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Since our last Developer Update post earlier this week, we’ve had some important upcoming news that were made via the official Marvel Snap Discord. Notably, Second Dinner’s Principal Game Designer Glenn Jones has been answering some game related questions (for example, regarding the upcoming card Kitty Pryde, and so on), as well as Leading Product Stephen Jarrett, and Associate Game Designer Rada.
Improvements to Ranked Mode
With the new Marvel Snap season Days of Future Past coming up on Monday, we’ve had some important news regarding the state of the ranked ladder which has been causing a bit of unrest in the community in regards to the matchmaking, MMR, bots, no rank floor except for Infinite rank, and so on.
We aren’t happy with the current state of ranked. We have a change going live with the start of next season that we hope makes it a little better, but we think more changes are needed after that too
We have a blog on ranked mode improvements coming out on Monday
To clarify the blog on Monday is about the new season and includes information about ranked mode changes that start with this new seasonStephen
Here is the proposed change – 5 times more bonus Cubes are rewarded every time you reach a new ranked tier (i.e. 50 Cubes, going from 19 to 25 instead of 20).
Based off our data, it was taking players too many games to get to the rank associated with their MMR. We also saw player feedback that the ranked climb was feeling tedious, so we are trying some changes that will hopefully improve these both.Stephen Jarrett (official Marvel Snap Discord)
We have seen the excitement and anticipation around us discussing more about our plans to improve ranked mode and the matchmaking experience. We want to share more information about the future. 1/3…
Our first short-term improvement goes live with the start of the new season. We’re increasing the amount of bonus cubes earned when reaching a new tier from 10 to 50. However, we are not done making adjustments! 2/3…
Stay tuned for a new blog including future plans for ranked mode and matchmaking in the next week or two. …3/3Originally tweeted by Stephen Jarrett (@stephenjarrtt) on March 6, 2023.
Reduced Featured and Hot Locations
Starting with Quantum Realm, Featured Locations duration have been reduced from 48 to 24 hours going forward, and it appears there may even be some “off” weeks where there is no Featured Location according to the data. Furthermore, the Hot Location for this week was cancelled (originally scheduled to be Shuri's Lab).
This is an interesting change as some players thought Featured Locations for 48 hours were too long.
Update: Here is the official announcement confirming this, plus the frequency has been changed to 50% (up from 40% for Featured, down from 60% for Hot). There will not be a Hot Location this week.
More in the upcoming patches…
Going forward, we will try to communicate individual topics better on Marvel Snap Zone between developer news from social media to here.
For example, the Booster acquisition change that was meant to go live in the previous patch is now live:
Improvements to card acquisition is also in the works, as well as new cards showing up in the next refresh of the Token Shop after their release.
There is an improvement for it in the next patch and an additional one in the patch after that. Will share more soon.
This is an area we will continue to invest in until we get it right. New cards need to be exciting
There are more changes than that. For reference – I also had a follow up tweet to the one you referenced because the change to the new card coming up at refresh will not come until April.Stephen
As well as interesting information on measuring fun factors for cards:
Yes, we measure fun–it’s more important cards be fun than balanced, that’s what makes them appealing! Among my duties as a game designer is to forecast the player experience and interpret their feedback, as well as how the data corresponds to that feedback.
On Leech specifically:
Most card games, ours included, manage keeping many different cards fun and strong by ensuring there’s meaningful counterplay against all of them. Designers often call cards serving this role “release valves” in that they remove the pressure created by strong cards. Leech is exactly such a card–his role is to offer players a clean answer to decks trying to pack all their Power in at the last minute, such as Silver Surfer or “DeathWave” decks. This isn’t because we don’t want those powerful decks to exist, but it’s because we want to ensure a variety of powerful decks can exist.
Release valves, especially ones that restrict players, become most problematic when dominant decks include them as wide-ranging protection. We don’t want Leech or other valves to be our most-played cards for their Costs, but it’s important for them to exist and be good at their jobs, which is a careful balance to manage.Glenn
Let us know in the comments if you’d like to see more in a timely manner!