Hey guys, Draginol posted a Dev Diary last night and there's a few things I'd like to add!
The massive 2.2 update, one of our biggest to date, launched a week ago and this sets the precedent for the momentum we want to maintain moving forward in 2017 and beyond. Unlike Draginol before me, I'm not a CEO and head of multiple projects, so with me at the helm of balance and the design direction for Ashes we'll be getting more done in a shorter amount of time and with more community interaction.
While replays are now fully functional, we aren't done working on them and down the line we want to give players more tools to extract important information out of the match. This would involve being able to open up different panels to compare different values such as the upgrade disparity or what is currently being produced by each player. We have made a new section on the forums for people to share their replays
As an example, here's a mock image I made up in Photoshop to demonstrate what I'm hoping we can get with the Production tab.
We have a small patch coming out next week to fix some issues which were causing crashes. The Gunships are also receiving a cost increase as they are over performing in 2.2
##Gameplay Intentions For Next Major Update##
With 2.2 launched, we'll begin gathering feedback and getting to work on continuing to improve the game in next patch. As 2.2 was the first major update I had been a part of, the primary concern for the gameplay changes was to address the urgent and unfair balance problems while making the game more intuitive and welcoming for new players. With those out of the way, we can focus on some more fundamental reworks to really shake things up for the better. On top of general balance changes, these are we have our eyes on for the next major update.
- 5 new maps to be included for free in 2.3 thanks to community member Luxlupus. Maybe we'll have even more ready by then!
- More map improvements: So far we've got improvements to Frosthaven, Kralon, Thuban, Espana and Regulus, with more maps likely to be touched up.
- Counter system revamp: We are reworking and standardising the health to armor ratios of most Cruisers and Dreadnoughts so that the counter system is more robust and allows for emphasis on managing your unit composition instead of just massing Maulers and Athenas with little consideration,
- Cost ratios adjustments: The current cost ratios of Metals to Radioactives limits strategic diversity. For example, Air units are not as much a deliberate strategic decision as they are an eventuality due to needing a way to spend all of the excess Radioactives. We are looking into the cost ratios of Cruisers, Dreadnoughts, Air Units and buildings and seeing how they can be adjusted to create more strategic depth.
- Dreadnought rebalance: Ontop of the health/armor rework for Dreadnoughts, we have lots of other changes to Dreadnoughts and some of the their abilities to better balance them and refine each Dreadnought into their intended role.
- Base defense survivability: Base defenses were far too strong against armies, but then were very easy to clear with artillery units. We want to mitigate this discrepancy by removing armor so big enough armies can force their way through base defenses much easier while increasing health on low tier defenses so it takes a bit longer for artillery units to clear.
- Substrate energy rework: We want to make energy consumption less crucial for Reapers while more of a consideration for other units types while so Capacitors have a more consistent role to play amongst different unit compositions.
##New Features and QoL##
A few weeks back I made a thread
about which features and QoL would the community like to see implemented. With the launch of 2.2, we can get started on some of them. Most of them will take a while to get implemented as the team already has their hands full working on other things such as Juggernauts and Modding, but we should be able to get a couple of QoL changes implemented in 2.3 and work on ticking off more of them as we move forward. We've already got one heavily requested QoL change completed and on the way!
Co-Op Map Pack:
This DLC adds 8 new maps specifically designed for playing cooperatively, whether it's against AI or against players. Players spawn right next to their team mates and many of the maps have shared pathways to allow for combined attacks and strategies.
The sweeping changes in 2.2 have helped put Ashes in a great spot. Because of this new balance patch and replays support, I plan on running some tournaments with small prizes on the line to showcase high level matches. I'll start off with very small events such pro player showmatches and scale them upwards over time depending on success. Tournaments can also be a very valuable tool for assessing balance.
##New, Better Tutorial##
The current tutorial is long, boring and doesn't even teach the player much useful information. I would like to change this by creating a new, better tutorial as a good tutorial is crucial when introducing new players to the game. This will most likely take a while in between everything else that we'll be working on.
So that's it for now, there's lots on the horizon to look forward to!