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


  • How and why do you choose heroes to balance (buff/nerf)?

    • TIM: It’s all in-game metrics - usage, win rates, so on. We do obviously play the game and listen to player feedback, but to be impartial and effective I’d say it’s best to just make sure to look at facts. We never intend any single Hero or combination of heroes to dominate the meta, but if the proof of this happening starts to be undeniable (which needs a lot of data) we must then consider the next moves.
    • JOEL: For the latest balance round, which went live in v37, the heroes were chosen based on their win rates for both raid attack and defense, our simulation results, usage in raids, and player feedback.
  • How does SG plan to address power creep?

    • TIM: Quite simple, really - we aim to have very controlled power creep, which means that new heroes have to be desirable and thus, on average, somewhat more powerful than older heroes. BUT, and this is a big one, we want as wide and varied a pool of older heroes as possible to be viable for as long as possible.
  • Is there any possibility for Telluria and Vela to be de-nerfed since they wouldn’t be as OP in the current meta?

    • TIM: See the answer on the metrics earlier - we only nerfed these heroes after the data proved without a doubt that they really were way too effective as they were. And we nerfed them as little as possible (but enough to make a difference - we did try smaller changes but the issues remained then!) so I’d say we’re not ‘safe’ with a de-nerf yet. We’re actually super-cautious with these things, you know, like handling highly explosive materials!
  • How do you envision filling the gap between new players and old players?

    • TIM: Thanks to the, from our point of view, very mellow power creep in the game we’ve not had to really think about this before this year. But this is now something we have on the agenda. We do not know the scope of things needed for this - but it would be interesting to at least see what could be done to make the path for new players a bit easier and/or faster.
  • What are the plans for keeping the game F2P and C2P friendly, with each year there is much more to do and less catch-up mechanics?

    • TIM: See the answer to the previous question - we haven’t had a pressing need to address this earlier, but we are now discussing it.
  • Any plans to have a big number of buffs coming?

    • Joel: We have not yet decided when the next balance changes will go live, but we will keep on making changes to the hero balance, so stay tuned!
  • Can you balance all heroes regularly? Say every 3 to 6 months? And not just touch the hero’s that make a profit. Let’s balance the entire game.

    • TIM: Here I’d return to points made earlier - the need for hero variety and the need for new Heroes to be, somehow, desirable. So we cannot ‘even out’ the Heroes in general too much (variety means some heroes must be very situational etc) and also we cannot allow older heroes, in principle, to outrank the new arrivals.
  • Based on what does the development team decide which heroes should be buffed/nerfed? There are some heroes who desperately need some love (Inari, Thoth-Amun, Perseus for example) yet they are never included in any of the balance changes, why?

    • JOEL: As Tim mentioned before we use metrics and player feedback to decide what Heroes to buff. Many of the Heroes mentioned here have been in talks to get a buff, but there have always been heroes that have had a bigger need for buffs than them.
  • Are there any plans to increase 4 ascension mat drops, or increase the rate of rare quests?*

    • TIM: Not really, no - as long as the ‘max ascension’ of heroes stays it is we probably should not touch this, again to be very safe with the game economy. That being said if we’d move the ‘endpoint’ of Hero power growth onward then we may also look into this!
    • JOEL: During the years we have added more and more places to obtain ascension items so the total amount of ascension item drops has increased even if we haven’t touched the rate of rare quests or individual odds in events.
  • Please relook ham cost for emblems and levels in HA and AL, Hunter’s lodge. Ham is used in so many areas whereas iron utility is limited compared to ham. Or Is it possible to add a level in AL to convert excess Iron to Ham, using Iron (of course) as the cost of transmuting?

    • TIM: We’d prefer to find new uses for Iron instead of adjusting the old ones (careful!). The conversion idea sounds cool though!