4.4 Update Preview Discussion

Signed.
I am sure that their intentions are sincere and look good on paper, but I don’t like how they are being executed in reality. Strictly limited feedback on features that are already completed and announched shortly before being released is not a good idea at all. What we need, is pretty much what @Slypenslyde already described.
However, the grip from the Publisher should losen a bit as well. It can clearly be felt in the air.

Monetary practices should be considered as well. Why not lower the price and expect more players to buy some virtual goods, gaining more income in the end, than put a high price that only a small minority would pay for? One card - 35 EUR, worth 70 EUR. Flash Offer - 10 EUR, worth 50 EUR.
Monetary gains should target larger masses instead of a select few, but I am getting off-topic here.

Oh, and I get that Salty has promised they’re looking into these issues. A thing isn’t real until it’s both prioritized and scheduled. I have had features “I’m looking into” in codebases for more than 5 years. I know that “ignoring” is the wrong word here. But.

When you write on the calendar “PvP revamp for Q2 2020”, you feel the fire of that deadline and accept, “Well, every possible revamp has some flaws, but this one is new and sounds the most fun so let’s try that.”

Every PvP revamp will have problems. Every way to re-introduce old weapons will have problems. Be the developers Krystara needs and treat these features like you did Legendary Tasks and champion XP in Arena: pick a solution, introduce it to the players, and state, “I understand there are downsides to this, but it was implemented because what we have is no longer working. This is how it will be.”

I’d also take: “Look, what we want to do is way too big for one or even two updates. So instead, we’re picking facets of PvP (like weekly events) and adjusting them one per update. We have a lot of things to adjust, and don’t know how many of them we will do. I can promise you that by this time next year at least some of your issues will be addressed, but the process of choosing which ideas we do in what order is organic. Some combination of them addresses team scoring, some combination addresses the leaderboard, and some combination represents different rewards for your effort. We don’t know which combination we want yet so there’s no way to discuss that total combination. But the roadmap for our pipeline has at least one PvP tweak planned for as far out as we have predicted, and our goal is to keep tweaking until we like it.”

That’s “no deadline” and “I can’t tell you what we plan”, but explained in a way that also tells me I can expect small changes that cumulatively add up. Maybe that’s what you want and you’re worried most players wouldn’t understand. I get that. I’m also a smart guy and if you tell me “it will take 3 updates to fix this” I can relent. But it will make me frustrated if an update comes out without an explanation of “here’s the PvP tweak” if that tweak happens to be subtle.

That’s really what I want. Promises something is being implemented. I only trust promises something “will be” implemented if it has a date attached. I understand a vague date like “sometime in 2020” means you aren’t really sure, and that specific dates like “in 4.4” mean you are sure. But you can’t convince me “I don’t know when” means “ever”.

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Poor examples, I’m afraid. VIP keys doesn’t provide one with any content that can’t be already accessed, they’re only giving higher chance at obtaining certain kinds of resources. Similarly, Deathknight armor only adds a multiplier for resources any player is already getting by default.

What really hides behind the paywall at the moment is this:
Capture
How do I get those without paying 4.99 for each, exactly?

The fact that current weapon situation exists, to me at least, looks like a hint of extreme shortsightedness when developing the game.

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This discussion is a bit absurd… I’m still trying to understand what all the fuss is about.
First, the game has gotten exponentially better over time, which is very rare for any game. There’s tons of variety compared to when I started (before guild wars or base mythics existed). My guild mates used to hate anything but guild wars and now many like everything but guild wars.
Second, the ways the game has improved are consistent with community requests (changing team order, no cost hero switch, more plentiful ingots, etc.).
Third, who cares about maxing delves today. Be patient. You can easily get them to within a few hundred points. I have even maxed out Crypt Keepers without potions.
Fourth, they’re going to introduce weapons that were missed or are currently unavailable. It would be cool if they just put them in the glory shop for some glory, like they have sometimes done in the past when a new weapon releases (they were 1000 glory).
Fifth, the pvp point issue only effects the top 1% on each platform that runs the leaderboard… you can get to tier 1 in about 100 trophies regardless of the points per match. So, unless you are playing 1000-1500 pvp matches per week it’s not really an issue. Sure, I’d like to get to tier 1 in fewer matches but, I’m still going to have to spend more time playing to meet my guild’s reqs.

The only real issue that I see concerns upgrading weapons. I’d like to upgrade epic weapons but epic ingots are ultra-rare. I would even be happy if I could deconstruct a legendary ingot into 2 epics. The forge scrolls for doomed weapons are ultra rare too. Our guild hits the top 20 every doom event and we can’t max out a weapon from one event so, as long as new weapons come each doom event, we will only be able to max out about 1/3-1/2 of them. It would be cool if we could make a forge scroll from 10 mythic ingots in the soul forge maybe.

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No, the PVP point issue is not limited to the leaderboards. You’re thinking of leaderboard standings alone but you’re not acknowledging the increase in time required. I and many other high level players/veterans do not care about the leaderboard yet it’s still taking us 30-40%+ more time each week just to get to Tier 1 than it did before the change, while others are either seeing no change or finding their journey easier than before.

This is where the comments of one person’s time being worth less than another person’s comes from. Why should Person A have to spend 90 minutes doing what takes Person B 60 minutes, provided that both are of similar skill level, have similar troop pools to choose from, and face similar opponents?

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Horse manure.

It has been documented in several threads that some people, even at similar levels, get all of their PvP ranked rewards after about 23 matches. For at least 6 months, even though I only do 3 trophy matches, I can’t do it in fewer than 33.

They’re getting more points per match. They’re getting more gold per match. They get all of the PvP rewards I get for playing 10 fewer games. They get to move on and do Delves, or farming, or whatever else they want to do 10 matches sooner than I do.

Maybe you don’t give a flip about that, but it’s better to not talk about an issue you don’t care about than try to downplay what other people are saying. I don’t get a lot of free time lately. I’m going to not be happy if the game makes me spend more time to get the same rewards.

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I’m not disagreeing with you. Personally, I believe your assessment of the situation is dead on the money.

There’s a dev Q&A in a few days. We’ll have to see if this topic is one of the talking points. Sometimes, what isn’t said speaks louder than what is said.

Let’s say that the devs do say “there will be a PvP revamp in Q2 2020”, one year from now. How long until the questions come about progress updates on the revamp that go unanswered? Then what? Are we right back in the same situation?

What if the reason for the radio silence in that situation is because some of the progress updates would result in anger amongst the player base? The devs are under directive from the publisher to implement a player-unfriendly system, such as adding monetization to previously free-to-use content. Does one expect the devs to come out and say that in nine months down the road, the game will start charging players for using that content? That announcement is only going to result in massive forum fires for those nine months and potentially massive player hemorrhaging long before those changes ever are implemented?

There’s a quotable that I often hear to describe such situations.

“It’s easier to ask for forgiveness, than to ask for permission.”

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Uh oh…Sirrian comin.
Y’all gonna get it now.

Screenshot_20190614-185522_Chrome

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its-a-race-im-winning-im-winning

Well, this certainly wasn’t what I intended to be the central discuss when I initially made the thread. I was hoping more people would have more stuff to say on the adventure board system and daily tasks (that werent directly related to rewards). But since we are here now…

The discussion seems to have progressed a bit further since I started typing here, so I’m going to try and quickly paraphrase some of my thoughts that I already had down.

I can’t really place blame on any one person here, but a big reason why some of the feedback doesn’t feel like it is being taken even when we get changes “directly based on player feedback” is that the final change does very little to address the feedback actually given. This is in part to the long chain that has to take place for this information to get into the hands of somebody able to make the decision able to change things - whereas at one point we could directly communicate with the people responsible for changing something, now it is filtered not only through a community rep, but bounced back and forth between other players, seems to need more direct publisher approval, and has to be at least partially delegated. “Feedback” nowadays seems to be relegated to whoever is screaming the loudest and most often until it can’t be ignored anymore, and the whole point behind things being originally requested is lost to some basic blurb that can be communicated back and forth.

I’m going to bring up drop rates being in game next patch, again. This should not be counted as a win for listening to player feedback. Not only does it not state clearly which troops are available, but it lacks decimal resolution, and it doesn’t solve the main reason why it was repeatedly requested - so players can have confidence a drop table did not have mistakes before using keys that they took months to save up. This is also on the heels of intentionally removing such data from being sent to the client, which did correctly inform, at least, when a troop was missing from chests. In essence, we will have access to less drop information than we did a month ago.

The fact that is is counted as a win when it comes back to us shows that somewhere along the line, the original intent behind the change was lost.

For the PvP Points issue, people want what the game claims as progress to not be felt as the opposite.
Its people asking “why is (thing I can get throughout all stages of the game) that I can gather more and more efficiently parallel to progress suddenly become less and less efficient after I reach a certain point” I can’t really state it any more simply than that (but I can talk about it for pages and pages if necessary, and probably have already). Yes, people loudly yell about “fairness” and “my time shouldn’t be worth less” and so on and so forth, but it all boils down to the core progression loop of the game breaking when it comes to PvP so that the player intent (gain resources - this includes PvP points to get to T1 - more easily and more quickly) runs contrary to the reality (gain resources just as easily but more slowly) .

For the old weapons issue, people (especially newer players, and especially prospective players) need to have confidence that they aren’t locked out of certain pieces of gameplay or hard capped on progress because they started the game later or happened to be off the grid for a short period of time. Many of us advocating loudly for this aren’t even that greatly affected, its just a really thing to have to spell out. I still kind of feel like this shouldn’t have even needed to be stated, as an experienced publisher and developer should realize what kind of things are okay to have as “exclusives” or “trophy items” and what aren’t based on how impactful they are, again, to the core loop.

The “why” behind a request is the most important part and understanding the why is likely to lead to a solution that will satisfy the most people. And I’m feeling like this is biggest part of feedback that is lost in the chain or just lost to time among a chorus of screaming voices vying for attention and being met with silence.

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I see it as a C.Y.A. for current and future “loot box” legislation.

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Hey folks,

I wanted to jump in here and impart some news/details, so you get it straight from the horse’s mouth.

Firstly, a few notes. THEN some meaty bits below.

1. WE"RE LISTENING. Please know that Salty has been advocating on your behalf VERY strongly at every chance she got over these last few months. The dev team has all been made aware of the exact nature of the current issues you’re describing here. We all read the forums regularly, as you know, but Salty is your champion for these issues, I promise you.

2. TRANSPARENCY “More Transparency” vs. “Complete Transparency”. I hope we’ve been providing as much transparency as we can. But you should never expect complete transparency from us, or any game developer. Situations that arise are sometimes covered by Non-Disclosure Agreements, or simply protected by good manners(!) & professional business conduct. We’ll never discuss exact KPIs, contractual issues, far-off release dates, or other sensitive information - we simply can’t. But we’ve been trying to give an insight into things where we can. If you’re scratching your head over something, wondering why we’re doing a thing, and we’re not giving you enough details, it’s usually something we can’t talk about (yet)… The Gems of War team is as good a team as I’ve worked with in 3 decades though, so the reason is never going to be that “we don’t care” or “we’re incompetent” (always room for improvement though!)

3. EVIL PLANS. One thing I always read, when there is some discontent, is how we’re about to start screwing everyone over, and we’re too afraid to talk about it :slight_smile: I know those theories are never going to stop, but I’m just reiterating that’s not the case here. Not on my watch, anyway. I believe free games should give you pretty much everything of value for free, eventually, if you put in the time. This theory does not always make me the most popular guy in the room, but I’m okay with that, and in this, I’m certainly on your side.

4. COMPLEXITY We’re approaching 5 years with Gems of War, and this game has a level of content and complexity in line with games like League of Legends. That means fixes are going to slow down. It’s nothing to do with team size, success, competence, or greed. This is an engineering reality.
Band-aid fixes are harder to implement, and have wide-ranging and unforeseen effects.
Take for example, this PvP issue

  • We implemented a feature to add Hero Power to Team Score
  • A bug was uncovered and fixed with Team Score calculations while that was being done

Seems harmless enough on the surface, and we did a lot of testing. But it managed to create some unforeseen issues in the PvP Reward calculations out in the wild AND also in the matchmaking (though you never saw that, as we got it fixed). But still, we’re left with this horrible PvP Scoring issue. We can perform full regression tests on any changes, to see if they have cross-system effects, but that takes TIME/MONEY, and it’s not always going to be viable to do that on every single fix… It was so much easier to do this stuff on a smaller codebase. :frowning:

Anyway… the takeaway from this point is threefold:

  • We have to spend longer PLANNING changes, to minimize their impact on existing code, and to clean up old code as we go, so things don’t get exponentially worse.
  • We have to be SUPER CAREFUL of band-aid fixes, and try to only do them when it is critical.
  • Some fixes are going to roll out a bit slower, so we don’t end up with worse problems

Alright… Now the MEATY BITS

1. OLD EVENT WEAPONS
This is the easy one to share.
We have a plan. And we’re working on it (this weekend in fact, I’m heading in to the office to make my 50% of the changes).
There will be both free and paid options to get all old Event Weapons.
I suspect both of these changes to roll out within the next 4 weeks.
Why has it taken so long? Because the easy fixes didn’t scale well into the future.
Also, to a lesser degree, because we had other priorities/interruptions that we can’t discuss (see point 2 above), sorry.
I believe we’re doing a Dev Q&A on stream next week, and I’ll share more about our plans there!

2. PVP SCORING
This is the tricky one. We’ve been working on it already, though I had communicated to Salty that we should not announce too much there, as we didn’t have an ETA on the fix, and I KNOW as soon as we announce it’s being worked on, everybody expects it within a week!! :stuck_out_tongue:

Here is what we wanted to do:

  • A full update to the PvP System, so the worst bits of this old code could go away forever
  • This would not include energy systems, as some folks had suggested. Core PvP will always be free while I’m here - I feel very strongly about that. It’s a core part of the game. That’s not to say we might not do a PvP event to alongside that at some point with Sigils, but we’re not putting Sigils on your PvP, don’t worry.

That update is still over 3 months away, unfortunately. And by “over 3 months” I mean, it could be 6 months (or even more). We do need to pivot quite quickly sometimes, and reschedule, so it can get pushed around. I agree with a comment further up that long pipelines are bad. Our content pipeline (troops, weapons, events) is now about 4 months, and will soon be longer. This is due to the reality of QA, marketing times, certification times, and update restrictions on various platforms (e.g. switch).
The feature pipeline is shorter, however, and we can pivot on that within 4-6 weeks. That’s entirely reasonable, but externally you see that as 2-3 months because of all those delays mentioned above.

Now I had hoped that we could make some small adjustments that would get us by until then, but they’ve all proved to have their own problems. Should we share the technical details of all those? Maybe… But we don’t like sharing too many technical system details… it’s a security thing… and given a recent rise in hackers in 2019 (350 more banned last week), we don’t want to encourage that any more by sharing too much tech stuff
AND a few other spanners, out of our control, flew into the works as we went (more things I can’t discuss as per point 2 up top - nothing sneaky, bad, or nefarious though, I promise).

TLDR on that is we haven’t got a fix yet, though we’ve been attempting one. Progress has been made though!

Anyway… .enough waffle about PvP Points… what I really wanted to say, is that given the effort and passion you folks have demonstrated in this thread, I promise you that we will redouble our efforts on this. I think we’re close!
And that we will communicate a plan for a fix some time next week.

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Thanks @Sirrian

What’s the harm in making PvP points equal to all?
1 trophy - 20 points
2 trophy - 40 points
3 trophy - 60 points

Ranked PvP is the only mode that cares about team score. Every where else it’s the same rewards for all.
It’s just mind boggling because the solution seems simple enough. And instead a complex resolution is being sought. With no guarantee that the solution will be properly tested… considering the change in 4.2 wasn’t tested properly it seems.

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It’s now in the Apple and Google guidelines for certification. I expect more rules will be incoming over the next few years. I think it’s a good thing tbh.

The Customer Support team are sad though, because it will initiate a rise in “I opened 100 chests and didn’t get the 1% drop troop” complaints.

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Because not all matches are of equal time/difficulty at all level & team score ranges.

In the case above, it’s possible that say level 500 players may be able to play with 20% greater efficiency because matches at Team Score 8500 complete 20% faster

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I agree.
And to be fair, those complaints will happen even without the drop rates. I see it all the time in global, “I used 200 event keys and I didn’t get the kingdom Mythic”.
I myself was trying to figure out if Shade of Zorn was in chests. The server was having issues on that reset and the image wasn’t showing up. In the future I’ll be able to just check the drop rates.
Does this mean @Taransworld will have access to the data for his website again? Sometimes it’s easier to check his website than to go in game and try to find something out.

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Yes - if they’re getting the data from the these tables, it will be all up-to-date.

Our other reason for adding this (apart from the new rules from Apple/Google) was to remove any confusion caused by the old/incorrect data that had been leaking out before.

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image

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I understand that made sense upon conception.
But 4 fire bombs to a level 10 and a level 1k take the same amount of time.
But more importantly, a match that I do in my guild does not take twice as long as if I was to be guild less. Though the PvP points currently seem to make us think that you (or whoever planned that) decided that.
The guild bonus stats isn’t that much of a game changer anymore.
You used to test PvP @Sirrian. Please do so again.
Do a half hour with the guild bonuses turned on (35 point 3 trophy matches). I’ll be happy to DM you what I feel are the fastest PvP builds in the game.
Then do another half hour with them turned off (70 point 3 trophy matches).
You’ll see with your own eyes that the stall Defenses don’t care what level you are. And the difference in ability is less than 10%.
It you can’t test for yourself. Then I feel like your data isn’t considering the experience of end gamers.
Actual new players do have trouble speed wise because of lack of experience.
But your system only looks at level, Kingdoms and guilds. So if I was able to use a level 500 alt account of mine. With my experience. I could literally score twice the PvP points of my level 1400 account in the same amount of time. Which simply feels like punishment for success, rather than a governor to slow me down to make it more fair for lower levels. (The governor is what I believe was the motivation behind the change. But you didn’t slow me down… You took my engine away. 80% of my game time used to be in RpVp. Now it’s 8% of it. I’m in no way the only player who’s felt a similar effect to the change.)

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