We’ve been working hard on getting the card pool into a good shape in time for the Closed Beta. Your feedback and the data from the games you’ve played has helped us a lot in this work, so thank you for your efforts.
In this dev blog I want to go over some of the changes we’ve been making. There are three parts to it. In the first part, I will go over some of the balance changes we’re making. There are some significant changes happening here, to some of the most used cards, so brace yourself. In the second part, I will go over a few remaining theme edits we’re making. Finally, we’ve been fattening the card file, there are 50+ cards still missing from the game. I will give you a sneak peak on some of the cards you can expect in the future.
Note that our main focus right now is getting the Closed Beta out in a stable, feature complete form. It is thus quite possible that not all of the changes will make it in in time. In that case we may resort to removing the card until we can edit its functionality. So be aware that some of the existing cards may be missing when we re-open the servers on January 9th. Also note that any of the card changes discussed here are still undergoing internal testing, so some adjustments are possible, for instance based on power level. Take all the new cards you see with a grain of salt.
So let’s get to it, starting with the balance changes. First, a number of cards with draw abilities are too powerful/cost efficient when they replace themselves. So we’re editing these six:
As you can see, in some cases we’re decreasing their power (Bloody Sickle, M4 Sherman, Yak 9), in some we increase the cost (Panzer 38(t), Reinforcements) and in one case we remove the draw ability (Imperial Order). The Bloody Sickle now also damages your HQ by 1, this is a theme we want to give the Soviets, so expect to see more of these self-damaging Soviet cards in the future. The frontline matters theme is something we want to emphasize more in the US, thus the change in the M4 Sherman.
We’re also going over the cost to stats ratio for the different unit types, expect some adjustments here, the most significant one is this one:
The old stats were simply too good, especially for a Standard rarity card. We wanted to retain the aggressive feel of the card, so we didn’t want to adjust the cost or the attack rating, so this is where we ended up.
There has been a lot of discussion regarding long range units (air units and artillery), both internally and on Discord (thanks for the input!). We’ve been mulling over several options and finally decided on a course of action. Generally, we agree these units are a bit too strong right now.
So, for air units, we’re increasing their operation cost. This allows us to keep their stats intact, as we feel their power level is fine stats wise, but make it more of a commitment to use them turn after turn. This also aligns well with the historical flavor of air units being expensive to maintain and operate. Here are a couple of notable changes:
For artillery, we want them to feel more like support units rather than full-blown killing machines in their own right. We also want to try to capture the inaccurate nature of artillery bombardment. So, most artillery units will have lower base attack strength. Instead, some of them get indirect damage abilities or other ways to “soften” the enemy up, like temporarily reducing their attack strength or removing abilities. Here are a couple of examples:
Note that the extra damage the Katyusha inflicts can be dealt to ANY target other than itself, meaning it can hit your own stuff. This is another example of a (potential) self-damaging effect the Soviets will have.
Next up we have a few more theme changes to complete. These aim to strengthen what effects do or don’t reside with each nation. Let’s go over the changes here:
First are a couple of artillery units. Note that they are also being changed as part of the long range balance changes discussed above, but we’re taking the opportunity to edit some effects also. Here, we are strengthening the theme of how Japan and US inflict extra damage - for Japan, this is in damaging adjacent units, while for the US it is by damaging a random enemy.
Sending units back to owner’s hand should not be a strong theme for Japan, so we’re changing a couple of cards here. Note that while Japan can deal random damage, it is limited to units only, not any enemy as the US can.
Frontline matters is not a big British theme, but orders are. In the same vein, orders mattering is not a big US theme, but buffing their units is.
We’ve been evaluating the order removal each nation has at low rarities and found a bit of want for the USA. So we’re changing this card to give the US one more low rarity removal card. We’re also using this opportunity to make Death From Above a limited rarity card, as this reflects its strength better.
Finally, here are a few new cards you can expect in the near future. Some may be in when the Closed Beta starts, but for the most part these cards will be added in updates after the Closed Beta begins. Please note again that the cards you see here are still a work in progress, some have placeholder art and names and their effects may change in the development process. So with that disclaimer out of the way, let’s look at a couple of examples for each nation:
Countermeasures remain a strong theme for Britain and they are getting a twist on orders mattering with cards that increase cost of orders for the opponent.
We want to emphasize the combined arms aspect of the German battle doctrine, so are adding a few cards where unit types matter. We are also strengthening the direct HQ damage theme Germany has.
For the Soviets, the 95th Rifle Regiment is another example of the self-damage theme. Another effect we’re adding that fits the Soviet theme is temporary units - units you get that go away after a time.
We’re continuing strengthening the ability of the US to “silence” enemy units, or at least take away their abilities for awhile. A theme we are then adding is a disruptive effect simulating economic warfare, where the operation cost of enemy units is increased.
For Japan, we are strengthening the theme of powerful effects at a cost, often involving random discard. This reflects the surprise element in the early stages of the war that Japan could not maintain. The dangerous damage aspect of orders is also emphasized.
That’s it for now, we are hard at work getting everything ready for the Closed Beta. Several new and cool features are on their way and I will give you more information on them before the Closed Beta starts. Stay tuned!