Blast/Harvest looping issue
  • There's an issue where you can create an undisturbed loop that leads to a stalemate.

    Steps Taken to repeat:

    you start a round with full super
    you immediately activate it
    you blast the opponents cannons
    that means you will not face any damage

    then once the super bar is drained
    you harvest your cannons
    you make a lot of money
    you also refill your super bar
    now the round is over
    however you have a full super bar
    which means you can do this again the next round

    you also have so much money
    that you can buy guardians and demons and stuff

    ive seen this in two games
    in one game we both were doing it
    it lead to a stale mate
    i honestly dont know if the game will end
    the level is full of guardians
    the other game was completely unbalanced
  • If both players perform these steps, it will lead to a stalemate.

    If one player does it, then it leads to an extremely unbalanced game.
  • You guys are getting seriously good at the game. We will look into this and explore options to fixing the balance problem. Meanwhile, can anyone theorize on a potential counter to the strategy as he describes it?
  • One of the matches he described was with me (iiOutside) and by "unbalanced" he meant i destroyed him. but yes the blast cycle strategy was something i was thinking would balance itself out once i had some matches against other players who could pull it off as well. but now in the current matches with 66xray and hayden we see that it just stalemates and gets boring quick.
    Also the Fields of Guardians are pretty awful.

    For the blast cycle, i liked william's idea of harvested points not adding to the super meter. but first i'd like to see how harvested points giving 50% value to the blast meter goes.

    As for the Guardians, at first i thought maybe they should be more expensive. but if they cost more, they wont be available to player when they're starting to slip up and need them the most. now i think there should just be a limit to how many a player can have at a time. Either a fixed limit or an amount that correlates to the number of enemy cannons in play. either 1:1 or 2:1 Guardians:cannons. but if the enemy loses cannons while you're at the max guardian limit, you dont have to lose those guardians.
  • Yes, these are definitely both problems and we are addressing them with some balance changes in the first patch.

    For the Blast/Harvest cycle, I think the Blast deactivation effect is actually a bigger part of the problem than the Harvesting. So we are going to try making deactivation only trigger on a "weakened" unit (< 75% HP). This will effectively make it take multiple shots to deactivate full-HP units, and make it much harder to deactivate all the Cannons at the start of a round. If we find that this isn't working, then we will look to more heavy-handed fixes like a change to how fast Harvesting fills up Super.

    For Guardians, I agree I don't want to make them more expensive. So what we are going to try is cutting their HP in half to 100, making them the weakest unit in the game. This makes them extremely fragile and very easy to destroy multiple Guardians with Blast in 1 Super. I think this will make Guardian spam so cost-inefficient that it will be less of an issue.

    We are going to start testing the balance changes on Monday with a new TestFlight build. So if you told us you want to keep helping us test patches, be on the lookout for that email.

  • " I think the Blast deactivation effect is actually a bigger part of the problem than the Harvesting. So we are going to try making deactivation only trigger on a "weakened" unit"

    I think you're right that the deactivation is the real issue. But with the weakened-unit idea, you may not be able to effectively disable any cannons or maybe any units at all on your turn. But if you can at least disable non-cannons, regardless of their health, it could still be useful to spend time flying around blasting things.
    And if you happen to be in the lead with all strong cannons while the opponent has all weak cannons, you could still disable all their cannons right away, giving yourself an even bigger lead.
    Another idea would be to require a certain amount of blasts to disable cannons while other units still require just 1. This way, if you choose to spend your whole Super disabling 3 cannons or whatever it works out to, you still have deal with the consequences of all the other cannons still firing while you focus on a few. Or you could just go for disabling other units.
    This would also prevent you from being able to still disable all the enemy cannons if they happen to all be at low health.

    With the Guardians, I don't know if making them weaker would play out well. Yes, it makes spamming them inefficient but it also kinda makes them inefficient to have at all. If a player wants to create a sensible Guardian defense, but the other player can destroy them all at the start of their next turn (or the turn after that, at least), its money down the drain and you're very vulnerable.
    Also, once the weakened-unit/deactivate/blast change is implemented, you're not necessarily going to have time to destroy 10 guardians while your own units are under fire.
  • Yeah, I'm not thrilled about that side effect you mention of it making it harder to deactivate non-Cannon units. I just think it's really important not to overcomplicate the rules of the game with special cases just to fix balance problems. If we can't find elegant solutions to imbalances, then there are deeper underlying design problems that should be addressed instead.

    Let's see how the proposed changes play out on the beta server, and if there are still problems we'll explore other options.
  • Really glad to hear that you want to strive for elegance. So key.
    Recommend this book if you havn't read it already:
    I only know enough about programming language to follow the first 3 or 4 chapters but still took a lot away from it about elegance in systems.

    And yeah, trial by beta fire.

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