We at 1939 Games wish all of you very Happy New Year and hope you are as excited about 2019 as we are. The closed Beta is just around the corner and we’re hard at work getting everything ready. Lot of new and exciting stuff is coming, but before I discuss some of them, let’s start by going over a few card changes. Most of them were already introduced before the Alpha ended, but here are a couple of late comers.
The most notable change is on the iconic Katyusha. You voiced your concerns regarding the proposed changes here on Discord and we heard you. We’ve tried out a few different things, and here is where we ended up:
This version retains the cheap, aggressive nature of the unit and incorporates the inaccuracies of rocket artillery. It has worked well in internal testing and we hope you like it better than the last version. Note that the extra damage is a 50/50 chance.
Another unit that is changing is Mortar Battery. It was always a problem unit as it didn’t fit the naming convention we have - non-infantry units depict a specific equipment, and a portable mortar didn’t warrant the artillery tag. So we’re changing the unit:
The picture depicts members of the 101st Airborne (as indicated by the Spade symbol on their helmets), so we wanted to reflect that in the name. The 463rd was an artillery battalion within the 101st. They did have more powerful artillery pieces than just mortars, but the picture, and the ability is still fitting we feel.
So let’s dive into some of the new stuff in the closed Beta release. First of all, we have changed the new player experience a bit. After choosing your display name, you kick off with playing a couple of tutorials (for Alpha players, these are the same as in the Alpha). Once you’ve completed those you get to choose a starter deck to claim:
Once you have selected one of the five started decks, you get to fight the other four to unlock them. You can unlock them in any order you want and for each battle you can choose one of your already unlocked decks to use.
As an example, let’s say we chose the Soviet starter deck and have already defeated (and unlocked) the British and US decks, so our battle selection screen looks like this:
For my next match I can choose one of the two remaining nations to battle and can use any of the Soviet, British or USA starters.
Once you’ve unlocked all five starter decks you get to the proper main screen and can start building your own decks and battle other players.
One cool thing to reveal here is that each of the nations now have their own unique card backs, which you unlock at the same time as you unlock the starting deck for that nation. Card backs to use are chosen as part of deck building. Here you can see three of the new card backs (for Germany, the USA and Soviet, respectively):
Every player joining the closed Beta will go through this new player experience as outlined above. This includes returning Alpha players. The reason is to allow experienced players to give us feedback on this important aspect of the game, plus claiming the starter decks gives you a good base collection.
The main screen has seen some slight changes. Here is a quick look:
Note the Draft button, it is greyed out because the draft mode (Arena) will not be ready when the closed Beta starts, but we aim to launch it in a few weeks.
But let’s talk about the Profile view, because it is the gateway to a lot of important changes. This is how it looks when clicked:
The view is divided into three tabs, with the Rank tab being the default one selected.
In the Rank tab, you see several things:
- In the upper half, you see your ladder progression. See more on this below.
- Below that you see your national level progression. More details below.
- Finally, you see how many wins you have total.
The ladder progression is used for matchmaking - the game will try to match you against a player on similar level as you. Progressing on the ladder requires winning matches in Battle mode. Each win gives you one star, consecutive wins give 2 stars each. Losing a match does not remove a star on the first two ranks (Cadet and Private), but after that a star is lost when losing a match. Here are a few more facts:
- Each rank has three levels (for instance Cadet I, II and III). Each level has 5 stars.
- Players can not lose a rank when losing a match, so if you have managed to reach for instance the Lieutenant rank (the fourth), you cannot fall back to Sergeant rank (the third) however many matches you lose.
- Stars are only gained or lost in Battle mode matches, not in Training or Challenge matches.
- Later on we will add seasons to the ladder, meaning every month players receive rewards based on how far up the ladder they managed to climb, but at end of a season players fall back down several places. Once this addition is in, players will never fall back into Cadet rank once out of it.
- Another addition planned for the future is a top-level master rank.
- One important rule to be aware of is that players in Cadet rank are not matched against players on a higher rank.
- When fighting another player, you can see the ladder rank the player is on.
The national levels build up the more you play a given nation (as the main nation in a deck). A few things to note for the national levels:
- Each nation has 150 levels, with each level requiring progressively more experience points (xp) to reach.
- Players gain levels through playing the game. Battle mode matches give more xp than Training mode matches.
- Currently the national levels are not tied to specific rewards, but will in the near future be tied to specific card rewards and special nationally themed emotes.
- National levels are never shown to other players (though once the rewards are in, players can indirectly guess progress based on for instance emotes used).
Phew, lot of info for the Rank tab. The next tab, Progress, is simpler, as it has no new elements from the Alpha. This is how it looks:
Here players can track which daily missions they have active and their progress (and reject some if they wish). Below that is the list of Achievement progress. Once an Achievement has been completed, players claim the rewards in this tab.
The Customization tab is where players can customize the gameboard with special props (equipment) and choose which emotes they want to use. For gameboard props, we will cover this in more details in a later blog, for now we will only discuss the emotes a bit.
Emotes are now divided into 8 groups. Players can choose one emote per group to use in matches for a given nation (so you can choose different emotes for Germany than for Britain, for instance). This means there will always be 8 emotes to choose between when playing. The emote groups are themed for specific occasions, though players are of course free to use them at any time they see fit. All players start with 3 available emotes in each group, so a total of 24 to choose from. More emotes can be unlocked through several means, more on that in the next dev blog. Here you can see how the emote selection view looks like in the Customization tab:
At the top you select which nation you want to edit the emotes for. Below you see the emote groups, with a drop down list allowing you to choose which emote to use from a particular group.
And here you can see them in a match:
That’s all for now, in the next dev blog we will discuss the different customization options in a bit more details and go over the changes to the shop.
The closed Beta is starting in just a few days, hope to see all of you in game. Stay tuned!