Hey there guys, hope you all are doing well.
Before I get started, I do want to clarify that this isn’t meant as a personal affront against any person or group, but meant as an honest look at things. With this in mind, let’s please keep the discussion civil and polite. In effect, I wanted to make a post combining all the big changes and concerns that have been swamping HH for a while.
It’s pretty clear that the last two updates have caused quite an tumultuous stir in the community. Many people are not happy with the way things have changed, and some have joined the forums specifically to complain about the changes (which ain’t good). Several other game veterans have already stated it much better than I can, so this post is designed to put the most foundational issues that have plagued the game/forums all into one location.
(If I missed anything or if there’s a major area I didn’t cover, please let me know, thanks everyone.)
This has definitely been a major topic of the game for a while now, but since it has it’s own post I’ll try to keep it brief. This is what I’ve heard from players regarding Gauntlet gameplay:
- It no longer serves to be a challenge for high level players. Many high players refer to it as a chore. Yes, it is challenging for the new guy, but for people who are veterans, it an everyday task which requires no strategy or piloting. This lack of enthusiasm for a key game component can be parasitic to players’ gameplay enjoyment
- As of now, there’s no quick win feature, which means it must be done manually. This contributes to the “chore” mentality of the mode.
- It hasn’t changed since the game’s release, while other game-modes have. Because it hasn’t changed it has become very ordinary and unsurprising.
In a nutshell, Gauntlet needs an overhaul regarding how challenging/surprising it is for players, making it an issue of content here. (I do know a fix is coming, so that’s good. We really would like to see that in the April update.)
II. CONVERSION PURCHASES –>
I’ll be honest, this is bad. Initially, a flat rate for gold --> item conversions sounded like a good idea. However, when the actual change was made, it’s caused a major problem for lots of players, especially f2p players, (I’m a VIP3 btw):
- While the implementation of the flat conversion rate was a good idea, drastically raising the initial purchase price isn’t. For players to receive a better value now, multiple purchases must be made at once, many times up to 5-6 times.
Some might say that a player can save up a bunch of gold and spend it in groups, but the problem is that f2p players can’t make more than 2 purchases at a time. This means that it’s a worse deal for f2p players regardless of what they do. Likewise, it only offers an advantage to players with the ability to accrue large amounts of gold quickly (i.e. with real $). In short, f2p are screwed over.
BEFORE --> 10+20+20+40 = 4 cash purchases for 90 gold
NOW --> 25+25+25+25 = 4 cash purchases for 100 gold (Lower value)
The player Sing put it very well in a highly liked comment, concluding it by saying that the recent updates are evidence of the “transition into the Pay-to-Win model.” One of the worst things in any game is when it’s advertised as Free to Play, but it realistically is Pay to Win. It does a disservice to the players, and ends up being more of a frustration than an enjoyment.
- A large majority of players only use 1-2 purchases. Any experienced player will know that dumping large amounts of gold into stamina, skill points, and cash is not cost-effective (albeit it’s still an option). Therefore a very large majority of veterans only buy in small portions, to budget their gold.
To illustrate, if I wanted to buy a cake for $10, I wouldn’t be getting a better value if I had to buy 5 cakes for $50, simply because I don’t want more cakes. I might want to buy some ice-cream, cookies, and doughnuts. If I’m smart, I don’t even need to buy that stuff anyway, cause I can live without all those sweets.
So in short, I believe this to be a very imprudent and inconsiderate decision on HHG’s part. If a majority of players are less inclined to use a feature because it simply cost too much, then it’s a bad feature. In order for the conversion costs to be rational and balanced with the flat rate, it should be:
15 gold --> cash
45 gold --> stamina refill
15 gold --> skill points
To be quite blunt:
III. NEW HERO FRAGMENTS + HERO ACQUISITION
I’ve heard both sides on this topic. Some people say it’s a good change, other people say it isn’t, so I’ll try to list the issues as fairly as I can.
- Yes, frags for other heroes has a cost in theory, however, it won’t do much if that other hero is already at 5-9 stars. It’s just not a very fun reward at all, and it will probably not make a dent in their frag amount. (Edit: I discovered that the random co-op frags rewarded can be ANY hero, not just a hero from the featured faction. This further reduces the actual value, and makes upgrading faction heroes very challenging.)
- To obtain the new hero in time for the first bounty without buying it itself is very hard to do (stressful), if not impossible. It means that f2p people who want to actually be competitive will have a disadvantage going into the first bounty, considering that they have to use the new hero to get enough points. By a logical deduction, the way to actually win is to buy the hero, which is a p2w model, and that is something that will drive away players.
- The bundle deal is a cool idea, but is poorly-planned and economically unsound. With Jarek, players had the option to buy him alone for 2k gold, and that’s it. However with Yaeger now, if a player wants to buy him, they will have to spend an additional 1.6k gold for the bundle as well as the hero (combined to a crazy 2.6k gold)
As a player, I don’t always want to spend tons of money for a bundle, especially if all I want is the hero. Maybe I already have a lot of stuff saved up specifically for the new hero. The bundle assumes I want to have the extra stuff, when I might not.
I will, however, consider buying the hero if the bundle is separated as a different deal. It gives the buyer more flexibility and comfort in choosing what they specifically want.
For example, if I wanted to get a cheeseburger at a restaurant just by itself, I wouldn’t buy it if I was forced to get an added side of fries and a drink for 40% more.
There are multiple defenses for both sides, but the conflict sadly speaks to a rift between game-approaches (f2p and p2p). However, this decision inherently shifts the scale towards those who pay money, by default, making it more p2w. No, a hero doesn’t need to be free to obtain in 2 weeks. However, having one single option to obtain that hero feels a bit suffocating, and isn’t very fun.
IV. HERO DEVELOPMENT & DESIGN
Few players may have an issue with this, and that’s okay. As a guy with an eye for details, however, this is something that is worth being addressed.
- With the increasing price of new characters every month, every hero should be well designed. One lacking area is in the voice lines. At the beginning of a wave, the use of a skill, a hero death, or after revival, a hero will respond to it. Some heroes such as Bolt, Dogface, Ryker, Butter, and Cross have unique voices that they only have, which is something that really adds to the aesthetic of the game. However, many heroes (with a large majority of new ones), have been given “generic” voices from other characters. For example, Cinder, Callidus, Flatline, Kobold, Min, Oracle, and Bucket all have the same voice. The same can be said for several of the male heroes.
I do realize that there are many heroes (nearly 70), and that HHG is a small company with a limited budget. However, IF a new hero is going to cost $30-$40 in real money, it MUST have it’s own unique voice. For it not to is cheaply cutting corners. Finding a suitable voice actor would not be challenging at all, and is something that could easily be solved. People such as Poobgloob have offered such support to ideas like this.
V. DEVELOPER COMMUNICATION / INTERACTION
This is big. It’s probably one of the most fundamental things the community has noticed since the early beta days. As the game has developed, there have been an increasing lack of communication between the devs and the players. It hasn’t been non-existent, obviously, and there are still conversations that happen (Muninn spoke very well to this recently).
- I mentioned this in that chat, but perhaps it’s communication / developer interaction that the community really misses. It’s such an encouragement when a dev takes the time to respond to a fanficton, or give a balanced, “safe” answer to feedback ideas. Even to pop in and say hi. Many of us are invested in the game, which means we’re invested in you guys, and your thoughts about HH. Personally, that’s what I really wish to see, even more than the monthly updates.
- In my personal opinion, having fewer updates with more interactions would be better than having more updates with fewer interactions. It ensures the trust between the community and the developers is strong. If that trust is broken, then the heart of the game and community is gutted.
- I personally love writing fan stories for this game, and appreciate all the player support I’ve received so far. Unfortunately, it can be disappointing if there isn’t much support/response from the developers, as I don’t even know what they think of it.
Not every single post needs to have a detailed response, obviously, and yes there are legal/practical restraints. What many of us simply hope for is a like or a short friendly comment on stand-out fan creations (whether they are hero ideas, fan fictions, or in skin ideas).
Believe me, as a fan content creator, it goes a long way.
- There were also “Dev-astations”, matches with developers from what I hear, things I haven’t seen since I joined. Those would be great to still have.
In a nutshell, there must be some reliable structure for community/developer interaction, in the forums, but also in the discord when applicable. If sincerity/friendly interactions are lost, then the real enjoyment from the game is, in my opinion, sucked dry, along with the fun months/years we had with the game.
It has taken me a LONG time to get this down, so I hope I explained these points well. Many players have been leaving because of these reasons, old veterans too, and I really don’t want more people to become soured to the game too. I also echo what Sing said as well:
Again, I do want the discussion to be polite, so hopefully I wasn’t too subjective in the overview. And I do know the developers are addressing some of these issues.
Please let me know what you’re thoughts on this is, and what is your biggest concern:
- Gauntlet revamp
- Conversion purchase adjustments
- The new system for new hero fragments
- Unique voices for heroes
- More developer communication and interaction
- I couldn’t pick just one.
- None of these topics are issues for me.
With kind regards,