Hey everyone, hope you all enjoyed the Alpha test this weekend as much as I did. Even if you didn’t, I hope to see you in the next test! For some context I almost exclusively ran Solo Queue this weekend, save for a couple hours Thursday night when I ran duos with a newbie friend.
(Surprisingly few that I’d consider major)
Terrain collision - Getting stuck or phasing through obstacles. Biggest culprit here being the Elevator, with honorable mention to some of the rocks on Atlantis. Also being stuck in a falldown animation when knocked down on the edge of a ledge.
Crashes - I was never able to figure out specific repro steps for these, and I may have been an outlier in that these issues didn’t occur very many times over the weekend, but I did get a couple of crashes in game (usually at some point at or before the beginning of a match). I know that I was afraid of being on any screen but the Home screen when a match was about to pop.
UI button hit boxes - Seemed off/weird in some screens. The “Back” button on the Warriors screen (from main menu) simply didn’t work for me, always had to go to Home then back to Warriors to go back. Many of the buttons when viewing level progression for a warrior did not work as well (call these level reward preview buttons?).
Post-match UI - Several bugs involving some combination of my character not rendering, or the actual post game UI stats not displaying.
Quality of Life:
Buying and selling items - Something other than left click buy, right click sell, such as a buy/sell button that the user has to click. Granted, it’s faster, and I would personally keep a double click purchase method, but I can’t tell you the number of times I was cycling through teammates while dead only to res up with my buy menu open and accidentally right click one of my items and see it go bye bye for a gold loss. OR maybe change the default view cycle buttons to the mouse wheel?
Chat UI - Pre game it felt like a pain in the ass to communicate with the team, to the point that even if you did find the chat people hardly paid attention to it, much less actually responded. This makes pregame coordination a game of looking at who’s icon is over what Warrior and trying to play charades with team comp suggestions. In game, I couldn’t communicate with the team except for between rounds. The voice lobby helped a little with this, but I can count on one hand the number of games I had all 3 teammates in voice. Not only is the chat UI hard to see, but being able to only use it between rounds made it almost impossible to adjust strategies only the fly. I wanted so badly to help explain strategies and mechanics to my allies in many games, but was forced into silence.
Death timer - My first few games I had no idea when I was about to respawn (and the first game it took me a good 3 seconds to realize I even HAD respawned!). Would love a more prominent death timer/indicator (maybe just a center-collapsing line at the bottom/top of the screen).
Menu times - Took a long time to get out of a match. After seeing the MVP, and maybe even before, I’d like to just be able to quickly click through the stats pages and exit a match if I want. Having to sit idle for what felt like 30 seconds waiting for a match to close is annoying.
Argus - Pretty happy with where he’s at as a middle-of-the-road Warrior. Good damage, good survivability, good mobility. I wouldn’t change much with him, as I feel that giving any of his abilities something extra (like a knockup on one of his two dashes) would put him into the OP category. Buildable is feels lame, even if you look past how squishy it is it’s essentially just there to trade a buildable with someone else’s. More on buildables in general later.
Thorgrim - Feels very weak. Ultimate is hard if not impossible to hit on running characters. Slightly better than BK at peeling, but underwhelming in almost all other aspects. I went in hoping to use him to ring out players more, but honestly I felt more consistent using Argus to ring out than Thorgrim.
Kyra - Also pretty happy with Kyra. MAYBE lower her HP a bit, but I felt that she was in a pretty good place as a ranged nuker.
Alona - Felt like a requirement on many teams, extremely strong heals.
Rawlins - Felt VERY hard to hit his shots, mostly because it wasn’t clear where they were firing. On other ranged Warriors, their shots are big-ish orbs, but Rawlins are just thin bullet tracers. Kit-wise he felt in a good place, though his ult is pretty lackluster and easily countered. Making him mobile during it would help, but would likely be OP, so I’m not sure if it’s worth changing or coming up with a new one.
Korryn - I didn’t play much Korryn, didn’t unlock her till the last day. Playing with and against her she seemed to not bring much to the team as a support as you could simply avoid the slowing fields and the silence was never a huge issue. She was also lackluster in damage dealing, with her most utility coming from the damaging wave attack, great for forcing fumbles in a large crowd. Could see her possibly being better in competitive play, but too early to tell.
Black Knight - As others have probably noted, his damage to tankiness is a bit out of whack, even without building for either. The combo setups his ultimate brings can be devastating. His thorns ability is underwhelming, although probably right where his kit needs to be in terms of power/damage.
Viktor - Seems like he’s supposed to fit a more mage/nuker role, but his abilities didn’t seem much stronger if at all than someone like Kyra or Rawlins (outside of his ultimate), while he suffers from a much weaker auto attack. As others mentioned, his bubble felt like a pretty weak defensive that could be outranged by just about everyone.
Jarra - Didn’t get to play her at all due to lack of coin. Playing with and against her, she is incredibly hard to counter in public matches. The fact that she can just about 1 shot any of the squishier characters in the mid-late rounds is tough enough to deal with, coupled with her ability to lock characters down with her leap and ultimate.
Warrior unlock speed - Felt REALLY fast. After playing for probably 20-30 hours on a fresh account, I had everyone unlocked except Jarra who I was only about 10 games away from. I would have preferred to have all the Warriors unlocked by default for the Alpha, but I understand if that either didn’t make it in or you actually wanted to test the unlock rates.
Buffs - Felt like they were in a good place, aside from the Gold buff. I believe Kalo mentioned it, but Gold is the only buff that affects future rounds. I like the variations in buffs across maps, and would honestly like to see Gold buff removed and replaced by something else. Maybe even consider making the buffs timed and respawnable within a given round, could even randomize it after every kill.
Skins - Would love to see more wildly different skins! The disparity of coolness from warrior to warrior was pretty large. Jarra with a tiger headdress and lightning lobster claws, Black Knight’s guitar axe, while someone like Argus just got a flat recolor of his base skin (the chainsaws were cool), or Alona with a fairly bland model.
Big shoutouts to AGS and the Breakaway team for a fantastic alpha experience, with big ups to those who put in extra hours over the weekend working on everyone's technical issues. It's great to see that level of support coming from the developers, and the love is showing!
We're aware of the issue with warriors jittering when moving vertically under lag (e.g. sliding down stairs, jumping, elevators) and we're aiming to resolve that by next weekend's playtest.
Through the magic of technology, all crashes report back to us with evidence about what went wrong. We're going through them one at a time.
Most of our match flow and postgame UI is being replaced within the next month, which we hope will clean up the glitches you're seeing on those screens, and significantly reduce wait time between matches. Chat UI will also be more prominent and visible as a part of that change.
As far as balance for warriors and relic attributes, we watch telemetry on all our characters and of course we also play a ton ourselves. You can expect balance changse week over week where needed. I'll ask one of our gameplay designers to dig into your specific feedback.
As far as skins, what you're seeing in-game at the moment is what we call "recolors". True skins are waiting in the wings and will release when they're ready.
Totally forgot to quickly review buildables like I said I would.
Generally I'm not a fan of having a buildable that is one-and-done (Argus, Rawlins, Jarra), as I don't feel like I'm contributing as much to the game as my teammates who have long lasting buildables. I mostly feel like Argus, Rawlins, and Jarra's buildables can be effectively ignored, since they'll either be unnoticeable (Argus), or they might trigger and help me get a kill before they get quickly destroyed (Rawlins/Jarra).
Most of the other buildables seem like they're in a great spot, although Korryn's leaves something to be desired as the slow field is relatively small and can be cleared in 1 - 2 jumps.
@mpriest Can't wait, thank you! Good to know you guys have proper techno-magic :)