There’s a been a bit of discussion recently with regards to the new feature “Overtime” that was added in 2.00. We understand the change came a bit abruptly, so we wanted to take a moment to speak a bit regarding the problems we noticed around Fight It Out. To do so, we’ll go over the goals we had in mind when designing for how to resolve drawn-out battles, and how we envisioned Overtime satisfying those goals.
What Wasn’t Working With FIO
One of the main issues we noticed early on with Fight It Out was that it took control away from the player at a very important time during a match, which led to the end of matches feeling like an uninteresting movie that was being watched rather than a tense, action-packed finale that you held an active part in. This also resulted in the creation of unintended strategy where players would hold their units and wait until the last moment to play them. While we understand that there are players who viewed Fight It Out favorably, our analysis of the system showed it was a contributing factor to players quitting the game. Players who ran into Fight It Out 30-40% of their games were actually three times as likely to quit the game compared to those who ran into it 10-20% of the time. This is an indicator that something about the system was pushing players away from the game.
Design Goals for End-of-Battle
With the above in mind, we had a number of design goals to achieve when creating a successor to FIO:
- Bring control over the game back to the player during this end-of-match scenario.
- Minimize the amount of time that a player would be out of cards to play.
- Maintain similar match times.
- Make win conditions clear and apparent.
Crafting Overtime How Overtime Addresses These Goals
With Overtime, we aimed to bring control back to players in hopes of bringing more tense and dynamic moments. Timed card draw and limited deck is two of our core design pillars. This means that the game should draw to an end as players run out of cards. Fight It Out often resulted in players running out of cards and actions, so we extended the time period where cards continue to be drawn in Overtime to help alleviate this. We also wanted to ensure players have time to mount a comeback without causing games to extend further out than they do now (approximately 2-3 minutes). By starting Overtime earlier than FIO and introducing gradual base damage, we aimed to be able to meet both of these criteria.
Where We Aim to Continue Improving
We’ve been paying close attention to the feedback around Overtime potentially impacting the game negatively, and are committed to adjusting the end-of-match experience to feel balanced, while sticking to our core design principles outlined in the Design Goals section above. Analysis is frequently run to see what deck archetypes are successful, it is a common check to make sure that there aren’t any emergent strategies that are clearly dominating all other strategies. That being said, we’ll continue to introduce balance tweaks to Overtime with the aim of keeping early, mid, and late game decks viable. In the more immediate future, we’ll be making optimizations to the amount of damage done to the base and the start time for Overtime. More details on this will be included in the patch notes for the next update.
Thanks for your time, everyone! Let us know in the discussion below your thoughts! As always, we appreciate all of your feedback and continued support!