Feedback from a new player + Post-mortem


#1

[Post-mortem added at the bottom]

Hi all,

I have stumbled upon this gem of a game while testing out all my games on the PS4 Pro.
After about 5 weeks I am level 250something on PC/Mobile and 60something on PS4.

First of all, the game idea is just brilliant… It’s like a cross between all the gem matching games we all love and magic the gathering. For someone who likes both, it’s awesome.
And when you add in all the different upgradable kingdoms, upgradable cards, different game modes and weekly events, you get quite the game!

I did buy path of glory 1 for both myself and my wife, to support the developers.
As a fellow game developer myself, I can appreciate the design and work that went into this game.

The basic game is just great. Create a deck, and go battle with it. Looking for moves that tumble into 4ers or nice chain reactions is as much fun as ever.
In light of this, I must say that freeze on 4/5 gem matches is a game breaking trait. I understand why you put it in, from a design view. And having it cast on you is good design, but having it being triggered on you constantly is not. Because basically it breaks the whole game idea of trying to chain moves.

The PC/Mobile version never misses a move. I never really thought anything of this, until I noticed that the PS4 version sometimes does miss a move. And this actually makes it more fun. I miss moves all the time, so why wouldn’t the AI?
I think it would be great if you add a small chance (like 5% or so) chance that the AI doesn’t see a good move. The best would be if you measured how often the player misses a good move, and adjust the AI accordingly :slight_smile:

And with spare time being in short demand, maybe somethings could be sped up a little?
For example, I like the buff effects at the beginning of a fight. But sometimes they go on for quite a bit, maybe you could make them skip-able? For example if I tap a gem, the buff animations abort and all stats are in their final state? That could speed up the start of a battle quite a bit.

Speaking about time… When the AI gets 10 to 20 moves in a row, it feels like cheating.
It’s cute that this can happen… but it should never happen at the rate it does.
Sometimes the AI makes a simple horizontal 3er, and then perfect matches just keep falling into the screen. Again, very rarely is ok, multiple times in one session is not really.
I’m not cheating… so it shouldn’t feel like the AI is either.

I like the variety all the cards offer, and the way you level them up by souls, which in turn makes kingdoms more powerful. Card ascension needs a little work though. This works much better on PS4, as you can click LEFT to go to max ascension. I would add this to the PC/Mobile version as well.
So if you click left when it says x0 (0/25) it should jump to cards needed to ascend: x25 (25/25).
This would remove a ton of clicking for no good reason at all.

Talking about clicking… there is a lot of it, and it’s often not necessary.
For example, if you cast a spell that targets an enemy, you have to select the enemy.
But if there is only one enemy left or target-able, then just perform the spell… there is zero need to have the extra click in there. If you’re afraid of this confusing people, then you could add it as an option that’s default off.

The quests in the kingdoms are cute. As are the challenges.
Whereas I feel it’s ok to dump players back to the map after finishing a quest step, I would not do the same after fighting a challenge.
As a player, I’m most likely doing multiple challenges in a row.
To do that now, I have to click the kingdom again, then challenges, and then scroll to the challenge again, and click the challenge. If you would just kick me back to the challenges screen after the challenge, then I would only have to click once to do the next challenge.

And when exploring, I have to click the kingdom, then explore, then explore again, then to battle.
Maybe the explorer popup could be but under an info button on the battle screen, or as a tab on the kingdom screen?
If someone is playing explore on a kingdom, I doubt they want to see that info screen every single time.
Again, this could be made optional by adding a “Skip explore info” option on the settings screen.

And why can explore mode be so hard? Does it take your level into account or something?
I feel like this should be much more tied into selected difficulty, as even on normal it can be nasty hard.

I like the vip setup, giving a reward for supporting the developers. Very neat idea.
Having to spend a 130 dollars on the game to unlock the vip chests on the other hand, that’s taking it way to far.
I would think that if someone spend 50 dollars on the game, they pretty much payed full price, and should get the full vip chests system unlocked. Especially seeing how this amount would remain the same, where as I could buy a tripple A game with all it’s expansions for like 30 bucks in a sale after a year or so.
Asking that much imo damages the game, and I haven’t spend any more money on it, because I’m not going to spend a 130 dollars on it, so why bother spending any more at all. So imo, this hurts you more then it benefits you, reputation and money wise.

I love the weekly events.
The tasks on PS4 are nice, they give you little goals, but the events are just great.
They give you a reason to come back every week, change up teams, and do different things in game.

Talking about the PS4 version… uhm… Not sure how to put this remotely nicely… but this is the buggiest game I have played on PS4, if not on a console… ever!
It constantly hangs, and it sometimes freezes the whole system, so that I have to power cycle.
It’s that bad, that I am truly wondering how this got through QA.
And it’s not my PS4, my brother in law quit playing because of it.
The only constructive criticism I can give here is, please look up all the reported issues and start fixing them.

Because this is one really really really great game!

Thanks for your time,
Michaël
GamePlayHeaven.com


EDIT 1:
One thing I forgot to mention, if there is no plan of linking up PC/Mobile to PS4/Console, then the tribute system should be redesigned for console.
A tribute system works great for a mobile version, as people can check the game every now and then.
I don’t know many people walking around with a portable PS4 setup :wink:


EDIT 2:
In regards to my vip comments, I would like to clarify that I did not mean that you should have ALL vip items available for 50 dollars. Not at all, people who put a lot of money into it should most definitely get the higher vip rewards.
What I meant is that the chests that unlock at vip level 5 (which costs 130$ to reach), should unlock at an earlier point, like vip 3.5 :slight_smile:
I would have spend 50$ on the game if it would have unlocked the vip chests. Now I only spend 15.
I believe that people that do spend 130$ on the game will do so anyways, they won’t just do it to unlock the vip chests.


EDIT 3: Post-mortem
Today I called it quits, and I’m not gonna create a good bye post, as everyone seems to hate those, but I will update my original feedback post, and add my thoughts on the state of the game. Who knows, maybe @sirrian and co still read these :slight_smile:

Why am I quitting?
Well, to me, the game just isn’t fun to play anymore.
I have been very vocal on here on some changes, like the cascades. Which got answered with the usual “we’’ tweak it further”, which never seems to happen, and even worse, questions about it go unanswered.
The cascades together with the removal of skull baiting result in a strategyless game, and your just clicking now, whoever gets lucky first, wins.
This combined with the addition of some cards lately (wisp/fizzbang), results in games that can be lost in one turn, even if you go in with the correct counter team.

I played no-skull baiting on PS4, and it was playable. It just doesn’t go together with the cascades.
And the forever looping teams, who kill you in one turn… tja… to me… that is not playability.
I honestly think the nr of moves in 1 turn should be limited to 2 or 3… that would add strategy to the game.

That was my 2c on playability…

The other problem is end game progress.

Past level 1000, and especially 1100, leveling up in itself is no longer fun, as it takes way to many matches, even with bonus experience.
Imo… there should be a cap on the XP it takes to level, and it shouldn’t exceed 100 matches.

Ranked PvP is boring, as it’s the same teams over and over again, mostly containing the worst cards the game has to offer.
People should be rewarded for fun/different/unique defense teams. This would make ranked pvp more fun.

Traitstone farming is a PITA. Not only is it extremely boring (same thing over and over again), but it’s also not rewarding, when you can go hundreds of matches without a single arcane dropping.
The “promised” feature of rewarding an arcane after xx matches, should be added to the game sooner then later.

Dungeons are a fun idea… but it’s way to limiting. 3 matches a day is not enough imo…
Make it 10 or unlimited, increasing in difficulty and reward.

Crafting… tja… what can I say. The idea is great. But 10+ weeks to create 1 mythic? lol… So by the time I can create 1, 2 new ones have been added to the game.
Also… 5$ for the pack each day is just criminal. I guess that’s how you make money, so congrats on that.
You did sell out however, but that’s your decision, and if you can live with it, good for you.

Nerfing the rewards because of x4 speed is not a great idea. You might as well remove the other speeds now, as everyone has to play on x4 speed.
As a player in a top guild, who hasn’t ranked below the GW 4-6 spot and completes 20+ legendary tasks each week, the rewards were already not great. And now you nerfed them.
For people in guilds with lower requirements, this is even worse.

Summarizing:
For me, the removal of strategy from gameplay, and one turn slaughter fest, combined with nothing rewarding left to do, resulted in my decision to quit.

Best of luck everyone, I had some great times on here as well as in game.


#2

The PS4/XBOX version is most probably a lot better now, than it was when I started out with this game on console 14-15 months ago. I am so glad that I moved over to PC/Mobile, after just being 1 month on console. The difference was really huge back then, and probably still noticeable! :slight_smile:

About the changes you wants when it comes to the shop, they can hardly do some drastical changes when it comes to price I do believe, that is because it would be unfair to the ones who have already buyed something, also I think the sales is going pretty smooth in this game as it is.

I agree that when it is one enemy left it should auto target with a spell, but again the game is meant to have a little length, so clicking basically is the same as the animations in the beginning of each battle, which only firing an Empowered troop can take it off.

This happens for us humans as well, it is just a lot easier to notice it when the Al is getting those than ourselves.


#3

I dont know how many times have players asked for skipping traits animation so YES to this.
As for auto selecting the last enemy, sounds good.

130 dolars for vip chests? 50 does sound better.


#4

Initially the console version was produced by a different company. I’m not saying they did a good or bad job, just wanted to point out that the initial console port wasn’t done by InifinityPlus2.


A lot of the quality of life things you’ve mentioned have been requested (and the devs have listened to similar requests in the past) so we can hope they will be added at some point.


The issue with the AI cheating has been addressed by the devs. The following support article explains it a lot better than I could.


I’m thinking my opinion on this might not agree with most people, but here goes. To me this thinking is a little flawed. Comparing a standalone game (with or without expansions) against a free to play game is not a true comparison. Standalone games are pretty much WYSIWIG (What You See Is What You Get) out of the box. Yes there will be a few expansions, but they usually won’t be free either, and will be packaged as DLC. Also the amount of sales a standalone game has after a year quite likely a lot lower than it’s initial release. (barring peaks when new expansions come out).

This likely would have been worked into the games original budget, and after a certain length of time, the game is not expected to make a significant amount of money. This is where sales help with small boosts to the developer at a point where they are not likely to be expecting much money from the game any more. As such the lower price isn’t as much of an issue to them, than if they released at $30 total for the game and all the expansions put together. (where as if you bought the game and all it’s expansions on release, you’d probably have paid around $100 all up, assuming $50 for base, then $25 each for the expansions).

On the other hand we have F2P games that are considered ongoing concerns. They are updated on a regular basis (weekly in GoW’s case) with new content and fixes. On top of this the game itself is entirely free to play, meaning someone could get the whole experience of the game, and not pay a single dollar. So in a player base of thousands, the devs have to account for the fact that their not getting their “$50 base game” fee from every player, yet they still support and provide content to all players irrespective of whether they have paid or not. So the price point for various in game purchases are set slightly higher to compensate. Also the actively supported life time of a F2P game is likely on average a lot longer than a standalone game.

Also if we look at number of hours played, many many people on these forums will attest to the fact they have multiple hundreds of hours played on Gems of War, (I’m at 469 hours at the time of writing, which doesn’t count my time on my phone) and most triple A games that have one off payments for a game will be 30-40 hour experiences at best. Using myself as an example again, my next highest game on Steam in terms of time played is Shogun 2: Total War, in which I’ve racked up 222 hours. This includes half a dozen or more play-throughs of single player campaign, an expansion, and a handful of DLC. And for that I’ve probably paid somewhere in the area of $130-$150 for a game that I’ve played less than half as much as I’ve played GoW. Yes I could probably get Shogun 2 for a lot less if I bought it now ($40 AUD for the pack at the time of writing), but this game is also 6 years old now.

Apologies for the long winded response, it’s more directed towards the debate about in app purchases in F2P games in general, that towards you specifically.

EDIT: For those reading after the fact, (ie most of you) I initially made reference to linking up of PC and Console, as I misinterpreted Mad_Butch’s comment. I’ve since removed my comments on it, as they made no sense, and just caused confusion.


#6

Devs were very specific that they will never link those platforms.


#7

Possibly link up might have been the wrong word to use. I don’t believe you will be able to have Console and PC playing together, just that the games would be operating on the same patch, systems, and features.

EDIT: Apologies it looks like I might have misread Mad_Butch’s initial edit. I’ll remove it from my post.


#8

I added edit 2, trying to clarify my view on the vip chests a little.

Keep in mind that this is of course just my opinion, based upon my situation (I’m not rich :slight_smile: ) and of my gaming friends.

I’m also not a fan of these fake sales, I find them offensive against good willed players.
From 350$ for 50$. Yeah right… was it ever 350… Did you really dare ask that for it?

I’m no marketing guru, and maybe how this is setup works really well.
But to me, stuff like that is a slap in the face of players. It blemishes an otherwise awesome product.

How about you give me the vip points of the original price then… problem solved :slight_smile:


EDIT:
Btw, this is nothing specific against the game makers of this little gem. It’s more of a general opinion.
Prices of in game items in like candy crush are insane to.

I don’t consider myself poor… but they really try and make me feel like I am, with those prices :cry:


#9

Thanks for that, that was a good read :slight_smile:

Especially the recall bias part.
That reminded me of all the accusations I got over losing on the same card in hilo video poker.
I showed my wife the statistics after millions of simulated runs, yet she still didn’t believe me :slight_smile:

I also noted how they have something in place to block it from happening in normal mode.
Which is why I haven’t had it happen to me a lot during my pvp battles this week, as ranked pvp is considered normal mode, right?
Whereas I had it happen I don’t know how many times when playing all quest lines on Warlord III.


#10

Yeah I’m not specifically directing it at you (or at least I wasn’t intending to). I’m in a similar position at the moment financially (though when I started GoW I was in a different situation).

I think in regards to the “sale” (which I’m assuming you’re referring to my screenshot from the other thread). I think it’s actually worth that much IF you bought it all separately.

Case Study:
Growth Pack 1
50 Gems
5000 Souls
100 Gems
50,000 gold
200 Gems
1 Legendary
350 Gems instantly

Cost per gem is roughly $0.07 per gem (based on the research done here, which I do admit is a bit out of date… I should update it sometime… Economy Breakdown)

700 gems = $49
Souls are roughly about $0.012 per soul
5000 Souls = $60
Gold is about $0.0006 per gold
50,000 Gold = $30
Sub Total = $139

Considering the Ultra-Rare and Epic cards are valued at roughly $5.09 and $7.96 respectively, we can assume a legendary would probably be somewhere in the area of $10. Bringing our total to $149, which is basically what it says ($150 is what is written, but I also used rough values for resource costs)

It’s worth noting that buying the resources is not the BEST way to achieve them, you can get gold pretty fast in PVP for example. But IF you did choose to buy them, that is how much they would cost.


#11

Well, that makes sense in where the crazy prizes come from :slight_smile:

I would have put another 15$ into the game, I just don’t see anything worth buying for around that price.
Another path of glory 1 is pretty much useless for where I am in the game right now.

I would like to hit vip 3 :slight_smile:
(damn, these vip levels really work hihi)


#12

That’s pretty much where I come from. I like supporting devs, but not at crazy prices. I’ve spent maybe $10-15 so far. I’m much more inclined to buy something at $5 then $50. I’m not a whale and never will be. I’m not going to spend hundreds of dollars on a mobile game. Especially considering AAA video games with 70+ hours of fresh content (read: not repeated grinding) cost $60. At some point, the F2P market got really out of whack. Good for the devs I guess, but not for me.


#13

Hey Mad_Butch, thanks for taking the time to write up your thoughts. Many people agree with you! As a community we have made a QoL list organized by @Studs and it’s found over here List of Quality of Life Improvements.


#14

What a list hehe… Here’s hoping we will get some of those items!


#15

We will be syncing the content released across PC/Mobile and console in the future, yes.

Unfortunately, due to legal issues, we can’t link accounts across PC/Mobile and console due to legal issues.

Does that clear things up?


#16

Do you mean that you can’t link yet due to legal issues, but you will in the future?


#17

who knows - if the legal issues are solved one day? (but somehow i doubt it)


#18

I was misreading the post… content is synced, accounts are not.
Missing that difference was causing some confusion :slight_smile:


#19

Post-mortem added to initial post.


#20

thanks for the summary&feedback of latest gameplay, somehow i can relate
despite the ups and downs ill miss you in the forums :slight_smile:


#21

Goodbye, mate. Have fun whatever you choose to do now.