Dev Blog: Johhar Kessen
Over the past few weeks, Kessen has been a hot topic within community discussions. While we have been answering questions across various forum threads, we wanted to put together something more comprehensive and updated. We sat down with Developers Chris Menezes and Tom Dekeyser to address some of the larger points on this topic:
Why were changes made to Kessen?
Kessen was updated as part of our efforts to revamp all of our event units. We always want to make sure our units are a viable part of the game for both factions, so we wanted to give these units a better role in players’ load-outs and make them more exciting and satisfying to deploy on the battlefield.
How do you determine if the changes are balanced across both factions?
We do a lot of internal playtesting, as well as checking things like data curves, balance sheets, and some simulation. After that, when we feel confident about how it plays, we monitor player behavior, win rates, and other stats that highlight how players are doing with the unit on both factions.
Is faction-based strategy taken into consideration when making unit adjustments?
Absolutely. We account for the many different unit types and roles available for both factions to make sure any adjusted units have a viable place in a multitude of load-outs. We want to make sure changes made to units aren’t too outlandish for either faction to use, but we also don’t necessarily want to only reinforce the most-used or popular strategies already out there. While players have preferred strategies in place, unit changes can shift the meta and bring other strategies to light. As in other games with an evolving meta, the most successful players will be those that can readily adapt their strategies to change.
Are you promoting sniping as a tactic with the changes to Kessen?
Squad Sniping is a tactic, but it’s not meant to be promoted. Squad sniping has been a viable part of the game that has been loved and complained about since the start of Commander. But also by using Kessen as a squad sniper, you eliminate some of the other strategies that players can utilize. It’s kind of a balance as bases that can beat Kessen are bases that don’t rely on squad centers entirely, while bases that get destroyed by him are great at defending against other types of attacks.
What do you suggest for those players who are being negatively impacted by the changes to Kessen?
Try alternate strategies, change your base layout, lay out your traps, join a more active squad. There are a lot of options that you can try to make it so that Kessen can’t just snipe a squad center. Kessen relies on having a target initially and then a player activating the ability. If you change your layout, you can bait players into wasting the ability or give your units time to address Kessen before he can waste things. Also traps really mess Kessen up if laid properly.