We realize the last post, ages ago, said we’d talk about adding randomization next. But instead today we’re talking more about game balance.
In part 1, we discussed why a points based deck builder is challenging, and touched on potential game ideas to test. We’ve done a ton of testing over the last few months, and here’s what we’ve learned.
Limiting the units players could have in play was removed. As was pointed out in the comments on part 1, adding in a supply limit defeats the purpose of a deck builder. There are now no limits on how many cards you can have in play.
This presented several problems, most notably a snowball effect where once one player got the upper hand at the start, they controlled the entire game. This made for a very un-fun game. To mitigate the snowball effect, we retooled unit stats, reworked combat, adjusted card point costs, and updated the action economy.
Here we have implemented a max number of same card in the deck, and added in a min-deck size based on army points value. We will test removing the min-deck size again in the future.
Most importantly here we are fine-tuning card point costs to make the game balanced. Two major adjustments were increased location cost, and a sharper point curve between good and bad units.
With the sharper point curve, a player with a few expensive card heavily relied on drawing those cards to be competitive, which leads us to our next point, deck churn.
As identified in part 1, with a points based card builder it’s important to cycle through your deck to access all the cards you spent your points on. A player with a few high cost cards mixed in with a ton of low cost cards can basically only win if they draw their high cost cards.
We’ve added a few cards and unit abilities that a player can take to help with this.
Most notably, in the core game play we added a rule where a player can discard one card to draw two cards. In our current 40 card testing decks, this brought our average undrawn cards down from ~20 to ~12.
We can still do better here to improve deck churn, we want to get the undrawn cards down to 20% (8 cards on a 40 card deck) or lower.