2.0 Pre-Release Notes (4/6/17)

Update 4/18/17 - I mentioned before that the new update will go live this week but it has been pushed to next week (week of 4/24).  I edited below to reflect the changes.  

Hi Everyone –

Here are the Pre-Release notes for the upcoming Magic: The Gathering – Puzzle Quest v2.0 update!  We also included some early screenshots to help visualize some of the changes. Please note these screenshots and notes are not final and some things may change or be added between now and the day we launch (ETA – Week of April 24). 

New Feature: Event Decks

Event Decks are a brand new feature we are introducing to the game.

When you designate a Planeswalker to a node, you will now be asked to set an Event Deck with that node, in addition to the Planeswalker. This lets us do two things:

1 -  Match you against decks made for this event

2 - Ensure that your deck fits within the deck building restriction for the event.

That’s right - you will now only fight decks made for the current event, and no longer a random selection from your opponent’s roster. This means that in events that require playing specific creature types, for example, your opponent will have had to make the same choices you did when selecting your deck. We hope this will make these events more fair in that you will not have to fight decks that are clearly not made to fit with the requirements in mind.

New Feature: Deck Slots

You can now own multiple deck slots per Planeswalker! This long-requested feature finally makes its appearance in the game.

The multiple deck slots you can own should make playing in events a breeze - you can set a deck, then copy it for an event without having to rebuild it. Multiple decks can be saved per Planeswalker to quicken your entry into events.

You receive 1 free deck slot for each Planeswalker that you own or purchase, however if you would like to use more, then you can buy 2 extra deck slots per Planeswalker. Each of these has a specific cost - one costs 200 Mana Crystals, and the other costs 45,000 Runes, but requires the Planeswalker to be level 60.

You can buy them in any order you choose, so you have full freedom with how you access them.

New Feature: Theme Decks

Each Planeswalker now also has access to theme decks. Theme decks are special pre-built decks that you build towards - you need all the cards from a theme deck to use it. Each theme deck is built to be usable, be it in early game, mid game or late game, depending on the deck.

Themes decks are not purchasable outright - you only need to gather all the cards through card packs to complete them.

Initially, only the Kaladesh Planeswalkers have a theme deck for every stage of the game - older Planeswalkers currently only have a theme deck for the early game, featuring cards from their expansions. We will eventually fill out the decks for the older Planeswalkers, but we wanted to give all the attention to the current ones. You might have seen the contest we were running in the forums - this is what it was for!

We wanted to implement this feature as another tool to help newer players, who can feel overwhelmed and confused by the large choices they can make while building their decks. Using a theme deck will help these players in understanding the game, how it works, how card synergy works and eventually how to build around them to make awesome decks. Building custom decks can be very daunting for new players, so we wanted this to be a way to ease them into the process.

As a little bonus, whenever you complete a theme deck, you’ll get a small reward, based on the deck tier. Late-game decks will grant Mana Jewels upon completion!


New Feature: Auto-fill decks

We also added a brand new feature to the deck editor: Auto Fill! You can now tap the Auto Fill button to try and fill your deck with the best cards you own, based on your Planeswalker’s restrictions.

The goal of this feature was mainly to help newer players who have a harder time building decks - they will easily be able to play with their cards using this new feature.

Quick Battle Changes

We have removed Quick Battle and replaced it with a new daily event called Training Grounds.

The Training Grounds is a free new event that resets every day with progression rewards that will quickly grant you Mana Runes, after a low number of fights. You can still play as much as you want in it, but the progression rewards cap out and the amount of Mana Runes you will get from prolonged play will no longer be as high as they used to be. The Training Grounds fights will not feature any leaderboards or additional objectives - we want this to be a low-stress environment where you can test your decks against other opponents.

We know this change might be controversial, so we wanted to take the time to fully explain the decision.

First off, the initial intent of Quick Battle was to provide a game area where players could test out decks in a safe environment, away from the pressures of Coalition Challenges and hard PvP events. We unfortunately failed in this, and Quick Battle instead became an area where players just enter to grind out Mana Runes. Very few can reach the top, and the mode became discouraging to newer players. This change rectifies that - since rewards cap out quickly, you shouldn’t feel forced to participate in Quick Battle and there are no downsides from just playing it a bit every day to test out your new decks.

Secondly, there is a clear unbalance in Mana Runes from top players compared to new players. Newer players have a very hard time getting Mana Runes in a timely fashion, and this hurts their Planeswalker progression as they play the game. At the same time, since Quick Battle was so skewed towards the top players, those players gained a LOT of Mana Runes, which in turn made it rather useless for them. The change to the Training Grounds makes it fair for everyone - everyone can get the same amount of Mana Runes quickly every day, and as they are far more valuable in the early game, this will greatly help newer players. This unfortunately means top players will not amass as many Mana Runes as they used to, but as their coffers are already very full, we believe redistributing those Runes towards the newer players would help improve their experience more than it would the top players.

Last but not least, we are moving away from the internal technology we used for the Quick Battle. We are moving everything to our new Events technology, which is more stable and much more flexible, letting us make changes much more easily than what the old Quick Battle let us do.


Other Game Additions

We are also working hard on improving multiple aspects of the game - we wanted to give you folks a non-exhaustive list of features we have improved on to make the game better.

  • New UI for the Planeswalkers menu
  • The Planeswalkers are now viewed as a grid instead of a scrolling view.
  • When tapping on a Planeswalker, you can now see the decks you own for them, including theme decks, as well as their abilities and story in three tabs.
  • The Planeswalkers menu also features a new tab called Decks, where you can view all the decks you’ve unlocked.
  • You can now purchase a Planeswalker straight from the Planeswalker view if it is available in the Vault instead of navigating to the Vault.
  • The pre-fight Planeswalker selection screen has been improved
  • You now see objectives for the fight before entering it (no more surprises)!
  • 10 cards are now visible in the deck editor (you can now see your entire deck in it).
  • There are now confirmation prompts on every purchase button in the game.

Changelog (Planeswalkers & Cards)

We are making a change to Baral, Chief of Compliance: He now gives 4 mana to each spell in your hand at the beginning of your turn, instead of giving mana to a spell when you draw it. This change will remove the infinite cycling ability Baral has while keeping his strong affinity for spells.

We also explored removing the card draw from it, but it would change the card too much. We still want it to be a major spell driver and help you cycle your spells, and if we removed the draw it would lose a lot of it’s potential.

The card’s cost will remain unaffected.

System Improvements

Game-wide responsiveness has been improved. The game also features better memory management and there are game-wide performance upgrades, as well as faster load times.

We will keep working on the game to improve its responsiveness and improve the basic UI as time goes forward to ensure the game experience is the best it can be.

We have also greatly improved the Fabricate mechanic’s animation by removing the animated trail that ran from the support to its target. This greatly speeds up the use of Fabricate. As of now this only applies to Fabricate, but if needed we can add it to more Supports as well.

Bug Fixes

Cards, Planeswalkers & Gameplay

  • A 1 to 10 minute spell casting loop occurs when Baral, Chief of Compliance is coupled with multiple low cost spells.

UI, UX, Localization & Graphics

  • The player is unable to preview the node objectives when selecting a node in any Event.
  • Tapping on a support which is on the gem board only once does not bring its fullscreen view, supports must be selected twice each.
  • In the Activity Hub, when only 1 Special Offer is in the carousel, it cannot be purchased. Must be bought from the Vault.

*Numerous additional bug fixes also included and not listed in notes.

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