PVE Updates – Doombringer Edition

Mar 7, 2018

Hey, everyone! This is Jared Saramago from the HEX R&D team. Today, I’d like to tell you about the upcoming changes to PVE content and rewards which we have planned to coincide with the release for our next set, Doombringer. Alright, let’s dive right in!

Step Into The Arena

With the release of Doombringer, you will find that the Frost Ring Arena has undergone several updates of note. First, there are several new champions waiting to be discovered and battled. These new champions are all themed around the major teams and mechanics of the Frostheart, Dead of Winter, and Doombringer sets.

Let’s take a sneak peek at one of these new adversaries. He’s one of the Blightbark Court’s loyal, but deadly, servants: Violet’s Attendant. Check him out.

Violet’s Attendant

As you can imagine, his deck is chock-full of yummy Deathcry troops for him to reanimate and devour over-and-over again! Whenever one of his troops bites the dust it pleases his mistress, Lady Violet, who rewards him by putting a Violet’s Caress into his deck. Once he gets going, his combination of value-centric Deathcry troops and the potential to drain out your health is a potent challenge for you to deal with.

I won’t spoil all of the other new Frost Ring champions here, but I’ll just say that there are 8 new opponents to contend with… including a menacing new Boss tier champion!

The Balance of Power

Since our last updates to the Arena, we’ve collected lots of data and feedback on the challenges presented by the various enemy decks. Our internal metrics revealed that there were a handful of encounters that players struggled with more than any others. This lined-up with a lot of the feedback we had from you guys about which encounters you thought were difficult or frustrating.

These champions were either doing things drastically more powerful than their counterparts or they were posing very narrow challenges that simply shut down too wide a variety of potential player decks. It was obvious that we needed to make some adjustments, so you’ll see that several encounters have been tuned-down to be more in line with the challenge of other fights in the Arena, either through changes to the troublesome champions’ decks, powers, passive abilities, or all-of-the-above.

The main encounters in question were Hogarth, Archon of Nulzann, Avalanche Giant, and Burly Botanist. I won’t go through all the individual changes here, but let’s take a quick look at one of the adjustments, a change to Burly Botanist:

Old Passive – At the start of the game, transform each opposing artifact and constant in all zones into Dreadlings.

New Passive – At the start of your turn, summon two Dreadlings for each opposing artifact and constant.

Burly Botanist

While Burly Botanist is still a challenging opponent for those of you who rely solely on an abundance of artifacts or constants in your decks, he will no longer shut off those strategies entirely. His new design will allow you to make the decision of which artifacts/constants are still worth playing at the expense of fueling his passive power.

In addition to the four champions called out above, we made some smaller tweaks to other champion decks that were not as dramatic. Likewise, after evaluating which champions were overperforming, we found a handful of enemies that were not posing much of a challenge at all. We targeted four of the least challenging opponents and tuned up their difficulty a fair bit. Those champions are Eurig, Lanupaw, Princess Cory, and His Majesty, King Gabriel.

Obviously, an encounter like Princess Cory is not intended to be the most face-meltingly powerful challenge in the Arena. Most of the deck’s charm comes from the whacky chaos and randomness that it enables, so we wanted to help Princess Cory survive long enough to be able to pull of some of those shenanigans without having to overhaul his theme. Therefore, Princess Cory will now start the game with Timophy the Turtle in play. This is just an example of one of the tweaks we made to help some of these underperforming encounters.

We’re going to continue playing, gathering feedback, and crunching the numbers going forward, so you can expect more tweaks in the future if things still feel a little out of whack. That said, we believe that these changes will help smooth out the challenges posed by each champion for a more consistent and enjoyable experience.

Need more Shiny Stuff

So, we updated and added a bunch of new Arena content to discover…. Cool! But did we just stop there? Nope, nope… that’s not our style. We also spiced up the Arena’s rewards! Not only did we drop some new ‘phat lewt’ to collect (new PVE cards and equipment), but also did a bit of a revamp to the systems that distribute said loot.

I’m not going to get into all the nitty-gritty details, but here is a quick breakdown of what’s happening to the Frost Ring loot:

  • 15 awesome new PVE cards to collect
  • 45+ new equipment for PVE cards
  • 30+ new equipment for PVP cards
  • Gold rewards have been increased for each tier (Roughly a 20% increase across the board)
  • Loot tables redistributed to increase chances of earning older cards, while still maintaining a high chance to earn the newest cards and equipment

We feel that these adjustments will make earning cards in the Arena exciting for both veterans and newcomers alike, and that the whole Frost Ring experience will feel more rewarding and satisfying in the long term as well.

Oh, and since I mentioned new PVE cards to collect… how about another preview?

Brewed Ambrosia

Wow! A legendary PVE resource… this tea’s got some kick!

Many of you have been vocal about wanting to see specific types of cards show up as PVE rewards, and several of these cards were designed based on your requests! As a final small rewards teaser, you might also see some reward cards featuring frequent requests like the return of the Armor mechanic, a design using the Death Sentence keyword, and some designs for less common ‘tribal’ sub-types like Dragons and Wormoids.  We hope you guys are excited to see some of your wishes fulfilled here, but keep sending in those ideas and suggestions… you never know if they’ll be used in the future!

Catch-Up for Campaign Rewards

The last bit of PVE news we have for you is that we updated the contents of the Howling Plains (AZ 1) and Alachian Sea (AZ 2) booster packs. We examined the contents of these packs to evaluate the rewards that new campaign players were receiving and felt that we needed to make some quick updates for the sake of those players. Starting with the launch of Doombringer, the Howling Plains and Alachian Sea packs will now contain a wider assortment of common PvP cards, with over 75 card additions from sets all the way through Dead of Winter.

In addition to an updated card pool, we have also added 14 new pieces of PVE equipment to the campaign reward pools (7 come from each of the two packs). Many players in the community requested that we flesh out more equipment for some of the PVE cards that were previously lacking in that department. These equipment were designed with that request in mind, filling in those blanks while also enabling some new PVE deck strategies. Let’s get a quick preview of one of those new equipment designs, shall we?

Hardshell Handlers

We recognize that these reward adjustments are fairly minor changes in the grand scheme of things, but we hope that these changes will have a positive impact for new players struggling to earn those newer PVP staple cards. Furthermore, this new equipment should help to fill in some of the gaps that had previously existed and provide exciting upgrades for some easily accessible cards.

That’s it for this update. I hope you are all as excited as we are to see all these new PVE content challenges and rewards, coming to you soon with our Doombringer launch patch. Until next time!

HEXSirSleepy | Jared Saramago

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