Playtest 231: Wild Caterpillar Experiment, New Deck Builder, Unit Texture Pass!
Treisk Member, Administrator
edited July 31 in Patch Notes
Playtest 231: Wild Caterpillar Experiment, New Deck Builder, Unit Texture Pass!
- Introduced a new Deck Building menu! Please note that the way you select a unit has now changed; each unit now must be chosen, and are not chosen simply by clicking the card. Please give us lots of feedback on this new interface, and note that the background is, of course, temp!
- Destroying an enemy Nexus Shield Generator now increases that team's production times by 33%.
- When a Titan is defeated, a player on the defeating team may now right-click the Titan with their Hero selected. Doing so will activate a short channel, activating the Titan and granting control of that Titan to that player.
- The Titan has received a new model and animations!
- Being near an active Titan now grants friendly units +30 Physical Resist and Magical Resist
Side Regions (HIGHLY EXPERIMENTAL)
- Gem Regions have been replaced by Wild Caterpillar Trees.
- When active, Caterpillars will constantly spawn. When killed, these Caterpillars will drop glowing BioShards (a white glow, VERY temporary VFX).
- Running any unit over the glowing BioShards will loot them for that player.
- Spawn/Respawn timings for the regions themselves are unchanged.
- The Caterpillars will not fight back, but, rather, will wander around as veritable shard piñatas.
- Wild Caterpillar Trees are active for three minutes before deactivating; Caterpillars will not despawn when the Trees deactivate.
- All units have received a texture update.
- Context: Feedback we've gotten frequently is that, in larger battles, it's often difficult to see who units belong to. This pass aims towards adding some additional clarity to that. Please give us lots of feedback on this changeset!
- Please note that the map art has not been adjusted in line with this build's experiment.
- Added distinct minimap icons for Heroes, Titans, and each type of structure.
Love the new deck builder! One suggestion is to give some info about each hero's basic unit as well, when on the hero picker portion. (E.g. when choosing Hydros, info about Hydros and his abilities but also about Scuttleguards.) But overall it's a very good interface in my opinion. I'm a fan.
New deck builder is pretty sweet, although I find the extra click is unnecessary for picking units.
Wild Caterpillar Trees seem suspect in execution. As they spawn to always maintain two catepillars, there's no real incentive in invading your opponent's tree. Just DPS your own catepillars and maybe steal if possible, but otherwise it's fairly uninteractive.
Titan fight as well, is also DPS-based to burst the titan down. It feels like objectives have begun to favour high damage units.
Capturing titans also feels VERY unintuitive and superfluous.
With the caterpillar trees, you should consider it as being in total control of the zone or being in partial control of the zone. If you send two armies to a tree and successfully force the opposing army out, you will get rewards from both trees. This does increase your gains because the shard rewards from caterpillars aren't shared, it's whoever picks up the shiny light gets the reward. The stun shield thing also makes it so that killing 4 caterpillars simultaneously should be quicker than quickly killing 2.
On the titanfight, I partially agree, however the gameplay is a bit more nuanced than just a DPS race. Usually the initial stage of the fight should be to contest the space in the middle. Tank armies tend to have a benefit in doing this role. However, what I do agree with is that when the objectives are uncontested, high dps armies have an absolute advantage in clearing it and getting out to do other stuff.
Hey! Absolutely agree with this feedback. Just writing to let you know that the inability to see the T1 unit card in deckpicker is not intentional. They have noted that, and the reason that it isn't here was that the team didn't have time to push it out in time for today's patch. I think we can expect it in the future.
I question the morality of farming caterpillars for resources. Save the poor defenseless caterpillar babies. #StopCaterpillarGenocide
This is very much a desired feature (and we even have the data in for this for when the feature ships); we just didn't get it in in time for this build. So, as they say, Soon™!
.....Kill the animals, save the frames?
As a quick note, you can actually double-click the cards to quickly pick!
Excellent feedback, thanks for giving it! :D
Bar charts are cool, but I feel that the benefits are visually separated from the costs. Don't know if it would be useful to make those bars as well.
Third time into the picker I confused Pick/Confirm and got a build I didn't want. Perhaps confirm should be more like Ready or Start; most words like Finished or Done would have the same ambiguity.
After a few times I did figure out the double-click; I thought I wanted to do something like that, and found it already did.
After the first round I pretty much never went back to the caterpillar trees. They did mess up navigation because you either have to stop and shoot an ability, or risk getting caught.
Perhaps I should try to actually track this, but it feels like titan battles usually go to the same team.
I made a few direct attacks on the enemy base, but rarely got more than one structure, if that. Doing that might require a big investment in surveillance to catch people on the other side.
Generally, I still lose track of generators regularly, but can keep them on task most of the game. I'd like more post-game information about where people got resources from, so I can look for obvious issues in how I'm playing. I continue to stink at melee squads.
Deck Building Interface
(1.1) - In Full-screen windowed (this encountered first in a bot game with intro level bots), the window loads with the confirm button off-screen, as well as the options button, and the window does not respond to keyboard shortcuts to reposition the window (either Win7 aero commands, or alt-key movement). No repro on this, seems to be a bug maybe with first run of a game not grabbing preferences, or something similar? Prior to this, had an issue where patching seemed to stall at completion. Restarted client and it was ready to play, but maybe this broke the normal time when preferences would be loaded? Could also just be an engine bug, registering a different resolution or something?
(1.2) - Sparky, smoky, loopy, watermark-y background. Like this. Commenting on it is a little silly, given it's placeholder, but wrt to the game, I like that it hints at things being forged, constructed.
(1.3) - I liked being able to click on units while loading now. Perhaps this is actually one of the motivations for the change. Overall, I like this more than the "flat" procedure before, as inspecting units makes more sense. Whether it would feel like needless extra steps when playing alot? Not sure. Seems like a non-issue to me for now. If the unit pool grows more, could imagine preset decks, but none of this overshadows unit inspection making more sense.
Titans and Trees
(2.1) - Overall, the one game I got to play felt like there was much less direct interaction with opponents. One game is extremely limited statistics, though. Titans were difficult to contest, especially at the end of the game, as opponents had built up too many advanced units with trebs and the various slow fireball units.
(2.2) - Caterpillars were okay. Would feel better with a more substantial art for the shards. As it was, I never really thought about the fact that I had to pick them up. Quite possible I didn't grab some of them.
(3.1) - Definitely like the minimap additions. Textures, I didn't notice a significant change (sorry art team), though I didn't remember to look for them. However, I can only think of one time when I wasn't able to determine to which side a unit cluster belonged. Really liked the Titan, not sure if that is art new to this build.
Hi everyone! Sorry, it has been a super-long while since I've written a post. My apologies if I fail to articulate exactly my feelings.
I am in love with the new Titan art! I also really like the Hero icon on the minimap. It allows me to see where my opponent's hero is (assuming I have vision there), and thus I can go find that hero to attack it.
Just when I think you can't make the deck builder more awesome, that's exactly what you end up doing. A+++++
So when I was reading the patch notes, I initially liked the idea of the caterpillars on the top and bottom lanes. Another way to get resources and being able to use your entire army (instead of just the hero) is great news for a casual player like me. However, I'm not so sure I like them in their current form.
In my first game, I went after the caterpillars, thinking if I killed a bunch it would make the titan stronger. When that did not happen, I felt extremely disappointed. Collecting the resources felt nice, but I also felt like I wasted time when I could have been moving my army to get the titan. Afterwards, in that game and the other games I played, I would go after the caterpillars, but I felt unattached to the objective. It also made that part of the game less fun.
Navigating the wild caterpillars also felt like a chore. If I was trying to attack the opponent, or go around to attack another portion of the map, I felt more worried about pathing into the caterpillars than my goal of reaching the other section of the map.
Do I like the caterpillars more than the gem fountains? Yes and no. I like how it's another resources collecting objective, and one where you do not have to use your hero. However, since it has no impact on the titans, and those pesky things can get in the way of moving somewhere on the map, I'm hard pressed to be in love with the current mechanic.
NEW TITAN MECHANIC
Honestly, I'm not in love with the new titan mechanic. As with the caterpillars, I dig the concept. The middle region now is where most of the action between the teams take place. IT also brings a ton of team v. team interaction, something I felt extremely lacking with the old set up.
However, playing with the new titan felt off. My main reason for saying that is because I didn't feel there was a way to counteract the enemy team getting the titan. In the older set-up, if one team got a titan, the other team could choose to focus on getting a titan of their own to level the playing field or distract the other team. Here, though, once the enemy team got the titan, I felt like I had no other choice BUT to defend. I tried moving my army around to draw at least one enemy away, but that never felt great. Granted, in every game my team lost the titan most of the time, and I would not really have anything to attack it because my army got wiped trying to go after the titan. However, it just felt like I was inevitably going to lose the game, and nothing I chose to do would help out.
The Physical and Magical resist bonus is also a nice touch. However, it virtually makes impossible going after the titan or the enemy team as melee. As Grath, I didn't feel like my attacks with Troopers did anything against anyone in that phase of the game. If I went after the enemy team near the titan, I would get my army wiped because their physical resist was higher than my attack damage, even with a T2 or T3 attack damage. However, if I went after the titan, my army would still get wiped, because the other team could focus fire me down while I tried to get rid of the titan so that the resist bonus would go away.
I never felt the 33% bonus from defeating a enemy shield generator. Maybe having a visual item on the screen would help.
I am not really sure how to convey this, so please ask for clarification if it doesn't make sense. Basically, the entire game does not feel as super fun and entertaining compared to before, mostly because there is a lot going on for a casual player like me. I guess the best way to explain it is that before, I felt like I could still contribute to my team and have fun, even if my skill level was super low. Now, however, I don't feel like that at all. In fact, I feel like casual players like myself will have a harder time enjoying the game. I am not sure why I have this feeling, or pinpoint the differences. It could be because there is so much for me to worry about (upgrades, energy, scrap, etc) that I can't focus on defeating the enemy. It could be because I haven't learned how to effectively choose and play the different unit compositions. It could be any of those things, or none of them. In any event, I miss the game being that entertaining for me, and hopefully with more time playing, my feelings will change.
As always, thank you for letting me play, and keep up the great job Artillery!
<3 <3 <3 Glori
When I played as Vela I had a lot of fun with the battles for the titan. I played one game where my team got most of the titans, but many of them just barely and the fights felt very engaging (I didn't notice the game had gone on for an hour until it was over). The opponent's Alder had a full battery of trebuchets carpeting the central area, and I really enjoyed squeezing between the AoEs with my ball of raptors and using my mark to poke down the opposing Vela's conduits.
Pushing with Titans
The damage reduction aura that the Titans project feels a little too powerful right now, but I like what it is doing. Perhaps the aura could pertain only to ranged attacks and abilities (the DR is giving T1 melee units a really rough time right now). Also, the radius could be made a bit smaller so that a team's entire army can't fit within it. I think this encourage one player to split off while two push with the Titan, and open up a number of interesting tactics around choosing which units to position in the radius and pushing enemies out of the radius with AoE threats.
These played sort of fine. The occasional stun shield adds a little spice to skirmishes between teams, but I could see it being really frustrating to some players when they get wiped off of an unlucky stun burst. In response to Zelda's complaint about the caterpillars not contributing to titan battles, there might be some interesting mechanisms to connect the objectives. For example, the caterpillars could be replaced by waves of automated partisan units that travel to the center of the map to participate in the titan battle. Players could position away from the main fight to intercept/defend these units and contribute to the titan fight in this way.
I played one game as Grath and found that the Terrapin Troopers became ineffectual rather quickly. I think the titans DR aura and the concentrated fire in 3v3 clashes is making it difficult for melee units across the board.
Rooted Turrets and Counters
I saw a lot of really interesting play around Purifiers and Spitters today (didn't actually play with them myself). These turret type units are really powerful right now, but they also have some potent counters. Trebuchets obviously, but I also saw the Slimes used to devastating effect. I'm not sure how fun these dynamics were for the players directly involved, and I'm curious to hear other peoples thoughts.
These are just my first impressions and I'm curious to see if they persist on this iteration after tuning and more experience.
At the moment, the game feels very narrow strategically. Previously I would be able to dart around and punish my opponents for their mistakes. Admittedly, the 3-titan iterations were very punishing for positional play and positional units. Now however, the tables have turned, and every game seems to converge on a big aoe driven fight in the middle.
Most noticeably is the emergence of the big 3v3's, and the death of skirmishes. Right now we do not see the same amount of skirmishes that we did before. In the 3-titan iteration, you'd have 1v1's in lane, occasionally 2v2\1's and then at Medium camps, often teams would try to do an invasion which would lead to a small 3v3 or 3v2 fight. Right now, there seems to be a short and mostly passive skirmish in the start, and then players are thrown into the large 3v3. For new players this is really daunting, and you don't really have the time to ease into the game and get familiar with the compositions that are emerging.
I'm obviously disregarding some of the issues such as sacrificing the initial titans in order to get a shard advantage in the early game and a big advantage in the midgame. But I admit that additional testing and tuning might have a positive impact on the issues above.
Deckpicker and Art
looks amazing! Keep up the good work.
My experience as Alder this patch has been that advantages behind Caterpillars are difficult to grasp. Since the rate at which your burst down Caterpillars seems to have an effect on how quickly more spawn, and thus how quickly you can obtain resources, it's not obvious whether or not I am advantaged in a 1v1 or 2v2 scenario. However, I also feel that I am having more success as a utility teammate as Alder in this patch, and I feel the Caterpillar lanes and sub-lanes are encouraging more cross-map movement that make Alder really shine.
The distance between Caterpillars makes avoiding engagements seem like a safer option, but without playing more games it's difficult for me to judge whether I am ahead or behind in terms of the objective. If I'm behind, the choices for catching up are to have an ally assist me or to run up to my fellow Caterpillar-grabbing nemesis on the opposite side of the fog bank in my "lane". I LIKE THIS, as I feel I am REWARDED for knowing more about squad matchups and damage relationships in 1v1, 1v2, 2v1, and 2v2 scenarios. However, I am concerned that people who have not put the time into this skill will feel "unfairly" ineffectual as it's not made visually clear to the player.
I felt frustrated when my units would prioritize Caterpillars over enemy units in range. It felt like a glaring instance of fighting the games controls rather than my opponents.
I am very pleased that having enemy Heroes sit on a former Gem region and sending their army elsewhere to reinforce isn't as acceptable or doable this patch. However, I am frustrated now that I can't do the same thing either >< I was looking forward to being able to reach skills such as that.
Incidentally, save the frames.