Dear Robocraft Community,
Thank you so so much for all your feedback on Monday's ‘Removing Crates’ blog post. It was amazing to see all the positive contributions from everyone.
Myself and the dev team spent most of yesterday trawling over the feedback from as many sources as we could find (Twitter, FB, Forums, Discord, Reddit, etc) and trying to soak up the general sentiment towards some of the ideas.
Below is a summary of our perception of what the feeling in the community is towards the ideas and where we are on our plans after hearing them. Please leave feedback if you think our interpretation of these things is totally wrong; nothing is set in stone.
Mark, CEO, Freejam
- Removing Crates 100% from the game - This was fairly universally liked and so we’re planning to focus on going ahead with all the changes needed to remove them ASAP.
- Rewarding Robits at the end of battle based on performance - Again, this was fairly universally liked and so we’re planning to proceed with this plan.
- Daily Quests - In general the feeling was that this was a good thing. There were some concerns about what the quests might be, but on the whole the feeling was ‘a good alternative to Daily Crates’
- Tech Tree - Overall players are happy to see the Tech Tree coming back as an alternative progression system to crates. There were some questions regarding how existing accounts will be treated and we’ve aimed to answer those in an FAQ below.
- Tiers Coming Back - Mostly the community seemed to like the idea of bringing 3 Tiers back. Some asked why just 3 Tiers, why not 5 or 10 like before? but the main reason for this is that we don’t really have enough players online at certain times to support more than 3 and retain all the other options we have as well like Parties, Custom Games, Brawl, low queue times, and a level of skill matchmaking. Our plan is to start with 3 tiers and, if we can grow the player base we can add more tiers if the community still wants it at that time.
- BA, Elimination and TDM in a rolling roster - Most players seemed to like this idea but some players were concerned that they would have to play game modes they didn’t like. This was probably a fault of our communication but we want to reassure everyone that the opt out options will allow you to exclude modes you don’t like playing. Anyway, overall it seems you’re happy for us to proceed with this plan too.
- Removing Purchasable Crates - Most of the community seemed fine with this and for us to monetise the game via Premium and Cosmetic Credits. Some asked for a way to get Cosmetic Credits without paying but in exchange for some sort of long grind. We have an idea for this (see the Skills section below).
- Premium at 25% - This was the idea of reducing the Premium benefits for new users buying Premium from 100% to 25% with those who already owned Premium keeping 100%. We don’t feel comfortable reducing the % benefit for existing Premium users. Some are OK with it but others won’t be and we just don’t want go there. So, we’re left with a decision to either keep it as it is, i.e. with Premium at 100%, or create the split between new and older users with Premium. The latter caused a lot of controversy within the community yesterday with many feeling it wasn’t fair so we feel that it’s best for us to leave it at 100% for now as it’s not really important to our main goal of ‘crate removal’ anyway. It’s not a closed book and we’re happy to circle back on it at a later date once the crates are gone if the community still feels the game is too P2W at that stage. We determined to get to a point where the community feels we are monetising Robocraft in a fair way.
- Removing Boosts - This was met with some controversy. Some felt it was good to remove them while others felt that their removal would hurt build diversity and break some fun builds. We pondered it more today and felt that it could potentially break quite a lot and force us to rebalance a lot of things; so since it is not critical to our main mission of ‘remove the crates’ we want to park this idea for now and circle back on it after the other changes above are live.
- Skills - This was the most overall controversial thing. To be fair it wasn’t fleshed out by us very well (as we haven’t really designed it), but a lot of the community highlighted big potential problems with it even conceptually ranging from ‘seal clubbing’ issue to ‘not very Robocraft as I can’t tell what a Robots power is just by looking at it’. We think these are valid criticisms and since Skills are not critical to the removal of crates [and that is our main goal for now] we will park the idea for the time being. BUT, READ BELOW FOR A NEW IDEA.
CC FOR VETS - Our main reason for wanting to consider something like a Skill Tree was to ensure that players who had been playing for a while and had unlocked everything on the Tech Tree still had potential rewards to get. We wondered if a simple solution to this was ‘If you have unlocked everything on the Tech Tree you will start you get ‘1 Cosmetic Credit’ per level instead of 1 Tech Point, so can then begin to unlock the cosmetics for free also. This also means that existing users with very high level will automatically receive a bunch of CC (equal to the number of levels they are higher than the number needed to unlock the whole Tech Tree. Also, we thought having an option to Forge a Cosmetic Credit for Robits could be added as well (say 1,000,000 Robits for 1 CC). Many suggested that we need to invest more time in better cosmetic offerings and we agree so we’ve been discussing ways to do this.
Q. When will this update come out?
A. Soon™ - In all seriousness, we're still very much at the planning stages at the moment and our goal is to release the changes in steps so we can get them to you sooner. When we've finished the planning, we'll give you a timeline as to when you can expect what.
Q. Will I have to unlock all my existing parts on the tech tree?
A. No - any parts you currently have in your inventory will be unlocked in the tech tree. Therefore, none of your bots will be broken by the coming updates.
Q. Why are you only having 3 tiers and not 10?
A. Initially we want to start small as the current playerbase could not support 10 tiers without painful queue times. If the player numbers increase, then we can look at expanding tiers beyond 3.
Q. What will happen to Megabots?
A. We've seen all your feedback surrounding your love for Megabots and we will look at how we can make better use of them after we have completed a majority of the crate removal work.
Q. Will it be possible to obtain cosmetics without paying?
A. Yes! We will devise a system where you will be able to convert Robits into CC (cosmetic credits). Also, once you unlock everything on the tech tree, any tech points earned through levelling up will be automatically converted into CC.
Q. If the tech tree has 100 items on it and I'm level 500, will I get 400 CC?
A. Yes you will!
Q. Are you removing crates due to legal reason and the whole EA debacle ?
A. No. The legality of loot crates is still up for debate and although we are aware of the issues surrounding them this did not inform our decision. We simply took way too long to listen to the community on how much they hate crates.
Q. Will we still keep our robots?
A. Yes, but the proposed balance changes and tiers may require you to change them a bit.
Q. With all of these changes, does this mean the CRF will be removed?
A. No, we have no plans to remove the CRF - this update is all about the removal of crates.
Q. Will we be able to reset our progress to experience the full tech tree?
A. No, we have no plans to allow an account reset. You can however create as many free accounts as you wish.
Q. After the implementation of the system with "Tech Tree", will there be the League Arena and Brawl sections?
A. When we introduce the new Tiers system, League Arena will become Tier 3. BRAWL will remain but will only be live during special events.
Q. If I purchase crates, and then do not open them, and then the update comes and removes the crates, what will happen?
A. Yes you will, but we will give players plenty of time for people to open their crates and an in game warning of when the incoming update will drop. Worst case scenario you can contact our customer support and we will refund you accordingly.
Q. Can we buy premium now and keep the 100%?
A. Yes, you can. However, due to overwhelming feedback from the community who felt that our planned changes to premium were unfair, therefore, we have decided against making these changes at this time.
Q. Does that mean we can only earn robots from buying other player’s robots?
A. No, you will earn Robits at the end of every battle. The amount earned will be based on your performance in battle.
Q. You said game rules would be randomized sometimes, will we be able to switch-out our robots mid-game?
A. We would love to be able to let you switch bot mid battle, i.e. from a 'deck' of bots. We're investigating the feasibility of the idea now. Might only be able to switch after death. We think it's the only real way to solve match-making between Robot types as players can counter.
Q. What about pilot seats, old maps, old BA, no auto-heal, old flight controls, bigger team sizes?
A. Initially we're focusing on removing crates and associated changes that need to happen to make that work. We can look at other things like Pilot Seats, Weapon Energy and the like after we've done this work and got more community feedback.
Q. All this is great at appeasing older players, but how will Robocraft appeal to new players?
A. New players will hopefully enjoy the progression system and be motivated to build and learn different bots that cater to the different play styles offered in game. If older players are happy, newer players will want to become older players.
Q. All this is great, but how will Robocraft monetise and grow from here?
A. Of course we will develop new cosmetics to supplement the existing ones which can be forged with CC - cosmetic credits. Cosmetic Credits will be purchasable in bundles in-game or earned through play.
Q. Is this really happening?
A. Yes, yes it is. We’ve listened to your feedback and while we are not simply returning the game to 2014 we are revisiting those popular features with a view to updating them for the 2018
Q. Does Freejam feel silly for not doing this earlier and/or feel that some of the last 2 years of development were wasted?
A. I wouldn't say "feel silly" but we definitely acknowledge making mistakes. To be honest we make mistakes all the time. Game dev is a non-exact science and it's a very competitive and challenging industry. Freejam fundamentally believes that making mistakes is OK, but not learning from making mistakes is a big no no. The key is to learn and grow and become better.
Q. Can I have your address? I'd like to give you a hug.
A. If we deliver what we promise, and you like it, you can come and visit the studio to give the whole dev team a hug.