Welcome to the 3rd installment of the Battlehouse Dev Blog, a place where fans of all Battlehouse games can enjoy regular behind the scenes peaks into the minds of Battlehouse Developers. This week bh-nirgal will be diving deep into three active projects he’s currently working for Thunder Run and Days of Valor. So without further adieu, here’s bh-nirgal:
Thunder Run/Days of Valor Developments
There are three major projects underway for our flagship game and its sister game.
The first project, slated for release in Q4 2019, is the TOC12 tier. The Tactical Operations Center will be one of the new armed buildings. Starting at level 12, players can mount special turrets on the roof of the TOC. The turret designs currently in testing are built on the concept of the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), meant to disorient and debuff incoming troops while doing little damage. It will have a much greater range than other turrets. For players who prefer a damage-dealer, the TOC will also have its own version of the High Energy Laser (HEL). Unlike turret HELs, the TOC HEL can target ground and air targets, at the cost of somewhat decreased damage. As part of this update, all mobile units will have their level caps raised to 16.
The second project, which should follow quickly on the heels of TOC12, is an overhaul of the Vault building. Every TOC level will get 2 vault levels. At the second level per tier, the vault will store enough hardware to be able to repair the base itself and the most expensive possible combination of Base Defenders units. The first level will be halfway between the old cap and the new cap. So let’s throw out some wildly inaccurate numbers and say it costs 300k Hardware to fully repair a TOC8 base and the best (or at least most hardware-expensive) army units in the game. If you have a level 16 Vault, you have that much saved from attackers. You can immediately start repairing. You can’t necessarily repair your field batts or protect what you have saved for research, but you can get your base back in business.
The third project, slated for an uncertain future date, is a rebalancing of the TOC tiers. This is one of the less-defined plans, and player feedback is highly encouraged. Ideally, I’d like to see the average player base level increase so that the top-tier players have worthwhile opponents to fight and the average player can hold their own. This would involve reducing research and building times for lower building levels and lower tech levels, and would involve reducing prices for older blueprints (or removing them altogether for some lower turret levels).
There’s some delicate terrain to navigate here. The game lives or dies based on players who pay to play. We cannot change that. So long as internet infrastructure costs money and so long as we have to pay our rent and pay to eat, we can’t make an entirely free game. Many of the players who pay to play are touchy about other players getting for free what they paid for.
I’d like to come up with a compromise. My plan is to divide the player base into a rookie tier, a regular tier, a veteran tier, and an elite tier, based on unlocked content.
The Elite Tier would always be the newest level of content, in this case all the stuff requiring TOC level 12. It doesn’t change until the theoretical release of TOC13, and is intended to give non-paying players at least six months of construction and research projects to complete. There are many players who won’t play if there’s nothing new to acquire, so the top tier needs to cater to this type of motivation.
The Veteran Tier is the last two levels of content, the stuff requiring TOC levels 10 and 11. It gets a slight nerf in ONP/hardware prices, research times, and build times, but no more than a 5% cut. I’d like to see players go from Veteran to Elite in half a year or less.
The Regular Tier is everything from TOC level 6 through TOC level 9. This gets a decent nerf in prices, research times, and build times, but never more than a 20% cut. I’d like to see players go from Regular to Veteran in a quarter of a year or less.
The Rookie Tier is everything at or below TOC level 5. This gets a generous nerf in prices, research times, and build times, up to a 50% cut. I’d like to see new players go from Rookie to Regular in less than a month. Sprinkled into the nerfs would be some removals of blueprint requirements.
How would it make you, the veteran players, feel if newcomers got for free some of the things you worked long and hard to acquire? Does the thought of new faces to fight and befriend make it worth it, or does it bother you to see cheaper availability? Please send me your thoughts.
Like what you see in this Dev Blog, or have suggestions on things you’d like to see Nirgal talk about in the future? Let us know over on our Thunder Run Discord Server (for Thunder Run players), or on Clan HQ (for all other games). See you all next week!