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.