[Feedback] Having the tablet version be separate is very, very bad

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by Neofalcon, May 2, 2014.


What are you looking for in a tablet version of Card Hunter?

  1. I want an tablet client that lets me log into the same Card Hunter account as the flash game

    14 vote(s)
  2. I'm okay with having a separate tablet version, but I'm unlikely to spend a lot of time/money on it

    3 vote(s)
  3. I'm okay with having a separate tablet version, and I’m planning to switch to it/spend money on both

    0 vote(s)
  4. I don’t have a tablet and/or am not interested in playing CH on a tablet

    5 vote(s)
  1. Neofalcon

    Neofalcon Goblin Champion

    At first, when BM announced they were coming out with a tablet version of CH I was excited – it’s what I’d been hoping for since I started playing CH way back in the closed beta. Shortly afterwards, however, my hopes were dashed, when Jon replied with the following comment:

    Reading this was heartbreaking. This might as well have been an announcement that they’ve decided to never release CH on tablets at all, as I’d have to start from scratch, with the money I spent and all the items I’ve collected not carrying over. I actually stopped playing CH shortly afterwards, as playing it was a constant reminder of how disappointed I was. After returning with the release of the content patch, and thoroughly enjoying leagues, I’ve decided share my thoughts on why this would be so bad, rather than simply being disappointed in silence.

    Having a tablet version with an account separate from the main CH game strikes me as a bad idea, for several reasons. First, BM is supposedly making this tablet version after overwhelming feedback that players wanted one. But is this what they had in mind? I know it’s certainly not what *I* wanted when I said I wanted a tablet version, and I’m not convinced BM will be giving players what they want the way BM thinks they are, if players can’t log into their existing account. Hopefully the poll here will serve to shed some light onto whether or not I’m right in thinking this.

    I imagine if BM does go this route, rather than giving people what they want, it will actually make a lot of people angry. Imagine people who played CH on the web a bit, perhaps spent some money or bought the basic edition. They see tablet version and think “Perfect, this’d be a great game to play on my iPad, just like Hearthstone!”, shortly followed by “Wait, they want me to pay for everything AGAIN!?” People will feel cheated, and CH is already struggling against people’s perceptions of F2P games, trying to prove that F2P doesn’t necessarily mean P2W, nickel-and-diming players, or other deceptive business practices. From their point of view BM will be trying to make them pay for things they already bought, and will have a huge negative impact on how people perceive both the game and BM –regardless of whether or not that’s BM’s intent.

    Card Hunter isn’t the first flash game to come out with a separate iPad version, and there are two relevant examples that showcase how upset it can make people: Kingdom Rush and Marvel: Avengers Alliance.

    Kingdom Rush was a fantastic flash tower-defense game, that made money by selling players a one-time “premium” upgrade in exchange for access to more levels, spells, and some cosmetic stuff, whereas the iPad version simply had an upfront price to purchase it. The uproar, however, came from something unexpected – financial success.

    The iPad version was hugely popular. Of course it was, it was a wonderful game exceptionally well-suited for touch controls. So what do the developers do next? Why, support the version of the game that’s profitable – after all, the money coming in from the iPad game allowed them to be able to support the game in a way they couldn’t afford to before. This made the people who had spent money on the flash game FURIOUS. In their mind, they had spent money to support this developer, and in exchange they had been abandoned for a different group of people.

    What happens if the iPad version of CH is massively more popular – and profitable – than the flash version? Presumably iOS would become the lead platform. Even if BM didn’t make a conscious decision to do this, iOS players would certainly have a better experience, with more crowded lobbies making multiplayer much more enjoyable. And where would that leave us, the people who’ve invested time and/or money into CH already?

    And what if it’s the other way around – what if the flash version is supported better than the iPad version? Imagine someone who finds the game on the App store, enjoys it, and spends money, only to find out they’re now locked into a version that gets updates slower, and has fewer players to play against. These players would end up feeling tricked, and deeply upset. There are many very likely situations that could cause this - Perhaps at some point BM stops updating the iPad version, or perhaps later down the line BM releases another iPad version that IS just a game client (Perhaps due to a hypothetical future where BM makes a desktop client in Unity or something, and then ports said client to iOS). For those players to continue playing CH they’d have to switch to the web version, with none of their items/spent money carrying over - and they’re more likely to just stop playing CH instead.

    The case of Marvel: Avengers Alliance is a lot like this – M:AA is a turn-based online game with heavy RPG/item collection elements (like CH), and the reviews page on iTunes is full of low reviews and requests from players to merge it with the flash version, which should serve to make it clear that players really don’t like having the same game separated on two different platforms like this. (Select "Most critical" reviews from "All versions" to see the feedback for yourself)

    And the reason for doing all of this is for release scheduling reasons? Honestly, this doesn’t seem to be such a monstrously bad thing that it’s worth the tradeoff. Let’s say it takes a full week to get an update approved by Apple for release. Is that really so awful? There were nearly 2 months of no updates between 1.61d on March 8th and 2.10a on April 30th – would it have been so terrible to wait an extra week?

    It would probably also lead to less frequent patches for small things – such as the changes to leagues this week. But, pardon my ignorance in this respect, couldn’t a lot of the things that go into those minor patches be things that are changed server-side, and don’t require an update to the iOS client? I mean, the client isn’t the one calculating the tiebreaker points or granting the player extra pizza on repeat league wins – wouldn’t it just have inaccurate text until it was updated to say “and an epic chest” instead of “80 extra pizza”? While balance changes would certainly require an update, surely not everything would.

    Furthermore, I know for a fact there are iPad games that circumvent this issue by downloading updates within the App itself, Plants vs Zombies 2 being the most prominent of them. Couldn’t BM do something like this too – the existing CH client seems to download tons of stuff from the server already – I know art and league scheduling for sure, but possibly even card, item, and Adventure information as well.

    I’d much rather have less frequent patches and slightly delayed updates knowing that it would bring with it a unified CH community (with all the benefits that would bring - more full MP lobbies! Leagues can be run more often, as there will be enough people to always fill them!), the ability to play CH on my platform of choice (forever, without worrying about whether I should switch and give everything up), and a happier, satisfied base of players.

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited: May 2, 2014
  2. Kalin

    Kalin Begat G'zok

    As I understand things, the tablet version is being made by a separate company, so the popularity difference is only a problem if many browser players leave for the tablet version.

    As for some of your solutions, well, we saw this week what happens when they change things in the server and not the client:
  3. Neofalcon

    Neofalcon Goblin Champion

    If anything, this exacerbates the problem as it guarantees there will be differences between the two versions. Be they monetization method, timing of patches, amount of content, etc. - there will be differences, and there will be people that after investing in one version, discover that the other version has more of the thing they value more, and feel cheated when confronted with the solution being to simply do it all over again.

    They put out a patch for this change. This was just a mistake, not a problem caused because they changed something on the server but not on the client. And even so, the idea is that the iPad version would be designed with the ability to get updated information from the server - things like new multiplayer maps, new skins, etc without needing to be updated.
  4. Jade303

    Jade303 Thaumaturge

    I just want to know what their goal is for the tablet version. Are they just going to make a new single player campaign for people to blast through? Are they going to have multiplayer? Are they just going to duplicate the CH experience we already know?
    I just don't see the point. I would rather see CH develop into compatibility with tablets (which are already very, very versatile), rather than limit themselves with a new game and platform. Assuming that tablet CH is similar to current CH.

    If they want to make a Card Hunter game for tablet that is COMPLETELY different from the web card hunter, with simply the artistic style of gameplay preserved, I think we could be happy about that.
  5. SystemIsDown

    SystemIsDown Mushroom Warrior

    I was excited to hear there was going to be a tablet version too. Then I heard your current account would not be usable on it. How terribly disappointing. I won't even bother to play it on the tablet because of it. I play Hearthstone as well, and it's great to be able to play on my PC or iPad with the same account. But maybe they will gain a new player base that doesn't use PCs. Best of luck to them.
  6. progammer

    progammer Ogre

    If it's a separate server it might as well says "Card Hunter Lite" instead of "Card Hunter on Tablet".

    This is a game about digital CCG, not a single player experiences. Asking users to repeat the experience of collecting thousands of cards (or items) again is not going to work. Nobody is going to do that task again (well maybe except certain people like me who grinded again for beta and release).

    I remembered thinking CH is the kind of casual TBS that ppl can hop in and out in short 5 minute break, but it was impossible before the introduction of reconnect. Matches sometimes takes up to 10 minute to finish. Every action, every move is validated server-side. If it's on tablet, that kind of client-server communication will not bode well for the casual experience. (eg. any user expecting to pause at any turns and returns to it hours later)

    So there's a high chance that Card Hunter Mobile will be a single-player only experience, with the client having the authority for every action. Cheats can run rampant and MP wont be available. Anyone who are seriously interested in competitive MP will have to flock to the browser version.

    If I'm being optimistic, then Card Hunter Mobile will have their own server (ipad server, android server) separated from the browser server. If that's the case, I'll be happy if BM will implement a one-time or one-way import of profile data from one server to another (eg. from browser to ipad). This should please most ppl including me.

    I can't blame BM either way, they're are very small team and handling mobile version of any MP game is never a simple task. Letting another company do the port might be their only option if they wanted mobile CH to ever see the light.
  7. Stexe

    Stexe #2 in Spring PvP Season

    The logistics are extremely difficult, especially due to iOS restrictions. Blizzard can do it with Hearthstone because they are HUGE, but Drop Forge is very small.

    I do think it is extremely important, but I'm not sure it is the #1 priority. I'd say make it so that later on they can be "hooked together" or something, but for first release if it isn't possible then having them split is fine. I just know that I wouldn't use it and anyone else I know I'd tell them to go for the PC version.
  8. Bandreus

    Bandreus Thaumaturge

    I'm learning about this only now, and I must say the prospect of a tablet version which would be separated and limited to its own experience, well, it bugs me quite a bit.

    Obviously I don't know a thing about the tech BM has been using (i.e. servers infrastructure, etc.), but I guess they made a conscious decision about whatever they're doing, carefully weighting in all the pros and cons, so I at the very least respect that.

    I'll question though, with all due respect, if it wouldn't have been feasible postponing the tablet version, waiting for all the client/server technology to be up to a point where iOS/tablet/browser version could coexist without major hassles.

    That being said, I understand BM is a small company trying their best and putting all of their resources into a product they believe in, so compromises are to be expected. Maybe at some point in the future (and possibly thanks to the income coming from other platforms) a day will come when we'll be able to log in in any client on any platform and enjoy the same experience, regardless of the environment of choice.

Share This Page