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OFFICIAL: Rift Battle Rework Details

Lililira

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1. Asynchronous rift battles - I know this doesn't apply to everyone but I do quite enjoy the 1 v 1 battles and then receiving feedback from your opponent on how your base defense performed. It allowed some kind of player interaction within the community but I guess this is mostly limited to players that are available in Discord. It would be cool if there was some kind of feedback system in place, such as through a replay feature.

Yeah, I'd also like to see something like this, even if it's something simple like a running list of past challenger teams for each node each season. Sort of how claiming points from your defense teams work in the PFs, except entries only get cleared once the season ends or if you alter the node somehow.

Even if full replays aren't feasible, extra data on how your opponents performed would be very helpful. Stuff like time spent / remaining fighters and their health / cause of loss (time out, team wipe, quit) / fight bonuses earned / score would all be useful data on how well / poorly your defense team performed.
 
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Dusty00

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Wondering about the ranking system and the cutoff will work. I know this is details but one concern @Tom Kulczewski and I were chatting about is that some top players can play non stop and bring D1 cutoff to like 2800 rift points, assuming it’s a similar scoring system.

Very curious to find out more about how the ranking and rewards will be affected. I do hope that top tankers are not compensated with more resources like we currently have, but more cosmetic, fame-related rewards so top players don’t snowball to be so strong that others can never catch up, like how Porkfat has been top for over a year... maybe a permanent name display with a season number on it or something like that for the top 3 but no additional actual reward.

One idea for rank cutoff and reward is that they can be predetermined. For example, gold 4 is always 1500 and diamond 2 is always 2000. Wherever you land at the end of the season is what reward you get. At the end of each season everyone gets dropped back down to the lowest of that tier, so if you reached G1 you drop back down to G4 to climb again.
 

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Very curious to find out more about how the ranking and rewards will be affected. I do hope that top tankers are not compensated with more resources like we currently have, but more cosmetic, fame-related rewards so top players don’t snowball to be so strong that others can never catch up, like how Porkfat has been top for over a year...

Also arriving in 4.2 - SHINY FIGHTERS! Shiny Fighters are extremely rare versions of Fighters which sparkle during combat and on all UI screens.

Shiny Fighters have NO COMBAT BENEFITS - their effects in gameplay are purely cosmetic! However, they only require HALF the amount of XP to level up, and HALF the amount of resources (Canopy Coins, Skill Points, and Theonite) to upgrade their Skill Trees.

Hmm..
 

BallotBoxer

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I'm against SHINY rewards. They should stay random bolts of luck. Handing them out will not only make them less special, but despite their cosmetic nature, they are huge advantages for collections. A shiny diamond is like million XP if a duplicate used for powering-up and if something new, an near-instant general for your collection army.

All these Rift rework changes sound amazing. The only aspect I wonder about is the pyramid. Will Gold 1 continue to be a ghost layer after the top 200 get tractor-beamed up to the diamond space ship? That always appeared weird to me, like watching the Olympics and the victory podium has an empty spot for the silver medalist.

Life in the bronze pond is crazy. One week you are fighting Silvers about to climb to their rank. The next week, a series of sea monsters burst out of the bronze-colored waters and drag you down with +9/-21 battles because they happen to be "Rookie"
 

That nub

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Just a suggestion. Maybe instead of using the Whole roster of character. why not just let the challenger (attacker) choose a set of characters to use so it rewards strategy and less unga bunga
 

NamelesstheBeardless

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Oh wow, coming back to the game and this is a nice improvement already! I had a lot of strong fighters but absolutely no nodes, so it was a... experience, to say the least. These look "paws"itively lovely to see!
 

buggy.

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The aroma of this changes is delightful. Thank you developers.

RIFT BATTLES ARE FASTER AND SNAPPIER

Rift Battles are currently high stakes, pretty stressful, and they take two hours to complete.

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)​


One feedback - this losing the whole match over one node sounds stressful as it is now. As even now, losing one node means losing the match.

What " balances " it out is opponent losing to one node as well. Final score of every match is always similar on a fair match. What makes the difference is losing to a node. If opponent doesn't lose to any node, that match is a lose 90% of the time.
With this new change, that's still here, except more stressing and high stakes as there isn't anything to balance it out.

A plausible solution could be " forfeit button " or something similar. The choice is still on players' hand.

Talking from what's presented here. Course there can be lots of others things at play which can affect it.
 
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Robokit

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Great work devs! One QoL issue that I think needs addressing is the significantly longer (sometimes interminable even) connection time when transitioning from the main menu screen to the rift battle mode starter screen (where the avatars of the 2 players are presented separated by 'VS') , from the fight scene back to the map, and from the map back to the rift battle starter screen. Does asynchronicity mean faster loading?
 
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TraiP

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IMO this style of rift battles you are currently working towards fits perfectly SGM.Honestly can't wait to try it out !!
 

TonyPartridge30

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I gave on on Rifts long ago, but these changes sound worth giving it another shot, especially the favoring of matches at your RIft Rating (though for players like me who have purposefully decayed, matchmaking based purely on Rift Rating may not be super accurate). If the reworked Rifts still don't suit me, i'll just continue to ignore them.
 

Tsukiakari

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Wondering about the ranking system and the cutoff will work. I know this is details but one concern @Tom Kulczewski and I were chatting about is that some top players can play non stop and bring D1 cutoff to like 2800 rift points, assuming it’s a similar scoring system.

Very curious to find out more about how the ranking and rewards will be affected. I do hope that top tankers are not compensated with more resources like we currently have, but more cosmetic, fame-related rewards so top players don’t snowball to be so strong that others can never catch up, like how Porkfat has been top for over a year... maybe a permanent name display with a season number on it or something like that for the top 3 but no additional actual reward.

One idea for rank cutoff and reward is that they can be predetermined. For example, gold 4 is always 1500 and diamond 2 is always 2000. Wherever you land at the end of the season is what reward you get. At the end of each season everyone gets dropped back down to the lowest of that tier, so if you reached G1 you drop back down to G4 to climb again.
The new changes is good and I'm looking forward to it. Just want to touch a little on the rewards system. The problem with the reward system, as a Gold 2 player, is the rich just get richer. Not just from the shards and Rift coin they got, or even silver to gold keys, those are easy to come by, Rookies and Gold rank players alike, but it's the Diamond keys. From Gold rank to Diamond is a tall huddler to cross, because Diamond fighters are huge advantage, and Diamond players get them every weeks, allow them to upgrade their Diamonds even further, while Gold players or below rarely get them. You could buy them, which is very expensive if you are not a high rank players, or if you're extreme lucky and get 2~3 keys a month from AE. Sorry for rambling but the gist of my thought is the rich just get richer, and huddler just keep getting higher and higher.
Or you can implement a system where you can trade like 100 gold keys to 1 Diamond key. This could help lower rank players, and even people that don't play Rift catching up to those at the top.
 
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Disasterrr19

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Hey @Liam, wonderful news that the Rifts are being tweaked in such a major way! The thing was pretty much stale for a long time now, this gust of fresh air will definitely revitalize things up.

As I usually do, I'll put my opinions here step by step:

1) Asynchronous Rifting - totally agree. Extended search time and broadening the list of available options beyond folks who are online right now should definitely improve the matchmaking, the biggest problem of current Rifts. No more silent morning hours and picking the right time interval in the evening to get better chances of finding an opponent. In regard to ZeoW's post, probably we can get a notification when someone is attacking our base? The "Replay Rift" feature would be awesome, but quite difficult to implement, I believe, but we could at least monitor which nodes the opponent attacks first and which ones take less time to work on our defence strategy.

2) A list of available opponents - mostly agree. Pros - you get more chances to find a suitable opponent (if you're a Rookie, you would not want to choose someone with Marqueed Love Crafted set as avatar) and probably fight people that you already know for interesting defence strategies (I still remember great battles against @xcapibara, @fanghoul, CountofBleck and some others that were much more satisfying than the common boring Frost Armor/Light Boss meta, even though I ended up defeated). Cons - if you happen to find an "easy" base, there is a chance that you'll abuse it, deliberately fighting the same person again and again, getting your points and bringing misery and desperation to an unlucky opponent. It is not clear: after a player selects an opponent and clears the Rift, should the opponent fight back against the attacker? Or am I still thinking along old "face-to-face" approach and should switch to PF style?

3) Win or Lose - mostly disagree. Making the battles faster sounds like a good idea, hanging out the "Defeat!" banner aafter one loss would be extremely stressful. While Rifts are an endgame thing to test our skills, collection and inventive strategies, they should allow us to work on our strategies, develop more efficient approaches and polish our skills. That, IMO, includes losing to a node you were not properly prepared for, thinking for a new strategy and trying again with different fighters/tactics. I have seen a player beating one of my nodes on the 5th attempt, slowly figuring out the best way to counteract it. That's the essence of endgame! And I am not even discussing an instant loss due to phone restart, connection lost or app crash - that would be just unfair.

There is also a minor issue caused by unlimited Rift time. What if I enter the battle and see that I don't have a well-built fighter to fight one of the nodes? In current Rift, I would have to use whatever I have and see if I'm good enough at replacing Double with Parasoul. If I have a couple of days to finish the Rift, I can just go and level up a perfect counter-pick (Xeno, SK, Doublicious, whatever) using XP boosters. How does it get in line with Rifts testing your collection?

4) Randomized Node Modifiers - ABSOLUTELY, TOTALLY, 347% AGREE! Heck yes, dreamed of it! With weekly rotation, this will keep the Rifts always fresh and stimulate our brains to invent new defensive strategies all the time! LOVE IT, WANT IT, GIMME!!!

Summing it up, I'm very excited about almost all the changes (except insta-lose one) and can't wait to see how the revamped Rifts are going to roll. Obviously, there will be some pitfalls and hidden underwater stones, but, honestly, HVS is probably the best team I've ever seen at fixing and improving their stuff with great regard to playerbase suggestions. Keep it up!
 

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There is also a minor issue caused by unlimited Rift time. What if I enter the battle and see that I don't have a well-built fighter to fight one of the nodes? In current Rift, I would have to use whatever I have and see if I'm good enough at replacing Double with Parasoul. If I have a couple of days to finish the Rift, I can just go and level up a perfect counter-pick (Xeno, SK, Doublicious, whatever) using XP boosters.


Hey, good point.
Developers might've already took countermeasure to this. Wonder what it is.

As for me, one possible solution could be to keep that 2 hours mark and adding a forfeit feature. How it'll work -

1. If you win every node of opponent, match will automatically end.
2. If you can't win all node or don't want to play against a base after choosing , forfeit the match and move on to next.
3. After 2 hours, match will automatically end whether you played or not, as they do now.​
 
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GEAR2SU

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Woah. This came as a shock. Most of the mentioned changes are inherently positive, but I hope that this isn't implemented as a patch, but reworked from the ground up.

The main issue with rifts that I've found is that the rating system has remained the same while core mechanics of rifts change (e.g. from pair by rank to pair by collection) which has created very unfavourable rift score pairings (usually winning nets you 5 points and losing removes 25 points, etc).
I hope that it's looked into as this approach is an entire rework rather than a small update.

All in all, I do hope that whatever happens, there is much thought put behind each decision, and that rifts will be more of a positive experience between both newer and veteran players.

Good luck!
 
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Yujipooji

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Damn, a lot of people shitting on the current rift system. Thought I’d pitch in my take on all this:

1.) I want to start with what’s great about rift battles: it always was and still is an accurate way to rank players who regularly play the mode as it was intended to be played. If you look at the top players, these people are 99% of the time truly among the best in the server in terms of collection strength, catalyst strength, base configurations relative to the meta, and yes, to some extent, skill (i made it to legend twice with the skill level of a baboon, so i sometimes find it hard to put a lot of weight on raw skill). So my point here is, if there’s anyone out there sincerely thinking that the top players are there only because of the flaws of the rift system, know that I am laughing at you. This is actually one of the things the system gets right: If you played it as intended and at its intended frequency, you’re most likely going to be ranked properly. But what if you didn’t play it as the system intended, and not as often as they would have wanted you to? This is actually the root of all the matchmaking issues.

2.) So yeah, system had no idea what to do with players who didn’t rift as intended. It wanted a controlled playing field with the assumption that the lowest level players are in rookie/bronze, mid level players are in silver/gold, high level players in gold/diamond, and the end game players in high diamond. But we all know the reality. We have players who don’t play regularly and had their rift ratings decay. We have all these players who refuse to rift until their collections were strong. The list goes on, and the rest is history. It doesn’t help that the system seems to currently have no proper way to correct this. How can high level rookies make their way to their intended rank if they’re either already fighting other high level players before climbing, or can barely find a match because of collection strength matching? How can low level players get a feel for the mode or even enjoy it if they keep bumping into these high level players? Seems like everyone got the worst of both worlds here. But even assuming all these matchmaking problems didn’t exist and every single player has been rifting as intended from day one, it won’t change this next observation i have about the current game mode:

3.) It’s a chore. The very act of rifting itself is tedious. First is the 10 minute matchmaking time. And it’s not even guaranteed that you’ll get one on the first try. Then when you’re finally matched it sort of sucks you up for two hours even if you’re not exactly playing the entire time. Doing this for 5 times a week minimum is not exactly hard, but.. it’s a chore. And it’s problematic when the very act of playing a video game feels that way. I only rift 5 times a week now, and I go afk in at least 3 of them. How i’m even still in diamond, i have no idea. And here’s what’s funny. Even if it wasn’t a chore, there’s still this one last thing:

4.) Rift itself has gotten stale. In ranks with optimized bases, it’s the usual fighters with the usual catalysts. I talked in a video about this game having no powercreep. It’s 95% a good thing by the way, but this is one of the disadvantages of it. You’re just gonna see the same OG fighters over and over again, with little incentive to make drastic changes to the current lineups. So to compensate, the mode needs to be more dynamic with its mods and mechanics. So far it has not been that way.

5.) So given all that, these changes are great. Because let’s face it, right now, any radical change to this game mode is a good thing. As for the specifics of the changes, eh. Y’all know better, so I’m just gonna hang back and let the chefs cook their dishes and taste test when they’re done. My only hope is that it not only addresses the problems I mentioned in my second to fourth points (this seems to be the case based on reading the changes), but also maintains the ranking integrity that I mention at the start (this is the part i’m worried about).

I’ll probably check back in after the changes have been made. Cheers!
 
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I just hope the devs do not forget that Rift is currently the only mode that makes it truly worth it to invest in defensive characters. If that is no longer true in the future, there won't be almost any motivation whatsoever to invest in such characters, and players who already did will suddenly find themselves at a disadvantage.

I'm thinking about the idea of adding a list of available opponents, specifically. There needs to be a good enough incentive for players to build strong bases with defensive characters, as well as a good enough incentive for choosing to face strong bases, and I hope such incentives are not of the negative sort. With this I'm referring to what is known as negative reinforcement in psychology. Look it up. Examples currently in the game include the decay measure and, arguably, the minimum of 5 battles a week to get rewards. Negative reinforcement is generally not a nice thing for players to find in a video game, since, from a player's standpoint, games are not meant to be frustrating or otherwise uncomfortable, but fun instead. Not adding more negative reinforcement to the game should be in everyone's best interest.
 
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Scorialimit

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I just wanted to say, with this change I'm on the revert Dark Might SA train. Before, his reason for the swap was so he would make good use of his BB3 instakill in Rifts. Before it was only used on Solo nodes which were far from the most challenging nodes. Otherwise, to make use of his instakill you need to lose no death bonus. Now though, it's just one more annoyance he's going to have do deal with. It's realistically more of a bonus than a tool, but it kinda sucks that he only has a 35% proc rate on it and he has to be under 50% HP. Letting you do it through no death bonus made it worth trying a little before, but now is instakill is arguably outclassed by Purrfect Dark, and definitely is outclassed by Xeno (it was before, it's just amplified now). Yeah his damage makes up for it, but you can get similar damage with Snake Bite, Dragon Brawler, or even Wulfsbane with no loss. The literal only reason I'm keeping him now is because of the batman reference. He'll likely be a collection cheerleader in his current state.
 
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Lililira

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I'm gonna strike while the iron is hot and get one more kick in at Decay before anything in the new system is finalized.

I've already stated before why Decay broke the connection between Rank and Strength in the Rookie to low Gold ranks, but there's another, arguably much bigger issue with it.

It's causing the system to 'leak' points, which is why the cutoffs for the lower ranks are steadily decreasing over time.

I'm going to use some terminology from economics here, so bear with me. Put simply, think of every interaction where you gain or lose points as a transaction. Let's go down the list of possible transactions, and look at how they affect the point economy as a whole.
  • A rift battle: One player wins and gains the same amount of points the other player loses. A net 0 transaction, no issues here.
  • Decay: A player loses points over time. These points are deleted from the system, permanently. They aren't given to any other player, they are just gone, lowering the total amount of points in the the economy. With the numbers of players decaying at any given time, this is the largest 'leak' the system has.
  • Finishing above 2000: Again, these points are just permanently removed from the system. Deleted. Gone. However, it's pretty small compared to the losses from decay, since so few players finish over 2000 each week.
  • Finishing below 1000: Points are added in to get you back up to 1000, resulting in the system 'gaining' points, however there are some issues from the the fact that points are only added in right at the bottom. More on that later.
  • A new player joins rift: A little complicated, but I would argue that they're not really adding points into the system just by existing, since they start out with only 1000, the absolute bare minimum baseline, but then try to get more from others through battles. Basically, they bring more 'demand' than 'supply' into the system, and result in the existing points being spread even thinner than before.

Put simply, the amount of points being lost by Decay isn't being balanced out by any other gains in the system, and the falling of rank cutoffs is a result of this, since all ranks are affected by Decay to some degree. The leak is happening all across the system, from Bronze to Diamond, and even though Dia folks are usually more active and less likely to let their rank decay they also remove points from the system if they finish over 2000, which is it's own little point leak.

The 'below 1000 bonus' does prevent the system from going too far, but it really only affects Rookie and Bronze to any large degree, an artificial stopgap preventing the system from bottoming out, but these points added right at the bottom aren't really carried too far beyond that before they're out-numbered by the points lost from Decay. This results in a large percentage of people being concentrated just barely above the bare minimum of 1000, with more people joining them each and every week as they decay down to Rookie.


Put simply, in order to get rid of this point leak either Decay has to be removed or it has to be balanced out by some new system which adds points in at all levels. However, if you add too many points in you might end up with inflation and the opposite problem, where a large chunk of folks are concentrated right at the top and only kept in check by the 'over 2000 penalty'.

Either way, it'll be a hard system to balance, but unless something is changed the new Rift will have the same point leak problem as current Rift, with all the associated issues that causes.
 
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