Well, its a little while since I posted in here. Mainly due to work and illness but there you go that's life for you. Insert cough here.
Last weekend I completed a base initial draft of the starter deck for the fourth race in the future Intryon initial release, the Morta. Designed to play a little differently to the other 3 races, as you would expect, today after some modifications we have played our second internal test game with them. The first game was done recently between the Morta and the Eresat. The Eresat squashed the Morta like the bugs they are - the Morta needed some stat tweaks in order to make them focused more on their objectives and game play style and still be effective.
We made those tweaks and decided to face them up against the Valerians today....it was an utter trouncing. The Morta squashed the Valerians. The Valerians were incredibly unlucky in their draw - they only drew low end ships and had a pile of technology cards that in the end didn't pay off as well as you would have thought. And the Morta drew pretty much every single perfect card they needed in every situation. Some balance changes did get noticed though and we plan to make those asap. Hopefully we can get another test game in before the day is out.
Once the Morta deck is tested to a point where we think it can be beaten and also beat the other 3 decks then we will push it out to the main testing branch version for you guys to try out and provide feedback on.
On thing i will say though. The Morta certainly have their own way of playing and its an interesting change of pace. Look forward to you guys getting to see them in action!
With closed alpha testing beginning, it's pretty much a matter of cracking the whip to make sure we have art of some kind on all the cards currently in the testing, so I'm now working on the Mirali artwork! Included is the final sketch of one of the Mirali ships, I'd appreciate any feedback on what you guys think of the style. Hopefully the rest of the art will be finished in time for me to get started on the Morta art.
I'd like to extend my gratitude to you guys for your support and interest in the game!
Today we played two more games of Intryon (Valerians vs Mirali). Both games were won by the Mirali. We identified a couple of problem areas where things didn't work as we anticipated and they are now fixed. For instance, Paul managed to play three very cheap shield buffs on the same card by abusing a bad card wording and it turned out to be really overpowered For future games we've reworded the card slightly and made a minor amendment to the game rules to fix it.
Overall the balance and rule changes made last week seem to have improved the Mirali's position, at least versus the Valerians, who they were previously struggling against. I'm interested to see how they hold up against the Eresat now, and we will get a glimpse of that soon™
As part of the rules adjustments, we elected not to keep the 'Investment' keyword in the alpha, because it was causing unnecessary extra confusion. As a result, the Marcopa mining complex card has been modified slightly to try and retain balance (it now brings 1 resource instead of requiring an investment to bring 2; it now also has 1 shield point). Compared to the resource-bonus cards offered by the Eresat and Mirali decks the Marcopa was falling behind slightly so hopefully this will improve the situation a little.
In the world of art, Trevor has been super helpful this week - half of the Eresat ships now have concept sketches! YAY! We also spent some time trawling through fonts trying to find one for the cards that we liked and that was free for commercial use. I think we're pretty happy with our choice.
Here's one of the newly sketched Eresat cards with the updated font:
Things are starting to come along now and I'm really happy with the results
Hopefully we will be transitioning to using Spellmaster II for playing games of Intryon soon. When that happens all of the people who were signed up for the Intryon alpha test and who bothered to stick around will have full access to the (extremely early) version of the game and will be able to play and contribute to the testing process. It's super exciting that we're going to get to that stage at last! Please stay tuned for imminent updates.
Also, don't forget to sign up for the alpha test in the forum if you want to take part but haven't already done so. I need as many people on board as possible during the initial phase of gameplay tests.
There have been some extra play tests of the early stages of the Mirali deck and a few things have come to light about the design. Such that we have actually had to redesign certain concepts, hopefully for the better. At the moment, playtesting has been done against the Valerians only. We decided that we needed to make sure it was balanced versus one deck at a time. Once the deck begins to be competitive against the Valerians we will see how it compares to the Eresat deck.
From our experienced, as they stood, the Mirali were under-gunned. They just didn't have the fire-power to take down big threats. As such most of the midrange ships have been buffed to a reasonable degree. We've also tweaked some of the non-ship cards to add a bit more responsiveness to the deck.
The 'Multishot X' ability that was recently added for the Mirali race was definitely a success. It had some rather interesting combos with other cards and was rather effective when used well, so I'm happy with that one. The fact that fighters on ships with 'Multishot X' get to attack X times is mostly negated by the fact they tend to die on the first attack anyway (when taking on enemy ships that is).
On the other hand, the ability that we originally intended to be the signature ability for the Mirali, 'Self Repair', frankly was completely ineffective. Either the ships died to quickly to use it, or had no shields left when the lost their hull afterwards (as you have to punch through shields to damage hull) or left themselves wide open to destruction by using it. And the ability was best used when you have other ships in defence to hold the enemy fleet off, but would be most useful when you're ont he ropes and need to hold on longer. Completely counter-intuitive. So, we decided to re-design it.
Now, instead of requiring you to choose to spend 2 shields, as many times as you liked to regain 1 hull per shield, 'Self Repair'is passive. At the start of your turn, each ship with self repair you have in play gains 1 hull, assuming they have less than their base maximum, plus modifiers e.t.c. That way if a ship survives the initial onslaught against it (a good reason to try and buff shields using protector) then it's even less dead in your next turn. If it becomes ineffective still, it may be prudent to turn it into an 'X' ability which you can define a ship to regain 2 maybe 3 hull per turn. However for now, we will see how it plays out just as a single hull regen,
Lastly, Mineral field cards have been made cheaper, meaning you don't have to compromise as much your ship placement to play them (a big problem that was occurring during play testing).
I would definitely say though I am happy with many of the core concepts. Some of the high end ships, when not disabled by what has quickly become the renowned Fused Command combo (to learn more about this, maybe you should watch more games when they're streamed! hmm? Also, grrrr darn you TinyTimRob!) are actually pretty nasty and at full potency could potentially be the most powerful ships in the game. So we're leaving them as they are. Nuff said.
The next step is to see how the changes affect their competitive play. Hopefully they'll do a bit better!