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Development Update: September 25, 2017

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  • Development Update: September 25, 2017

    Greetings, Champions!

    We want to share with you some of the big changes coming with the next release and in the sprints immediately following it.

    PENDING PUBLIC RELEASE

    Players will see a substantial leap forward in the game client with this next build. First, an exciting, new battle screen will bring out the fun of playing your minion and sorcery spells. Before, the play experience allowed for the enjoyment of executing a strategy but lacked a contemporary interface. Additionally, new stats and battle payouts have far-reaching effects on the game.

    Battle Redesign
    Players will see numerous new design elements on the battle screen:
    • a new background (the first of several)
    • new frames for the spells
    • intuitive zoom actions
    • UI feedback on targeting and resources
    • improved button placement
    • info boxes
    • vfx for all sorcery spells and attack actions (with more vfx planned!)
    • minion slots expanded from 4 to 5



    Stat Changes
    All stats will be reduced by a factor of 10. It is far too simple to say that we simply divided by a factor of 10 and called it a day. The developer in charge of this effort analyzed outcomes and individual minion and sorcery spells in detail in an effort at ensuring balance. This means that stats as minions upgrade were examined, as were the effects of abilities such as Leader. This change also means that adjustments were made to upgrade requirements and disenchant values. We appreciate any feedback from players about these changes.

    Campaign and Arena Payouts
    Campaign battles will distribute essence. Generally, campaign opponents drop essence corresponding with their realms, but some bosses will dispense more essence types to allow for farming. Essence payouts in the campaign have been calculated to support all realms so that players advancing with champions can earn the essence they need.

    Arena battles also will distribute essence. Whereas campaign battle payouts are fixed, arena battle payouts will depend on the champion you face and its two base realms.

    Battles now reward less silver. Elite packs are removed. Basic packs essentially drop minion spells like the old Elite packs thanks to an improved drop rate to maintain value now that less silver is available in the game. This is done because players will gain most of their essence through battles, and not from surplus packs. Minion and sorcery spells should feel special. Needing to obtain hundreds upon hundreds of minion spells in order to disenchant them so as to upgrade a few other minions is too much process and not enough collecting.

    Also, champion upgrade requirements have been tweaked. Ultimately, the pace is about the same, but new players will hit early levels sooner and have a little more climb later. This should build some forward progress for new players without watering down the success of taking a champion to God.

    Pre-battle Screen
    Players will see a pre-battle screen that complements the new battle-screen. It will show rewards to be gained from a victorious battle.



    Victory Screen
    A Victory Screen that gives a more exciting sense of success with some fanfare will be implemented.



    Facebook Gameroom
    Lots of players still want to play on Facebook. We will implement Facebook Gameroom, which will give Facebook players a more stable UX than WebGL might.

    FOLLOWING NEXT PUBLIC RELEASE

    Library of All Spells
    Players should have a means of knowing what minion and sorcery spells are available in the game. This lets players make decisions about what realms to pursue and what spells to upgrade. In short, this lets players not only collect intelligently and purposefully, but also enjoy the art and explore the game's depth of play.

    Unfinished Spellbooks
    Allowing unfinished Spellbooks means that players can tinker and explore ideas but not be constrained by the UI. Moving between a champion's spellbooks or just backing out of the Spellbook editor will save the champion's spellbooks in their current states. This improved UI behavior lets players move through the interface with fewer forced and unnecessary decisions.

    Single Realms
    Most minions will be assigned a single realm. Doing so limits minions to champions with those realms. Currently, the proliferation of realms on minions means that what distinguishes one champion from another often is little more than the each champion's art and its blood abilities. Champions need to have distinct play styles that derive not just from their blood abilities.

    Tablets
    We are quite close to a tablet release. Internally, we are now receiving these weekly from the developers. After the next public release, development efforts will focus for a time on tablets, especially as some UI modifications are needed to deliver a true mobile experience. Already, the game looks fantastic on tablets with the new battlefield. Mobile play is essential to the growth and success of Magic & Empire, and we're very excited to be at this point.

    NEW FEATURES
    Veteran players are eager for Guilds and PVP and may wonder why development effort has been dedicated to the features detailed above and not these play elements. Simply put, we needed to move the game out of 2012 and have it ready for 2017 and beyond. Players expect a contemporary, exciting interface that delivers a seamless experience for collecting, playing, and advancing. We still have work left to fully achieve that goal, but now we are ready for a broad audience. Additionally, this work had to precede any features such as live PVP or Guilds. We have brainstormed these big play features for so long that we have more ideas than would make sense to implement, but we promise that it's going to be good.

    As always, thank you for your continued support and patronage.
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