Developer Diary #4: Character Balancing & Creative Process
Dev Blog / 5.18.2017
Explain the recent character balances (e.g Team Health):
- Balance updates are a necessary part of keeping Legacy Wars strong, and ensures that players have a wide selection of teams and fight a variety of opponents. One of our core values in developing Legacy Wars is that no character should be a “throwaway” and that you should be able to find a Warrior that fits your playing style as long as you’re properly building your team and pairing your Leaders and Assists well.
- One change we made in the recent update was that we reduced how much you can push another character by dashing into them. Dashing and positioning are important, but constant dashing was never intended to be a requirement to playing the game and having fun. Character classes (Attacker, Defender, and Balanced) were updated to have more of an impact. Attackers have the highest base damage (which is then modified by their levels and Orb upgrades), the highest chance to do a Critical attack, but the lowest chance to draw a Block. Balanced characters are middle of the road in all fields. Defenders have the lowest base damage and Critical chance, but they have the highest chance to draw a Block. Adjust your play style accordingly depending on who you’re fighting. If you just saw an Attacker use a Block, strike before they can use more attacks and you’re more likely to catch them without another Block.
- The stat boost from Orbs received a large rebalancing. Reducing the effect from Orbs allows your Primary skills to continue to matter even as your special attacks get stronger. It’s important to use a balance of the two moves rather than sticking with only your highest damage skills. The damage reduction from Orbs also allows matches to have some back and forth, so your Health lasts longer and the battle isn’t decided in the first few combos.
- The starting stats of the Rare, Epic, and Legendary characters were raised so the characters are more quickly viable when you unlock them. The higher the rarity, the higher the starting stats, but the fewer levels you can upgrade. The stat caps out at a similar place
Can you still earn characters once you pass a certain league?
- Yes, you can still earn any and all Warrior Shards from Leagues you have passed. Being promoted to a new League just widens the pool of what Warriors you can get from Morph Boxes so it might be harder to find specific Warriors when you get to higher Leagues since there are so many to choose from, but you’ll always be able to get Warriors from all those lower Leagues.
- If you drop to a lower league, the pool of warriors you can earn is smaller, which increases your chances in earning those Warriors. However, the higher your League, you get more and better Shards. If you want to see a full detailed list of the different payouts in each League give the League icon a tap in the main menu and click on the Rewards button in any League.
What goes into making a character?
- Reference gathering: This phase starts with watching a lot of Power Rangers and we mean a lot, but keep in mind we’re looking for how the characters fight, special abilities, personalities, and special poses to make the combat look and feel just like the show. After all references have been collected, and the character creation process can begin.
- Modeling: The 3D modelers begin to sculpt the character digitally including all their weapons and clothes. They start with a high res model to get as much detail in as possible before reducing polys that we will eventually use in the game.
- Combat Design- Planning: With references in mind, the Combat Designers plan out the attack animations, special abilities, attack types and rough damage amounts. Every aspect of this character needs to be designed to balance and mesh well with all the other characters.
- Texturing: When the model is all set up it gets unwrapped. Models are made up of a bunch of points and polygons, to get color onto them they need to be UV unwrapped. If any of you have seen a clothing pattern think of it in reverse where you have a pair of pants then cut them up along the seams to make everything perfectly flat. Those pattern pieces are then textured and digitally painted by hand.
- Rigging: To get characters to move they need a rig. It’s basically like a skeleton inside the model that adheres the character’s skin. This way when a particular bone of the rig is moved the model moves with it. This is weight painted to tell the model what and how much the characters should be moved.
- Animation: When all the Combat Design for attacks is decided our Animators take the models and begin to animate them. They need to make animations for every single type of movement. Dodges, blocks, special attacks, getting hit, teleporting in, those idle animations in the Team Select screen in the Power Chamber. Every time a character moves or even breathes there’s an animator behind it all manipulating the rig to make the Warriors move.
- Combat Design – Tuning: Once the character is setup to play in game, the tuning phase begins where we we try to hone what the character feels like to play both independently and against every other Warrior. Invisible boxes and spheres are attached to the Warrior to tell them where they stand, if they should be hit, if they should be doing damage. All of this is tuned not only by the animation but by how it feels and how the speed, Power cost, attack type, and Warrior type effect the overall experience of using that particular Warrior.
- Visual Effects: Also known as VFX, these are all the flashy explosions, sword swings, bullets, dust clouds, zappy lightning, and sparks you see both in and out of combat. Our VFX Artists not only create these amazing effects they also add them to the combat animations and hit reactions to make sure all those explosions happen at just the right time. Sound Effects: Now for the sound effects (SFX), they’re added around the same time as the VFX to make sure that all those moves sound just as good as they look. Every clang, explosion, zap, and strike SFX is created and added into the character’s combat animations just like the VFX.