Transcript: Reddit AMA with Sirrian and Nimhain (April 11 2019)

There was a very not-promoted AMA with Salty, Nimhain, and Sirrian on Reddit yesterday (April 11, 2019). A lot of you may not have seen it, and in the end Reddit is a pretty bad way to archive something. So I’m preparing an annotated map of the questions that were answered either directly or indirectly. This took a lot of time, so if I miss something please let me know! I am going to intentionally leave some stuff out, like my request for a horse avatar. If you see [...] I am indicating I snipped something.

For once, I’m going to turn off snark and stay objective, but for your convenience I’m going to collapse some quotes to a simple answer. Order is roughly in order of importance to me.

The AMA itself is here, if you want to double-check me.

Are you looking into the PvP scoring system?

Nimhain: We’re got some stuff we’re discussing in the background. Nothing to talk about it.

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Sirrian: Regarding the PvP stuff - we’re aware! It’s an old system, and it worked reasonably well - but it could do with some good housekeeping. Also the game has grown so much in the last few years, that a single leaderboard for EVERYBODY isn’t really much fun anyway. I think it’d be great if we had people in smaller brackets competing for meaningful places… no promises here though - that’s just some blue-sky thinking.

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When will Switch be in sync with the rest of the platforms?

Nimhain: While we’d like for all platforms to be in sync, we don’t have any eta at the moment if it will happen. Switch will get updates at a different rate to the other platforms, and we want to look at how that influences the existing schedule before we look at trying to catch them up.

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Will we see lore related to troops again?

Nimhain: […]

Especially as the game continues to be fleshed out and more lore developed, we have discussed the idea of bringing some lore back but only where to lore would work to help players understand the troop (Fist of Zorn would have been a good example).

So you may see some lore appear in the future but not to the same degree as before. (We may also look at another lorekeeper in the future but no promises).

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Sirrian: […]

We actually are currently looking for a way to bring them back… maybe later this year?

Source (Also check that thread out for some bonus Raksha lore!)

What happened to Queen Mab’s mother?

Nimhain: So we’ve never discussed what Queen Mab’s mother in the lore, only that she’s a direct decendant of Skadi the Queen of Winter Solstice.

We may go on to meet her mother or find out what happened to her in the future. It would be a fun part of the lore to explore further into.

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Will we be able to catch up on old weapons soon?

Nimhain: We are working on a plan for this for a future update.

We are aware that this is a requested feature by players, so we would like to make it happen.

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Sirrian: Yes! We’re currently figuring out a plan for exactly that!

Can’t share any details yet, as we’re not sure ourselves, but keep an eye open in any patch notes we publish.

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HUGE wall of text that asks 1) What might be reworked? 2) Can we get more chat updates? 3) Delve feedback that’s not a question.

Sirrian: Probably everything more than 2 years old is slated to get some updates and improvements at some stage. Part of this has just been learning “what’s fun and what isn’t”. Treasure Hunt is a great example of something that a lot of folks enjoy, which doesn’t have a place in the modern meta. Arena, PvP, Dungeons, and Daily Tasks are all system that spring to mind which could be improved.

(… omitted paraphrase: “Of course more chat features, thanks for the feedback.”)

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What about a Puzzle Quest remaster/remake?

Sirrian: Yes indeed! We really wanted to make more adventures inside Puzzle Quest, but for various reasons - some of them contractual, and others practical (e.g. How do deliver more content on PS2??!?!) - it just never got done. I think a remastered/HD version (with new stuff) would be super cool.

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Offline GoW?

Sirrian: Never say never. But no. Source

Interesting, but not in response to a specific question:

Sirrian: Project we’re excited about? Oh, man, there is SO much stuff still coming for Gems of War planned for the next 12 months. Without committing to timing or anything, I’m quite excited by the idea of 3 things: a) Some PvP Rework to make it feel more like a contest, less like a grind b) Some more meaningful co-op features, so it really feels like you’re playing WITH friends, not just “at the same time” as them c) This idea is a bit “out there”, as it’s still early days… but you know, if I conquered the world, I’d LOVE to just live in an epic castle… just sayin…

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Nimhain: Part of the reason we don’t talk much about what’s in development is that we’d like to be a transparent with our player base as we can. We don’t want to promise something or say we are going to do something only for it to scrapped or delayed until the future.
I have few projects I have in the background, mainly various kingdom reworks that I’m writing ideas for or review older troops that might need some love in the future. I’m also going through the spell text to update it to improve it (the game is turning 5 later this year and the way we write spells has change over the years).

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Unanswered:

A few people asked if Switch and PC/Mobile were ever going to be linked, none of them garnered a response. Some of them are timestamped after the AMA ended, but I also feel like we’ve already had this answered with “I don’t know, we’ll let you know if we make plans” plenty of times on the forums.

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Opinions:

I interpret the response about Switch parity to mean it’s not a very high priority. This makes me nervous. I feel like 4.3 had a lot of problems at launch becuase the Switch release interrupted development. I think having the Switch be on a different version than the rest of the game means the devs’ attention will be split between two versions. Because there will now be “Switch issues” and “everyone else issues” that means either Switch is going to be neglected or “everyone else” is going to be neglected or, more likely, everyone is going to be equally neglected. A 1-hour bugfix is now a 2-hour bugfix. No matter what happens, players lose. This is especially hurtful since the point of moving to Unity was so this didn’t happen.

It looks like they are aware of and talking about PvP scoring (I swear there was a question about GW brackets, but didn’t see it when building the post above.) It seems like they’re too early in the process to feel like giving us some clues. It is good to keep this Nimhain quote in mind:

Part of the reason we don’t talk much about what’s in development is that we’d like to be a transparent with our player base as we can. We don’t want to promise something or say we are going to do something only for it to scrapped or delayed until the future.

So we are in a quasi-state on those features where we know they want to do something, but they’re scared to commit to a timeline because they don’t understand what they want to do or how complex it will be. I don’t think that means we should stop discussing the issues, but it’s also reasonable to believe we probably won’t hear a response for another few months.

With respect to GW brackets, I think the most relevant part is indirect.

Sirrian: Probably everything more than 2 years old is slated to get some updates and improvements at some stage. Part of this has just been learning “what’s fun and what isn’t”. Treasure Hunt is a great example of something that a lot of folks enjoy, which doesn’t have a place in the modern meta. Arena, PvP, Dungeons, and Daily Tasks are all system that spring to mind which could be improved.

So that’s probably not even as far along in brainstorming as PvP scoring. But if I let myself read between the lines, I think if you glue this paragraph together with some others it’s clear “Let’s make PvP and GW something totally different” is on Sirrian’s mind. “Something totally different” will probably replace the current problems. Given this, though, I’d estimate “a full GW rework” would be a feature we won’t see until very late this year or, more likely, next year at the earliest. Let’s give them some room.

On the upside, it sounds like they are very actively working on at least brainstorming a way to distribute old weapons to players. Again, I can tell by their answers they haven’t made a decision yet, but this sounds like it’s being prioritized. I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear about it after 4.3.5.

I hope they do more things like this, it was nice to try and corner them into “Can you at least say the reason you haven’t made a comment is you’re worried I’ll consider it a promise?”

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Thanks for the transcript.

Well. If they’re trying to fix the issues of PVP and old weapons, I shouldn’t complain much… but I probably will anyway.

Yeah, this is a difficult situation.

I feel like they’ve answered all they can about it, and I am satisfied to hear they aren’t ignoring it. But we also can’t let the threads fade into the distance and give the impression that in the end, we didn’t actually care about the issue.

I think the good part is confirming that they aren’t just ignoring it, and they don’t believe we’re completely off-base. I can meet them in the middle and agree it’s really easy to make it worse so they need time to think about the right answer.

So nothing about fixing the create a coloured gem on Doom weapons?

If we want solutions to work properly it does tend to take time. Even if its really simple lol.

Nobody asked this question, so they did not answer it. That’s how an AMA works.

That’s sort of why it’s surprising there was zero promotion of this. @Saltypatra, I wouldn’t have known this was happening if a friend didn’t tell me about it. In the future, can we get at least 24 hours of notice before we get a treat like this? I see a lot of Reddit AMAs and it’s more common for businesses to promote them for a few days ahead of time so people can be ready.

If it was promoted at all, it’s most mysterious it wasn’t promoted on Reddit, but the forums are way more active.

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Since at least 4.0 they’ve expressed interest in reworking ranked PvP. The recent change has me scared that their “rework” will only make it worse.

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What I’m bracing myself for is:

  • Some people out there probably really like the current PvP system and will be mad if it changes.
  • Some people won’t like whatever change is made to the PvP system because they have a different idea of how it should work.

So whatever the devs do is going to be controversial and ill-received by a loud, large group of people. I sort of hope they run some options by the beta testers first to at least get some player feedback.

It’s pretty simple in my eyes at least. Don’t punish folks for playing your game a lot and being in a guild with other players who play a lot. 🤷

Thank you very much for the transcript image

I wasn’t the one who originally organised the AMA, and I came in later in the process. That’s why it wasn’t advertised as much in advance. I did make sure to post to our socials and the forums, and the forums knew about an hour before the AMA went live. (I then posted to our social accounts when it was active.)

If we do this in future (and it’s something I am definitely considering!) I’ll let everyone know at least 48 hours prior.

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Please do. I was only fortunate to attend the AMA because I was “at the right place at the right time” logging onto the forums for the night to see the thread posted about the AMA being run. I would have completely missed it otherwise.

There’s a ton of valuable to knowledge to be gained about what’s going to happen in the OP. Just need to put two and two together and connect the dots.

It’s not a matter of “if” PvP changes, but when. There’s no doubt about it at this point. It’s going to be a rather radical change to the game. From the nuggets of information above, everything that I am expecting to happen was pretty much confirmed.

Damnit, I knew I forgot something. I couldn’t think of anything worth asking during the day of the AMA since the AMA completely slipped my mind until I saw the thread.

Wouldn’t be an issue if the “combo breaker” didn’t make it one.

At this point, I’d gladly take a band-aid fix as their long term fixes usually take too long and doesn’t actually always work: see Infernus

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Every Doom weapon creates a Doom skull in it’s upgrades. Sometimes there best solution is the simplest.

Doomed Blade/Club still create a blue/green gem. Watery/Carved affix. Crossbow is the only one that creates a doom skull (Ruined).

Edit: or were you just stating what they should change it to?

They alllll need to be Ruined (and in doing so, fixed :stuck_out_tongue:)

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That would be the correct conclusion to reach. I wouldn’t give them that long, though. Personally, I was expecting this for the 4.3 patch. Clearly this has been in the works for a long time and isn’t ready yet. Given the information provided at the Q&A stream, the path forward is fairly clear now on what is going to happen. The only question remaining is how “hardcore” in terms of monetization and competition are the devs are going to change the base combat mode of the game.

The changes in Team Score with 4.3 are a needed foundation for the new system to be implemented. See this snippet (emphasis added).

Team score would be an ideal way to measure player power for placement in brackets with similarly powered players. Higher team power means that it’s easier for the game to keep those players away from non-endgamers in the future in competitive contests to promote “fairness”. The vets are going to be segregated away into their own little corner of the game universe, unlikely to see the rest of the server population ever again.

And that’s before all the other stuff that’s likely to come with the import of the new PvP system into the game to stack on top of this, such as monetization.

Q2 quarterly update, Q3 at the very worst.