Author Topic: Answer From the Devs part 1  (Read 1574 times)

Offline Teremus

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Answer From the Devs part 1
« on: September 04, 2014, 12:15:03 AM »
Hello everyone,

You asked us questions, and we selected which questions would be answered. We went around our team asking them about their thoughts and responses to these questions, and are happy to discuss the answers. To date, this is the largest post I've ever made, as this is the first time I've ever been forced to split something up into two posts due to reaching the 20k character limit. This amused me greatly. I've linked the second post at the bottom.

Enjoy the fun!

Regarding end/start of turn triggers, will there be a more intuitive way of determining the order in which they trigger?

Ian: Triggers firing at the same time is an interesting problem, as normally in a TCG the owning player would choose the order of them occurring, but in Infinity Wars it doesn't really work for players to make choices during the Resolution Phase. What we're currently discussing is making triggers fire in the order they are in the zone, and then giving the zones an order as well. It's not a perfect solution, as in general we'd like to avoid those kind of esoteric rules.

When will the ability to zoom in on a zone for targeting be implemented?

Ian: The real issue, that people suggest being able to zoom into a zone to fix, is that zones can become very cluttered. We're currently looking at quite a few ways to address this issue, such as new features, and including how we design cards. Lanstead was updated to its new functionality largely for this reason.

As I understand it, Infinity Wars is supposed to be a creature based game. Why is it that decks such as Mill and Triple Verore, which are almost entirely spell control, and barely require creatures to win games, are allowed to exist without changes?

Ian & Elphie: While character based combat is the foundation of Infinity Wars, we never want to make it so that it's the only way to play the game. The players should be free to create decks however they choose, and if some of those decks don't rely on characters, that's fine. The majority of decks do rely on characters, but there's always breakout decks that do not, and that's a healthy place for the game.

Poga: Its not our intention to make ability based decks un-viable, they are just as much a part of the game as characters. In terms of balancing we try to achieve a middle ground between ability and character strength, this will sometimes lead to ability based control decks to be dominant and sometimes character based beats or rush decks to be dominant.

The Verore toolbox was mentioned months ago as something Lightmare wanted to change. Were the Demon of Fear/Veroria/Hydra nerfs the extent that Lightmare felt the Verore Toolbox needed changes, or are they still unhappy with the level of control Verore has?

Ian & Elphie: Verore's identity will always be control, and have a lot of tools. In exchange for that power, they should have weak characters, from a combat perspective. In this regard, they're like the opposite of Warpath, which have very strong characters, but weak control abilities. This doesn't mean that Verore doesn't ever get strong characters, just like Warpath can get some strong abilities. What a strong character for Verore should mean, however, is characters that either provide good control, or become powerful as a reward for establishing control. In the case of Demon of Fear and Hydra, we felt their bodies were much too efficient for Verore, they were good just as beatsticks, and they were scaled back. Balance for all factions, including Verore, is something we will always be monitoring and tuning.

What does Teremus's job entail exactly? I know he's a community manager, but it seems like he's spending a lot of time not with the community. I realise there are other things he probably needs to do, i'm guessing a lot of his time is spent talking to other Lightmare employees, but i'm curious as to what work he does during the day when he's not engaging with us. <3 Teremus.

Ian: Bowling and eating cheese, I think. I spend a lot of time talking to Teremus too, so I take up his time as he communicates the feelings of the community to me.

Teremus: My job consists of wearing a whole bunch of different hats, tailored to the situation I'm in. I'll be the Community Manager. That can consist of speaking directly to the players, wherever the players are. That can consist of speaking to the Dev Team about the community, about current thoughts/feelings. That can consist of talking to the designers about how we can address different demographics with different concepts and how they might react to certain things.

That can consist of grabbing insights from various community interactions from other genres or games, researching other communities or plans to work with the players more. That can involve a whole bunch of different processes. Being a Community Manager doesn't mean talking to the players all day every day, it means doing what's necessary to be as effective as possible. I have no problems admitting that I will continue to be learning and educating myself. There will never be an end to what I do to better myself as your Community Manager.

I also do a lot of work with the Infinity Council, on top of my other responsibilities. So while my focus is always on the community, I have a lot I need to be doing at any given time unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it).

In regards to decide how you will balance the game, would you do a test server like DOTA2 or TF2 if you have a chance, and enough playerbase?

David & Elphie: As Infinity Wars continues to grow, we would like to create a Beta server.  This will be heavily reliant on how our player base grows.  The last thing we want to do is split our players across 2 separate servers and have a negative impact on queue times.

With the release around the corner what can we expect in terms of the quality of the future updates? And what steps, if any, LM ready to take to improve it?

David & Elphie: With the release of Gold, Lightmare will be concentrating more on releasing content in bigger blocks, instead of fortnightly like we were during Beta.  This will allow us additional time to test our future, very exciting updates.

Ian: Early on, we didn't have the resources to hire a dedicated Quality Assurance team, but that's something we now have. Once we're in Gold, we'll be a lot less 'fast and loose' with new content. While in Beta, we'd often release things that were still only 95% done, in order to get the community's feedback and it as soon as possible. Now that we're a fully released game, only 100% will do.

If a card works one way, but its wording states that it should work in a different way, do you generally prefer fixing the mechanics or fixing the wording, assuming neither would harm the game and both would result in similar power levels for the card?

Ian: Excellent question. It really comes down to design sense, really. Which change is going to make the game better Usually, the card is worded the way we want it to play out, so we'll change the functionality to match. However, there have been plenty of times where we've changed the wording, if that's what'll be best. There have been times when a programmer has seen that a card's functionality didn't match the wording, and so fixed what he saw as a bug, but it was the wording that should have been changed. It's something we've learned to be vigilant for.

Poga: We usually have an initial design intent for each card. Whether or not that is accurately reflected in the card as a final product, if there are internal inconsistencies within a card, we usually refer back to that original intent, and how we want to card to act and feel. This may result in a code or text change, on a card by card basis.

What is the QA process for card balance, and how does Lightmare work with the Council? Also, how will Lightmare improve this process going into the future as more cards and mechanics are added to the game?

Poga: The previous balancing process has not been as thorough or rigorous as we would have preferred.

Teremus: In the past, due to time constraints and development necessities, the testing process involving the Infinity Council was nowhere near as in-depth as we all would have desired. The council is a great group of people and they do some amazing work alongside us.

Moving forward, we're putting this connection to work. Some more players are being added, a whole bunch of new (strict) policies. This Council is going to be extremely valuable moving forward, and what they're involved with is going to get a lot more prudent. We're always working on how we can improve this, and some things that are about to happen are an amazing step in the right direction.

When can we expect a new game mode (Cube, 1vs1vs1vs1, etc...)?

David & Elphie: We do have some *top secret* new features including a new game mode that we are exploring currently.  If it works the way we are intending, it would be a first in digital card games that should really bring a new level of competition to the day.
Ian: Cube, for those that don't know, is a draft format where the players create the pool of cards to choose from, and is something I personally want a lot! Other game modes have always been thrown around too. Ultimately, I can't promise when they will happen, I can only promise that we're actively discussing them.

Also, any plans on translation? If you don't want to advertise the game in its current state and mostly counting on the fact that the players will bring new members to the community, translation could really help to do the work.

ZornhauI'm really excited about translations. We have so many fans across the world and I want to allow players to enjoy Infinity Wars in their own language.

Our plan for translation is less a plan and more a fully operational localisation effort. The framework is in place to make this happen! It's early days but already we have German, Korean, Polish and Traditional Chinese translations underway. If you are interested in translating Infinity Wars into your language, or want to help one of the existing efforts, please get in touch with us. We will be very happy to talk to you.

We don't yet have a solid time frame for when this will reach the game client. It depends on when translations are completed and there will also need to be some game client work from us as well.

What sorts of future formats do you have in mind for competitive play, or casual play? What sorts of features do you intend to implement in the tournament system? Will it be at first a simple Single Elimination system? Will it be primarily Swiss in nature? Will players be able to set up their own tournaments in the system, or will it all be Lightmare? Do you plan on allowing invite games to eventually let you select a different format?

Teremus: At this current time this isn't a question we can answer. That's not because we don't want to answer it, but because the best system and concept for a feature can't be locked in yet. We are always wondering what can be the best method for any system or feature, and that generally won't happen until we actually start development on the feature. Who knows what that system will look like by the time it starts getting tested, all we know is that it will be great!

Continued at Answer From the Devs part 2
« Last Edit: September 04, 2014, 08:04:03 AM by Teremus »
No seriously, I really like cheese.

Quote from: Poga
I make this game, James.