Balancing Dark-Side Players


The other day we did a test with 8 players.  Most of them new to the game.  It didn't take long for it to devolve into a dark-side game with drivers abandoning their cars to gang up on other cars to beat them up with their Tesla Shields.  The end results of the game can be seen in the attached before-and-after screenshots.  The game ended in a foot race.

This turn to the dark side is not terribly surprising with new players as the Tesla Shields are a lot of fun.  Regardless, there was something more going on behind all that.  Too many players were finding the light-side mechanics too frustrating and, thus, the easier dark-side mechanics were all the more tempting.  This is a significant problem for the game because greater weight on the light side is what should ultimately carry the players through the next levels of mayhem in the game.  If too many players are "one and done" with the light side, then the game will never reach the next levels of mayhem in a fun way for most players, and we have no game.

Thus, seeing and understanding testing like this will hopefully guide this game into a nice balance for a broader audience.  Particularly, from this test, physics on the cars are being tuned to make them less sim-like and easier to drive, and the damage from the Tesla Shields has been turned down.  Furthermore, an optional steering control (which has always been planned for testing) for players not accustomed to RC-like controls, is being considered a higher priority for testing than it was before.

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