5/13 Demo Update

With all the community feedback we got on the previous demo build, we were able to identify a number of areas for improvements, and we’ve updated our demo build. You’ll need to download the newest version if you want to keep playing (previous versions won’t connect anymore).

Balance Changes

While we haven’t implemented everything, we’ve done a lot of bug fixes and usability improvements. You can find the comprehensive patch notes on the forums, but I wanted to cover the how’s and why’s of the balance changes we made here.

We’ve adjusted some cards in the Chaos and Tech decks to improve the feel (still too early to do detailed balance work). In the Tech deck, Arms Dealer now gives +1/+0 instead of +1/+1. In a full environment, he might be a fine card at +1/+1; in this limited environment, he’s a little overwhelming. Chaaaaaarge! and MegaBot in the Chaos deck both have reduced costs, along with slightly reduced effects. Both were too expensive for Chaos, and that was making it a little too clunky. We’ll continue to watch the meta, listen to your feedback, and adjust accordingly as we expand our card pool so that you can continue to have fun while playing the demo.

Some of the most important things are those that we haven’t changed or updated. The combat system is a hit – it’s definitely what we want, so that’s a huge win, and now we can shift focus to polish and improvements. The overall feel of the game is right where we want it too, so that’s great!

Playtest this Saturday

To test these changes and get an overall feel for what you think of the game with the new combat system, we’re holding an organized playtest this Saturday on our TS3 server. Nova Blitz staff will be in the channel answering questions and listening to your feedback. And lots of other fans will be online, so it’ll be easy to find matches!

From our perspective, this is a very worthwhile use of our time for a few different reasons: we can get people involved who might not have time to write feedback otherwise, it’s better for hitting critical mass numbers for good matchmaking, it’s a lot easier to get a natural dialogue going, and we can build up the community, all at the same time.

In terms of critical mass, one of our goals for this playtest is stressing the server. We’ll be monitoring how it handles multiple games at the same time and seeing how it responds. Based on that, we’ll be able to make adjustments that will get us closer to Alpha.

The dialogue we want is also something that happens very naturally in a live playtest. When you get a bunch of people together who all have a shared passion, but different experience levels and opinions, it generates a very lively discussion that we can make decisions from. There’s no reason for us to guess (blindly) what our players want from our game when we can ask them directly.

Can’t Make the Playtest?

If you can’t make the playtest or join us on TS3 this Saturday, check out the demo, and post your feedback on the forums. The most important thing we’re looking for is your thoughts, since we’re confident that Nova Blitz will only get better with your involvement.

We’re looking forward to more great feedback on Saturday and beyond!

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