Q&A w/ Oktagon - October Edition (10/31/18)

Brigby ADMINISTRATORS Posts: 7,757 Site Admin
edited November 2018 in MtGPQ News & Announcements
Hi Everyone,

Just in time for Halloween, here is the October Q&A Session with Oktagon, and get ready, because this is a doozy of a Q&A! We want to give a big thank you to the 3 designers that took the time to answer all of these questions: Alain Valchera, Matheus Funfas, and Pedro Rauiz!
Let's talk about Duel Decks. Why the dramatic change in secondary objectives and recharge times for both sides?
We had a critical issue relating to the recharge time during the first Beta. The recharge time was supposed to be about 5 hours with 2 initial charges, but a bug occurred and the cooldown was only set to 10 minutes. This seemed great for a lot of players, due to the reward accessibility. In some cases, 10 minutes isn't even enough for someone to play a whole match, so this created an "infinite" amount of charged for everyone.

Since the Zendikar vs Eldrazi was in a Beta test environment, and Duel Decks was a whole new event format, we had different elements to validate and test (most importantly, its structure and system) The PvP objectives changed, because we wanted to give players a chance to build different strategies to beat the other side without being restricted to a single card type or creature sub-type, (players were supposed to play with Eldrazi anyways for synergistic reasons) and we wanted to challenge players to build Pauper decks in a competitive event. The PvE objectives from the first Beta, on the other hand, were considered to be too easy to achieve by both the players and the internal team. So in order to increase its replayability, we changed those to something more challenging.

The rune rewards, on the other hand, were directly affected by the recharge timer, and "suffered" a significant impact when the recharge time was corrected. The crystals and jewels given at the Beta environment were supposed to be the same as the live version of the event, but we decided to reward our beta testers with a lot more, as a way to thank them for their assistance. In our haste to fix the recharge timer though, we neglected to communicate the nature of the issue which led to the misunderstanding regarding the "nerf" to the rewards. For that, we take full responsibility.

Our intention with the Duel Decks event is to turn it into the go-to method of exploring the game's previous collections that would otherwise never be in MTGPQ. So, to make it a regular format, we must closely and carefully evaluate its rewards and pacing - that's the reason we decided to make it our first Beta test.

A lot of players expressed their concerns in the forum that they had the feeling that the Oktagon team was not listening or taking their feedback and opinions seriously. This was a misunderstanding. We want to assure everyone that we're keeping an eye on player feedback, but sometimes, due to production reasons, it is difficult to immediately implement all the changes the community wants.

Now that a Beta process has been established, how do you see it benefiting the game in the future?
The Beta process is a great tool that helps evaluate new features, rewards, Planeswalkers, objectives, cards, and original content. We plan to make use of this tool whenever needed, as a way to interact with those who can provide us valuable feedback, and to test new features and/or game modes in a live but controlled environment.

What was your experience like running a Beta, and what would you change if you were to run another one in the future?
The main point we will change from this first Beta test is the communication side of things. Most Beta tests, including some famous collectible games, employ some sort of content wipe after its completion. This is done in order to avoid balance problems with the live environment.

We are not sure if this reward wipe will be applied for the next Betas, or if we will implement No-Reward Beta policy. We'd like to avoid that, as it is a way to show gratitude for those who help us in testing new features and events, but some changes will probably occur. When they do, we will be very clear about it.

Are there plans to provide mini-expansions to the other older sets, just like we've seen with Duel Decks for Battle of Zendikar?
Yes. Some of the upcoming Duel Decks (and other special sets and events) will bring content related to old sets, including the possibility to work with ones that have never been released on MTGPQ (Theros, Kamigawa, Mirrodin and Lorwyn, We're looking at all of you!)

The next one will probably be related to Innistrad somehow, as it is one of the oldest sets in the game, and there is a lot of official available Duel Decks that can fit perfectly within that dread plane.

When it comes to other events, do you plan to actually run new ones frequently enough in the future while the relevant set is still in rotation?
Yes. We're working to improve the experience of new sets by running frequent events.

Are there any plans to fix the Color Mastery system to make it more reflective of player ability and card availability?
Yes. Some features within the game, such as Player Profile and Color Mastery, will instead be directly related to the player's overall level, which will then influence the game's matchmaking and the reward system. We are also working on a new system that rewards players for mastering their favorite cards and for trying different strategies.

Are there any plans to incorporate more filters into the Card Filter feature?
Yes. This is one of the improvements we seek to implement as a quality of life change. We have designed a new card filter that will greatly improve players' current experiences finding cards. For example, if a player wants to find a green creature from any Legacy set that's a beast AND has landfall, they can type the "Beast" subtype and select the Landfall mechanic to refine the search in the best way possible. This will be implemented in a future update.

Will Elite Packs from Legacy card sets make their way back into rotation at some point?
Yes. Legacy Elite Packs will have their own special rotation.

What about crafting Masterpiece cards?
No. Masterpieces are special and unique cards that engaged players put effort into acquiring them. Due to this, they will not be able to be crafted.

Will Duel Deck cards become craftable at some point?
Not in the foreseeable future.

Are you considering the ability to target Supports on the board?
Targeting Supports is a bit complicated, because of the variety of devices that MtGPQ can be played on, each with their own screen size (which can lead to mis-clicks and frustration) Our goal to make Support destruction more effective is to create effects that aim at specific sub-types (Artifact, Enchantment, or Land) and/or Shield values ("support with the highest Shield")

Any plans to bring Slivers into the game?
Definitely! We have some intense Sliver enthusiasts on our team. Once Wizards of the Coast releases a set with these lovely creatures, we can add "All Sliver cards gain 'This card gets made' " to our dev plans.

Any news about Story Mode?
We plan to modify and expand on how Story Mode works, along with a major overhaul of the first-time user experience. We are taking a Planeswalker-centric approach to this. Keep in mind that it's still a work-in-progress, and this may change during development.

Last month you celebrated one year designing MtGPQ. What are you most proud of?
First of all, we are very proud of being able to work on a game that combines two great franchises that most of us have played many times before and are fans of.

The way we have found to express this is to always take a dedicated approach where every one of our steps is aimed to make MtGPQ better and longer lasting. During this process, we are always trying to respect both veterans and new players alike.

Finally, our team is also proud of every new set we've developed, starting with Ixalan, as it has allowed us the opportunity to learn and better understand the game as we worked through Duel Decks and into GRN. Expect us to continue improving and delivering our best content yet in 2019!
Thanks for checking out the October Edition of the Q&A w/ Oktagon. If you have questions you'd like to ask them for the November Edition, then please submit them HERE.
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