Kalo's Write-Up: Alpha Weekend #1



  • Hey everyone, Kalo here! The first Alpha weekend has come to an end, and I’m here with a bunch of feedback, mostly surrounding balance changes. I’m not going to go super in-depth with bugs and other issues as we’re all aware of them and are hoping for quick fixes. Shoutouts to PeccYz, Seafer, and everyone else who gave input on these changes. Hope to see you all in the weeks to come!
    Also a disclaimer that I provide some direct suggestions in this write-up, which typically isn’t a good form of quality feedback. I’ve only done so because there is so much community consensus about many of these issues and I also wanted to bring some ideas into play.

    Bugs
    Like I said, won’t be going in-depth here, but the three issues I hope to see squashed first are:

    The Double Tap Switch -- it’s very annoying to get randomly switched from Single Tap inputs to double, especially with the latency.
    The Geometry Mess -- it’s common to see my character rapidly hopping in and out of the map, messing with my momentum, perspective, etc. or even to just get put under the map. Really ruins the fluidity and cleanness of the game.
    The Latency/General Server Awfulness -- it’s making hit registration bad, it’s kicking party members from warrior select (code Green Tea), it’s the source for a majority of the frustration...it’s gotta be improved.

    Balance Changes

    Buffs
    Currently, gold buff is the only buff with a permanent impact and that impact is too high.
    Change it to a completely new buff and/or consider implementing the proposed system below:

    Permanent, Stacking Buffs
    Decrease buff strengths across the board, but make them last the whole game, stacking their individual effects up to 3 times.
    (i.e. Attack buff down from 25% to 8-10%, reaching 24-30% if you get three.)
    Might still need to re-work gold buff to something like a quicker passive gold gain (this could be interesting, opening up possibility of control playstyle, as longer rounds would favor those with higher gold income, while not being as much of the snowbally burst of income that gold buff currently provides).
    Side Thoughts
    I’d also like to spitball the idea of all buffs being replaced with different, powerful ones during round 5 that have more health and maybe last only a couple minutes opposed to the whole round?
    Assumed, Frequent Question: should something happen if you have 3 stacks of a buff and get a 4th, besides obviously denying the opponent said buff? Maybe one of those powerful, usually saved for round 5 buffs? Not sure, just some notes: would love to hear your thoughts.

    In my opinion, these changes will make the beginning of rounds less stale: as of now it’s always the same balance between controlling the ball mid and going towards the more important buff (red and especially gold). With the stacking feature, teams will have to be wary of their opponents stacking one buff out of control -- getting more gold early might be nice, but if by round 3 your opponents have a permanent 30% damage reduction buff, you might be in trouble.
    In my opinion, this feature could bring more dynamic strategies to the game involving buffs without taking away from the importance of the relic, and provides a more tangible way for “control playstyles” to flourish.
    Side Thoughts
    Could even lead to warrior ability mechanics that affect these buffs temporarily?
    (i.e. Korryn’s Circle of Spite makes opponents take more damage, slows them, and removes their buff affects until they leave the circle)

    Territory
    Right now, Territory round endings feel a bit too much like a coin toss. A decidedly winning team is not nearly guaranteed the round win because of how quick passing and dashing can get the ball over the line right before the round clock finishes.
    Adding additional seconds to death timers in the later parts of rounds will make kills more impactful, encouraging teams to stay alive, focus targets and play together (increased timers could start at 1 minute, 30 seconds, maybe even less? Probably something like at 1 minute, 2 seconds are added and then at 30 seconds, another 3 seconds are added, give or take).
    Another option that’s been discussed was changing Territory wins to a sudden death type of ending, where after the 4 minute mark, respawns are disabled (it could even be something like Rocket League’s overtime where everyone resets in base like a sort of separate round, but I don’t think it’s a good idea and it’s beside the point). The consensus and my personal opinion is that this would take too much away from the relic’s importance and we would see the flow of the game cut awkwardly to accommodate this change.

    Warriors
    Black Knight
    Let’s keep this simple: he’s agreed upon as the strongest character in the game by the best players in the community. He’s terribly tanky, can combo-chain enough damage to nearly take out squishy targets by himself without building damage, and has negligible downsides in his size and speed.
    I suggest bringing his base armor down to 10, in line with Thorgrim (maybe all future tanks should have that amount for consistency, just 5 more than other warriors?), and to bring the damage and/or duration down on his ultimate ability. Maybe lower his base attack damage too.
    Also, a side note that his Thorns ability feels very unexciting. I’ve ran into multiple players who simply didn’t know what it did until I told them. Not making a point with that statement, just noting.

    Thorgrim
    Our happy, hammer-wielding fan favorite got an icy makeover and stone cold nerfs to match. While I understand and agree that it was much too easy to knock people off the map with him in earlier builds, this patch really feels like he lost the core of his kit altogether. While I in no way consider him weak (next section will touch on the tank role), I feel there’s a healthier middleground available for him.
    I suggest restoring his Throw ability (E) to some of it’s former glory, maybe not where it was originally but closer than it is now, and then to lower his base attack damage. He hits hard on top of being very survivable and having the most potential to insta-kill people with his ring outs.

    Tanks
    Tanks are king in this build. Not only can they single-handedly pressure the opposing team, they also deal strong amounts of damage and have a plethora of disruption. They are literal one man armies. It’s awesome that in Breakaway, tanks aren’t essentially beefy, big supports -- being able to really get in the way of your opponents and create opportunities for your team feels awesome. However, they seem to be able to do so much too freely on top of having a strong amount of kill potential as well.
    Scaling back some of their attack damage might be enough to fix this, but I also feel their survivability should be tweaked. It’s not uncommon for a tank player to be near the opponent’s base, fighting off a few of them while also taking out an important buildable just to then walk out relatively unscathed.

    Victor
    He’s got great damage, great combo potential, great control power...but he dies to everyone very easily! His health pool is super small and he’s immobile. This might not be a dire issue, except that his bubble shield is (almost) absolutely ineffective. It’s simply too small to prevent attacks and abilities from melee characters. Argus will kick right through it, Jarra will ult right outside of it and hit you, Black Knight will do literally anything and...you get the point -- I suggest making the shield big enough for Victor to be in it and to actually be protected and then we can assess from there.

    Items
    Life Steal
    This item was exciting to find out about but dang it is weak. It could be the price, it could be the latency making it feel inconsistent (because shots are inconsistent too), it could be not working properly?? I’m not sure, but bottom line: Amulet is just a vastly better item. Cheaper and consistent. Maybe drop the price on this?

    Cooldown Reduction
    This item needed a nerf, yes; but did it need that big of a nerf? It’s price went up to 5750 total, which is over 30% higher than it was originally at 4400. I feel like a healthier change might be to make the base prices 1000 with heroic still at 2000, and then to change the heroic perk from 1 second per attack to 0.5 seconds per attack.
    Could be worth testing as it went from an item any role could get to an item supports still have to get, making build paths for them long and difficult (it feels typical and unfortunate that supports always get shafted on gold in games, and this is Breakaway’s first instance of that).

    Buildable Thorns
    While the item effect itself is very interesting, just like how this heroic perk made buildable health feel extra subpar, getting your buildable put back in your inventory if it gets destroyed when placing it is a big “meh”. It could be more interesting if you became fully immune to that placement destruction, allowing you to guarantee place your buildable whenever you want (although this could be much too strong). I hope to see more testing done with this item (and for it to get it’s own icon, along with life steal!)

    Balance Changes TL;DR
    Gold buff too strong, nerf or change it: also, let’s make buffs weaker, permanent, and stacking.
    Longer death timers in last minute of round to reward better fighting teams.
    BK too strong, Thorgrim needs adjusting (more throw, less damage), tanks are OP.
    Make Victor’s Bubble Relevant.
    Life steal is meh, cooldown reduction is too much $, buildable thorns needs a heroic perk change.

    If you got this far, thank you so much for reading! As always, you can find me at my Twitch or Twitter, and feel free to leave any additions, criticisms, or thoughts down below: I’ll be sure to reply. Can’t wait to continue testing and providing feedback in the weeks and months to come.
    Stay safe and beautiful!


  • Amazon Game Studios

    @kalology said in Kalo's Write-Up: Alpha Weekend #1:

    The Latency/General Server Awfulness -- it’s making hit registration bad, it’s kicking party members from warrior select (code Green Tea), it’s the source for a majority of the frustration...it’s gotta be improved.

    We watched your stream and we saw you experienced a variety of vertical jitter bugs, we're addressing this in the next update. We're also treating Green Tea as a critical issue and working on fixing it asap.

    On top of that; one of the major areas of improvements is our netcode it just went through a major rework so we're working out the kinks and fixing bugs as fast as we can. We have another improvement for the next few weeksto do specifically with the hit registration and lag compensation, stay tuned.



  • I honestly think this is my favorite post from you so far. Very imaginative of what this game could become, while also keeping your eye on what's already in the game that could be adjusted. Very informative, while still very informed. Great work!

    I really do hope Victor gets some better coding on his bubble at the very least. He needs some real help.



  • @kalology I agree with so much of what is said here that when I leave my extended feedback I don't even feel like I need to touch on the buffs and core mechanics for items as you literally said everything I planned to.

    However I do have to disagree with you on one thing, and that's Victor. Victor does NOT need a buff to his health. His right click is what needs adjusting. The reason I say this is because Victor's AOE damage makes him an incredibly threat to the enemy team as the only warrior who can so easily control the movement of the entire enemy team. While Korryn has a bit of control with your E ability, Victor can stop an entire enemy's push in it's track with a single combo of his Q, followed by his E, followed by his Ult, while nearly killing most squishes in the process. And this is without and attack equipment stacks. I feel his health pool being so low is the perfect balance to his ability to dish out so much damage. With a full stack of armor and health, he becomes horribly tanky, and unless the enemy team has taken full armor pen, he becomes a thorn in the side of the enemy team while still dishing out insane amounts of damage.

    However I do agree about his right click ability. As it stands, he's the only warrior in the game who's defensive ability provides zero movement and on top of that, he has to come to a complete stop in order to cast it. Due to it's small size and inconsistency in blocking projectiles, I agree that it needs adjusting. I think the size needs to be increased, this way to compensate for the fact you come to a complete stop, it can accurately block an ulting Rowlins or Karya and keep you alive (again, since you have such a small health pool, it seems fair that his defensive ability absorb enemy abilities)



  • I agree with everything said here. Especially when it comes to tanks. There is pretty much no reason to pick Thorgrim in any situation rn because Black knight is soo much better for team fighting and chasing the Relic holder.

    One thing I will say I think should be looked at is the Attribute for "chasing the relic holder". It is very very strong. Imo it should be tuned down some so people have a reason to buy movement speed. It's also really hard to run the ball when every other character who hasn't built movement speed can catch up in 3 seconds.


  • Breakaway Next Crew Member

    I don't feel like victors shield is completely useless. It has a different use. When I played him I used it as a disengage or a trap for a quick stun it worked very well for escapes or securing a kill. It's not perfect but it wasn't the worst thing in the game. Good write up kalo.



  • @yasserr23 really great to hear, thanks for the response! As I always say, the team has my complete and utter faith, y'all have been nothing short of amazing, but that doesn't mean there won't be issues. Exciting to see these things addressed! :)



  • @halo_ow Yeah like I said in the post, I'd really like to see his bubble fixed before anything else. If he needs a health buff or a change in some other area after that, so be it, but his biggest issue is in that right click.

    Also just a side note: don't underestimate Korryn's control potential ;) Her ultimate doesn't just instantly knock the relic out of everyone's hands, it silences the opposing team's abilities, INCLUDING their ability to dash with the relic.



  • @halo_ow yeah victor's shield is almost completely useless this patch, if hes going to be immobile then he needs zone control to get stronger the nearer you get to him. Perhaps his shield could be a temporary wide aoe slow static field around him to do increased dmg taken debuff during so he has some kite potential. He'd have to displace himself losing some siege and zone, but could survive to regroup into team peel.


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