Balance Update: Legion's Duplication Protocol

BP Game Team
Joined Mar 2013 Posts: 1,706
edited 26 Aug 2016, 2:19AM

Hello Commanders, WrongThinker here.

With this week's release, we're making a balance change to Legion's Duplication Protocol.  Balance changes aren't something we make lightly, so I thought it would be worth sharing the details of the change and the reasoning behind it.

Here are the changes:
  • Reload Time has been increased to 3 Hours at all levels.
  • Ammo has been increased from 1 to 2 at all levels.
  • Cooldown has been set to 90/75/60 Seconds, depending on the level of the Tactic.

Legion's Duplication Protocol may well be the most powerful Tactic in the game.  With the upcoming changes to PvP, we have been increasing our scrutiny on game balance and we knew something had to change to keep Duplication Protocol from being super exploitative.

While we contemplated reducing the power of the Duplicates themselves, we didn't want to actually make it less powerful, just less exploitable.  So, we started by increasing it's Reload Time to prevent endless Duplicate spamming.  However, with only a single use before needing to Reload, this duration was somewhat painful.  By increasing the Ammo Count to 2, not only can you use it twice before waiting to reload, a new strategy becomes accessible: you can actually use it twice in the same battle in relatively quick succession.

We feel these changes don't undermine the Tactic, though it will make spamming Duplicates endlessly a far less viable strategy.

Feel free to discuss below and, as always, I look forward to your feedback.



So, as I write this, there are about 6 pages of comments and about 95% of those comments are fueled by anger (to say it lightly).  While I'm disappointed the feedback isn't a little more positive, I'm thankful so many of you are being so vocal.  It certainly prevents there from being any lack of understanding on my end about how upset you all are.

Before I talk about further specifics, I'll start by saying that balancing a game is a fluid experience.  Sometimes things gets buffed, sometimes nerfed.  Neither of these changes is inherently bad if they bring the game closer to an balanced state.  So what is a "balanced state" for War Commander?  For the purposes of this post, I'll simplify it a bit: a balanced state means a variety of units are at your disposal and allow for a variety of different strategies.  If one strategy is the best strategy in most situations, it's breaking the game.

Ok, so what does "breaking the game" mean?  It means one of two things: that the entire game has to be rebalanced around that strategy OR that the strategy needs to be made less universally powerful.  Historically, for War Commander, the former strategy has been used.  This means that the game must get harder and harder to adjust for universally powerful strategies.  Not only does this completely obsolete a unit or strat you probably love, but it also leaves everyone else in the dust.  Lowers fall farther behind, multiple units are left in the dust, repair times often increase, and so forth.

It's really bad for everyone.  Every single player, even those using these exploitative strategies, has their lives made worse by it.  It's just that it's made worse so gradually you don't notice until your experience suddenly doesn't seem as good as it did a few years ago.

But now let's look at the latter case: making a strategy less universally powerful.  This is the one War Commander hasn't done very much (and, with how upset everyone is, I can see why we've shied away from it).  When we do this, it is true that some unit or strategy becomes less strong, but it also means we don't have to jack up everything else in the game to compensate, lowers aren't left farther behind, and we can design bases without always having to account for "that one strategy."

So, for Legion's Duplication Protocol, we had to make a choice.  It must be A or B.  We went with B this time.  As I said above, balance is a fluid experience.  So, if this particular change has gone to far, we'll go back in the other direction or find some other way to empower the Tactic until we get it right.  However, I can promise you that a 30-minute Reload was not right (or even close).

Even if we ignore all that stuff I said above about the way the entire game must be adjusted around exploitative strategies, being able to flat as many mid-level bases as you want for 1 Gold or 2 Gold each is not fair to all of those tens of thousands of players.  This is not a fair experience by any measure.

I don't necessarily expect everyone to agree with this particular change, even with this additional explanation, but to the skeptics: this was not done lightly and it wasn't even done to make people pay more (I fully expect the opposite effect, that people will coin this less because it is more expensive).  It was done for the reasons above.

There have been some good suggestions on this thread (I especially like MX's idea that we could actually make the Duplicates stronger in some way to compensate for the increased Reload Times) and I always believe good things come from conversation, so keep it coming.

Design Director
  • col ah
    col ah
    Potential Threat
    Joined Mar 2012 Posts: 57
    why do you ask for our input? you never listen and this is more BS to get us to coin more. fix all the glitches and problems first then worry about rebalencing
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