12/11/2012

CORE/EVE and the state of balance

Hi all,

In an effort to keep you, our dedicated players up to date with what we have brewing here at Antic, I have decided to give you the low down on our current thoughts of the card balance.
Overall, we are very pleased with how Rise turned out. With the tireless efforts of the Beta team and internal team here we have come up with what we feel is our best set to date! We designed it (and tested) with both constructed, sealed and draft play styles in mind. We did plenty mock sealed tournaments and found it to be a great amount of fun! The constructed tests involved testing both within the Set itself, as well as integrated into existing popular meta decks. Through both tests we found it (and tweaked towards of course) to work nicely together.

That said, unfortunately CORE and EVE did not receive the same thoroughness to testing and design simply due to time and resource constraints. Our next focus of attack is to use the same balance efforts and look at CORE/EVE and address any of the underwhelming, overpowered or straight up missing cards. On that last note, some of you may have noticed there were a few issues with the number of cards in core in specific categories, namely Ancient and Unaligned. For those interested, enjoy a little bit of Kingdoms design back story: When we first were designing Kingdoms we actually only had 5 kingdoms in mind. Light, Dark, Mystical, Elemental and Alchemy. I had in mind a subset of cards that were going to be uber powerful 'bomb' cards. Eldrazi'esque so to speak (for those familiar with MTG). Through playtesting, design iteration and further balancing we arrived at the idea of having the 6 Kingdoms, each with their opposing factions and alliances (which we love btw), but due to this rather last minute shift we had to sacrifice some of the Unaligned cards to fill some of the Ancient card gaps. We never were able to get it up to the same card level as the other Kingdoms and it's been bugging me for a while. Fast forward to now. Now that we have proper resources and an excellent beta testing team, our focus is to get CORE (and EVE) to the same level of satisfaction that we have out of Rise.

We understand you the players do not like change, especially drastic changes and we are going to keep them as minimal as possible. That said, we are looking at the long term quality of the game and feel that improving and 'perfecting' CORE and EVE, the first two sets, are integral to this. While we are testing in large batches on beta, we currently plan to roll out these tweaks in stages to the live community so there isn't a huge disruption in the meta. For those worrying concerned about purchasing, or recently purchasing in the single shop the same trade in rule will apply here. If the card was affected in a negative way, it will be trade-in applicable.
When we are scrutinizing cards we look at a series of things including: use rates, use rates in top decks, purchase rates and general 'fun factors'. We will be doing our best to bring those under whelming cards up to an enjoyable level, and toning down any over powered cards to an appropriate level as well as adding about 15 (currently planned) new cards to CORE.
Lastly we want to hear your thoughts (without too much specifics at this point) regarding the sets and their enjoyability.

Thanks all!
Jeff

PS: To join the discussion visit our forums here: http://wiki.kingdomsccg.com/?q=node/1982

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