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Everything posted by brettpkelly

  1. I think mercenary lists are going to suffer a lot from these changes
  2. I'm all for a chess block but there are a couple other complications. Due to the prevalence of interrupt type mechanics it's hard to determine when to stop the clock for each player, especially during attacks. Might be worth figuring out how to implement something like this though
  3. As a member of the steering committee and probably the one who is most cautious about pushing "swarms" allow me to respond to your well thought out post. For reference my idea of balance comes from high end competitive play, especially in timed tournament formats. I will also add that I do have experience playing swarms in this format, both as a swarm (won nationals with an ugnaught swarm '17) and against swarms (faced the Janway riot swarm aka North Carolina Swarm at nationals '18). So we're on the same page lets define what a swarm is: A list that utilizes a large group of low value figures that don't offer significant reward for killing. These lists often have low damage output, but make up for it by dominating objectives with high figure counts. First, I think it's worth noting that the steering committee is committed to keeping the meta fresh and fun, which to us means a variety of archetypes should be viable. We would like to take a slow approach to achieving this, meaning we don't want to completely shake things up to a point where the meta is unrecognizable. Another goal is increasing the number of units that are viable. There is a limit on how many units can be viable, just due to the fact that many units are very similar to each other. From that sense, the units that have the best cost/health/damage ratios will generally rise to the top. So let's talk about regular deployments. Functionally a regular stormtrooper could be buffed to being as good as an elite stormtrooper making the only difference the number of deployments you're allowed to bring. Elites could also be buffed via point deductions to fill the role of cheap swarmy units, without allowing players to bring 4 groups. By limiting the number of groups players can bring, lists will be less homogeneous. Elite stormtroopers could be paired with Elite jets, Elite Riots, and Regular riots to make a good swarm. Compare that to buffing regular stormtroopers. If regular stormtroopers become the go-to swarm unit, swarm units will automatically have 4 groups. It's very very hard to balance the units to a point where it would be worth it to bring less than a full complement (either they're worth bringing and you take 4 groups, or they're not worth bringing at all). The limit of 2 groups presents all kinds of design benefits and I think it's worth noting that FFG has also almost universally under-powered regular deployments. Also consider that a swarm list CAN be achieved without requiring 4x of a regular deployment With those design goals in mind we have focused on the elite deployments for now. As far as whether swarms can be NPE or if they slow the game down here is a long rant about it. Keep in mind i'm not completely against a swarm archetype, but it's important to be conscious of how this type of archetype can potentially affect the game. Keep this in mind-> The more figures on the board, the longer each round will take. This is especially true for units that need to take advanced positions such as riots. The biggest slowdowns in the game are players deciding which group to activate next, and where to move each figure. For support figures like 3p0, r2, jabba, and imperial officers activations are very quick. These figures are always activated first in round 1, and their priority drops significantly in later rounds, cutting the time to decide which group to activate. These figures often don't move into contested positions so their activations are very straight forward. A riot swarm from very early in round 1 must make difficult decisions regarding the position of their figures compared to where their opponent is postured. Often these units are left exposed from as early as the 3rd activation round 1. Often the first group of riots takes as long or longer to activate as a group of weequays, or a big queen piece. Consider that the N.C. riot swarm has 6 groups of riots to activate (and 2 officers). While round 1 for most lists flies by, the swarm player has tough choices to make for each of these activations. By the end of round 1 the riot player has spent significantly longer activating compared to the non-swarm player. Keep in mind this has nothing to do with intentionally stalling, this is just the nature of the list. Starting round 2 the riot player still takes longer to play, especially in choosing which group to activate next. It has been claimed that since the figures are exactly the same, they should activate faster, but the opposite is true in later rounds. Since the figures are so similar, it's solely positioning that determines which group a player should activate next. This is often a very subtle and very time consuming decision. The decision of when to activate groups that vary wildly in power level is much easier than choosing which riot group to activate. (example: early round 2, do I activate Rangers first or Hera? Usually an easy choice). Swarm players also have an incentive to slow the game down. The queen lists win by killing the swarm. The swarm list wins by getting ahead on objective points and then stalling the game until time expires. In a tournament setting with 65 minute matches, swarms will often not get out of round 3 and almost never out of round 4. Time is often called on these matches with scores in the 20-30 VP range. There is no bigger NPE than this. Again this is not achieved by intentionally stalling, but just a natural effect of the list. The riot player would need to rush to keep up the pace of play with other lists, but has no reason to rush. The non-swarm player actually needs to play as fast as possible to ensure that round 4 is reached. To buff the swarm archetype means buffing the ability for the archetype to stall. Making swarm units cheaper increases the number of figures on the board, increasing the number of decisions/activations, slowing the game down. Increasing the health of these units makes them harder to kill, making more units left on the board in later rounds that need to activate, slowing the game down. Increasing their attack moves their playstyle closer in line with other types of lists, defeating the purpose of a "swarm" archetype. In conclusion, I think swarms are achievable, but buffing regular deployments to the point of viability will make it harder to increase the number of viable units. Point denial strategies have the potential to be extremely frustrating, and we need to be conscious about how powerful we make units capable of achieving this strategy. I'd also like to add that if you feel that you have a good idea to balance a cheap regular deployment group like regular stormtroopers, we're listening.
  4. I tend to agree with you also, we've seen a lot less gideon temped into merc lately. It's more common to see sabine these days. Which means nerfing gideon doesn't actually change much besides decreasing merc's options. If we restricted gideon to rebel only then jabba becomes auto include. To me that's worse than the current meta where the are a couple viable variations of merc support packages.
  5. I agree with you in theory, but I'd be worried about making a spy/hunter unit into a very good low cost support. Mak still sees some play solely for his spy trait.
  6. We're gotten some mixed feedback on this point. I'm personally in agreement that factions should be separated as much as possible to help diversify the meta, but we've also received plenty of feedback asking for flexibility to play around with these fixed figures in different factions and I see the value of these arguments. It's important that we test this out now to see how temping Diala into Merc affects the meta, so we can decide what to do with this fix at the end of the season. Remember this is just a testing phase for the card. Thank you for your immediate feedback on this change! We're kind of wary about making changes to temporary alliance just because of how major of an impact it would have on the meta. We'd rather not make super invasive changes right now.
  7. TL;DR: Starting today: * the Hunter card restriction has been removed. * Assassinate text changed to: "Use while attacking a figure. If this is the first Command card you play during this attack, apply +3 DAMAGE to the attack results. You cannot play other Command cards during this attack." * HotR Luke cost from 9 to 7 * Sabine changes reverted (cost back to 7) * Diala cost from 7 to 8 * Diala "Exile Redeemed" Attachment rolled into deployment card * Diala's defensive reroll dodge converts to block block evade
  8. https://ia-continuityproject.com/2019/04/29/brace-for-impact-season-1-official-update/
  9. I definitely agree on the command card statement. There hasn't been a competitive rebel or mercenary list since jabba's realm that hasn't run either on the lam, the hunter package, or both. That's why iacp targeted those for nerfs to open up the meta in those factions
  10. No one has been hiding this information. It's been relatively common knowledge that nothing has been in the playtesters hands since Lothal.
  11. https://ia-continuityproject.com/2019/04/12/intelligence-leak-reviewing-your-season-1-feedback/
  12. A physical product announcement. App campaigns and op events aren't impacted by distribution. Ffg op doesn't even know what ffg is developing right now.
  13. There are a couple reasons we went with the diala fix first: It seems like everyone has an idea on what Fett should be like and we weren't able to come to a consensus by the time we wanted to announce. Other than that, he's also a hunter and Mercenaries have lots of hunter options already. We didnt want to risk pushing out broken hunter figure that would dominate the season. But that being said we really do want to put out a good fix for fett soon. Seasons aren't very long and he's definitely at the top of our priority list. Feel free to post your ideas here or in a new thread. I know there are a couple community suggestion threads and the steering committee is keeping an eye on all of it.
  14. Looking at the rate of product releases in the past two years (one big box in 2017, one small box in 2018, nothing planned or announced for 2019), not to mention all the other small clues, I don't think I'd call it "pessimism" to say that FFG is not giving IA the amount of support it needs to maintain Organized Play. Campaign players might be happy with an app campaign every year or so, but skirmish players are going to move onto something else.
  15. I'll do my best but i reaaaally doubt they'll tell me anything definitive
  16. I mean there have been like 20 other signs that you could point to and say "this is how it goes out?" like the lack of design card reward for winning worlds, lack of products in the pipeline, bad PR, Todd responding to questions about the future of IA with "i have nothing to say about it", etc. This is just the latest thing.
  17. I agree with what you guys are saying but i think you're overestimating how single minded the steering committee is on every particular issue. We have plenty of discussion within that group and come to compromises. I'm trying to understand exactly where our disconnect is. Our vision is to open up the meta for the community to have plenty of options, we're not trying to push the specific lists we want people to play. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear on this earlier. If all we do is ban SC, we basically return to the HotE meta, which is fine, but we also want players to be able to experiment with other options like force users, beasts, droids, etc. instead of just hunters/smugglers. In order to accomplish that, we had to recommend some changes to hunters/smugglers.
  18. We're collecting surveys based on our initial announcement and based on the response the community feedback has been mostly positive with the direction of the project. That said, I do appreciate discenting opinions as well and they'll factor in to how we are moving forward.
  19. That was a mistake by us. Force throw should only be able to target small figures.
  20. To us, heart of the empire was the best meta the game has ever had so we are trying to balance around that. We feel that there was a big power spike after Jabba's realms and the baseline unit FFG was using for balance changed at that point. To us it seems that new baseline units include elite Jet troopers, weequays, elite Riots, Vader, Han, Rangers, IG-88, etc. We feel that no units since Jabba's realm are individually oppressive (except maybe vader), however given the similarity in command card decks since JR, we feel that there are certain command cards that are oppressive and need to be addressed. We'd rather nerf the problems directly, rather than nerfing the figures to balance around broken command card interactions. Our "vision" is to return to the HotE meta and add open up more options from there within each faction. Our vision is not to have a game where every single unit is meta-relevant. To reiterate my above point, we don't feel that every unit in the game needs to be rebalanced. It's absolutely not our plan to change everything. We dont see the value added in reducing regular stormtroopers, especially to 4. This is not in the current or future plans for this project. Our goal for the meta is 2-3 playable archetypes per faction that change every couple seasons. The goal is not for every unit in the game to be top tier. The changes we are recommending are not meant to be cascading in any way. Many figures in the game are going to remain sidelined due to being underpowered. That's the nature of the game. If we tried to address this problem we'd run into infinitely more problems, as you're alluding to. In fact we expect to roll back a lot of changes at the end of every season. As far as the RCP we recognize it's a problem, but the game has been balanced around it for so long that we feel there are no easy solutions that would not massively affect the meta.
  21. Boba Fett is a figure everyone has very strong opinions about and the steering committee tossed some ideas around but didn't feel comfortable enough pushing those out in the first wave. We want to make sure we get him exactly right. We're still tracking community conversations about fixes and we're trying to pull the best ideas from these threads. As far as the point adjustments the rationale is mostly that we wanted to focus on several archetypes that we think could bring value to the meta. Those archetypes are: rebel force users, mercenary beasts, and imperial troopers/droids. We decided that simply cost reducing one or two figures in these archetypes was not enough to make that archetype viable. We also did not want to reduce a figure to a point where it fits into every archetype. Testing should show pretty quickly if we've overstepped, and if that is the case we'll roll back some of these changes immediately. I feel that many of these changes are conservative (Kanan, HotR Luke, EBT, Rancor, etc.). After feedback i feel the imperial cost fixes might be too aggressive so those are the ones we'll be keeping the shortest leash on.
  22. The Steering committee of the continuity project has those same concerns. We help the season model for proposing and accepting changes through a community informed approach will help to address this.
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