[MS] Design Goals VER 8 – Point Costs

Points updates are pretty common when it comes to wargames, you don’t want a unit to be too powerful while being undercosted otherwise you wind up with some very uneven games. For MechaStellar we adjust points during each Version and on occasion will make a large adjustment between editions. For Version 8 the biggest changes were to Pilot & Performance cost.

One of the big drivers for Version 8 was updating the rules for Skilled and Ace Pilots to make them more important when playing the game. Previously they played a vital role in building your army’s Momentum we wanted to make sure the Pilot stat also made the individual unit more powerful. You can read more about it in this post here. Since Pilot changed significantly we updated the points cost.

Previously Pilot was 20pts per level, a major bump for low Frame low Performance mechs but a relatively modest point update for high Frame units. Which for Version 7 was fine since Pilot level held more sway over Army than individual units. We experimented a long time with setting Pilot to 70pts per level but at the end we later resolved to 90pts per level to capture the advantage given to a unit with a Skilled or Ace Pilot. This major change point in points meant that even a Zaku could become an expensive part of your army, clocking in at 130pts for Zaku II Commander. Another added benefit was that iconic battlers such as Amuro vs the Gouf or the White Base vs the Black Tri-Stars now meant that both sides were roughly even in points costs.

Next up we have Performance which went from 10pts per level to 20pts per level. We eventually decided on this one after playing a few Cross-Era and Cross-Universe style games and realizing that a high performance should be worth more. One of the more notable games involved Getter Robo vs the Xeku Eins from Gundam Sentinel. The Xeku’s are high performance machines from the late Zeta era, we ran several test games with Performance set at 10 and 20. At the 20pt level that meant the player could bring one less Xeku Ein. While the Getter player fared well in both scenarios, it was a serious uphill battle when Performance was only 10pts, whereas at 20pts the matches were much, much closer. We tested this several more times including a few tests of late OYW suits vs early Zeta era suits and found the 20pt per level was the right fit. It’s also not the first time we’ve had to adjust points in this manner, in previous Versions we had Performance set to 5pts per level then upped it to 10pts per Level in VER 7.

One downside to updating Performance to 20pts per level meant it would remarkably change the requisition ladder in campaign mode. For those readers who haven’t given it a try yet, Campaign mode lets you play solo or with a group of friends through a series of missions in the Gundam universe and it allows you to acquire a new MS after every mission. With Performance doubling in cost but the Low Cost stat staying at -10pts per Level this meant that many suits would end up swapping positions on when they could be acquired. Ultimately this was for the best since it means the higher Performing suits are now more expensive than a lower performance Frame 2 unit in many cases. As a result we updated all unit profiles and tweaked Combat Role & Equipment loadouts in order to reestablish the requisition ladder when playing through Campaign. Give it a shot and let us know what you think.

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