Matchmaking & Leagues
After closely reviewing the gameplay during the first season, it's clear that some changes to the matchmaking system are necessary. The hope was that the current system, which matches just based on players' ratings, would naturally sort and match players with similar level cards after some time.
While that has happened for the most part, there are still a significant number of cases where a player with very high level cards has a low rating and gets matched against players with much lower level cards. That does not provide a fun experience for anyone.
To address this issue, starting in Season 2 we will be implementing a system where players must earn the ability to use higher level cards by increasing their rating through gameplay. Each League (Novice, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond, and Champion) will have a limitation on the max level of cards that can be used by players in that league. The details are as follows:
- Novice League (0 - 99 rating)
- All Summoners & Monsters have a max level of 1
- Bronze League (100 - 999 rating)
- Max Common Summoner Level: 3
- Max Rare Summoner Level: 2
- Max Epic Summoner Level: 2
- Max Legendary Summoner Level: 1
- Silver League (1000 - 1899 rating)
- Max Common Summoner Level: 5
- Max Rare Summoner Level: 4
- Max Epic Summoner Level: 3
- Max Legendary Summoner Level: 2
- Gold League (1900 - 2799 rating)
- Max Common Summoner Level: 8
- Max Rare Summoner Level: 6
- Max Epic Summoner Level: 5
- Max Legendary Summoner Level: 3
- Diamond & Champion Leagues (2800+ rating)
- No limit
Please note that if you have cards that are higher level than the limit based on your league, you may still use them in battles; however, their level will be reduced to the max allowed as listed above. This works in the same way as how Monster card levels are currently limited by the level of the Summoner used.
To take an example, if a player with all max level cards is just playing for the first time and is in Novice League with a rating of 0, their cards will all be level 1 in their battles. As soon as they reach Bronze league, then the level of their Summoners will be limited as listed above, and the level of their Monsters will be limited by the Summoner level as indicated in the card stats based on the rarity of the Summoner chosen.
As soon as a player reaches the next league, the next level of cards will be unlocked and remain unlocked for the remainder of the current season, even if the player falls in rating back into the previous league.
Lastly, the matchmaking algorithm will be adjusted to only match up players currently in the same league as each other.
We are aware that there are currently no Common rarity Summoners in the game; however, we still thought their level limits should be listed here as some may be added to the game in the future.
We know that was a lot to digest, but the concept is pretty simple - we limit the level of cards that may be used in each league to help ensure that players do not get matched against opponents with significantly higher level cards. This concept is similar to that used in games like Clash Royale where you unlock new cards that can be used as you move up the ladder. Here, instead of unlocking new cards, you unlock the ability to use your cards at higher levels.
Further Rewarding League Play
We'll be awarding 300 SBD for the top ten players this season as well as the pack rewards. We're grateful to have so many people playing and we want to make sure you're all fighting for the highest position possible.
1st - 100 SBD
2nd - 70 SBD
3rd - 40 SBD
4th - 25 SBD
5th - 15 SBD
6-10th - 10 SBD each
As we have stated numerous times, the first couple of months after the game's launch will involve some regular balance changes via adjustments to card stats, abilities, and gameplay mechanics. After the first couple of months, we will try to avoid adjusting any cards going forward; however, the balance and fun of the game is our top priority and we will make adjustments at any time if something is clearly causing a negative gameplay experience.
The following is the first round of changes that we are planning to implement at the end of the first season of live play in a few days. These changes came from some analysis of the over 100,000 Steem Monsters games played to date, in addition to feedback from the player community (which we greatly appreciate).
- Weakness - We plan to remove the Melee attack debuff portion, so it will only reduce the Health of enemy Monsters by 1 point. This was too powerful, particularly at lower levels and combined with Zintar Mortalis as the Summoner.
Magic attack Monsters, combined with Alric as the Summoner, were far too overpowered at lower levels of play. We hope that making the Medusa and Mischievous Mermaid cards a little easier to kill will help address that:
- Medusa - Reduce health, particularly at lower levels.
- Mischievous Mermaid - Reduce health, particularly at lower levels.
The Spirit of the Forest is a bit TOO legendary and completely shuts down enemy teams in certain situations.
- Spirit of the Forest - Remove the Dodge ability so it will be a bit easier to hit.
The poor Cyclops is in need of a little love. He is always picked last for the Steem Monster Team in gym class...and then he throws a giant rock at your head. Hopefully this change will give him a home in some Teams going forward.
- Cyclops - Add Shield ability and adjusted some other stats to compensate.
The tanking options in the Life Splinter were lacking, so we're planning to beef them up a bit.
- Silvershield Knight - Increase Health and decrease Melee attack.
- Silvershield Paladin - Increase Health and decrease Melee attack.
The Lord of Darkness wasn't quite as Legendary as he should be...Gandalf shouldn't be able to beat him that easily!
- Lord of Darkness - Increased health as he increases in level.
A number of people pointed out that a few cards had no stat increases between certain levels. This was an oversight on our part, so the cards will be slightly adjusted to ensure that each additional level brings some added benefit.
- Golblin Sorcerer - Increase the speed at some levels so that it has a stat increase at each level.
- Swamp Thing - Adjust health so that it has a stat increase at each level.
- Enchanted Pixie - Decrease Speed by 1 at Level 6 so that it has a stat increase at each level.
Thanks For A Great First Season!
We want to thank all of our players and supporters who have contributed so much to the game so far. The first season was really just about getting the game out there and making sure the technology and blockchain integration works on a larger scale. It was all the more interesting releasing this so soon after HF20, but despite that, for the most part it has gone off without a hitch!
We hope that the changes above will make the game a bit more balanced at all levels of play, however we will continue to analyze the games and listen to player feedback and make additional adjustments as necessary.
Also adding to the changes are the Kickstarter and Fundition exclusive cards which will be released to our backers within the next few days. The goal is that those cards will be competitive and fun to play, but not over-powered, so we will be keeping a close eye on them as well as they start to enter the battlefield.
Lastly, from a development standpoint, now that the game is up and running and working nicely, our focus is shifting to rewarding our players! We recently released Leagues which offer increasing rewards based on the highest rating achieved by each player at the end of each season, as well as daily quests which allow players to earn a free pack each day! Finally, we're working on Tournaments, which will add thousands of dollars worth of rewards to our most skilled players at all levels every week!
Thank you again for your support, and we look forward to seeing you on the battlefield!
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