Developer Newsletter No. 6—Better Carthage, Better Streams, More Testing

Greetings, Commanders!
Welcome to our sixth developer newsletter. In this issue, we’re going to talk about balancing, testing, and streaming, so buckle up.

Let’s start with balance. The next patch sees a rebalancing of Carthage and its commanders. Please bear in mind that the following is a snapshot of some of the changes, we’ll discuss the full details tomorrow on the livestream.

Hannibal was envisioned to also be a very capable infantry commander who felt like a ‘battering ram’. Your feedback and our metrics have shown that he wasn’t fulfilling this role, and we’re going to rebalance his abilities to make sure that vision is fulfilled.

We’re going to make Forced March a better ‘chase’ ability, removing the View Range penalty and ‘recently attacked in melee’ deactivation flag, while Determination will make sure you can get into those tough situations and punch through the enemy with its added Unbreakable tag.
We know that there’s been a lot of community discussion surrounding Ad Portas, and Hannibal’s final ability has undergone the most changes. It will become a single-phase ability with stronger buffs that build up quicker and won’t deactivate as easily.
Hasdrubal is also seeing some rebalancing to bring him closer to our vision of his as an ‘in and out support’ commander. Deep Pockets is having its buffs increased, and can be used in melee, while Bribe will now apply its effects instantly.

Alongside those changes to the commanders, Shield Screen is also having a bit of a rework with the intent of making it more mobile and useful.

This is not a minor set of changes, which is why we took our time and really considered them, with your extensive feedback and our numbers in mind, they may not hit the nail on the head straight away, but we’re committed to seeing this vision through, and your feedback is always incredibly useful. For the full details and stat changes, tune in tomorrow.

You may have noticed, but we’ve also started running more tests on the live build and PTS.  The progression test was incredibly well received by you all, and we’re combing through the data of that now.
By the time this releases, the matchmaking test will have finished. Those tests were designed with your feedback about the +2 matches, and I imagine the test has been met with equally well-written feedback. These tests may be ending, but they’re only the beginning of our new testing phase. In the future, we’re hoping to have more of these experiments and tests as we go on, including things such as 7v7, ranked battles testing, and new commander testing.

You feedback and insight into these tests is very much appreciated, and we’re reading your comments carefully. Please note that not all these tests are going to be game-changers, but your feedback on all of them is vital in determining what steps we take after they’ve finished. They’re excellent ways to temporarily test more radical tweaks, and getting your perspective on these changes is key to working out if they result in a better game.

As for matchmaking improvements, we have made a server-side change to how matches are created, and this appears to have resulted in faster matchmaking at higher tiers. We released this change last week, and the results we’re currently looking at suggest it’s working very effectively. We’re also looking at the results from the test over the weekend and analysing the data there.

Finally, let’s talk about our beloved developer livestreams. Some of you may know, but as of tomorrow, our dev stream format is going to change to make it more relevant to you guys. We’re going to stream once every 2 weeks, but the stream will be purely content-driven.

In our rebirth stream tomorrow, we’ll have Paul (balance) and Jamie (features) discussing the changes coming in 3.1.3, with screenshots, in-depth stat changes and probably some horrendous puns. If you’ve been avoiding the dev livestreams because they have too much filler or too little ‘new’ information, then come and give the new format a try. We’ll be finding our feet for a few weeks but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Follow us on Twitch to make sure you don’t miss any of the latest news.

That’s all for this newsletter, as it stands, we’re in the process of naming our new livestream, there are some internal contenders, but feel free to share your ideas!

One new consistent section of the developer newsletter is going to be the following question:

What questions would you like us to answer on tomorrow’s stream?
Until next time Commanders, we’ll see you on the battlefield.

Related news

Developer Newsletter 5: Roadmap update
Developer Newsletter 4: Our new approach to patching
Update 3.1.1. is here!
Developer Newsletter #3 – Ranked Mode Reveal
Next 17/05/2018 Carthage Cavalry Weekend — May 18–21
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