Critical Play: Is this game balanced?

The game I choose to analyze for this critical play is AC Rebellion. It is a mobile Strategy-RPG of the Assassin’s Creed universe, developed by Ubisoft. The basic mechanism of the game is to run the Assassin’s base, collect resources and upgrade the heroes. The heroes can be used to form teams and complete missions. Missions will reward related resources and materials for upgrading heroes.

Balance in single-player games

The balance in single-player games is mostly used to describe whether the challenge level is appropriate to the audience. As a single-player game, AC Rebellion has pretty good pacing. The Missions are unlocked once the desired level is reached. Even though the game play is pretty much similar between different levels, involving picking heroes and strategizing which skill of which hero to be used in each round, the player gets more familiarized with the possible obstacles they will encounter in the mission, thus getting better at the game. The chance of using a skill successfully changes depending on the power level of the enemy, and such power level increases as the level becomes higher. Another good thing about the game is that although strategizing could allow you to challenge powerful enemies when your own level is significantly not enough, but for players having difficulties in picking up the tricks of strategizing, they could play the levels that matches their own level and still get through the game at an adequate pace. Thus, the difficulty of the game remains quite balanced for different types of players.

Balance between Strategies in a Game

Through hints, the game provides the players with the optimal strategy. However, the good thing is that if you are an experienced player, and you decide to challenge yourself, even the optimal strategy is provided, you probably won’t have the resources (desired occupations, desired power levels, desired skills). In this case, even though there’s a dominant strategy, the player needs to brainstorm their own suboptimal strategies so that they could win the challenge. 

Using the skills of the heroes are always more desirable than just using brute force. Avoiding combat is definitely optimal. However, there are limited times that a hero could use skill in one Mission. Thus, when to use the skill becomes very important, and there is no one unifying rule guiding this. Because of this, the player could enjoy the excitement and pleasure of planning in every round.

Balance between Game Objects

Now we need to look back at the collecting resources and creating resources part of the game. There are several important objects, including crafting materials that could be used to craft armors or gears for the heroes, money, medicine that could be used to heal a hero faster after a Mission, codex  and DNA fragments used to upgrade heroes. 

Take the case of books and DNA fragments for example. Both can make your heroes stronger, but codex are the normal rewards getting from completing daily objectives, while the helix rifts are way harder to get. However, the codex could only improve your hero experience, while the 

DNA fragments could make your hero more synchronized, giving your hero a significant power boost. Thus, the cost/benefit ratio for these two kinds of materials are pretty similar to each other, and a rational player will try getting both of them during their gameplay.

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