Piercing Damage: An Update

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Last weekend we ran a 2nd preview for an in-development stat for several kingdoms. Let’s talk about it!

First, let us clear a few things up right at the top:

  • It has never been our intention to launch this stat with anywhere near as high values as we previewed. 
  • There is no chance that this would launch with the damage levels that were previewed.
  • We understand that the mechanics of this stat have the potential to really shake up the current combat meta.
  • For this reason, we wanted to do an exploratory analysis to fully understand the impact of higher values. We wanted to hear from the players impacted early in development as well, so we can accurately set our limits before we ever got to this being in the wild. 

All that being said, we failed on a few fronts here.

The first was insufficient warning time for the last preview. We were basing our approach going off the impact from the first preview which, despite actually using higher damage values, was far less disruptive. The age of the kingdom populations and the event this preview was paired with led to a very different experience, and we should have allowed players more time to prepare.


Our goal was to launch this feature with small enough values that there would only be a small casualty difference in combat encounters with and without, but this past weekend we saw results that far exceeded that.

We have definitely learned a hard lesson about what we should do with this sort of stat, and maybe more importantly, what we should not do.

To the players of kingdoms 832 and 834- we feel you are due compensation for this unexpected experience. We’ve built out a plan based on the increased troop losses compared to previous The Climb weekends. This will be sent via an in-game message to those affected, so keep an eye on your Message Centers.

Lessons we will take to the future:

  • If players see this type of damage again, it will be with much smaller values.
  • In addition to drastically reducing those values, we will ensure that any previews that are not reflective of the final product will be paired with proper event buffs (such as healing or dead to wounded conversion) as mitigation.
  • We will give longer notice when a preview for this is coming.
  • We will survey entire kingdoms. We run many surveys, sometimes multiple in a week. We use samples to avoid exhausting the entire population with surveys, and target players who actively took part in the topic. We understand folks had a lot to say about this particular feature though, and we’re happy to get the extra feedback. We do ask that folks wait until the invite is sent in-game and use that link to answer however, as responses from ‘shared’ survey links outside the game cannot be collected with the in-game data.

We had one final preview planned that would employ drastically lower values (which still would not as low as we would launch with- we’re looking for limits and extremes.) This would act as an assessment of the impact and help us determine the future of this feature. 

If we do move forward with that preview down the road, it would be subject to all the learnings outlined above to prevent the experience that players had last weekend.

Missed Goals

Finally, let’s talk about the goals of this feature.

  • Increase competition and encourage engagement
  • Be accessible and valuable at any level.
  • Minimize the devaluing of player’s previous investments
    • We know people have spent a lot of effort and investment into the existing suite of stats. We do not want to destroy old ones by releasing a new one. 

We have some very valuable learnings, but this feature is still in development. We need to continue analysis and decide whether this has a future with the planned adjustments, or if we need to completely reassess.

We will not release this until it can meet all of its goals, and the previously used values clearly failed these goals. 

We hope this reassures folks who were worried after last weekend, and we sincerely apologize for the lack of transparency and the ill-planning that lead to panic. We appreciate everyone who chimed in, whether it was on our community discord or in the surveys. 

We do not take it for granted that you all care enough to take the time to tell us when we miss the mark, so genuinely, thank you for your time and passion.