Hey everyone! As most of you are aware, we recently announced that we would be adding "Catalysts" to Skullgirls Mobile. Catalysts are collectibles you can use to customize the modifiers on your Rift Battle defense nodes. Catalysts are not consumable, and can be reused in different configurations. With catalysts, you decide the best way to add a twist on your defense to keep things challenging for your opponent. We know there's some concern about Rift Battles, Catalysts, and other areas of the game right now. So, here's an update on some of our plans for Skullgirls and Rift Battles. WHY CATALYSTS? For a bit of context, ever since the inception of Rift Battles as a game mode, Catalysts were a planned feature that we originally wanted to include with the launch of 3.0. While we made tons of progress on them before 3.0 arrived, we unfortunately had to delay their release, and instead focused on getting them ready for 3.2 alongside the release of Robo-Fortune. Letting players create their own "Daily Events" for others to fight against is a huge part of our Rift Battles vision. That kind of user generated content offers tons of unique challenges that you wouldn't come across otherwise. The goal is for every Rift Battle to present a new challenge that asks players to adapt their strategies to overcome new scenarios. Catalysts are a big piece of that design - and we sincerely apologize for the delay on their arrival! HOW DO I GET THEM? IS THIS PAY TO WIN? While we did initially show that the Rift Relic (which is available for Theonite) would be a source of Catalysts, the TREASURES tab of the Cabinet of Curiosities will also be a reliable place to get more Catalysts. FUN FACT: The Cabinet of Curiosities was originally designed to release with 3.0, and the Moves in the TREASURES tab were all originally intended to be Catalysts. As such, you’ll be able to save up Rift Coins and wait for the perfect modifier to complete your defense map without spending any Theonite or making any in app purchases. As always, the free to play experience is extremely important to us. We'll also be sending everyone some free Rift Relics in the mail to get Catalyst collections started at the beginning of 3.2. WHAT ABOUT THE NODE MODIFIERS WE HAVE CURRENTLY? We'll be tuning the Rift Battles defense map modifiers to make sure that the existing modifiers complement the new addition of Catalysts. Catalysts won't outright replace all of the modifiers that we've set up already, but Catalysts also won't stand on their own. Catalysts are also not nearly as powerful as your standard modifier - so we aren’t expecting any one single catalyst to rule them all. All of the Catalysts that have been implemented are brand new modifiers which suit their new context! WHAT ABOUT MATCHMAKING? We're well aware of the issues that players struggling with in Rift Battles, with matchmaking being one of the larger ones. We do have plans to make larger changes (especially with matchmaking) until Rift Battles are feeling "just right". This is not unlike the months of changes that went into making Prize Fights into the game mode that you see today. There is unfortunately no band-aid solution for matchmaking in Rift Battles at the moment, so we'll need more time to implement changes to the core foundation of how we match players, handle rewards, calculate Rift Rating, etc... That said, this is a HUGE priority for us that we’re actively focusing on. Our goals for matchmaking: Make sure that all players have a fighting chance against the opponent they are matched with. When the above isn't possible (it isn't always possible, unfortunately), make the experience as fun and rewarding as possible for both parties. We appreciate your patience while we work towards these goals! WHY NOT IMPLEMENT CATALYSTS AFTER FIXING OTHER ISSUES? Without getting too far into it, our team isn’t a linear train that moves in a single direction. We all have different skill sets, and for us to maintain maximum velocity, we all work on different tasks and features. Since a lot of the work was already half done for Catalysts, we are eager to get it to the finish line (alongside Robo-Fortune’s development) to make Rift Battles “feature complete” per our original goals. Now that Catalysts are almost finished, we’ll be free to work on solutions to other Rift Battle issues and the many other requests and concerns that are frequently brought up by the community. OKAY BUT WHAT ABOUT <THIS OTHER THING THAT I WANT> We hear you loud and clear! As a small indie studio with limited resources, we always have to make tough choices regarding what feature(s) we implement next. That said - to name a few - we are actively working on new Origin Stories, new Fighters, oft requested Quality of Life improvements, and much much more! Per our 2019 preview thread, there’s plenty of other content is planned for this year: https://forum.skullgirlsmobile.com/threads/official-2019-preview.5016/ We'll have more details on what's coming down the pipe very soon! WRAPPING UP Hopefully goes without saying by now (we can’t say it enough!), but the player experience is the most important thing to us at Hidden Variable. As such, the input of our players is invaluable to us. We do our best to listen to feedback, and we’re always open to pivoting our priorities when appropriate. To those of you who have been sharing your thoughts with us on the forum recently, we really appreciate it! On behalf of all of us at HVS, thanks so much for your tireless support! Without you guys, everything we do is meaningless... PS: This is also our first our non “update notes” update post on our forum! If you found this helpful, let us know and we can look into doing more of these in the future.