Designer's Corner - Beta Balance

Hey Friends--

Ben Stoll here, lead game designer on DC Dual Force and lead designer of our first major set, Origins. As you can imagine, even before any of you saw the completed design on Origins, we had a few cards on our "watch list" for power level concerns. In order for us to make interesting cards that can create exciting moments, as well as cards that foster effective counterplay against specific strategies, we have to really toe the line sometimes, and inevitably there will be times where our design intention is a little out of sync with our execution.

Your feedback is of course a major aid in helping us identify and get clarity on certain problems. With that said, I wanted to share some of our perspective on this issue so you can understand some of how we’re approaching things.

Our goal is to strike the balance between not letting toxic/imbalanced card designs linger in the game without being corrected, but also not jumping the gun and simply nerfing everything the first moment that it appears to be overpowered. Obviously in extreme cases, we will nerf sooner.

There are also some cards that we feel are underperforming and want an adjustment, as you’ll see in the list of cards below that we’re looking to adjust for the Open Beta.

But, when possible, we prefer to give the metagame a little time to breathe–We want to let players try to explore counter-strategies, give people time to suss out the more subtle capabilities that the card pool offers, etc.

One of the trickiest things is that--by design--some of the strategies in DC Dual Force have an easier time reaching their full potential than others. Leaders like Batman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman are intentionally sort of “obviously good,” meant to be versatile, and able to shine in almost any deck style. This is part of why some of these Leaders are tied to the base decks and made available up front, after you complete the tutorial. They're meant to be strategically easier to construct effective decks around, in addition to not requiring a massive collection to get tons of value out of.

Meanwhile, leaders like Black Adam, Cyborg, or Batgirl are both more head-scratching and a little less forgiving on budget collections. While there are enough DEPLOY Recruits floating around that it's not too hard to get Batgirl to do her thing, to reach her full potential she really needs you to scoop up some percentage of some very specific cards. Whereas Wonder Woman kicks ass pretty much with whatever you’re doing (not that she doesn’t have her own synergies, just that she’s less of a synergy-oriented Leader overall). So, because Wonder Woman is easier to make work on a budget than Batgirl is, it can create the illusion that Batgirl is underpowered, or that Wonder Woman is overpowered. On the deck-construction side, we've seen the community figure out decent builds using, for example, Might-Tactics "good stuff" to make some perfectly solid decks. There are also very powerful strategies that haven’t been fully tapped yet, however, due to card collections being limited by the number of boosters players had access to during the 24/7 beta, putting more pressure on highly-tuned deckbuilding.

TL;DR, we want the game to be as fun as possible, which includes being well-balanced. Keep in mind that while we want most cards to have some kind of chance to shine, at least in some context, we might push the power level on certain cards that we think are overall good for the game and pull back on the power slightly with cards that, by nature, are more confusing or less fun to play against.

Thank you all, for all of the feedback and support you’ve given us during the beta. Please be patient with us as we fine-tune the game!

It’s been such a joy for us to see you all in-game; thanks so much for playing and being a part of this experience with us!

Here is the list of cards we’re looking to adjust for the Open Beta. More information will come on how these cards are being adjusted when we publish the official patch notes for the Open Beta launch.

  • Atrocitus

  • Batarang

  • Batmobile

  • Booster Gold

  • Chaselon

  • Double Time

  • Freddy Freeman

  • Hal Jordan (Leader)

  • Kong Kenan

  • Madame Xanadu

  • Miss Martian

  • Pedro Peña

  • Sea Creature Changes: • Great White Shark • Humpback Whale • Storm, the Seahorse • Squid

  • Shazam (Leader)

  • Solstice

  • Super Sonic Sucker Punch

  • The Cheetah

  • Upgraded Batarang

  • Utility Belt