2. Several of the maps have obvious flaws. How can we make the maps more balanced with the least effort?
Leviathan really needs more towers, overall. More defense around the Citadel, as well as a couple more up near the front lines. Pathing is still pretty bad (I get stuck around corners), and is especially bad on Crucible, where if I was to stand at the Artifact Shop and order my DG to move to base, it will not work.
3. What would an effective friendslist look like?
A simplified AIM, or something like Steam has. I'd like to know where my friends are, exactly. Also, I'd like to ask for an Ignore list, as well, even if all it does is put a flag next to people's names so I know that I had a bad experience with them so I won't play with them again. It would greatly improve my gaming experience.
4. What would an effective game lobby look like? I.E. what information do we need about other players? What communication options should we have?
First of all, I think you need a general chat that permeates all modes of play, no matter whether you are in Skirmish, Pantheon, Custom Games, or a Custom Games lobby. Then, I think being able to see the rank/score of players would be nice, but that would also require stats to be working properly (so that they matter). Again, I want an indicator for ppl on my friends list as well as another indicator for my Ignore list.
7. Should the results of 1v1 duels reflect our understanding of the game's balance?
It should give you a good understanding of balance, but it should not be the only way. I mean, if a DG consistently beats every other DG in 1v1, it should indicate a certain imbalance, especially if you have 3v3 of the same DGs on one side, and it consistently beats another, it would also indicate imbalance.
8. How can AI be improved, and what protocols should exist for AI in online games?
I think either 1) have AI give less or no gold when killed (when replacing a player), 2) when a player leaves, increase gold production for all teammates proportionally to compensate and have no AI replacement, or 3) a mix of the above where the replacing AI has no gold production, gives no gold when killed, and increase gold production for teammates.
10. How should minions be altered? Specifically, should they be nerfed or buffed? If so, how and why?
Sedna and QoT minions really need some help, whereas the other minions are all ok. Sedna's minions could use a bit of help with pathing (not sure how to fix), cheaper to maintain and cast, and probably have the Wild Swings thing by default. As for QoT, too many of her skills depend/affect her Shamblers, it's just so much of an investment to make them good. The Mulch ability is nice, but difficult to get a shambler close enough to do any damage. A larger explosion radius would help.
There also needs to be a passive/defensive/aggressive stance option. Sometimes I don't want my priests walking up to an enemy and start shooting. Passive: Only follows you around, heals, but doesn't attack at all, unless ordered to. Defensive: Will not move to engage, but will attack anyone within range, will not chase. Aggressive: Will move to engage and kill anyone it sees. In any of those cases, manually choosing a target should override any current target it already has. If it can't reach the target, it should constantly try to instead of just shooting someone close by. Also, stances should be able to be given to each type of minion, so that I can have my shamblers on aggressive while my priests on passive. General Minion builds should really play like a RTS, imo.