Q&A with Game Designers - Spring 2021 Edition (Discussion Part II)

We have now published our Q&A answers! Please read them here:

This topic is to share your thoughts and discuss this Q&A!

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I’ll start on a positive note:

  • I’m interested in the new Alliance Event and new buildings. I also found it interesting that Tim is C2P.

Negative things:

  • I am either in the minority, or the game designers are not very familiar with what the players want, since it was made clear that new events are their highest priority because “this is what players want the most”. I think this used to be the case previously when we would get one or two new events per year and it was really something to look forward to. However, nowadays, we constantly get new events and we just want the Devs to slow down with them. We don’t even have time to get familiarised with the new heroes.

  • “very mellow power creep”? (no further comments needed here)

  • it was disappointing to read that Limit Breakers were non-negotiable from the very beginning. I think you should have made this clear, rather than ask us for feedback in Beta 3 times with 0 communication.

Overall, even though I do not necessarily agree with everything, communication from staff is highly appreciated. Thank you for the time you took to do this Q&A!

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After all these years…you have some ideas?

Couldn’t even prepare a reasonable answer to a known question.
Sorry, but it’s clear that you have no idea.

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Adding a poll for the community. How happy are you with the Q&A?

  • Very happy
  • A bit happy
  • Neutral
  • Unhappy
  • Very unhappy

0 voters

As much as I hope people vote solely based on the Q&A I expect that not to work perfectly.

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TLDR for everyone:

“Blah, blah, blah, game economy…blah, blah, blah, just wait for next year.”

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Initial thoughts:

Good - a lot more questions answered than I expected, and thanks for organizing them by theme/topic. Good job. I did like the personal look into the rosters and gameplay of the devs.

What I would like to see more of - more reasoning behind the “no plans to do this now!” type answers.*

Phrase of the year: GAME ECONOMY

Things that stood out:

  1. Limit breakers were non-negotiable from the beginning
  2. No, you won’t get Atlantis / Valhalla / Event etc. 3s and 4s in Hero Academy, ever
  3. No, Valhalla Forever gnomes will never “only” drop coins, and VF rewards won’t be increased, because it’s bad for the game economy
  4. new heroes! new events! that’s what makes players happy! a new season every year!!
  5. oh but by the way, we do want to do something about new players’ paths in the game…
  6. … but at the same time, too many people getting too many of these new heroes, is bad for the game economy!

*disclaimer: I am perfectly aware that SG is a business/corporation; that they are not required to disclose all the reasoning behind business decisions to us; and that my wish may not be realistic. I know I’ll almost certainly get people commenting, “that’s an unrealistic wishlist, keep dreaming, blah blah.” But if we never ask, we never get answers, so there.

Summary

Other things:

Why though? There are challenge event tiers and raid tourneys specifically for Rare and Epic heroes. And many players want this. So why are there no plans? Not high enough on the priority list? Additions are planned for Hero Academy, so why not consider Rare/Epic heroes from older seasons/events (e.g. Atlantis?)

especially when we have something like this:

Wouldn’t greater availability of some of those heroes help with that?

or is it because of this

basically: too many players getting these nice heroes = bad for game economy?

like with this:

so don’t expect to get too many tries for more Valhalla heroes…

… especially as now we’re going to get a new Season per year…!

this also stuck out for me… apparently not many players are leaving the game?

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Briefy summarizing: dont expect anything this year, but trust us we have plans but not earlier then next year. We dont have time for you at the moment.

An aside comment, the deal with Zynga will most likely exceed 1B $ and still you won’t hire new devs to work on implementation of some of requests from your Customers.

Your greed will bury this game!

Me personally, post reading this Q&A, implementation of limit breakers and unlocking “great rewards” in valor chests concluded that enough is enough and decided to quit this game and enjoy real life.

Thanks to everyone and all the best!

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I am reasonably ok with the answers, some bits were to be expected eg - limit breakers will be a thing and no change of course on it.

Other things at least there is a definitive answer, whether we like it or not, eg 3/4stars into HA.

There are probably other sections they cant go into too much detail on as its company confidential detail etc.

However, there are areas which seemed washed over such as the 5 stars duplicates where a bit more detail would be appreciated, as it stands we are no further ahead than we were beforehand when we were told they know HA isnt the solution and they are working on something else.

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As expected, lots of :

we will see,
we have plans,
maybe,
nice idea,
no

They actually picked up one of my questions but damn the response “it’s more fun this way” is ignorant af.

Yeah I’m done hoping for any improvements happening to this game.

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Would they nerf Black Knight or Finley if they were HoM and easy accessible like Telluria and Vela?

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Player: “Limit Breaker should be just for 3* & 4* heroes”
SG: “sure… Because we love you, we will not going to make LB available for 5* heroes”
Player: “bless you SG… You’re such an angel!”

1 month later SG releases Love Breaker (LB) for 5* heroes

Next year SG will release Marilyn Monroe’s dress for 3* & 4* heroes and… Hitler’s moustache for 5* heroes!

Player: “why do you do this to us? You are not angel, you are evil!”
SG: “because we know, YOU WILL TOLERATE EVERYTHING we had made to this game!”

Ladies and gentleman… We are forever ever fooled by these bastard company

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Ahahah you guys are soooo funny.

Geeeze.

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I have to wonder if Tim reviewed his answers at all before they were posted here. The number of times he says “we don’t have time for QOL improvements, in favor of new features, because that’s what drives engagement,” is really over the top. And it couldn’t be more obvious that:

  • “Engagement” means spending
  • “QOL” means improvements that won’t generate more revenue

It all comes off as very tone-deaf.

Maybe they really aren’t losing players at the rates that all the recent farewell posts on this forum would imply. But I can guarantee you they’d lose even less players if they committed some resources to these non-monied improvements, and they’d have a much happier player base in general. That’s gotta be worth SOMEthing…

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They won’t add non-S1 4* to the Hero Academy :frowning_face:

@Dudeious.Maximus I don’t see any answer related to non-S1 costumes.

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  • 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.

So, why don’t adjust older heroes’ stats?
Older heroes would still be worse but this wouldn’t make them so obsolete.

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Este juego cada día desmotiva más. Cada vez dificultan más los asaltos. Es muy complicado ganar. Para que decir los emparejamientos horribles. Utilizan variables absurdas para emparejar.

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I wish they would have given credit to each of the people who asked the question.

  • Will there be more attention to release more 3/4 heroes?*
    • TIM: We always aim to have some of them especially for Story Seasons. However, there are currently no plans to add more than what we have at this point.

I’m taking this to mean season 4 will not have any new 3/4* heroes for season 4. I want to see more. So I won’t be saving coins anymore waiting for better 3s and 4s because SG said there are no plans.

very important to not do the buff via speed up, even if players see it as the only option > this way we’d end up with only fast heroes in the game, which is boring!

I’m very happy with this response. Mana speed is the easiest to adjust but the one I want to see the least.

unique skills are actually often perceived by players as being less useful
Very true

I enjoyed the discussion of Wilbur, Norns, and Bera. Also humbling for them to say.

We did want troops to be really slow to level up

I like their admittance to aspects of game design

  • Are there any plans to “refresh” the game and update its different aspects?
  • TIM: We’d love to do a ton of this (as mentioned already several times before) but new events and new content are the things that matter most for a lot of players and that pretty much always dictates our priorities. Yeah, really hoping we’d get to do a bit of this and Quality of Life every now and then, but since it’s so clear that new stuff is the thing that works for so many of the players, we simply cannot ever do less of new stuff (which can very easily be the case if we’d start focusing on updating older aspects)!

I like new content, but I’m curious what their justification is here. I don’t see many posts on this forum that say “I can’t wait for season 7!”.

  • Climbing the raid leaderboard gives no additional prizes of any kind. Are there any future plans to actually incentivize players for doing well?
  • TIM: A good question! We’re not planning anything for this at the moment, but we did try a fairly simple ‘ monthly leaderboard challenge ’ in Puzzle Combat and, again theoretically and more from the point of Quality of Life, we could have something similar for Empires & Puzzles if there’d be demand for it and time to develop it.

I’d love to see this. Didn’t realize it was a big endeavor to develop though. I don’t love raids but I’m all for different ways to recognize top players.

  • Why is the alliance part of Mythic Titans not percentage-based like the top single hit/total damage?
  • JOEL: We wanted to emphasize the Alliance part of the leaderboard and give a reason for top Alliances to go for the number one spot. With personal leaderboards, we wanted to reward a big part of the top players instead of just a few best performing players hence they are percentage-based.

I like to hear this!

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.

I’d be curious what dominate entails. I’d say >50% is clearly dominant.

  • 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.

I love this answer because they say there will be power creep. I’m happy to see insight into the strategy.

  • 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.

I’ve always found this to be underrated by the community. Plenty of changes have increased shots at getting mats.

  • 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!

Would this be the best quality of life update for players?

  • TIM: Here the same applies - we’ve definitely read these and even scoped the work for the ones that could fit the game, but the work on new content and features has been of higher priority. A practical example is Season 5 - we already need to start the work on that soon.

Season five coming in hot and prioritized over quality of life. Happy with the openness here.

TIM: We’re working very soon on a variation of Challenge Event called Alliance Event

My alliance is not big on challenge events. I like the idea but not for my alliance.

I liked to hear each play and their rosters. Also nice to get to know them as people.

but now that we see that yeah, we should definitely have a season for each year
I like them setting our expectations. Also doesn’t sound like the game is dying as some say.

  • 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.

Never thought of it that way before. I like the recognition of randomness and they’re attempt to control it.

Summary: got more than I expected here. Game
Economy seems to be a concern. New content seems to be coming whether we like it or not. A lot of half answers but I feel like I can say I’ll be playing season six three years from now.

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I mean not all the answers are what people want to read but I’m actually surprised they answered some of the tougher ones.

I expected a much more sedate and developer friendly set of questions. Some of them were pretty hard ones.

So kudos for responding to them.

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But be under no illusions that we are seen as anything but clients in this.

I mean, I’ve never had any other conclusion but I work in Finance and that is just how my world works. I provide a service, people pay for it. E&P is a very similar model :joy: Love it or hate it I guess.

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