Ben Brode, lead developer on Marvel Snap

Developer Update for the Week of April 20, 2024: Red Guardian Edition (20+ Questions)!

In this week's edition of Developer Update, we get answers to questions from the team at Second Dinner about Marvel Snap over the past week.

Hello all! Welcome back to this week’s breakdown of what’s happening over on the Marvel Snap official Discord! This week, we get answers to questions such as: do developers study other card games, could Galactus see a buff, when is the next OTA, and more! If you want to stay up to date with what’s coming and what answers developers have for the community, make sure to check back here each week!

This week’s edition comes after the launch new card Red Guardian! If you don’t know if this card is worth a Spotlight Cache, make sure to check out our weekly Spotlight guide, as well as our Red Guardian Bonus Challenge guide!

Answers and questions may be slightly rephrased for more clarity and ease of reading. This week’s topics will be divided into Card Specific Questions, Other Questions, and Questions From You!

Remember, you can check out our new Marvel Snap Developer Tracker to see all questions and answers in real time! Topics can also be searched, filtered, and sorted.

Card Specific Questions

Q: Why doesn’t an inked Canonball leave behind an inked rock?
A: Glenn “That is unusual, I’ll poke into it.”

Q: Is Sandman currently bugged? If he leaves the board before the next turn starts, players aren’t limited to 1 card that turn.
A: Glenn “I’ll look into that. If that’s how it’s working, it’s a bug.”

Q: With cards like Alioth nerfed, could Galactus see a buff?
A: Glenn “Among our strongest players over the last week, Galactus has a slightly better winrate and cube rate than Hela. Even though he’s a good bit less popular, that data doesn’t support a buff right now.”

Q: Can you explain how Hela has a worse winrate than Galactus when players report lots of Hela in the meta, but nobody playing Galactus?
A: Glenn “For clarity’s sake, I don’t consider Galactus (or Hela) threatening on winrate. I merely used her as a point of comparison given the data lined up.

As I noted in my prior reply, Galactus is less popular than Hela. It’s often the case that unpopular decks enjoy a slight ‘bonus’on overall performance. This is because the skill concentration among a smaller group of players committed to playing a specific card/deck a ton tends to be higher with that card/deck than the average skill of a larger group. When a card/deck is very popular, its winrate will more often trend toward 50% (or at least equilibrium) because the larger sample contains a wider range of skill among players.

We monitor community sentiment because it helps inform both future designs and the kinds of changes we might make. However, we don’t make card changes that lack appropriate supporting evidence in the actual performance data.”

Q: Will we be seeing changes to 4 cost cards with the next OTA with zabu nerfed? It would be fun to see how Darkhawk and Adam Warlock could function at 4.
A: Glenn “Darkhawk has a high-performing new home, so I’d like to let him settle in and see how it goes.

We’re still gathering information about card performance in Zabu’s wake, so we’re not going to move much on that count yet.”

Q: If Lady Deathstrike’s power is set to 3 by Bast, she doesn’t destroy herself. Is this a bug, or bad wording?
A: Glenn “Just a text error; she’s not supposed to destroy herself.”

Q: With 5-Cost tech cards being at 6 – 8 Power (cannonball, vision, sandman, legion, LDS, BB, Anni, Aero, 2099), what are your thoughts on Leech being bumped to 7 Power?
A: Glenn “Maybe, if his effect seems like it merits a buff to address particularly strong strategies. We aren’t aiming to make him a default playable card the way some of those other cards are. Cards’ Power values are based on their individual effects and performance, not precedents.

Q: Why wasn’t Red Hulk nerfed in the patch?
A: Glenn “We have yet to release a patch that was locked following the release of Red Hulk. Even if his data suggested a nerf, there’s been no opportunity to implement one.”

Q: How does Red Guardian decide which card to target when multiple cards have the same power?
A: Glenn “He’ll randomly choose one of them, similar to how Silver Samurai discards cards.”

Other Questions

Q: Why were the avatars removed from the 3099 and Tarot Albums and replaced with boosters?
A: Stephen “The avatars were available in the cosmetic shop due to the way they are architected.  Instead of making the exclusivity of those avatars be confusing, we replaced them with other rewards.”

Q: How many times has a character made it into the game because someone on the team really wanted to see it as a card?
A: Glenn “I can’t recall any particularly contentious debates around character choices—we always discuss that as a group. As far as suggestions driven by passion?

Hm… I am a big fan of Hope Summers stories, so doing an AvX season with her as the Season Pass was exciting to pitch on, though I don’t believe I was the first to suggest doing AvX.”

Q: When is the next OTA?
A: Glenn “We’re aiming the next OTA for 4/25.”

Q: In the upcoming update to custom cards, it was mentioned all variants of a card will share splits (you can’t roll the same kind across different variants anymore). What will happen to existing variants that have the same splits for a character?
A: Stephen “They will still exist as their own stand alone cards.  The change is geared towards the future.  The purpose of this change is to ensure as we add more splits to the game that it feels achievable to earn them and for you not to feel beholden to the specific variant that got that amazing split.”

Q: How often does the auto deck feature update to the current metagame?
A: Glenn “It’s pretty close to live–it updates daily, so it can take a day or few for it to “learn” the way players are building decks with a new or changed card, and occasionally our intervention.”

Q: How much do devs pay attention to what other card games are doing, and does any of that affect development?
A: Glenn “I would say we pay attention–SNAP itself is built from lessons learned, and we’re all fans of other games with cool ideas and unexpected pitfalls. But the impact isn’t a direct one.”

Q: Why wasn’t there an announcement of a new (2nd) patch avaliable for download?
A: Stephen “The goal with that hotfix is to fix the end turn bug some players have experienced”

Questions From You!

Each week, I ask readers of the weekly dev update to leave their questions down in the comment section. That way we can ask those questions on your behalf, or let you know the answers if those questions have been asked before! I read each comment you leave, so I will be adding this section at the end of each week’s edition to highlight your questions that you asked last week!

Q: There are numerous cards that I like better pre frame break as it shows more of the art, but I also would like to see animated. Will this ever be possible in custom cards?
A: Stephen “Totally understand the desire to control each aspect of the card.  I don’t have a time table for when we will add it right now but it’s on our backlog of potential quality of life features.”

Q: How do you decide which Marvel character will become a new card?
A: Glenn “We try to find a theme that’s appealing and includes characters we’re excited to design around and release. Sometimes we’ll weigh whether there are specific opportunities for cool variants with a given theme.”

Q: Is there a reason why Conquest is 10 cubes?
A: Glenn “At 8 cubes, the game can be over in a single go, which is not the vision for Conquest as a game mode–ranked already offers that. We wanted a number that made snapping meaningful in a unique way. But we also wanted a game length that aligned with our vision for the pace of SNAP as a game. It turned out a very small amount of additional health sufficed for all of that.”

Q: Is it possible to release a new archetype in Snap, either slowly or as a batch of new cards?
A: Glenn “I think with most mechanics, you start off with versatile and interesting enablers, then develop payoffs over time. However, using card reworks is certainly on the table, if we have creatively strong matches to the mechanic that aren’t succeeding with their current execution.

Never say never, but I don’t expect us to pursue large multi-card releases in the near future. In addition to it not being what we want to do philosophically, we’d have to reshape almost the entire content development pipeline to handle that kind of work.”

Q: Has the team been informed/aware that with the implementation of graveyards, the “Lamentis” location basically gives away what each player has in hand?
A: Glenn “The implementation is intentional.”

Keep Your Questions and Feedback Coming!

That’s all for this week’s update! Be sure to check back here at Marvel Snap Zone for next week’s update! If you enjoyed the amount of content in this edition, make sure to keep asking your questions to the developers by submitting it in their official Discord in the “#ask-the-team” channel. If you have questions and don’t use Discord, leave your questions for the developers in the comment section here, and I will make sure your question has been answered by the devs!

If you have feedback or changes you would like to see with these weekly updates, also let us know in the comment section!

Captain Marvel Artgerm

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