Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Playtesting Discoveries Resulting In Changes

So we have have about 10 play test sessions under our belt now and we've made changes to a bunch of thing to improve the game.

Many of the changes have to do with the power of individual cards as we hone each side to ensure balance.

Some changes include:

Holy Relic - Key Of St. Peter - This card allowed an player to free a soul from purgatory for the side of heaven twice per game. This combined with other "free point" cards was just too much. We trimmed it to once per game.

Holy Relic - Selaphiel's Thurible - This card used to add points to a virtue only if Sepaphiel was in play. This made the card not very useful as Angel and Devil cards are hard to acquire. The ability has been updated to "Reset a soul with 1 unholy point to neutral" We found during playtesting that being able to recover from the other player getting a head start on souls is a good thing. This card helps with this.

Holy Relic - Assumption Robe - This card allowed a player to reap a soul to heaven as long as it had a single holy point 3 times per game. This essentially handed the player 9 points. We have changed the requirement to be 3 holy points. So it reduces the amount needed by 1.

Intercession - St. George - This card prevented one holy point each game. It was too weak. This card now allows a player to destroy 1 unholy relic per game.

Two pair rule - Players could get multiple hands of two pairs in a row by acquiring an extra color card after drawing an Intercession/Sin. Although fun for the player who gets lucky, it's a bummer for the other side. I think it will be best to allow two  pair to be played only once per turn. We will play test this way and see if it is better.

Holy/Unholy track - It's very difficult to get new angels/devils by maxing out the holy/unholy track. I will reduce it by 1 on each side and see how that changes the game.

Finally, the angel and devil cards have special abilities in addition to providing a +1 bonus every turn to souls of the same color. This was just too much. Players could become confused with so much to think about. I have removed the special ability from angels and devils and the game runs MUCH faster now.

Here is a new angel card. Please note that I am NOT a graphic designer, the game will have PROFESSIONAL graphic design and icons. But I want to show the new card elements. Special ability text can be replaced with flavor text. Also included is the art credit and the name of the heavenly virtue the angel affects. I will add text with all color cards for the benefit of colorblind players.