As a longtime player one thing that always felt like it could have been better was the AI deck composition in campaigns. While the difficulty always felt appropriate the AI’s reliance on using higher cost cards always felt overly unbalanced and more often than not led to a repetitive experience, where you would always know which big cards were going to appear. This additionally meant that the last few days of a campaign could feel quite grindy rather than engaging.
If this sounds familiar then I have some good news! I am very pleased to announce that we have released an overhaul on AI deck composition which will come into effect for this campaign (starting tomorrow).
Without going into all of the technical side of the code, parameters and the like, (mainly because I wouldn’t be able to describe them!) the overview of the changes are as follows:
The AI will still be aiming to reach the same difficulty at each level, as it always has done, so the difficulty hasn’t changed. To achieve this the AI now has a higher probability of upgrading cards rather than picking high cost cards, so people should be also seeing more traits. What I had noticed, in my experience, was that while there would be lots of big cards the traits would be few and far between. This should remove some of the grind element and replace it with a bit more of a tactical challenge. We were also conscious that each trait level has a significant boost in power, so an additional consideration was factored in when taking the card up a trait level, so you won’t be facing lots of trait rank three until much later in the game.
What this also means is that without the reliance on big cards the AI is much freer with its choices so each deck should feel different and unique. On top of that it’s far less likely to pick a large card and as a result throw out the deck size from what should have been a 6-8 card deck in the early games and end up instead with 4 which I know can be frustrating with missions to achieve.
As you may be able to tell I am really excited about this, and having playtested this (a lot!) I can confidently say I think this may be one of the best QoL changes the campaigns have had. Now while I am massively selling it, I do want to take a moment to say that this is ofcourse the first live deployment of this system and as many times as I have played through it, I can’t play the sheer number of games needed to represent an entire game’s worth for a full campaign. So, if there are any issues or anything feels wrong please do feed it back to us. As I said we really want to ensure the difficulty feels the same as it currently does, so if things feel obviously more or less difficult then do let us know.
As a further caveat I will say these changes do make the campaign more challenging, rather than more difficult. That may sound like the same thing, but when facing higher levelled cards with more traits, you will have to be thinking much more around target priorities, trait effects and deployment timing. It’s just as difficult as fighting four dreadnoughts, but you will have to think and plan more.
I hope you enjoy these changes as much as I have testing them and please do give as much feedback as possible as it is the best measure we have about whether a change works!