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Community Update #18 - January 29th 2022


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Greetings Skylords!

Every three weeks, we give an update on the things going on behind the scenes of Skylords Reborn. Welcome to another Community Update!

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Small Patchcommunity_splitter.png

We are hard at work on our new content patch, which will still take quite a while. However, we plan to release a small patch this weekend including some small features and bug fixes. We have also added a much requested feature: you will now be notified when a friend comes online

Below, you can read about two highlighted changes from this patch. The patch also includes various bugfixes, for example being able to queue into yourself in PvP.

 

• Adjustments to the booster imagescommunity_splitter.png

During our anniversary patch, we noticed that the booster images in the game had plenty of issues. First of all, the ratios are all over the place, with some boosters being tall, where others are wide. Additionally, the positioning angles and BattleForge logo placement is not consistent and some images had shadows where others didn't. We gave them some touchups and have added new images for the boosters. 

Old booster packaging:

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New booster packaging:

image.png

 

• Winter Forgecommunity_splitter.png

While the holidays are over, winter is still here. We thought it would be fun to give the Forge a different look during winter, spring, summer and autumn, so we have updated it to a snowy theme! For the spring, summer and autumn Forges we plan to include the Community, so stay tuned for that!

In a previous patch, we added powerwells and monuments into the forge for testing. We are curious to hear if you enjoy changes like this, even if they are purely cosmetic. 

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Is the new look too cold for your taste? Feel free to swap it back to the neutral forge with the new slider on the top right.

 

• Current State of the Economy & Reforgingcommunity_splitter.png

On the 18th of December we released both Reforging and a 100BFP booster discount. As expected, this heavily impacted the economy of Skylords Reborn. Now that the dust has settled and the booster discount has expired, we can slowly start looking at the state of the economy. Windhunter has shared some statistics and thoughts on this topic.  

"The market trends pre-update (not shown here) were that Common cards were largely worthless, Uncommon cards were following the same trend, Rare cards were steadily decreasing in price (even among sought after cards such as Overlord, Bloodhorn, and Amii Monument), and desirable Ultra-rare and promo cards were increasingly inflating. This was because Ultra-rare and promo cards were the only remaining sources of value left in the economy. Reforging changed this by condensing the total price range of the market and by giving each card in the game a base level of value." 

You can read the whole post and check the stats for yourself here. 

 

• Deep Dive: Towerscommunity_splitter.png

As we continue to work towards the release of DRPvE, a topic of much discussion has been the current state of towers in the game. While some towers over perform, most are not worth a deckslot.

In this Deep Dive, we take a look at the different kinds of towers in Skylords Reborn, their strengths and weaknesses, and how we plan to make changes to them in the future. Please note we are still in the early stages of our tower rebalance; ideas are not final and these changes will take quite a while to implement once they are finalized. Either way, we hope you enjoy this insight into our current philosophy regarding Towers in Skylords Reborn, and that it provides you with the necessary information to join the discussion in our balance discord.

DeepDive_Towers.pdf

The next design document you can expect will be our in progress Nature Deep Dive. You can find all our Deep Dives and other documents here.

 

• Changing the size of buildingscommunity_splitter.png

While working on the above topic, we came across a new possibility for the game: resizing towers. We are now able to change the size of a building (visual and collision-shape-wise), which will be very relevant for cards like Rocket Tower, that take up way more space than you would expect from its model. This will be another helpful tool in adding some QoL changes to Skylords Reborn! 

Please note: the image below is an example, there are currently no concrete changes to Tunnel planned. 

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• Art Timelapsecommunity_splitter.png

With our anniversary patch, it was revealed that the artwork of the new bandit cards combine into a single art piece: the new Bandit loading screen. If you are a frequent reader of the community updates, you have seen the work that went into each different new bandit cards over the last few months, including sketches of early iterations. However, if you are interested in more behind the scenes, we have a nice treat for you. Tweeto has actually recorded his design process, and we created a time-lapse video showing all the steps that went into this latest art piece. Did you know Bandit Sniper is actually standing on a dead Burrower? Find out everything that was added (and removed) in the video here. 

Big thanks to Tweeto for his hard work and jabbyay for helping to create this video. Tweeto is already hard at work on the next art piece, which we will show off in a later community update. Like this kind of content? Please be sure to let us know!

 

 

• Advanced Filteringcommunity_splitter.png

We would like to take a quick moment to thank everyone for taking our survey about your use of advanced filtering. We are working on a full documentation for the filters that are currently available in the game. If you don't want to wait for that, you can find a Work in Progress version in the game files under BattleForge/docs/advanced_filtering.txt once the patch hits. 

We have also added a few new filters and a lot of alternative words for current filters. 
 

Tournaments & Eventscommunity_splitter.png

NEW - Toggy's Tome Tournament - 30.01.2022
It's time for another Tome Tournament! In Tome you play 1vs1 PvP but with a twist; your deck is build right before the tournament from the content of a number of boosters. This results in wacky decks and a very different PvP experience, so be sure to check it out. The tournament will be streamed live, check out the full rules and sign-up here. 


NEW - CCC #2 The Besieged Forge - UNTIL 05.02.2022
Kapo has started another Crappy Community Contest! Participating in it will result in a reward for the entire community, so be sure to check it out. In this contest, players are playing on a new map created specifically for this contest! Check out the full rules here


ALMOST ENDING - Official 2p rPvE Contest#2: The Bandit alliance UNTIL 31.01.2022
You only have a few days left to compete in this event! For this 
challenge, we want to see your adaptability in unique situations.
We are looking for the fastest time with only one rule: each player may only spawn one single unit with ground presence through the whole run!


COMING SOON Community 1p PvE Contest – early February
Hope you didn’t hide your warm clothes yet! To celebrate the end of winter, we will pay a visit to another Frost themed map. This time the challenge will be for a single Skylord, so bring your best deck and face the unknown. All the details should be published next week, stay tuned.


• Host your own event/tournament
Want to host a tournament or event? Please reach out to our Event Organizers Hiko and/or Metagross 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. 

 

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We need your help!community_splitter.png

Now that we are able to implement voicelines and audio into the game (thanks to some great voiceactors helping us out!), we are looking for someone to help us with audio post-production and quality control. Unfortunately we currently do not have enough volunteers to continue implementing any further voicelines and sound effects into the game.

Open Position: Audio Editor
We would love to continue adding voicelines for more cards and narration for new maps. As an Audio Editor, you will be responsible for selecting and extracting the best takes, doing post-production and making sure the overall quality is high enough to be implemented into the game. If you have more skills, you will also be able to design new sounds for the game as Audio Producer. Click here to read more and apply.

 

Team changescommunity_splitter.png

We are excited to finally add a marketeer/outreach coordinator to our team! Runeseeker will help us out with promoting the project and attracting new and old players alike. We appreciate the help and are happy to have him on our team! 

We also have various potential team members doing their trial tasks. In the near future we hope to add more balance developers, moderators and an artist. 
 

In Conclusioncommunity_splitter.png

And that's it for this Community Update, thanks for reading! 

As is tradition, this community update comes with a scratch code. 
The code will reward you with a mini-booster: 
COMM-UNIT-YNEW-S18B

The code is valid till February 19th, when we will bring you another Community Update. 

As always, we are open to feedback, so please let us know if you have any questions, suggestions or comments! 

Community Update footer.png

Archive
Skylords Reborn Documents (Deep Dives, Behind the Scenes, PvP Guide)  
Overview Community Updates
Community Update #17

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Very nice write-up, the only thing I can't agree with on balancing is the final tower as I don't think it will fix how bad that card is unless Firebug can still go off when destroyed.
Can't wait to see tower changes (though I probably won't be using Necroblaster anymore 😆).

Majora likes this
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2 hours ago, MaRinuR said:

Please make the motar tower fire without a friedly Unit in the range. Then it Can Defender against Long range units top. 🙂 

 

This is how it worked in the very old past, but there were too many cheese strats with it, e.g. shooting at the final camp on the map "Mo" while being still on T1. See for example here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrEobLbWqjg

Pulsar likes this
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The seasonal forge is a fun idea! I really like the winter one.

The dark gray lines should get another touch up though. They look painted on. The original forge has the golden borders, which gives the illusion of stone plates framed in gold. You barely see a hint of slightly blue borders in the winter forge.

799949449_Screenshot2022-01-29193509.png.87272dc60a028d2770a70e0075484a86.png 1863995599_Screenshot2022-01-29193542.png.99e8b496f911fe2104752172f8021f4c.png

e/ Oh, I hadn't even looked at it with normal settings. Had the game in a small window with low specs, as I sometimes do, when first checking the winter forge out. Nevermind, it looks amazing in high specs.

Edited by Cocofang
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"Adorable Battleships need to eat a lot of snowflakes to survive and feed it's little babies, so they can grow up to become majestic whales.
And here we can see a school of Battleships in their natural habitat, imitating the shape of a much bigger ship to intimidate potential predators.

680957846_battleshiphabitat.thumb.png.b74645b2bf93111b1b34c9053cd3d68d.png

Inciddentally, they also do this to reduce the air drag factor. Tired Battleships will fall back from the front to the rear of the formation, allowing fully rested Battles to take the lead and provide the drag reduction.

If we look closely, we can see a few families of Icefang Raptors hiding underaneath the Battleships. Raptors and Battleships have a mutualistic relationship. The Battleships protect the Raptors, and in exchange the Raptors secure Monuments that contain Frost Orbs needed to grow snowflakes clouds and feed Battleship population. [1]" - read by Krystyna Czubówna


Nature is so beautiful.

And I absolutely love the new Forge. Below zero job! :frostorb::frostorb::frostorb::frostorb:

[1]. Source:
https://www.reddit.com/r/Stellaris/comments/s5b35l/and_here_we_can_see_a_school_of_battleships_in/

 

Edited by Dallarian
kingre, Hirooo, Xanatoss and 1 other like this
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1. you guys have rocket tower all wrong. it also become apparent when you mentioned fire lacks a viable defense tower at t1. fires implementation of towers at lower tiers are for unit support (especially in combination with walls). it isnt correct to take every defensive strategy in a vacuum for every faction. for example natures root structures shouldnt be balanced around working without (root)units. similarly fires cc structures shouldnt be balanced around working without units either. You are nerfing the hp and the # of targets effected which will make it much less reliable as a cc tower and completely destroy its main usecase. rocket tower doesnt need more damage and less health (which fire already has access to via pyromaniac),  it needs faster fire rate (stacking over time if possible akin to rage for thematics but for attack speed instead of damage) or the ability to lock on combined with bigger splash. your proposed changed would completely remove a cc tower from the game in favor of another damage tower which needlessly homogenizes the game and limits variety for potential strategies and themes.

2. stranglehold sucks and should not be used as a benchamark unless you guys can fix it so that it can chain its own cc or it wont recast on immune units without manual intervention then stranglehold should not be used as a benchmark. also it cant even hit air which is even worse. nature has arguably the worst tower structures in the game, i dont think any are worth using as a benchmark in the building rework. makeshift should be the third t1 benchmark as it is a much better example of a t1 cc tower.

3. lost launcher is mediocre at best and should not be used as the t2 benchmark for damage structures, similarly cannon tower is on the low side of ok and should not be used as a baseline either, it cant even hit air targets which is not a quality that should be included in the baseline. blue vortex should be baseline it is the only t2 tower worth using as a damage source. it is well balanced due to low density and moderate cost while also being thematically effective and having an effective combination of dps and cc. if it wasnt for its fairly high density, lost launcher would be basically garbage. the blue affins shield doesnt recharge after breaking and the red takes way longer than is reasonable to have good damage considering low tower hp and lack of m knockback at t2, lost launcher actually a prime example of a tower that primarily needs some flat buffs to be in a good spot. 

4. dont nerf skyelf utility to buff frost towers. like why would you consider this even smh. Firstly wbg is perfectly fine, it should be used as the baseline to buff t4 forts around, u dont need to buff it and you definitely dont need to buff it at the expense of skyelf utility which has the added effect of nerfing every 2 orb building in the game. stronghold should be able to scale as frosts primary combatant structure for general use (vs ranged as well as melee) while wbg can help against ground xls but mostly be used as an artillery nuke. 

4.5 stronghold changes are not the right direction. stronghold needs to be the keystone for t3 frost building defense and ideally be able to scale into t4. Making its longranged counter manual and costly with a long cooldown makes zero sense and giving it a passive that works by losing health in the faction with building heals and shields is even more nonsense. Stronghold should be able to passively copy its buffs to friendly structures and actively apply a unity to friendly structures. In this way with an orb increase to pure, frost alone would be afforded the opportunity to make most efficient use of its structure support utilities and stronghold would actually become fitting of its name. In addition to this the long ranged middle gun just needs to have 50-60m range and knock l units while the little guns need to fire faster and knock m units even if the fortress costs like 200-250 this would be the best direction. Failing to implement stronghold in such a strong manner will be a huge failing for frost as a whole.

5. "towers with larger models should be more expensive than towers with smaller models." i cant tell if you guys just slightly missed the mark here or if you were being intentionally roundabout to hide your intent to nerf a bunch of towers. This statement should written towers with larger models should be stronger than towers with smaller models. this would be correct as then relative strength density could be maintained. The original statement just becomes clearly problematic as you impose a needless limit on your own balancing options. There verywell can be the case where a large tower should be made relatively cheap to compensate for other stats while a smaller tower could cost more if it has better stats. Strength density should not be made identical* as that will needlessly limit variety and cause undue difficulty during future balancing. *Dont get confused with my statements, when i say density should be maintained and density should not be made identical those two statements are not contradictory. I basically mean larger weaker towers should be cheaper while stronger smaller towers should be more expensive. just because a tower is larger doesnt mean it needs to be more expensive as the original statement suggests, nor should smaller towers be cheaper. I think another bad outcome --in addition to larger towers getting cost increases-- of the original statement would be some smaller towers having nerfed stats and neither of these outcomes should occur as towers in general outside of maybe necroblaster should all get buffs or be left alone

6. " A tower’s knockback should thus be carefully weighed against its splash radius and act as an important consideration when determining a tower’s stats." agree, but i feel like you guys neglected to mention (hopefully not notice entirely) that some tower structures are not primarily damage towers just as some combat units are not primarily damage units. Towers like makeshift tower, rocket tower, and lifestealer are cc towers just like frost mage and aggressor are cc units. I agree that knockback should be weighted along with damage but some towers like the 3 ive already mentioned should be balanced around their cc rather than their damage. The use case for the mentioned towers are best seen in strategies with archers on walls. Taking this one step further id wonder if these could be tested/changed in a way such that theres a buff to range when placed behind a wall to further cement this case as a viable building strategy and add diversity to tower strats in general -- definitely something worth considering during the building rework.  

7. "Overall, this means that towers with higher burst damage should have lower damage totals" another example where i cant tell if you guys missed the mark are are being intentionally obscure to allow for massive nerfs. Instead of saying burst towers should have lower damage you should be saying sustained towers should have higher damage. No towers need nerfs outside of maybe necroblaster and outside of nerfs, my statement and your statement effect the same thing so it remains puzzling why you chose to say it how you did rather than the way ive worded it. TLDR u better not be nerfing practically anything outside of necroblaster or this entire rework will be a complete waste of time. 

Other considerations:

-lifestealer needs a serious buff. please just make it into a full cc tower by removing the health lost on attack and change its sacrifice to give it a strength buff like dreadcharger. the current health loss mechanic is just a prime example of detriments outweighing bonuses that is rife within shadow. just get rid of the whole awful mechanic, you can still keep lifestealer thematically appropriate by allowing it to keep sacrifice to either heal itself or provide itself with an expendable damage buff like dreadcharger has. If lifestealer got rid of its terrible self damage it could actually be usable as a cc tower and would be nice for added variety as it has a high density which is a very good combo for cc towers but currently the self damage is just so unfun (and ineffective) it isnt even worth slotting to use behind walls. 

-church of negation needs a viable and practical healing source within shadow one of the most shadowy structures is practically unusable in pure shadow. this has long been recognized as an item that requires fixing and now is the time to do it so dont forget about it.

-i see little to nothing in the deep dive regarding diversity of strategies, especially on a per faction basis. i get you guys are focusing on towers mainly rn and not yet all the other types of structures but dont balance them in a vacuum without considering the general strategy targets of each faction. Frost towers are probably best designed to be built as the primary combat forces in an installation (to the point where the units ennd up as the supporters) whereas nature is the opposite as it will rely mainly on units and have more support only structures. Fire leans more towards nature and shadow leans more toward frost. Dont neglect this or we will end up with cases like rocket tower getting nerfed into a worse pyromaniac which will be 100% bad for the game. I see current strategies where frost has a variety of structures and available strategies. Fire has two main strats which are structures that melt enemies and structures that cc while units melt enemies. Nature has mainly structures that directly aid own units or cc enemies, and shadow like frost tends to strike a balance between structures that melt enemies, directly aid allies, and cc enemies.  

-a lot of other structures need buffs i get dev resouces necessitate prioritizing certain things above others and for much of the community that means towers before other structures but please dont leave the other structure types to languish on the back burner for too long, especially in the case where theyd still not be buffed before drpve is released. stuff like kobold buildings in frost, trap buildings in fire, and my beloved healing well need some serious tlc so all the building strats are ready to go when drpve is released, 

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2 hours ago, Dallarian said:

"Adorable Battleships need to eat a lot of snowflakes to survive and feed it's little babies, so they can grow up to become majestic whales.
And here we can see a school of Battleships in their natural habitat, imitating the shape of a much bigger ship to intimidate potential predators.

680957846_battleshiphabitat.thumb.png.b74645b2bf93111b1b34c9053cd3d68d.png

Inciddentally, they also do this to reduce the air drag factor. Tired Battleships will fall back from the front to the rear of the formation, allowing fully rested Battles to take the lead and provide the drag reduction.

If we look closely, we can see a few families of Icefang Raptors hiding underaneath the Battleships. Raptors and Battleships have a mutualistic relationship. The Battleships protect the Raptors, and in exchange the Raptors secure Monuments that contain Frost Orbs needed to grow snowflakes clouds and feed Battleship population. [1]" - read by Krystyna Czubówna


Nature is so beautiful.

And I absolutely love the new Forge. Below zero job! :frostorb::frostorb::frostorb::frostorb:

[1]. Source:
https://www.reddit.com/r/Stellaris/comments/s5b35l/and_here_we_can_see_a_school_of_battleships_in/

 

"No more reactions today"... (with other words I spend all my upvotes/likes)

 

A like would have done the job, but as I am already writing: That was a great one!

Edited by Volin
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9 hours ago, JarodDempsey said:

...

A few thoughts:

(1) The rules and insights highlighted in this document should be regarded as general guidelines. If this is true of our Design Philosophy principles, which are the most fundamental (primary) design principles in the game, then it is even more true for the secondary and tertiary design principles outlined in this document. As such, we don't few these as strict rules which we cannot break while designing towers moving forward, but as guide posts to help us not loss our way. On this topic, I think it is worthwhile for us to note why we write and release these documents. I see three principle reasons.

  • We write these documents as a way to force ourselves as designers to slow down and consider all the factors at play. By working through the fundamentals of the game itself, a faction, or a class of card, we create a solid base of understanding which will serve as our guide posts going forward. Overall, this leads to more harmonious and less haphazard changes. 
  • We write these documents for other people in the community who like to think about the game in a deeper way. These players also directly help us by questioning, critiquing, and adding to our own understanding of the topic. So these documents act as a focusing lens which helps the community to channel their thoughts and suggestions in the same direction as the balance team, leading to more productive suggestions overall. 
  • Finally, we write these documents to give a heads-up to the community about what is coming next and to both gauge and generate excitement in a given topic.

(2) We are and have been attempting to be as transparent as possible as a team. The mistakes we make are far more often mistakes of forgetfulness than of anything else. As such, I don't appreciate the insinuation that we are obscuring our thinking on the subject in an attempt to paper over the fact that we plan on nerfing a large amount of towers. This simply is not true. Two towers are currently slated for eventual nerfs, Necroblaster and Time Vortex, both of which are far outside the acceptable range compared to other viable towers. In both cases the nerfs will be relatively minor, more corpses for Necroblaster and less life points for Time Vortex. The rest of the intended changes will be buffs. I do think that we could have phrased things in a more positive light in our emboldened statements, but I also think the current phrasing does correctly convey the general idea we intended to communicate.

(3) I think you have correctly identified a lacuna, or missing part, in the document, namely the distinction between damage-oriented and crowd control oriented towers. On this subject your thoughts on Rocket Tower are especially appreciated and I think raise several good points. We can discuss this particular topic more in the balancing discord where I opened a channel on this topic per your request. On the particular remark in the document about Fire T1 towers, that statement was a direct result of our playtesting for DRPvE, where Fire T1 is far and away the worst faction and a lot of this has to do with lacking a damage tower in T1. I do agree in a general sense with your analysis that Shadow + Frost tend to have damage towers, Nature tends towards support towers, and Fire in early tiers tends towards knockback towers, though this changes by T3 where Tower of Flames has no built-in crowd control.

(4) As you can see right below the Deep Dive, we have recently gained the ability to resize buildings. We will be adjusting several NPC and player buildings to more correctly fit their model size. We will also be able to adjust building size as a balancing consideration, if we think that is appropriate.

SunWu likes this
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Yes i know it worked that way. but as there is many cheese strats at many maps. but if you play the mortar and use it as intended. then it was a great defending tower knock back and small damage..... can it be hitting 0 zero damage to building maybe???

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