Some of the dust has settled after the last patch was released, so it’s time for a summary. Thanks to a promotion and Steam’s autumn sale, there has been an influx of new players. I would like to welcome everyone on board, and encourage you to participate in discussions and take part in the development of the game. I’m always open to ideas and your input is very important to me.
Alpha23 was probably the biggest gameplay update released so far, and as much as I had high hopes that it will be a big improvement of KeeperRL, it received a bit of negative feedback.
Processing negative comments is pretty hard. First of all there is a danger that they are not representative of overall player opinion – of about 2000 people that tried out Alpha23, only about 1-2% posted their comments. I take feedback very seriously, but my decisions will be different depending on whether it’s only that 1% that are unhappy, or if there are another 1000 players who didn’t like the update, but didn’t comment.
There can also be clashes of my personal vision of the game, and people’s expectations and playing styles. I’ve recently learnt that some players have been building dungeons with over a hundred minions. I never planned gameplay around such big bases, so it’s understandable that some of the changes can conflict with such playing style. I need to take that into account when deciding if a particular piece of feedback is related to a bad design in the core of the game. Of course I try to cater to as many types of players as possible, but I also need to make some compromises to stick to my vision.
To get to specific feedback, it was mostly related to people not liking the new mana progression, having to use the full-control mode all the time or just generally finding the game too hard. I think the last two are very connected, as full-control gives a huge advantage to the player, so it forced me to increase enemy stats. Now staying in the real-time mode or even controlling just the team leader is not an option in most battles. I can definitely see how it breaks the game for some people.
It may sound dumb, but for me a big thing is that I personally enjoy playing KeeperRL with the new changes. The new tactical gameplay introduced by the full-control mode is very fun for me, and the mana progression gives me more challenge. While the new features will stay for now, I’ll try to improve them and remove as many rough edges as possible to give everyone a better playing experience. I’ll improve the interface and general handling of the full-control mode, and work on creature AI so that its tactical disadvantage is smaller. I will also try to improve the progression, although I think that tying it with conquest was a good decision.
Besides fixes, I already have some plans for the next update. As with Alpha23, it will continue the trend of adding new gameplay features and content, although I’m quite certain that this time they will be much less revolutionary. Once the plan is laid out, I will write a blog post about it.
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