Now that my temp forum ban is over, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on Alliance War. Overall, I’ve been having a lot of fun with the wars. I (and my alliance) have decided to stop caring about bounty & pvp to focus on war and that decision has resulted in arguably the most fun I’ve had with HH to date.
So here are some of my stand-out thoughts, starting with what I feel are the best parts of how AW is implemented and finishing with some suggestions and QoL improvements that would really polish off this awesome new game mode.
A strategy-based game mode is refreshing.
Despite an RTS-style mode not really making sense within the HH game format, it’s really nice having a second game mode that doesn’t exemplify the “time/money=win” structure (big shoutout to Draft Brawls with their valor-based ranking - the only other place in HH where skill > time/money). Overall, having a “big picture” game mode has been a lot of fun and allows for a more in-depth thought process than spurts of 3-minute meta-driven matches.
The graphics and design are beautiful.
Seriously. HUGE props to the design team here. The interface, the menu layout, etc are amazingly well designed. Little details like having the current shield timer show up when you zoom in fully - stuff like that shows the work that went into this.
The marker system implementation is great.
Pushing a lot of power onto officers is critical to making AW manageable and it was a very smart design decision to go that route. Being able to set markers and pull defenders from sectors means that a few people can ‘take charge’, allowing the majority of alliance members to be relatively passive with strategic decisions. Love this.
Suggestions for Improvement
Points need to be normalized to map potential.
This is the biggest one. Some maps are larger than others and some have more bonus sectors than others. When season scores rely only on an alliance’s top three wars, this is a CRITICAL balancing decision. Look at the current season; war 3 had far fewer points available on the map. If war 4 ends up being on a map similar to wars 1 and 2, then the season scores will essentially nullify the entirety of war 3. What if one alliance did really well in war 3? Too bad. Those points are completely irrelevant.
My suggestion here is to take 1/6 of every map and add up the total points available (including bonus sectors). Apply a scaling factor that brings every map to the same total points available. Anything short of this should be considered a failure in fundamental game balance.
Increase “eagle-eye” visibility.
What I mean here is that an alliance officer shouldn’t need to click through every single sector to see the status of each. There is important information that could be much more accessible and lead to much smoother interfacing with the map stats.
My suggestion is to add an indicator to sectors that currently have a bonus here. Maybe a subtle green outline? Maybe it gets brighter if the feature hero is there? Something like this would greatly improve officers’ ability to keep track of territory status and would dramatically help with issuing orders on where bonus heroes are needed.
Improve marker functionality.
We are currently limited to only 6 markers total spanning offense and defense. They are slightly different visually, but not different enough. When you are expecting an alliance to be interacting directly with two other adjacent alliances, we’re now down to three markers to use on an entire battlefront. Not enough.
Suggestion: Increase the maximum marker amount. Double it at least. Maybe 6 each for attack and defense? I don’t really care how it gets split, but the current system simply isn’t enough. Also it would be a huge QoL improvement to differentiate them further. Different color maybe? Right now, they look too similar and improving the “at-a-glance” functionality would be really helpful.
This one just bugs me When you see another alliance, they should stay visible for the rest of the war. There’s really no reason why an alliance that I’ve been staring at for 3 days should all of a sudden be “unknown” because I can’t see any specific sectors of theirs anymore.
Suggestion: Keep them visible and don’t revert back to Unmet Alliance for the duration of the war.
Thanks for reading
I’m having a blast with AW! Thanks to wars, I went from being in the process of quitting to enjoying the game more than ever. I may not agree with everything HHG does and I know that not everyone feels the same way about AW that I do; but I’d be remiss if I didn’t give you guys a huge “Nice Work” for this one. Executed beautifully.