March 7, 2017 at 7:26 pm #2697
Hi there! I’ve been enjoying this game for several months now and wanted to give some detailed feedback to the devs and some potential improvements I thought would be neat. While it may sound like a laundry list of criticisms at times, I really like the game overall and only want to see and hopefully help it become even better in the future! Perspective wise this is coming from a long time relatively high-level player, so I’m probably a bit fuzzy on how lower level gameplay feels. For other players reading this there’s some info on how the armor mechanics work and stat based comparisons of the attack emblems you may find useful.
Overall the interface is very straightforward and easy to understand and use. Previously there were issues with lag when going into the army screen, but the switch from a scrolling list of tanks to pages has mostly fixed this. While most of the tank stats and abilities are fairly self explanatory, some of the fine details such as the relationship between damage, armor, and penetration are not clear (to be discussed later).
There are a couple of additional things I’d like in the interface: First a method to directly compare detailed stats of two tanks, preferably when deciding to replace one in the army with one in the reserves. Second, a more detailed report after combat showing detailed stats on combat performance, at least DPS for each tank but possibly even damage evaded/pierced/missed/absorbed/etc…
Items are also a pain to manage as others have pointed out, particularly when recycling. For a quick and dirty fix would it be possible to have a popup show an emblem’s stats when selecting it for recycling?
An option to change your name and commander would be neat too. Perhaps have each commander give different bonuses or have different powers?
Campaign map level gameplay has a good foundation and plays well, but there are some issues.
While emblems make for a great gold sink, there’s no equivalent for metal which piles up endlessly. Both repairs and production don’t use much, and use more gold than metal. Perhaps increase the metal cost of producing and repairing tanks, or add a new mechanic that uses lots of metal?
There’s a nice tradeoff between using extra units for experience or blueprints to buy T5’s, but the blueprint system almost makes it a bit too easy to collect every tank in the game over time. In my experience it’s been easy to grind enough blueprints to keep up with the bi-weekly research refresh. Combined with all the events it feels like the polar opposite of the early days; too easy to get T5’s instead of too hard.The factory production rate for T5’s is extremely low though; in ~5 months of playing I’ve only gotten 2 from factory drops, and have been running all five factory slots since Christmas!
Putting this all together, it means that progression wise a player will blast through T1-T2 units very quickly and never use them again. T3 units can be useful for their lower deployment cost, but T1-T2 units become obsolete very fast. The far faster leveling rates of lower tier tanks can keep the T4’s and in some cases T3’s competitive with T5’s, but for the most part the low tier tanks feel sadly extraneous to the game.
A tank upgrade system would be a neat mechanic, a good metal and blueprint sink, and a way to keep lower tier units more useful. It could be something along the line of spending metal and blueprints to move a tank along its historical upgrade path (eg Panzer IV A through J), giving them a stat boost and artwork change (the artwork is excellent, and more of the same characters would be great!). Lower tier tanks could have a larger number of potential upgrades to help keep them competitive, and they could even have an upkeep cost every time you use the unit to further drain metal. Another possible idea would be to put in some sort of mechanism for upgrading the tank abilities that would disproportionately help buff low-tier units.
One major problem with the the campaign is that there’s no incentive to play any mission other than the first stage of the highest level mission you’ve beat in order to grind EXP. As far as I’m aware there’s no benefit to grinding the higher stages of the same level (please correct me if I’m wrong here!). Some sort of mechanic to encourage re-playing lower level missions would be nice. Perhaps have tank EXP gain scale inversely with the number of units used in the mission? This would give you a way to level up new tanks faster by using them on lower level missions alongside a high level “trainer” and help reduce the monotony of grinding EXP.
Events are fun, but there have been so many of them recently they almost feel normal! I also liked it a bit better when the Portal of Chaos didn’t give you event tokens; it feel like a good tradeoff between gunning for blueprints and cores and event goodies.
The social aspects are quite barebones at the moment which is fine; the singleplayer aspects stand well enough on their own. It’d be nice if your tanks gained EXP when used by a friend though, and some form of PVP tournament could be fun.
Combat is quite solid, my only complaint is that a button to cancel deploying a unit or power would be nice. One thing that could spice up the battle maps a bit would be terrain features; rivers, mud, trees, hills etc… that affect unit stats and make you put a bit more thought into the fight.
Unit stats are generally easy to understand, with the exception of the relationship between damage, armor, and penetration. Testing a Churchill I with different amounts of emblem boosted armor against a Lvl 50 IS2 showed that each point of armor reduces damage dealt by 1, but only after the IS2’s damage was reduced by a set percentage, a factor I suspect is the hidden “damage reduction” stat that randomly shows up as a secondary effect in emblems. Curiously, the Churchill’s armor boost power increased this damage reduction by 26% instead of increasing the effective armor like the description says it should. Similar testing with a M4 Sherman found that it had a different, smaller, base damage reduction. Clarity on what this damage reduction stat is and how it is determined for each tank would be appreciated. I was unable to puzzle out exactly how penetration affects damage, but it seems to reduce the armor value and/or damage reduction stats of the target.
The mechanics of the emblem system are excellent, however the individual emblem types are rather imbalanced IMO.
Attack Emblems: In terms of DPS, the attack speed boosting emblem of valor” is the strongest. The medal works by reducing the time interval between shots, meaning that a base T3 emblem of valor which boosts attack speed by 20.67% actually increases DPS by 26%. Emblems of piercing are highly situation dependent, the base T3 emblem boosts penetration by 24.8%, which boosts DPS far less than an emblem of valor unless you’re attacking a tank that would soak up over half of your damage with its armor. I like the idea of how the crit rate and crit multiplier medals synergize, but individually and when used together they both boost DPS by significantly less than a single attack speed medal. I calculated the DPS multiplier from critical shots as (1+(base_crit_rate+crit_buff)*(1+base_crit_mult+mult_buff)), which is 1.5% for the typical 1% chance 50% multiplier base values. Using this formula, a T3 emblem of luck boosts Crit Rate by 9.3%, increasing DPS by 13.95%, while a T3 emblem of precision boosts the multiplier by 41.33%, increasing DPS by a mere 0.41%! when used together, DPS is only boosted by 18.21%, despite taking up two item slots.
Complicating the mater however is the fact that most tanks are not firing continuously at a single target – much of the time my strategy revolves around tanking with a heavy unit while building up enough DPS tanks behind it to take down enemy tanks in one salvo, move on, rinse, wash, repeat. In this scenario high single shot damage is more desirable than high DPS as it allows you to avoid damage from enemy counterattacks. However, as the differences in base DPS are so extreme I’d suggest some sort of re-balancing of the attack emblems; perhaps a nerf to the emblem of valor combined with a buff to the crit emblems, especially the emblem of precision.
I haven’t talked about the accuracy emblem because even though it offers a DPS percentage boost similar to the emblem of valor, it’s largely useless as most tanks already have near 100% accuracy. I suspect accuracy over 100% counters enemy evasion which, if true, makes them slightly more attractive but not nearly enough to make me use them. I’d suggest dropping even high tier units base accuracy by at least 10% to make these medals more useful, and to provide more variation in unit stats.
Defense Emblems: Evasion and health emblems are well balanced, with evasion grating a percentage increase to the units effective health (durability), while health emblems are more or less effective depending on the base health of the unit. Armor emblems are significantly less effective however, as each point of armor only grants a single effective point of health per shot taken, and are less effective against units with penetration or light tanks with armor shred. This makes them OK against low damage enemies encountered at lower levels or on high health tanks that will take a large number of shots, but significantly less useful at high levels where damage values get into the 400-500 ranges. Going with what I mentioned above about armor mechanics, I’d suggest a buff to armor emblems or maybe even a total rework of the armor/damage reduction system.
Maneuver Emblems: While both these emblems are good in theory, in practice they’re practically useless. The slowest base rotation of 60 still enable units to rotate 120 degrees between shots with the average attack rate of ~0.5 shots per second, and the lighter tanks with highest attack rates also have higher rotation. Speed is only desirable for your heavy tanks which you want to keep in the front, which usually need extra survivability more. Not sure how to make these more useful without completely reworking all unit stats. An emblem that boosts range would be a nice addition for this category, maybe merge it with the accuracy emblem so that the primary effect boosts both range and accuracy?
The unit types are very well balanced; heavies tank, light tanks give support buffs, medium and tank destroyers DPS, and artillery provides crowd control. My one complaint is that the deployment cost of tank destroyers feels too high for their fragility. For example my lvl 31 T5 Jagdpanther has a base DPS of 157 and durability of 1749, while a comparable lvl 30 T5 T-34/100 has a base DPS of 173 and durability of 3160. Both have a deployment cost of 4. The Jagdpanther has a longer range which helps a lot with survivability, but not against AOE damage. Seems like tank destroyers would be better balanced against medium tanks if their deployment cost was reduced by 1 to compensate for their poor durability, and would jibe with their historical role as a cheaper but less effective alternative to conventional tanks.
Balance between units in the same class is strong, perhaps even a bit too strong. For example, the T4 medium tanks largely have the same or very similar stats, their main differentiation being their abilities. It may be nice to have their stats vary a bit more to differentiate them a bit better, as long as it doesn’t make some of the units at the same tier clearly superior.
-The M7 Priest is only available through the store; she doesn’t show up in factory drops.
-If a battle ends when you’ve selected ASU-57 Polina for paradrop deployment but haven’t deployed her, the field remains green with her deployment zone in subsequent battles.
-Attempting to select any of the sub-screens while the factory tab is still opening bugs out the UI and causes the selected screen to overlay the campaign map when you return to it.
-Switching the Recycle screen from Unit to Item while its still loading causes tanks to show up at the end of the item list.
-Missions occasionally crash mid combat; for some reason it seems to happen most frequently in high-level portal fights when I’ve got the upper hand! A potential exploit I’ve noticed from this is that closing the app when loosing a battle prevents damage to your tanks and can be used to avoid repair costs; not very significant since said costs are relatively low anyway.
-Interface is good but could use a tank comparator and more detailed after action reports
-Commander specific powers and the ability to switch commanders would be interesting
-Metal needs a resource sink
-T5 units feel a bit too easy to get now
-Some sort of tank upgrade system would be nice, could act as a metal&blueprint sink and buff to low-tier units
-Need a way to incentivise grinding different missions; suggest have exp gained scale inversely with number of tanks in army
-Cancel button when deploying tanks/powers would be nice
-Terrain features could add more depth to combat
-Damage reduction/armor/penetration mechanics are unclear
-Emblem system is good, but the individual emblems are very unbalanced
-Unit class balance is good, but tank destroyers should have a lower deployment cost
-Individual unit balance is good, but skirts with making tanks a bit same-y
-Still some minor bugs
Thanks for reading and hope this gives ya guys some good ideas! The constant dev support has been very appreciated over the past few months, it really feels like the devs are dedicated continually improving the game! Regardless of whether or not you adopt anything I’ve thought up here I’m looking forward to seeing where the game goes in the future!
March 8, 2017 at 4:20 pm #2709
I like your post and agree with a few things but not all.
I think everyone agrees that we need to see emblems in recycle its a mess!
As far as ease of getting 5 stars I would have to disagree ,while they have given us plenty of free ones lately with the holiday specials unless you are a top end player it takes a long time and even then its luck to get a new one thats not a dupe.
Yes research will let you gather them all eventually however I have not been able to get a new one out of research for the past two times,both have been dupes and I don’t have that many 5 stars besides the freebies.
The 10+1 recruit is a role of the dice, I have bought 4 so far and not one five star dropped, I did get the rare priest though, I wont have to mention the rarity of 48 hour constructs I have had just one to date.
Like yourself I discovered that Valor emblems are the best but we need more answers and perhaps a calculator for Emblems, your suggestions and insight here are great!
I had brought up the suggestion a few months ago to spend gold and metal to change secondary stats on emblems or have a new Emblem construct system, as you know rotation speed and accuracy are pretty worthless.
For tank upgrades I think using dupes would be a good idea, just got my second Maus in the daily reward…….. combine the two tanks for a armor / dps boost or something.
I like the terrain idea but please not in portals!!!! I’m up to level 58 and it’s tough enough!
I don’t think giving EXP to your friends tanks is a good idea as most players use the highest on their list so only one guy will reap the benefit.
Agree completely on the need for a metal sink, Emblems could be the answer.
I really love this game, I actually ignored it for a few weeks after I downloaded it,so glad I decided to give it a go.
I am addicted!!
Happy grinding to you my follow commander!
Very excited to see the results of all their hard work on the new system.
Thanks for this game!
- This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Fearless.
March 11, 2017 at 9:35 am #2718
You make some good points! Looking over my T5’s, 5 outta 13 are event drops, 2 are from the factory, 1 from the store, and 4 from blueprints. I think I’ve gotten about 4 dupes as well thanks to bad luck in the monthly bonus. It’s entirely plausible I’m just being a curmudgeonly old player here complaining about the good old days when games were harder etc…
Good points too on EXP from friends tanks only helping high level folks… it’d still be nice to get something though, and have some sort of buff to your first slot tank.
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