It’s been so crazy behind the scenes that September flew by before I could get a community update posted! Better late than never, I always say.
We spent the better part of September working on the game update that’s scheduled to roll out this week. Though the patch notes will be posted toward the end of maintenance, I want to give you some idea of what to expect.
We’ve added more User Experience screens to help guide new players through the game. These screens include an introduction to PvP and the Deck Builder, as well as additional information when completing the Gold League in Trainer Challenge and selecting Quick Game for the first time.
The gradual process of updating the game’s UI has reached the Deck Manager and brings with it some cool new functionality. Players now have the ability to easily identify and remove cards which are not Modified-legal from an existing Unlimited deck. The filtering options dynamically update based on the card type category selected, so a greyed out option for Item, Supporter, Stadium or Pokémon Tool will no longer appear in the filter window for Pokémon or Energy cards. We’ve still got a few minor tweaks that need to be made, but we’re confident that you’ll find the new experience a vast improvement over the previous Deck Manager.
The Versus screen at the start of a PvP match will now indicate which player who is favored to win, based on past play and other criteria. If the match is played in Expert Mode and lasts long enough to be eligible for Trainer Token rewards, both players will receive the standard reward if the favored player wins. However, if the underdog wins instead, that player will receive an additional 2 Trainer Tokens for the upset!
We’re also making changes to the theme deck unlock system used for the Trainer Challenge. To help educate new players on how decks can be improved through customization, the decks received by logging into the game, such as the BW Basic Blue, Red, and Green decks, will continue to use the theme deck unlock system. However, decks received via code or Trainer Token redemption will no longer require winning Trainer Challenge matches before they match the exact contents of their physical version in the Trainer Challenge. Players who already have these decks in their collection will receive fully unlocked versions during the game update.
The Shop will also receive several new items this week. Four matching sets of sleeves and deckboxes will be available for Trainer Tokens, and an additional four sets for Gems. As this is the first that we’ve made items of this nature available in the Shop, we are taking a conservative approach to their release and will be follow our existing policy on tradability: items received via Gems will be fully tradable, while items received via Trainer Tokens will be non-tradable. Our vision is to make as many digital items tradable as possible, including Trainer Token sleeves and deckboxes, but we want to assess their impact in the community before doing so.
The after this week, the next game update is scheduled to occur in early November to support the of release of the Black & White—Legendary Treasures expansion and the XY—Kalos Starter Set. Adding new expansions to the game requires the majority of the development team’s resources, so any additional features will be minor in nature. We’ve also scheduled a light feature load for December, as the winter holidays tend to affect resource availability due to office closures and personal time off. Unfortunately, this requires us to delay Tournament functionality to Q1 of next year.
As with the August update, I wanted to leave you with another screenshot for another section of the UI update. This one is for the opponent select screen in the Trainer Challenge.
As you can see, we’ve improved the overall flow of communication. Each Trainer’s bio appears at the top of the screen with a score and an indicator for what the rewards are for beating the Trainer. Players can navigate opponents by either scrolling across their portrait or using the progression bar below that. The progression bar also provides a snapshot of the player’s progress through a league. A green checkmark indicates that an opponent has been defeated, solid if the opponent has been defeated with the selected deck, or hollow if the opponent has not yet been defeated with the selected deck. A hollow circle indicates that an opponent is available to play but has not been defeated and a lock indicates that the opponent cannot be played yet.
I hope you’re all excited for this week’s game update, as well as those coming in the next few months. I’ll do my best to be a bit more timely with the October update, assuming I don’t lose myself of the Kalos region when Pokémon X & Pokémon Y release on October 12th.
As always, thank you for your continued support!
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