Version 1.3 Beta Reactions Thread

Discussion in 'EMPIRE (by Crazy Monkey Studios)' started by keithburgun, May 7, 2014.

  1. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Hey hey, if you have any thoughts on the beta, we have a couple of days to make some final changes, so let me know ASAP! Currently I'm actually REALLY happy with this version, I think it's like WAY better than the previous version, but I'm sure balance could use some work especially at a higher level of play. What do you think?
     
  2. Nachtfischer

    Nachtfischer Well-Known Member

    To make sure, it's not up yet, right?
     
  3. Senator

    Senator Moderator

    Ditto, I haven't received any beta invite either.
     
  4. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Huh... I'll look into this. I definitely got a build, but maybe it was only sent out to me? On it!
     
  5. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    A beta version should be going out today!
     
    Nachtfischer likes this.
  6. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    BTW: I think we only have a few days, and my biggest concern with this version is just balance, especially at high levels of play. Hopefully we can do a small tweak-patch after this one if it's necessary, but for now I'd like to get it at least playable. I've played about 5 games and it seems ok (maybe still a little on the long side for me, but acceptable). Would love to hear how it goes for a really serious player, though.
     
  7. Nachtfischer

    Nachtfischer Well-Known Member

    First impression: The overmap gameplay is a LOT more interesting. Building structures and monster armies really help and give actual meaning to the terrain. It's hard to keep track of when a monster army will move, though.
    Combat feels like I'm doing less, because of the low command/draw limit, but I actually think that's good. I am doing less stuff, but the decisions I make are often more interesting (also because battles are hard from the start, cool!).

    Just had a game-breaking bug (iPod 4): I can't pick a spell card. I can scroll between the two but I can't choose one. Reloading doesn't help. I was able to pick a spell a few turns before, though.

    I'm not sure: Do you get s general command/draw limit bonus when defending? Otherwise I received the tower bonus before it was even finished building.

    Can't talk about end-game balance or how long I last, because of the bug, but I will play more tomorrow (4 hour train ride, yay). Early game feels good, though. Definitely a huge step forward.

    EDIT: Second iPod game was again ended when picking my third spell or so. Seems to be a regular thing. Double check the Shaman's Hut code. Up to that point, the flow of the gameplay felt great. I will play on the iPad 3 tomorrow to see if the freeze happens there, too.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
    keithburgun likes this.
  8. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Yep were aware of the spell card bug. Will be fixed in the release; for now, dont make shaman huts.
     
  9. Nachtfischer

    Nachtfischer Well-Known Member

    With the emphasis on tougher units and HP carrying over between battles, I find the Mage to be by far the hardest emperor to play now. The healing between battles is a very powerful trait, as are the huge "+2 HP" warriors. But the Mage just gets a redraw for a kill. Given the, especially early on, harsh redraw limit, this just seems a lot waker and my playthroughs support that notion. I didn't really have trouble beating level 1 with the other two, but the Mage's early-game was quite the struggle. Anyways, balancing between emperors is not really an issue, I guess, because they all have their own metagame/rankings anyways.

    By the way, the game doesn't change with the metagame level, right? So it's just the goal score going up? I could maybe see a playthrough taking quite some time on higher levels then.
     
  10. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Yeah right now only the score goal goes up, which I agree isn't the best for the reason you cited. What the game really needs is an Auro-like metagame but the resources for making that (AND making the game good) aren't there right now.

    And yeah I'm not worried about cross-class balance. I am worried about degenerative strategies or the game's pacing. @vivafringe have you had a chance to play this version yet?
     
  11. vivafringe

    vivafringe Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I played some today. My impressions:
    - I'm not sure whether it's optional or not, but the game certainly seems to be encouraging you to sit there doing nothing but feasting and using guard towers to defend. I mean, I *can* attack monster nests but it's hard to see a compelling reason to risk doing so. I could win 10 VPs or I could win 3 VPs three times and risk much less.
    - Guard towers are pretty lame! I'm not sure why they're in the game in their current format. Really seems like they should help you attack monster camps if they exist at all.
    - It takes way too long for monsters to start attacking you. It's... what, maybe 30 turns before a monster fights you?
    - Agree with Nacht that wizard seems stupid. Meteor is a much worse than Magical Bounty, and the redraw ability is pretty dumb when you only have 1 redraw max (unless you're sitting there feasting behind a billion towers >_>).
     
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  12. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Based on my own testing and feedback here, here are my proposed changes

    - Wizard has max 3 redraw
    - Start with 1 monster spawned near your city at least, maybe 2-3 more around the map, AND increase the rate of monster spawn a TINY bit.
    - Reduce Feast VPs from 3 to 2.
    - Change tower functionality:
    At the start of a battle that takes place within 2 tiles of the Tower, deal 1 damage to 2 enemy units. Tower is destroyed.
    Cost: 50 Material
    Multiple towers can affect 1 battle if they're in range
    Might be good to add some kind of visual indicator, like a little line or light color overlay showing where the towers affect.
     
  13. vivafringe

    vivafringe Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hmm those tower changes still seem pretty iffy. What is the point of towers? A material sink? To make "the map" matter more?

    Additionally, if I think all cards should just give 1 redraw.

    1. For 2/3 characters that's what they'll do *anyway*.
    2. Using a card that gives 2 redraw when you have max 1 redraw feels awful. It's like... IDK, a "buy 1 full tank of gas, IMMEDIATELY get another tank free!" One of the reasons it felt like I should just sit there doing nothing behind towers is that's the only way to increase my redraw, and it felt like I *needed* to increase my redraw to work at "full efficiency."
    3. Redraw is super powerful! I think there's a genuine concern that if Wizard is actually able to use 2 redraw (and has max 3), he might be too good.
     
  14. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Yeah, I want to make there be actual tactical considerations given that we have this big grid. I mean if I had the flexibility at this point, I'd probably just ditch the overmap entirely and make it more of like a "menu" system, but we can't do that, so since we have the system there now, we should use it.

    I'll try the cards give 1 redraw idea.
     
  15. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Any other thoughts? We wanna wrap this version up and get it out to people.
     
  16. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    I just got a "final" pre-release beta build (made just for me to review) that seems really great. It's sped up a lot in terms of difficulty, and we tweaked a ton of little things. I wish we had more time to really test it, but again, we'll probably do a 1.31 version in a few weeks if the balance is off.
     
    Nachtfischer likes this.
  17. Tridens

    Tridens New Member

    First let me say that I'm glad to have found such a fantastic mobile game. I can tell that this one will be one of the few that keep my attention for a long time. Great job!

    Just some quick feedback on 1.3 (I'm using the release version, but I figured this was the best thread to put this in): while I like the changes, the only downside is that I feel the game plays too long now. Part of what attracted me to this game was the sufficient depth combined with gameplay that you could fit into a half an hour. If love to see it move back into that realm. I'd rather get a quick game in-working on improving my score over multiple games- than continuing a marathon game that drags on. Thanks again for a great game!

    Tridens
     
  18. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Hmm. It's interesting that your experience is that the game's going on longer now. Some of our changes were designed to do the opposite. If others are also having this experience we'll be sure to fix it in a small balance patch.
     
  19. Nachtfischer

    Nachtfischer Well-Known Member

    Is 1.3 already out on Android or something? Because on iOS it's not available yet.
     
  20. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    It is out on Android yeah, I dunno what's up with the iOS version.
     

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