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Community Patch Preview - Week 35

After the great article that we had last week, we wanted to bring you another Community Patch Preview! This week we have Cubes, who wrote a piece last week as well, and Lamentz. Cubes wrote a great piece last week and we thought that another piece by the House Yggdrasil member would be great! Lamentz is a great and talented writer, who writes his own stories based on the Shardbound universe. So far he already has released a piece based on the Shardbound world and we highly recommend checking it out!

You can find the patch notes for week 35 here and the updated cards are found at the cards page! If you have any feedback for these series or want to write a piece next week, you can contact us on twitter at @SBUnleashed or now as well on Facebook!

Cubes

Hello I’m Cubes, and these are what I saw as relevant or exciting factors in this week’s patch:

  • Card Changes
    • Phantom Betrayer – This card isn’t quite dead. Betrayer being a huge body on such a powerful effect in the hands of an experienced player was pushing it over the top as far as cards go. Most of the people in Yggdrasil know how the fear pathing system rates routes and found that anyone with that knowledge could turn this into a tier SS card. I think the nerf is welcome and only having 4 HP won’t eliminate it from the game.
    • Ghost Blade – This card is in trouble, however. Playing ghost blade was a way to ensure your card goes two for one, even three for one and beyond when you use certain movement manipulating supporting architecture. Ghost blade would also often find its way into the enemy spawn and deny summoning as you couldn’t really deal with a six-health creature out of hand. Ghost blade now dies to Lightdancer. It dies to Sabine. I honestly see it as too fragile to warrant a spot in most of my decks anymore.
    • Petra – Charge and Poison gizmos have been removed and some gizmos you’ll never pick over flying have been added to the gizmo pool. Petra had a hero power that was very polarizing in certain scenarios. Allow me to paint you a picture.

      “She is fishing for a gizmo, what could she get… I lose with Charge gizmo? That’s okay, it’s random, right? … Seconds pass … Guess I lose.”

      Powerful in-your-face random effects are often lackluster as a gameplay experience. The subtle RNG like random tile summons on Penumbran Assassin and the like have been good examples of RNG I enjoy. In my mind, Petra’s hero power could also be design space limiting down the road as more cards are introduced. Having such a strong late game engine built in could have been an issue later. Overall, I am really liking this change.

  • Card box, currency, and crafting changes
    • Drop rates – The drops rates being altered is welcome on a basis of how opening boxes feels. I won’t comment on how I think progression will shape up as I don’t feel I have enough data to give you an opinion you deserve, however the prior rates put players in a bit of a strange scenario. Players would begin opening triple duplicate boxes more frequently than not at around 200 boxes opened, which is very early and feels very bad in the hands of a player. The rate change is exciting for progression and exciting for the longevity of enjoyment.
    • Currency and Crafting – Shardbound is now a two-currency kind of game. Chroma being the real money equivalent for boxes right now (and more down the line when other things are released) while Royal Marks are going to be your card crafting resource and is what you’ll get for disenchanting. The dusting rates have also been made more favorable. I personally like this change although I have never played a game with a dual currency system like this enough to make an informed comment on it. We still get chroma from shards for the time being so the decision for you guys must be made – burn it on boxes now, or save for those future options? I’m burning on boxes, personally.
  • Matchmaking – Putting in a matchmaking algorithm and not a ranked ladder system is encouraging exciting. I like to believe in my mind that the architecture for a ranked ladder system is on its way and/or we are testing an early iteration of the matchmaking algorithm itself. Either way it makes me all warm and fuzzy about what’s on the horizon for this game, and I can’t wait to get in queue and see if I notice a difference in who I am playing and how the matches feel. This does mean queue times will be longer for people, but I believe this is still an awesome change and will boost match quality.

Everything else in these notes are self-explanatory, bug fixes and UI changes. They included some improvements to the tutorial and added some art. These are all very welcome additions and this patch is nothing but exciting for me and I have no points of argument or contention for it. Soo excited!!!

Lamentz

Hey, I'm Lamentz, and much to my surprise, I was asked for my written feedback on this week's patch, so here goes. If Shardbound had a ranking system, I probably wouldn't be even close to the top. Regardless, I do try to approach the game from an analytical standpoint, and will be providing a "middle of the pack" perspective on things in terms of player skill.

Droprates - I have opened around 130 boxes already, and I must say that there was a definite improvement over last week. I only had three instances of getting 3 sets of duplicates, and the legendaries and rares that I got felt solid. I certainly look forward to earning new boxes now, and so far, I'm satisfied with the changes.

Currency - I thought that the one currency system was cool, but I can see the benefit of going with a tried and true method over a brand new one. My one complaint is that it's harder to craft the cards that I want now, but that will probably resolve itself with time, especially since Chroma will be exclusively spent on boxes (for now).

Speaking of crafting. I can't really say much on it since I've crafted all of one card, and to do so I had to sell a rare. What I can say, is that the one rare I did sell in addition to the Royal Marks from dupes was enough for the common I needed, and it didn't feel like a great sacrifice to do so. I'm hoping that this feel continues as I acquire more boxes, and start targeting more specific cards.

Quantum Turkey, *ahem* I mean Turnkey, looks great! I always appreciate new art additions to the game, and seeing a new sub-faction in the... flesh?... is always nice. For those unaware, Quantum Turnkey is a member of the Time Anomaly subfaction, which is associated with the Fatekeepers, or Blue faction. Time Anomalies are living blips in space-time that the Fatekeepers of the Chalora Fields have enlisted to help them in battle.

Petra's Hero Power - Gizmos took quite a hit, and I couldn't be happier. Last week, I chose to put all of my eggs in the Red basket, so I played it almost exclusively, and I have to say that a win or loss being determined by whether or not a gizmo rolled the right ability was awful for both me and my opponents. I like the concept of gizmos with different mods, but charge and poison were just a little too strong compared to the other ones. I think that increasing the pool size to 7 might be annoying, but as gizmos will have much less impact on the outcome of a game, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. I don't think that Shroud gizmos will be much of an issue, and I'll likely take the alternative ability in most cases when playing them.

Ghost Blade - I'm so glad that this card got nerfed. Auto-include cards are annoying, especially when they are also compliment existing auto-include cards such as Dancer and Shade. Ghost Blade's staying power was far too high, especially when it got to choose its picks, meaning that the enemy had to deal with it using suboptimal minions. This change shouldn't absolutely destroy its removal ability, but it will make choosing to send it into enemy territory less of a no-brainer decision.

Phantom Betrayer - Interestingly, I saw this card very few times back when we had all the cards at our disposal. I'm not sure if this increase was only brought about by the scarcity of viable cards or what, but there was more betrayal going on last week on than in 20 years of Warcraft lore. I never actually got a chance to use this card, but from the many times I was on the receiving end, I can say that the result was either losing immediately, or having to spend the next turn desperately chipping down the 7/7 that set up shop in my base. Nerfing it to 4 life is a welcome change, as it will maintain its viability as a play-maker, without also bringing more than its share of stats to the table. I could probably take or leave the 1 damage, but I don't think that Phantom Betrayer will suffer too badly as a result.

I think the rest of the changes speak for themselves, but remember to post both positive and negative feedback in Discord, and to support streamers on Twitch when you get the chance. Spiritwalk has made it abundantly clear that they want our support and I think it's only fair that we give it!

Thanks for reading my feedback, everyone! As I already said, I'm not a super hardcore player, but I do take Shardbound seriously. My main interest in the game is the world and beautiful narratives that rise from Spiritwalk's commitment to story. I know that Shardbound doesn't have a ton of story elements implemented yet, but if you are interested in reading something set in the world. I wrote a non-canon piece a few weeks ago that you may enjoy. I mainly post to the game's subreddit, and any future pieces that I write should show up there!