Q&A with Game Designers - Spring 2021 Edition (Answers) - "Ask Me Anything" AMA transcript


  • What is the name of the little dragon? (That we see in the commercial?) What’s his/her story?

    • TIM: Oh, I don’t think I’ve ever called it anything else other than Vivicas’ dragon. Yeah, it probably would deserve a name!
  • There is a lot of talk about the game life term for mobile games, with the full rollout of Puzzle Combat do you see any change in focus where you may start focusing more on that and reducing new content for e&p, or are they independently handled by different teams.

    • TIM: They’re independently handled by different teams - we actually try to benefit from this fact that we’re developing two sufficiently similar games next to each other, so for example the Alliance Quest in EP is only possible this year since we already did a version of that in Puzzle Combat…and similarly that’s where we had a bit more time to test some small QoL tweaks…So yeah, I think this is something where the public perception is not at all in line with the reality, it’s not really even possible to ‘lose’ any development focus in EP due to PC!
  • Could you reconsider putting some variety into our daily tasks which have not changed since the beginning of EP?

    • TIM: As mentioned it would be great to freshen up the daily quests at some point (that’s an obvious one, hopefully, happens earlier than later) and the fact that we have to start thinking about the vast difference between new players and elder players next year there may be something small that’ll result from that. And yeah, we’d love to freshen raiding, tournaments, war rules every now and then, nothing against the idea, it’s just a matter of when we’ll get to do these!
  • What were the reasons for Raid Formations being locked behind Stronghold level 25 and Hero Academy instead of being widely available to the player base?

    • TIM: Just a matter of risk management, really. Even though the feature is liked and the global beta went great, we’d absolutely hate to find out later on that the formations somehow made the raiding of very, very early players somehow worse. So we erred on the side of caution here, level 25 may be a tad too high but, just to be safe, we put the limit there.
  • Background music. Would you like to make it more varied?

    • TIM: Yeah we would - we just have basically no people dedicated to music on our teams (focus!) and thus it’s just super-low in priority. Also, there was a long time when we technically needed to avoid adding too much different music in the game…this is not the case anymore (and we’ve had some fun with this on a few occasions) but as said, we have no one available to spend extra time with the music!
  • How much storytelling is developed for the characters and world?

    • TIM: Not too much on paper, really - similar to the music we do not have dedicated lore or writing people in the whole company, which kind of means that while we’d love to have a more tangible set of lore somewhere it’s not really been a focus for anyone. In my mind, everything is connected (and we’ve alluded to some of this with the character descriptions and so on) and yeah, it would be so cool to ‘paint alive’ all these connections and story possibilities…
  • What do you feel has been the biggest mistake in the last year, and how would you deal with it now instead?

    • TIM: Hm, well the mistakes for me tend to blend together into a life happens sort of string of events, so I always assume these will happen and that we’d learn from them. Balancing heroes was quite rocky for a while, definitely - but introducing occasional heroes that break the balance is, in the big picture, somewhat unavoidable so last year was a good way to learn to deal with these situations perhaps faster and more clearly.
  • The longevity of this game is dependent on being able to attract new players when older players retire. At the moment, with a glut of 5 heroes, emblem classes, costumes and the upcoming ‘Limit breaker’ what are the developer’s plan to help reduce the chasm and help new players catch up and be able to compete with those who have been playing for 3+ years?*

    • TIM: The new player’s path is something we will indeed focus on next year, but there’s really not much to share yet on that (we haven’t decided on the steps yet). A point perhaps to make here is that we’ve got, generally speaking, an exceptionally low degree of players retiring which actually is the reason for us to introduce all the mentioned new features - we really, really want to ensure the players who want to get more out of the game after 4 years can do so, it’d be a terrible shame to lose these players really!
  • How do you decide when ranking is done by top X number of players (monthly challenge events) versus percentage (weekly raid tournaments)?

    • JOEL: Raid tournaments were the first time we tested out a percentage-based rewarding system. The tournament is not the same for every player (unlike Challenge Events) as we want all players to have to defend during the tournament. Therefore going for the top 1 spot is something that is entirely based on what the matches that you get are. So it made more sense for us to have percentage-based rewards for that event.
  • Has the introduction of some sort of “pity counter” ever came up?

    • TIM: We’ve discussed this several times as well and had even some plans pretty clearly lined up if this would be needed - but I think the math and the economics, at least at the time, did not really support this since the end result would not really work as it does in some competing games. That being said, a well-implemented pity counter is absolutely not a bad idea, and who knows if we’d eventually get to it!