Gems of War 2022 Roadmap

We are reading all the feedback on the forum, but some of the comments piqued my interest so I laser focused down on them, long post about testing phases and GoW beta review incoming!

We are keeping a track of beta feedback and will review the beta again now that 6.3 is released.

Regarding this comment and others I’ve seen like it (so this answer isn’t specifically addressed at you Birdie! You just made a statement that encapsulates a statement I’ve seen posted several times now and in the past so it’s easy to quote!):

Features will not be scrapped or have any major adjustments once the update is in beta testing.

“Beta testing is an opportunity for real users to use a product in a production environment to uncover any bugs or issues before a general release . Beta testing is the final round of testing before releasing a product to a wide audience.”

Once a game is in a beta or gold phase, the features are locked in and only minor tweaks and changes are made.

Any major changes/cancellations to planned features should happen in pre-alpha - either before testing has started at all, or after pre-alpha testing has started but before alpha testing has even started. Pre-alpha/Alpha testing is conducted by programmers, QA and other staff.

Beta feedback about the features themselves, while they may not be implemented before the release date, is taken into account and addressed in later updates where possible.

I know we have some software/game development wizzes in our community, but we also have a lot of people who haven’t seen much transparency in how the development cycle works behind the scene. If you’re interested in more information about testing, I’ve found this website to offer pretty good explanations about the different phases in software development. Just take it with a grain of salt as this website explains software development as a whole and generally, while game dev has some more specifics when you drill into this specialty area and also every company does things a little differently:

Just a very high level general sweeping statement for game dev though is that while some games undergo alpha testing with end-users (players), generally the core concept of a game or major update is undergone internally to see if it’s fun, to see if it’s something people enjoy, and generally there are a miriad of examples out there to prove business models and return on investment. When we have a live service game then the community team are integral in communicating the players’ wants and needs and also in anticipating requests in the early stages before the players can actually comment on the live release for themselves. It’s also worth noting there is no perfect world where everyone is happy all the time with features and compromises have to be made regularly.

Maybe a very simple example of this sort of compromise is in game ads:

  • Companies like in app ads, they are another revenue avenue
  • In app ads are ANNOYING to players - they tend to pop up in your face and disrupt your game play
  • Gems of War’s solution: we have in app ads but you have to opt into watching them and they do not pop up in your face.
  • Was this a perfect solution? No - pop up in your face ads are far more effective for revenue. Was it worth the trade off? Well I hope so :joy: but you and I over here in the community can agree that the solution here was a good one because it’s not our revenue. We have ads and they should be as minimally annoying as possible.

In addition to the above, it’s worth noting that as a live service game, if the programmers are working on ie update 10.1, then the team has in some capacity (designers, artists, Producers, CX, programmers, marketing, sound etc) already started working on updates 10.2 and 10.3. By the time you see update 10.1 on live the programmers, while making sure there’s no bugs that can be fixed in a hot fix and such, have already started working on 10.2. This train does not stop. So feedback garnered from beta 10.1 may be used in update 10.3 or… 10.5… or update 11 depending on the schedule and how extensive the work already scheduled and what’s being requested is. We do not have “down” or “casual” days. The game dev schedule is full. Always. If something different is added to that schedule, something else is delayed because we only have 24 hours in the day. If something different gets added to the schedule (for example right now we’re pushing that daily deal feedback to be implemented in some shape or form pretty hard), then obviously we all think it was worth it, but something else would get pushed out. Sometimes 3 smaller things are traded for 1 larger one and vice versa.

Regarding the beta program itself, we had discussions awhile ago about the value of the beta testing and what we all actually get out of it and we decided we needed to make major improvements to the way we run our community betas, and that process would be ongoing. So this is something that will be discussed again before the next beta starts. I can think of 3 key areas off the top of my head that need addressing in our betas:

  • Expectation management
  • Improving the feedback loop and ensuring it’s closed and flowing both ways
  • Examining how beta and wider community feedback is used

My personal immediate focus at the moment (around everything else I do) is point 2: the communication loop and how we can improve or create processes to assist with this.

Just as a note, we are reading all the feedback posted here, this part of the conversation piqued my interest as a CX team member as the beta testing program falls under our umbrella as it’s a community initiative. Hopefully someone enjoys these brain dump posts and hearing about some of the behind the scenes stuff that goes on in game dev. If not, I will do my best to stop dumping them on you all haha :sweat_smile:

EDIT PS. This is my favourite gif to represent live service development

This is not Gems of War or IP2 specific. It’s all 10+ live service games I’ve worked on over the years, at different companies with budgets ranging in the multi millions to “cheap” games that only cost a couple hundred thousand.

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Personally, I appreciate the sneak peak behind the curtain. Thanks for taking the time to write up these posts.

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I know people love to go and pick apart every sentence of posts like this, but I hope you know the majority of us really appreciate posts like this giving insight into things, even if they’re not always what some of us wanted to hear.

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Actually your solution is annoying flash deals that pop up in your face when changing screens and useless crap on the main screen with ! Trying to scam players into buying things with 10,000% markups.

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This is precisely what makes certain design decisions all the more baffling to us end players, because we are not privy to whatever internal discussions fueled those choices, we (somewhat necessarily) see only the end result with literally zero explanation WHY it is such a deviation (even violation!) of so many historical precedents before it.

Current example: Burning Ocularen not using its own Faction colors.

It’s not that Burning Ocularen’s mana colors are necessarily “bad”, but it’s literally the first ever Faction troop which cannot even Delve its own map, and the fact that this got approved through multiple layers of development is what we’re requesting transparency on. Maybe it’s the debut of a new pattern going forward, one that we’ll actually enjoy quite a bit, but without some more insight from the devs we just … don’t know what we don’t know.

Even a quick acknowledgement in the official announcement (e.g. “Your eyes are not deceiving you, Burning Ocularen is in fact a Brown+Yellow mana user!”) would have given us some clue that there is indeed some reason for the intended design being what it is.

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Or the soul forge being created to offset “bad luck”. And then years later they release a troop that cannot be earned through actual play of the game. But instead 100% reliant on luck. It’s a 100% hypocritical design choices like this than shows us that @Sirrian is no longer signing off on every change to the game.

PQ3 is his new baby. We are just the “before” now.

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Which platform are you playing? I agree there is indeed no way to “opt out” of Daily/Flash Offers, but without comparing different versions we can’t confirm that these are actually the same “opt-in” “in-app ads” they were citing as an example. And note that the actual gameplay, the gem battling itself, is NOT disrupted under any circumstances.

Name which troop?

Ah, Hoard Mimic? I do not see what even is the complaint. What is wrong with having certain Troops acquired exclusively from certain modes of play? (Obvious examples: Zuul’Goth, Faction teams)

(Said by a user who STILL does not have any access to Aurai, Myzmer, Ogryn, Penguin, Peryton, or Troglodyte)

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No Guild Wars? Check if any of those troops are allowed during the weekly event (set the filter to unowned when building a team). If they are, you can randomly get them from event shop tiers that award “Eligible Troops”. At least you used to be able to get them that way, haven’t checked in a while.

I’m following up on this on this one. I posted in the event thread or a bug report thread yesterday that I’m waiting for more information and I’ll follow up there.

Regardless, I know the team will be looking at how that happened and how it got through to production.

Also, I’ll talk to the team about adding more context around features in the patch notes.

I raised that there were questions about why autoplay, especially when players are asking for Daily Deals to be reviewed so I’m hoping we’ll be able to post more details about that specific decision soon!

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Thanks Kafka. I will say that all live service games do benefit from interaction between devs and the communities that play them.

For example, I play another game that recently made some unpopular changes. While some of the community was quite negative (as to be expected on the internet) the devs did listen to some of the more moderate voices. Now the devs are implementing a system to help people adapt, a system that should have already existed but didn’t become obvious until right now.

However, there is no one rule. I’ve gotten used to how IP2 does things over the years so I’m not really surprised or outspoken because I know the devs are just doing what they want. It’s peachy to me as long as the hamsters still run the servers.

Thanks for long time-consuming post. It’s appreciated.
I just want to be very clear.
I consider this a GOOD update. Reason:

  • buyable delve sigils. a way to have more than 3 attempts for so many delves has been asked for long time and now there it is.
  • autoplay. It’s interesting to see how AI play with some teams in specific scenarios, it’s also useful to put device away while it plays and do something else. Nobody is forced to use it or watch it. Only plus, no minus.
  • potions with hoards level. Again, potions in daily delves were asked for a long time. Don’t come free. as should it be I dare to say.
  • Deep delves. Not interesting? No enforcement to play except the one time for achievement. Nothing to lose.
  • Fixed that absurd Adventure Path button (partially?)

Overall there are only addition benefit players.

The burn here is that it would have taken so little to make it an EXCITING update.

  • Deep delves are meh. There is really nothing that convince me to play it more than on time. Just a tweak on rewards would be enough to make it loved. (cursed gnome, I’m looking at you… wherever you are…)
  • Burning Ocularen color is just WEIRD. An explanation, heck even an hint “we know, we know. You’ll see”, would be enough to trigger players’ awesome imagination. [Not taking into account the crazy amount of tier to have it mythic, one may just wait and go to chaos portal, thus I won’t mind, even if it’s really out of any reasonable limit]
    Oh and absolutely not having titles claiming that it will help in that delves. That’s black irony nobody likes.
  • Breaking notification again? Really? This happened way too much times for not being resolved one and for all. Can’t believe it has a different root cause each time… please address it once and for all as part of update process

While I understand that you can tweak it for the better at a later time (well… “could”. Almost never seen it), the frustrating feeling of “ugh, so near but no, again.” is immediate.
And it is reflected in all comments and posts I’ve seen lately.

“missed opportunity” appear just to often and that’s a pity.

expecially thinking of how much dev time deep delves must have consumed, while those irritating offers are triggering each day (BTW, good to know that you’re pushing to get it resolved)

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Please.
Getting the ingot offer for Khetar kingdom for the 3rd time in 5 days in my daily deals, when the only thing that can help me there is either offering me one of the weapons I don’t have, OR scrolls to upgrade my doomed weapons… seriously, it’s mentally/emotionally exhausting & frustrating.
3 times in 5 days is beyond beating a dead horse, there isn’t anything left of the horse at that point.

It’s one thing to get an offer that you just pass on because you’re not interested or want to focus on something else at the time but could still be useful in some way…
vs getting the same offer that can’t help you in any imaginable way repeatedly over & over & over. And I am definitely at the point where ingot offers will never ever be useful ever again unless you do something insanely drastic to the whole ingot system.

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…except the extra Delve token per attempt.

No … or, well, not yet…

Up to yesterday I was in a random Guild that was basically inactive; I am far from a “hardcore” player but was its largest active contributor to Guild totals and weekly events and by an order of magnitude even.

Now I am in a “guild of one” so to speak and can confirm at least 3,775 guilds on Switch – a few of which seem to have just gotten started themselves (aka. near my position on the global Guild leaderboard). This certainly can’t be any worse than what I had previously…

image

new day. same shit.
please. :frowning:

Join a guild where everybody participates at roughly the same level as you do. Don’t ask, just do it, you’ll understand within a week and you’ll be kicking yourself for not doing it earlier.

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So 6.4 must arrive in two days :thinking:

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This game has been around for a while, the fact they still come up with new stuff as much as they do even if its kinda bad is a miracle. A lot of devs would have given up on new content and begun winding down. So as bad as things may be it could be worse.

Also on the subject of the next update I’d be surprised if it arrives this month.

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