State of the Meta
In the past we showed an analysis of hero or boss balance versus their popularity. Below are graphs updated with data from this current update. As can be expected, Lavella, Korghan, and Renna are quite popular since they are basic heroes, but other combinations of similar Discipline heroes provide a bit more power, propelling the Faith, Warfare, Wizardry parties to the right on the win / loss axis. We are taking this data into consideration in re-balancing for the upcoming update.
As can be seen from the boss balance chart below, Maessna is clearly a powerful boss, but hasn't become the most popular boss like Radaghar with Pale Rider had in the past update. Our analysis shows that Caster cards give Maessna her advantage. It's possible that Adolphus, also a Caster, could become very strong if played similarly, but may be overlooked being one of the basic bosses. MechaScorpion also remains strong, but is not popular. As for the heroes, the upcoming update takes the data shown below into consideration for re-balancing the cards.
Additionally we have put together a system that, on a daily basis, automatically monitors all the cards used in Labyrinth. This monitoring system provides a huge amount of data that we are taking into account now when we rebalance cards. Because the core set is going to change fundamentally in the next update, we don't mind sharing this meta changing information right now: here is a summary of some cards you might want to play (or not play) pulled from today's card ranking.
We're hard at work on the next update, which should be dropping soon, in a week or so. Our main focus with this update has been balance, but we've also been making some significant changes to the card pool in other ways. Here is a preview of some of the upcoming changes:
In the last update, our goal was to re-establish the difference between the abilities that affect health: melee attacks, ranged attacks, and healing. The efficiency of ranged attacks and healing abilities were reduced to account for their greater flexibility. This mostly affected Heroes, which reduced their overall damage output, and as a result the balance of the game shifted in the direction of Bosses. Our data have shown that since the last update, both Heroes and Bosses were winning about 50% of the time. In another game, this might be the ideal balance, but because of the nature of Labyrinth's asymmetrical gameplay, we feel that the active human player should be winning more often that not. All things being equal, this means that the overall balance should favor Heroes. We've spent the last month doing a thorough pass on the card pool to shift things back toward the Heroes. We've also identified and corrected some outlier cards that were way above the curve in terms of power level.
We have also taken a fresh look at Perks. Our experience showed that common perks had kind of a clunky role within the card pool. Some of them were very powerful and were crafted by players early, but then those same players would later open several duplicates that were only good for Stardust. In general, it wasn't clear what made a Perk common or some other rarity. We've introduced a new keyword: Stack. Stack is always accompanied by a number. You may add a number of copies of a Perk with Stack equal to the Stack number. From now on, common Perks will generally have Stack. Higher rarities may also have Stack, but its main home is common. To go with the new keyword, we've designed a new suite of Perks at common. Most of these new cards modify specific spells. Our intent is evoke the feel of adventurers leveling up their key skills and abilities. Perks that affect the whole deck have been shifted to higher rarities, which is a better place for powerful, "build-around" cards. The big-picture goal is to make common Perks more collectible, and have their own role within the design.
Basic Card Pool
We've also made a significant number of changes to the basic (free) cards. Our intent is to further simplify the cards that players are first exposed to in order to reduce the complexity of the game in the first several hours of play. Some of the staples have been moved from basic to common, and simpler versions have taken their place at basic. Other staples have been kept at common in a simplified form, but may be modified with Perks to regain their original complexity (and sometimes gain new power.) These changes should help new players understand the game a bit better, and grow into the complexity of the game over a longer period.
New Features and Content
There will be a new boss and we will introduce a hero skin too. Plus other additions...
Future Hero/Boss Price Change
Thank you to everyone who purchased one of the new heroes or bosses. We appreciate your supporting Labyrinth development while it is in Early Access. In order to run Labyrinth as a free to play game that can sustain its operating costs and better cover the cost of development for a given hero or boss and their associated level-up cards, we will be increasing both the cash and Gold prices of the non-basic heroes and bosses in the patch after this one. We want to give players advanced warning so that they can buy any hero or boss at the lower price right now if they should so desire. Heroes and Bosses will still be purchasable with Gold.
There was a bug in the calculation for Stardust that was refunded after the account reset in the last update. We said that we will be fixing affected players, but have not had the time to complete the calculation. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Codes for some of the Backer rewards, those mentioned previously, have not yet been distributed due to time constraints working on other aspects of Labyrinth. It is in the works. Sorry for the inconvenience with this too.
The Engineering Team worked on perk stacking; purchasing and switching skins for heroes and bosses; tutorial data progression data moved to server; added partial Victories; daily gold cap; Hero/Boss shop card preview; raid limit display, raid credit display; Discipline packs; season reward dialog and info; ranked crowns; Steam DLC.
The Art Team worked on the Blade Master Skin; a Spirit Beast Boss concept; Skinned Death's Harvester and Celestial Giant; completed Celestial Giant; made backs for Shadow boss, Renna, and Fayden.
The Audio Team worked on sounds for minions; traps; planning for Heroes' sounds; added missing sounds; preparation for Voice Over.
The Design Team worked on new beast, caster defense cards; made card revisions to sorcerer, celestial, elemental, giant defense, mechanic, spirit cards; card balance pass; blast vs ranged mods; card display cleanup; finished celestial giant; formalized adventure mode spec; automated Meta and card analytic monitoring.