Yesterday we released an update for The Witcher: Monster Slayer that included an array of changes which altered the user experience in a variety of ways. This prompted many of our active players to give us feedback (thank you to everyone who provided their thoughts!) and we’re changing the game based on that feedback. Before we get down to a more granular description though, we’d like to share more about the general vision for the 1.2.0 update and why we decided to make it the way we did.
The general theme for the 1.2.0 update was the overall difficulty curve of the game. For some time now we’ve observed (and heard from you), that many gamers were reaching a point in the experience where fighting monsters was simply not satisfactory enough. Once a certain point in progression was reached, the challenge we wanted people to have diminished, and gameplay became more and more mechanical. Almost chore-like. This is not something we thought (and still think) was OK, and something we decided to address.
One element we decided to change was alchemy. We noticed that many gamers chose to bank elixirs and oils instead of using them in battle. This is why we decided to change how this works. Instead of making oils or elixirs one-time-use, we made them work on a time basis, so everyone could more efficiently use alchemy-based mechanics without fear that if you apply the wrong item, it will disappear after an encounter.
This is directly tied to the difficulty level of monsters which now scale in a more varied way. Instead of 4 difficulty levels, we have multiple difficulty variants which take into account players’ rank, the size of the monster, and their rarity. In our minds, this makes each encounter vastly more unique and exciting as the same monster on different player levels will behave differently.
This change also involved the hard decision to modify how the skill system works. We know many gamers had developed impressive abilities already, but leaving this system unaltered would have made it impossible for us to successfully manage this change in difficulty. We know that the sense of loss connected to this is hard to avoid, but we think the new system will be more healthy for the game’s progressions in general.
Finally, there’s the game economy. We had to adjust how it works to cater to all these changes and the difficulty increase we wanted to roll out.
Having said that, we’re not shying away from admitting that we’ve made mistakes. One was definitely in the realm of how we communicated these changes. We rolled them out without sufficiently explaining the intent behind them. Another mistake we made was cranking the difficulty too much in certain gameplay scenarios (e.g. making common monsters require alchemy). Finally, we miscalculated the expectations of the broader community and deployed changes that impacted the most dedicated fans of the game. This is a lesson for us and something we will use as food for thought for a long time.
As you most likely have noticed, the game is currently in maintenance. We’re using this time to test out changes to the difficulty balance and economy of the game. We’d like to invite you to help us determine if what we’re working on is something that will make Monster Slayer more fun to play. If you want to join, head over to the FAQ (link below) for instructions. For those of you who just want to play the game, please give us some extra time for testing out these new changes. We’re also thinking of ways of making it up to the community for the extended downtime.
Wrapping up, we really believe in this new incarnation of our game and want to stay on that path, but we can’t make this process successful without you. Keeping Monster Slayer fun and accessible is paramount for us and we’ll do everything to stay on that trajectory.
The Monster Slayer Dev Team
PS. For more granular information on some of the questions you asked us, please visit our FAQ HERE.
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