Quality of Life & Preemptive Balance Changes Proposal
A disclaimer that my experience with the game is limited to my time played at Twitchc n (6 matches total, one on stage) and watching through the total 23~ hours of vods from the whole event and that the basis of these changes comes from personal experience in competitive eSports such as League of Legends (Season 4 Masters + LAN Tourney Finalist), CSGO (Supreme), Heroes of the Storm (Alpha/Beta/Season One Rank 1), etc.*
Hey everyone, Kalo here! I'm a smaller streamer (twitch.tv/kalology) who loves my community & competition that believes Breakaway has potential to be the next big thing in gaming and eSports! I spent my first ever 'c* n experience meeting awesome people, including the friendly devs from Amazon game studios, some of which expressed how this next month or so after Twitchc* n prior to Alpha is gonna be all about fixing bugs and optimizing the game before the alpha gates open!
That being said, I wanted to take this meantime period to propose some QoL changes strictly based on the observations I've made and experiences I've had over the weekend, and to talk about some preemptive balance changes I feel will refine the games health in its early stages.
PLEASE feel free to reply with your additions, criticisms, and thoughts as the goal of this post is to hopefully help develop this game to meet that massive potential I believe it has.
TL;DR (intro): I've played lots of games competitively and love/believe in breakaway. Here are some changes I think could be good, reply with your own thoughts!
Numbers are important.
Simple things like being able to mouseover abilities on the selection screen to see their damage, explaining armors efficiency against attacks/abilities, or giving the players options to turn on damage numbers in game are all great ways to give players that extra information that I feel is key to decision making in all levels of play.
Information in general is important.
Again, things like explicitly saying which buildables will knock the relic out of a carriers hands, explaining which characters have faster or slower move speeds (at least giving a number to each, especially because there items that change your movespeed, although it could be as simple as "slow, average, quick" if speeds aren't per warrior), and explaining how death timers increase throughout rounds (besides through the item that does so).
What's a bug, what's a feature?
This is more of a hope than an addition as at this point, there would be no reason for this to exist, but in patch notes, every little change needs to be stated. All too often interactions in games change by the patch and the community is left to wonder why. Things as big as the ramp super launch being fixed and how + what was causing it in the first place, to as small as a physical texture on a map being changed which could unknowingly affect how buildables can be placed on it or how slide-jumping works on that specific part of the map.
Individual Hero Changes
I need to clarify that this part is all intuition-based as it lacks data and ignores winrate as player skill level at Twitchc n wasn't balanced.*
Our favorite gunslinger sports a great kit, but his ability to be constantly mobile while dealing damage on top of his already high numbers can feel a bit oppressive. To combat this, I propose making it so he cannot move backwards while shooting. This not only feels a bit more realistic (that pew pew moonwalk tho!), but stops him from punishing melee opponents so hard without completely taking away his ability to do so (strafe shooting will still be available).
Two words. AoE. Healing. (okay, so one of the words is an acronym.)
Alona's kit makes for a really fun healer, but as the alpha starts rolling out and teams get more coordinated, I feel the mix of her ultimate and the 50% damage reduction on her single heal that's currently on a 6 second cooldown will feel too dominant at certain levels of play. Speaking of her single heal, Radiance, I feel the animation should look more like a tether that can break when you and your target are too far apart (a thin, lighter circle or an animation that blinks/flashes on the tether when you're getting too far from the target can be used to indicate range), not only helping to exemplify differences between her ultimate and that single target heal, but providing what I feel will be a small but necessary nerf.
Morgan Le Fay
Morgan has a difficult kit, no doubt, but I don't think that makes her weak. That being said, her buildable, the elder stone, does seem a bit lackluster. As little as Morgan was used during the on-stage games, her elder stone seemed to be even less evident. Unlike most buildables that either do something when someone's at range or on a constant timer, hers requires enemies to be near it for what seems like simply too long. On top of that, although I heard one commentator say it has a knockback in that explosion, I never saw it happen in game, nor does her warrior description page say so. I recommend lowering the amount of time required for the explosion to happen, or to just change how it's triggered entirely for consistency. For instance, maybe teammates standing by it can charge it as well but only enemies can trigger the explosion.
As I said before, I'm very much excited for this game and plan on supporting it with everything I've got. With a developing team that truly cares (if Twitchc* n is any evidence of that, seems like we've got one!) and a supportive, loyal, and positive community behind them, Breakaway is bound for greatness. As I said above, please reply with any additions, criticisms, or thoughts you have about the post or game in general and let's become champions together!
@Kalology Dude! This was a very enjoyable read. If there is anything we can do from the team to encourage more posts like this please let me know what we can do. I want to point out that you calling out the current games you play/watch make it very easy to dive deep into the conversation! I'm going to wrangle up some folks from the dev team to share their thoughts and keep the convo's going.
Individual Character Updates: I'm glad to announce that as we introduce, discuss, feature any Breakaway content, we are looking to share as much data needed to help all types of players have fun with the game. I could read about character stats, frame-data, etc, and we hope to share that with the community here.
w/ character specific threads that can let us get really detailed. I'm curious to know what are additional data points that can help you understand the character more.
Thanks a ton for sharing and don't be suprised by a like and follow on your social pages.
Dang, Kalo. When you said you were writing a lot...
After researching the game extensively to give the changes more context, I have to agree with the points put forward. The point that held the most weight IMO is the fact that Numbers are important. It is something I heavily rely on in similar (if not all) games that I play against other players and would be something I'd sorely miss if it was not implemented.
Looking good though, loved the depth you went into (Not to mention your eloquency, it was delicious to read).
Thanks a bunch, and stay sweet!
PS: Unrelated, but loving the idea of Black Knight.
@SubtractionHD Much appreciated Sub, I put a lot of time into it. I'm glad you enjoyed it and thank you for the kind words! <3
Holy dang that was a good read. I hope your dedication to this game pays off and your ideas get implemented. I watched a few games myself and from what I saw, mixed with reading this, I can definitely see your suggestions making this game even more successful and balanced. Fantastic analysis and can't wait to hear more from you <3
OMFG So much words for peng to read but from what I did read... I agree with everything you said.
Great pot Kalo! Love the passion you show here. As Rich said keep providing feedback and we’ll be as open as possible about our thoughts and philosophies and how we plan to move forward. We want to work with you all to build the best possible game.
Numbers are important and information is important. We definitely agree. Transparency is important to us. We don’t want any hidden mechanics or information. It may take us a while to get all the info in game, but until then Rich will get the information to you in other ways.
Build Notes. Also agree, we will be very clear on all changes we make. I was talking to Rich and Chris about this today and they are planning on providing comprehensive notes.
Warrior Balance. I’m looking forward to digging into balance a lot more in the future (probably my favorite topic!). Here is my viewpoint on a few characters. This is based on the telemetry and player feedback from Twitchcon, and extensive playing of the build and discussing it with the designers on the team and experts outside.
- Black Knight is too hard to kill, and does to much multi-target damage
- Rawlins deals a bit too much damage
- Alona is providing too much sustain
- Morgan Le Fay needs some clarity and more direct impact in her abilities
I’ll dig into how those viewpoints translate into action soon.
@bboyonce Wow, much <3 love! <3
Thank you so much, I'd love to see just that happen!
Well damm @Kalology, Let me first say....if it wasn't for the fact that I truly do enjoy this game and want to see this game be the best that it can be I would have never read this post in it's entirety. But I did, I must said it was very well written and thought out so kudos to you.
I wish I could elaborate more upon your topics, but I feel you did quite well and I agree with your thoughts and suggestions. Thank you for this post.
@Kalology Really good stuff, my friend! Very thorough report for such a short time playing the game.
I do agree though on most of your points Rawlins definitely felt like he had a distinct advantage over other DPS with his ability to run & gun.
Morgan Le Fay I believe is a very good Warrior, but, as you mentioned, has a very difficult kit. I would imagine the reason we didn't see much of her is because of two reasons - 1) the difficulty level and 2) that she feels situational right now. For her to be affective, she needs someone else to initiate off of. Since most of the teams playing were pugs, the coordination was definitely not there to take advantage of her.
Alona can definitely be powerful. Her AOE ult heal can definitely do some work during a team fight, taking everyone from within inches of their life to full health in one boom. Your comment about Radiance though - I thought it already had a max range. Do you suggest that it's shorter? (I didn't get much chance to play with her, so I could be mistaken)
@XYZP No need to apologize. The QoL changes are more of observations that can be made by watching vods without playing for the most part, but as for the balance changes, I guess only time will tell hmm? ;)
Great read, experience is most defiantly something that wins over development knowledge +1 from me! I can't wait to get involved once I've actually played the game.
@MissDJM thank you for replying, and even more so for reading through it all. I realize it's quite long and text walls don't usually do very well in forums, but my hope is that at least some of the info can be used to help the dev team out because, as I said in the post, I really do want to support this game in anyway I can, no matter how big or small the impact!
@MackNJeeves thanks for reading and for the reply!
For Radiance, I simply think that the animation for a single target heal looking like an AoE is unnecessarily confusing, and while that animation is to indicate the range, I feel that changing it to look like a line tether (first parallel example that comes to mind is Karma from league of legends with her Focused Resolve ability [a quick google search will show you it!], except obviously Alona's would be on teammates instead of enemies) that can be broken if you and the teammate leave the max range not only helps with clarity for the ability, but nerfs it in a small but effective way (as of now, if you aren't close enough to the teammate you're healing, they simply don't get the heal and damage reduction benefits until you walk back into range).
lmfao im sorry im laughing kalo but i knew there was going to be that one guy making a balance change post before alpha even roles out for people who signed up.
I will say though you put a lot more thought into what i imagined someone doing. I won't say whether you are right or wrong, but not many people got to play the alpha including me so we have no real way of saying if we can agree with you or disagree.
@FilthieRich Thanks a bunch for reading and replying, it means so much that this has been getting attention and positive feedback, let alone from the devs.
I'm actually already developing more in depth articles that I won't spoil, and would love to talk more about this:
"If there is anything we can do from the team to encourage more posts like this please let me know what we can do."
if you're willing. Feel free to directly message me on Twitter, shoot me an email, or just PM me on discord as I'm in that server as well!
Thanks again, can't wait to share more.
@Kalology Absolutely agree about the animations. One of the things I noticed (somewhat animation related) while I was playing Warriors like Rawlins and Morgan was the basic attack animation (for Morgan) and the "hit" animation (for Rawlins) wasn't quickly apparent to me. The first time I picked up Rawlins, I found myself shooting and people and not doing damage because I wasn't close enough to them. It took me a while to figure out how short the range was on him. For Morgan, it took me a while to figure out that the way the camera is facing isn't necessarily the way I'm shooting like it was for Rawlins.
@Zin_Ramu Thanks so much for replying! I had been wondering about black knight but wasn't sure about how to approach him in my post as he seemed very popular at the c* n due to the simplicity of his kit. I could go back and forth forever about this kind of stuff but I feel like there's my analysis will only go so far until I actually get my hands on the game (and maybe some data from y'all when the alpha starts!).
Excited to share more and to help in any way I can.
Thanks again for replying!