Hey everyone! As mentioned previously in our 2020 Road Map Thread, Rift Battles are receiving a large overhaul this year. In fact, what we have planned is so big, it's actually more of a REWORK. Due to the large volume of changes, it's taken us a little longer than usual to share the details on what we have planned - apologies for the delay! Without further ado, we're excited to announce some of the high level goals and plans for Rift Battles in our next few updates: IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This Rift Battles rework is still under heavy construction and we are early in development. It is EXTREMELY LIKELY that some elements of this rework will change as we implement these changes. As such, please take each change listed below with a grain of salt - things may end up different! RIFT BATTLES ARE ASYNCHRONOUS This is the big one. Instead of being actively paired up with a player who is searching for a match at the same time as you, you'll now attack defense bases without the other player being there, similar to Prize Fights. We know how important matchmaking is to our players and Rift Battles as a whole, and we feel that we'll be able to deliver matchmaking at the quality that we're all looking for with this change. Currently, trying to find a player who is in your Rift Rating and Fighter Score range who is also matchmaking during the same 10 minute window isn't working for the majority of players. We've needed to widen these matchmaking ranges more and more over several updates to make sure that players can find matches at all, which unfortunately leads to even more unbalanced matchmaking. With asynchronous matchmaking and pairing, you'll be able to instantly find viable matches against players that have close to the same Rift Rating as you. This will be simple and easy for everyone to understand with no special under the hood magic. PLAYERS CAN CHOOSE FROM A LIST OF OPPONENTS Instead of being locked into fighting a specific base after matchmaking, you will be shown several opponents to choose from that have similar Rift Rating to your own. You'll only be given limited information on each of these bases before you choose which one you'd like to take on. Once you start a fight against a base, you'll have to finish that one (win or lose) before you can move on. While this list of opponents can likely be refreshed much like Prize Fights, a bonus will be awarded to players who can win against all of their opponent bases without refreshing. RIFT BATTLES ARE FASTER AND SNAPPIER Rift Battles are currently high stakes, pretty stressful, and they take two hours to complete. With this rework, we'd like Rift Battles to be much quicker and easier to break into bite sized chunks of content so that you can play as much or as little as you like with your available free time. You can also take your time! Beyond the overall season deadline, each individual Rift Battle is untimed - so you can take as long as you want to complete a particular battle. As such, the new Rift Battles map will be smaller, and the conditions for the Rift Battle ending will be simpler. Either you clear their map and WIN, or you lose to any node and LOSE. (exact win/loss conditions subject to change pending playtesting) After that, you're free to start another Rift Battle immediately. No more waiting around for an hour and a half before you can see if you won or lost! RANDOMIZED NODE MODIFIERS While our new Rift Battle base is smaller, we're going to keep things fresh with randomized Match Modifiers that change every season. This means that what was once the "Reactive Armor" node one season might be a completely different node next season. Although there are fewer nodes on each map, you'll nonetheless need to build a variety of defenders and Catalysts if you want to take advantage of the Match Modifiers for that season, and you'll need a variety of attackers to counter the defense nodes that your opponents come up with! "OKAY... BUT WHAT ABOUT <SOME FEATURE?>" Some of these changes likely raise more questions than they answer. However, we're intentionally not diving into the specifics of other changes just yet. This post is just about sharing our birds eye view goals and aspirational goals for the Rift Battles rework to keep you informed on what we're working towards. That said, if you have questions or feedback, please leave it down below! While it's unlikely that we'll be responding to questions asking for more details on a specific feature mentioned (or missing) in this post, everyone's thoughts and discussions are more than welcome. Please also note that feedback shared on Discord, Reddit, YouTube, MySpace, Tumblr, Neopets, and private Club Penguin servers, etc, is likely to be missed. If you want us to read it, please share it in this thread. We'll be sure to share details as we get closer to the release of this feature (potentially as early as 4.3). As always, thanks so much for all your support!