Q&A w/ Oktagon - November Edition (12/12/18)

Brigby ADMINISTRATORS Posts: 7,757 Site Admin
Hi Everyone,

We hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season in MtGPQ! As busy as the team is preparing more holiday content, and working on next year's features, they were able to take some time to put some answers together for the November Q&A Session.

We want to give a big thank you to the 5 Oktagon team members that took the time to answer all of these questions: Alain Valchera, Matheus Funfas, Pedro Rauiz, Danilo Dias, and Guilherme Evangelista!

Card/Planeswalker Balance

What is your approach towards balancing / adjusting older Planeswalkers and Cards?
From Rivals of Ixalan onward, we implemented a mtrix of values to balance Planeswalkers' attributes, based on gameplay archetypes. This essential pack of formulas allows us to balance each aspect of the whole collection (cards, events, Planeswalkers) with an auxiliary sheet that points if a card cost, shield, power or toughness are adequate to its current role on the meta, keeping them well-rounded and faithful.

We are always updating this matrix with new information each time a new collection is released. However, this is not the unique element that guides us to adjust contents. Internal tests, gathered data, players' feedback, it all helps us to improve their design, balance, and fix abilities and cards that need rework. As part of this balancing process, we've planned a gradual rewrk on old Planeswalkers and cards, with the intent of bringing those closer to the ones in the Standard environment (better mana bonuses, more health, and so on)

Our latest forum contest leads me to believe that you can also track the number of times a card has been used by players. If so, would you consider using that data to improve the weaker mythics and rares that have been underused by the player base?
Yes, although the data tracking provided by those tools is not the only method we use to check which content could be improved. Also, some underused cards have specific uses, which can make them look weaker at first glance, as they support some niche strategies.

Quality Assurance

What is the Quality Assurance process like, and what are some steps your team is taking to improve it moving forward?
The QA process starts alongside the Game Design team's collection content adaptation, analyzing which mechanics and interactions (between new content and previous content present in the game) could cause issues, even in concept phase. As soon as the Engineers start the implementation, we begin testing the cards.

The first thing that we test on cards is if they are working as designed by the GD team. Once we ensure that all text and art match, and the mechanics are working as expected, we split the team into testing new mechanics with previous content and those that keep testing the new release content.

Can you prioritize adding a feature to disable/remove problematic cards, so that we don't encounter situations where events need to be cancelled because of bugs?
We invariably rank the problem-solving aspect first. We address issues first and are always looking to solve them as soon as possible for players. Every ticket and thread on the forum the players have created have been very important to us on that matter, and we're constantly trying to improve the repairing process without delaying new releases. A feature as requested would negatively impact the timeframe we have available, for players that aren't having issues with those cards, and still would require the same amount of time testing the tickets sent to us about them.

How do you plan to address the inconsistencies certain cards and/or objectives have?
Both the team and the community have been really helpful spotting irregular behavior, and we're putting together a series of updates planned to address text and effects inconsistencies, especially regarding older content. When adapting a card from tabletop MtG, its traits are followed to the most possible extent. Any slight variation requires resorting to our internal guidelines to try and find the best and clearest way of conveying that card's purpose within the game, while maintaining WotC's wording format.

Upcoming Features / Content

Are there plans for new event formats, such as Planechase, Commander, Sealed/Draft, and Release events?
Yes. We have intentions to implement, in a not-so-near future, the MTGPQ versions of Planechase and Draft. However, both event formats mentioned will probably not be available before the second semester of 2019, as our main goal is to improve Duel Decks and other existing events.

Will we ever see the 3 Planeswalkers that were not added to the game, during their respective sets, be implemented? (Chandra, Flamecaller; Nissa, Voice of Zendikar; Tamiyo, Field Researcher)
Not in the near future. Since there are a lot of new features and content from the most recent sets in each update, we have to prioritize those items.

Will we ever be able to play against our own, or Coalition members', decks? Or rematches?
Yes. The Player Profile feature is the first step in that direction, building the base of a series of systems that will provide these and other kinds of interactions, such as new social options and game modes.

Will you ever make an update so we can view our hand while the "do you want to cast this spell" window is open?
Not in the near future, but other upcoming features will provide improvements to player awareness during battles.

Can you put a turbo mode in the game or 10x/30x/50x speed option?
Though it will take a while to get implemented, due to how many screens it affects, there's a planned feature that serves both veterans that want a faster experience and new players that would rather have a guiding hand.


Will you be utilizing the in-game Inbox more often?
We intend to do so. Releases, big upcoming events, and updates all shall have Inbox messages to notify players about those news.
Thanks for checking out the November Edition of the Q&A w/ Oktagon. If you have questions you'd like to ask them for the December Edition, then please submit them HERE
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