Just over a month ago, MMEG was celebrating its 1 Year Anniversary since the official Worldwide release and this whole year it’s been a blast!
Earlier in 2019, during our official English livestream, we announced our goals for the first half of the year and our intentions for the second half. Many things changed in the meantime and it is now time to update you about our plans for the short and mid-term future, analyzing the status of the game, and commenting on your current major concerns.
Let’s get started!
Current team focus: Performance & Stability
Allow me to start by saying that I love RPGs! Both on Mobile and PC/Consoles. I simply enjoy the depth and the amount of content that these niche games can offer!
In MMEG, we have been adding a lot of content since launch such as: Raids, Heroic Stars, new creatures, new spells, new dungeons, plenty of new events, etc. But there is still a lot to do and I am sure that many of you would like to see more new content (…Guild Wars anyone?) or a change or rework of the existing features. Believe me: I want it too!
However, we reached a point where we had to stop adding new content and start working, instead, on some serious housecleaning that was long overdue. I’m talking about, for example, new features that we introduced and caused longer loading times and memory consumption, new bugs that appeared while we hadn’t had enough time to fix the old ones, ‘vanilla’ features that we never really took the necessary time to polish or make work according to the original design…
During these past few weeks, we have been focusing on tackling many of these issues. Some of the results will already be visible with the next build (scheduled for August).
I want to be completely transparent with you all: during the coming few months, we will be releasing updates mainly focused on technical issues. Which means changes that you might cannot see at first glance but that will greatly improve your game experience in the long run including, but not limited to:
– Greatly reducing loading times (app start and game reload)
– Reducing the time it takes to load events
– Getting rid of all freezes and graphic hiccups on all devices
– Reducing the pop ups and out of syncs that force you to quit the game
– Tackling the native game crashes for both iOS and GGP
– Fixing the performance issues on certain Android models and GPUs
– Allowing a nice game experience on low end devices (1GB ram)
– Reducing the heat and memory consumption on all devices
– Identifying and fixing any kind of bug that affects gameplay
All the points mentioned above are highlights of the technical focus that the team is currently working on. And even if this is our current priority, this does not mean that we are not doing anything else.
In parallel, we have a team who is actively listening to all the concerns of our community in order to identify what can be addressed ‘quickly’ and what requires more in depth development for a later date.
Allow me to comment on some of the ‘hot’ topics that we have seen the community discuss most, what are plans are for them, and other things we are looking at:
Infinite Turns Strategy
I will say it right away: no one likes this! Not developers, nor players! Changes are coming.
We are currently reviewing the impact and weighing the cons and pros of some proposals to tackle this. Beating dungeons without enemies being able to attack is not the way we want you to play the game.
I am fully aware that, up until today, these strategies are the only way to beat certain content, but I can assure you that whenever we push the changes, it will come alongside a major rework on the difficulties of the current high-end content. We want to move away from ‘immune to all’ bosses, in favor of having a more limited strategy to beat a boss, avoiding the abuse of certain game mechanics as it is right now. Both changes will come at once: there will not be one without the other.
The Amber Mine was supposed to be the highest-end content available in the game: from a design point of view, no one should be able to beat the highest levels, unless you have a full set of level 19 glyphs.
This dungeon is a clear example of the rework on the difficulties and strategies that we want to apply. It has never been our intention to make players beat this dungeon only by using the infinite turn strategy, or demanding you to make so many attempts to beat it.
As it is right now, this dungeon is not fun: it will change.
As I mentioned above, the difficulty tweaks will come alongside the changes to prevent the strategies that rely on abusing game mechanics.
Crystal sinks & incomes
I know this one of the hottest topics in our community right now.
First, allow me to clarify that after analyzing the data for several months, we noticed a worrying trend on the crystal distribution & consumption. Altering the glyph upgrade costs and chances was an attempt to correct this trend.
Summarizing the recent changes made for the glyphs:
- Level 1 – 13: Glyph upgrade costs were slightly upgraded and chances to upgrade to the next level were greatly increased.
- Level 13 – 16: Upgrade costs increased and upgrade chances decreased for all 3 levels.
Despite the cost upgrade, it is now much easier and takes less crystals from level 1 to 13 than before. I am mentioning this, because I have been reading many concerns on how these changes negatively affected the new players. As for 13-16, there is no doubt that now it is much harder than before.
Right now, we are reviewing all the sinks and incomes for crystals in the game, and I can already share with you some of our intentions:
- Dwarf Treasury: We plan to make this dungeon more rewarding and we are currently reviewing how often it should appear;
- Events with achievements: We plan to slightly increase the overall rewards that include crystals;
- PvE levels: More Crystals as rewards for Normal, Advanced and Nightmare difficulties;
- Increased Crystals for selling glyphs.
Once all the changes are in, we will carefully analyze the data and, alongside with your feedback, decide if there are more actions to take. While we do take your feedback very seriously, we all have to understand that we need to analyze the data for a while before taking drastic action.
Guild Quests & Guild Management
I do have some exciting news to share on both areas. Changes will come in two separate phases:
Phase 1: Changes in the Guild Quests:
- Activation prices: We will make them symbolic, in order to stop punishing the leader/officers;
- Overall prices: We will stop asking for Seals, and focus on Crystals only;
- Rewards: We are going to stop giving a bit of everything and focus only on Guild Coins, Guild XP and battle commands;
- Shop: Several new things will be added to the Guild Shop in exchange for Guild coins (i.e. Energy):
- Achievements: More intermediate steps will be added;
- Leaderboards/Competition in the quests: We will move away from the competition feeling and everyone will have the same rewards regardless of their participation.
Phase 2: Changes in Guild Management:
Guild currency: Even if it is a bit early to share specific details with all of you, I can already mention that we will have some sort of ‘bank’ of crystals where all members will be able to contribute for the quest opening.
Member control & leaderboards: We will offer more control tools for leaders/officers on the overall performance & actions of their guild members, including internal leaderboards (members) and global ones (just to compare with others).
Quests: We do have plans to change how the quests work, but first we want to see the impact of the changes that I mentioned above.
Events: In addition, we have plans for allowing guilds to purchase their ‘own events’ for the event panel, so they are active only for members. We will share more info on this in due time.
PvP Win Streaks
While it is true that we have had win streak achievements present since soft launch, the win streak feature was implemented after game launch. It was a feature aimed to tackle several community concerns about lack of usage and competitiveness.
We could debate whether this feature helped to accomplish our goal or not, or if it is pushing players to set up trolling defenses or similar, but the main concern is the loss of these streaks due to technical issues (crashes/freezes) and we want to start there.
As I mentioned right at the start, these are our current focuses and priorities. If, once the crashes are gone, we do notice that there is something extra that we should do, I am more than willing to hear and brainstorm about what we could do, but right now, we want and need to tackle the technical issues first!
Initial experience for new players and QoL features
I have been writing a lot about high-end content but we are not forgetting about new players. Recently we have made a few changes in the initial user experience: we have changed the initial creatures to create a better experience, alongside a rework on the overall difficulty in the early stages of the game.
In addition, brand new players have access to a ‘customized’ set of events to guide them through the first days with clearer achievements and greater rewards. We have plans to expand & tweak these events to make the experience even better and provide clearer guidance, so no one feels lost.
In addition, we are working on several tweaks to improve the user experience on various screens, for example:
- Main Hub/ City: We have plans to get rid of useless buildings and have a better hierarchy over the different buttons so it is easier to find what you use the most and you are not lost as a new player;
- Skins building: It is a mess and we do have a minor rework planned to make it easier to understand, purchase and view the skins;
- Shop: We plan to make “one shop to rule them all”, accessible from anywhere and with a new format for easier viewing and browsing;
- Team management: A clearer way to handle and save several teams.
Complexity of Spells / Localization
Right now, there are many spells, mechanics and combinations in the game. I fully agree that it is a bit messy and hard to understand in English sometimes, let alone for the poor translators that have to deal with them. In addition, the current ‘automatic’ spell description system messes up with the grammar most of the time in order to be able to tweak the spells once they are live. It is not an easy thing to solve, but we do have a plan in mind!
For the next creatures, we are going to try a new way of creating spell descriptions. If the results are good, we will consider applying it to all the old ones… even if this will take some time. We will also closely work with our localization colleagues to ensure that the translation is as accurate as possible, but for that, we need to make sure that the original EN is flawless first of all.
It does not work. No excuses here.
One of my biggest mistakes was to greenlight the expansion of the system before fully ensuring that basic needs were covered. This made the problem even worse!
Our plan for the chat is simple: we are going to try to make what we currently have work, while fixing all the issues.
Even after everything I said, I am sure many of you are still wondering about new content for the game.
One thing is clear: as all our major efforts are focused on the technical side, plus all the other topics I mentioned above, you cannot expect big features to magically appear in the game.
We do however have some ideas in mind… quick wins, minor tweaks, easy changes, that could potentially positively affect that game. Some of them will be a surprise; some others will be announced in due time.
Please keep in mind that there are external factors that might affect dates, but this is the current short/mid-term plan of updates.
August update – Highlights:
(Planned for 3rd Week of August)
- Game loading times improvement – Up to 50% faster on low/mid end devices.
- Reductions in memory usage, battery consumption, heat for all devices.
- Several technical bug fixes and gameplay fixes.
- Phase 1 of Guild Quests changes.
- Economy tweaks for the crystal incomes.
More details to be shared with patch notes!
October update – Highlights:
(Planned for early October)
- Additional improvements to loading speeds.
- Guild Management rework – Phase 2.
- Gameplay changes to counter Infinite turns.
- New gameplay mechanics for bosses / high-end content.
More details to be revealed as soon as the release date approaches!
We really hope that you enjoyed the read and that it cleared some of your doubts!
Thanks to everyone for reading!
Producer of Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians