Playtest 220: One Base To Rule Them All; Balance Adjustments!

TreiskTreisk Member, Administrator

Playtest 220: One Base To Rule Them All; Balance Adjustments!

Of note: For the next few weeks, we're seeking additional feedback on your experience playing with/against Bots! Also, just having more bot games played in general will give us replays we can examine to find/solve potential issues. Get out there and slay those bots!


  • The Tutorial has been revamped and updated. We'd love your feedback on the Tutorial, even if you're an experienced player!

General Gameplay

  • Titan

    • Base damage: 60 ⇒ 75
  • Outer Tower

    • Health: 400 ⇒ 750
    • Shield: 400 ⇒ 750
    • Damage: 30 ⇒ 45

Economy & Production

  • All players on a team will now share one set of main-base structures!
  • Stock generator efficacy has been reduced, especially earlier in the game
  • The unit production command card now uses a 2-by-3 layout
  • Tech Level upgrades have been moved to the Unit Production structure.
  • Unit build time calculations have been altered

    • 5 seconds per 1 stock and 25 Scrap ⇒ 6 seconds per Stock + 4 seconds

      • In layman's terms, this means that low-tier units will take longer and most high-tier units will take less time to build.

Creep Camps

  • Fixed a bug that could allow Caterpillars to have two shields active at once. Oops!



  • Glacial Ranger

    • Damage: 18 ⇒ 16
    • Attack cooldown: 1.8 ⇒ 1.3
    • Range: 7 ⇒ 8.5
    • Movement speed: 4.6 ⇒ 4.4
    • Cold Snap

      • Now resets the Glacial Ranger's attack cooldown when used
    • Removed the Ice Floes upgrade
  • Scuttleguard

    • Health: 225 ⇒ 250
    • Removed the Chilling Claw upgrade
    • NEW UPGRADE: Calcified Shell

      • Improves the Scuttleguard's health by 50, and Physical and Magical Resists by 20. Available at Tech Level 3.


  • Trebuchet

    • has received a new model and animations!


  • Lavaspitter

    • Rooted Damage: 40 ⇒ 50
    • Stock cost: 5 ⇒ 6
    • Scrap cost: 50 ⇒ 75
    • Unit cap: 12 ⇒ 8


  • Sprinter

    • Health: 140 ⇒ 115
    • Stock cost: 5 ⇒ 4
    • Movement speed: 5.2 ⇒ 5.4
  • Zephyr

    • Has had its size increased by 25%
    • Unit cap: 8 ⇒ 6
    • Gust

      • Windup time: 0 seconds ⇒ 0.1 seconds
      • Range: 8 ⇒ 11
      • Cone angle: 75 ⇒ 60
      • Can no longer turn while this ability is active
  • Precognitor

    • Scrap cost: 150 ⇒ 75
    • Unit cap: 4 ⇒ 3
    • Health: 180 ⇒ 200
    • Damage: 30 ⇒ 25
    • Attack cooldown: 1.6 ⇒ 1.5
    • Movement speed: 4.5 ⇒ 4.4
    • Hamaliel's Blessing

      • Cooldown: 20 seconds ⇒ 10 seconds
    • Blinding Smoke has been slightly reworked

      • Reduces attack range to 1 ⇒ Reduces attack damage of ranged units by 90%.
      • Cooldown: 35 seconds ⇒ 30 seconds
      • Duration: 7 seconds ⇒ 8 seconds
    • The Hamaliel's Favor upgrade has been removed.


  • Added floating text for EXP and resource gains


  • MilleaMillea Member

    Playing through tutorial as an experienced player and posting my feedback here as I go through

    I like that it's on the normal map. It shows the basics of how to build units and move the camera first.

    Scrap is now called "Bioshards"? Unless you change this everywhere, don't change it in the tutorial. This will cause so much confusion.

    It shouldn't tell you to "left click" the production facility. It should say "Left click or, or press 4 to select the Production facility. Pressing 4 can be done from anywhere on the map". This would fix a lot of common mistakes i've seen in people new to rts.

    It doesn't go over what the generator does, which is, in my opinion, just as important as building units. If someone's new, they're not going to figure this out for a while. After the production facility, it should go over the generator, and then the research facility. Then introduce tiers. I've already met some people who did understand tiers.

    It doesn't explain the resource system. What's a stock and how do I get one is a question a new player could ask.

    It goes over the ultimate before the basic ability. It should go over the basic ability first, then mention units'
    abilities too. (For example, spawn a pyrosaur), then the ultimate.

    It was definitely better than the last tutorial, but it still could use some improvement.

  • AbyssAbyss Member
    edited June 18

    Experienced Player reviewing Tutorial:

    I would suggest mentioning unit abilities at some point, perhaps right after you mention the ultimate ability. Even something as simple as "Some units also have abilities, you can find their abilities in your card below."

    I would also like if there was some mention of production queue and upgrades. Maybe in an Advanced Tutorial? But it's really one of the only things missing out of the tutorial right now.

    I would strongly suggest pausing on the "Atlas Tutorial" loading screen with the wall of text. Slower readers will not be able to get through it before it pushes them into the game, and that could be real frustrating. I'd suggest just a "Press any key to continue..." setup or such.

    I'm pretty sure I heard "Press F to build two healers" when the default hotkey is S. Maybe I misheard.

    The tutorial box calls scrap "BioShards". This is cool, but as Millea mentioned above, this needs to be changed everywhere not to confuse players. Specifically, in the tutorial when you kill a building it pops up with the floating text (also new, also amazing!!) saying +X Scrap. Perhaps make that "+X Shards"?

    I would suggest resetting the ultimate ability after the first quest where you learn about it. Perhaps a voice/dialog "Ultimate abilities have high impact, but high cooldowns. We're resetting this one now, for your next big fight, but next time they will take some time to come back!" The goal being, having it off cooldown for the "big fight" over the Titan. This is where a player could get to use the ultimate ability naturally, and it'll feel really awesome and impactful - otherwise they may not get to use it in the tutorial again.

    It mentions that you can control the Titan, yet I was unable to select the Titan for control in the Tutorial. That might confuse new players if they try.

    I noticed that the Hero and handful of the spitfires can't die. I love that. <3

    Edit: Oh, how about a call to action, at the end, suggesting they move on to Introduction Bots next, to try a full game against bots? It may be a bit obvious, but it's always nice to spell out specific steps to take for new players.

    Also, everything Millea said above is spot on. I didn't do the last tutorial so I can't get reference from that, but overall it's very good, and with some work could easily be one of the better tutorials I've ever seen in an RTS.

    Edit 2:
    Scrap is mentioned heavily in Intro Bots. Also, "`" is mentioned in Intro Bots., where all other things say "~". Consistency! :P

  • NibNib Member
    edited June 18

    When the tutorial asks you to build units if you've already built to max supply you have to wait for supply generators to continue to build or send them to their deaths (while the camera is fixed) to complete the tutorial on building stuff. You can also have spent all of your scrap before the healer building part. These scenarios could lead to new players getting stuck if they don't understand how to use generators.

  • snkzsnkz Member, Administrator

    Great catches on the tutorial everyone! We do intend to tutorialize more of the game's mechanics soon so its great hearing what you think is important and needs coverage.

  • wondiblewondible Member

    Native client update failed twice with network error, picked up where it left off when I relaunched. WinMTR didn't show any general network errors.

  • wondiblewondible Member

    Missed PVP. I was definitely feeling the reduced stock in bot game as Celesta; I was building a lot of stock in the early game, so it was mostly wisps with a few other units mixed in at times.

  • The fact that the Battle Training tutorial starts the same way as regular matchmaking is an improvement. I also noticed that the game defaults you towards playing PvP... nice subtle push there.

    The addition of moving the camera screen is good. I thought it was a little strange in the first tutorial that you couldn't do so and the camera was locked on Vex, so overall this is an improvement. However, I think it is important to add a section about moving the camera through click the minimap shortly thereafter, so players can learn about two similar functions at the same time.

    I second whoever said it's refreshing that the game is now on the PvP map.

    You can select your entire army without pressing the (~) key. It accomplishes the goal of unit selection if the player boxes their units and sends them to move; however, if you want to ensure the players use tilde, that would have to be changed. As I'm unsure what your intentions are, I will leave that there.

    The guide for how casting your ultimate works before giving the player Pyroblast in the exact same scenario is excellent. Watching units sit inside Vex's Pyroblast always gives me the warmest fuzzies.

    The insistence placed on performing as many functions as possible with the keyboard is VERY refreshing. Hopefully this will help guide newer players without building them up only to discover the brick wall of speed they hit without using the keyboard.

    When I'm told to build a Healer, it sounds like I'm being told "Press F twice to build two Healers". Perhaps it's just my ears.

    The box for "Summoning Titans" says that "After a team collects 8 gems from a fountain...". However, the video shown has two players at 9/10 gems. That same graphic calls the green resources "Bioshards", however in the game's UI for the Command Core those same resources are still called "Scrap".

    The victory screen within the game has the 'n' in "nexus" in lowercase.

    On a second playthrough, I tried to rush through the tutorial with my knowledge of where things would be to see if it would break. Here's the replay associated with the break I'll describe in the next paragraph:


    I got to a point where I would construct the requested Healers, but could not continue. I built the Spitfires before I was requested to do so (and instead of 4, built as many as possible). I then spent the 100 Bioshards on reaching Level 2 for tech instead of building Healers. After using "Increase Supply" twice and "Gain Scrap" once, I had the required Bioshards and and Supply to summon the Healers. However, building the two Healers didn't allow me to continue in the Tutorial. I also couldn't use the "B" key to warp in the existing Healers I had built.

    Third playthrough. Good check on making sure I couldn't control the Titan, and that even if I trick Celesta into winning the Titan, she doesn't gain access to it. Also, I noticed that the Titan will not die regardless of my intentions to let it suicide into Celesta's army, so that gets my vote as well.

    Hopefully this helps! I feel overall that the Tutorial is excellent and vastly improved from its predecessor. Keep up the good work!

  • Tutorial

    (1.1) - Would be nice to have an introduction to creeps, maybe in some way after the final nexus attack? [Then plays a game of intro bots]... nevermind. :)

    (1.2) - I like the tutorial on a version of a "main" map, with more lateral movement. Familiarity with the map feels better than the sense of expansion when map changes "abruptly" moving between game modes.

    Other Comments

    (2.1) - I like this take on build time. The combination of medium camp spawn time, slower T1 build and easy camp aggro range makes for a better feeling pace at the beginning. Using the healing well in the extreme case of Hydros works, just takes a little bit of effort, which is nice. It's still possible to lose aggro, and therefore time, but it doesn't feel like a big deal, at least when playing at "normal" speed (like, not trying to rush out something specific early on).

    (2.2) - Purple upgrades. Somehow had missed this.

    (2.3) - Polish passes: the xp and rsc indicators are a nice addition. First time seeing new fx for Alder's root and the lavasplitter, like both. The lavasplitter fx doesn't necessarily read lava, more a death coil, but I like it. I also probably mentioned this when it went in, but so nice having the game result icons in the match history, thanks again.

  • I played some more Vela today. I'm still trying to get the hang of Zephyrs. Their movement speed is much higher than that of Raptors, which often puts them in odd positions relative to my army ball. Gust is such a split-second ability, and I'm having trouble positioning the Zephyr in time (I will keep trying to get gud).

    The other thing that feels a little funny right now is the Windray's mode system. Because the auras don't stack anymore (correct me if I'm wrong), the strategy is simply to build two and have one in each mode. This isn't really doing justice to the mode-switching mechanic. Maybe the range increase could be the passive mode, and the speed boost would be the active mode with a limited duration?

    I occasionally ran into some mild instances in which my production capacity was constricted because I was researching two upgrades at once while also building a bunch of tier 1s. So the longer research and T1 build times are being felt a bit.

    P.S. I can't open Atlaspedia from the Learn tab. Is this part of the transition to the new collection format in the client?

  • marktillerymarktillery Member, Administrator

    @Deaucalion yeah, atlaspedia has been replaced by the "collection" page. Let us know if there's information missing from there that you're used to having.

  • NibNib Member

    @marktillery armour and attack types would be appreciated.

  • MilleaMillea Member

    @marktillery it may be nice to have armor types as Nib said.

    An explanation of what "Flying DPS" is which is on some units (for example on the pyrosaur)

    Link tier 1 units to their heroes within the "collection" page. Say on Grath's page that his unique unit is the Terrapin Trooper and on Terrapin Trooper's page that it's only usable by Grath.

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