Hey guys, what’s up? This is Haruki, your community manager and I welcome you to this second volume of the Podcast of Mayhem. As a reminder, in this podcast I’ll be inviting members of the development team and we’ll be chatting about different community hot topics, upcoming events and everything that is relevant to your interests. Today I’m joined by two members of the development team. It’s kind of early where they are but they have made the effort. If you are on Discord, you probably know one of them: Gossamur. Hello, Gossamur, how are you doing? Hello, hello, nice to meet everyone. And the other one is Merlin Ham. Hello, Merlin Ham, how are you doing? Hey, how is it going?
Not too bad, not too bad. You are a little bit more of a lurker, I think. We haven’t seen you so much on Discord but I know that you are there. Yeah, always lurking! Yeah, it’s true that there are a lot of vocal team members on the Discord server. And some of you stay in the shadows but you are always reading. Yeah, we definitely have a lot of team members constantly watching the feedback. They may not be loud on the channel but they are loud fighting for the players’ voices inside the team. It’s ok, it’s ok, I can be the loud one. Yes, you are the one that we put on shiny armor to take all the hits… But I think it’s always nice to have members of the team on the Discord channels to always talk to you guys. So related to this I wanted to ask you: why do you choose your Discord names? More specifically yours, Gossamur, because I don’t know why you went for that U in Gossamur… Is there any story behind this? Yes, it’s a very unexciting story. When I joined Discord I wanted to have a Looney Tunes name and I assumed that Gossamer would already be taken. I did not know that you can have the same name as other people. So I just went for Gossamur… Oh, ok, I thought you just mistyped it for some reason and then you said, well, I’m just gonna go with it. And what about you, Merlin Ham? Maybe this story is more interesting. It’s unfortunately not more interesting. Merlin Sam is one of my favourite toons in the game but I did not want to steal his identity. So I had to play around with the name. So here I am, Merlin Ham. And just to keep on talking about toons. What are your favorite ones inside of the game? For me, I think I’m just in the Halloween spirit and coming out of Monster Takeover, but right now I think it’s Doctor Dawgstein. That’s a very hard question. I think my favorite toon is a plain common toon, Sheriff Porky. Oh, wow, that was unexpected… I like him the most because his Passive is just great and it allows me to build a lot of interesting teams around much stronger toons. Ok, for the time being, I’m having a blast with Daffy Hood. If I can keep him from getting himself killed… I really love the skills and the character. Ok, next question. You know that it’s the tradition of this podcast, or it will become a tradition, that each person introduces themselves and says what they do in their job. So, what’s your role? What kind of shenanigans await you when you arrive to work? Hi, I´m Gossamur, I am a Roadmap Product Manager. That means I work with Game Designers, Producers and Engineers in order to build new experiences that will be releasing in the upcoming months and years. In reality, that means that I’m kind of standing between the player, tech and business needs, and trying to prioritize multiple backlogs, given the always limited resources. Other times, my job is just saying NO to a bunch of people. Yeah, that includes me as well.
Oh, yes, I love saying NO to you. Ok, so there we have Roadmap Manager for you guys. What about you, Merlin Ham? I’m the Growth Product Manager on the team. That’s a pretty broad job. Primarily, I’m responsible for growing our player base inside the game. That means bringing people into the game and trying to keep people in the game. I’m partnering with our Marketing team to make sure their messaging and activities are aligned with what we’re doing. On the game side, I’m kind of a steward for the player experience. I’m the product touchpoint for Customer Support and of course I work with you, Haruki, on community management. And within the game, I consider myself an advocate for a lot of initiatives that help improve the player experience and help to keep people inside the game. Ok, guys, so now you know what a Roadmap Manager and a Growth Manager do inside the team. I’m gonna jump straight into business and I’m gonna be talking with you, Gossamur. The man who says NO to my requests… You have this magic ball where you see what kind of cool, exciting features will arrive in World of Mayhem. If we look back, we have Arenas, and then the Progression and Crate update as two of the milestones of the latest months. But I know that the team has been working on something big and I’d like you to give us more information about this. Sure, it’s probably the most exciting feature that I’ve worked on for the last couple of years. It’s also the biggest feature that I ever worked on. And that’s basically: Alliance Wars. So I’m pretty excited to reveal what the team has been working on. So, Alliance Wars, I imagine this is taking the Alliance experience to another level. It’s definitely a whole new chapter in the player experience. It’s a brand new game experience that will require strategy and deep coordination within an Alliance. We’re talking here about a full-on 50 vs 50 fighting. So again, it’s the next level in terms of gaming experience, synchronicity and realtimeness. But also in terms of depths and socialization. So I’m very excited about seeing players develop different roles inside their Alliances, bringing their expertise and contributing together. That’s amazing to hear. And I know for sure there’s already a teaser in the World Map, is that correct? That’s right! If you scout the World Map, you’ll find a hint about the theme for these Alliance Wars. So everyone who is listening to this podcast, please go to the comment section below and let us know your guess for the theme of these Alliance Wars. And when you say it’s one of the biggest features, how long is this taking to develop? We’ve been working on this for a year, from pre-production and conception to full implementation. Over a year? Oh, wow, I thought it was less. We’ve been talking about these Alliance Wars for a while now. I believe we touched this in one of our first Q&As on Discord. Yes! For a mid-core game like World of Mayhem, having a feature like Alliance Wars is sort of a given. So we always knew we would build it. And we’ve always made sure that the game has space, the space that we need to build the feature that we want. So it has been in our plans from the beginning. That’s exciting! And I guess this is the mother of all questions but, when is this happening? Do you have any ETA? Soon. No, no, that’s my catch-phrase, you cannot use that one. You know, I would not be here talking about it if it was not coming up soon. We’re looking at a 2019 timeline. Ok, so before the year is over. That’s right, that’s my goal! But, there’re still a number of exciting things that are coming before, that we can all look forward to before Alliance Wars. Ok, that’s nice to hear as well. We’re all gearing up for November and Thanksgiving, and our event team has definitely some funny events coming up through that timeframe. We also heard a lot of feedback about how awesome would be to have a log in calendar. So players can expect around that time (Thanksgiving) that there’s an extra reason to check out the game daily. I need to ask this, as a disclaimer: are we talking here about a Monthly Login Calendar or something special? This is going to be not quite a full month. We want to try this out, make sure that everyone is excited about it. So no promises but if we get positive feedback about it, we may try it again. Ok guys, so stay on the lookout for that Thanksgiving calendar. It’s something to be excited about. And the new events which, maybe you guys can tell me more about them, I believe they bring new toons? Yeah, there should be some new toons coming out very soon. Looking back to October, I think it has been an interesting month in terms of the balance between new events bringing new toons and also the existence of re-runs of previous events. Which is something that the community has been requesting as well. It’s always nice to have new toons to look forward to, to expand the meta, but it’s also nice getting pieces from old toons. I imagine this is something to expect moving forward, right? Yeah, we have had tons of good feedback regarding the re-runs and people who have been able to either unlock for the first time, or load up on toons they’ve collected in the past. We’re always looking at our events cadence and how to improve it. So players should expect new re-runs. That’s great. You know that I always like to lurk in your game design documents, and put my nose in places where I should not, I know there’s something that we are also working on, on top of Alliance Wars and Thanksgiving celebrations. I wanted to ask you guys if you wanted to share more information about other things coming to the game. Yeah, there’re multiple initiatives from other teams that are happening at the same time. One that is at the forefront right now is the Arena relaunch. We took a break from running an Arena Season 4 and we’re basically assessing all the feedback and going back to figure out what’s the best version of Arena and how can we get there as soon as possible. So we have a team working on that and developing the next phase for Arena. At the same time we are also collecting all the feedback we’re getting in regards to, for example, how the game works with Energy. So we are thinking about and working on ways to have Energy scale as you level up, for instance. This is something that makes sense and we want to get it done. I’m sure there are already people screaming with joy in the background as you said that… That’s exciting to hear! It’s always kind of annoying when you arrive to the 50 top Energy and you are like… “damn!”. Scalable energy is cool and this has been something on the top of the community quality-of-life improvements. So I’m super happy we are tackling this as well. See? I don’t always say no to you. I’m not gonna delve into this. Maybe in another Podcast of Mayhem we can go into this war together. So far, so good. And talking about quality-of-life improvements: we have been having all these updates where we have our own vision of how the game should be (with new modes, rebalancing, progression updates…) and we try to fix bugs, things that are not working as they should. But there’s also this component that sometimes people ask about, which is quality-of-life features. What do we do with systems that are working but could be improved on different levels? This is something that we haven’t talked about in the latest community forums that we had. So I’d like to poke you and tell me whether we’re looking or not intro adding some quality-of-life improvements. Yeah, for sure. If you look at the game evolution for the last few months we’ve been pulling out some big features like Arena, and other upcoming ones, like Alliance Wars. But as we develop those features we are also taking into consideration all the feedback that you and the players bring about quality-of-life improvements. So we are all pretty excited to work on thst after Alliance Wars. And so I think in the early part of the year you’ll see us tackle some quality-of-life improvements. And some of the ones I can mention are, well, people mention they’d like to switch off music and sound effects separately. Which I know it’s frustrating for many people. So we’re gonna get that done. Also, the ability to forfeit a battle, we’re also gonna increase the level cap, and so we have a pretty extensive list of these smaller improvements or iterations. that we’ll be rolling out starting next year. And I’d also like to give a shoutout to our Tech Team, who’s working every day on squashing bugs and trying to make the day-to-day experience much smoother for everyone. A lot of their work is unheralded because maybe today your bug was not fixed but tomorrow it may be. So just know that they are working hard to make that day-to-day experience smoother. Yeah, big shout to that amazing team. Maybe there’ll be one day for them to join this podcast and discuss different points. No, but it’s great to hear that those things are in the pipeline. Because we get asked about those ones a lot, and they make sense, so while I understand that of course, we have our roadmap or vision for the game, it’s also nice to implement those as we go. Ok, so that was quite an interesting interview scheme we had here. I think I managed to get a lot of information from you guys. Anything you want to say before I send you to your breakfasts, basically? For me, it’s very exciting to be here and talk – thank you for the opportunity. I’m looking forward to the next few months as there are lots of exciting changes. And I’m looking forward to all the feedback. If you are on Discord, feel free to hit mt up and let me know what you think. Be certain that we’re there and we’re reading. Yeah, this was fun. Umh, I’m just gonna get my Alliance ready. I think everyone should be doing the same. If your Alliance is not full, it’s time to start recruiting. True, I think we’re gonna see a lot of recruitment threads in Reddit and Discord. And I also wanted to say: very soon we are gonna have the first year anniversary! It’s gonna be December 13th, right? Peeeewh, one year already. That flew by quite quickly. For sure, it’s crazy, one year flew by. We’ll need to figure out some fun celebration activities. We already have something prepared but I’m not gonna say anything yet. I’m gonna let everything sink and then teasers will come when they are ready. Ok, guys, so thanks again for joining me. I know it was super early on your side of the planet. We’ll definitely invite you guys back in the podcast so see you guys around. So see you, bye, thanks!