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Community Update - May 2023


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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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 Patch Date Announcement - 19th of Maycommunity_splitter.png

Exciting news! Our next content patch is almost ready for release. We are currently hard at work to finalize its content, and are ready to announce a patch date. Our spring patch is planned for a release on the 19th of May

We have a lot of exciting things in the works in various stages of development, some of which you will see in later patches. While we highlighted some upcoming Lost Souls changes in last month's community update, we are still working to resolve some issues before we can confirm their inclusion in this patch. We appreciate your patience and want to assure you that if these changes are not ready for the spring patch, they will be included in a later one.

As we get closer to the patch's release, we will provide more details about the content in the patch notes. In the meantime, we are pleased to share that the Nature faction will be introduced to the game as a new enemy for rPvE.
 

A look at Nature rPvEcommunity_splitter.png

On December 18th, 2021, we introduced the Fire faction as a formidable new enemy to be faced in rPvE. We're thrilled to announce that the Nature faction is now ready to be added to the ranks, In celebration of this occasion, we sat down with Hodron to give us some insights into its development.

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Let's start with introductions, for those who do not know you, what is your role on the Skylords Reborn team?
Hey, I am Hodron, I am part of the map department of the Skylords Reborn Team. I have mostly worked on the Fire rPvE set before Nature, which has been a quite monumental task in both cases.
 

How long have you been working on Nature rPvE?
In early 2022, after the release of the Fire rPvE faction, we had a poll to decide what the next faction would be; Nature or Frost. The overwhelming majority voted for Nature, and we started working on it around February 2022. If I had to estimate the time I was actively working on the faction, I would say about a year due to some pauses during development.
 

How do you start designing a new rRvE faction?
First of all, I think of all the Nature cards in the game and then imagine the AI using their abilities like the Fire units are already. Terrifying thought, am I right? Our very brave map testers can probably still remember the horrors of some early testing versions of Nature rPvE. The camps were stacked with healing and damage reduction while constantly paralyzing the player, almost like a horde of Twilight Willzappers. For the first few rounds of testing, we never actually won a match on difficulty 9, not even close. From there the process turns to cutting and / or improving the units, buildings, and camps until a good mix across all difficulties is found.

What about units?
Nature units were proving to be problematic in their original state because they are supposed to give the player a varied box of tools, but they cost energy to balance this. For example, Deep One: The ability to move player units into a camp and root them in place was immensely frustrating to play against, especially when multiple of these fellas were in one camp or attack wave. Swamp Drake also went through multiple iterations; first having the Sleep ability, then being like a Bandit Windhunter and lastly now only being a stat unit. 
 

Are there more units that act completely different compared to their card counterparts?
Of course, there are some units that differ quite a bit from their card version, either because of balance or because of how some card abilities would be wasted on the AI. Some examples include the Timeshifter Spirit which does not have his anti-magic field but can instead

Spoiler

cast Mumbo Jumbo on your units

 

While adding the Fire faction, we had the challenge of a faction that does not really have access to CC, resulting in a more glass cannon approach for the faction. Did you have a specific theme in mind for the Nature faction?
So I knew that the core of the nature faction would be healing and crowd control. But I also wanted to let the Root Network shine a bit. Then there were the more problematic things like Parasite Swarm, Mind Weaver and Mind Control, which we played around with for a while. However, it was simply not fun to play against enemies that took away too many of your units, even though it made for some hilarious scenarios, in which first timers got half of their army stolen, the other half eliminated and then after regaining control, also losing the other half.
 

So a focus on mindcontrol did not work out, were you able to find alternatives?
I think the mix of paralyze and root the faction now has, while also using the root network to some extent, will provide a unique experience.
 

What about buildings, can you tell us something about those?
Nature buildings were in a weird spot, some were completely overpowered against some frequent player strategies like early Strangleholds, while others were quite underwhelming like the Primal Defender. Because AI units only root while in combat, they are unable to provide support, and buildings that depend on the root network may fluctuate greatly in difficulty based on the amount of support a camp can generate. In the end, buildings are one thing that I did not want the focus to be on, so they are maybe even a little boring compared to the units.
 

What would you say is unique about facing the Nature faction, compared to the other factions?
Nature introduces a completly new mechanic which amps up their late game and can thus break the mold of later camps feeling all the same.

Spoiler

Once you reach the later parts of a map, randomly placed Wheels of Gifts will activate granting global buffs to enemy units. Depending on which combination of Wheels is present, camps might pose different threats which the player in some cases has to keep in mind.

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You mentioned our brave map testers, can you tell us something about balancing?
I think we almost exclusively had to nerf units after their initial inception, which were mostly just a carbon copy of the player card with their abilities set to automatically be used. Which really goes to show how strong crowd control and healing in a faction can be, even if they have only slightly above average damage. As mentioned before, we had to nerf quite a bit before we could actually win a match on difficulty 9 with quite experienced players and exclusive S-tier decks. Through playing a lot we found the parts that were annoying or outright destroying the flow, which we then tried to smooth out.
 

How difficult do you think rPvE is compared to the other factions?
I was aiming for this faction to be around the difficulty level of Twilight due to the depths of the mechanics that Nature uses. You will have to focus targets or their healing will overwhelm you while you are paralyzed, but there is room for outplaying that.
 

What was the thing you enjoyed most about designing the faction?
Designing the boss units was very enjoyable, as it had been the case for Fire. I also had a lot of fun just looking at camps and watching their mechanics interact with each other.
 

What was the biggest challenge while developing the faction?
A big challenge was to make units distinct, by which I mean to give each unit traits by which each player could gauge their threat level to their deck and playstyle. In the beginning, almost all units were tanky and had a lot of damage or had damage and some form of crowd control. We had to shift stats to make damage dealers less tanky, make crowd control units deal less damage and tanks have shorter range on their crowd control abilities.
 

Fire rPvE introduced some fun and fan favourite bosses. Will we see new boss units for Nature as well?
Yes, absolutely! The nature faction will ship with a set of nine new boss units. I really like how the low tier boss units based on the Burrower which is spitting acid all over the place and the Timeshifter Spirit which summons hordes of poisoned creepers turned out. But there are of course some threatening late game bosses.
 

Will we see rPvE Frost or Shadow next?
After working on rPvE for quite some time now, I really want to shift focus to campaign maps for a while, as that is also a huge part of the game that I and many others enjoy.
 

Is there anything else you'd like to share with our players?
Thank you for being so loyal to such an old game. I hope you enjoy this new faction once it is released and see you in the forge.
 

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A big thanks to Hodron and our map testers for pouring so much love and time into the development of this new rPvE faction. We hope you look forward to facing them! 

 

 Easter Event Recapcommunity_splitter.png

We are glad to share our Easter Event was a huge success, with nearly 700 of you unlocking the new special Easter banner. Although the banner is no longer obtainable, you can still find the map in the Community Map section by searching for "The Easter Tree" if you wish to play it.

We hope you enjoyed all the effort that was put into the special map. While we always try to carefully balance our time investment into special events like this. We would love to hear some feedback. Would you like to see more events like the Easter and Halloween ones, where we modify a familiar map to suit the holiday theme?

We noticed that not many of you participated in the speedrun competition for the map, and we would like to know why. Your feedback is very valuable to us, so please leave us a message below.
 

 Event: Through Ice and Flamescommunity_splitter.png

While you are waiting for our new patch, be sure to check out the community event Through Ice and Flames. This event takes place on two great community maps, created by @Damo and @Hrdina_Imperia. Check out the trailer below, and go here for more information.

The event lasts till the 14th of May, though the maps will still be playable after. 


In between our monthly Community Updates, we host various events and tournaments, so be sure to keep a close eye on the in-game event tab and the forum calendar to stay informed and not miss out on any exciting events!

• Host your own tournament / event
Want to host a tournament or event yourself? Please reach out to our Event Organizers, @Metagross31, @Minashigo Hiko, or @nukie! 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 Changescommunity_splitter.png

Katchau has recently departed from the team. We greatly appreciate his contributions, especially his development of the search card in market feature. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

That being said, we are happy to announce three new community members formally joined our team last month!

We have a new developer in Piskr, who will start out with a focus on Client Development. He is currently working on improving the player right click menu, including a way to improve importing decks. 

Known in the community for his streams and beautiful artwork,
Ultralord has joined the team as our first Video Editor.

Another well known community member with terrible luck in opening promo's from boosters, Volin, has joined the team to help us out with coordinating Map Testing

Volin and Ultralord also worked together to give us the Lost Souls overview video from last month.

Welcome everyone, and we are looking forward to your contributions! 

 

Contributecommunity_splitter.png

Interested in joining the team yourself? Skylords Reborn is a community-driven project fuelled by the passion and dedication of over 30 volunteers. We are always on the lookout for like-minded individuals. If you have a passion for gaming, programming, design, or marketing, we invite you to take a look at our open positions!
 

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 In Conclusioncommunity_splitter.png

That's all for this Community Update! We appreciate you taking the time to read through it.

As is tradition, we're including a scratch code as a small token of our appreciation for your support.
The code will reward you with a General booster:
19TH-MAYN-EXTP-ATCH

The code is valid until June 1st, when we will bring you another Community Update. 

We're always looking for ways to improve and value your feedback. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please don't hesitate to share them with us. We'll be back next month with more updates on our ongoing projects and upcoming features. You can also sign-up to our e-mail newsletter here. 

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Archive
Skylords Reborn Documents (Deep Dives, Behind the Scenes, PvP Guide)  
Overview Community Updates
Community Update April 2023

Metagross31, nukie, Dutchy and 12 others like this
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18 minutes ago, Majora said:

Nature buildings were in a weird spot, some were completely overpowered against some frequent player strategies like early Strangleholds

I miss this so much, it was great when one Stranglehold provided unbreakable defense against player attempts to take T2 or T3 🤣

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28 minutes ago, Majora said:

We noticed that not many of you participated in the speedrun competition for the map, and we would like to know why. Your feedback is very valuable to us, so please leave us a message below.

Answer is simple - pushing Egg wasn't this enjoyable. Map was greatly done though, except this part.

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37 minutes ago, Loriens said:

Answer is simple - pushing Egg wasn't this enjoyable. Map was greatly done though, except this part.

Imho the answer to this question is even simpler.

Boosters alone are no longer a really big incentive for players. Not only do you get them every day, many players are now about to complete their collection or already have it.

Cosmetics on the other hand, that can only be obtained over a short period of time, with which you can show "Date XYZ, I was there", are a better motivator in my opinion. And yes, a one-off cosmetic was also available in this case, but just for playing the map, not for participating in the contest.

I have to admit that after the first standard run, I myself did not try to do an expert run. I already had the Cosmetic and - I have to agree with Liorans on this one - it wasn't that much fun after all to spend more time on a chance to get boosters. 
The fear of missing out on something is definitely not negligible if you're only aiming to reach as many players as possible with something. And if you want players to take part in the contest, the limited availability cosmetics should have been used for this aspect of the event and not just as a participation goodie.

tl;dr: Since I said that it was simpler than Liorans reason: Booster for participation, limited availability cosmetic for the ambitious contestants.

Edited by Damo
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40 minutes ago, Loriens said:

Answer is simple - pushing Egg wasn't this enjoyable. Map was greatly done though, except this part.

I agree on this one. While it was looking fun and indeed a cool mechanic, it frustrated the hell out of me in some serious tries and prevented me to do a better time often enough that I gave in to frustration.

Like, instead of charging in a straight line, the Eggforcer sometimes decided to do a L-shaped charge in some spots and the egg went to unexpected places - multiple times in a row.

Edited by Kapo
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Thanks for the feedback, we thought as much, but always wise to double check.

The original idea of the event did not include a speedrun challenge, and making the egg-pushing smoother would drain quite a bit more extra time. In the end, it would probably have been correct to skip the speedrun contest for this one, so people would just focus on the ''hey this is fun!'' instead of ''this is kinda tedious..''. 

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Thanks alot for this interview. I like those insights alot. Very interesting, how creativ you work (around) with the given mechanics.

So i appreciate your development even more.

I am looking forward to the nature faction and their bosses to be beaten.

Easter event feedback: Simply didnt want to ruin the joy by a speed hassle grind.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/30/2023 at 2:28 PM, Damo said:

Imho the answer to this question is even simpler.

Boosters alone are no longer a really big incentive for players. Not only do you get them every day, many players are now about to complete their collection or already have it.

Cosmetics on the other hand, that can only be obtained over a short period of time, with which you can show "Date XYZ, I was there", are a better motivator in my opinion. And yes, a one-off cosmetic was also available in this case, but just for playing the map, not for participating in the contest.

I have to admit that after the first standard run, I myself did not try to do an expert run. I already had the Cosmetic and - I have to agree with Liorans on this one - it wasn't that much fun after all to spend more time on a chance to get boosters. 
The fear of missing out on something is definitely not negligible if you're only aiming to reach as many players as possible with something. And if you want players to take part in the contest, the limited availability cosmetics should have been used for this aspect of the event and not just as a participation goodie.

tl;dr: Since I said that it was simpler than Liorans reason: Booster for participation, limited availability cosmetic for the ambitious contestants.

Honestly I never do the community events because it is so much work for a little reward. I have all of the cards and upgraded them all and still play everyday. The issue is, community maps don't give any rewards themselves for doing them and not being a competitive speed runner. I know I wouldn't score anywhere besides the single free booster pack for doing it. A single booster is not enough incentive to do the work to get the reward honestly.

I would like to play community maps but they need to reward EXP and count towards dailies at minimum to even be worth playing imho.

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1 hour ago, Creampopz said:

Honestly I never do the community events because it is so much work for a little reward. I have all of the cards and upgraded them all and still play everyday. The issue is, community maps don't give any rewards themselves for doing them and not being a competitive speed runner. I know I wouldn't score anywhere besides the single free booster pack for doing it. A single booster is not enough incentive to do the work to get the reward honestly.

I would like to play community maps but they need to reward EXP and count towards dailies at minimum to even be worth playing imho.

Might want to check out the patch notes 😉

As for events, what kind of rewards would get you to participate? Cosmetic banners/borders? Something else? 

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3 hours ago, Creampopz said:

Honestly I never do the community events because it is so much work for a little reward. I have all of the cards and upgraded them all and still play everyday. The issue is, community maps don't give any rewards themselves for doing them and not being a competitive speed runner. I know I wouldn't score anywhere besides the single free booster pack for doing it. A single booster is not enough incentive to do the work to get the reward honestly.

I would like to play community maps but they need to reward EXP and count towards dailies at minimum to even be worth playing imho.

if you don't like competing against speedrunners you should consider playing in pve league, you compete against people of your own rank and skill level in separate divisions. We have complete newbies aka low silver ranks winning challenges all the time

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2 hours ago, Majora said:

Might want to check out the patch notes 😉

As for events, what kind of rewards would get you to participate? Cosmetic banners/borders? Something else? 

Yeah I did right after reading all this, pretty sweet to get BFP, dailies and gold from from custom maps and honestly, some really good maps in here. Glad that happened. I would still love to get EXP from them, since that is the only thing left to grind for me.

As for events, just more reason to play for people that won't score in the top 5. Like 3 boosters minimum for just completing or something like that. I still like boosters even though I don't need them lol. Some kind of auto complete feature or maybe some how just auto ranking on the games leader board etc would be nice.

5 minutes ago, Little_Ducky said:

if you don't like competing against speedrunners you should consider playing in pve league, you compete against people of your own rank and skill level in separate divisions. We have complete newbies aka low silver ranks winning challenges all the time

Where do I find the PVE league stuff? I am currently 3 teal dots, so i'd probably be in the league of speed runners tbh.

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5 hours ago, Creampopz said:

@Majora Hey also, what happened to the RPVE tower defense mode that was talked about a while ago. I was really looking forward to that!

Still in development, just like new Campaign maps. These things take a lot of time, especially because we are all volunteers. As you can read in the interview, nature rPvE also took us over a year to get ready.

We are aware people are looking forward to it though 🙂

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2 hours ago, Majora said:

Still in development, just like new Campaign maps. These things take a lot of time, especially because we are all volunteers. As you can read in the interview, nature rPvE also took us over a year to get ready.

We are aware people are looking forward to it though 🙂

Ohh I know, I remember when it was first discussed. Just remember hearing about tower defense mode before fire or nature coming. Just wanted to checkin on that, cause I love my towers lol. You guys are doing awesome, tons of additional content to the core game since you guys took it over. Just wanted to check in on it 🙂

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Creampopz said:

Yeah I did right after reading all this, pretty sweet to get BFP, dailies and gold from from custom maps and honestly, some really good maps in here. Glad that happened. I would still love to get EXP from them, since that is the only thing left to grind for me.

As for events, just more reason to play for people that won't score in the top 5. Like 3 boosters minimum for just completing or something like that. I still like boosters even though I don't need them lol. Some kind of auto complete feature or maybe some how just auto ranking on the games leader board etc would be nice.

Where do I find the PVE league stuff? I am currently 3 teal dots, so i'd probably be in the league of speed runners tbh.

Home | PVE League https://skylordspve.wixsite.com/pveleague
Here it is. Season already finished, but new season should be quite soon.

Edited by Loriens
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