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  • Josh (Developer)
    started a topic Upcoming Changes to Magic & Empire

    Upcoming Changes to Magic & Empire

    Over the last few weeks, the design team has had discussions on where this game succeeds, and what's holding it back.


    We all believe that the aesthetics and the core mechanic of M&E are winners. The core game is beautiful and fun, and there is tons of content. But the lackluster component remains the dynamics: the meta-structure, the game-outside-the-game that makes people want to come back day after day. Our current meta-structure revolves around leveling your spells. As a designer and a fan of CCGs, I've always had a problem with this meta.


    Here are the problems we have identified and are addressing:
    1. It's a terrible grind-fest. It's relatively easy to get the spells to level 5 or 6, but then it slows down dramatically. Upgrading minions for multiple champions can feel painful, and the game feels like it comes to a halt after a week or so (which is reflective in our current 14-day retention metrics).
    2. When analyzing our current game loop, it's all about battling to get silver, and spending silver on mostly crappy spells, and turning those crappy spells into essence, and using the essence to get crappy upgrades, and then hope that those upgrades might win you more battles. For me, this is just not fun.
    3. The upgrades don't feel meaningful. This was especially the case when spells were 80 levels. But even at 20 levels, each upgrade doesn't really seem to have an impact on your progression. Instead of having impactful "YES!" moments, we have unimpactful "eh" moments.
    4. Balance is a huge issue. As a player progresses through the game, his collection becomes 10x stronger. We don't have any controls in place re: how the player chooses to upgrade, so a player can pour all of their resources into one spell that has Dangerous and create an insta-win condition.
    5. PvP is limited by problems with balance, minion levels, and champion levels. Spell leveling places players on a grid that has N points of relative power. Each one of those points is essentially a bracket of players. Therefore, if we want to take leveling in consideration for PvP, we need to split the audience into multiple brackets, by Champion, since each Champion will have a different relative power. To avoid this, I was planning to just remove leveling from PvP so everyone is equal, but then leveling loses its value in the game’s most competitive component.
    6. Arena promoted the use of multiple champions, but arena is changing. In the new system, this will put players in the position of starting over with a new champion, furthering the grind, but without a clear incentive to do so.
    7. The game requires mathematicians to figure out choices. When you play a game like Hearthstone, every card you play has value. You play X mana so you can get Y. Every decision you make is tactical, and players can make quick mental calculations to make smart play decisions. In M&E, you can have a spell that does 18 damage for each beast in play, with a spell giving one minion speed, and that minion has Lethal, making for mental calculations that turn off lots of smart, tactical players. 18+18+18+36(2)+36(2) isn’t something we want to ask our players to calculate.
    While designing features to address these problems, we're keeping some simple design goals in mind:
    1. Battles should feel quick and snappy. We'd like to keep the average battle around 5 minutes.
    2. Deck building should feel easy and accessible. It would be great if at some point we could even recommend "recipes" for decks.
    3. The game economy is optimized by actively playing with at least 3 Champions. Having more than 3 Champions can give players additional boosts.
    4. Nothing hidden behind paywalls. Everyone can access all content given time. No p2w!
    5. Balance, Balance, Balance. Each Realm and each Champion feel unique, and none dominate the meta.
    6. Design for engagement. We want the game to be fun.
    Here is how we are addressing these problems:
    1. Minion spells will not level. Instead, they have fixed stats.
    2. Minion spells will not evolve.
    3. Players can craft any spell in the game.
    4. Champions will not level; instead, they have fixed stats. Champions still will ascend to gain abilities and starting blood, but not stats.
    About crafting

    This crafting system would use ingredients to unlock new, powerful Spells. Players will be able to craft any spell in the game without having to spend a dime. We're also giving players full control of their collection. If you don't like a spell and never see your self playing it, then you can break it and get ingredients to use for crafting desirable spells.

    We're still in the process of figuring out exactly what kind of crafting system we'll build. It could be as simple as one ingredient (i.e., Essence). Or it could be more complex than that.

    Having a robust crafting system ties in all the game systems into one loop. Campaigns drop ingredients. PvP Arena milestones drop ingredients. Guild play drops ingredients. Events drop ingredients. Expansions can include a bunch of new spells to craft. This decision opens up lots of possibilities that favor the player and let us design new content.

    Removing upgrades and evolve is likely a very controversial decision for people who have stuck around since BloodRealm ended and the process of rebuilding it as Magic & Empire begun, and I realize a lot of you might not be a fan of the change. I also recognize that a lot of other CCGs (ie Hearthstone, Eternal, Legends, Faeria, Gwent, Shadowverse, etc.) have a similar crafting system. Our plan is to innovate in gameplay and with new features that we have in store for end of year.

    Roadmap

    Speaking of, I wanted to give our players a clearer picture of our roadmap. Our priorities are based on the fact that we want players engaged with the game because they want to play (It's fun!), not because they feel like they have to grind and grind and grind to stay competitive.

    PHASE 1 (TEST LAUNCH) ~3 Months
    • Change design of spells - Make sure our spell collection is well balanced, thematically interesting, offers multiple strategic choices, and is easy to understand.
    • Remove Leveling and Evolve - There are too many issues with Level and Evolve. The endless, meaningless grind in M&E/BloodRealm has always held it back. Ths work has already started.
    • New Collection Screen - We need a better experience around your collection, crafting new spells and creating spell-books. This work has already started.
    • Changes in Battle Rules - Making some small tweaks to battle rules could help battles feel more interesting. This includes slightly larger spellbook size (from 12 spells to 18 spells), different ramp up of mana, draw mulligans at beginning of game, and slightly larger Champion Health.
    • Small Updates to Campaign - With the removal of upgrading and evolve, we need to make small changes to Campaign.
    • Bug Fixing

    PHASE 2 (FULL LAUNCH) ~6 Months
    • Remove Stamina and Battle Energy - This is a huge change, but a necessary one for us to break free from the design constraints of artificial energy. We want to create an economy driven by fun, not tedium. After all, we are fun makers!
    • Arena becomes PvP - PvP is a must have in CCGs. Arena seems like the best fit for PvP in our IP/world. The new PvP Arena will allow players to play as much as they want to climb rank, but their ability to get daily rewards will be limited.
    • Reimagine Solo Campaign - Our current campaigns are 36 battles, 5 difficulties each, with very little story, designed to facilitate the grind of the old system. We can design campaigns to be much more engaging and and story-driven.
    • Fortress - The Fortress is a system designed to encourage player engagement through asynchronous battles and guild participation. This effectively replaces the old Arena, and we have some very cool ideas for this around Guild play.
    Thanks for sticking with us throughout this transition period. We VERY much appreciate it. We're super excited about the future of M&E and we hope you are as well.

  • Griffon
    replied
    Originally posted by DonBoss View Post
    Will we keep the excess copies of cards after the update? I mean, got 28M Silver to spend, equals maaaaany unused cards / future essence fodder.

    Or will there be a cap as well ?

    Any use in buying Souls like mad ?
    For the most part no. The amount of silver that will convert & the amount of essence/extra cards that convert is also capped (at 10k for either). There is a chance to keep some of the extra epic & legendary, but the chance is much better for the legendary than for the epic. Even then we don't know for sure. The main thing you can do with your silver is try to get epics you don't already have.

    There is no point in buying souls except to level a card you want to use in the meantime.

    Leave a comment:


  • BAgate
    replied
    There is a possibility of keeping excess epic and legendary, although I don't think anything definitive has been said yet, but all excess common, uncommon and rares will definitely disappear.

    No point in buying souls.

    Leave a comment:


  • DonBoss
    replied
    Will we keep the excess copies of cards after the update? I mean, got 28M Silver to spend, equals maaaaany unused cards / future essence fodder.

    Or will there be a cap as well ?

    Any use in buying Souls like mad ?
    Last edited by DonBoss; 10-06-2018, 08:07 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Griffon
    replied
    Talonxz said
    • This will be an early access version of the game. We're releasing it early to get it in your hands so you can help us balance and find bugs.
    • Looking for player quality of life improvements that will give players more control over their settings.

    Leave a comment:


  • David (Support)
    replied
    Originally posted by Griffon View Post
    They have hit a blocker & the release will probably be delayed.

    But at least they are making sure it will be done right.
    I never said probably.

    Leave a comment:


  • bloodmoon
    replied
    Well I believe these changes will make this game much more interesting because the gameplay is actually great in my opinion, the problem was much of the game design which is exactly what is being changed. Shame it's being delayed as I'm just logging in 1/2 times a day to keep in the top 100 as at this moment there isn't much to do.

    It will be much more interesting crafting cards and build the deck we idealize than just relying on luck and my luck completely reversed since I posted about being good and getting Pluto and 2 Hercules from skull packs, never got even a rare anymore in all this time. The 2 epics and few rares I got was from silver packs ironically. And as apparently now only 500k silver will be converted I spent half of what I was saving and only got 2 rares although 1 of them was the 2nd Guardian Angel which was exactly what I wanted :P and finally got the 2 Zombies that I oddly was missing...

    Btw Griffon the images don't get larger when I click on them they keep the same size.
    Last edited by bloodmoon; 10-05-2018, 11:49 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Griffon
    replied
    They have hit a blocker & the release will probably be delayed.

    But at least they are making sure it will be done right.

    Leave a comment:


  • Griffon
    replied
    Here is a consolidated review of all new info known discussed on Discord so far about the new version coming next Tuesday.

    Conversions
    • Gold is staying the same (a premium currency)
    • Skulls are sticking around for the next couple of weeks. Arena will still give out skulls & skull packs will be available during this time.
    • There are new card (regular not demi-gods or knight) coming in the skull packs with the change.
    • 500,000 silver will be converted into 10,000 of the new crafting essence.
    • An unknown amount of the current essence will also be translated into 10,000 of the new crafting essence. This will include essence that has already been spent to level up cards since the new cards will no longer have levels.
    • Cards will also no longer have evolutions so they will be broken down to 2 cards. The rest will be used towards your conversion of old essence into the new (as part of the spent essence pool). So regardless of if you have a griffon + or griffon ++, you will end up with 2 of the new griffons.
    • The only exception will probably be the legendary cards, where you will be able to keep the extra copies (but not use them for anything other than making essence). The reason being so that the players that spent money to get multiple copies of the evolved legendary cards so they could have 2 evolved versions won’t lose the investment, they will just have to turn them into new cards.
    • In other words most players will get 20,000 of the new crafting essence when converting over.
    • The last estimate we had suggested that 10,000 of the new essence would make you 6 legendary cards.
    • Yes you can make the cards you want now!

    New Rules
    • Cards will no longer have evolutions or levels.
    • You will be able to take mulligans at the start of the game. In the start you will draw three cards. *Discard between 0 and 3, the discarded cards are placed at the bottom of your draw pile. Draw replacement cards & shuffle your draw pile. When you turn begins draw 1 card per turn as always. So you will have four opening cards.
    • You will gain an increasing amount of mana each turn & the max limit will be gone/significantly increased.
    • Many champs have had significant changes to their blood powers. • Darlok's corrupt got a nerf.
    • Spellbooks are now organized around themselves. You can have up to 50 spellbooks. They're not attached to any champion. You can name them whatever you want, up to a certain number of characters, maybe 25?
    • You will be able to make different decks with a different third realm!


    Card Changes
    • Blast has gotten toned down.
    • Blitz – means a card won’t suffer from summoning sickness
    • Peek will let you look at the top card in your deck. Might be usable on your opponents deck.
    • Rally – This happens at the start of the cards turn. • Stunned units no longer can overcome stun.
    • Summon – this power will go off when you play the card. • Some cards will gain power from either the top card in y our deck (griffon will do it based on their mana cost) or from adjacent allies (Bone dragons does that while destroying them).
    • Some cards will reduce the cost to summon others.
    • There are now a variety of “upon death” effects for cards.
    • The Norns will no longer auto resurrect.
    • This will be an early access version of the game. We're releasing it early to get it in your hands so you can help us balance and find bugs.


    The developers have had a chance to see this review & all changes they suggested have been made. That doesn't mean things can't/wont change, but this should be a good approximation for right now. Some of the images are older & more likely to be changed. Please let me know if you remember anything I forgot.

    They are looking for player quality of life improvements that will give players more control over their settings.

    Release notes might be coming on Monday for this.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Griffon; 10-05-2018, 08:44 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • BAgate
    replied
    For those not on discord, target date for the big release is Tuesday. Skulls and gold will stick around, silver and essence will get converted to the new currency (with a limit).

    Leave a comment:


  • Griffon
    replied
    Originally posted by bloodmoon View Post
    Nice, can you confirm what Griffon stated regarding the conversions and the limits or something have changed?
    I can tell you that since then they have said it will be the equivalent, but the final numbers when it's converted could be converted.

    But I am also hoping that they will give us some official numbers in a post soon.

    Leave a comment:


  • bloodmoon
    replied
    Nice, can you confirm what Griffon stated regarding the conversions and the limits or something have changed?

    Leave a comment:


  • David (Support)
    replied
    2-3 weeks out. This will be the biggest release since we took BloodRealm down.

    Leave a comment:


  • bloodmoon
    replied
    Any news?

    Leave a comment:


  • Griffon
    replied
    Originally posted by bloodmoon View Post
    And how come your Majus is not God lvl yet? lol I've beat him with Faith btw thanks to Gemini Warrior and Circe :P Gemini Warrior is great with Faith but not so much with other champions.
    My Majus is definitely at god level. Congrats on the win though.

    Leave a comment:

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