Atomic Blog

semi-coherent ramblings from the developers of Atomic Brawl

State of the Game - November 27th

You may of noticed the absence of the State of the Game last week. We’ve decided to move to a guaranteed State of the Game every two weeks. This will allow us to devote more time to development while still keeping everyone in the loop.

This week we cover the most recent patch, along with what didn’t make it into the patch.

The Balance Patch

We launched the big balance patch last Sunday. For the most part, we feel we made a lot of good strides with this. The amount of feedback (both positive and negative) has been shocking! It’s great that people are so passionate about the game!

Balancing is a pretty tough process, and things that we thought worked well in our heads and in testing don’t always pan out in play. So bear with us, and we’ll keep on tweaking until we get things right. But keep in mind, some changes might seem big in the beginning, but once you settle in and adapt to them, then can be better in the long run.

As always, any and all feedback is more than welcome, so keep it coming!

Deck Sizes

We originally planned to include some changes to deck size in this release. However – there are some complications so we decided to get the balance patch out first, then deal with this.

The intent of this change is to encourage more variety in decks, which should lead to a more interesting and diverse game.

Currently, we have a minimum deck size of 40 cards, with no more than 4 copies of a single card. We are considering moving to a 50 card minimum with a maxmium of 3 cards of any one card.

That ratio is also much closer to those in other collectible card games than what we have now. Magic has a 60 card deck minimum, with max 4 per card, so a ratio of 1:15. HearthStone has 30 cards decks with a 2 per card maximum, so a ratio of 1:15 as will. We currently have a 1:10 ratio, which, when combined with the lack of resources in your deck as in Magic, results in much more predictable plays where you generally get similar cards every game. Moving to a 50 card minimum and max 3 per card would put the ratio at 1:16.6, so a touch higher than Magic, but also lower variance due to the slightly smaller deck size, and a bit less predictable than HearthStone (which, in my humble opinion, is too predictable).

There are quite a few reasons for doing this, the obvious being it forces people to be more creative in their deck building and helps ensure that decks have more variety, which should result in a more interesting – and strategic – game.

First-player advantage

Another thing we’re mulling over is making a change to the advantages/disadvantages to going first or second in the game. The current win ratesfor the starting player at high levels of play (Hitmen and Emperor leagues) are:

  • Lasting 3-10 turns: 68%
  • Lasting 11-20 turns: 59%
  • Lasting 21-30 turns: 60%
  • Lasting 31-40 turns: 56%
  • Lasting 41+ turns: 51%

So, there’s definitely a first-mover advantage. Currently the only penalty of going first is the lack of a turn 1 draw, but that’s not enough, as a 5-card hand is already quite large.

Some ideas we’re tossing around:

  • Have player #2 get the first energy increase advantage instead of player #1. We’d either start player #1 off at 15 energy, and player #2 at 20 energy, or start player #1 at 20 energy like now and start player #2 at 25.
  • Start players at same energy, but give player #2 a bonus card in their hand redeemable for a 1-turn energy boost (+5 energy, likely), or perhaps it’s usuable 2-3 times on different turns. If you’ve tried HearthStone, this will be familiar.
  • Lower starting hand size from 5 cards to 4 cards, reducing the options on turn 1 a little bit. Hand sizes also get quite large, so this could be an interesting idea regardless.

That’s all for this week!