the raw number of players is the #1 issue for PvP. More players = more Pvp!

Retaining players for medium to long times is important too. It looks like some changes are in the works to make that more likely as well, I'm crossing my fingers!

I'm sorry, but I do believe an update a while back (March? Late February?) said there were some "tweeks" in Mission AI and they were noticeably harder immediately after that...
Now: I've played a LOT of Med S-Grad! And I'm getting my BUTT handed to me lately! Something has changed recently, the AI just loves to build MONSTER units, as early as Day-2! These are mission killers: you may survive that day? But after a terrible beating and no hope for tomorrow.

I honestly don't think my style or strategy has changed much, but my winning % has dropped for sure! If you say there's been no changes then I guess it's just my 'habits' have shifted and are now getting me into trouble. I haven't played many Hard S-Grads lately, so IDK about that...

But I honestly have never seen anything like it: monsters popping up in almost every game! Un-killable, massive damage inflicting juggernauts! Usually shot forward with Hetzers, which seem more frequent too...
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