This is another long post, if you want the TLDR; skim the section headers.
thanks for being so engaged with the community. It’s a big job and I understand that you don’t have time to weigh in on every topic. I also understand that you’re not always able to give specifics. However, without having more information about the goals and direction surrounding the changes to the game, most feedback feels like it’s falling on deaf ears.
Tell us the high level level goals around changing PvP
Without knowing the high level goals behind the changes, it’s hard to provide the right feedback. Why was PvP changed in the first place? What metrics are you looking at to determine if your changes are successful? When will you consider PvP fixed? Are any aspects of the PvP changes set in stone?
If we don’t know the goals and what’s on and off the table, we’ll provide feedback that runs counter to those goals. All that feedback feels ignored, which is never a good feeling.
You’ve lost my trust
Despite all the feedback, despite all the appeals to patience that you’re working on it and things will get better, PvP specifically and the game in general are getting worse. Preseason 3 is widely considered the worst so far which is not a good sign.
One great way to regain trust is to provide more transparency and information and follow through and deliver what you promise.
Tell us the goals and metrics around balance and meta diversity
Balance is one area where I think a lot of data would be useful. I understand there’s a lot of proprietary data that you don’t want to reveal, but I think there’s a lot of general data, especially trying to quantify balance that would help this discussion.
Is there a certain win/loss threshold for offense/defense that you would consider balanced? What percentage of heroes see regular play? How do numbers vary across the different leagues and player levels?
Sadly balance is another area where you’ve completely lost my trust. You nerf Zen/Kozar (I’m in the camp of believing it was needed and wonder why it took so long), but in the same breath you release Koros, who is at least as unbalanced if not more so. Either the balance team is incompetent and had no idea Koros was as strong as he is, or it was in intentional money grab as players scramble to get the new OP hero after you devalued their previous investment.
Runes, the elephant in the room
Runes cause a lot of balance problems, is changing them on the table?
Would Koros be balanced without runes? He’s certainly not balanced with 3 red and 2 green slots, allowing him to stack attack.
In PvP, runes give key heroes the ability to 1shot entire defenses or key defenders. As long as that’s possible I think it will make balance difficult to achieve. Even without runes, some natural counters like pwn undead on MK and demon hunter on Astrid are probably too strong.
Test your game, and I don’t mean on the players
This is another area where you’ve lost my trust. Old bugs don’t get fixed, new bugs get introduced, old bugs that were once fixed get re-introduced. I’ve seen it over and over. The reptile changes are a great example. Drop Dead Gorgon not starting powered, despite being called out in the changes, is just amateur hour.
At this point I feel like I’m playing in a beta test. Maybe I always have been.
Make the game fun
To me, the overriding direction of the changes seems to be milk as much money out of the player base as possible. I’d rather the overriding goal was to make the game fun. I think if you did that, revenue would follow.
As you discuss changes internally, see if they pass the fun test. Instead of asking for general feedback from players, ask players if they are having fun with specific changes.
Is having all players PvP in one bracket fun? Not to me it isn’t. I doubt that it’s fun for anyone under 70 (and I’m 69). Level differences provide an advantage and unfair systems are inherently un-fun for the player with the disadvantage.
Is making the season pay to win fun? Not to me it isn’t. I’m not sure it’s fun for the top players either.
I’m not having fun
I’ve been chatting a lot with my guild about the direction of the game and the question came up as to when the game quit being fun. For me it coincides with the release of runes and epics. All the endgame content is a grind. I’ve barely touched boss mode other than the islands for epics, it just feels pointless. PvP was where I always had the most fun, and now you’ve killed that for me.
Another place where the game became less fun is the tower. Once I maxed Yorick, seeing the aether conversion felt like a slap in the face. The tower immediately lost appeal based on the new payout. It also coincided with me getting decent runes on my roster. The tower used to be a challenge that I had to plan out to complete. Things would often go wrong and I’d have to adapt. With runes, it’s EZ mode and now it’s just a chore I do each day for gems.
For me the static content in this game is boring. It gets solved by the community quickly and the power of runes accelerates that. The dynamic content of the tower and PvP has now been made challenge free with the right runes and heroes.
So why am I still playing?
Right now I’m still playing because of the community. I like my guild and I like hanging out in some of the DB chats on Line. I like it when the community comes together, like we did with the first pvp bounty quests where lots of players cooperated in setting rare heroes on defense.
I also remember the challenge and fun I used to have and still hold out some hope that you’ll send the game back in that direction. But I won’t stick around forever. I need to have some confidence that the game is actually headed in that direction and right now I don’t have that confidence. Providing more insight into the goals for changes and data that supports that direction would go a long ways towards starting to restore that trust and confidence.