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Community update #3 - May 21st 2021


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Greetings Skylords!

It's been two weeks already since our second community update so it's time to bring you up to speed with everything going on in Skylords Reborn!

Promo Snapjaws
Collectors rejoice! Promo Snapjaws will be trade-able after the next maintenance update. This promo was handed out through a scratch code that was only valid around the time of the game release. If you missed out on this one, you can now trade or buy them in the AH from other players. If they are willing to part from it of course!
There are currently no plans to distribute the Snapjaw Promo through boosters.

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New Patch on the Test Server
A new patch has hit the test server with quite a lot of changes in all kind of categories. Full notes can be found attached to this post, but here are some things that are currently being tested. Please note: none of those are final, and they will not necessarily make their way to the live server in this state! Please give us feedback regarding those changes on the balance discord!

Global Changes
Various tier 3 units (Swamp Drake, Bandit Lancer, Fallen Skyelf, etc.) have had their charges increased. 

PvE Changes
Thugs have received a new ability to compensate for the nerfs they received with the removal of looter. There is also some love for pure frost. 

PvP Changes
After some necessary nerfs in the last few patches, we are now in a position where we can also buff some cards to provide more options and playstyles. Various tier 3 units (Drones, Unstable Demon, Magma Hurler, etc.) are seeing some buffs, while counter units like Lyrish Knight and Gladiatrix are also being looked at. 

Bug Fixes
A couple of bug fixes and a change that makes Bloodthirst and Unity stackable with every other regeneration ability in the game (others will follow).

Class Fixes
Some units have had their class changed or fixed. This can mean the correct melee or ranged class, but also creature class (Deathglider is now a Demon for all you Eliminator lovers out there!). 

QoL description changes
Some nice Quality of Life changes in descriptions have been made to make cards easier to understand or consistent. Please note this is not the big description changes mentioned in an earlier update yet; that is still in the works. Noteworthy would be the Mountaineer: It now shows the hidden ammo generation used for its attack and ice shield, so one can better use the card. Additionally U0 now also has the Glacier Shield for consistency with the shown ammo system.

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As mentioned before, those changes are still on the test server and you can find the full list of changes in the document attached to this post. Please note that for the changes to be implemented, we had to clear the test server accounts. So don't be startled if you have to create a new account. 


Skylords Reborn Design Philosophy
Now that Skylords Reborn has been released fully, we are looking at the future of the game for the next couple of years. Over the past months there have been a lot of discussions and feedback regarding the state of the game and the changes to make (or not make) moving forward. In the attached document, we go extensively into this topic. We understand not everyone will be interested in reading 12 pages, but we did want to take the time to clarify our vision for the future as much as possible.

As unique as Battleforge is, it also has some unique concerns in regards to balance. Where most RTS games only provide a limited number of factions to play, the number of decks in Battleforge is virtually uncountable. And while most other RTS games limit their balancing concerns to either competitive or cooperative play, Battleforge has to serve them both. Fortunately, this is mitigated by the fact that PvE and PvP are often build around different core-cards. However, some overlap between cards is inevitable and some changes will have ripple effects in other formats.

In this document we have striven to detail the thought process behind how we will be balancing the game moving forward. We have broken the document into three parts: Introduction, PvE Balance, and Fundamental Game Principles.

The reason we have written this document is to give you, the community, a clear view into our philosophy and stance on certain topics. We will use the topics described here as guidelines for the changes we will make in the coming months.

This is just a start that covers our fundamentals for faction design and more concrete documents will follow. We want to analyze and discuss each faction in particular and shed light into our roadmap.

As always, we are open to constructive feedback. 

Upcoming Tournaments

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NEW: Skylords Open #8
Next week (30th of May) you can again battle it out in the Skylords Open #8. A 1vs1 community tournament hosted by Toggy, open for everyone, and with prizes! 

If you want to participate, it helps a lot if you sign-up in advance!


• Community Challenge #3: King's Ridge
The King's Ridge PvE contest is still going on until the 31th of May. Try to complete the community map King's Ridge as fast as you can in the Community Challange #3 for a chance to win some prizes!


NEW: Official PvE Contest#1 Siege of Hope 
Our first official PvE contest is here! play Siege of Hope Expert with a twist! Our Event Organizer has created a point system that allows multiple strategies and hopefully rewards thinking outside of the box. Speedrunning still gets you points, but speedrunning alone won't be enough to win this one! A promo of your choice is one of the prizes, so make sure to check it out!


New Team Members / Team Changes

Another new member, HardwareHeinz, has joined the Skylords Reborn team. We are happy to have him as our new Global Moderator.

We would also like to take this time to thank MrXLink for all the work he put in Skylords Reborn over the years. After many years and many roles, he has decided to step down as a member of the Skylords Reborn team. You can read his full explanation here. We wish him all the best and are grateful for all his hard work. 

We are still looking for new team members! If you want to see Skylords Reborn succeed, please take a look at how you can help. We recently added these new positions: backend web developer, frontend web developer and C# developer.

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In conclusion
And that's it for this Community Update! We hope we were able to share something you like. See you again in 2 weeks!

What do you guys think of this biweekly status update? Is there something you would want to see covered more? We are open to feedback so please let us know. 

Thanks for reading! Here is a scratch code you can redeem in-game for 100bfp. The code is valid till June 5th.
COMM-UNIT-YUPD-ATE3

Archive
Community Update #1
Community Update #2

Attachments

Balance_Philosophy_Skylords_Reborn.pdfTest_Server_Patch_Skylords_Reborn.pdf

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Promo Snapjaws are one of most popular promos, but I still can't see anyone selling theirs.
I mean it's first SR unique card added to the game, thanks to @BabyRhino's work, how one would like to part with it?

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24 minutes ago, Dallarian said:

Promo Snapjaws are one of most popular promos, but I still can't see anyone selling theirs.
I mean it's first SR unique card added to the game, thanks to @BabyRhino's work, how one would like to part with it?

I guess we will find out :D 

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The Balance Philosophy document was a really interesting read, but I felt like an important piece is missing: in your opinion, how does each faction look like ideally? You briefly mention how "the game helps us by providing clear archetypes via the four elements", so I was really expecting you to follow that up by describing how you see those four elements and how a mix of them is supposed to look like. You later briefly touch on this when discussing the design goal of "Thematic Correctness" by giving the examples of Stonekin and Lost Souls, but I really feel like it would be interesting if you expanded on that.

In the context of PvE here's how I think the elements ideally look like

Fire - Pure offensive playstyle
Strengths:

  • Units with the best DPS
  • Best bursting spells
  • Extremely good at sieging (think Firedancer, Wallbreaker, Juggernaut, Earthshaker, ...)

Weaknesses:

  • Bad at area defense (lack of good defensive buildings or wall-mounted units)
  • Little to no CC

 
Frost - Slow and steady playstyle
Strengths:

  • Tankiness (large HP, wide access to damage reduction and shielding effects)
  • Access to freezing effects
  • Extremely good area defense (best in class defensive buildings, wall-mounted units and building-supporting spells/units)

Weaknesses:

  • Slow movement
  • Very low DPS (even their main CC reduces DPS)

Nature - Supportive playstyle
Strengths:

  • Healing (duh)
  • Wide access to different types of crowd control and ways to debuff enemies
  • Better in large groups (Linked Fire mechanic, chain effects, ...)

Weaknesses:

  • Not particularly high stats in either damage or HP
  • Unimpressive damaging spells
  • Tends to depend on other elements/players to get the job done

Shadow - Daredevil playstyle
I think it's hard to define Shadow via a comparison of strengths and weaknesses, because this element is all about having drawbacks to each strength. It's also about bending the rules of the game and forcing you to play differently in order to not hurt yourself. Shadow cards also tend to be better at working alone and impatiently.
In my opinion, examples of quintessential Shadow cards are Lifestealer, Stone of Torment, Shadow Phoenix, Ashbone Pyro, Church of Negation and Soulshatter. These cards are all extremely strong when used adequately, but they can be terrible when used carelessly.
So I guess in a way it's all about high-risk and high-reward, which rewards good micro execution.


But then it gets a little more complicated to describe the hybrid factions. As you pointed out, Stonekin indeed feels like a very good mix of the characteristics of frost and nature... but then Lost Souls has none of that "playing on a knife's edge" feeling that Shadow is supposed to have. I think ideally Lost Souls would have some of those Shadow mechanics that bring drawbacks to its strengths, but at the same time the Frost element in it would allow a slower less mechanically intensive playstyle. Meanwhile, I feel like Bandits have no good identity other than the lifestealer mechanic (which is good thematically IMO, but not enough to carry the whole faction), while Twilight cards are all about being good stat sticks (they can be strong, but most of them aren't particularly interesting).

As for Amii and the potential Fire-Frost faction, honestly those hybrids confuse me a bit. This is mainly because I see Fire as an opposite of
Frost and Shadow as an opposite of Nature, so I have no idea how they should play like. It seems like it's easy to run the risk of them being
"jack of all trades master of none" sorta factions. Maybe they could be cool if they worked around a cool new mechanic, but I can't think of anything in particular.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on these things!

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24 minutes ago, kYw said:

The Balance Philosophy document was a really interesting read, but I felt like an important piece is missing: in your opinion, how does each faction look like ideally? You briefly mention how "the game helps us by providing clear archetypes via the four elements", so I was really expecting you to follow that up by describing how you see those four elements and how a mix of them is supposed to look like. You later briefly touch on this when discussing the design goal of "Thematic Correctness" by giving the examples of Stonekin and Lost Souls, but I really feel like it would be interesting if you expanded on that.

Hey kYw, thanks for the comments and I am glad you enjoyed reading it. We had a lot more we wanted to say but didn't want to continue expanding an already long document. In the future, we are looking to put out individual documents for each faction (4 pure + 5 hybrid) describing our thematic vision for them and how we think that can translate into designing their gameplay. 

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34 minutes ago, kYw said:

The Balance Philosophy document was a really interesting read, but I felt like an important piece is missing: in your opinion, how does each faction look like ideally? You briefly mention how "the game helps us by providing clear archetypes via the four elements", so I was really expecting you to follow that up by describing how you see those four elements and how a mix of them is supposed to look like. You later briefly touch on this when discussing the design goal of "Thematic Correctness" by giving the examples of Stonekin and Lost Souls, but I really feel like it would be interesting if you expanded on that.

Hey there, thank you for taking the time to write an in-depth reply. 

First let me make one thing clear since I see you asking for my personal opinion: this is not a document written by me, but a document from the whole Skylords Reborn team. This document has been carefully crafted over weeks and proofread by all teammembers that are in one way or another responsible for the game. We have decided to release the document as a team, to not give the wrong idea that one sole member is responsible for the direction we are taking. 

As for your question regarding how we feel each faction should look like ideally: a very good question and one we will answer in the future! You can expect 9 more documents in the future that dive deeper into the different factions in the game. So fear not, we will definitely expand on this on a faction-by-faction level in the future! For now we have decided to share a general overview of our philosophy, and since that is already quite long (and will no doubt get feedback and questions from the community) we will work on the faction deep dives after.

I hope that answered your questions? :) 
Edit: so basicly what WindHunter said ;) 

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5 hours ago, kYw said:

But then it gets a little more complicated to describe the hybrid factions. As you pointed out, Stonekin indeed feels like a very good mix of the characteristics of frost and nature... but then Lost Souls has none of that "playing on a knife's edge" feeling that Shadow is supposed to have. I think ideally Lost Souls would have some of those Shadow mechanics that bring drawbacks to its strengths, but at the same time the Frost element in it would allow a slower less mechanically intensive playstyle. Meanwhile, I feel like Bandits have no good identity other than the lifestealer mechanic (which is good thematically IMO, but not enough to carry the whole faction), while Twilight cards are all about being good stat sticks (they can be strong, but most of them aren't particularly interesting).

I think the pure Lost Souls cards combine the frost and shadow signature mechanics really well: frost brings the high HP, shields, even some freeze (lost converter) while shadow is represented through corpse recycling, offering units and (de-)buffs. The ''playing on a knife's edge'' shaodow theme you're missing is represented by having the ability of revenants. You only have a short time to use them, but therefor they give you possibilities you otherwise don't have, for example making full use of ethereal storm. Everything of course overshadowed by infect, frenetic assault, overlord etc...

Bandits other mechanic theme besides the lifestealing is debuffing stuff, it always seemed to me. Makes sense now that i think about it, fire and shadow both use (de-)buffs, so bandits should be the kings of buffs. When thinking about their identity they seem like the most human based faction next to frost, lots of human units and buildings wich seem human made. And pirates, i think of pirates!

Twilight is transformation (like the revenants weak and micro intensive and therefor never seen) and lots of poisonous abilities and spells. Poison is a nice combination of fire and nature as it's a natural way of dealing damage. Also fits the ,,parasite'' theme.

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One question I have regarding the document is if it is settled that Amii will be purely Shadow/Nature. Since there are cards that contradict this atm (Amii-Monument and Amii-Ritual) and their lore contradicts that a little aswell (since they are elemental spirits and the orbs are them or corpses of them). However for the lore part you could argue that you are summoning things through the forge and use the fitting elements for their attributes and not what they are. The life giving/constructing nature (Monuments and Wells are Amii design) and the afterlife nature (Them having a big effect even in death, through the monuments) just fit to nature shadow.

I see the reasons for sticking to Shadow/Nature since that is one big hole that needs to be filled and amii are a low hanging fruit for that, but I am curious as to what will happen to the two other amii cards that currently exist, especially to amii ritual since monument needs a big rework anyways.

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39 minutes ago, Kiwibaum said:

I am curious as to what will happen to the two other amii cards that currently exist, especially to amii ritual since monument needs a big rework anyways.

Why change the card just because of its name? Rageflame is the most fire name i can think of and its a stonekin unit. The people of Nyn (frost) studied these old scriptures and are now able to recreate the ritual the amii used to repair their buildings in the old age, they call it the...amii ritual! There we go!

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  • Zyna changed the title to Community update #3 - May 21st 2021
7 hours ago, Kiwibaum said:

One question I have regarding the document is if it is settled that Amii will be purely Shadow/Nature. Since there are cards that contradict this atm (Amii-Monument and Amii-Ritual) and their lore contradicts that a little aswell (since they are elemental spirits and the orbs are them or corpses of them). However for the lore part you could argue that you are summoning things through the forge and use the fitting elements for their attributes and not what they are. The life giving/constructing nature (Monuments and Wells are Amii design) and the afterlife nature (Them having a big effect even in death, through the monuments) just fit to nature shadow.

I see the reasons for sticking to Shadow/Nature since that is one big hole that needs to be filled and amii are a low hanging fruit for that, but I am curious as to what will happen to the two other amii cards that currently exist, especially to amii ritual since monument needs a big rework anyways.

Nothing official to share on that yet (cause we have not made a decision regarding this) but since people are already calling Nature/Shadow Amii, and the spotlight unit is also Amii, I think it would make sense to move forward with them for the Shadow Nature faction. But thats just me, and im not in charge of that :) 

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7 hours ago, Kiwibaum said:

One question I have regarding the document is if it is settled that Amii will be purely Shadow/Nature. Since there are cards that contradict this atm (Amii-Monument and Amii-Ritual) and their lore contradicts that a little aswell (since they are elemental spirits and the orbs are them or corpses of them). However for the lore part you could argue that you are summoning things through the forge and use the fitting elements for their attributes and not what they are. The life giving/constructing nature (Monuments and Wells are Amii design) and the afterlife nature (Them having a big effect even in death, through the monuments) just fit to nature shadow.

I see the reasons for sticking to Shadow/Nature since that is one big hole that needs to be filled and amii are a low hanging fruit for that, but I am curious as to what will happen to the two other amii cards that currently exist, especially to amii ritual since monument needs a big rework anyways.

So I guess Amii was some now extinct race of beings that were able to weave all kinds of magic. The remnants of their existence are all the walls, monuments, wells etc.

Basically, previously they were like master of all sorts of magic and rituals. Frost, as the most enduring faction, has uncovered/preserved one such ritual because it fit their way of thinking and identity very well. Eventually the Amii were wiped out. Now, with the bodies shaped for themselves, they are kind of alive (nature) but also kind of dead (shadow). They probably still have their unique relationship to magic and power but in the end they are just vessels now.

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6 minutes ago, Cocofang said:

So I guess Amii was some now extinct race of beings that were able to weave all kinds of magic. The remnants of their existence are all the walls, monuments, wells etc.

Basically, previously they were like master of all sorts of magic and rituals. Frost, as the most enduring faction, has uncovered/preserved one such ritual because it fit their way of thinking and identity very well. Eventually the Amii were wiped out. Now, with the bodies shaped for themselves, they are kind of alive (nature) but also kind of dead (shadow). They probably still have their unique relationship to magic and power but in the end they are just vessels now.

Arent all the units you spawn in Battleforge things that the people imagine/believe in? So in that sense, do they really need to be alive if the people know the stories? 

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Posted (edited)

Skylords invoking entities is just creating a mimic. However, if the game would not have died, there would've been another campaign expansion introducing new factions. Just like Twilight/Lost Souls/Bandits were first introduced as campaign enemies. As such Amii as a shadow/nature faction can very well be independent, real entities in the (not yet existing) lore and Skylords then summon mimics of them as they do with everything else.

Think of a "Rise of the Amii" or "Rebirth of the Amii" expansion that introduces them as an ancient, extinct race that just now attempted to re-create its former glory. Or maybe it was planned and before they were wiped out, they secretly wove a spell that created back-ups in their image which they now inhabit like vessels. It just has a massive delay.

Edited by Cocofang
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Is it doable to get Xp and Bfp if u do Community Maps? Like normal maps? or is it already changed?
Cause i wanna play the fun maps in Community but if i get nothing from it just Gold or i dont know exactly atm what u get :D cause i hadnt played for a week ;)
What i mean is i dont have much time to play and when i play i wanna get smth for the time so most of the time i just do rpve to get my dailies :DD and its getting boring

 

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6 minutes ago, Dustinthebeast said:

Is it doable to get Xp and Bfp if u do Community Maps? Like normal maps? or is it already changed?
Cause i wanna play the fun maps in Community but if i get nothing from it just Gold or i dont know exactly atm what u get :D cause i hadnt played for a week ;)
What i mean is i dont have much time to play and when i play i wanna get smth for the time so most of the time i just do rpve to get my dailies :DD and its getting boring

Unfortunately rewarding BFP and XP for community maps is a little tricky. There are ideas to revamp how community maps work and how you interact with them, and even the idea of making (good) community maps official so that we can start rewarding players for playing community maps too (second world map perhaps?). It's not a feature we are currently actively working on, but definitely something we are discussing together with our map making team. 

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If the story is supposed to be continued the world map probably wouldn't even change but just highlight different locations. There is continuity after all. Like a drop down menu at the top with "Chapter I" (showing the current locations of the Twilight and Renegades story) and "Chapter II" with anything new. Of course a different continent is also possible.

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3 hours ago, Cocofang said:

If the story is supposed to be continued the world map probably wouldn't even change but just highlight different locations. There is continuity after all. Like a drop down menu at the top with "Chapter I" (showing the current locations of the Twilight and Renegades story) and "Chapter II" with anything new. Of course a different continent is also possible.

what I am thinking, if you look at the map only the south is crowded. the northern part is arranged in a way to waste alot of space to look full. especially in the far north all space is just wasted by text. if you put the two PvP-Buttons into the sea, you got a whole new island thats free. if the map key is made smaller you could add islands as well to the southeast.

long story short, the map has space for at least 5-10 more maps without getting crowded, if you want to stay on the same map. even more if you would make it as crowded as the Southern Wastes.

but as you said correctly, that really depends how the story progresses. if we move to something very new, a "Chapter" button would be nice. but if you polish Kings Ridge for expample it should stay on this map.

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