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Aza404
08-28-2013, 01:56 PM
Brought to you by Dev_SimonV

Academy Background

Years ago, a fringe group of mages wanted to push the boundaries of their magical research beyond the moral constraints set by the Holy Empire. In a way, you could say they were the scientists of Ashan. Their first major creations were the orcs and the beastmen, who were quickly recruited to help fight the demons that had escaped Sheogh.
The war was won, but shortly afterwards the Orcs rebelled against their masters and broke away to form their own tribes. Undeterred, the mages merely turned their attention to new areas of research.


The Seven Cities, home of the mages, were divided in 4 houses:


House Chimera, responsible for creating the orcs and beastmen
House Eterna, the Necromancers who split away to form the Necropolis faction
House Anima, the summoners, binder of spirits, and elementalists
House Materia, the Alchemists, those who crafted the Titans, constructs and gargoyles.

.
Of course, House Eterna isn’t represented in our Academy cards, so I’m going to talk about the 3 other Houses and how we approached their gameplay.



Academy Gameplay

House Chimera
I’ll start with House Chimera. During our storyline, House Chimera is still recovering from the Orc rebellion. The Rakshasas are their fiercest creation to date; agile, strong, and loyal above all.


http://static2.cdn.ubi.com/F2P/MMDOC/Gameplay_article/S03_Cre_Aca_017_resized.png


Evade is the mechanic we gave the Rakshasas to represent their agility. They’re great fighters, and adaptable in combat. Whenever they are attacked by a melee or flyer, if there is a free adjacent position on the same line, they will prevent the attack damage and move to that position. If both positions are free, there is a random chance they will move up or down. They can only Evade once per turn. These guys can really screw up your opponent’s plans, but it’s also hard for you to control them.
To complement these guys, there are the Dervish Dancers. All Dervish have the Range Reflect X ability, which redirects X combat damage from a shooter enemy back to that enemy.


So your Rakshasas will deal with the melees and flyers, while the Dervish can handle the shooters!

House Anima
Let’s move one to the next House: Anima
These mages like to deal with powerful spirits and bind them to their will. Djinns are not always interested in helping mages and certainly not happy to be enslaved. Some are more helpful then others though.


http://static2.cdn.ubi.com/F2P/MMDOC/Gameplay_article/S03_Cre_Aca_025_resized.png


We represent this conflict by balancing the benefits of most Djinns with clear drawbacks. You may find a Djinn with a lot of firepower and a low resource cost, but if not played well, that Djinn can also deal damage to your Hero. The cheaper Djinns aren’t necessarily rush creatures, but they will certainly help you get more stats on the board.
Other Djinns have no drawbacks and are mainly there to support your spells. Like Nur, a new Unique card with Magic Channel 3 (among other things)!


House Materia
Last but not least is House Materia.
They like to build big things. Let’s start with the smaller ones first, and save the big guns for last.


The gargoyles are Academy’s tanks. They have more health points and usually no attack. Being built for defense, it only makes sense that they get Magic Resist, or better yet: Magic Guard!

Next, we have the Constructs. They usually have very specific purposes. Some fight, some are there to boost your spells. They’re very versatile.
And then we have the Titans.


http://static2.cdn.ubi.com/F2P/MMDOC/Gameplay_article/S03_Cre_Aca_018_resized.png


They all have Shockwave X, which is a new blast ability. They can attack empty tiles to deal X damage to all enemy creatures adjacent to that tile.



Make sure to check out Part 2 of Academy’s reveal coming in the next few days!

By Dev_SimonV

Heroesfan123
08-28-2013, 02:18 PM
Too little too late to draw me back in. Points for effort, but not too many, mind You.

DinstanoMESO
08-28-2013, 02:34 PM
Yeah, because it's all about you here.

Aza404
08-28-2013, 02:36 PM
Too little too late to draw me back in. Points for effort, but not too many, mind You.

Haha x)
We have loads coming in the next few weeks! Still lots to look forwards to :)

iceblaze9320
08-28-2013, 02:36 PM
House Materia for me!

Banehollow89
08-28-2013, 02:39 PM
To be honest I didn't expect this, so color me impressed! I really like that you are getting away from the "standard" factions, I really like everything you told us here. Still, I am not big fan of Academy myself, so I am more interested in what new stuff will Necro, Inferno and Stronghold get. :P

Great informative post, nonetheless! :)

hubin23
08-28-2013, 02:45 PM
I am really impressed to see so many new game mechanics.

Looking forward for more! :)

VampFury
08-28-2013, 02:54 PM
Flavor-wise this looks nice and interesting. It is really good to see Academy flavor from Heroes serial get in DoC. Good job!

But as a gamer and someone who loves competition I must fear for balance as more factions are coming out. We already have five, this is sixth and I think you are planing to get more factions out in the future.

If you plan to keep this game competitive and 'e-sport like' game with tournaments keep in mind you need to get balance in check, and it is getting harder with every faction that comes out.

All in all, maybe I am a bit more concerned than I should be. For now game has no major balance issues... need few tweaks here and there ;)

Can't wait to see Academy in action and I hope for the best :) Also want to mention that I like this game a lot ^^

kirnon
08-28-2013, 02:59 PM
I too am pleased with this preview. This has info and backstory (which has really been lacking before this) and art. Very pleased.

Keep up this level of content.

Aza404
08-28-2013, 03:03 PM
If you plan to keep this game competitive and 'e-sport like' game with tournaments keep in mind you need to get balance in check, and it is getting harder with every faction that comes out.

Just to clarify: every expansion that comes with a new faction will also come with additional cards for the other factions as well, thus keeping the balance between factions as much as possible on the same level!

Hope this helps ;)
Aza

ulpsz
08-28-2013, 03:14 PM
if there won't be a rakshasha with SWEEP ATTACK - than ubi desighners are really lazy

Hydroopl
08-28-2013, 03:55 PM
if there won't be a rakshasha with SWEEP ATTACK - than ubi desighners are really lazy
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0z3UPWcIAIc/UVH8DSuPZeI/AAAAAAAAAro/9o-eOTpDBwo/s320/gtfo.png

Alir95
08-28-2013, 04:01 PM
Greatt post ^^ anyone could tell me where in might and Magic history the events from Duel take place?

Alir95
08-28-2013, 04:04 PM
if there won't be a rakshasha with SWEEP ATTACK - than ubi desighners are really lazy

I think he would have sweep or why in the art he hand 4 hands

Maty4778
08-28-2013, 04:32 PM
Think this is a great update. Acadamy sounds sweet and the spoiler art is beautiful.

However the spoiler I'm dying to hear is any news on single acquisition. Anything you can share Aza?

svilleneuve
08-28-2013, 04:46 PM
Greatt post ^^ anyone could tell me where in might and Magic history the events from Duel take place?

The year 569 :) A few years after the second eclipse.

svilleneuve
08-28-2013, 04:47 PM
I think he would have sweep or why in the art he hand 4 hands

It could also mean that this guy hits really hard ;)

pod11
08-28-2013, 04:53 PM
Just to clarify: every expansion that comes with a new faction will also come with additional cards for the other factions as well, thus keeping the balance between factions as much as possible on the same level!

Hope this helps ;)
Aza

Will this new faction have same amout of cards as other faction will have gotten after all these expansions?

And how many cards will there be in this expansion?
Last time you added new faction there realy wasnt much added for older factions.

Thorontir
08-28-2013, 04:59 PM
Devs said that incoming expansion (Forgotten Wars) will be the biggest card set up to date, bigger even than Basic Set (which is 224 cards), so I assume we will get about 250 cards. I assume half of the expansion will be Academy cards, so other factions will get around 100 new cards in total. I think, they'll get the same amount of love as they had in Herald ;)

starec
08-28-2013, 05:04 PM
Just to clarify: every expansion that comes with a new faction will also come with additional cards for the other factions as well, thus keeping the balance between factions as much as possible on the same level!

Hope this helps
Aza


Well ballance is still big issue in DoC. Pretty much nothing changed since HotV expansion launch. Some thing became even worse. ( Yes, yes you so called nerfed Nergal but thats not the point ) Right now, all is going on that this new expansions draw attention of those that in fact every faction has no diversity in playeble Heroes all goes to Must Have and this is pretty bad. But lets see what they bring with another expansion. BTW Will there be eny price reductions???

del170109032657
08-28-2013, 05:08 PM
Think this is a great update. Acadamy sounds sweet and the spoiler art is beautiful.

However the spoiler I'm dying to hear is any news on single acquisition. Anything you can share Aza?

Lets put it like this... if everything goes as planned then you should have more info quite soon. :)

LQDBrunt
08-28-2013, 05:11 PM
Nice update with some very interesting new abilities revealed.
Like the Mercenary Djinn artwork in particular.

One thing that worries me is that random effect in Rakshasa's Evade ability.
Even tho it's good and logical flavour-wise it can lead to frustrations when a random card effect decides the outcome of a game.

Really looking forward to expansion, good job team.

Aza404
08-28-2013, 05:13 PM
I can't comment about price reductions.
As far as I know, when we release a new expansion we always add in enough card for all factions to have access to the same number of cards.

Yes, every expansion is very slightly stronger than the previous: this is due to the natural power creep we need to add into the game (though I think Simon will be better placed than me to talk about that ;)).

Misoall
08-28-2013, 05:17 PM
Finally.
now what's the achieving single card system "NOT for seals and gold" to dedicated and passionate players which starts with "Basically when you're playing the game you will be able to reci.."
Greetings :)

jeffroi69
08-28-2013, 05:19 PM
I hope that there will be discounts otherwise the game will be reserved for a fortunate elite ...

hydramarine
08-28-2013, 05:20 PM
This may be the card game I actually saw the least amount of power creep. So much so, the cards usually underwhelm you as apposed to other TCG releases (MTG is the best example to that, in each set you have lots of desirable cards). And most of the best cards are still from base set.

Banehollow89
08-28-2013, 05:21 PM
Well ballance is still big issue in DoC. Pretty much nothing changed since HotV expansion launch. Some thing became even worse. ( Yes, yes you so called nerfed Nergal but thats not the point ) Right now, all is going on that this new expansions draw attention of those that in fact every faction has no diversity in playeble Heroes all goes to Must Have and this is pretty bad. But lets see what they bring with another expansion. BTW Will there be eny price reductions???

Of course there will be Price Reductions! From 1400 Seals to 1395, TADAAAH!

Now seriously, I am expecting something dropping as well.

Kimundi
08-28-2013, 05:39 PM
SpaceElephant already unveiled during his stream that there will around 150 cards in this new expansion, quite a lot to play with :D

Maty4778
08-28-2013, 06:20 PM
Lets put it like this... if everything goes as planned then you should have more info quite soon. :)

Ahh still dying and I can't wait, but I appreciate the reply greatly

svilleneuve
08-28-2013, 07:00 PM
I can't comment about price reductions.
As far as I know, when we release a new expansion we always add in enough card for all factions to have access to the same number of cards.

Yes, every expansion is very slightly stronger than the previous: this is due to the natural power creep we need to add into the game (though I think Simon will be better placed than me to talk about that ;)).

Power creep is inevitable, but we try to avoid it. What we try to do instead is creating cards that makes older cards relevant. We added enough cards for each faction to introduce new concepts or reinforce existing ones.

SepSpring
08-28-2013, 08:47 PM
No amazing artworks from the project of "Heroes VI"? Completely disappointed as I hoped they'll appear in this expansion.

Atisdai
08-28-2013, 09:19 PM
Maternia really looks like fun.
I quite like what I'm seeing there, although it kind of reminds me of "Haven, just stronger":

Atum85
08-28-2013, 09:45 PM
Oh pls, let's hope haven can get competitive (at least a bit more) with this new set.

DoubleDeck
08-28-2013, 09:50 PM
Love the Titan's ability Shockwave (attack empty tiles to deal damage to all enemy creatures adjacent to that tile).....a nice addition in terms of abilities....!

razcrux
08-28-2013, 11:32 PM
This looks great and I like all the new mechanics being spoiled.

For me the most important things to have talked about (and addressed!) are:

1. Singles buying system
2. Overall price reduction of packs in this game (newest expansion can stay at 1400 seals a box, but older cards, including core-set, need to drop in price for new people to be able to catch up)
3. OTK / Stall/Mill lock: I'd like to have confirmation that the design team see this as an NPE (negative player experience) and are working on a solution or two for ALL heroes to fight lock-down decks.
4. Multiple decks with same cards: Incredibly frustrating limitation. What other digital CCG does this? None I can think of... look at Scrolls, SolForge, Shadow Era... all of them let you build decks with your cards w/o the card being "locked" into a deck. So simple to fix... so frustrating for hundreds/thousands of people to not do it....

If the devs can please report back on the above 4 items (positively, hopefully) -- I would be very pleased.

Thanks!

Bizdakka
08-29-2013, 01:03 AM
These look great! And devs, though the forums do not reflect it much, there are many players who are happy with the game and trust you to make the balance right. I am one of the players who think the game is great and only needs minor tweaks. Keep it up.

Bizdakka
08-29-2013, 01:05 AM
[QUOTE=razcrux;9248798
3. OTK / Stall/Mill lock: I'd like to have confirmation that the design team see this as an NPE (negative player experience) and are working on a solution or two for ALL heroes to fight lock-down decks.

[/QUOTE]

I for one don't get this. The best stall counter is cosmic, which is a neutral card.

ManlyMantonio
08-29-2013, 03:53 AM
I for one don't get this. The best stall counter is cosmic, which is a neutral card.

Which has a 4 fortune requirement and is a rare from the 2nd set, so it is not easy to get. Yeah, that sounds like the only antidote needed for stall decks.

VampFury
08-29-2013, 01:40 PM
@Aza I am aware that old factions are getting cards. I just point out some things as experienced tcg/ccg player and gamer in general... This is only because I like the game. I wouldn't care otherwise ;)

@LQDBrunt I agree, only mechanic that stood out for me is that of Rakshasha, because of random factor. Random and competitive isn't going well with each other ^^

KingSp00n
08-29-2013, 02:12 PM
Dear Devs
Why don't you ever comment on balance, ever?

J4mesR4ge
08-29-2013, 05:12 PM
Which has a 4 fortune requirement and is a rare from the 2nd set, so it is not easy to get. Yeah, that sounds like the only antidote needed for stall decks.

Emmm well, u can have 2 in ur deck and only rise destiny in case of OTK adversary (same for wastelands), if u dont want to do that u can use Cosmic Balance, this event prevents the damage from tower of oblibion and if ur oponent have more than 6 cards u usually want to trade ur life to discard, against stronhold OTK if u discard the cyclops or the kats grand finale is inta GG. Other good events to slow down and breack OTK combos are Week of Taxes and Manastorms. -All of this cards are neutral so all decks can use it-

If u play a hero with water school you have The Strenth of the Sea (Was on the pit 1 or 2 month ago so practically everyone have this card), if ur oponent cant dispell it or discard it (in dhamiria slowpoke case or kal-azaar mill with halls of amnesia) against Dhamiria 2 monsoons are very painful for her and for Stronhold OTK too.

If u play a hero with primal school well, u have a variety of Dispells and Minor Recalls and stuff.

If u play heaven u have Tree of Truth and the Light of Tomorrow + Paos in ur deck can usually be a problem for OTK (Im not sure if paos discardeds by Garants Purgue can be resurrected or not but I think yes), With necro u have the same chance with atropos and another revival cards.

If u play Santuary u have Stream Singuers, Unmei kamis, Mizu Kamis and Venerable Kappas (Mizu Kami + SOTS is practically inmortal against OTK)

If u play Stronhold u have Blackskull Crushers and a few creatures with quick atack and magic resist

If u play Infierno u have a variety of discard events (with the new upcoming hero u will benefit more this cards), also dhamiria have a discard ability (to discard thrones and stuff)

I can continue and write a book about ''How To Counter OTK'' but im a bit tired, there are enough counters in my opinion

razcrux
08-29-2013, 05:34 PM
There are a list of coutners, the problem is that not all heores have counters. Yes you can list a page of them, but it remains not ALL heroes have counters. for some it is insta-lose.

Not all heroes can justify a 4--level fortune card. And this also supposes that the opponent doesn't search your deck for them and discard them.

Cosmic Balance only works on a mage that kills you with Tower of Oblivion but doesn't stop them from killing you with a Paos loaded with buffs.

OTK is a problem because it is not a game where at "worst" case you have a win ratio of 55/45 but instead it is:

If you get this "one" card before he does, you win, otherwise he loses.

And then add to it that the games are slow and long with many turns going by where you can do nothing but hit "end turn". This "breaks" the game play entirely, it isn't FUN to hit end turn many turns in a row.

This debate reminds me the same debate that was had in Shadow Era back when Mill Stalker was a deck-type. He would lock you out of being able to attack him and all you could do was hit "end turn" for about 10+ turns and then kill you by milling your deck.

Tons of people would complain about it, but a handful of people would defend it, saying it was "fine" and being just as vocal as those who thought it was frustrating, anti-fun and not good for play experience.

Ultimately new cards were designed that killed Mill Stalker but instead introduced Mill as a strategy that could stand on its own. Milling became a strategy, but not one that resulted in locked-out game play where you just feel totally helpless and have zero chance of winning if you didn't include that "magical" card that "might" break the lock.

Outside of the lock from OTK the game-balance is doing quite well. Sure there are some heroes that are too weak right now, but new cards could help them to be better, and with some more recursion countering Atropos could get weaker quite easily. (say an Event that prevents recovering cards from your GY while in effect)

Broad, easily accessible and meaningful counters to OTK lock need to be accessible to all heroes, and it can't be with cards that are 4-fortune cost cause that means you can never build a competitive deck that has zero fortune levels, which is just silly since you want to promote diversity; not narrow play. No one hero should insta-die to another. It can be "harder" but it shouldn't ever be "hopeless".

J4mesR4ge
08-29-2013, 06:34 PM
@razcrux well all heros have his adventages and his weakness, its true that heros like Adar-Malik cant do practically nothing against OTK but they are good in other things, if u guive cheap and easy counters to everyone OTK and Mill will be unplayable and in this game I want to see variety of decks, not only creature based decks :/

HiddenGrounds
08-29-2013, 09:58 PM
Good information on the new faction -- thanks!

ManlyMantonio
08-31-2013, 07:42 AM
@razcrux well all heros have his adventages and his weakness, its true that heros like Adar-Malik cant do practically nothing against OTK but they are good in other things, if u guive cheap and easy counters to everyone OTK and Mill will be unplayable and in this game I want to see variety of decks, not only creature based decks :/

There should not be ANY heroes that are an auto-lose to certain decks - that is just poor design. You should lose because you were outplayed, not because of matchmaking. Hopefully, this will be rectified in the expansion.

Suffice it to say, counters to stall decks are currently not balanced.