Thank you to all those who submitted questions for the July 2020 Dev AMA.
And now, here are the answers to 15 of your most burning Shadow Arena questions:
1) Do you have any plans to add a system in which we can see the actual damage numbers being inflicted? I think this would help us see exactly how much damage each skill does, determine skill efficacy, and to catch bugs better. Maybe it can pop up on the chat window in a way that doesn’t interfere with the game?
We’ll consider ways to display damage numbers in-game.
Your idea of having the damage numbers displayed in the chat window is something we can do, but we’ll be looking for cooler, more impressive ways to display the damage numbers.
2) How are you planning to monetize the game after release (apart from hero skins)?
We’ve mentioned in our June 2020 “Ask the Devs Anything” responses that we’re considering Battle Passes. Besides this, we’re only looking to add animations (e.g. emotes), icons, and cosmetics to the Shop. We have no intention of adding P2W monetization elements to Shadow Arena.
3) With the current state of the game, having no Dark Shift (“Q” skill, “Black Spirit” skill) available means fighting is impossible. Are there any plans to change Dark Shift?
We have more ideas in mind for Dark Shift and Blink. By the time these responses are published, you will have seen some of these changes applied in the July 23rd update. The cooldown time of Dark Shift will decrease when you’re affected by CC and Blink will be available regardless of the situation you’re in (unless you’re under certain CC effects). Additionally, we’re looking to add “other options” that are similar to Dark Shift.
4) As mentioned in the last AMA the team has been waiting until SA reaches a point of what you envision it to be to start marketing and advising the game how close do you think you are to that point.
Even now we’re still focused on building Shadow Arena up more and assessing how enjoyable the game is, so we still need more time. Thank you so much for your patience and for your continued support for Shadow Arena. We know how much it means to you all, so we’ll do our best to get to that point soon and to put our best foot forward when we do!
5) How long are you going to keep Sparring Grounds in its current state? It’s meant to be for practice but you can’t practice without involving other players in it.
We definitely have plans to improve the Sparring Grounds, but there is a limit to our manpower and the time that we’ve got. That’s why we have no choice but to prioritize other aspects of the game that we feel need improvements first. The plans we do have in mind though consist of not only improving on its major functions but also to add community-based features. Once we’re finished with our prioritized tasks, we’ll turn our attention to the Sparring Grounds.
6) Out of the CMs, who’s the best at Shadow Arena and what hero does he/she play?
That would be CM Magic. (That’s right, the name choice isn’t random; this CM works wonders in the game.) Magic’s hero of choice is Herawen.
7) Will you try to rework Badal? He is in such a bad state, his kit doesn't fit in Shadow Arena.
We’ve got some big changes planned for Badal in Round 2 of the Beta Season. We hope you can wait a little longer to see what these changes are, so please stay tuned!
8) Do you have any plans to add character customizing features?
Currently, we do not have plans to add character customizing features.
9) Who will be next hero in Shadow Arena? Can you tell us some hint?
By the time these responses are published, Gorgath, the Earthen Guardian, will have been out for less than a week. We occasionally share some tidbits/hints of upcoming heroes before they’re released in our Discord, so make sure to pop into the server and check if the CMs have shared anything juicy in the chat!
10) Will you add another ranking system to the King of the hill (1vs1) and hope it'll be separated from the main rank?
There are a couple of things that come to our mind when we’re thinking of a ranking system for a 1v1 mode. We’re currently putting a lot of thought into what a 1v1 mode should entail. Players may disagree about how true 1v1 skill is really measured and we don’t think the game is currently ready to divide player matchmaking. However, if KOTH becomes popular enough and there is no problem matchmaking amongst players, then we definitely see no reason why we can’t put it in.
11) What was the reasoning for not having the NA/EU server tourneys that were announced in May? And when can we expect an NA tourney if ever?
We’re truly sorry that these tournaments are getting delayed. When we feel that we can successfully run a tournament in the servers you’ve mentioned, we plan to immediately host tournaments at that time.
12) What was the purpose of changing the turning movement from beta? It was easier and flowing feeling. Now it feels harder and not at ease.
The “turning movement” feature which was available by clicking the mouse wheel during the beta was a feature that was difficult for many players to use, so we decided to replace it with a simpler mechanic (the current Alt function) with the launch of Early Access.
13) How are you dealing with players who use cheats and hack programs?
We are constantly monitoring and detecting cheats and hack program users through a cheat detection security program and our own hacktool detection systems. We are continuously improving these two systems to ensure a cheat-free, fair gaming environment in Shadow Arena.
We also investigate every player-submitted reports of suspected cheats and hack program users, then take appropriate disciplinary action in the cases that call for them. Please be sure to report any suspicious activity through our in-game “Report” function or notify a CM in our Discord server if you have something to report.
14) An excerpt from your last Dev Note: “Next up is combat, among this was the game flow’s overreliance on combos and control skill that we want to change to give more possibilities for diverse and tactical playstyles.” Does this mean you will replace skills or add new ones? I personally think there aren’t enough skills for diverse gameplay.
We’re thinking of diversity and flexibility in game strategy apart from a player’s mechanical skill, like different ways and methods of getting stronger, as well as decisions like where do I take a fight, and when? The changing of the Jump Gate locations in our July 23rd update is a part of this. We think you’ll be able to see more of this direction in our upcoming updates.
15) How exactly do you deal with the bug reports you receive from players?
We receive our bug reports through various sources, and an important source is from our players reporting it on Discord or in other communities. Once we receive reports of bugs, we take a look at each report individually. Seeing video clips of bugs is incredibly helpful in helping us to figure out what went wrong and how to replicate a problem. We focus on critical bugs first, then work our way to fixing the other bugs that we’ve confirmed. Please keep track of our “Known Issues” notice to see what bugs we’re aware of and working to fix.