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Community update #10 - August 28th 2021


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Greetings Skylords!

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

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Share your feedback, get a booster!

You are currently reading the 10th Community Update! We hope you find these updates interesting, whether you are an active player or someone who wants to keep an eye on the project.

Time for some reflection and feedback. Last month we asked for your feedback regarding the Official PvE contests, but this time we want to know your opinion about Skylords Reborn in general. What do you like? What could be better? We want to keep improving the game and growing our playerbase, and your feedback is crucial for us. 

Please give us your feedback here. As a thank you there will be a booster for everyone who fills in the survey. Your feedback will be anonymous.

 

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Next Patch Soontm

Our next patch is finally nearing completion! We expect the full patch to hit the test server at the end of this weekend. Once we are sure no bugs are within these changes, we plan to patch to live as soon as possible. There are truly a ton of changes in this patch, resulting in the patch notes already being 12 pages long, excluding bug and description changes! 

We will post the patch notes on our Patreon first, but of course we will share the full notes with everyone when the patch goes live on our main servers. And for those who are wondering; yes, Ravenheart will finally get its rework this patch. 

 

A discussion of upcoming map changes

The Skylords Reborn team recently discussed changes to PvE campaign maps. The goal of these changes would be to maintain the identity of the map as closely as possible while improving aspects such as major exploits, unused sections of maps, and problem areas where players feel forced to "break" the map to play it. 

It is important to note that all of these changes are proposals, none of them are guaranteed to be implemented! We do not want to make changes to something as fundamental as campaign maps without input from the community and what they want to see or not see change-wise. 

Please discuss what you think of the proposed changes and share your ideas in this topic or the discord. 
You can find all of the proposed changes in the attached PDF. 

Proposed Upcoming PvE Map Changes.pdf


PvP Improvements in development

We are also looking at ways to make it easier to find matches in PvP. One of the low-hanging fruits here is better rewards. Currently, the reward system is heavily favoring playing PvE over PvP. The low number of players currently playing PvP also isn't helping with completing Daily PvP Quests, and can cause for a lot of idle time for players. To counter this and reward players for playing PvP, we are currently looking into options like draining the BFP-reserve while being in the ranked queue.

Another nice feature we are working on are PvP Happy Hours. During specific time periods, players will receive additional rewards playing PvP. We notice the current PvP is quite scattered, with a lot of players wanting to play, but going offline again when they cant find opponents. We hope that by clustering those players together during certain time frames, we can encourage the PvP scene. As mentioned in a previous Community Update, it will soon also be possible to still see sparring lobbies while being in the ranked queue, without having to cancel your matchmaking. We also expect the next balance patch to cause a breath of fresh air.

Currently we are planning to offer Happy Hours for both 1vs1 and 2vs2. During Happy Hours, there will be an in-game announcement and the icon on the world map will indicate Happy Hours are active. When we have fleshed out our ideas a bit more, we will announce more details. 


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Tournaments & Events

• Finished: Community Tournament: Toggy's Tome Tournament - August 22th
Last weekend Toggy hosted another Tome tournament, meaning players had to build a deck from a selection of random cards and play PvP matches with them. You can rewatch the stream here in case you missed it. 


• Host your own event / tournament
Want to host a tournament or event? Please reach out to our Event Organizer Hiko to have your event prizes sponsored by us. If you have a cool idea for a PvE event, or want to host a PvP tournament, please don't hesitate to reach out to us, we will gladly assist you. 

 

New Team Members / Open Positions

We have a new Map Tester! We are very happy to welcome Rawne!
At the same time we are sad to see our balance developer Razeroc go. We want to thank him again for all the hard work he put into the project, and we hope to still see you in the forge from time to time!

We could definitely need some more help with the Skylords Reborn project however.
Below are three roles highlighted, but you can find more information, desired traits and all our open positions
here. 
If you are unsure if you qualify, please reach out and have a talk!

 

Open Position - Balance Developer
As a balance developer you are responsible to implement design changes to in-game cards using our internal balancing tool. In other words, you are responsible to implement new cards and changes to existing cards. These implementation requests can come from balance updates and content patches from our Faction Designers but also from the official Skylords Reborn map making team (for example, new bosses for a new map). An integral part of this role is learning our internal balancing tool, as that is the tool that allows us to perform all these changes. You are by no means required to have any programming experience.


Open Position - Map Artist
As a map artist you are responsible to polish the aesthetics of a map. This includes texture the map, add decorations and add different effects and sounds. In other words, responsible for making the map look and feel good.


Open Position - Client Developer
As a game client developer you are responsible to maintain and develop the game client. This mostly includes add new pre-game features (content outside of matches, so no game mechanics) through .pak files used by the game. You will be responsible to create and design in-game interfaces for new features, add networking support for new features that require it, solve bugs etc. using LUA, XML and little bit of Rust. BattleForge uses LUA and XML in their .pak files which are loaded by the client. Communication with the server happens through a proxy written in Rust.

 

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In Conclusion

Thanks for reading! 

This marks the 10th Community Update already. Is there anything you wish us to cover in upcoming community updates? How do you feel about the structure of the updates? As always, we are open to feedback so please let us know!

Here is a scratch code you can redeem in-game for 100bfp: COMM-UNIT-YNEW-S010

The code is valid till September 11th. Please note you can also get a booster by filling in our survey. 

Archive
Community Update #7
Community Update #8
Community Update #9

 

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1 hour ago, T1421 said:

THX for the Update.
Much appreciated as always.

(im just a bit confuced why you dont the the "feature" to trigger the last wave on GoL on your PvE list or is this already fixed...) 

If you think we should be changing this, say by not spawning the spawn building until the Kobold Engineer is escorted or giving it a shield til then etcetera, then that is a great thing to suggest in the discussion thread which Majora linked.

Metagross31, T1421 and Majora like this
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1 hour ago, Kiwibaum said:

Oh I just thought of something I forgot in the survey: If you add new PvE maps please make sure to have someone read the lore carefully and try to integrate the new story well.

Sorry for the scattered feedback.

Thank you very much for your feedback 🙂 
Personally I would also like to have voice-overs for the campaign as well. We all hate the babbling Moon sometimes, but BattleForge just isnt the same without it. Sadly, we currently have no way to add new soundfiles or voicelines, nor someone who can work on new PvE maps, so im afraid we'll have to be patient.

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Hi, I have played this game since it's inception.   I love it and think it was revolutionary.   I think all you guys have done is awesome and I and others can't thank you enough.  I think all the update changes are pretty good.   My concerns: (and these are only concerns).   1.  I think you as a development team need to be very careful changing current maps.  Old add age: if it ain't broke don't fix it.  The problem with many new games on the market is that many players complain and said games get Nerfed, just because they can't win it.  Balance changes are obviously good for any game as long and they are not popularity based.    2. New cards or even new factions will keep making the game fresh.  I believe, and this is only my belief.......that this is the reason many leave the game because after you have done everything there is not much of a challenge.  So new cards and factions will give new life to the game.  I could never understand with the cards that they had:  Fire, nature, Frost, and shadow, why they never added Water?  lol  It would seem to be a logical progression.   3. The sooner we can get a fully functional new PvE map or Maps/campaign, the faster we will also get a return of, (shall we say.....less interested older players).   This is what was originally promised by EA, and of course it never came.  I believe you are working on these things, so this is not criticism.....but, these are my ideas as to how we can get a thriving player base.   4.  If there is any possibility of writing a code to allow players/friends to create a clan,  (perhaps like World of Warships, with letters in front of a players name), this would be a simple way of having friends quickly join a clan and by allowing that clan to have it's own tournaments as you are already trying to implement, this would also increase play ability!.   

I realize that some of these ideas if not all of these ideas you have thought about and may be trying implement.  As I said these are only my ideas and suggestions.  But I believe they would greatly increase the return of players and game play.    

Thanks for all you do.  Cheers!   😄

wanky, Majora, Dutchy and 2 others like this
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3 hours ago, WolvenX said:

Hi, I have played this game since it's inception.   I love it and think it was revolutionary.   I think all you guys have done is awesome and I and others can't thank you enough.  I think all the update changes are pretty good.   My concerns: (and these are only concerns).   1.  I think you as a development team need to be very careful changing current maps.  Old add age: if it ain't broke don't fix it.  The problem with many new games on the market is that many players complain and said games get Nerfed, just because they can't win it.  Balance changes are obviously good for any game as long and they are not popularity based.  

Hey WolvenX,

Thanks for the feedback. I think trivializing the game and removing the difficulty is a very valid concern. As Faction Designer I have tried to avoid powercreep while balancing because each map is only so difficult and part of the fun is overcoming the difficulty (we talked about this in the PvE Design Doc, which you can access here: Deep Dives: Official Documents). In changing maps, at least personally, I'd like to see some maps have a slight reduction in difficulty in exchange for removing exploits that otherwise make them easy (Convoy, Sunbridge, etc.), while I would be open to increasing the difficulty for some particularly easy maps (Passage to Darkness, Empire left side, etc.).

Overall, I think the guiding question should be, "what did the original developers intend for this map, and how can we improve the practical aspects to succeed on their intention?" For example, Sunbridge is intended to have this slow northern progress where one side progresses then fortifies while the other side defends. It is kind of like an area-defense map. The gate switch exploit has ruined this intention. But, on the other side, the map is incredibly difficult to play which has lead people to almost entirely rely on the gate switch exploit. Our goal with the proposed changes for Sunbridge is to require the player to play the map without the gate exploit while transferring some of the map's difficulty from the beginning to the end. It is very bizarre that Sunbridge has these brutal attack waves combined with a pretty pathetic boss fight. I'd personally like to see a possibility of actually losing the boss fight and the remaining enemies swarming out to attack you. This way the map remains difficult, and loseable, but more consistent in its difficulty over the course of the map.

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I like most of the changes the team is proposing to make maps more desirable to play. One thing that particularly struck me was on the Nightmare maps. How is an increased starter well capacity supposed to speed up the beginning? I doubt players will still be stuck on their starting wells for over 20 minutes. I'd rather keep the current pool of 600 and add a third starting well so Energy Booster or Juice Tank will have more of a purpose on these ones, while also speed up the beginning.
The increased void power starting capacity sounds nice, but will only marginally speed up the beginning as you still have to wait for it to flow into your actual power pool. Even less of a issue as you have a fairly safe T2 on Nightmare's End.
I don't even think increased void power at start is that necessary when you have a third well.

As for Blight, there are 2 sections of the map which serve no purpose, too: The two camps that are situated south/north of your starting position (depending on your selected position). I'd argue most players don't even know these house 2 power wells each, but currently there isn't reason to push these camps and get them. On Standard you can do it but only if you are bored, on Advanced and Expert you are even discouraged from doing it because of time pressure.

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On 8/28/2021 at 1:31 PM, Majora said:

Open Position - Map Artist
As a map artist you are responsible to polish the aesthetics of a map. This includes texture the map, add decorations and add different effects and sounds. In other words, responsible for making the map look and feel good.

any more info? 😉

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I read most of these and thought "Yes, that's exactly what this map needs!" Especially maps where you allowed good players to speed things up (such as Defending Hope and Treasure Fleet). I also love what you did to the Nightmare maps, as I like them in most ways but find that they have a tedious amount of waiting for resources.

I had only two concerns reading through the changes.
1. Oracle: Giving the player control of the fire units would presumably use up their population cap. This could make people not want to do the ritual because they need to control what units are filling the cap up (especially on expert where you need a really beefy defense to survive the assault). 
2. Sunbridge: I like that you're fixing the exploit, but just to add clarity, is the intent that the same number of enemy units is going to spawn regardless of which path they are sent down? I believe (though I'm not 100% positive) that even if you aren't deliberately using the exploit, more frequent switches results in fewer total enemies, and it seems like the design intent of the map that the switch cannot be used to reduce attacks--just to decide who they're pointed at.

Overall, I love that the changes preserve the core experience of the maps but remove some of the frustrating points about them. They seem like changes the original Battleforge team would have made given the time and budget.

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Blight:

2: I find it weird you guys suggest lowering wave difficulty for the nightmare shard but completely neglect it for blight. Imo blight is much harder than shard at least on advanced. The majority of people on higher difficulties afaik crutch mana wings which is not a good sign for the balance of a map. Beyond that it is often practically impossible to defend effectively much less having defense be a worthwhile strategy. Efficiency might not be in favor of defense on this map which is fine because it has always been a map that pushes the player to an attacker role. That said, slower factions should be able to complete it more reliably or defend it more reasonably. To aid in this I suggest adding for example some kind of regen effect for having captured the various more or less useless wells. Alternatively make the attacking waves more reasonable for the various difficulty levels. If you fail to kill orb 3 camp in time it spawns like 2 soul hunters maybe some bandits drakes and bandit snipers that you have to defend at t2. The strongest t2 building defense is lab+time vortexes but because this is an attacker map the power binding and effective delay to access after having used it becomes excessively impractical (not to mention build time). Additionally no available buildings counter bandit snipers. That said once again id like to reiterate I get this is an attacker map so if the defensive option is designed to be mostly impractical then some more mild changes need to be made to make the attacker option more practical for various factions (mostly everyone without nature) to more reliably maintain an adequate pace to prevent wave spawns at least on the lower difficulties.  Every faction should be able to complete an advanced map with as few as three playthroughs (1 standard 1-2 advanced) with high reliability and without crutching niche cards. Often such problems would be resolved within the faction but this map especially shows excessive unreability with most factions not involving nature.

 

Crusade:

1: does this not happen in expert difficulties or by final wave do you mean the last little wave that spawns usually after the fire minions reach the walls? Because in advanced and standard it spawns the largest wave as soon as the final building in the final camp is killed.

 

Defending hope:

2: would this needlessly increase the difficulty? I haven’t played this map in a while but do spawns happen over time or are they coded to spawn after certain events such as rogan getting to safety? If it is the latter then would a shorter timer cause a new wave to be spawned potentially before a player is prepared?

 

Empire:

6: this would be really nice, half the time as a future player the walls for example are either useless or get spawned when my army is retreating smh lol

 

King of the giants:

3: unless the midwinter can be freed such that it can speed up the final clearing (top row camps) or slow down jorne/protect rogan, I don’t really see it being worth getting so making it more powerful would probably be the easiest avenue on this front

 

Nightmare shard:

1: On advanced at least aside from the rare spawns of aboms later on, the hardest part by far is the initial camp. I would mind eliminating the random abom spawns in advanced since theyre really just a check of if you’ve played the map before but other than that I would say not to decrease wave difficulty as it is one of the imo few maps that defending is actually fairly fun.

2: does this work with buildings? It is hard to see the energy provided imo and if it doesn’t work with buildings it should be considered a worthwhile change like it could just be ground presence instead of units.

3&4: I definitely like this as that’s really a problem with this map you just sit around spawning max t1 units to hopefully kill the spawn buildings unless you have some directed strat from only having played the map before. But 100 void energy is not very helpful, additionally increasing the duration of the initial wells is not as good of a solution as it could be. What should be done is either add another well entirely which both speeds up energy early on and also increases total energy or better yet increase the power gain from holding the shard. This could eliminate the slowness at the start while also giving more purpose to holding the shard other than simply losing the entire map.

Nightmares end:

3: due to space limitations in this map it may be better to increase well lifetime and starting void instead of adding another well such as in tnms. I find assaulting initial camps to be much easier in this map due to being able topull priority units without agroing the entire camp like in tnms along with seemingly slower spawn times or perhaps its just easier to assault the spawners more quickly due to having fewer enemies to fight at once. In any case I think that although similar problems exist in this map as in the nightmare shard, they are not as bad and do not warrant equal changes.

 

Ocean:

Aside: Do people even use the dropships that much? Even in 2009 I never relied on them and I still don’t it just seems weird to play a map and rely on units outside your deck rather than having your deck be able to cover all required situations.

 

Passage to darkness:

2: it’s fine to add a boss here but I would strongly suggest against completion requirements. Instead why not add bonus gold for everyone if the boss is killed like 1000 or 2000. The majority of playthroughs on this map are for gold anyways so if you want to add purpose to part of the map why not keep it inline with the current purpose of the map.

Slavemaster:

3: this map moreso than most practically requires orb stacking to be effective. Personally I think such strategies should be eliminated as the by far effective strats in any map. In the insane god additional orbs are being added to allow both players to go t4. This map would do well to provide better access to existing orbs for both players. As it is now even on advanced the bottom orbs are often left open for an extended period of time to make use of twilight spawns as stuff like the fire spawner becomes significantly less effective. Additionally even access to other orbs requires gimmicky wall jumping and even then is precarious as it is close to a large spawn and occasionally gets assaulted by bandit ships. We also cant forget how often it is a complete waste to access the western orbs directly both due to difficulty of reaching them early but also because when the fire spawner is active to protect the orbs nearest the start, strong flying enemies will often assault those positions. All of these conditions work to create an effect shortage of orbs which pushes players into the orb stacking strategy. The reason this strategy is unhealthy is because it leaves one player as the effective sacrifice where they are playing but not really playing because one player is having all the orbs funneled to them to carry the match.

 

 

Sunbridge:

1: im not hugely in favor of making this a lot more difficult. But I think difficulty could be offset else where like in 2:

2: but after the first major attack wave then you get twilight dragons? I think it would be more reasonable that maybe theres only a twilight dragon after both shrines have been taken. Remember this is a very early map, even on expert you should not be doing stuff like defending against boss level enemies early in the game.

 

The dwarven riddle:

4: this is a good step in the right direction but really what this map needs is to give better access to more orbs for the defensive player especially. In a lot of maps bf devs made it so that offense is worth much more than defense and even in maps with specific defense requirements stuff like this happens. I really think devs need to look into a system to prevent orb stacking in situations like this. Ideally whoever doesn’t take the 2nd orb should be given some kind of free orb and no orb should be able to be transferred to another player. This means that the attacker and defender work synergistically instead of sacrificially. As it is now one player is effectively sacrificed to t1 while the other player rushes to t3/4 to get t4 fliers asap so the t1 player doesn’t get overwhelmed with their crappy t1 defense—in effect making the defense mechanic a gimmick. If the defending player could keep orbs up with the attacking player then all defensive strategies could be more viable instead of the current gimmick of t1 frost lasting long enough for the carry to use t4 fliers to melt everything. Like we could just reallocate some unused space near the map edge for each player to start with amii monument and then they both get another one once one player claims a well at the 2nd camp. This guarantees they both get to t2 and no one gets to t3 until they capture the third orb. Technically whoever doesn’t cap the third orb could be given a 3rd monument since then it doesn’t matter if someone can go t4 since people could just use the actual card anyways.

 

The guns of lyr:

3: I’d really like to see some kind of bonus added for the attacker players to be present like added gold after clearing their orb camps or other camps because it is very annoying to have speedrunners play regular matches and end the game while making attacker players useless. Even in regular matches it seems dumb that their only purpose is really to open a gate that can be bypassed elsewhere. Overall this map is not well designed imo which is extra sad because it is one of the few 4player maps with significant defense components. It should reaslly be reworked such that the attacker player has a more active role in helping the defensive player early on rather than them being mostly separate except maybe sending a flying unit to help clear a couple of areas.

Titans:

1: im not in favor of this if it makes defending the sides more difficult. Even as it is now youre kind of damned if you do and damned if you don’t because if you try to defend its harder to not kill the wrong crystals and then fire waves can spawn and melt people but if you don’t defned then boss fire dragons spawn and start attacking stuff. I think that if build properly this would be a good map for defensive aspects but with the fire tornado that melts everything gated behind the super durable shaman it makes most stationary defenses not worth the time.

5: this is fine so long as it doesn’t make it harder for other allies if the tunnels in pos 3 arent destroyed (suchas by making new spawns from pos 3 teleport to other areas). An alternative would be to provide pos 3 with a way to mitigate certain dangers in the boss fight *cough fire tornados cough* while simultaneously buffing boss fight mechanics like unit spawned and number/placement of tornados should they not be mitigated by position 3.

 

Ravens end:

I didn’t see mention of this map but I definitely think it could use an important tweek. The right side is  much more difficult than the left side because the t2/3 orb (the 2nd one u can capture after the starting orbs) is much harder to defend. I suggest moving it south/east. Because the right side has fliers so close to that orb it is very easy to agro bandits with fliers and the bandit ship and have to contend with the long ranged aoe knocking attacks of the stonekin razorshard. If the orb and wells were moved say close to the wall toward the east then thered be much less chance of agriong the bandits with fliers and also allow for retreat if necessary to provide parity with the left side.

Edited by JarodDempsey
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