Friday, May 22, 2020

Accursed Ascension Rework

Minion Masters!

A quick note before we begin; there was a minor error on the Charging Into Darkness Update Site where it listed the available masters for the new Adventure as 6. This was incorrect, and has been altered to the correct amount of 3. We apologize for the miscommunication.

Accursed Ascension Rework

This week, we've got news of a rework to the Accursed Ascension mechanic coming in Version 1.13. A frequent issue we found with the mechanic was that, particularly as a new player, the condition you needed to fulfill wasn't always intuitive, and at times could feel somewhat clumsy. 

The requirement of obtaining Spectral Essence was especially confusing in this perspective - It wasn't clear what Spectral Essence actually was at first glance and where it could be found, and could also cause confusion when a player obtained it without knowing what the mechanic was. This was doubly so for cards that had Spectral Essence but not Accursed Ascension - You'd receive a ghost particle from your Skeleton card that would go to your Master tower, but you had no idea what that actually meant, or if it even did anything.

As such, we're changing Accursed Ascension to be the following;

  • Spend 60 Mana on Accursed faction cards to gain Accursed Ascension.

Our hope with this change is to make the mechanic easier to understand at a glance, and also encourage greater freedom when creating Accursed Ascension decks. Previously when building a deck centered on Accursed Ascension, you would simply look for the most efficient Spectral Essence cards to include, which had the potential issue of some Accursed cards being completely disregarded in those decks. While it'll clearly be the most ideal option to load your Ascension deck with a ton of Accursed cards, we're fairly confident that this isn't much of a difference compared to how you would build such a deck before.

Wild Cards Feedback

Over the last few weeks during our Wild Cards test, we've been collecting a ton of feedback from community, leaderboards and in-game sources to gauge the effectiveness of the rework. Overall we've seen that it's a positive step forward for the game, but we've also identified that there are various areas that require improvement going forward, and certain elements that were not impacted enough by the change.

For now, we're going to keep the Rework in the game while we investigate what directions we want to pursue for the future. In the meantime, we're going to continue to try and address the currently problematic Wild Cards in future balance patches. We want to thank everyone that helped us out by participating in the tests and answering our in-game surveys.

Dwarf Stream Incoming!

We've got a developer stream coming up for the release of Charging Into Darkness! We'll be doing a full showcase of the card Resonating Blast Crystal, as well as a full preview of all of the new contents arriving with the update. Join Community Manager That Sprite on the official BetaDwarf Developer Stream on the 25th of May, at 1900 UTC+2!

Cheers from BetaDwarf!

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Stormcharging & PTR Signups

Minion Masters!

Charging into Darkness - Lord Fanriel the Stormcharger

Last week, we launched our new Expansion Site for Charging into Darkness. The story of this new expansion follows High-Mage Leiliel searching for her old friend, Lord Fanriel. Fanriel himself is a bulky but slow-attacking leader who charges into the fray via his Stormcharge ability, and we're opting to showcase his signature ability:

Please note that the animations are not finalized yet, so things may look slightly different when the card is actually released. Tomorrow is the reveal of Dormant Defenders, so look forward to that!

We're looking for PTR signups!

We're opening our doors for PTR testers again to help us test upcoming content and balance changes!

As a PTR tester, you will test new content on the PTR and provide feedback for the Minion Masters design team through questionnaires and discuss feedback with the team directly in the Discord channel. Responses from the PTR testing group is an extremely important part of creating new content for the game.

To join, you must be able to write in English, be open-minded, and have time to test and discuss new cards, masters and other content with us. It is a requirement that you are open to testing new cards/masters through rigorous playtesting. You must also have a Steam account and be able to play the game on PC (you will have the full collection of cards at your disposal).

To sign up, answer this questionnaire here and we'll contact you via your Discord account if you're accepted:

Make sure your voice is heard on the Wild Cards Rework!

We just finished up the Week #1 Survey on the Wild Cards Rework Test. Did you respond to it while it was in the news? Next Monday we'll start the second survey and we want to make sure everyone from the community has their say as the meta develops. If you still want to submit a response to the week 1 survey, you can find it right here.

Cheers from BetaDwarf!

Friday, May 1, 2020

Battle Pass Restructuring

Minion Masters!

Coming in Version 1.13, we have a large restructuring of how our Battle Passes function. Battle Passes have been in Minion Masters for almost 2 years now, and we're starting to see their place - They're where most of our development goes, as new content takes time. They're also some of the most fun additions to the game, keeping it fresh for everyone. While we're always working to improve the releases themselves, we've reached the point where we can't give the game the love it deserves if the game is "too free".

We want to ensure that Minion Masters can continue to grow, and we also want to maintain our stance of avoiding "Pay to Win" elements in Minion Masters. Our goal is to make access to new content (That's intended to be power-balanced with existing content) the main reward for players, both in terms of purchasing and as a progression item.

Here's a rough overview of what's changing:
  • Battle Passes are now known as Season Passes
  • Season Passes last 1 month
  • 3 new cards are added to the game with each season
  • Also includes 1 Legendary Skin, 3 avatars and 1 emote
  • Value for your Ruby purchase remains the same as the previous Battle Pass system
  • Still includes heaps of XP, Shards, Rubies and Gold
  • Includes lots of copies of other cards and 35 Power Tokens
  • Fewer Tiers (50)

  • Season Tokens have been removed - You now unlock the new cards directly through specific Season Pass Tiers. There's no longer any randomness in accessing new content.
  • All new cards can be earned in the free pass. They will also appear earlier in the premium pass.
  • Cards introduced in the season cannot be crafted until the next season starts.

  • If you complete the Season Pass, you will receive a large amount of glory on the new Cards, both for the Free and Premium paths.
  • Required XP for tiers scales so it's easier to get started with a new Season Pass (Now starts at 25k Glory, before it was 42k for all tiers)
  • Overall XP requirement to complete a Season Pass is the same as finishing 50 tiers of the old Battle Pass system
  • Season Pass price will be 1500 Rubies
  • Expansions will last 3 Season Passes - Each Pass brings new content related to the Expansion

While new cards cannot be crafted while they are in the Season Pass, the option will be available as soon as the next Season Pass starts with no increased crafting cost, making them more readily available to free to play users that couldn't afford to spend a ton of Shards on new Season Cards in the old Battle Pass system.

Putting Season Cards into smaller month-long batches will also make the task of balancing them easier by evening out the release of new content, as well as helping to avoid "dry patches" where little content is being added to Minion Masters. Adding new cards frequently also helps to ensure a constantly evolving meta game with every new season, and avoid scenarios where little changes over multiple patches.

We hope that this new system can help us give Minion Masters the love it deserves, while not creating a scenario where it's essential to buy every Season Pass as it comes out. We want to preserve the ability for players to be truly "Free to Play" and reinforce that Season Passes are something to buy for their excellent Ruby value and to access exciting new content sooner.

Cheers from BetaDwarf!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Balance Changes in Version 1.12

Minion Masters!

New Expansion Reveal coming on the 1st of May - Don't Miss it!

Upcoming Balance Changes

While we have the upcoming Wild Cards Test, we've still got a host of balance changes we'll be releasing alongside it. Here's just a few of the changes coming soon:

Ting, Teng & Tung
  • Damage 100 -> 90
  • Projectiles cannot bounce off of dead minions
  • Developer Comments
  • Projectiles bouncing off of minions that were already dead was somewhat of an unintended behaviour, so half of this change can be classified as a bug fix, but we're listing it here as it's a significant change to the balance of the card.
Snake Druid
  • Speed 2 -> 3
  • Developer Comments
  • Snake Druid often seemed to have stayed on your side of the field far too long for your opponent to effectively deal with him due to his low speed. By giving him a speed increase in this way, we want to maintain his current strengths but allow your opponent to simply wait him out, or push other lanes, more effectively.
Zealots of the Burning Fist
  • Mana Cost 7 -> 6
  • Developer Comments
  • Despite being able to output some serious damage in the right circumstances, the mana cost for Zealots of the Burning Fist was too high to justify playing it in most scenarios. Hopefully a simple mana reduction can help out the card a lot.
Dragon Ball
  • Activation Mana Cost 6+ -> 5+
  • Developer Comments
  • Dragon Ball's activation cost was making the card significantly difficult to fit into decks, and we believe the meta has developed to a state where it's a good opportunity to ease up on the restrictive nature of the card's condition.
As always, there's more balance changes to come - Look forward to reading the rest with the release of the 1.12 Patch Notes!

BadAsAFish80's 2v2 Tournament #6

BadAsAFish is back again with another installment of his excellent tournament series! Featuring a $100 Prize Pool provided by BetaDwarf, this multi-day event is a great way to team up with your friend and engage in some competitive Minion Masters if you're stuck at home during the quarantine.

Awesome Fanart

We're always on the lookout for great displays of creativity from the Minion Masters playerbase, and our eyes this week were drawn to some amazing fanart of Succubus by nekochelle!

We fully recommend checking out the original linked above - The resolution on this is massive! We fell in love with this piece the moment we saw it, and so did our users on Reddit. Check out nekochelle's Instagram accounts - nekochelle and miqchips for more of their great work.

Cheers from BetaDwarf!

Friday, April 17, 2020

New Stormbringer Animations

Minion Masters!

New Stormbringer Animations in Version 1.12

Those that have been paying dutiful attention to our Road Map know that Stormbringer is getting a shiny animation overhaul. His current animation set has been with us since the very beginning of Minion Masters, and we think it's time to give him an upgrade. Our animator has been hard at work creating these great new visuals that we think better represent Stormbringer's acrobatic and showboating personality. Check them out and let us know what you think:

Stormbringer's new style will be arriving in Version 1.12, due for release on the 30th of April.

Staying together, no matter the distance

With the continued duration of the Covid-19 quarantine, it's important to all of us that we stay in contact in this period of isolation. We've already talked about how we're still working from home on the next Minion Masters update, but the BetaDwarf team have also taken to special remote gaming nights. We've been up to everything - Playtesting new (and secret!) things, or getting together and hitting public game servers with the might of the Dwarves. There's even been word of setting up a private BetaDwarf Minecraft server... Perhaps we'll have things to show you from that if the idea takes off ;)

But we also want to hear about you all - What have you been up to during the quarantine, productive or recreational? Everyone at BetaDwarf wishes you the best, and we want to hear from you!

Cheers from BetaDwarf!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Expeditions on hiatus in Version 1.12

Minion Masters!

Expeditions going on Hiatus in Version 1.12

We've made the difficult decision to put Expeditions on Hiatus from the game in our upcoming update. Our stats and survey indicated to us that only a small portion of the Minion Masters playbase actively engage with the mode, yet putting Season Tokens behind it that were significant to new players meant people would have to play through a mode they don't enjoy, and found confusing. We think it's time to retire the game mode for the time being as maintaining it was becoming a difficulty on our end without revisiting the mode, and we want to take the opportunity to have time to focus and improve the experience of the remaining game modes.

We'll replacing the weekly expeditions with a weekly quest that will grant tokens for winning 5 matches in Premade 2v2 Battles, as to not simply be removing earnable rewards. We'd like to thank everyone that's enjoyed Expeditions since its inception.

BadAsAFish80 Charity Stream

We're always on the lookout for inspiring tales of awesomeness from our community. With the recent Covid-19 pandemic, there's never been a better time for the Minion Masters community to come together, and nowhere has there been a better example of this than BadAsAFish80's week long charity stream!

Started as an endeavour to fundraise for the UK's National Health Service, BadAsAFish undertook the event spanning from the 6th to the 10th of April, with any and all proceeds from his Twitch stream being donated towards this great cause. As of writing (Wednesday the 8th), he's already raised a phenomenal $1350!

Make sure to check him out over this Easter period and give him our best wishes - Everyone at BetaDwarf is proud of what he's achieved!

And while you're at it - Why not consider signing up to his upcoming 1v1 Tournament? There's a $100 prize pool with a generous amount of time to complete your matches - Perfect for this period!

Cheers from BetaDwarf!