We are always striving to make the game more strategic and interesting, both in mech-building strategies and in battles.
We are looking at which items are popular in high levels and which strategies are being used there.
In the last few weeks, the items we released all had intentions of enabling new strategies in the game -
The Flaminator and Hot Flash are weapons that help you counter the mirror build, The Claw was intended to be a high-risk high-reward item, that gives very strong stats for the handicap of not being able to move, and Heat Bomb and EMP were supposed to create new archetypes that build towards a specific moment and then deliver the gamechanger.
These are more “dangerous” items as even after our playtesting, its hard to determine how they will affect the metagame at high levels.
We see that some items are accepted pretty well (Flaminator, Hot Flash) and some (The Claw, EMP) seem too powerful.
While nerfs are an option, we don’t want to lose the new strategies that can be formed by making all of the items too similar.
However, we do want the game to be balanced, competitive and interesting. Items that have something very strong about them must also have a downside.
When we look at the builds and matches that are currently being used in high level, we see three patterns:
- Almost all competitive mechs have 8 modules and a drone.
- There is barely any walking or jumping in high level matches
- Most matches are close combat (0-3 space between mechs for the majority of the battle)
This means that currently, weight and range don’t have a lot of impact on the game’s strategy.
We believe that by solving these two properties that all high level mechs and matches share, we will enable creative strategies while keeping the game balanced, which is our goal.
We are thinking about a few potential changes to the game:
- Change the weapon range classes to be smaller, so it will be harder to cover all possible distances with a small arsenal of weapons. Making an 8 module + drone mech that cover most ranges mech should be impossible, and items like the Claw will have a meaningful downside.
- Introduce strong range specific weapons (like the Flaming Scope, but for closer ranges)
- Introduce range-limited drones, that do higher damage but don’t fire if you don’t finish your turn in the right distance
- Give players more tools to create distance between them and their opponents - currently swords, harpoons, charges, teleports and weapons can help you close the distance, while only teleports, legs and some weapons can help you widen the distance.
These changes do not come instead of specific nerfs / buffs to weapons that are used too much or too little.
We are specifically looking at how we can make EMP and the Claw retain their uniqueness while not being too strong.
We are considering making EMP a single range weapon (For example, 3 or 4) to require players to work hard (or spend 2 action points) in order to fire it. Another alternative is to significantly increase its weight.
We hope that the Claw will be more balanced by itself after range and weight become more interesting strategic decisions. If it will still be overpowered, we will look into slightly decreasing its stats.
We are not changing anything yet, as we want to hear from you - what do you think about these potential changes?
We know that you are very passionate about the balance of the game, but we ask you to remain polite, respectful and on-topic in this discussion.
Waiting to hear from you!
Mohadib and the Tacticsoft Team