We asked our Head of Game design at Super Mechs some questions about the NEW version #SMreloaded…
Who are you?
Hi, I’m Mohadib and I’m part of Tacticsoft Design Team and head the game design of Super Mechs. My day-to-day work is mostly to define how game systems work, and constantly balance the economy and items of Super Mechs.
What is this update all about?
This is actually a MAJOR update in terms of the game balancing.
We realized the game had to be refreshed dramatically both in the mech building part, as well as in the general economy. This update was made to make it more interesting and easy to pick up for new players, as well as having deeper and more interesting gameplay for veteran players.
We also wanted to build a system that will allow us to add new content on a regular basis without disrupting the game balance.
What are some of the major changes?
New Items & Items Balancing
We have introduced many new items and completely changed the balance of properties between the different tiers of items and how powerful each item is. We made the tier (Common, Rare, Epic, Legendary or Mythical) the most dominant element in an item’s strength. We also made the type (Physical, Electric or Heat) more important to the item’s identity, to foster stronger mech-building skills. We specifically wanted to prevent a situation where there can be a few mech builds that are superior to the rest. With this update, you can basically counter any mech build if you really understand the vulnerabilities and strengths of all different items.
We have added a new system called “Transform” that allows you to, well, transform an item to a higher tier. This feature is almost equivalent to Evolution in other games. Max Powered items can “evolve” to a higher tier item and receive a boost in properties as well as a new visual look. So, now, a Common item can be transformed into a Rare item etc.
Not all items have the same amount of transformations available, so finding the ones that can transform the most is also important. For example, you may find 2 Rare side-weapons that look similar, do the same damage etc, but one can transform twice up to Legendary and one can only transform once to Epic. It’s obvious investing in the first one will be better.
More than that, you can no longer get Mythical items in any box in the game. The only way to get Mythical items is to transform Legendary items that can turn to a Mythicals. This will require players to really prove they are strong and work in order to reach Mythical items.
We have rebalanced costs and rewards in a major way. There has been such a large change that we have decided to replace the currency completely to not confuse the veteran players. We now have Gold Coins instead of SM Coins. This was also done to cope with the serious inflation we had in the previous Super Mech version.
We are moving from a system that encourages hoarding items (since boosting was almost meaningless) to a system where boosting and transforming items is essential for progress. Inventory limit is a common mechanic in such games to motivate focus of fewer, stronger items rather than hoarding thousands of meaningless ones.
Once a player becomes accustomed to this new focus on upgrading it’s likely he will never feel the inventory limit, especially since more inventory slots are added as player levels go up.
This feature is complemented by the changes we made to items’ weight to enforce the superiority of transforming. There is no longer a need to save a Common item just because it weighs less than its Rare or Epic version. Higher tier versions of the same item are always the same weight, so they are always superior to the lower-tier versions.
New players will learn the game with this system in place so it’s just part of the natural learning curve.
We ARE aware veteran players are less used to this gameplay and some have collected an incredible amount of items (I’ve seen players with 9000+ items, almost all duplicates) - so we’re going to give veteran players a grace period where inventory limit will be postponed.
We haven’t yet decided the length of that period, probably a few weeks, but veteran players will have time to play the game, gain new items while still having the old ones. These items could be used for boosting or kept for regular usage. However, you will not be able to upgrade them or use them for transforming.
Regular boxes are focused on items by tier (Common, Rare, Epic and Legendary) since tier is becoming a more central element in the game. We ARE planning to have special periodic “dungeon” missions and events which will allow players to focus on getting specific types of items - either by category (body items, weapons, modules etc), by type (Physical, Heat, and Energy) or even specific special items.
As I mentioned before, the only way to get Mythical items is by transforming a Legendary item. Mythical items will no longer be found in boxes (unless part of a special Game Event).
Can you explain furhter the changes in currency?
As I mentioned before, we made some economic changes across the board. These changes touch a lot of elements in the game, which made it too difficult and confusing to keep using the old SM coins. We have decided to retire SM coins from circulation and use a new Gold Coin currency.
New Players won’t feel anything since they won’t even know the old coin. Veteran players will have to convert their SM Coins to Gold. In addition, we’re giving veteran players a special opportunity to convert their SM Coins to Premium Boxes, which will only be available for tokens in the game. They’ll be able to do that conversion the first time they enter the re-launched game. After their first log-in, the offer will no longer stand.
What is your favorite item? What is your favorite build?
I don’t have one favorite item, but I do love looking for combinations of items that allows interesting strategies. For example, I’ve seen a build that has strong long-range weapons and then has mid/short range weapons, which mostly provide pushback.
I also think as you level up finding good modules is becoming increasingly critical, and the right module can have a decisive impact on the outcome of battles.
As to favorite mech build – this keeps changing as we’re playing the new version and adding more items. Every time I think I find a few of the best builds, but then someone else from the team appears with a super cool build that absolutely trashes mine. It’s a constant arming race and it’s super fun
What is the most under-the-radar feature of the new version?
So there are several elements we are adding under the hood so I will only mention them vaguely.
First, you can use any item to boost, but using the correct items will be much more efficient. We also built it that you can have different levels of efficiency, so players figuring out the system quicker can have a significant advantage as they’ll move up faster.
Looking for items with a large potential for more transforms is also very important. A Legendary item might be stronger than an Epic one, but if the Epic one has potential to reach Mythical, and the Legendary doesn’t, then that Epic item is much more valuable. Looking at that potential is very important.
The last thing, we’re working on making the battles themselves more strategy based and players will probably start noticing this in the upcoming releases. Finding all the strategies and counter-strategies is exciting.
Thanks, Mohadib! I think I speak for the community when I say we are all excited to play!