Table of Contents
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 how the devs use your Spotlight feedback, why was Gold removed from Collector Reserves, will players be punished who “double dipped” the new and old cache systems, 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 Echo! If you aren’t sure if this week is worth opening caches, check out our weekly Spotlight Cache analysis! This edition also follows the release of the long-awaited Spotlight update! If you haven’t seen what has changed, make sure to check that out!
Answers and questions may be slightly rephrased for more clarity and ease of reading. This weeks topics will be divided into Card Specific questions, Other questions, and Spotlight Cache questions.
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: I know the team doesn’t comment on data mines, but why are there no Emma Frost Phoenix five variants?
A: Glenn “I’m sure this season wasn’t the last you’ll see of the Phoenix in Marvel SNAP.”
Q: How does Echo interact with cards like Rogue, Mystique, and Iron Land, which have an on-reveal first, then an on-going ability later?
A: Glenn “On Reveal abilities always resolve before anything else, so those cards will gain the Ongoing ability before Echo could trigger. This interaction is similar to how Cloning Vats will give you a Mystique that has the copied ability.”
Q: Are there any talks of making Shadow King better? It feels bad when I can’t negate the buff of Ongoing cards.
A: Glenn “No. Shadow King is doing ok, and we like cards to have different vulnerabilities and applications. Being good against some cards and worse against others gives games texture and makes deckbuilding more interesting.”
Q: I have noticed that some of jean greys VFX has dissapeared. Is this temporary or permanent?
A: Glenn “Temporary. The VFX had to be removed as part of implementing her hotfix earlier this week.”
Q: Are there any plans to buff High Evolutionary as a card to make him more than a dead draw? What’s the point of getting his spotlight variant if I never intend to play the card from my hand?
A: Glenn “To buff the High Evo card, we’d have to nerf his complements in a compensatory way. That’s difficult to do, because he goes in every deck but his cards don’t. For example, making HE 4/6 and nerfing Shocker doesn’t really work, since Shocker is the least-played card in his kit.
Since the cards he modifies are the ones doing cool stuff, we’d rather keep the strength on the cards that are fun to play. Even at 4/6, he’s just blank stats.
We like for variants to show up, but sometimes they just don’t for very long in order to make the design work, like Bucky Barnes.”
Q: How does the team feel about the current state of Bast? She is one of the key contributors to the very strong bounce deck right now. For example, if your starting hand is iron man/mysterio/hood, then using bast is effectively a 1/17. Are there any thoughts on her balance?
A: Glenn “Bast is a strong card, somewhere around #5 if you’re ranking the winningest cards in the typical Bounce shell. We like strong cards that go in highly specific decks, generally, and Bast has a lot of variance plus a deckbuilding pseudo-restriction. I’m pretty happy with the card, personally.”
Q: Why is it OK for Beast to lower card cost to zero, but Quinjet and Sera cannot?
A: Glenn “The difference between effects like Beast or She-Hulk and effects like Quinjet and Sera is the way the rewards are distributed and the limitations.
Beast and She-Hulk both require investment—in each case, you literally have to pay whatever Energy you’re trying to recoup. The effect also has a ceiling, being constrained to one location’s worth of cards or one card and only recouping Energy once (with the specific exception of Beast and Kitty). Death and Abomination are similar, with “quests” replacing the Energy spent.
All cards have some impact on future design space, but Beast and Quinjet are orders of magnitude different. Quinjet affects our capacity to balance any card generating other cards, because it always has the potential to create polarized decks where turn 1 Quinjet is a huge swing. Even if Thanos didn’t exist, the SHIELD cards are more fun at their current rates where they can see a little play in different places, vs. nerfing all of them to protect Quinjet. Spending 3 Energy to potentially reduce 3 cards by 3 Energy is fundamentally a “fair deal” and finding ways to make it less fair is the quest, and an interesting one that in turn hooks into how other decks metagame rather than warping the game around the card.”
Q: Why can’t Multiple Man move after merged with Pheonix Force?
A: Addison “Hi, this is a known issue. Copies of a merged Phoenix Force card aren’t getting the ability to move at the moment. No eta on a fix yet but its on our radar, thanks for the report!
Q: Is it possible for Snowguard to get a change where you can choose her forms while she’s in your hand? Or is that something incompatible with the game’s coding (like Kitty Pryde was)?
A: Glenn “That is similarly incompatible with our code, but also with philosophically how we’d like cards to work. That said, we recognize Snowguard isn’t in a satisfying place right now.”
Q: Continuing from the previous question, the technical feasibility aside, could you elaborate a bit more on what specifically the philosophical problem(s) with choosing Snowguard “forms” are and why the designers think it’s a bad direction?
A: Glenn “SNAP is built to be a very accessible game, with a simple core action–drag a card from your hand to a location. We create gameplay depth around that action (order of cards, choice of location, etc.) rather than by adding complications to the action itself.
Some experiments in using locations to create semi-modal cards predate me, such as Quake and the previous Crystal, but over time location variance has proven this winds up making cards tougher to enjoy, not more interesting.”
Q: Are there plans to add more cards that synergize with viper? Its a pretty fun card but very situational.
A: Glenn “I’m sure we will.”
Q: With Gambit’s new wording, it seems weird that he doesn’t discard a card when there is nothing to destroy. As a discard card, shouldn’t he discard either way?
A: Glenn “I’ll poke into that. I’m inclined to agree he should discard either way, in the same way Zola destroys a card even if you can’t copy it elsewhere.”
Q: Was it an intended change that cards that have their cost changed now interact differently at their new cost? For example: Discounted Miles Morales dies to Kill monger, and inverted Negative’d 3 cost cards aren’t buffed by Silver Surfer.
A: Glenn “An unrelated change accidentally removed a line of code protecting cards in play from receiving certain cost modifiers. We’ll be fixing it ASAP.”
Q: Now that Ultimate variants are much harder to save up for (5k tokens), will their price be reduced to become more accessible?
A: Stephen “We have a design to make Ultimates much cooler (including existing Ultimates) that we are excited to talk about in the future. No plans to lower their cost or change their acquisition method at this time”
Q: My variant shop seems identical to other player’s shops. Is this a bug or a new feature?
A: Tucker “A little of both lol. We’re working on some shop changes behind the scenes that make it more likely to see brand new variants in the shop, and it’s a *little* too good at its job right now. We love that everyone usually has a different-looking shop, but we also want to make sure you’re not waiting ages for an opportunity to grab a really awesome new variant, so we’ll be adjusting this soon.”
Q: We’re token rewards on the collection track nerfed down to 50 tokens? If so why?
A: Tucker “Hi there! Yep, the token decrease is coupled with a very very large S4/S5 card increase in the CL track, compared to the old system where you’d expect to get one S4 in every 40 reserves and one S5 in every 400 reserves. Now you’ve got a very very good chance of getting a S4/S5 card every 10 reserves.
For our average S3-complete player, the increase in cards but decrease in tokens means you’ll be able to get new S4/S5 cards about 50-70% faster than before (exact percent increase depends on how many S4/S5 cards you’ve collected already, of course. a TON of players land in that 50-70% buff range).”
Q: Will we ever see cards swap abilities to match lore better? Wong and Doctor Strange should swap, for example, since Wong is the master of portals.
A: Glenn “While I do wish that flip had been made before launch, it’d mostly just be confusing to do it now. I don’t think it’s impossible, or that a different situation might merit it, but it’s not something we want to do in principle.”
Q: Does Great Web randomly select a player, then move one of their cards? Or just randomly select a card on the board and move it. Trying to understand if having more cards on the board outside of Great Web increases the likelihood one of your cards will be moved.
A: Glenn “It selects a player who has a card that could move there, then randomly selects one of that player’s cards.”
Q: Would you consider a filter that let’s you sort cards by quantity of boosters owner?
A: Daniela “We’d like to add this in 🙂”
Q: In the June update, the “quality” filter now auto sorts starting from infinite, when it used to start with Grey border. Was this change intended?
A: Daniela “WOW! We just looked into this and you are right! It was indeed flipped by accident. We have marked it as a bug and will be reverting it. Thank you!!”
Q: I know people have been pretty disappointed in the removal of gold from caches but I wasn’t initially touched by it. Now that I’ve seen some bundles that I want to buy in the future (which isn’t possible for a f2p for me to get 7.5k gold in 2 months), how are you going to implement ways for f2p, or even the entire player base, to acquire gold more often?
A: Glenn “While we did remove gold from the Collection Track, we also added it via Weekend Missions and the Conquest Medal Shop. None of these changes were made in isolation; we’ll continue to monitor the economy created by the harmony of their existence and tune accordingly.
I’m sympathetic to seeing a bundle that excites you and feeling like it’s out of reach. However, we’re a F2P game, and we prioritize keeping our gameplay friendly to free players–but making the game isn’t free. Cosmetic features like these bundles are a primary way we monetize in order to continue making (and improving) SNAP. We don’t expect F2P players to consistently access all the bundles.”
Q: I along with thousands of players bought Ultimate Venom only for it to be “accidentally” released for 1200. That puts an incredibly salty taste in everyone’s mouth who bought it. Does the team have a plan to correct this?
A: Tucker “If we ever have a situation that significantly dilutes the scarcity of an ultimate variant (or bundle/spotlight/conquest/SP/superRare variant), we’ll absolutely make it right.
Just ran the numbers a couple hours ago, in this case about 0.04% of players had the opportunity to get it in the 2 refreshes it was bugged, and less than 20% of those folks took the opportunity. The vast majority of Ultimate Venoms out in the wild came from the token shop (way more than 99%), so we don’t consider its scarcity to be diluted (a few lottery winners were lucky enough to join the club today).”
Q: Will art ever be changed for some cards? The newest Iron Fist bundle art, for example, doesn’t frame break the fire and it would look significantly better if it did.
A: Glenn “We do sometimes. Art changes can vary in complexity and the resources/approval we need, but we track the feedback.”
Q: Are you aware of the bug where the screen goes black when finding a match?
A: Daniela “We’re aware and tracking it!”
Q: Will the film industry’s writers strikes, and thus possible delays/ cancelations of media content, effect Snap’s release-able content?
A: Glenn “Synchronizing with other media releases is already at our discretion. We do it because we think it’s awesome.”
Q: I haven’t seen a dev comment on any post in the suggestions channel and I was wondering: Do suggestions actually lead to changes in the game?
A: Addison “Hello! There was actually a quick internal discussion about a community suggestion this morning. I can’t promise that all suggestions are brought up or discussed in this way, or what percentage become actionable for us to pursue, but I can say with absolute certainty that many do get discussed and considered and that this occurred as recently as today 🙂”
Q: Is there a reason why season resets don’t happen at the same time as patches?
A: Glenn “Our patches need to be precisely timed for workflow reasons. They could theoretically use a variety of fixed intervals, but what’s important is that they’re the same length so that our team can scope and implement work consistently and effectively each time.
Regardless of the interval we chose, it wouldn’t align precisely with the start of a given month each month, since months are irregular relative to weeks. But people are largely used to having content synchronized to familiar structures, so we tie our seasons to months and let our patches cycle on the schedule they need.”
Q: Given that you’re designing and testing with stuff way before we get our hands on them, or are even testing with stuff we’ll never see, how often (if at all) do you get surprised by how the meta shifts once a new card is live? And if you do, what’s one of your favorite surprises the SNAP community has created?
A: Glenn “I think the most recent example that performed really well was Iron Man in Bounce. I don’t think we ever even really thought much about that one, but it’s been highly effective. On a more eccentric note, I saw someone combining Yellowjacket with Rescue recently to avoid Shang-Chi and thought that was clever.
We’re not trying to create specific metagames. We just want to release exciting, impactful new content and maintain a diverse and healthy environment. Which deck is best is less important to us than ensuring that deck is beatable, and that playing a deck someone just likes can still be fun.”
Q: I know you have a long list of changes you want to make eventually, but I was curious how the size of that list compared to the total card pool. About what percent of cards are on the list?
A: Glenn “Probably like 20% of the cards have a functional change on the table that we’re at least considering. We’re not testing all of them, and a decent amount of the time we try something and decide it would be Bad. For example, we tried Yondu destroying a card from each deck, but it wound up being a bit crazy.”
Q: Its been previously stated that not having duplication protection on the random spotlight card was done so because it made the system feel more P2W. This seems like a disconnect when players can indirectly purchase 2k tokens a week for roughly $80 through the new Daily Offer Reward System. What was the rationale between removing a P2W mechanic in one location and implementing it somewhere else?
A: Tucker “Before this change, a lot of folks felt like spending their gold in the variant shop was a waste, since they could be spending the gold on progression instead through stuff like Token Tuesday. The token bonus is there specifically to solve that problem; your gold still does progression work even if you’re spending it on cosmetics.
We’ve tuned it to explicitly avoid P2W-land; there’s a limit on the number of times you can claim it per week to prevent the kinds of runaway scenarios we consider P2W, and we’ve been careful not to make it the absolute most efficient way to turn your gold into tokens (stuff like Token Tuesday will still hold that honor).
The tuning goal there is that players who value both variants & progression get an awesome bonus, and pure progression players who don’t value cosmetics at all will likely seek out pure progression avenues like Token Tuesday instead.”
Q: How do “Gimmick” locations like Weird World, Ego, District X, or Worldship add to the game? Most games tend to end with a retreat and it feels like “This isn’t a real match” each time one appears.
A: Glenn “These locations add depth by testing players’ ability to think on their feet and adapt. We also try to ensure locations can favor different kinds of decks, and these can favor decks that are less dependent on synergy.”
Q: Why don’t some cards have any interactions with their text, such as Evolved Cyclops, Dracula, Angela, or Bishop?
A: Glenn “Because those effects don’t use any identifying mechanical tags, and the ones you suggest have a large variety of trigger events, anything that disabled them could disable tons of very different cards. Part of designing good suites of “answers” is ensuring there are different reasons to want different tools, so an answer that versatile is trickier space.
Q: Will you ever add any more “no ability” cards?
A: Glenn “I think I’m leaning toward making exactly one more.”
Q: Is there a rotation on which devs answer questions?
A: Glenn “We answer when we have time. It’s voluntary and in addition to our usual responsibilities, so during busy weeks we tend to answer less.”
Q: How do you pick which questions to answer when there are so many daily?
A: Tucker “I personally like using random.org to help me decide.
But seriously, for me it’s a function of:
– The number of upvotes it has
– How equipped I am to answer a particular question; economy, monetization, and feature prioritization tend to land in my domain.
– Whether I know the answer yet (stuff that we know we’re doing now is a lot easier to comment on than speculating about what we might do or when we might get around to doing something we want to do).
– How much free time I’ve got to answer questions today (since the release of Spotlight Caches I haven’t had a ton of time!)
– Whether or not I’d enjoy answering the question (Game dev can be opaque sometimes, so I love questions that shine a light on why we make the choices we make, especially controversial choices. That said, I’ll admit I’m human and that I volunteer to do this, so the tone of the question plays a big role in whether or not I want to dive in).
– Pure dumb luck sometimes. I answer questions at a pretty random pace, and if the question isn’t towards the top of the list when I sit down I’m unlikely to get to it.
– How much I feel like procrastinating today (don’t tell my producer)”
Spotlight Cache Questions
Q: Will there be punishment for players who double dipped the system? They opened 9/10 caches on the old patch, then saved the 1/10 after the patch to get more value than those who updated like they were supposed to.
A: Tucker “I’m a little bit grumpy folks came up with the double dipping but we’ve gotta let it slide. I threw together a list of every player that did it though lol (it was a pretty small list, and a pretty small amount of ‘bonus value’ on average for the folks who thought to do it).
Upvote if you think I should sneak in and deduct exactly 1 gold from em, just so they know I know”
Q: Why provide a daily offer section but no duplicate protection from Spotlight caches?
A: Tucker “With the Daily Offer token bonus, we’re responding to feedback that a lot of players saw grabbing their favorite variants from the shop as a missed opportunity (since they could be getting card progression from that gold instead, through bundles like Token Tuesday, or from turning their gold -> credits -> CL -> cards/tokens).
Getting a new variant you love is awesome but feeling like you’re missing out on progress can put a damper on that, so we added this token bonus to help out players who want both progression & some awesome cosmetics. It might not be as absolutely efficient from a progression standpoint as stuff like Token Tuesday, but it’s a great way to make sure you aren’t punished for pursuing variants.
As for Random S4/S5, the P2W-ness that came from dupe protection was a “rich gets richer” kind of scenario, where owning more cards made it a LOT easier to earn the newest cards. (Imagine owning all the cards and then a new card comes out; with dupe protection your first Spotlight Cache is now a 50% chance of getting the newest card, twice as high as a F2P player with less cards.)
That’s when it gets broken & P2W in my head, since it would create this vicious cycle where newer players or F2P players keep slipping further and further away from the progress of a player who already owns a bunch of stuff.”
Q: To follow up from the previous questions on dupes, why is it not possible to put duplication protection on S4/5, and then the 3 other cards in the caches? So getting the new card the week it game out would still stay at 25% but getting an old card you don’t have an want would also be 25%
A: Tucker “It’s another rule that makes it more complicated and difficult to understand, and produces a layer of gaminess where the optimal thing to do is to purposely not try and get the newest 3 cards (and one of the big goals of spotlight cache is to make those new cards more accessible, so once we’ve introduced that incentive we’ve failed). That said, I’m not going to say the current Random S4/S5 behavior is particularly intuitive, so we’re thinking about what we could do to streamline and simplify it a bit.”
Q: Did Spotlight caches change from the info graphic? The info said we would get 3-4 Series 4/5 cards but I get more variants than new cards.
A: Glenn “The Cache functions as described—we didn’t adjust its functionality at all. We’re reviewing ways it could be more clearly communicated in the game, because we recognize some elements have wound up confusing. We would’ve endeavored to make them clearer sooner had we realized the potential for misunderstanding the 4/5 slot, but sometimes it takes the feature going live to see these kinds of issues manifest.”
In addition to UI improvements, we’ll be reviewing the performance of Spotlight Caches once we have a solid sample to determine if we should modify the rewards and how.”
Q: In your Spotlight Cache Megathread, a lot of players have voiced their unhappy opinions. Are you considering any steps to improve on the system?
A: Glenn “We’re a live service game, we’re always iterating on our work with the aim of improving it.
We do value all feedback, but in reviewing it we also have to bear in mind the context that social media often initially trends negative on revising game systems. Seeing the feature’s performance over a few weeks is how we’ll find the best opportunities to improve.”
Q: How am I supposed to get a new card each week without hoarding? Is that my only option now?
A: Glenn “Over time, you’ll receive >25% new cards from your Caches, assuming you don’t always own every card. “Every week” is highly improbable, even without hoarding. If you’d like to be able to aim for more specific ones, you can stock up on Caches.
This is less hoarding than the previous system, which often incentivized holding all your reserves (not just ~10% of them) until a card entered Series 4. Many of those reserves then converted into Tokens, which were also often hoarded.”
Q: In responses to the hoarding question: You stated now it’s only hoard 10% instead of all reserves. I’d argue that spotlight encourages hoarding much more on the reserves. As a series 3 complete player i have no reason to open reserves. They can’t give a card (1/40 before) and the token rewards are so meaningless it takes months to actually get something from them. It’s either open them and be disappointed every single day or hold them and hope one day they will actually be rewarding to open them.
Was the intent of the change to make reserves more likely to be opened, if so, how does that seem to playing out when the rewards are so much less valuable than before?
A: Glenn “If you want to hold your earned caches forever in the hopes they improve, that’s your call. It’s a very different situation from the previous system, where it was often correct to deprive yourself of opening any of them, sometimes for months at a time, in order to maximize your access to cards.
An individual normal cache is worse to open now than it was, sure. But is opening 36 of those and 4 Spotlights worse than 40 under the old system? We don’t think so, and opening those 36 sooner rather than later won’t negatively affect your new card acquisition rates anymore, either.”
Q: Glenn mentioned the team will be analyzing data of Spotlight Caches over the next couple of weeks. My question is what kind of data will you be looking for?
A: Tucker “Written feedback is one (very important) piece of the overall puzzle, and gets combined with the data to form the full picture of how we want to proceed:
– Are more S4/S5 cards getting into players’ hands?
– Are more games being played with S4/S5 cards?
– Does getting a card like LT encourage experimentation/play with that card?
– What % of players are having the experience described in the negative feedback?
There’s some stuff we already have a clear answer on:
– On a macro level, Spotlight Cache is doing a LOT of work to get more cards into more players hands, and entice experimentation with cards that have traditionally been off-meta (LT). From that perspective we’re happy with the system.
– Zooming in we can clearly see parts of the system that are missing the mark (looking at you, Random S4/S5). We know that part needs work.
How we intervene depends a lot on the data we see. Negative feedback and negative data would be major overhaul, while negative feedback and positive data would be a more tactical intervention to address the specific pain points. So far what we’re seeing very much suggests the latter”
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!
Last week we got some good answers to your questions! Check them out!
Q: Will there ever be more emotes added to the game?
A: Stephen “Yes we are so pumped about this. We are building more emotes and card emojis actively and hope to unlock the ability to earn more in the future.”
Q: Is it intended that when Phoenix Force revives Hulk Buster, the Hulk Buster will merge with a card and not get the additional power of Pheonix Force or move ability?
A: Glenn “It is correct, because Phoenix revives Hulkbuster first, and it the. Immediately merges itself with something. Once it’s finished, Phoenix can’t “find” it.
However, we are considering using a future patch to adjust this functionality slightly, so we’ll let you know if it changes.”
Q: Do the random S4/5 cards have any weights when picking cards?
A: Stephen “The S4/5 weighted chance is 66/33 and the fallback if you roll an already owned S4/S5 card is to give a Premium Mystery Variant (no pixels and chance to drop a 1200g variant)”
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!
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