New Player Experience Update: Introducing Starter Decks!
Coulter L. Baker
May 16, 2022
Welcome to a design update from the Skyweaver dev team! Today we’re excited to announce a sizable revision to our new player experience, which will be released in an upcoming patch!
New players will find a more approachable onboarding focused around the Constructed game type and will now unlock a set of five 25 card Starter Decks (one per Prism). This allows new players to start playing Constructed and building their own decks faster.
Note: All images shown may change between now and official release.
Overview and New Player Onboarding Flow
In this new onboarding flow, as a new player, you will begin by playing the first tutorial match. Upon completing tutorial 1, you will reach Level 1, unlocking the Hero Ada, and receive a new 25 card starter deck of Base cards, which you can use to start playing Constructed games versus the bot and other players!
At Level 1 and every three levels after—Level 3, 6, 9, and 12—you will unlock another Mono-Prism Hero and a 25 Base card starter deck for their Prism. This is a change from the current system, where players start unlocking certain Dual-Prism Heroes before some Mono-Prism ones.
With this new system, players will be limited to Mono-Prism decks early on, which will give you more time to explore the unique play-space of each Prism and its cards, before engaging in the more complex process of combining Prisms and crafting Dual-Prism decks.
After unlocking all five Mono-Prism Heroes, and reaching Level 15, you will unlock the ability to make Dual-Prism decks, which will naturally let you utilize all of the Dual-Prism Heroes. You will not unlock any starter decks for these 10 Heroes, since you will already have 125 Base cards from the five single Prism starter decks that you previously unlocked. These five single Prism starter decks can be used to make your own Dual-Prism decks, so the level needed to unlock all Heroes hasn’t changed, just the rate at which they are unlocked.
All of the starter decks players will unlock are semi-randomized. Each has a set of 15 Core Cards that are common among all starter decks for that Prism, and an additional 10 Variable Cards that are each drawn from 10 different 3 card pools of possible options, which helps ensure that different players will have slightly different decks, to prevent our new players’ Constructed experience from being all mirror matches, while also ensuring we are providing new players with a more curated gameplay experience that doesn’t expose them to overly-complex cards too early on. We may alter what Core and Variable Cards are in starter decks in the future to improve the player experience.
Strength Starter Deck
Agility Starter Deck
Wisdom Starter Deck
Heart Starter Deck
Intellect Starter Deck
You can also see a list of all of each starter deck’s core cards and possible variable cards here, and get a more in-depth idea of how the decks are constructed.
What if I’m not a new player?
Not a new player? You may be wondering how this could impact you! All existing players will also receive starter decks and associated Base cards that they have reached the appropriate level to unlock! If an existing player is below level 12, they will also be able to unlock any remaining starter decks as normal by leveling up.
Revised Progression speed
To compensate for the faster unlocking speed of Base cards due to the addition of starter decks, we will also be increasing the amount of experience needed to level up beyond level 100. For every 100 levels a player has, they will require 20 more experience points per level—up until level 500. That means 120 experience points per level from levels 101-200, 140 experience from levels 201-300, and so on, maxing out at 200 Experience at level 500+. This will make unlocking all the cards in the long term slightly slower than it was previously. However, when accounting for the +125 Base cards given in the starter decks, the unlocking process for the first 500 Base cards takes about the same time that it does now.
Note: If a user has any Silver cards, this will still allow them to build and play decks they have any Silver cards for, just as always. So if you have a Silver Heart card you can build and play Heart decks regardless of level, if you have a Silver Agility card you can build and play Agility decks, if you have both a Silver Heart and Agility card you can build and play Heart + Agility decks, and so on.
Why is New Player Onboarding Changing From Discovery to Constructed?
Up to this point, Skyweaver’s onboarding has encouraged new players to engage with Discovery, rather than Constructed. The decision to change from a Discovery focused new player experience to a Constructed one was not taken lightly, and will offer a number of benefits for new and existing players alike.
The primary concern with Discovery is that, while it is an enjoyable quick-play game type, it rewards having deep knowledge of all the game’s cards, as Discovery decks are randomized, which limits new players' ability to familiarize themselves with cards and decks. By offering new players a starting set of decks, we provide them with a consistent collection of cards to familiarize themselves with as a starting point, rather than asking them to learn about new cards during every Discovery match they play.
Furthermore, by providing players with a starting collection of cards, we’ll also be giving them more opportunities to experiment with the game and express their creativity and personal play styles and preferences. Rather than being forced to grind Discovery games for hours to amass enough cards to start Constructed deckbuilding, new players can experiment with altering their starter decks as they unlock new cards, experiencing all the Prisms and Dual-Prisms without needing to spend hours grinding new cards.
Our aim is to provide players with a starting collection of cards, encouraging them to be more engaged with the world of Sky, its Heroes and stories, and allowing them to feel more invested in the game and all that it has to offer. Giving them the chance to experience more of it sooner, and have a bigger impact on the dimension of Sky as a result!
Future Development and Enhancements
Obviously, this new system isn’t the be-all end-all of our new player experience. If any starter deck lists or cards prove unreasonably powerful in the context of the five starter decks, we’ll make adjustments to the deck lists to ensure that no one starter deck is unreasonably favored versus the others. We also anticipate players will quickly graduate from using these starter decks into making their own single or Dual-Prism decks, so any imbalance in the deck lists should even out as players make their own upgrades and customizations.
Furthermore, we’re working on additions for new players that we intend to roll out in the future, which will help to expand and improve the new player experience further, by providing more objectives for new players to complete which will help them learn and gain additional rewards.
That's about all there is to cover for our new Constructed driven onboarding design. This new player onboarding flow will be released in an upcoming patch, so stay tuned for that!
We’ve also got an exciting new event going on, where our players are able to win legacy hero skins through the Ranked leaderboard, Conquest mode, and collecting gold cards! Read all about the event, and how you can win skins, here.