Ben Brode, lead developer on Marvel Snap

Developer Update for the Week of March 22, 2023: Thanos Nerf Edition!

In this week's edition of Developer Update, we get answers to questions after the latest patch: Conquest mode, balance changes, and more!

Hello all! Welcome back to this week’s breakdown of what’s happening over on the Marvel Snap official Discord! 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! A new Development Roadmap has been released, so make sure to check it out as many questions this week revolve around the content of the roadmap!

This week’s edition comes after the latest patch! Make sure to check out the patch notes if you haven’t yet. This week we get more details on Conquest mode, as well as answers to how the devs feel about Kang, why wasn’t Leech nerfed, and why aren’t balance changes more reactionary to the meta! Answers and questions may be slightly rephrased for more clarity and ease of reading. Be sure to check out Den’s analysis on the balance update:

This Week’s Questions

Q: With the upcoming Conquest mode, will tickets be ‘spent’ to attempt a run?
A: Stephen “Tickets are spent for each Conquest run”

Q: Will Conquest matches count towards daily and season pass missions?.
A: Stephen “Yes you can complete missions and gain boosters in Conquest”

Q: Will Conquest mode have bots?
A: Daniela “No Bots!”

Q: Can we batch grind tickets or are the “runs” in conquest locked in across all leagues until we lose?
A: Stephen “Yes you can acquire multiple tickets for a Conquest tier then play each run back to back if you wish, Could make for a fun stream!”

Q: With MMR being frozen at infinite and no reset, wouldn’t that make every season harder and harder to climb?
A: Glenn “Your MMR reflects your predicted ability to win at SNAP. If you’re playing opponents with higher MMR one season than you did the previous season, it’s because your results indicate that you’re as likely to beat these new foes as you were the last ones. That means your climb should feel roughly equally challenging every season, not more difficult. (There’s a bit more nuance than that, but it’s the broad strokes)”

Q: When will your free series 3 card refresh? Is it directly 30 days after you redeem your card?
A: Daniela “It refreshes when the new season starts”

Q: How do the devs feel about Kang so far?
A: Glenn “Kang’s balance metrics look good right now, but I’m mostly reserving judgement until our balance patch goes live, since we expect things to shift”

Q: Are there any thoughts on changing the booster design on Agatha? Sometimes I want to play Agatha in decks, and I get the cheeky nature of how she steals the boosters after the game, but it’s a huge turn off from wanting to play around with her knowing you can’t make booster progress on any other cards.
A: Glenn “Agatha’s booster reward is designed to remove an incentive for players to automate her, since you can’t farm boosters for other cards this way. That’s a behavior we prefer to discourage.”

Q: Are there any plans to add accessibility settings/features for the game? For example increases and decreases to values being depicted in red and green isn’t colorblind friendly, and there’s currently no option to adjust font settings in any way.
A: Daniela “This is something we want to do for sure! The tech half existed, we hope to revisit and get it working!”

Q: How does the team determine how quick or slow to nerf or buff a card. I ask as a largely free to play player who is frustrated to lose to decks that feel like they need to be nerfed immediately and not 3 weeks from now”
A: Glenn “We currently patch about every four weeks to update a great deal of our content. Balance updates are just one part of a given patch, as our notes always show, and patching the game is a major event for us–we take that process seriously because a mistake could compromise more than our game balance.

Specific balance changes ad why we might time them slightly differently depend on a lot of variables, and sometimes we do need extra time to test or implement. For the last month, the technology we used to adjust Zabu and Surfer has been unavailable, which was unfortunate timing but hopefully no longer an issue.

Zabu’s nerf was the fastest we’ve ever nerfed a card as far as I know–just over 5 weeks from release. I wouldn’t expect us to often react much faster than that, as we want to ensure metagames get some time to self-correct before reaching for nerfs, and that takes at least two if not three weeks to observe in addition to our internal process.”

Q: What are the balance goals and philosophy between different game modes?
A: Glenn “Right now, we’re exclusively focusing on Ranked because battle mode doesn’t represent a similar volume of games. Once Conquest goes live, we intend to monitor both. You can expect a larger update about our balance plans later in April. Thanks!

Q: What was the internal thinking about not touching Leech this patch cycle?
A: Glenn (from twitter) “Since it’s coming up a lot: There’s only been one strong deck using Leech, and nerfs to Thanos decks weaken him too. Our time to implement behavior/VFX changes is also limited. We decided to take more time, find a change we liked and could make, and then see if it was warranted.”

As a bonus, Second Dinner’s Principal Game Designer Glenn Jones held a session on Twitter to answer questions and concerns from the players regarding the balance update. The thread can be found below.

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 have a question for the developers, be sure to submit it in their official Discord in the “#ask-the-team” channel and you might see your question in the next update!

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