This communication thing is working pretty well, in my opinion! So, in the spirit of that, I wanted to focus this month’s letter on what we’re planning, and why we are doing so.
As we move forward we are dedicated to ensuring everyone knows what we are working on and the reasoning behind it. IC_Hexx, with some help from IC_PlayByGray, has already begun providing visibility into the Champion balance process and how you can weigh in on what we are trying to do. I couldn’t be happier with the results, as your posts and feedback have caused some… spirited… discussions within the design team.
We have learned a tremendous amount since starting our beta and we would not have gotten here without all of you. Let me take a moment and extend a big thank you from the entire team! For those who managed to meet us at PAX, or posted on our forums or social media, or filed a bug, you have helped us keep making this the best game we can. We really appreciate the time, effort and passion you’ve shown. Keep it up, as it helps us make the game stronger as a whole.
For a long time our focus has been on building out a minimum set of features needed for a MOBA to be playable at a high level. This included competitive maps, a good selection of champions for each role, balance and variety within the artifact foundry, plus a functioning front end to set it all behind. Right now I feel like we’re pretty much there. Of course, balancing is never over, and we’ll always continue to work on latency, feel and bug-squashing, but we feel like there’s something very important that it’s become time to address.
We are turning our focus this summer to the new player experience in addition to game balance. We love MOBAs and we feel that with Infinite Crisis we can create a truly unique experience that will enable more people to get more enjoyment out of the game. A lot of gamers come to Infinite Crisis looking to have a great time with characters they know and love, but have never really played a MOBA. We want to help everyone understand how to play our game effectively so that they can have as much fun with it as we do. To accomplish this, we really need to make those first few crucial hours more fun and understandable.
Part of that process is improving the basic tutorial concept. Part of it is improving the way the game speaks to players as they play. Another part of it is focused on improving the look and functionality of the game UI. This work is already well underway – in fact some of you may have already seen some surveys over the past few weeks seeking input on our designs. Our goal is to roll out this new experience as part of our next major update scheduled for September.
I know what you’re thinking. “That sounds like a ton of work, Mr. Creative Director Person.” And, you are very right. In fact, so right that we have to make some temporary changes to our update schedule to get it all done and tested. This is what the schedule change means for our live game, and what you can expect as a result:
- We will be holding back new Champions until the September Update – We’re still building Champions behind the scenes, and will resume their normal release schedule starting in September.
- Balance patches will be released as we iterate on design improvements – You can expect these updates about once a month. We will continue to focus on the iterative cycle that is the foundation of good balance. Technical patches will be released with balance updates to make the game more stable and less prone to crashes. Crashes lead to more AFK’s, and that quite frankly, sucks – so we’ll continue to push out fixes.
- Credit- err, Bug Stomping – We will continue to fix bugs that you file, and that we find on our own.
- Expect an even larger presence on the Forums – We’re working on a lot of stuff, and much of it is based on what we’ve seen you all doing and saying. As a result, you can expect even more posts from developers asking and answering questions!
Moving forward, you can expect more information on exactly what is coming in the September Update, and there is a LOT of stuff to talk about! We want to keep hearing from you as well. Tune into our streams to ask questions, post your feedback on the forums and keep up the great work helping to make Infinite Crisis better with every update.
Thanks for reading this far!
Cardell “Annuvin” Kerr