Just got back after another day’s testing the new teams. Had a different group of playtesters over this time and it worked very well indeed. Building on what we had the first time, plus other games in-between, I think we have the teams pretty close to being done now. This won’t stop me testing them, but it is nice to feel like they’re getting close.
I’ve rewritten the Judwan and the Z’zor so they’re more challenging as well as more fun. The initial draft of both worked mechanically, but neither was as good as it could have been. The Judwan just weren’t fun, and the Z’zor suffered from being bland, which is a shocking crime. Not any more. They now have the biggest and nastiest Guard going, bar none, as well as having Can’t Feel a Thing across the board. Them bugs takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’ 🙂
The Judwan have ended up with an ability which lets them try to move their opponents about, and this helped to give them more to think about. Most players didn’t use it a lot, but I think it was good to have on hand if needed. Interestingly, the last game we played saw it used a lot more, and I think it will come out a great deal more against certain styles of play and certain teams. It’s not quite what I had in mind for them when I first envisaged the team, and is a good example of the kind of compromise which is commonplace. “Compromise” makes this sound bad, which it isn’t. I’d have preferred them to work as I’d imagined, but they didn’t. Far better that they work and are close than they are perfect and unplayable.
The robots’ transforming ability is another feature which takes some getting used to. In some ways it’s a bit of a tease. The temptation is to use it just because it’s there, but in fact the ‘bots probably work best when you’re more restrained. It does, however, offer them a whole new realm of options which makes them rather more thinky to play.
The teams are also highlighting some awkward little wrinkles in the league system, which need a few additions. Structured leagues (and campaigns) are notoriously tricky to balance, and often have very different issues at the beginning, middle and end as teams mature and the balance of power shifts. DreadBall is no different, so I’ll be adding some extra league options in Season 2 to try and balance out some of the more common problems.
All told, it was an entertaining day, and kudos to the guys who travelled for hours to take part. Much appreciated 🙂