Producer's Letter - Big Changes to the Economy!
News // 2018-03-09
You may remember that, a few weeks ago, I made a post on the Hero Academy reddit outlining some of the critical issues that you, the community, were bringing to our attention. Since that post, we’ve released two updates that added a handful of new cards to the Vermin faction, addressed critical bugs, and made some balance changes, and polished the game overall. Now, I want to share with you some of the changes that will be coming with our update next week alongside the new Ketsali faction that we talked about earlier.
To recap some of the concerns that were mentioned previously…
- Matchmaking with opponents
- Basic packs vs premium packs
- Better community features
- Rewards for playing the game
- Too many timers in the game
Let’s dive in and see how we’re addressing those concerns. This is by no means an exhaustive list or meant to provide granular details on how systems work, but hopefully you’ll see that we are working to make things better.
Making Matchmaking Better
We’ve already shipped some improvements with the matchmaker in our last couple of updates. We modified our algorithms to expand the search parameters at a slower rate and max out at a lower overall difference between players. This will make matches take slightly longer to find, but will hopefully provide a more balanced match up of player ranks. Matchmaker is something that we’ll be constantly keeping an eye on and tweaking values as we gather more information from live games.
Card Pack Changes
In the next update, we’ve decided to go with a single card pack for direct purchase. The card pack will provide five cards with a guaranteed rare or better. Having multiple card pack types was causing some unnecessary confusion and created an indecision point where a value analysis had to be made. The goal was to provide a way for a player to get cards on a consistent basis by using game rewards, but ultimately the non-premium card pack did not feel valuable enough to most players.
You will be able to buy a single card pack using Gold or multiple card packs using Gems. All the card packs are the same and grant the same rewards regardless of the method used to purchase it. We hope that this will be more straightforward and make earning a card pack feel more rewarding.
Friends, Friendly Games, and Chat
We decided to make our social features in Hero Academy 2 more social! The first thing we needed to do was open up Friends to work outside of Facebook. You can now add a person to your friends list regardless of your Facebook association. The friends you’ve already added via Facebook will still be there on the same list under the Social page.
Now that you can have more friends, we also wanted to make it easier for you to play with them. You can now invite friends who are online, and not in a game, to a friendly match. This will put you into a duel so you can play head-to-head and see who comes out on top. Friendly matches do not give rewards but it’s always nice to remind your friends who’s boss.
In addition to new friends, we’ve also updated both Global Chat and Guild Chat. On the Guild Chat page, you can now see the roster of people in your guild alongside the ongoing chat. You can make friendly game requests and see who’s online all on the same screen.
You can also tap on a person’s avatar or name to open up the Player Profile dialog that will give you information about the player, provide some current season stats, and allow you to add them as a friend.
Rewards and Timers
One of the major changes coming in this update is an overhaul of rewards and reward systems. We wanted to make playing the game more rewarding and remove a lot of the barriers preventing you from achieving those rewards. That means removing a lot of the timers from things like the Duel Chest and Quests.
Quests have been updated to provide one new quest per day instead of three quests on individual eight-hour windows. This single quest will provide greater rewards than the previous shorter quests. Rewards are based on the difficulty of the quest. You can stack up to three quests at a time if you aren’t able to complete them that day. If you don’t want to, or can’t, do a particular quest, you can refresh one quest daily and get a new one immediately.
Duel Chests can now be completed back to back. There is no timer associated with unlocking the next Duel Chest. Rewards have been adjusted to make them consistent with what an average player can complete in a day, but those of you that are more aggressive with your play time will no longer be blocked by a timer preventing you from working towards additional rewards.
As part of the timer clean-up, we’ve also removed the Daily Gem chest. We left the Small Crate that refreshes every four hours as this already acts as a reason for you to log in each day. The rewards from the Daily Gem chest have been shifted around to other things to make playing the game more rewarding overall. This also affects video ad rewards as they have been reduced to shift more of their rewards to gameplay as well.
Last, but not least, we get to crafting. Crafting was a big point of contention that was brought up multiple times over the last couple of months since launch. In addition to the timers that made you wait for the card you wanted, the costs of crafting those cards directly was very high. Random crafting was a very cheap alternative, but many players would get caught in the loop of spending all their ink on random crafting due to the cost when it was no longer an efficient use of those Inks as they’d get far too many duplicates.
As such, we’ve gone ahead and removed random crafting while reducing the cost of direct crafting (more than half the cost of previous) and completely removing the timers from crafting. Once you’ve collected the ink you need, you can craft what you want, when you want it. No more waiting and no more confusion about what type of crafting to spend your Inks on.
We have a lot more changes coming so stick around. Be sure to check out the previous blog posts from earlier this week talking about our new neutral faction, the Ketsali. As mentioned above, the changes listed here are not the exhaustive list of changes for this update, nor are they all the changes we have planned to make the game better. Keep playing and keep providing your feedback. We’ll be listening and making changes when and where possible.
Thank you for being a part of our community,
Producer at Robot Entertainment