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Patch 3 Balancing Update

CA_AtoCA_Ato The Creative AssemblyPosts: 700Registered Users, Moderators, CA Staff Mods, CA Staff
Happy Wold Literacy Day everyone!

The perfect day to pause the flagellating and corpse-carting for a minute and read a bit instead. Maybe some Warhammer lore, or maybe this little patch update if you’re interested?

Where we are know
With over 250 units and nearly as many character + mount combinations in the game, this project is beginning to feel very different than a historical Total War. At this point we used to struggle to come up with names for historical units, but the Warhammer world still has so much material (including better visual references than, let’s say, Trajan’s Column). That’s great!

It also means there’s no excuse for slowing down. While most of you (and us) would certainly love for us to be even quicker, I am personally quite proud of the output since the main release. I was asked early this year when the main factions’ balancing is done and I guesstimated “roughly 6 months after launch”. Was that a bit too ambitious?

That depends on how much you trust statistics. A first indicator is to see how many people play any given faction in quick battles. Regardless of whether they win or not, you can assume that people play factions that they find interesting and fun (which some people will say is even more important than winning!). All factions bar Bretonnia and Beastmen are picked at least 10% of the time (14% being the average). All in all, we are happy with that result. Empire is easily the most popular, there are fewer Beastmen DLC players out there, and Bretonnia does not offer the same unit variety. There is certainly no indicator that “Chaos is abandoned in MP”, so while we do take posts like that one seriously, we do not take them literally.

The quick battle faction win rates are a good indicator for how our balancing changes impact a faction’s average performance. Some players complained that top players are underrepresented in this statistic - in other words that lots of bad players might all be playing Empire, thus making them look weaker than they actually are. However, for our purposes it is good enough to keep track of changes to these factions. So as long as Empire is roughly played by the same ratio of noobs to pro-gamers, the stats are relevant and a good indicator of how far we’ve pushed a faction. Side-note: This is not the most important statistic we use for balancing, and certainly not the “onliest”.

At launch, there was 22% difference between the win rate of the weakest faction (Chaos) and the strongest (Vampires). There has been plenty of movement from patch to patch. We are currently at a difference of 13.5% between the weakest (Chaos) and the strongest (Beastmen). Seeing that we are adding a lot of content and options alongside balancing passes of old content, I’d be very happy for us to reach a difference of around 10% by the next patch. Which brings us to…


Were we are heading
Warhammer is still going full steam ahead, with more and more sailors joining the ship and learning the ropes, and plenty of ocean still left to explore. The shiny new toys will always get the most attention, as they are what keep us afloat and able to spend resources on balancing and improving existing content.

We are continuing to push Chaos up, with a strong desire to not make them a single trick pony (or rather single trick infantry in this case).
We are examining the regeneration gameplay and might remove the strongest healing potions until we are happier with the core system.
Each of us have some little pet projects (Fanatics *cough*) running alongside the processing of your balancing requests, statistical data, player research results and (shock!) watching streams of tournament battles (please post more links of your favourite matches!).
Admittedly, we also interrupt work for several minutes each day to stare at the hilarious and crazy animations of what will become your new favourite units.

Knowing what is on the horizon and working through a 2-do list that reaches from here to the Badlands, I am sincerely sorry that we can’t spend more time directly communicating with you on the forums. This is not the last word on this topic though. Getting you and us a bit closer together might be someone’s next pet project.


Keep up the reading and writing!

Ato
Post edited by ca_guy on

Comments

  • CA_AtoCA_Ato The Creative Assembly Posts: 700Registered Users, Moderators, CA Staff Mods, CA Staff
    Hi, just a quick quick battle unit balancing update from the data collected since the last patch. Most of you should have heard already that this data is only used to start an investigation, not as the holy grail of balancing.
    In most cases in the past though, the data did correlate with the balancing issues raised here on the forums.


    Faction Win Rates in Quick Battles
    With the latest patch we have reached a point were all main factions are within ±5% win rate. Over the course of the last patches, this difference went down from 22% over 13.5% to now 10%.

    There are 2 outliers on each end of the spectrum. Bretonnia is leading the table. We have kept their individual units OP for the time being as they currently lack a full roster. An ability bug has pushed them higher than intended though. That said, not many people play Bretonnia.

    Right at the bottom of the table are The Bloody Handz. This is mainly a single-player faction which we are currently not trying to keep MP-competitive.

    The table has been fluctuating a lot recently, which speaks for a decently complex meta. Generally speaking, Empire and Vampires are struggling more in this patch, while Greenskins and Chaos have seen a nice push up the table. Dwarfs have been consistently above Empire now, but we’re going to buff them even a bit more in the next patch, while Empire will see another minor nerf due to a bug-fix.

    Does that mean Empire is now doomed to be the weakest faction forevers? Hard to tell, since Empire is also the most popular QB faction pick of new players. We will check Empire’s tournament performance and your feedback to assess how strong they actually are.


    Unit Performance
    The bad news first, there are a bunch of units and characters that are clearly underperforming and rarely picked in QB. This is not game-breaking and in some cases can’t be "quickly" fixed, for example when a unit becomes much stronger through campaign, or much stronger when used against AI. The focus will be on revisiting units that can be improved for MP and SP alike, before setting up MP-only clones of units if we really really really have to (but we hope we won't).

    The good news is that – at least according to data – there are not many super-OP units left. Helman Ghorst and the Mortis Engine are leading the field, but the other factions have an increasing number of tools to deal with them. Squigs are obviously too strong, yet you have found ways to deal with them too. Minor adjustments are on the way. I hope you will agree though that despite adding more and more units to the game we are actually at a pretty good spot right now.


    Number of Quick Battles
    It is normal for the number of MP-players to drop quickly after release and then continue to drop over time. In TWWH, the number of quick battles per day have been unusually stable since August though. To my knowledge, that makes you the most loyal MP following we have ever had in a Total War game! Cheers for that <3 .

    Back to work now… these Dwarfs won’t get OP by themselves.

    KR, Ato
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