Hi everyone –
We wanted to have an open conversation with you all regarding the recent change to Galactic War. We made the change to bring the feature back into alignment with its original design vision.
Clearly this one change has driven a ton of forum activity. While many folks have said they like the change to Retreat, many others are quite unhappy about it.
So, let’s talk about it.
First, here’s how Retreat used to work:
That was never the design intent of this feature.
- Previously, you could start a GW Battle and then Retreat as soon as the AI team had taken at least one action. When doing this, a few things were retained and a few things weren’t.
- Things that were retained:
- Character death
- Health loss
- Special Ability cool downs
- Things that were not retained:
- Turn meters
- Buffs, debuffs, and status effects (like stun)
- The net result is you could go in and out of battles and take advantage of the things that are not retained. For example: if the AI party had built up buffs for them or if your team had debuffs / dots / status effects / etc., by using Retreat you could wipe out that part of the game. Couple this with the turn meters being reset, and the player could use the menu system to greatly impact the outcome of the battle.
The goals of the Galactic War feature were to:
- Provide a real challenge to players. In other words: it’s meant to be hard!
- Provide a place in the game where your entire collection can be brought to bear. Potentially every character can help you succeed (more on this below).
- Provide a “war of attrition” where health is persisted as you progressed in battles, not as you danced in and out of a given battle as was previously happening.
- And this will have more impact as the meta continues to expand,) provide a place where there’s an ever-evolving set of challenges in terms of which characters / parties / builds can be most effective.
In pursuit of bringing the feature back in line with the original intent, here’s what we changed:
- Now, as long as you press Retreat before the battle ends, you exit the battle and everything is reset as if you hadn’t started the battle. It’s an instant rewind.
- This allows you to try different party compositions to unlock the victory. As a result, progression happens at the “Battle level” and not at the “turn level” as before.
A common concern expressed is that this removes strategy. What is or isn’t strategic is a surprisingly subjective thing, so I don’t want to belabor this point. However, the strategic elements are now focused where they were meant to be:
- What decisions have you made in terms of how you build out and upgrade your overall collection. In other words, beyond your “A Team” how strong is your bench?
- When approaching a battle, how can you use your collection as a whole to overcome the challenge? Here is something we haven’t seen anyone mention (apologies if we’ve missed it…): there is still very much a use for the lower power “pawns” in your collection. If you want to absorb the special attacks from a given opponent party, you can send in one or more lower power characters. They’ll likely take one for the team (e.g., die), but then you can bring in your stronger characters to mop up.
- How can you dismantle a given opponent party while minimizing loss of characters, minimizing lost health, reserving your special attacks until they’re absolutely needed, and micro-managing the cool-downs of all of your characters?
- When facing a certain kind of party (stun lock, crit damage, Jedi party, healers, revive, etc., etc., etc.) what elements of your own collection can you best bring to defeat that challenge?
And there’s more, but those are the main ones.
A few more things to mention:
- Random number seed – A random number seed is a common programming practice where one number is generated randomly, and then used for a bunch of subsequent calculations. We know there have been active discussions around the random number seed being saved at the start of a battle for a given squad that you bring in. The result of this approach is if you repeat the exact same actions you will get the exact same results. Some folks have interpreted that as meaning there is no randomness in the battle. It’s an important distinction to make between the randomness set at the start of a battle vs. a bunch of randomness re-rolled within the battle. That being said, we are still discussing the ideal way for this to work. Currently if you change positions of the members in your party, that will invoke a re-roll of the seed. So, some players are focusing in on that as their “strategy” in order to keep re-rolling the seed in order to get a desired result. That isn’t how the feature is meant to work. Stay tuned, and don’t be surprised if we make a change here.
- Galactic War tuning – We are constantly tuning how the game (including this feature) works. For GW this includes opponent selection, how much health is granted after a Victory, etc. We are not making any changes right now, but will revisit this next week after we have enough data to see how the current approach is working.
- Lack of mention in the first version of the Release Notes – When we put out the notes on this update, we failed to include this change. This was honestly an result of human error and Aaron has explained how it happened. Sorry about that.
- Change and iteration – We have said this before, but it bears repeating. We will constantly be changing and iterating on the game throughout its lifespan. We will be doing this based on your feedback, on our own internal designs and feedback, and based on a host of other inputs. Please expect things to keep evolving as the game progresses.
Long post, I know.
Lots to discuss here and we’re looking forward to talking things through with you guys to see how we can keep making this and other parts of the game more enjoyable. That being said we are not planning on reverting this change because the feature simply wasn’t working as originally envisioned.
Hope that helps. Happy to discuss further.
I have 14 lvl 60 purple toons. I won't be making it through GW today. I have faced lvl 60 teams from round 3 on, and most of them have been Phasma led stun teams, with two mid range whale teams (7* fotp, etc). Not only that, one team I faced, which while it could hurt me should not have beaten me, was getting constant stuns, extra attacks, and crits no matter What team or combination I sent in. This was at Round 5! Round 4, 5, and 6 completely killed any chance of complete GW...now if I had time to prepare, to think it through, or even level more toons instead of looking forward to lvl 70 needs, I may not be so upset. But frankly, this change will kill leveling and mat farming for 98% of the player base.
In my opinion the change was an improvement. While I still can breeze through GW with little difficulty, I suspect the change has made it harder for developing players due to the current matchmaking system. I keep reading posts by people <lv60 who run into top tier forms. That seems to be the by far biggest issue right now.
Also, it would be nice if all the flamers vs those that though Reset was likely closer to what CG envisioned to issue an apology. A chance to reset your karma of sorts.
@CG_JohnSalera so, the only challenge in the game was the benefit of an unintended design flaw. Yet, current designed key card battles is a main end game feature, which is completely unused!
I'm thinking that you should go back to unintended consequences. Especially if you allowed 2 months of game play with it!!!!
FYI, my game time has decreased drastically, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
Lazy that you guys couldn't keep status effects when retreats happen. Best of both worlds, I'd say. Now my B and C teams are useless while I keep my main 5 at pace.
When I did the old form of retreating I just got caught up with the tedious task of keeping EVERYBODY alive, literally only playing the battle for a few swings at a time, switching in the right team for the heal, then quickly taking them out again. It took forever and I didn't get the feeling that the battles really mattered.
I wasn't playing the battle, it was more of me playing the game dynamics.
But that's just my point of view. What I really want to stress though is, that even though you feel that this change is a terrible turn for the worse, I think it might be appropriate to not start speculating in how all the other players feel... Or claiming that now people will stop spending money... I don't see how ANYBODY could possess knowledge about that at this point in time. So it's very hard to take those claims seriously. Sorry for being frank here.
GW is introduced at Lv 40 and lv 40-59 players just do not have the resources available to flesh out a roster of multiple teams.
Currently I think, correct me if I'm wrong, is that GW picks your battles based on your/their power level. Weaker teams first and then climbing to higher teams without doing a level check.
What if you did a level check first and then pulled teams from that level range. Let's say +/- 5. Most of the complaints I see involve level 40 somethings going against lv 60 max geared teams.
A nice modest addition would have been to add some of the farmable toons to shipments in the various Arenas so free players could have more selection so teams will have more variety outside of Sidious, Luminara, Phasma, etc. I was thinking it would be great to see Geonosian Soldier, Nightsister Acolyte, Talia, Jedi Counselor,maybe a less popular Chrono character perhaps.
It would be awesome if all Arenas had the same shipments area so no matter which Arena tokens you won, you'd just select which character to farm, combining all the separate area characters from Cantina, Galactic and Squad Arenas into one window, so now players can farm characters easier, rather than having to limit farming certain characters from certain events. This again sounds like a nice middle ground. Free and pay players would see more synergies, breaking the monotony even more. Second, you're not selling out the paying players keeping their key toons intact so their paid for advantage remains.
Just a thought I wanted to speak on in such a venue. The free side of the game is suffering from limited choices. I'm sure the P2W player base must be tired of fighting the same teams endlessly. This change adds more to everyone's game along with longevity. I could see those rage quit players maybe coming back to the table even...
Most F2P players want a reason to exist, this would help, give us more diversity...
If it's something you are still discussing: Adjusting/increasing the rewards would be appreciated cause that random Ewok shard at the end always felt kinda meh. Guess now it's more justifiable right?
Another point could be to (minimally?) increase the percentage of health regeneration after each successful battle, as stated in the Galactic War Rules, in game. At the moment the % is so small it's not even noticeable. I've never seen it my self but @Heronmar pointed out he noticed it cause one of his units went from "yellow HP" to "green HP". Could/should be considered fair.
(On a side note not related to this topic but while i am at it: The PvP Arena Squad setup doesn't save. My team composition always swaps back to what it was 2 days ago as soon as i log out of the game. Means my Dooku is suddenly in the team instead of Poe and the leader gets swapped to Phasma instead of Sid. Without me doing anything. Fix would be cool. Ty )
Currently the problem I see with that is generally you are matched with 12 A teams ranging from below you to above. With the leveling requirements in shards and gear it seems impossible to have a non level capped deep bench (you level up as you farm gear and shards). So in my case I could use my B or C teams early and win a battle or two, but because of the weakness that allows that I could use my A team and lose no health. There isn't an incentive for my B/C team. If I level/gear my B/C team, the levels of the A teams I face get stronger and I can't keep up with them.
What I think could be really cool was if you could show ALL 12 battles, scaled to your A B and C teams (maybe your top 12 power levels?), then put battle limits on characters (say each character can be used in 4 battles). Then you would have the strategy of choosing which matches to use your stronger ones on and which to try to defeat with the weaker.
Anyway I think that would be really fun because it would give uses to more characters you otherwise don't use. Because currently the most fun I had pre update was using my b team guys occasionally in helper GW roles. Now GW is just arena squad x12 more battles
@CG_JohnSalera At first I thought this was the case, however after a few attempts I found this not to be the case. If you swap any members around with existing members, say I move Lumi from slot 2 to 5, and Daka from 5 to 2. They both give the same results. The only time moving members around produces different results is if you change the leader, like swapping Sideous with Lumi. So unless you change your leader, the only other way to change the result is to sub in a new character. (This is all barring changing actions in the match).
Point taken however my opinions are just that 'opinions'. They are what they are. Never claimed to possess knowledge of anybodies future spending habits hence the prelude to the opinion 'I think.....' The bottom line is I THINK the devs could have come up with a much better solution to fix the gw problem instead of seemingly taking the quick easy fix. We wouldn't be seeing this much blow back otherwise.
I agree with this.
Hey Mr Salera
I want to start with thank you for a great game I was hooked on my battlefield 4 on ps4 for ages until I found this my 10 yr old son thanks you as well now he gets his ps4 back a lot more now daddy not on it all the time lol. Don't worry about the bashers of new update haters are going hate regardless I was lucky I concentrated on leveling my bench while waiting for level 70 update I have over 20 toons at level 60 and 13 in purple that's all you need to get through new galactic war I won't finish all even with that but challenges are good it's why we play games I finished my first one in less time than before update retreated maybe 10 times went through just about entire bench but I'm sure will only get easier after I level even more reserves I don't whine I just over come obstacles only suggestion I would like to share is maybe reward each individual battle participants little more health after victory not a lot to where it gets easy again maybe 2 bars more. I have a question played war2glory for years before this and was invited to play test server where few of us tryed to find glitches exploits we were given u limited diamonds to try every possible scenario I did that while I played a regular server as well I'm a 45 yr old disabled loads time on my hands lol is there a test server for this just curious. Anyway will end with this games a great time killer its Star Wars chess in my mind games are supposed to be challenging people who spend money are supposed to have advantage it's why we spend your staff has done a great job in my opinion with this game thanks again
I tend to agree with most of this. I'm mostly a F2P player (spent about $40) and getting a bench team worthy of using is going to be difficult and/or REALLY time consuming. The resources required to keep your top 5-6 at max level leads to slow work of leveling/gearing up a new character - much less multiple. I know the goal is not to rush through building a stacked set of 15 max characters in a week, but the line between rewarding progression and frustration is thin for these types of games.
I never completed a GW table until I learned about retreating. It was still difficult for me, but do-able as a higher 50's level and finishing that last battle felt great. I'm afraid this new change is going to put me back at 200-400 GW shards per day. At level 60 I should have a chance at "end game" content completion - not lucky to make it half way through a table which is where I sit today after the change. Maybe that's what you want, but the unintended version of GW was a lot more fun IMO. I'll keep grinding for now...
Keep up the good work
Liked it before. Bringing in characters in the teens to try and get off a shot or two and exhaust the enemy of their turns. Deeper and more strategic experience than 5 on 5.
They merged them into a new thread for good housekeeping, they weren't deleted.
@CG_JohnSalera if GW is intended to be the pinnacle of end game achievement and the difficulty is designed to match that, I'm more than okay with that idea. The issue then, is that the rewards Aren't in a place to match. The credits are nice, but not enough to do more than gain one level or so or a lower end promotion. The ability mats won't do anything beyond one skill improvement (maybe a rank 3-4) and the single shard is mostly laughable for the final reward.
I don't have the perfect solution here but could we get some sort of meaningful increase? At least base it on level. This could also be a way to give free players a chance at harder to obtain shards. Whatever you guys decide there just increase the value and then have GW as the grand game me that I think it was dreamed of.
Disclosure: I'm not a f2p player, nor a whale
If you send a team out there and they all get killed, will the enemies health and cooldowns refresh once you come back with a different team, or will they be at whatever they were left with?
If you "retreat" a match, will the next match that you go into play out the same exact way (as in critical hits, attacks dodged. etc.) if you do the same exact actions? This has seemed to be the case in my small sample size, so I was wondering if this was the case for others.