For those of you interested in the full detail of the most recent patch (including the comment from developer why these changes were instituted).
March 7th 2013, Version 0.77
Hello everybody, Ian here again with another patch. As always, I’ll be going over the changes in this patch!
We are adding a new card to the game: Firebolt. Firebolt is a 2 cost factionless ability card, which deals 2 damage to a character. Since we decided to add this card to the game, we discussed the ramifications to players who had already purchased packs, and turned in backer rewards. Many backers have already been given full playsets of each card, but we don’t have the ability to go back and give each players cards based on their backing levels. Additionally, this card is a “nuts and bolts” card, nothing flashy, and something we would like every player to have access to. In light of this, we’ve decided to give every player currently in the beta three free copies of Firebolt. Enjoy!
(Note: Firebolts will not be immediately given out to the public, as we sort out the logistics of distributing them)
One of the major things we’ve been looking at lately is preventing games from stalling out, whether through legitimate gameplay or players simply taking a long time. To that end, we’ve made a couple changes and additions:
In every multiplayer game now, in the top left you will see a turn timer. This timer gives 3 minutes for each turn, with an option once the count has reached low to extend the time limit. The purpose of this system is two-fold: one, we want to ensure that one player’s turn doesn’t take an obsene amount of time, frustrating the other player, and to ensure that the other player is actually at their computer, playing a game. If they aren’t, then the game will still continue. We’ll be watching to see if we need to tweak any of these numbers for a better experience.
One of the rules in place in the game (and this is common in most TCG’s) is that once a player’s deck is empty they lose 10 morale each turn, which will quickly cause them to lose. This rule ensures that every game will come to an eventual end. However, one of the options in the Trading Post was to shuffle away your hand to draw a new hand, with one less card. We were seeing games that should have come to a conclusion due to “decking out”, that would instead last indefinitely because both players would use the Trading Post to ensure their deck never lost cards. In our experience, aside from the first turn where the effect is free and serves as a “mulligan”, this option is very rarely used. Thus, we’ve decided to remove it from the Trading Post and make it into an option that is only available on the first turn, for free.
Wait, it works like that??
Many players don’t even know this, but a character ability that doesn’t have exhausting it as part of the cost can be played even if the card is exhausted. There’s two problems with this: first, many players naturally assume if a card is red it can’t be used, second, it leads to situations where a character comes in and starts using their ability without the other player being able to react or plan around it at all.
We’ve decided to add another rule to Infinity Wars: if a character (or other permanent) is exhausted, its abilities cannot be used. This does act as a bit of nerf to some cards (Secluded Researcher, Aleta the Immortal Caretaker, and Shire of Victory come to mind immediately), but we think it’s for the good of the game overall.
New game modes!
When players host a game, there are now two additional game speeds players can choose: Hyper and Epic. These are intended as fun, alternate modes for players if they wish. Hyper hypercharges the gameplay: both players draw 2 cards a turn, and gain 2 resources a turn. Epic makes each player start off with 100 health and 100 morale, and resources are no longer capped at 10. We’ll be watching to see how popular these game modes are, and based on their popularity, we may look at changing the base game.
What does Undead Minion do anyway?
Undead Minion is a keyword that is usually given to a character after it’s been raised from the dead by a Sleepers of Avarrach card, meant to show that this card is slower than normal (it’s a zombie!), and causes it to become exhausted after attacking or blocking. We’ve renamed this keyword to “Slow” to better communicate its effect, as currently players didn’t understand the drawback of the card.
The Final Countdown
On top of each deck, it now shows the amount of cards left in the deck. At the moment, the number for the opponent is inaccurate, as a result of a much deeper issue involving deck syncing. Expect this to be fixed in a future patch however.
So how have you nerfed my favourite card this patch?
Very minimal card balance changes this patch. We felt a few tokens were costing their owners too much morale when they died, so they have been turned down a bit. Varyus’s ability was a bit too costly to really use very often, so it’s been reduced by 1.
While we are keeping a close eye on morale kills, which are becoming a bit more common than we would like, Invincible Defender is definitely not part of the problem. Whereas most Unlimited characters are the lynchpins of their decks, Invincible Defender is usually left on the sidelines, so we’ve given him a bit of a buff.
General Game Changes
Fixed an issue that caused Infinity Points to give out approximately 40% of the intended amount.
In Multiplayer matches, there is now a timer which counts down each turn. Players can extend the time by clicking a button. This system is designed to ensure that turns aren’t dragged out too long, and a player that is away from the game is not able to stall the game indefinitely.
Characters (and other permanents) that are exhausted can no longer use abilities, in all cases.
Added a new card to the core set: Firebolt.
Removed the option from the Trading Post to Pay 7 and shuffle away your hand for a new one.
New optional game speeds have been implemented, to give players alternate options for how they play:
Hyper: Draw 2 cards a turn, and gain 2 resources a turn.
Epic: Starting 100 health and morale. Resources are not capped at 10.
Cards that the player can no longer afford should be properly greyed out after using a card that require a target and cost now.
“Undead Minion” has been renamed to “Slow”, to better communicate its effect on the game.
Implemented some backend features to the client to ensure a more stable connection to the server.
On top of each deck, it now shows the remaining cards in that deck.
Fixed a sync error with Rita’s sacrificing. As a result, she will no longer appear to heal before her ability has actually resolved.
Varyus’s search ability now costs 4.
Invincible Defender now causes the opponent to lose 3 morale if he lives.
All Dragon tokens have had their morale cost reduced to 8, down from 10.
Beast tokens have had their morale cost reduced to 1, down from 2.
Construct tokens have had their morale cost reduced to 1, down from 2.