New Hero: Sazama, the Nightblade
As an orphan, Sazama was taken in by the warrior monks of a remote temple on the haunted borderlands of Akeya and raised as an instrument of silent justice. She stealthily closes on her targets before dispatching them with her Kyoketsu-shoge and melting into shadow. Sazama makes use of Stealth, which we have given new rules:
- A character with Stealth cannot be targeted by attacks
- Area attacks and attacks with random targets can still hit a character with Stealth
- When the character attacks, it loses Stealth
- Stealth can also have a duration, depending on the ability that grants it
Sazama also unlocks 5 unique cards that only she can use, and 5 cards that you may put in any Skulduggery hero's deck, including one that gives other Skulduggery heroes Stealth.
Incinerate your foes in style with the Scarlet Sorceress skin for Renna. Also found in the Store.
Changes to Modes
Ranked mode has been removed. It just wasn't working well and our addition of crowns caused more problems than it solved. Since we are working on an awesome new competitive mode to replace it, instead of spending the engineering resources to try to make Ranked better for a short time, we decided it is more expedient to turn it off. More details will be provided on the new mode in a future update.
The 2nd Boss slot from Casual has been removed. With the current player base, the matchmaking algorithm tends to ignore low level bosses if one boss is level 15 and the other is not. So, the low level bosses never got a chance to gain experience. With only one boss slot, you should be able to level up your bosses more steadily.
Change to Boss Card Draw
We've rewritten the way that bosses draw their cards to make the rules more consistent and eliminate some outlying experiences that were sometimes not fun.
The old rules for boss card draw:
- At the start of each of their turns, the boss would shuffle their deck and draw until they had three-card hand.
- One card in hand was selected at random, and the boss would attempt to play it.
- If the boss couldn't play a card, (for instance, if it had no valid targets), they would discard it and try to play another card.
- If the boss had no cards left after trying this three times, it would guard until the next turn, when it would repeat the process.
The new rules for boss card draw:
- Like heroes, bosses start the game with a 2-card hand, and draw a single card on odd ticks.
- One card in hand is selected at random, and the boss attempts to play it. If the boss can't play that card, it will try another until it has tried every card in hand.
- If none of the cards in hand are playable, the boss will Guard.
- When the boss tries to draw a card and the deck is empty, the boss discards their hand and the deck is reshuffled. They then draw a new card.
Card Balance and Design Improvements
We've made numerous improvements to the card pool based on feedback from the community and our own continued playtesting. In particular, we have focused on an extensive rework of the Elemental trait for bosses.
When laying out the 8 core boss traits, we assigned a particular strategy for each. Our original vision for Elemental is that it would be set apart from the other summoner traits in the way it handled its minions. The intention was to give Elemental minions a range of unique abilities, as if the summoner was casting spells that take physical form. In our initial execution, this idea did not come across as we hoped. Elemental bosses tended to feel like ordinary summoners, and there was heavy mechanical overlap with Spirit and Mechanical. In addition, Elemental also suffered from build diversity, as almost of its Perk cards were dedicated to supporting summoner builds, leaving little support for standalone and hybrid builds.
In this release, we have significantly changed many Elemental cards, with a particular focus on the summon spells and Perks. We've introduced a new keyword called Volatile that will primarily show up on Elemental minions. When a Volatile minion attacks, it dies. This keyword is often paired with a Last Words ability, and evokes the ephemeral nature of Elemental minions. It also allows us to give Elemental bosses efficient summons without choking up the board with small minions and creating megaswarm builds, which are more the purview of Spirit and Mechanical. We've also redesigned many of the Perks to support other kinds of builds.
- Searing Blood (Fireheart unlock)
- Eternity of Earth (Elemental)
- Transmute to Frost (Elemental)
- Transmute to Stone (Elemental)
Note that if you had any of the old cards that have been removed in your collection, you have been compensated with their crafting value in Stardust.
- Kiss of Fire (Elemental)
- Density of Stone (Elemental)
- Chill of Ice (Elemental)
- Rush of the First Wind (Elemental)
- Kylee passive ability triggering as intended
- Rebirth Devotion kicker healing to target max Health not caster's
- Bag of Endless Things no longer spending Amps
- Hold the Tide triggering on fifth attack
- Warpriest's Inscription Balanced Attack still playable at max Fury (for no additional Fury)
- Vengeant Strike damage corrected
- Aether Crucible working as written
- Mindless Golem acting first time on Tick 1 instead of Tick 5 and removing Ticks correctly
- Arcane Abomination registering Attack bonus from Windups properly
- Synchronicity triggering on time
- Violent Impact damaging targets with Tenacity as intended
- Time Keeper no longer discounting Channels
- Killing Zha, Which Eats the Sun satisfies Caster Boss quest
- Tooltip cards for Elemental minions summoned via Channel have their stats instead of Boss stats
- Essence Shock registers multiple kills at once
- Essence Storm no longer hangs due to losing all Minions during Windup
- Gilgarra's Mantle triggering correctly
- Queen of the Northern Wastes spawning in correct spot
- Clockwork Beast card text reflects ability timing
- Mine Securitrons receive bonuses from Weapons Expert and Upgraded Chassis
- Doomsday Machine spawns with same health as Great Experiment had at time of transformation
- Pull Through the Veil no longer triggers Eternal Renewal
- Offense Tutorial Tinderheart playing multiple cards instead of repeating
- Bosses draw and hold hands of cards the same way Heroes do, but with 10 card decks that reshuffle both their remaining hand and used cards into their deck when it is empty (Hero decks do not reshuffle)
- Stealth prevents all targeting except Random and Area effects
- Delay is called Ambush, but works the same
- Tenacity ignores movement restrictions of Provoke
- Bosses and Minions that seek out weak targets will not make unnecessary moves if target is in range already
- Boss Cone and Line attacks are all Windups and target spaces rather than enemies, so can be dodged
- Minions summoned during battle spawn near enemies
- Minions summoned via Channel or by another Minion's Activate ability spawn next to summoner
- Minions that have Activate summons do so at end of turn to prevent the spawn from blocking their paths
- Frozen now adds a Tick during Frozen instead of at end, still does not stack
- Death's Presence is now a Perk that, upon half Health, gives Sarkhet an Enhancement that does what Death's Presence used to do
- Leaden Javelin Piercing is now Focus-triggered
- Dissipate now counters Attack cards but not Channels or Windups
- Roggix now sprays only 4 Lava when damaged by an attack
- Anvil of Elements cost reduced because its Flamehammer Enhancement now heals only 1 per turn
- Armorcraft Armor buff has Duration 5, does not stack
- Flayed Hunter no longer has Fleetfoot, has Stealth until attacking, then regains Stealth when attacked
- Breath of the Sun and Zha Which Eats the Sun attack are Windup 2
- Swipe is Cone 2, Windup 1
- Vicious Claws also gives +1 Armor until next turn
- Deepcrag Lurker has 11 Health
- Direwolf has 16 Health, gains attack on Boss Attack card instead of Boss summons
- Chilling Growl also restores 3 Health
- Charging Bovak has 7 Health
- Forked Lightning is an Air Attack
- Arm with Magicks is a Frost and Earth Enhancement
- Shape from Stone is an Earth Spell, Stone Bodyguard is an Earth Construct
- Deathsparks have 2 Health
- Fire Elemental has 5 Attack, 3 Health
- Frozen Sentinel has 0 Attack, 5 Health and Provoke, no Last Words
- Ember Hounds, Skystalkers, and Raging Cyclasms have Speed 1 and are Volatile, meaning they die upon attacking
- Fire Golem has 14 Health
- Earth Golem (Pull from Earth) has 3 Attack, 5 Health, and heals the Boss 3 per turn instead of providing Shield
- Magmanura has 4 Attack, 3 Health and places Lava in Blast 1 on Activate, not Last Words
- Power from All-Matter is an Earth, Air, Frost, and Fire Spell
- Harness the Winds and Kindle the Hounds are now Channel summons, one per Tick
- Whirling Embers now extends the length of Kindle the Hounds Channel, does not modify Ember Hounds
- Skystalkers now add 1 Tick to enemy on attack, no Last Words
- Unstable Core Last Words only Blast 1, Add 1 Tick
- Ignited Hounds no longer affects Kindle the Hounds, but removes Volatile from Ember Hounds so they don't die on attack
- Blistering Belch is now Blistering Blast and a shared Elemental card that is a Fire and Air attack with Cone 7, Windup 3
- Feed on Fire is now a Perk that restores 1 Health when Fire Minions die
- Roaring Flame now gives +1 Attack to Fire Minions instead of +1 Health
- All-Matter Golem has Attack 7, Health 7, Speed 4, Armor 2
- Killbot and Cannoneer have 6 Health
- Bushwacker has Warcry - This gains Stealth until it attacks
- Mighty Phantasm has Health 7, Attack 7
- Murderous Might also gives +1 Health to Mighty Phantasm
- Spirit of Justice has 10 Health
- Spirit Warleader has Armor 1
- Swiftsteed Rider has 10 Health
Backers who get a Defense loot bonus as part of their reward tier may have noticed that their bosses are not gaining any additional Stardust. We fixed this bug, but it requires you to reenter your backer code. An additional email will be sent to affected players as a reminder.
Change in Development Strategy
Since the last update on on June 6, we started working towards a 3 week cycle for updates. If we can stick to this cadence, each update will be a bit smaller in terms of technical changes, but still have the same amount of content added as in previous updates. We are still working on big changes too, but are trying not to let those stop us from hitting the 3 week cycle goal. Bugs might still cause delays, but with smaller changes, hopefully the bugs are fewer.
The graph shows the 4-day moving average of bosses in Casual mode based on their strength (Win/Loss Ratio) and popularity (% Total of encounters). Although the June Update released on June 6, the data starts on June 10 because 4 full days of data is required for the moving average.
We were targeting a 0.5 win/loss ratio for bosses this update. Although it is difficult to see, 0.5 is exactly where Kairon ends up on June 28. Although Roggix seemed to be preferred both in strength and popularity, he did not dominate; and even at the end of this period, the mechascorpion makes a surprise surge in power because someone discovered a stronger deck for it. All the movement suggests a robust meta this past update.
With the changes to the Elemental cards, it will be interesting to see the affect on the meta. Throwing a new hero in the mix, Sazama, may also cause players to seek new new strategies for their bosses.
If you experience any of these bugs, please send an output log file to us. Here is how to find the output log file: I.imgur.com
- A crash may occur in the Deck Builder or shortly thereafter in-game
- Players may get stuck at the beginning of the 3rd Tutorial level or in other places in the tutorial
- Being in Stealth may cause a hang if that hero is the last one alive.
Besides was was described above the team has been working on the following since the last progress report.
The art team completed the Shadow Boss; worked on concept art for the Ardelon level; created the Scarlet Sorceress skin for Renna and its anims; and created more card art.
The design team created cards for the Ninja; added the Stealth keyword; designed and revised Elemental cards; made changes to how Boss hands work; created content for new tutorials (aka Story mode); working on the differentiation of Immobile vs Tenacious keywords; and lots of iteration and balance testing.
The engineering team added the concept version of "Explore" mode to the development build and worked on its matchmaking; worked on crash protection; worked on replay UI; and removed Ranked mode.