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Community Update #23 - May 14th, 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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 Soon
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Last Community Update we revealed our upcoming new achievements and ever since we get daily questions when those (and the patch in general) will hit the live server. We are currently hard at work finalizing the upcoming patch, but aren't able to reveal a concrete release date just yet.

We expect to share more information with you regarding its release in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that. 
In the meantime, we are excited to reveal a new card today! 


 New Card Reveal: Burning Spears
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Burning Spears is a new tier 2 fire unit, requiring two fire orbs. Upgrading the card reduces its power cost and increases its stats. The values noted here are for U3. It will be an Uncommon and won't have an affinity. 

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Burning Spears is an S-sized squad unit that contains a weapon-switch similar to Ghost Spears. They will also have the Steadfast passive ability, meaning they can't be knocked back. 
 

close.pngWeapon Change
Type: mode-switch
Makes unit more effective against large units instead of extra-large ones. Lasts until deactivated.

 

open.pngWeapon Change
Type: mode-switch
Makes unit more effective against extra-large units instead of large ones. Lasts until deactivated.

 

burn.pngBurning Lance / Scorching Injury (passive ability)
Enemies hit by Burning Spear's attacks will be set on fire and take additional damage that steadily increases the longer they burn. The burn deals 2 damage per second and stacks up to 25 times. Attacked units may only walk at walk speed for 15 seconds.

 

Design Goals
Burning Spears are designed as a new tool to increase deck building options in pure Fire. The faction currently has a limited pool of pure cards in PvP, leading to a very M-unit centric deck design with a limited amount of deck building options and balancing levers to change specific matchup behaviors.

The addition of Burning Spears will add a versatile small sized unit into the faction, that is supposed to help with some of the factions counter issues against L and XL units in T2, while demanding a deck slot investment in return. The passive ability enables very high backloaded damage potential to punish players that try to ignore them, whereas the slow and steadfast ability allow Burning Spears to stick to their priority targets while enabling further spell synergies with cards like Wildfire.

Please note: We are still testing the card. While we are generally happy about it and feel comfortable revealing it, numbers and effects might still change before release.

 

• Artwork Spotlight
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Now that our art team has grown, we tried a different approach for our creation process. The card was already play tested, so we knew its effects and that it would use the Ghost Spears model, but there were no other hard restrictions for the art. 

Our artist Spirit Alpha worked together with Tweeto to explore some ideas, which resulted in multiple concept arts. They settled on a barbaric look. 

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The next step was to visualize the design in-game, and make sure what we had in mind would actually be possible to implement, preventing a mismatch between art and model.

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Once the theme, colors and general appearance were fleshed out, it was time to start working on the artwork. Different compositions were explored again.

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Spirit Alpha then handed in this artwork. While we were generally happy with how this design turned out, there were still some things to be done. While the Deep One claw was a nice touch, we found it did make the artwork more cluttered and distracted the viewer's eye. With the help of Tweeto, adjustments were also made to the background, contrast and skin, left arm anatomy, right arm shape and the spear. 
 

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After a couple of extra iterations (and lots of discussion about flames with our art critique), we finally settled on the current design. A big thanks to our artists Spirit Alpha and Tweeto for drawing the artwork, to Friendly Firefly for working on the ability icons and to our art critiques for their support and comments. 

As you can see, a ton of work went into this, and we haven't even showed you half of the iterations. 
We are very happy with how it turned out, and hope you like it as well!

 

 Upcoming PvP changes
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While PvP has a very passionate community, the game mode currently has certain flaws that prevent players from getting into it. We hope to tackle these in our upcoming patch. Here are some of the changes we will implement:


Queue will drain the BFP reserve
PvP often enters a "Spiral of Death" when too few players are online. It takes too long to find a match, so players stop queuing, which results in it taking longer to find a match... We want to give players an incentive to wait in the ranked lobby for more than a few minutes, resulting in the lobby no longer being empty and the next person who wants to play finding an opponent quickly. If you queue for at least 5 minutes, even if you don't find an opponent, you will earn BFP as if you were ingame, meaning you get BFP not just for playing, but also while searching for matches. 


Hide Player Names
We have seen that some players tend to dodge certain high ranked players while playing ranked, not queuing up when they see higher skilled opponents in the lobby. To prevent this behavior, we will hide player names in the ranked lobby. To not impact casual play, we have separated the sparring and ranked lobbies, allowing you to still invite players into your lobby and make things like tournaments and Toggy's Fightclub still possible.


Hide Losses
Another reason that prevents players from queuing up is the fear of messing up their win/loss ratio, or even feeling shame to have their losses publicly shown on the ladder. It has been proven in other competitive games that showing losses results in demotivation and higher entry barriers. We hope this change encourages players to focus on what matters (playing the game and improving yourself) instead of stats that might not even represent your current skill level.


New Player Protection
To protect new players from facing top players when they are just getting started, we will prevent players with <102.000 base ELO from getting matched with players at >135.000 base ELO. 


Changes to Free PvP Decks
With upcoming balance adjustments and new cards, we will update our free PvP decks to compete with the new meta. Additionally, we have made changing these decks more flexible; resulting in no longer having to reset all the free PvP decks when we make these changes.

If we update one of the free PvP decks you have currently selected, you will now have the option to either swap to the new cards, or keep your current set up. We are currently planning to make the following changes:

Pure Nature:
+ Parasite
- Shrine of Memory

Fire/Nature
+ Twilight Minions (G)
- Ghost Spears


Pure Shadow
+ Executor
- Nightguard


Rebalanced 2vs2 Maps
While we mostly balance the game around 1vs1, we know players really enjoy 2vs2 as well. We are very happy with how our rebalanced 1vs1 maps turned out, and we want to give 2vs2 the same treatment. 

Changes include removal (or adjustments) of walls, wells, slight changes to the layout, and making certain area's immovable for flying units. This should result in a better play experience and more balanced maps. 

These maps will also have
observer versions, meaning it will now be possible to host 2vs2 tournaments again! We also updated the minimaps to be accurate

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PvP Happy Hours
A feature long in the works and finally nearing release is Happy Hours. Happy Hours are specific time periods where players will receive additional gold and BFP for playing PvP. 

We have noticed PvP is currently quite scattered, with a lot of players wanting to play, but going offline again when they can't find opponents. While rewarding to queue is one incentive to have players stay online longer when the lobbies are empty, we also want to help players find opponents in general. We hope that by clustering players together during certain time frames, players will have an easier time finding matches more frequently. 

Happy Hours will take place during the following times:
- 1vs1 happy hours: 7pm-9pm CET
- 2vs2 happy hours: 9pm-10pm CET
- 1vs1 happy hours: 4am-5am CET

These times were decided upon by going over our available data and keeping different time zones in mind where possible. During Happy Hours, there will be an in-game announcement and the icon on the world map will indicate Happy Hours are active. 

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We hope to release all these features with our next patch, though Happy Hours is currently still in active development. We hope to finish it in time to be included as well. 


 Team Changes
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We have a new teammember in Nukie, who has joined the team recently as a Global Moderator. Welcome, and thanks for your help!


 Open Positions Rework
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We have made some changes to our open positions and spotlighted them in their own forum section. It is now easier than ever to see the current open positions, and we also added some extra information to each role, better showcasing what you will be doing. 

Skylords Reborn is always looking for motivated volunteers
to help out the project. You can currently help out in multiple areas, ranging from artwork to development, map design and much more. 

Want to help out but don't want to join the staff? No problem! We also have positions like
proofreader and map tester where you can more easily drop in and out, helping out when you have time. Lastly, we also have open-source projects and our Skylords Bounty (see below). Please take a look!

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 Active Bounty
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While we already have some nice contenders, our current Bounty to create a Spring Forge is still open. A Skylords Bounty is an open-source task for the community to create something needed in one of the departments of Skylords Reborn. If your entry gets chosen, you can win a great prize, and we will reward everyone who applies with a serious attempt with a participation reward as well. View more information on Active bounties.

OPEN - Spring Forge Bounty
Spring Forge Bounty is an opportunity for the community to have full engagement with the next upcoming Forge. This allows everyone to submit a possible design for how they would like the Forge to look! The winning design will be rewarded with a Promo Razorleaf!

A tutorial video has been provided to assist and help the community take its first steps for doing so!


 Tournaments / Events
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• NEW - Toggys Tome Tournament #4 17.05.22 
A midweek tournament held on Tuesday May 17th, at 18:30 CEST (Berlin time). The format will be Tome, meaning you will build your decks for this tournament out of a booster pool Toggy provide to you. Tome tournaments always result in crazy decks and cards you dont see very often, so be sure to join the action or watch the tournament on Twitch. The tournament will be played on the Testserver. More information and sign-up. 


• STREAM - Official 2p rPvE Contest#3 Last Resort - 25.05.2022 16:30 CEST
In this event, players were only allowed to use units, not spells or buildings. We will host a stream revealing the winners of this contest on Wednesday 25rd of May, 16:30 on our official twitch channel. 


• FINISHED - CCC #4
Kapo hosted another successful Crappy Community Contest© on the map Mo. Players were encouraged to play as few cards as possible to complete the map. As one of the first events to not focus on speed, this resulted in some interesting strategies. As with all CCC, the more players attend, the better the prizes are, in this case resulting in a free booster for the whole community. 
 

• FINISHED - Skylords Open 14
The Skylords Open returned with a blast! We saw some of the best players battle it out, with some match results that would surprise you. You can rewatch the matches here


• Host your own tournament / event
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. 
 

 In Conclusion
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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: 
FIRE-CARD-HYPE-TIME

The code is valid until June 4th, 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! 

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Archive
Skylords Reborn Documents (Deep Dives, Behind the Scenes, PvP Guide)  
Overview Community Updates
Community Update #22

Volin, Cocofang, Titan and 18 others like this
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I actually didn't follow Burning Spears development process and didn't know it was ready for reveal.

And I must say I am absolutely amazed by both card's PvP design, as well as the artwork. I wouldn't think of introducing another XL counter to T2, but it's definitely a great idea,
Good job to everyone involved, and thanks for giving more practice targets for White Rangers. :frostorb:

I like to sum up this community update as "some love for PvP players". [check PvP league]

Can't wait for the patch to be released!  :brannoc:

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Awesome work! I love everything about the new card, beautiful artwork, cool model and interesting abilities. :hypetrain: 

Thank you for sharing some of the process. It shows how much work, thought and love you put in this project.

The upcomming PvP changes, especially the Happy Hour, sound interesting and might get me to play my very first PvP match 😉.

Have a nice day!

 

Dutchy, Majora, Nukie and 1 other like this
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5 hours ago, Poob said:

When will we get updates for DRPvE?

Good question, though sadly not a positive answer.
While a lot of work already went into its development, we currently dont have a map artist so DRPvE is currently bottlenecked and on hold. 

We hope someone will be able to help us out and get it back on track. 

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3 hours ago, Majora said:

Good question, though sadly not a positive answer.
While a lot of work already went into its development, we currently dont have a map artist so DRPvE is currently bottlenecked and on hold. 

We hope someone will be able to help us out and get it back on track. 

I see.

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6 minutes ago, Osteburger said:

Wow, these changes look pretty cool - I only play pve, but now Im actually kinda hyped for trying out my luck at pvp - nice work!

There is a PvP Discord where you can get in touch with other PvP enthusiasts and probably will also find people who can introduce you into PvP.

https://discord.gg/ZjSeh7HM


I can also recommend you, to join the next season of the PvP League as this season sadly already starts on Monday :hypetrain:

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For PvP ranking, was there any discussion/consideration to adopt something similar to PvE rankings (this month, last month, 2 months ago, all time)? 

 

And yes, new card looks pretty neat (even though I only play PvE 🙂).

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46 minutes ago, Lans said:

For PvP ranking, was there any discussion/consideration to adopt something similar to PvE rankings (this month, last month, 2 months ago, all time)? 

 

And yes, new card looks pretty neat (even though I only play PvE 🙂).

The ranking (and especially the lack of rewards) is a frequent topic, but also something that would require adjustments that would take up quite a bit of time. At this point we decided to focus on other area's, but personally I hope we can make some changes to this in the future. 🙂 

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Any chances that player protection gets pushed to ~110k Elo (around goldrank)? Asking for a friend.

 

16 hours ago, Toggy said:

Oh my Jugg, this is HUGE! I am so happy with the pvp changes, so happy with the new card. This is...all we needed.

See you in the Forge,

Toggy

I am very proud how Burning spears turned out, as it was my first card as balance developer. Looking forward to implement more cards in the future ... hopefully one day for Fire/Frost as well 😉

23 hours ago, SpiritAlpha said:

Oh I remember sketching those concepts during first days of war... Sirens and withering of hope. Yet never give up till you breathe and do what you must! And you can see how it progressed, together we all will win.✊

Artwork is awesome! Stay strong

Ladadoos and T1421 like this
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Hope pvp focus doesn't kill pve, as most people play pve as far as i know and only a few pvp. When i look at 2vs2 ranking it seems dead, but dryads gets teamplaynerf for 2vs2 that no one is playing (last time i look into ranking the winning team had 1 match only). Nothing too serious at the moment and i still be happy to be able to play the game but i get a bad feeling for balancing focus. Hope i'm wrong.

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23 minutes ago, DrPsy said:

Hope pvp focus doesn't kill pve, as most people play pve as far as i know and only a few pvp. When i look at 2vs2 ranking it seems dead, but dryads gets teamplaynerf for 2vs2 that no one is playing (last time i look into ranking the winning team had 1 match only). Nothing too serious at the moment and i still be happy to be able to play the game but i get a bad feeling for balancing focus. Hope i'm wrong.

Don't worry, we keep both modes in mind constantly. In our last community update we showed off Wasteland Terror, talked about new PvE achievements, and the Promo Mana Wing, all PvE focussed content. 

PvP requires a completely different balance approach, and most of the time includes tweaking numbers, while PvE balance often get the more complex balance fixes, requiring more time and running into a lot more difficult issues, especially if you keep in mind that we dont have the source code. 

If you are a PvE players, I can imagine it sucks if your units get nerfed for PvP, thats the curse of a game with so many different modes. At the same time, we really are not making as much drastic changes for PvP as people claim us to do. 

Lastly, we have tons of great things planned for PvE for the future, so look forward to that! 

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