Solforge May Community Update

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Hello Solforge fans! It is time for another community article and I am very excited to share with you the plans for SolForge this year.   There is a lot to cover so lets jump right into it:

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The final chapter of the saga that began with the initial release of Reign of Varna is coming this month.  Four cards including Varna himself will be released, including brand new missions that will allow you to earn some of the new cards.  These missions help conclude the first major story arc of our campaign, with the recovery of the fabled Herald artifacts serving as a prelude to a more sinister force working behind the scenes.  These missions will be unlockable with silver or gold, even if you haven’t completed the earlier missions in the series. And of course, with a new release comes my favorite part of the design and development process- Previews!  Since we only have 4 cards this time, there won’t be as many previews this month, but I am lucky enough to get to show off the first one:  Dragonwake!

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Dragonwake is a legendary spell that supports my personal favorite creature type.  It’s particularly useful with dragons that have powerful enters play events (and the currently underutilized Doomwing, Dire Drake), Dragonwake is the first spell in the game that lets you choose and search for a card in your deck.  The level 3 version of the card is incredibly powerful, giving you an aggressive dragon of your choice.  Beyond that, the spell allows you to search for level 2 dragons even in the level 1 version of the card, making it a powerful under level play if needed. Players have been anxiously awaiting the release of the Nekrium patriarch, but for now, check out his awesome art. Think you know what he’s going to do? Post it in the comments and we’ll see how close you guys get to the final card! King Varna

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SolForge has come a long way since our initial Kickstarter.  We have released over 500 cards.  We added numerous features including tournaments, sharing, and campaign mode.  We launched the beta on iOS, PC, and Android, and we were the first major Digital Trading Card Game to release on mobile phones.  All of this exists because of you, the players, and those who believed in the shared vision of SolForge since the original Kickstarter. With all that being said, we still have a lot of work left to do.  The Stone Blade team is working on adding an in-game ladder system (inspired in by the awesome community on SolForgeLadder.com) and we are continuing to work on a complete UI overhaul to make the game faster, less buggy, more intuitive, and more appealing to a wider audience.  As part of our approach to accomplish these goals, we have brought in a fantastic team of engineers to rebuild our client codebase as one unified platform.  This will provide an ideal foundation which will make it much easier to expand the game and grow for years to come. We are targeting a Fall launch that will serve as the official release of SolForge (no more early access / beta).  As with all projected release dates, please understand that this timeframe is our goal and is still tentative if development moves slower than anticipated.  In between now and then, we will continue to release new cards and monitor the environment to make sure the game and community are running smoothly, but we will not be adding any new features until the rebuild is ready.  Our  goal at Stone Blade is to be transparent with you throughout the process and share new screens and updates whenever possible.  I hope that you are as excited as I am about the full realization of the dream we have worked so hard to bring to life over the last 3 years. As a small teaser, here is one of the UI screen mockups we have been working on with the new team. This is just a color palette test and still a work in progress, so let us know what you think in the comments! SolForge_StoreV2

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We are continuing to experiment with different methods and rates of releasing cards to see what works best to keep the game fresh and exciting without feeling overwhelming to players.  The next and final release in the Reign of Varna series will be our smallest release of new content to date and will be the first time new content is available from completing missions. Our release cycle between now and the full game launch is still in flux, but we are already hard at work on the next big release targeted for sometime this Summer.  This release will be the same size as the initial Reign of Varna release as we received great feedback on the reduced set size overall.

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This is going to be the most exciting year for SolForge yet, and we can’t wait to share it with you! We are a very small company and running a project the size of SolForge isn’t easy, but your enthusiasm and support make it all worth it. While I can’t always answer all the questions you have, we will have more regular communication with the community to keep you informed and get your feedback on the game as it develops. Leave your comments / questions in the forums and I’ll do my best to answer them. We’re also planning to schedule a Reddit AMA for sometime before the next major card release. Thanks again for all of your support, loyalty and for giving us the privilege of making the games we all want to play! Justin Gary CEO Stone Blade Entertainment

38 Comments

  1. The Average Guy

    THAT’S the guy who told Cercee “you must meet with the other Forgeborn at the Solforge to save Solis”? He looks like he’s the one who’s killing the damn planet.

    Also, note that Dragonwake does not mention that the card you tutor levels up when you play it. Keep that in mind when evaluating the card.

    1. The Average Guy

      (Unless, of course, it DOES level it, since it doesn’t say “place a copy of it etc. etc.” like the Leylines. Think we can get clarification on that, just to be sure?)

      1. bennybeatdowns

        Sorry, out of date text was on the card. It should read “put a copy of it into” and I have updated the image. Good catch, thank you.

        It does not remove the Dragon from your deck.

  2. OhRats

    This is all outstanding news!!!

    Justin, if you don’t mind chiming in on this delicate topic, I’d love to hear your take on what it’s like from the inside when the community gets as critical as it has been recently. From the outside, it feels to me like this update and previews show that you have been carefully listening to the more serious points being raised by players, and that those points led to exciting and constructive steps on your end. (The patch for set 5.0 gave me the exact same impression.) So I’m inclined to think that our often harsh and loud criticisms have a constructive impact on the game and on communication between you guys and the player base. But I’d really like to hear about your side of the coin.

    Again this is exciting news! Keep up the outstanding work!

    1. OhRats

      Err I should have directed my question at Ben (and any other SBE employee who would like to chime in) as well! I really appreciate hearing your thoughts on such issues!

    2. Justin Gary Post author

      We are always happy to receive feedback from players and we are listening. We encourage people to be constructive and respectful in their comments, but criticisms are how we learn and grow and are always welcome.

  3. KonanTheBarbar

    I think this is really great news – I really look forward to a new game engine which supports all 3 platforms inherently. Also the news about a ladder system is great! I hope you have hired Kaelari for that job already ;-)
    About the color platte – please remove the orange and replace it with the Solforge red that you also use for the homepage and the current client – that just fits way better.

  4. sweatlodge

    Thanks for the update!

    I’m also really looking forward to the client update, very exciting news. Keep up the great work, thanks for the transparency.

  5. wytefang

    I’m very excited about all the great news.

    My biggest concern is a UI that can be resized and adjusted and which (most importantly) allows for high-resolution since that’s a strength of the PC). I can’t wait for a slick, sharp-looking UI for us PC gamers. WOOT!

  6. Volterock

    This is exciting news! I’m really excited about the ladder system as well!
    I would love more goals for continued casual play. Perhaps this can even be unlocked later… an “unlock your stats” feature showing how many games have been won in all, which of your decks has the highest win ratio, who your greatest challenger is…
    Any improvement on collection organization would be awesome as well. Maybe include auto-organization buttons…
    One button could auto-organize our decks putting the most played at the top for casual play, then for tournaments, etc. before picking a deck to play.
    A “favorites” button for our collection where we could add our favorite cards to refer to later in addition to the other organizational buttons already in existend: set, card types, etc.

    Also, I agree with KonanTheBarbar on the color platte and keeping red.

    My guess for the Nekrium Patriarch: While the Nekrium patriarch is in play, no cards in play can die…
    or, maybe all cards in play will resurrect once after death?

    1. Zok72

      Given that Varna isn’t a forgeborn (as he told Cercee to go work with the other forgeborn and didn’t go himself) he will likely have only three levels. Similarly, with the exception of Xrath, most of the more powerful nekrium individuals have not been zombies themselves. That said, I am suuuuuuper hyped about him and I’m guessing he’ll have some sort of reanimation power (or possibly zombies, or both). My guess for his power is that every other creature you control is returned to the battlefield when it is destroyed (oh god combo with ambriel’s edict, I so hope this is true).

  7. MEGAPAPE

    Hello,

    Thx for the update. Very excited by the changes to come ! I truely wish you all the success for the future, as you have created a very smooth game, being also kind with the community of players.

    I noticed in the preview screen shot that prices are cut by half :-)

    Besides, I am wondering wether you will considerate on translating the cards for non english players (specially as you seem to have audience in Europe – me included). Also as you are building your future plateform, you might even extend the concept by having games, in which, cards are translated in selected language for both players. For instance: Imaging an English and a Spanish person playing together, seeing all the cards on the table in their own languages. That would be very cool, also extending you potential customers, internationally….

    Cheers

  8. Zaken

    He looks more like a mage type of guy. So probably low attack and higher health. With the skulls and everything, i’d say he’s a forgebourn necromancer with some kind of ability to reanimate the dead.

  9. TheFluffer

    My guess would be a 4/7 (at Lvl1 getting +2/+3 each level) with the ability:
    Lvl 1
    Blank
    Lvl2
    Activate: Target a Lvl1 creature an opponent controls, destroy it. Put a copy of the creature into play under your control
    Lvl3
    Activate: Target a Lvl2 or lower creature an opponent controls, destroy it. Put a copy of the creature into play under your control
    Lvl4
    Activate: Target a creature an opponent controls, destroy it. Put a copy of the creature into play under your control

  10. omninmo

    So excited to hear about the UI overhaul. This is the single biggest obstacle in SF right now. Also, please include an OSX client at full release or soon after or tell us that it is on the roadmap at some point. The game is made in unity, right? So there should be no issues.

  11. TheGentleman

    Maybe his card will be a little more story-ish. Like his first level or two he’s got defender as his statuesque form bides it’s time collecting the power he’s needed over the countless years. And in his final levels he’s a giant of a creature now ready to take the world that “rightfully belongs to him”. Maybe he gives all creatures deathtouch a level lower (at his rank 2, all creatures get rank 1 deathtouch).

  12. quietlife

    No way. Varna will have 3 levels: level 3, level 4, level 5.
    He doesn’t show up until things gets real. Going off of Cercee, his ability will be YOU gain the ability any – creature that damages you dies and a copy is summoned to your side. And he plays to the hidden “sixth” lane
    Just wild speculation :)

  13. OmegasisX

    Wow! THIS is the kind of news we Solforge players have been waiting for. This definitely makkes me even more excited about playing Solforge because now we havve something to REALLY look forward to.

    That said, I really like the new pallete design for the menu screens. I think the colors may be a little bright (mainly the light blue aspect), but that’s just because I have been used to looking at dark blue everywhere in Solforge. I also look forward to playing against a computer that is difficult to beat once again. I like a good challenge.

    Dragonwake is definitely a very useful card, and will become even more useful as more dragons are added to the Solforge card sets. I also agree with Zok72 up above that Varna’s effect will most likely be, “At the end of each turn, put a copy of each _corresponding level_ creature that died this turn into the lane it died in.” It may even be better if King Varna himself was soft level-gated so he could still function as an underdrop and reign supreme as the god king he is.

    Thank you for this update Justin! This is the kind of PR that earns you not only respect with the community for showing them you listen to their feedback, but bonus points as well for going above and beyond what may or may not have been expected. To Solforge!!! (Cheers) =)

    1. OmegasisX

      For Varna’s effect, it should read, “At the end of each turn, put a copy of each _corresponding level_ creature you control that died this turn into the lane it died in.” Not looking to help your opponent out on this one.

      But also, I’m not sure it would be reasonable to expect this to be the case for his effect as this would be on a GOD tier, above legendary (Varna’s Pact and Immortal Echoes bring back only a few creatures at a time, all at random). But, we shall see!

  14. TBode594

    My one real question is if we are ever going to get the fully fleshed out single player campaign we were promised, or if it will forever be a list of missions.

  15. Berr

    Any option to turn off the music on iOS yet? I virtually stopped playing about a year ago out of frustration that this obvious and standard feature was not being added to the game (and also being sick of listening to the one short track that loops endlessly.)

  16. Kindulas

    Looks like Genzomen got the honor of Varna. I really thought he’d be more of the ‘cloaked, mysterious monarch who’s face was never seen’ rather than full on evil warlord. Anyhow, great news.

  17. DoctorWho

    The things I’d most like to see are:

    Faster gameplay, loading decks, displaying rewards, etc.
    Less network usage
    A stronger AI. Computer Hard should be renamed Computer Easy.
    Message friends from iPad/iPhone
    Mac client

    Good to see at least 2 of those mentioned.

  18. aristalis

    I think he’d be awesome as another changeling and forgeborn, banishing a random card from target player’s deck and levelling it into your hand, where if you play it he levels up, with overload. Death with killion.

  19. pkedu

    Am I the only one that noticed that they have 420 tickets in the new layout preview? Kind of an odd random number :) I think the new coder team is smokin up!!

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