This week we’re starting off at Neverwinter Uncensored with our review of the Summer Festival. In this first of two parts I’d like to talk about the Sahha game, which was one of the premier additions this year. Although it features fun elements, Sahha never quite developed into a fan-favorite. So let’s find out why.
Great Idea, Bad Implementation
I really like the idea of Sahha. It’s a mixture of soccer/football and volleyball and more importantly, a competitive sports game. It actually reminded me a bit of the Rocket League car soccer. It’s wild and to some degree unpredictable, which makes it really interesting. Add that the physics were mostly realistic. The general elements are quite easy to learn and intuitive, yet experience and skill can separate you from the pack.
Unfortunately the implementation lacked on multiple levels. My major issue was the out-of-bounds mechanic that stopped the play every few seconds. Players needed to set themselves up again, standing around and waiting for the kick-off. It was just stupid and took away a lot of dynamic. When leading it actually was a legitimate option to just punt the ball out of bounds every time. That staling tactic would eat up significant time and there was little the opponents could do about it. Hence I really would like to see some walls added to the arena so that balls can bounce off and remain in play.
Too much zerging
Additionally only two of the four skills were really viable. The original volley skill for playing the ball and tackle to get players out of the way. I never quite found good ways to utilize the other two. With all the zerging and players blindly chasing the ball, there was simply not enough time to lob the ball to yourself to prepare another strike. And spiking just seemed to be a poor man’s volley power.
This contributed to limiting the strategic options and preventing the game to excel as a competitive format. The bigger culprit though were the rewards. It was simply not worth engaging in a 10-minute game for three Copper Tickets tops and absolutely no challenge to just farming balls with alternative characters.
These factors made Sahha not a consistent option throughout the Summer Festival. It was not entertaining enough to just play it for fun’s sake and not rewarding enough to grind it either.
There is hope though. Again: The idea of bringing a competitive sports format into the game is just great. And Sahha has the potential to develop. There were already some approaches by teams, assigned roles and tactics. But these were pretty much limited to someone rushing forward and directly scoring off a won kickoff.
I would get rid of the out-of-bounds mechanic and extend the field by roughly 20%. This would add more dynamic and require players to position themselves strategically instead of just chasing the ball. And with that, you might even find niches for all four skills. You also need to up the rewards in some way. If the devs are afraid to hand out too many tickets for Sahha, detach it from the Festival and make it a separated format. How about Combat League Tokens as rewards? Matchmaking? Leaderboard? I think it would work for two weeks just like the NCL did back in the days.
Overall I think we’re talking about a nice approach here that simply isn’t polished yet. You either need to make it more fun and competitive or add tons of rewards to make it a viable option in the event reward structure. I personally didn’t touch Sahha after the first days of the event. I compiled the daily ball by gathering flowers and never looked back.
What’s your take on the Sahha game? Was it a successful addition or a flawed one? Share it in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!