Hello, I'm Ryota Hogaki, gameplay director of GUNDAM EVOLUTION.
First of all, thank you very much to everyone who participated in our PC-Closed Network Test! As mentioned by Kazuya in the previous blog, we’re so grateful to have so many participants from each region – Japan, US, and Canada – as it greatly assisted in our various tests. I was a bit anxious to hear everyone’s opinion about the GUNDAM EVOLUTION because this was our very first time for players outside of Japan to test out the game. I am now very proud and relieved by the overwhelmingly positive feedback and reviews we have received.
Currently, the development team is preparing to publish a report based on the surveys and play data from the PC-CNT. I believe the unit balance is probably one of the items that attract a lot of attention. In addition to reviewing the surveys, I'm also looking into the social videos and posts. I'm very happy to see your thoughts and opinions on GUNDAM EVOLUTION.
I was originally going to share the current thoughts and ideas from our development team in the PC Network Test report, but the topic could turn out to be quite long, so I decided to write about it in this blog. Please bear with me as I want to be as thorough as possible in my descriptions.
Please be aware that the policy described is currently under development and is not guaranteed to be applied in the future.
This section covers Gundam Barbatos, which had received the most feedback and probably has the highest attention from everyone. Barbatos is a unit that has high mobility and a deadly melee attack as a weapon. Proper piloting requires understanding your attack distances for jumping in and out of a fights with opponents. Once you have an opponent within striking range (especially for opponents who don't know the right countermeasures), they can be easy to defeat. In addition, although it was only a slight difference, the unit had the highest winning percentage due to the factors peculiar to the network test when assessing all of the collected rate data. (2nd and 3rd place were Sazabi and Pale Rider with the difference of winning percentage around 0.5%.)
- "∀ Gundam" and "MARASAI(UC)" were not working as intended as the Development Team assumed their skills to function as counters. (I'll state again later in this blog.)
- Barbatos users tended to focus on playing Barbatos exclusively which seemed to create a big difference in the pilot skill from with those who were playing multiple units.
- The rate distribution was random which allowed players with high skills and people with low skills to be easily matched.
On the other hand, the winning percentage tends to be stable in the high rate band where it is possible to distinguish the precursor sounds to understand and execute the counter actions. This balance was expected by Development Team. However, I felt like risk and return for Barbatos were not balanced until rate gets stabled.
As an adjustment policy, we plan to balance the range of attack for "mace(hit)" and "sword" and adjust easy / simple actions and adding adjustments to speed of the Dash. We aim to make these adjustments while keeping the parts players loved about Barbatos as much as possible.
∀ Gundam (Turn A Gundam)
∀ Gundam is attack loadout includes a "Beam Rifle", "Tomoenage (Judo Overhead Throw)", and "Moonlight Butterfly" (a unique skill with higher difficulty in piloting). This unit was rarely used during the network test (we think) due to the difficulty in play style. In particular, "Tomoenage (Judo Overhead Throw)" was supposed to be a counter to melee attackers like Barbatos mentioned earlier, but it was not functioning well due to various reasons. Mainly, we feel there was a general lack of awareness of how the skill’s intended use in addition to problems with the implementation and performance of the skill itself.
We plan to adjust by below factors by improving piloting and usability of each skill in order for players to easily utilize skills and fulfill expected roles:
- Improve bullet speed of Beam Rifle when charged maximum.
- Improve Tomoenage (shorten the time to grab, increase movement distance, etc.)
- Improve usability of Moonlight Butterfly
Movie of Tomoenage (Judo Overhead Throw) - adjusting
MARASAI [UC] was also supposed to be counter for melee units using it’s "Sea Serpent (towing)". Since "Sea Serpent (towing)" had long lead-time until activation, it was difficult to attack fast moving machines, hence it was rarely used. However, "Sea Serpent (towing)" is also a powerful skill that has a high possibility of defeating with subsequent hits. Considering the balance with this, the strength of main weapon "Fedayeen Rifle" was set to moderate which led to lower the overall usage. The modest setting of the power of the "rifle" was also a factor in lowering the overall rating.
First, we aim to make it easier to play the original role by adjusting the front end gap of the "Sea Serpent (towing)" skill. Additionally, I'm considering adjusting the performance of the main weapon if necessary while observing the result of the previous skill adjustment.
Movie of Sea Serpent (towing) - adjusting
GM SNIPER II
GM SNIPER II is a unit that has an ability to defeat a unit with single shot from long distance. Due to this, it has often been the object of discussion where the influence of one shot tends to be big. First of all, I don't intend to change the concept of GM SNIPER II which can defeat most of unit with a single shot by critical hit. This is by design and expected by Development Team.
However, hit scan (immediate shooting) weapon's critical hit rate was higher than we thought throughout this test. Similarly, it was very easy for GM SNIPER II to deal critical hits.
Since we want to make the rate of critical hits proportional to the players' skill, we are planning to adjust the collision to judge the critical hits. If there is still a problem after making this adjustment, we will consider changing the size of the bullet for judgement. Ultimately, I would like to measure and assess this detail very carefully.
That is all for the adjustments that I can tell you at this point. As you can see, unit balancing is a delicate process where one adjustment can have a knock-on effect to other elements.
I'm also considering adjustments for units that I did not mention in this blog. Keep in mind though that in the next console network test, these adjustments will not be included and it will be a test in the same environment as the PC test. Please note that the purpose is to collect information and opinions from two tests that are played in the same environment.
We are currently preparing for the console network test, so to all of you who had chance to play network test and those who did not have chance to play, we look forward to your participation and feedback in the upcoming events! Follow us on Twitter @GUNDAMEVOLUTION to be the first to know when the registration opens up and how to apply.
That's all for this Developer Blog. The Development Team and I are working hard to provide you with the best game possible, so I hope you continue to support us!
Looking forward to seeing you again in the next Developers Blog!
Hogaki, "GUNDAM EVOLUTION" Battle Director
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