We’re super busy getting the game ready for its Early Access launch tomorrow, but I wanted to take some time out to weigh in on some of the hot topics in the community right now. I also wanted to give you some insight from the design team into what new features we're prioritising and what we think of the current state of the game's balance.
As always, sound off in the comments to let us know what you think and keep an eye out http://www.fable-fortune.com, as well as our Facebook and Twitter for future updates.
Happy chicken chasing!
- Tom “Wimbles” Wimbush, Lead Designer (Mediatonic)
The Silver Cap:
The cap on the amount of Silver you can earn from battles in a day has been a pretty hot topic here on the forums and has sparked a number of internal meetings. After a lot of discussion, as a thankyou to all of our dedicated Closed Beta and Early Access players, we have decided to remove the daily cap for the duration of the Early Access phase.
This change is live as of right now and will mean that you can play the game as much as you want in order to earn more Silver.
This cap was introduced to protect our economy from malicious bots that are designed to farm Silver all day, every day. This is a standard feature for games in our genre, but we don’t anticipate that botting will be an issue during our Early Access phase. As we head into Open Beta, we will re-evaluate the daily cap in order to ensure that we are adequately protecting the game from outside influences.
Silver Earned Per Battle:
In the last patch, we made some changes to the formula which dictates how much Silver you get from each battle. As matches of Fable Fortune can sometimes go on for a while, we felt it was important to ensure that you were adequately rewarded for the time that you spent in a long game.
The amount of extra Silver you used to earn for playing a long game wasn’t that much compared to the amount earned for a short game. This didn’t feel right to us, and we took the time to build some better time scaling into the reward formula to help even this out.
Combined with the additional weighting on losses to be around 50% of that earned for winning a match of the same duration, what you should be seeing now is a solid increase to the amount of Silver that you gain per match played.
We’re now pretty happy with how much Silver you earn strictly from battles alone. Looking across to other games, we give you significantly more per battle (up to 10% of a pack for a super long game!). However, there are other sources of Silver/packs that we’re thinking of making some further adjustments to...
Speed of Pack Acquisition:
We want you to primarily be rewarded for engaging with the game by levelling up and playing the various game types that we have on offer, and with the recent changes we’ve made, we think that we do a good job of that right now. However, there are some more improvements that we still want to make.
Playing in events (which are currently disabled) is not super appealing because you’re only getting rewarded with a single copy of a fairly low rarity card.
In the future, we want to move away from this model to instead giving out packs as a reward for playing in these events. Events should be really exciting to take part in, and we think the rewards on offer should really reflect that. Once we’re into Early Access and have events up and running again, this is a change that we’ll be looking into.
Another area that we do want to make some improvements in is the amount of Silver that you get for engaging with the game every day. Spoilers for the ‘Coming Soon’ section, but we’re currently working on implementing a Daily Bounty feature. Daily Bounties are small objectives that are given to you each day that if you complete will reward you with a wad of Silver.
Can’t log in today? Don’t worry, as you’ll also be able to store up to five of these Bounties. This means that if you can’t log in for a while, when you come back you’ll have up one Bounty waiting for you for each day that you missed, up to a maximum of five.
What’s more, you’ll be able to choose the difficulty of your Bounties. Got a lot of free time today? Pick up a harder Bounty and get a bigger reward. Only got an hour spare? Grab an easier one so you can complete it quickly and earn your Silver.
We’ll be phasing out the current Daily Login Bonus when this feature comes in, because we want to reward you for engaging with the game rather than just launching it daily. We also want to better accommodate players who don’t have the time to be able to log in every day and would instead prefer to log in for a longer session once every few days.
We definitely expect the rewards for Daily Bounties to be higher than the rewards currently on offer from Daily Login, because they ask much more of you than just launching the game. This means that there won’t just be more to do in the game, you’ll also find yourself earning packs at a faster rate once Daily Bounties are available.
This is a complex feature that will take some time to implement, so watch this space for further news on when you can expect it to go live.
Design Change Compensation:
As we’re committed to making regular balance updates to ensure a high level of deck diversity and parity between Heroes, something that we’ve wanted to do for a long time is be able to temporarily increase the salvage value of any cards that have been adjusted. We don’t want to create any undue frustration by curtailing the power level of a card that you’ve spent a lot of ink on crafting.
I’m happy to announce that we’ve been doing some work behind the scenes so that, starting today, any cards that have had their stats or abilities adjusted will have their salvage values vastly increased for two weeks after the adjustment. This will allow you to salvage them for enough ink to be able to craft another card of the same rarity. Hooray!
Battle Stability & Bug Exploits:
The current PvP season has suffered from some bugs that have definitely caused a few more errors than we would like. Unfortunately the cause of these bugs are quite deeply rooted within the battle logic and have required a lot of investigation and implementation time in order to get fixed.
We can only apologise to you all for any inconvenience that this has caused. It is our aim to provide as smooth of an experience as possible while playing Fable Fortune, and we take issues like this very seriously.
These errors seem to be focused around a few key interactions, and we’ve decided to temporarily redesign one of the most problematic cards: Rookie Cardshark. Until the bugs with this card have been resolved, he is changing to (4) 2/4 “Big Entrance: Draw a card.” As I mentioned in the Design Change Compensation section, Rookie Cardshark will be salvageable for his full ink value for the next two weeks, so feel free to exchange him for another card of the same value if you want to.
As a player, the best thing you can do to help us out with issues like this is to report bugs that you discover as soon as possible via the Help Centre[fablefortune.zendesk.com]. Providing detailed steps on how to reproduce these issues and what occurred in the game, with supporting screenshots or videos, is key to help us in tracking down the root cause of any bugs.
There have been a few posts saying that crafting items are in a pretty strange place right now, and frankly, I agree with you.
Crafting items were originally supposed to be a cool alternative way for players to go about assembling specific cards that they wanted for their collections. However once players started engaging with this system, we started to see a few different problems arising:
- Players found the system confusing. With ink, the path from ‘I don’t own this card’ to ‘I have crafted this card’ was very straightforward. With items, that path became a lot more complicated as the source of each item and which items are required by which cards was not very intuitive. This created a big barrier to entry for a system which should be easy to access and understand.
- Salvaging items from cards added a lot of RNG into collection progression. Players who earned Fabled items were able to advance their collections at a phenomenal pace while those who only got Rares had to take a much slower path.
Of the two problems, the second was definitely the most serious as it hurt the overall health of the game’s economy, so we made the decision to pull items from the salvage pool and adjust ink costs/salvage values to compensate. While this was successful, the reduced frequency of items appearing has only increased how confusing the system appears, especially to new players.
We like items, and collecting them feels very fitting for a Fable game, however I agree that they’re not in a good place right now. Long term, we would like to phase out items in their current form, as we want to make the path to crafting an item as clear as possible. We have a few ideas on how these items could get reused in the future, but I’d be very interested to hear what you all think.
Here are a few of the features that are currently on our radar, roughly sorted into the order that we expect them to go live:
Outside of launching on Xbox and Window 10 and transitioning into Early Access, this has been our number one priority for a while now. Getting this feature working across all three platforms has been a much bigger undertaking than we had first anticipated, but it’s something we’re still working hard on bringing to the game. It’s really important to us that you’re able to duel your friends in PvP or team up with them in co-op, so we’re working really hard on getting this to you as soon as we can.
We’re in the process of making some significant improvements to our animation system so that it can better handle animations and effects being played in parallel. This will have the net result of significantly speeding up the game, as actions will be able to overlap much more seamlessly. Our early tests are looking really positive, so watch this space.
As I said in the section on pack acquisition, Daily Bounties will be replacing the daily login bonus that we have in the game right now. This will offer you a choice of Bounties of varying difficulty which you can complete in exchange for a good chunk of Silver. You’ll be able to store up to five uncompleted Bounties if you’re not able to log in or complete a Bounty on a particular day, so you’ll be able to come back and blast through a whole bunch of them in one big session.
Currently, salvaging cards is too fiddly and takes way too long, even if you search for “>2 copies” to find the surplus duplicates in your collection. We want to make salvaging a whole bunch of cards much easier, so we’re investigating a way to make this happen by just clicking a button rather than diving in and out of so many menus and animations.
Battle UI Tooltips
We want you to be able to see how many cards are in your/your ally’s/your opponent’s deck. Likewise we want you to be able to see more easily how many cards are in your hand. We have a few ideas on how we can make this happen that we’re currently fleshing out.
Battles are really lacking some of the slapstick humour and British witticisms that the Fable franchise is renowned for, plus you’re lacking a good channel of communication between you and your opponent or ally. We think Emotes will be a good way to address both of these issues. Taunt your opponent, encourage your ally, or fart to your heart’s content. Rest assured that you’ll be able to mute other players if this isn’t the type of gameplay that you enjoy, but we think it will add a whole layer of depth to the game and enrich the play experience in so many ways.
Finally, a few notes on where we think the various Heroes are at right now in terms of balance. We’re happy with the overall diversity of decks and Heroes during this season and are excited to see how the metagame evolves as we head into the first season of Early Access, but let’s look at each Hero in detail:
- Alchemist - Recipe for Success is a little on the strong side, but on the whole we’re OK with Miracle’s overall performance right now.
- Gravedigger - Even with the discovery of the infamous Last Laugh combo decks, Temple has been performing about up to our expectations and doesn’t look like she needs any changes right now.
- Knight - Marshall is really strong when he takes control of the board but has a hard time coming back when he gets behind. This is the sort of problem that needs to be approached holistically as just changing a few cards here and there likely won’t bring about the sort of change that is required. We’ll be spending some time looking at him more closely after we’ve transitioned into Early Access.
- Merchant - The latest round of changes seem to have put Barter in a good place, so we’re happy to let him set sail into the next season without any further changes.
- Prophet - Shimmering Mirage is pretty good, isn’t it? The combos that this card creates has led to Sand overperforming this Season. We’ve increased its Gold cost from 1 to 3 as this better reflects the power of this effect and will be keeping an eye on Sand after this to see if further changes are required. Shimmering Mirage will be salvageable for its full ink value for the next two weeks.
- Shapeshifter - Is...is it over? Crimson no longer seems to be warping the metagame and has settled into a much healthier place alongside the other Heroes. We’ll see what the next Season brings, but for now it seems like her red reign of terror has come to an end.
There are a few Neutral cards that are overperforming which we’re testing out some changes for. Cards like Cullis Master, Bank Clerk and Magehunter are proving too effective or too cheaply costed and are therefore consistently finding their way into too many decks.
We’re also exploring some adjustments to Brandish and Explore the Tombs to bring them into line with the other Quest Rewards as they’ve proven to be a little too powerful for their cost.
A quick disclaimer: everything here is subject to change. These are just our current thoughts on a wide range of topics so that you can get a sense of what we're thinking based on internal playtesting, community feedback and player analytics. That said, we’re hoping to get out some changes to address some of the issues raised in this review in the near future.
That’s it for now! Hopefully this gives you all an idea of where we think the game is at currently and where it should be heading in the future. As always, leave a comment to let us know what you think. We really value your feedback.