Now that everyone has had a chance to play around with the Armory firsthand and get their own opinions and impressions on the system, we wanted to share a bit more of the design process surrounding the Armory and where we’ll be taking the system in the future.
We’ve taken a look at how the Armory has performed so far in terms of the goal we set out for it: it’s intended to offer meaningful player choices and to break the uniformity between different rounds. We’ve also assessed some of the positives and negatives that have come about with the introduction of Armory.
- The Armory is giving players many real and meaningful options by offering a plethora of choices with distinct purposes (We’ll get into some of the numbers below!)
- The strategy component of Arena has increased due to the impact of skillful item choice. Resource management and utilization of uptime on items during a round will increase your winrate. Since many of the passive equipments have specific trigger points, maximizing these is vital.
- Some equipment, such as Crown of Power, can create interesting mini-games by themselves.
- Other equipment, such as Ahmrilas Ward and Void Reaper, allow a team to distribute wielders based on need and capability due to the fact that they scale down the more you have of them.
- The Armory allows players to break the flowchart of certain situations depending on items chosen. For example, if you’re in need of a quick escape, the Grappling Hook will get you out even when all your abilities are on cooldown. Your opponents will have to keep this in mind, but you have limited uses of the Hook and choosing it comes at the cost of an item that would have given you stats or other utility.
- It has created a difference in gameplay between the first 3 rounds as the number of items you can choose ramps up. The complexity of the decision increases based on item synergies.
- We didn’t realize the extent to which the appearance of an item system would cause perception problems among players, regarding the nature of equipment and consumables carried over from Royale.
- The Armory introduced another layer of new effects and abilities players had to keep track of when there was already a lot to remember, and was perceived as chaotic and random despite there being no actual randomness.
- Certain equipment and consumables may have created a critical mass of damage amplification, causing big burst to be a bit too common when released alongside Overload.
- Certain consumables are not a great fit for Arena due to the visual clutter they generate or the unfun gameplay surrounding playing with or against the consumable.
Given this list, we’re confident in our ability to amp up the positives of Armory further and mitigate many of the negatives over the next few patches.
Here’s some data on Armory across the whole player base:
What we can tell from the data is that consumables don’t really come into full force until round three and on. Equipment is the clear winner in popularity, and while Teldo’s Quickblade is the most popular item overall, Crown of Power climbs atop its throne starting from round two.
Rabbit Potion is a niche item that we placed in the Armory as a safeguard against strong combos. Due to the fact that it’s only a single use and has a considerable downside with the forced rabbit transformation, it’s difficult to find the right time to activate for maximum effect. Popularity, in this case, doesn’t indicate any particular issue with the item.
Healing Salve offers out-of-combat sustain in the long run but has questionable value. While it grants a whopping 108 potential healing, it’s unlikely a player can make use of it entirely. We’ll be adjusting this one to make it a bit more usable in the near future.
Armory adds a safety valve against strange meta situations by ensuring that certain effects are available in all matchups if you’re able to recognize the value in taking the correct item, provided the right effects exist to counter those meta situations. Having a well-rounded set of items also allows us to go further with our Champion designs by bolstering baseline functionality for all Champions. We are committed to improving the teamplay, strategy, and outplay portions of Armory while trimming off elements that detract from the Arena experience.
We’re rolling out a patch next week with Armory changes focused on this direction. We hope this gives a bit more insight into the design process and where we’re taking some of the Arena changes!