Well, the dust is beginning to settle for 1.2. I think we've all had a fair amount of time to adjust to the major changes, and, having let GPP phase two marinate for several weeks longer than phase one, I think we can trust that the statistics collected over this period more-or-less accurately reflect the genuine state of the game. And there's been an improvement.Reading the graphs
: Each cross is one game, the distance from 0 on the vertical axis indicates how close a game was to the mean duration for all games on the graph (the weighting for how much this affects the lines is half as much as we used in phase 1). The numbers in the bottom right are the min/median/max/standard deviation for stage up times and game duration.Both servers combinedEuro serverUS server
The lines for stage 1v1 and 2v2 are the most disappointing, but I'm relieved to see that the endgame (3v3 plus SD, which account for 35% of all games) is as close to perfect as I could hope for. This suggests that humans make better use of stage advantages (and neither team seems to stage up significantly faster than the other). So even though the win ratio isn't perfect (53 aliens to 47 humans), I'm quite satisfied overall. Which means that the gameplay changes I've decided on for phase three are based more on my own judgement and popular sentiment than the objective statistics.Gameplay Changes for Phase 3
First of all, the flamer is still manifestly useless. In GPP phase 2 it was used for less structure kills than every other human weapon, and only managed to beat out the blaster, grenade, and painsaw in player kills. For a weapon best suited to killing low-level aliens, this is quite lousy. I do like where the damage is at now, but it's clear that the real issue is how much it hurts the wielder. Since kills from splash damage account for less than a quarter of all flamer kills, I think reducing its splash damage will actually be an improvement.
- Flamer splash damage reduced 25 -> 12
Second, a frequent complaint I've heard is that humans have too little stamina for sprinting and dodging. This hadn't really seemed like an issue to me, but I don't disagree with the negative feedback. See this
post if you want to know how I decided what to change.
- Reduced sprinting's drain on stamina 8 -> 6
- Changed the stamina threshold for jumping and dodging to the slowing threshold (-500) plus the cost of jumping or dodging (250 for both)
- Increased the stamina restoration rate for standing 25 -> 30
Lastly, the dragoon has probably been the biggest point of contention since the start of the 1.2 gameplay preview. I think everyone has had plenty of time to get used to the new bite range and it seems like a significant number of people still feel it's too short. Moreover, I've come to agree that in bigger games it does feel a little inadequate (my guess is because it's more important to be able to pivot between targets). I think a small change is warranted.
- Dragoon base chomp range increased 72 -> 80
The pounce, in contrast, seems to be considered by a lot of people to be overpowered. I don't necessarily agree that it's too
overpowered, but I have felt for a while that it's slightly too hard to dodge -- mostly when the goon doesn't actually make contact with you, but flies past and hits you on the way. A range decrease (mechanically, the pounce works just like every other melee weapon) should make these attacks a little harder while having no impact on direct hits.
- Dragoon pounce range reduced 54 -> 40
There will be a GPP phase four. If none of the above changes turn out to be regressions my plan is to just turn on friendly fire on both servers and see what happens.