On Tuesday, April 2nd, we are going live with a big update for Kards to introduce seasons, change the ranking system, introduce a top-level Officer Club, deploy new cards and more. This update so massive that we are doing not one, but two dev blogs to cover all the changes.
In this first dev blog we are going to look at changes to the progression system in the game. Specifically, we are making changes to the ranks (the ladder system), introducing a new top level rank and seasons, changing the matchmaking code and tweaking achievements/national levels.
In the second dev blog, which is planned for Monday, April 1st (no joke!), we will cover new cards, changes to cards and a few tweaks and changes to the game. But more on that later.
It’s a lot to cover, let’s take it from the top.
New Rank System
We’re getting rid of the existing rank system of a single ladder where players climb from Cadet to Field Marshal. Instead we will have national ranks (this is similar to the system we had in Alpha, for those that remember that). For each of the five nations, you will start at Private rank and then can earn promotions through 6 ranks (for a total of 7 rank per nation), all the way up to Field Marshal.
Here is how the new rank window will look, note that this is a work-in-progress, so some changes might still happen before Tuesday:
(Rank Window - Work in Progress)
The ranks will function more or less the same as before:
- Each rank, apart from the Field Marshal one, has 5 stars.
- A win streak of three or more will give 2 stars per victory, otherwise 1. 1 star is lost on defeat.
- Only Battle Mode matches affect rankings.
- We are re-implementing ranks as save points - once you get promoted to a rank (let’s say from Captain to Major as Britain), you cannot fall again down to Major level that season (see more on seasons below).
- The national rank affected with a match is determined by the major power of the deck used.
- When playing a Battle mode match, the rank shown is based on the national rank of the major power used.
Note that because of the vast changes to the rank system (and that we are starting the first season, see below), we are resetting the ranks of all players.
The Officer Club
We are adding a new feature to the game, called the Officer Club. The Officer Club is an elite play level sitting atop the rankings, where the top players duke it out for top dog status.
To join the Officer Club, a player has to reach Field Marshal rank in three of the five national ranks. Once the third Field Marshal rank is reached, the player becomes a member of the Officer Club.
We have all kinds of plans down the road for the Officer Club, such as special Tournaments for members only, but for now the main focus of the Officer Club is a Leaderboard for members only. Once a player becomes a member, a new Officer Club rating will be calculated (and visible), based on match results, with the players with the highest ratings sitting at the top of the Leaderboard. Finishing a season in one of the top spots will earn a special reward.
Here is a look at the Officer Club Leaderboard, again, the disclaimer on work-in-progress applies. The top 12 spots are shown, plus your own position:
(Officer Club leaderboard - Work in Progress)
A few more points on the Officer Club:
- The Leaderboard is only visible to current and previous members of the Officer Club.
- As ranks are (only) lost when a new season starts, Officer Club membership lasts until the end of the season.
- When playing a match, Officer Club members have a special insignia showing their member status.
The current matchmaking system is directly linked to the ranks of players, which is fine when there is just a single ladder and no elite level. That is no longer the case, so we are introducing a more elaborate matchmaking code.
Players will now have a (hidden) rating to calculate their skill level, using an ELO-like system that we will not go into full details on. The national ranks are of course not an accurate indicator of strength (a player could show as a Private, yet be Field Marshal for the other 4 nations, for instance).
It will still be possible for players of different skill levels to be matched, especially while the player pool is small, but hopefully this will result in a better matchmaking experience for people down the road.
Seasons will last a full calendar month (this means some seasons will be longer than others). When a season ends, the following happens:
- Players can gain a reward based on promotions achieved in the national ranks, and for ending in the top of the Officer Club leaderboard. Exact levels and rewards will be detailed later before the first season ends. (Note that the first season will be slightly shorter, as it starts on the 2nd rather than 1st of the month.)
- All players drop one rank in each nation, retaining the same number of stars in the new rank. For example, a player with 3 stars in Major rank for Germany will go down to 3 stars in Captain rank for Germany (his other four national ranks being similarly adjusted). The lowest a player can drop is Private 0 stars.
- There is an exception to the above rule - for Field Marshal rank, the drop is down to 5 stars in Major, i.e. the drop is a bit more.
- All players are dropped as members of the Officer Club (as they no longer meet the 3 Field Marshal rank requirement).
- Players will be informed about their rank adjustments and rewards on their first login after a new season starts.
National levels & Achievements
The national levels, intended to give nation specific rewards based on playtime with a specific nation, is being removed. With the expanded complexity of the new rank system, we wanted to simplify on other fronts, and removing the national levels seemed the natural choice, as it would compete with the national ranks.
The national levels had two main purposes:
- Help early progression for new players.
- Give flavor rewards for established players.
We wanted to retain both of these things, as they are important for the overall engagement. So what we are doing is reworking those rewards into the achievement system.
The basic achievement for each nation - Play X cards for [nation], is being expanded from 5 levels to 50 levels (broken down into ten 5 level achievements). Players start with the first active, with the second becoming visible once the first one is completed, and so on.
We’re also expanding what kind of rewards achievements can give out. Achievements can now give you for instance new nation specific emotes and card backs as reward. We’re not going to give you the exact reward spread, as that would spoil the fun in unlocking them :).
Note that as part of this change to the achievement system we are resetting all achievement counts to 0 when the update goes live next Tuesday. You will retain all rewards claimed and will be able to claim them again once they trigger them.
Being able to redo achievements is a significant boon, but we feel this is more than warranted for all the great feedback, support and patience you guys have given us, especially over the last few weeks were we’ve been constantly altering cards, cards that sometimes people have spent hard-earned resources to craft. Thank you!
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for another dev blog next Monday (April 1st), where we will cover many significant card and mechanic changes and reveal several new cards.