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Community Update #27 - September


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Greetings Skylords!

A new month; a new Community Update! It's time to bring you up to speed with everything going on in Skylords Reborn!

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 Survey Results
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Once more, a big thank you to everyone who provided feedback in our 2022 Survey. 2.227 of you provided feedback regarding various topics, from general opinions regarding the project, to balance and upcoming features. We have collected the answers and provided them in a short presentation. 

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 Upcoming Patch 
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Last month we promised more information about our upcoming new content patch. We are almost ready to bring you a new patch that will include a ton of balance changes, map changes, bug fixes and new cards! While we sadly can't give you a concrete date on the patch yet, we are aiming for a release around mid-September. We are also planning to release some additional achievements in a small follow-up patch soon after. 

As for the upcoming content patch; we have added new Transformation effects to T2 and T3 Twilight cards, aimed at making Twilight's Transformation ability worth using. We have also made substantial changes to Fire T4 cards, while continuing our work on Nature. At the same time, we are making some much-needed changes for the health and future of the game. This patch will implement changes to Batariel, Decomposer, Frenetic Assault and mindcontrol-effects like Nightguard and Parasite Swarm. These cards have been the topic of many heated discussions over the years, which is why we would like to take some time to explain why we are making these changes. 

 

 Why Nerf Cards?
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It has been the conscious choice of the Skylords Reborn Team since we began balancing the game nearly 2 years ago to avoid any PvE specific nerfs. The reasoning was twofold:
(1) Nerfs feel bad and continued nerfs of popular cards can be demoralizing to players, and
(2) There did not exist a sufficient number of strategies such that nerfing top performers would actually lead to more diverse gameplay. The top performing strategies were sometimes the only viable strategies in the game, and removing them would have just lead to an ever decreasing set of viable archetypes. 

CU27-fan.pngInstead of nerfing cards, we in the faction design and balancing team have endeavored to create an increasingly large set of viable strategies, both between and within factions. Within factions, Bandits has been our greatest success, with several top tier Bandit deck archetypes being viable across all maps and game modes. Across factions, we have also steadily been succeeding in our original goal. Pure Frost and Pure Fire do not have as much intra-faction deck diversity as something like Bandits, but both do have viable archetypes capable of succeeding at all levels of play. Slowly, but steadily, we have also been working towards this same goal with Pure Nature, Pure Shadow, and their non-pure derivatives such as Shadow's Death Ray archetype. In the next few patch cycles we are hoping to touch the Stonekin, Lost Souls, and Twilight factions as well, simultaneously adding new unique strategies while also fleshing out their existing viable archetypes. All in all, we think we have come a very long way in creating both fun and viable strategies for the majority of factions, and we will labor every patch to continue this work. 

Unfortunately, despite the work that has been done, there is still a perception among much of the playerbase that decks like Pure Frost are not strong, despite Pure Frost being viable against all factions even in RPvE 10. This is because, with the exception of the addition of Banzai Lord and Plague, the top decks have remained nearly identical from release until now. This is unsurprising. In T4, Batariel-Enlightenment and Bloodhorn decks are so strong that if we attempted to make all archetypes compete with them, we would thereby trivialize the game through power creep. In T1, we have made substantial changes to ensure that every faction has a viable opening for all maps and game modes, but by and large a majority of players still progress through the campaign using Nightguard in at least a plurality if not a majority of maps. This situation of having a large set of viable playstyles but a few select ones that outshine all others, creates the impression that Skylords Reborn lacks gameplay diversity and leads to players defaulting to the same few decks over and over again. This is not a recipe for long term success. Even after the most recent patch, you can still see messages in global chat to the effect of "I wish there were other strategies than Batariel or Nightguard." There are many more strategies, it is just that some strategies are so strong that everything else seems paltry in comparison. 

Given the current state of the game, we as a balancing team have determined that it is finally time to nerf some of the game's top performers and that by doing so we will actually be expanding the set of strategies players view as viable, thereby hopefully leading to increased in-game deck diversity. Yet, our goal is not to remove the existing top strategies from the game. We want them to remain top strategies, but to be closer to the strength of other archetypes which have proven themselves to be viable alternatives. We are truly convinced this is the best course of action for the long term health of Skylords Reborn. The other options are increasing the strength of all cards to the level of these very few cards, thereby trivializing existing content, or accepting a perpetually stagnate meta where the same few strategies continue to dominate forever. 

As a final note, we want to assuage any fears that we will be going through and nerfing any and every strong card in the game. We are convinced that there are less than 10 total cards problematic enough to justify large changes. Balancing is more music than algebra. There is a band of viability within which cards sit. It is okay if some cards are better than other ones, as long as those cards are neither too powerful nor too weak. As long as a strategy is not so dominant across multiple game modes that it warps the game around itself and adversely affects the playerbase's perception of what is acceptably strong, we can and will happily turn a blind eye to it and allow it to continue unchanged. 

Our upcoming patch notes will dive into what exactly will be changed about these cards. These will be posted alongside the patch release.


 New Card Reveal: Tranquility
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The results from our feedback survey shows you really like new cards, so we are excited to reveal our new Amii spell: Tranquility!

This card holds the record for longest development cycle, going all the way back to November 2021. Having changed names, effects, art and visuals multiple times during its long process since then. We are very happy with the end result though, and we hope you look forward to playing it.

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

Let's break down the card: 

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Tranquility is a tier 2 spell for Nature/Shadow. Upgrading the card increases its effect and reduces its Power Cost. It will be a rare and won't have an affinity. As with the card Transcendence, the effect of this new Amii spell changes depending on if you cast it on an enemy or friendly unit:
 

buff.pngSoothing Whispers
Empowers a friendly unit to fight more joyfully. Target friendly unit will deal 20/30/30/30% more damage and regenerate 50 life points every 2 seconds if the unit deals at least 80 damage every 5 seconds. Lasts 20 seconds. Reusable every 25 seconds.


de-buff.pngForeboding Whispers
Weakens an enemy unit and makes it unable to fight. Target hostile unit cannot attack or use special abilities and takes 20/20/30/30% more damage for 10 seconds. Reusable every 25 seconds.

 

Tranquility offers Skylords a flexible early game Amii spell that can be used in both PvE and PvP.
For its buff/debuff visual, we have created a completely new flower model, another milestone in our development for Skylords Reborn! 

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 Phone Wallpaper
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The artwork for Tranquility was created by Tweeto, and went through many iterations (as tends to happen with our team full of perfectionists). The final artwork goes beyond the size of what we can show on a card, which is why we decided to release the full artwork as a Phone Wallpaper. We hope you like it!  

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Skylords Reborn Instagram
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Instagram_logo_2022.svg.pngWant to see more art, exclusive content and giveaways? Be sure to follow us on our new Instagram! Rumors say you might even catch a glimpse of a new and not yet revealed card in the upcoming days! Follow us now to join our upcoming giveaway for a chance to win some Twilight boosters.

 

 Tournaments / Events
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Now that the Community Updates moved to a monthly schedule, events might come and go in between Community Updates. Be sure to keep a close eye on the ingame event-tab and the forum calendar to not miss any events! 


• NEW - Community PvE League Season 1
In this Community-hosted PvE league, you will compete against other players of similar abilities and ranks in a series of challenges, consisting of campaign, community and rPVE maps. There are exciting prizes to be won, so be sure to click here for more information


• NEW- Crappy Community Contest #8
The contest-idea-contest (CCC#7) has brought some excellent ideas to light, and the yet unannounced winner will be presented
tomorrow as a new contest. As always, if enough Skylords participate, there will be a booster code as prize for the whole community!


FINISHED - Community event #4: Onslaught on the Ground
Can you finish King of the Giants Solo under 13 minutes - without using flying units? The winner of 'Onslaught on the Ground' was able to pull this off, check out his replay
here.
 

FINISHED - Battle of Tactics #1: Your actions count
How many clicks do you need to finish Encounters with Twilight? See a super-cut of how the participants tried to be as efficient as possible: watch the video


• Host your own tournament / event
Want to host a tournament or event yourself? Please reach out to our Event Organizer Metagross! We can help you out with various topics and are glad to discuss potential ideas. We can also sponsor the prize pool for your event. 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. 

 

 Team changes 
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A lot has happened in the team behind Skylords Reborn in the past month. 

Sadly nkmol, who worked with Freund and Maze on the web-interface, has left the team due to personal circumstances. We are grateful for his work and wish him all the best.

Luckily, we also have some good news to share! 

Ult has recently joined the team as a client and server developer. He has been working on something exciting we can't wait to show you on in a future community update! 

Katchau also joined the team as a client developer. He will be helping out in adding new features into the game that were previously blocked due to a lack of UI developers.  

Lebovim (one of our Skylords of Honor) has done a ton for the project already, but always worked alongside the team, not in it. He has now formally joined the team, and will be helping out with implementing map and card changes, among other things. 

Maxxxel is also new to the team and working on creating tools and workflows capable of editing and adding new 3D models. We hope we will be able to add new models to the game at some point, but no promises yet. 

Lastly, Dallarian will move from a Global Moderator role into the Map Department. Our survey showed loud and clear that you want more campaign maps, so he is currently exploring the map editor to make that happen.

Welcome, and we are grateful for all of you who spend their free time helping out with Skylords Reborn! 


 Contribute to the Project
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As always, we hope you will also consider helping out the project. Please take a look at all our open positions on how you can do so. 
We have also opened the position of
Global Moderator, and are currently in need of more Russian Translators.

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 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 Amii-booster: 
REAL-SOON-THIS-TIME

The code is valid until October 1st, 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 #26

Edited by Kapo
LEBOVIN, SunWu, Dutchy and 15 others like this
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Great piece of information once again, all great news but one

On 8/7/2022 at 10:32 AM, Majora said:

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Instagram_logo_2022.svg.pngWant to see more art, exclusive content and giveaways? Be sure to follow us on our new Instagram! Rumors say you might even catch a glimpse of a new and not yet revealed card in the upcoming days! Follow us now to join our upcoming giveaway for a chance to win some Twilight boosters.

please don't force us to use other platforms then forum and discord if we want to know stuff. That there is an Instagram only giveaway only makes it worse.

Don't like that

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1 hour ago, Hrdina_Imperia said:

Good news all around. The new card looks great! I know this is far down in line, but LS and Twilight could desperately use some spells as well. All in all, all aboard the Magma Hurler Hype train.

We have some exciting plans for Twilight and Lost Souls coming up in the not too distant future. The upcoming patch includes a major rework of nearly all T2 and T3 Twilight units. While we don't have anything for this patch yet, we are working on making each of the hybrid faction spells help enable a unique play style for their respective factions.

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24 minutes ago, Volin said:

Great piece of information once again, all great news but one

please don't force us to use other platforms then forum and discord if we want to know stuff. That there is an Instagram only giveaway only makes it worse.

Don't like that

A valid point and something for us to keep in mind. Our current reasoning is we want to increase our Marketing range (and thus our player base), and this is one way to do it. We'll adjust accordingly if it does not have the desired effect. 

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44 minutes ago, Majora said:

A valid point and something for us to keep in mind. Our current reasoning is we want to increase our Marketing range (and thus our player base), and this is one way to do it. We'll adjust accordingly if it does not have the desired effect. 

Understand that expanding to other platforms can extend the range of SR, but has it to be exclusive there? I mean this forum is where it all began and it would be a pity for veterans that we can't find any information here anymore.

Don't say "don't go to Instagram", only would love to see here too what others can see over there

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I don't mind developers changing cards...I think if a card needs changing it should, to maintain balance.   But as a caveat to this statement.  Please do not change cards because bad players find them too hard, or because they can't win with certain cards.     There have been so many games that change their games and features because stupid players find it too difficult, and they complain so much that the developers change thing to satisfy these whiners.  World of Warships comes to mind!  lol  🤣

Please only change cards or features if it will further balance the game more fully and or make the game better.   Cheers!

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16 minutes ago, WolvenX said:

Please only change cards or features if it will further balance the game more fully and or make the game better.   Cheers!

When was this not the case ? 😄

However you are a bit too harsh on it.
You are trying to define a "bad player" with someone who is "whining" over a card that is too hard to play against or with.
Overall "to balance" goes both ways. 
It is to please the player with 500+ hours in the game and the one who just started. Though this will never work, it is always the goal. 

This far, the devs made an outstanding good job maintaining the game.
We will thrive more without comments like this when nothing happened 😉

Personally I would highly appreciate new ideas for balancing.
Just looking at the survey, where someone literally said (Question: What are some issues regarding 2vs2 balance (if you have them)?):
- "idk"
or
- "some fractions are stronger then others"

This is extremly unhelpful. 
Some fractions might be stronger then others, but just to a specific point!
Why not tell the exact problem and not leave the devs guessing.

A dev or the team in its entirety can not overwatch all the cards, all the playstiles and all the fractions.
Afterall, they are just 1% of the entire community. 


But whoever wrote that as an answer to the question "Do you have any suggestions on how to gather new staff members?":
"Gas light a rich kid into sponsoring you 5million dollars" is an absolute genius and made my day. 

Staying with the survey, it clearly shows, that almost the entire community is greatful for this games revive and its volunteers. 
So spread love and spend 5 million dollars ♥️ 🤣

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On 9/1/2022 at 8:47 PM, Venomlord said:

I think your Balance philosophy is really good and logic, it makes me sad that not more Developers from other RTS titles have the same mindset.
Defently speaks for you. 🙂

 

Every developer from every game has that same mindset. It's just a lot harder to get it right than to say it. No dev ever nerfs something with the explicit intention to make it worthless. It's usually just a result of a dev not wanting to nerf too little, so they nerf too much instead. And I really hope the devs of this game won't make the same mistake. It's easy to say they want to balance top performers without making them unusable, it's a lot harder to follow up on this without overdoing it.

 

So I really hope that the devs are very, very, very carefull with any kind of nerfs and double and triple check that they don't go too far. There's few things that are as annoying as spending months on building your perfect deck, only for a patch to swoop in and make it worthless junk. That's the kinda stuff that makes people quit the game. Usually devs are too scared that the changes won't be enough that they'd rather overshoot than undershoot and that just sucks for the players of whatever was nerfed, and doesn't bring a benefit to anyone else, because nerfs are inherently destructive in nature, they are just there to take something away, not provide something else. So everyone who plays something different than what is being nerfed has no benefit, only the players of what was nerfed having had their playstyle ruined.

 

And yes, I get it, I have a fire deck and a Batariel in my deck so obviously people will just dismiss everything I say with a "Git gud" or "You're just scared your crutch won't be OP anymore" or other stupid stuff like that. But I really hope devs are extremely carefull with this. Making small changes and following up on them if they are not enough, is ALWAYS better than making big changes that overdo it. This is especially concerning since the newspost reads that they have made "substantial" changes to T4 fire, which does sound dangerously like the complete opposite, make huge changes, and then see if they don't overshoot way too much, and maybe fix it later if it turns out a pure fire deck is now completely worthless, rather than beeing careful and tactful while approaching the nerf to begin with. That sentence alone made me EXTREMELY concerned for this nerf wave.

 

Please devs, be CAREFUL, you can always have a second nerf if the first isn't enough, but if you overshoot, people who enjoy this playstyle will be unable to enjoy the game for months to come.

Edited by randy19
Made the post less ranty
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1 hour ago, randy19 said:

 

Every developer from every game has that same mindset. It's just a lot harder to get it right than to say it. No dev ever nerfs something with the explicit intention to make it worthless. It's usually just a result of a dev not wanting to nerf too little, so they nerf too much instead. And I really hope the devs of this game won't make the same mistake. It's easy to say they want to balance top performers without making them unusable, it's a lot harder to follow up on this without overdoing it.

 

So I really hope that the devs are very, very, very carefull with any kind of nerfs and double and triple check that they don't go too far. There's few things that are as annoying as spending months on building your perfect deck, only for a patch to swoop in and make it worthless junk. That's the kinda stuff that makes people quit the game. Usually devs are too scared that the changes won't be enough that they'd rather overshoot than undershoot and that just sucks for the players of whatever was nerfed, and doesn't bring a benefit to anyone else, because nerfs are inherently destructive in nature, they are just there to take something away, not provide something else. So everyone who plays something different than what is being nerfed has no benefit, only the players of what was nerfed having had their playstyle ruined.

 

And yes, I get it, I have a fire deck and a Batariel in my deck so obviously people will just dismiss everything I say with a "Git gud" or "You're just scared your crutch won't be OP anymore" or other stupid stuff like that. But I really hope devs are extremely carefull with this. Making small changes and following up on them if they are not enough, is ALWAYS better than making big changes that overdo it. This is especially concerning since the newspost reads that they have made "substantial" changes to T4 fire, which does sound dangerously like the complete opposite, make huge changes, and then see if they don't overshoot way too much, and maybe fix it later if it turns out a pure fire deck is now completely worthless, rather than beeing careful and tactful while approaching the nerf to begin with. That sentence alone made me EXTREMELY concerned for this nerf wave.

 

Please devs, be CAREFUL, you can always have a second nerf if the first isn't enough, but if you overshoot, people who enjoy this playstyle will be unable to enjoy the game for months to come.

I'd rather call this a problem of "expectation management". People tend to think and create an image of a "perfect balance" to their own perception and liking, which obviously is not what devs can ever fathom.
My answer is short for the balance dev-team: once you roll out the changes, always note that you do not expect things to be perfect and want people to give a feedback of "whether it is overshoot/undershoot or is very good and should be left as is for now?". It really is just to manage the expectations of 'the clients/consumers' to be a bit more humble and open for a) critique and feedback, b) acknowledgement of imperfection.

I personally am not going to be harsh on dev-team in any game if they came out, said "hey, there, this is new balance patch, hope you like it, but do not expect everything to be perfectly balanced. We tested, it was ok. Here are some concerns from us [insert a short a,b,c list]. Tell us it is a bit of an overshoot or not"
Done.
Obviously would be harsh towards somewhat arrogant dev-team that rolled out a patch and said "We did this, this and that, we think it is how it should all be, because we think so and is based on our team opinion. We are content with these changes. Enjoy."
Sense the difference?
First is communicative, Second is ultimative.
While yes, first one might appear in the eyes of some to be "unprofessional" or "unconfident", but those kind of people would probably be discontent with anything the devs did anyway - good or bad.

Anyway.

----My personal post on this whole original topic:
Changes are good. Additional Russian translators, who could be more available with more free time, would be definitely good
I looked at the survey and wondered about the statistics on PvP and deck powers.
PvP seems likes being locked out behind the Skill and Tutorial wall way more than Competitiveness. As apparently only about less than 25% of the whole game community that has gone through survey is not interested in it at all.
Majority (50%) only seemingly has not played the game mode at all, but apparently they answered why (as stated above). This 50% correlates well with the free PvP decks questions btw.
Thus in reality it all just goes down to the PvP environment being kinda skewed and very unfriendly for people in general other than lacking reward systems, the lack of playerbase or disbalance in faction and whatever else. People would have played if there were AIs to be particularly fair. And i think it is somewhat possible to make a tutorial kind of Map/scenario with a scripted enemy to play against for trial PvP. Or some sort of training grounds with PvP environment where some specific small encounters and scenarios unfold at the player's hands. But of course - this is a bit of a question "where to send the time and effort of the team", and right now it is on the long awaited cPvE and new rPvE presets.

Regarding the power levels of different decks:

:natureorb:This one is easily understandable by the huge margin of why Nature has the highest "Overperforming" percentage as well as lowest "Don't know". It is the only newbie-friendly Faction in the game and is the best PvE performer at that level. :natureorb::frostorb:Second after it goes the Stonekins, because it is a splash of Nature. :frostorb:Pure Frost has some skewed underperformance while has the same level of "Don't know" answers. And most likely the people just didn't either rediscover the faction after all the changes or they still think it is all the same and do not try. Or mainly think it is too expensive.

:shadoworb:Shadow has probably the highest entry-level and skill required to make a good use of it, which is no surprise. :shadoworb::fireorb:Bandits on the other hand the same statistics. Which is good to see, yet we do not see them being discovered well by big margin of playerbase, because Bandit faction probably has Shadow in it and that makes people, who don't know how to play the deck, think of it being similar to Shadow.

:fireorb:Also. The Fire has an interesting set of stats - it has nearly equal under-/overperforming (with lean towards underperformance), while being played just as often as Stonekins. This may be skewed by the fact that a) Fire is by default was one of the most glass cannon faction in the game; b) it has had no healing; c) Least suitable for cPvE due to sometimes requiring defensive options and them being locked behind Uncommon cards for Pure Fire.

:frostorb::shadoworb:Lost Souls is highly skewed by LSS deck. But it also has about 3rd or 4th "don't know" answers, which means people either don't play it, or simply do not have any strong opinions on the faction as a whole and most likely use only its T2 and/or T4 cards. This is probably due to the faction being also unattractive to players for having nearly no unique own trait apart from the Remnants that die too soon or have no real value beyond spending too much Energy to proc it. And those who play the deck probably know it is overperforming, thus it is having the 2nd place in "underperforming" right after Nature, btw.

:fireorb::natureorb:Twilight by the most is probably hated faction for its stupidly uselessness. And this chart is also skewed by the fact that people who try it spread the word about its underperformance and others do not even try it. I am on the same boat tbh. While i did try the deck and know its superb T4, it is still not attractive to play at all. And probably stands as the least attractive due to the most lackluster Faction-ability - Transformation.

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On 8/7/2022 at 10:32 AM, Majora said:

We have also made substantial changes to Fire T4 cards, while continuing our work on Nature. At the same time, we are making some much-needed changes for the health and future of the game. This patch will implement changes to Batariel, Decomposer, Frenetic Assault and mindcontrol-effects like Nightguard and Parasite Swarm. These cards have been the topic of many heated discussions over the years, which is why we would like to take some time to explain why we are making these changes.

13 hours ago, randy19 said:

This is especially concerning since the newspost reads that they have made "substantial" changes to T4 fire, which does sound dangerously like the complete opposite, make huge changes, and then see if they don't overshoot way too much, and maybe fix it later if it turns out a pure fire deck is now completely worthless, rather than beeing careful and tactful while approaching the nerf to begin with. That sentence alone made me EXTREMELY concerned for this nerf wave.

You are completely misunderstanding. Pure fire changes are buffs. Fullstop. Nerfs are for the four cards shown. Batariel is a part of that of course but it will remain strong.

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