Plans for the Future

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Hey Everyone!
So I’ve been doing a lot of work lately and everyone seems to be enjoying the game getting some love again. But it does raise the question of what the long term plans are so I wanted to take a minute to talk about that. To be clear these are plans, they may change. Things outside my control might happen.

My first goal is to improve the client and the general game experience. I’ve been working heavily on both kusc and the official client. I want kusc to one day be the official client but it has a long way to go. I also want the transition to go much better than when SBE switched to the current client. As such kusc is available to anyone interested and the official client is still being maintained. My hope is that the switch to KUSC as the main client will happen when most people already choose it over the current. There are difficulties in maintaining two clients. Some things are made harder by this approach but I feel it’ll be for the best, at least for now.

New Player Experience is horrible, always has been. I’ve done a couple things already, more precons are available in the in client store. New accounts come with 100,000 silver (was 10,000). But this is only the start. I plan to add several more tutorial missions which will have generous rewards and delve into more complex strategies. Monthly discount bundles are back and I’m designing a once per account bundle that will be super discounted. I also plan to restore VS AI wins to get dailies. This however will require a new version of the client. I’m also planning once per account achievements. Some of these already exist (play X online games) but I want to add a few hundred more. Things that encourage exploring the game and different factions/strategies available. Feel free to make suggestions.

I want to revamp draft some. The current pool is not bad, it might actually be one of the better pools we’ve had but we’ve also had it a long time. Also alloyin leveling might be a bit too strong and hard to punish. There are some hurdles to getting a new pool implemented but the biggest part is designing the pool. I believe KonanTheBarbar is working on this now.

For those who have everything but want to support us through this time I’m working on getting some more AAs for sale. There were a bunch of these that just didn’t get put into the client. Some or all of these will also feature unique sounds (KUSC only). This is a bit more complex task mostly because it requires updating the official client.

Constructed hasn’t changed much in a while and making a new set is outside of the scope of what I’m doing at this time. I do plan to add new sets and things but fixing the client and improving new player experience is more important at this time. I know some players want a major revamp or re-balance. But that takes a lot of work, and that energy is being focused on improving the client for now. You might get a small re-balance in a while.

My hope is that when the client is in a better place and new player experience is something close to acceptable we can then released a new set and start a “relaunch” of the game. That’s when there will (hopefully) be an advertising push and a serious attempt at new players.

I’m also trying to keep the communication with you guys as open as I can. I’m regularly on the ladder’s chat, in my discord and checking reddit/facebook/steam for posts. If you have questions I’ll do my best to answer them. This was an area the SBE really failed with. Hopefully I can do better. Announcements will always be posted here or in client. I’m sure members of the community will spread those message everywhere. I may respond to questions elsewhere but all official announcements will be here on solforgegame.com

Now Please keep in mind all of this is subject to change. Many things could happen that would interfere or change this. Also specific dates are intentionally left off. I’m still figuring out how to do some of these things so an accurate time estimate is really hard. I just wanted people to have a general idea of my plans and where the game is headed. Comments and suggestions are always welcome

-Kaelari

12 Comments

  1. JHW527

    I’ll join the chorus of people saying thanks for the hard work, Kaelari! I primarily play on iOS, and I’ve noticed that recently the game will crash at least once during the match. Not a big deal as I can simply click on the app again and hop back into the game with plenty of time to spare, but just FYI

  2. Chaos62417

    Did I miss an announcement? Have u acquired or taken over SolForge Kael? Is the game just abandoned by SB and your just picking up the torch?

  3. WuRaidr

    First, thanks for all the effort you are putting in.
    I know you mention how much you are juggling at the moment, however I just wanted to mention that at the moment I am not in a hurry for a new set as much as balance changes to the current sets. Lots of overpowered legendaries still remain and I am really getting tired of poison decks everywhere, so what are the odds that a re-balance could be in the future?

  4. Darth_Gravid

    Kaelari, you taking over fills me with confidence in this game and its future!!! I haven’t been a very outspoken member of the community, but I have been here since its release on iOS. My concern is with iOS and the KUSC. It is my understanding that the KUSC is only on PC (I have no PC), will you carry that over to iOS once you have it ready? What about my current collection (which, like most everyone, I have spent a lot of time and money on) will it all be lost when you finally transition? A small thing, is there any chance for the future (I know this will definitely be a low priority) of reintroducing asynchronous play? I know that this was pretty important to me and a lot of casual people, SB basically told me not to hold my breath. I know there are a lot of people who love to play, but have busy lives and don’t have a ton of time it sit around while each person tries to slow roll you. Thank you.

    1. kaelari Post author

      iOS support is planned. The difficulties are related to apple’s policies that prevent distributing software any way other than the official app store. Basically until it’s finished or close to it it’s not worth while to put it in the store. I don’t believe they’d even let me in it’s current state. I also need a mac to actually make the build which I currently lack. So it should happen but I don’t know when exactly. It is something I’m looking into, I know a lot of people want this.
      kusc is available for windows, mac, linux, and android.
      Asynchronous play (untimed) is already available in kusc. You can either send a challenge or join a random queue. Currently this is kusc only so the queue time will likely be long but it’s an untimed game so that might not be so bad. Note that games do sometimes randomly get cleared after a while. I’m not sure why yet but you should try to keep games under a week. They can also be lost if downtime is needed for any reason.

  5. HappyGilmore

    Ever since the introduction of “sharing” rather than the promise of true trading I have found myself completely at a loss of how to convey my displeasure with the direction of the game. The idea of continually making legends the only usable rarities…the choice to focus on a new client when SOO much needed improvement.

    That being said…the fact that you are taking over the reigns gives me tremendous hope. I know that true trading is too much to hope for at this point, but I think you are in going in the right direction.

    Cheers.
    H.G.

  6. yra111

    about drafts:
    1. Pls, return draft entry for silver, it too long to farm tickets.Let us choose how to spent silver.
    2. return phantom drafts – cheap drafts, where u not add cards to yuor collection.Good idea for training drafts.
    3. add to client function, to look draft pool whan choosing cards for draft. For example, i got zombie and abomination at my pick,to choose wisely, i need to look , whach zombies and aboms may i got in next pick.Here and in collection needed filter with keywords like – zombie, mobility(include add movie spells and all other got mobility or move to, spawn etc)

    All ths must be wery helpful for new players

  7. jestey

    Having started playing just last year (but not having logged into the forums until today), and having stayed bascially free-to-play (a point of pride, but one I’m willing to abandon and start paying now that the game is community-run) while building multiple tier 1 decks, I think I can offer some useful feedback about the new player experience.

    1. Just giving new players a bunch of cards isn’t the answer. The process of discovering new cards and building my collection was really fun, and it would be a shame to skip that! Meanwhile, a new player with all the best cards will still have no idea how to construct a deck and no idea how to play it well. They’ll still lose, and they’ll have fewer incremental improvements to tide them over. This game is unlike any other CCG with its levelling system, and the learning curve is STEEP.
    What’s more important is to cultivate spaces where new players can learn the game on a limited card pool without always getting stomped. Campaign missions are great for that, as are draft and some Weekend Warriors. There need to be more opportunities for new players who don’t like draft to compete against other new players in constructed, however.

    2. The biggest help to my growth as a player were the new player guides from Khaelari, the Ironmind, and Ghox’s Sox. It’s great that the website links to them directly. Can the game client also provide those links to new players (since many beginners may not look at the website)?

    3. It’s well known (by established players) that draft tournaments are the best way for new players to build their collections. The problem is that nowhere does the game tell you that, and nowhere does it teach you how to draft. (I was already used to drafting from playing MtG, but even then it was a big adjustment.) The client tells new players to play the campaigns; can it also tell them to try drafting? As for learning to draft…

    4. It’s great that you are looking to make new campaign missions, Kaelari! That’s really exciting! Campaigns are, as I said, fantastic for new players. The only issue is that campaigns prepare you to play _constructed_ games, while newbies are only going to have half a chance in _draft_ games for quite some time. I want to suggest that you add *draft missions* to the campaign, possibly as a separate branch (so you can play them before defeating Varna). The mission could start by drafting a deck from the current draft pool (phantom), with pop-up tutorials, and then playing one or more games with that deck vs the AI. The flavor could be that you’re cut off from your regular troops and need to draft whatever local recruits are available to stave off an invading army. The AI handicap could just be having a constructed deck, or a harder mission could have them always hit their on-level drops (that’ll teach you to draft underdrops!) or something. The reward would, of course, be a draft voucher. (And maybe you also get to keep the first Heroic you pick.) There could be a single draft mission, or several — either all with the same deck, or re-drafting each time. There’s a ton of untapped design space here.
    As an added benefit, such a mission would have way more replayability than any other — it’s different each time, and it’s a also good way for more experienced players to practice drafting the current pool without risking tickets. I realize that this is a huge technical task, and I don’t expect it to happen any time soon on volunteer labor, but it would be a great idea if it could be done.

    5. In addition, some new players just don’t want to draft. There needs to be a place for them to play Constructed and still build their collections. Ranked and Casual are both punishing for new players, and you don’t really get new cards for playing them (unless you rise in rank, which newbies won’t).
    Right now, Constructed tournaments are basically unused real estate — nobody plays them unless 1) they don’t know any better, or 2) they really need 7,500 silver and they want to take a tier-1 deck and stomp a n00b. So let’s rework them to become a safe(r) space for new players to play constructed. First, instead of 1 ticket for 1 game, make them 3 tickets for 4 games (guaranteed, like a WW). Instead of paying out in silver, have them pay out in packs and tickets and a guaranteed random Heroic+ (to match draft) — and another random Heroic+ (NOT legendary) for 4-0. Established players have no need for packs or Heroics except for scrap, and they’ll stay away and save their tickets for draft. For new players, packs are FAR more valuable than silver, and Heroics are the core of newbie decks. Getting single Legendaries is the #1 priority for established players but it’s not that important to a newbie — I knew I was never going to get a playset any time soon, so winning a single Ice Grasp in my first 4-0 WW draft felt like a letdown. I’d rather have had the two packs for 3-1. (Let that sink in for a second — I had no idea Ice Grasp was a good card, and anyways I had no deck to put it in.) Meanwhile, opening a second Dysian Broodqueen and a third Spring Dryad in the same pack felt really exciting!
    In addition to a newbie-friendly payout, I recommend adding deck restrictions. I DON’T recommend doing unlegendary or unheroic, however: first of all, those metagames are not in a terribly healthy state (tip: ban Death Coil from unheroic), and second of all, most new players have at least a few Legendaries from completing the campaigns, and it would feel bad not to be able to use them. Instead, I’d look at the Pyramid format from WW — 5 legendaries, 10 heroics, and the rest rare or common. That way, players with small collections can use everything they’ve got. It might make sense to change the restrictions up periodically, so established players on new smurf accounts can’t just copy-paste their old winning decks.
    Finally, make it really clear that these tournaments are for new players/accounts (maybe even change the name to “New Player Constructed”). I understand that the constructed tournaments were cut down to avoid splitting a declining player base, but we’re talking about players who aren’t going to have a good experience in Ranked anyways.

    6. Regarding Casual, and how to make it more casual — right now, the one way we rank players is with the contructed ladder. That’s a great way to do a prize structure, but useless for actually determining playing strength (at the beginning of the month, a Gold 1 player and a Titanium top 10 player reset to the same rank, after all). A simple way to approximate _collection_ strength, at least, would be to just take the stats on how many Legendary, Heroic, Rare, and Common cards you own (which the game already collects in our profiles), calculate their scrap cost in silver, and use that as a hidden match-making rating (similar to Overwatch’s MMR) in Casual matches, Weekend Warriors, and beginner constructed tournaments. It won’t make much of a difference right now, since the player pool is small and there aren’t usually that many options for matchmaking anyways, but it would help make sure that beginners get to play other beginners more often. (Sure, you could still run into that Titanium player’s new smurf account, but at least you’d lose because of skill rather than card power.)

    The learning curve in Solforge is always going to be steep, and it’s too bad that there’s a small player base and no real casual scene to speak of, but this is an amazing game and I’d love to see new players find it easier to get started. I do want to acknowledge how well SBE and Kaelari have done with Solforge — once I got past the newbie struggles, my experience with the game has been extremely positive, I’ve loved drafting with both the old and new pools, and I think the current constructed meta is incredibly balanced, diverse, and vibrant. I hear people’s complaints about the client, but it really doesn’t affect my experience too much. (I would love an easier way to play multiple games simultaneously, however — tabs would be nice!) I hope we can actually get new players back in to keep the game going!
    I’m not sure if anyone will look at this post so I’ll re-post it in the forums.

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