Balance Goals of the Legion Expansion

With the Legion Expansion out there now a lot of people are getting their first taste of the faction. It takes a little getting used to and won’t play quite the same as MLA. In some cases we’ve identified balance concerns and this will be dealt with in the next patch, but in others it’s that players are used to the game playing a particular way and need to approach the Legion differently.

Lead Balancer Elodea had this to say about the balance of this new faction:

“Our goals for pacing are roughly as follows:

  • Early game: skirmish phase. MLA does all it can to expand and harass in order to set itself up better for the mid game against a matured Legion economy. MLA having an expansion advantage is baked into the faction balance, with some of it compensated with +1 metal income in the T1 Legion Mass Extractor.In regard to MLA having trouble making significant attacks early on, keep in mind that Hives being buggy at the moment is hiding this layer of early gameplay. This will be addressed in the next patch.
  • Mid game: conflict phase. Legion’s infrastructure has matured enough to allow it to make much less risky offensive pushes.
  • Late game: if both players have survived until now, they are fully duking it out on equal terms with T2 armies, titans and such.

At first it will seem like games are unnecessarily prolonged because it’s different from the MLA vs MLA gameplay we got used to where it’s a rush to whoever can snowball the other the quickest. However, I think games that constantly have the players going back and forth are better than those where one player gets a sudden decisive advantage. For me an exciting game could be a 2 minute game as much as a 2 hour game – it’s all about the journey.

One of the problems with the MLA pacing I wanted to solve was that 1v1 never felt like it had a natural timing for escalation and progression to T2. It hinged much too heavily on players being equally skilled so that unequal matches tended to be incredibly volatile. While most games will roughly follow the above, you still have options for fast timing attacks though. For example air first Marauder pressure, Purger cliff sniping, Peackeeper/Lancer combo rushing, and maybe other cool combos I haven’t discovered yet.

That said, it’s true that not everyone has a lot of time to play any one game, so I am hoping to have 1v1 legion games be about 20-25 minutes on average. If the vast majority of games I see on PA Stats and Twitch streams end up significantly deviating from this then it’s an issue that will get attention.

It’s also true that legion’s slower expansion gameplay has an impact when it comes to fighting on many different planet radius or metal densities. We are aware that raiding potential forms an important part of the toolkit players have to deal with these changing variables. As such we have specifically given Legion units such as the Marauder, Stoke, Comet, and Starcannon. Patriots are also much faster than Spinners, allowing you to raid with Peacekeepers and Lancers even without air control (a big problem with MLA).

I hope that gave you a better idea of what we intended to achieve for the Legion Expansion. However, if we are actually getting long spaces of nothing to do, prolonged games where the winner is obvious already (1v1 especially), or cookie cutter roles and builds, then the team and I will definitely try to address them!”

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