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The SolForge Report 9-6-2013

Hey everyone! SeomanReborn here with another edition of The SolForge Report. Tournaments and Drafting were a hot topic this week on the forums and chat. StoneBlade had a good presence at PAX East, while Kibler participated in a Digital Card Game panel along side developers of Hex and Might & Magic: Duel of Champions.  Kibler also talked about good quality of life changes coming to the UI with the next update while Jeff Liu (phantrich) talked a bit about some upcoming changes in Daily Rewards. Let’s get on with the Report! Read More »

The SolForge Report 8-21-2013 (GenCon and Interview Edition!)

Hello everyone! SeomanReborn here, back from GenCon and still not down from the Set 1 release high! Both have been very time-consuming but not without a bunch of fun and excitement. Set 1 or “Alpha” was released last Tuesday (8-13-2013) right before the weekly stream. While it had many initial server problems, the set itself is fantastic. I have been making several decks a day testing out different ideas, and it seems like the possibilities are just endless right now. For GenCon, I got to work with Rob Dougherty in the Event Hall running mainly Ascension tournaments. This didn’t stop me from preaching the good word about SolForge and getting tons of cool info, though. I even did an interview with Justin Gary!

There are still many big questions about the future of SolForge and there are actually a ton of answers available right now. So on with the Report!

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The SolForge Report 8-12-2013 (Special Edition!)

Hello everyone! SeomanReborn here with a Special Edition of The SolForge Report. In the early morning hours on 8/12/2013 Brian Kibler and Justin Gary were streaming Magic: The Gathering, but then switched over to SolForge spoiler mode. They talked about various things coming up with the release of Alpha set, showed us the new Open Beta client on the PC, and gave us a ton of spoilers. Combine that with the spoilers from the SolForge Facebook page and we have a ton of awesome stuff to look at. We wanted to make sure this got out before the Open Beta client hits so lets get on with the Report!

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The SolForge Report: 8-6-2013

Hello everyone! SeomanReborn here with another edition of The SolForge Report. We didn’t get a lot of information since StoneBlade has been preparing for GenCon and Kibler, their main public relations representative, was busy destroying people at the Magic: The Gathering World Championship. Kibler made it back in time for the stream and did it from Justin Gary’s house who also made a guest appearance. Many exciting things were revealed this week, so let’s get on with it! Read More »

The SolForge Report 7-31-2013

Hello everyone! SeomanReborn here again with another exciting SolForge Report! The August Release is coming up fast and even though Brian Kibler was busy at the Magic: The Gathering World Championship there was still tons of new information. Justin Gary, owner of StoneBlade Entertainment, took over the stream and was very generous with his answers, card preview, and updates on the  August Release. Anyways, on with the Report!

Preview Card – Doomwing

Doomwing

 

Justin talked about how he loves Dragons just as much as Kibler and then showed us this beauty. This guy seems like an awesome card, and it makes me wonder if there will be a Dragon for each faction. At levels 2 and 3 he dies to cards a rank lower than him but can still be a very dangerous card with the ability to clear out lanes with high mobility. The artwork looks fantastic and Justin stated that this will also be an animated version of this card that will be previewed in the near future.

August Update

Probably one of the most exciting parts of the stream was when Justin got the latest build update on his iPad and showed us some of the features coming out on PC/iPad on his Webcam. Here are some screen shots:

iPad 1

There is a new UI at the bottom and the new currencies are Silver (earned) and Gold (bought).

iPad 2

 

It looks like there will be 3 tiers of packs with the final tier being pay only. Also, it looks like the various skins will be available to purchase with Silver. No word was given on what rarities are in each type of pack.

iPad 3

 

Justin showed us an opened pack and it seems like all the artwork isn’t in effect yet. I couldn’t make out the names of any of the cards but the artwork on the Tempys spell looks pretty sweet.

iPad 4

 

This one is worse because he had his camera small at the time. The only thing I got out of this is that there is some form of Nekrium creature with Regenerate and a spider in Uterra.

iPad 5

 

Nothing here really except some more cool artwork and stats that don’t mean much.

Something else Justin mentioned in passing is that the Friends List will be seeing an update with the patch as well.

Set 1 and Beyond

  • Card pool for Set 1 is done. All abilities are in place and they are currently doing final internal testing.
  • The card drawing mechanic will be on several more cards. Also, they are working on the UI to make having more than 5 cards easy to manage
  • Many smaller releases are planned, starting a month or two after Set 1 is released, until a large set is released at a later date. The goal is to keep content fresh and exciting.
  • Animated and Promo cards are currently in production. They will not be in the August release.
  • Rageborn Hellion saw an internal change right before the latest update which did not get released. Justin stated that Hellion is significantly changed for the August release and we will have to wait to see how.
  • Synapsis Oracle should see a small buff to make her more appealing.
  • Kibler posted in a thread about Uterran Packmaster and how their internal build has the card a bit weaker than its current version. Justin also confirmed this on the Stream.

Timers

Timers became a hot topic again this week and this time Kibler addressed a concern about timers in SolForge. He stated that strict time limits will be used in competitive play but there will be a variety of options available for people who wish to play casually. For competitive play, they want to ensure that players who are playing more of a stall tactic will have enough time to play. Justin confirmed this stating that not only will timers be included in the next update but you will have the option to play either timed and non-timed games. Kibler also posted in a thread about Conceding a game saying that in addition to having a game timer, they will have an obvious way for players to forfeit a game.

Misc.

  • Video Game Rebellion did an interview with Brian Kibler where he talked about why he helped produce SolForge and what we can look forward to in the future.
  • Game Woof did a 5 Most Anticipated Android Kickstarters and SolForge made the list!
  • Flavor Text contest came to a close, but StoneBlade hasn’t had time to go through all the submissions yet. If you want to submit some last minute submissions now is your time!
  • Over 20,000 people have contributed to or are playing SolForge!
  • Kickstarter Funding only has contributed to a 1/3 of the overall cost of SolForge.
  • At GenCon, StoneBlade will have their largest booth yet and they are doing a ton of planning for it. Expect awesome things and make sure you stop by their booth for fun and prizes!
  • There will be a Custom Dota 2 skin of a courier as an Echowisp that you will get for signing up for SolForge. More details and a video will be coming from Valve at a later date.
  • Justin considered having a special stream where we would name preview cards that don’t have names yet.
  • Despite his buffs, Chrogias has not been seeing much play. Also, Level 2 is suppose to have Defender and and the lack of this keyword was an oversight with the update.
  • The ability to save more decks will not be in the August release and will be added at a later date.
  • Upgrades to the game resolution and UI are currently being pushed back in favor of more important features. There will be an update in the future.
  • Justin mentioned Trading again and the only new development was mentioning that a crafting system might be implemented but they are still not sure. He also stated that more is better and they want to have a large amount of options.
  • New T-Shirts! Justin was wearing the new Chorgias shirt on the stream and said it will be available at GenCon. Also the Kickstarter shirt should be out very soon.

T Shirt

The Stream


Watch live video from stoneblade on TwitchTV

The SolForge Report 7-24-2013

Hey everyone! SeomanReborn here again with another edition of The SolForge Report! One of the major changes this week was that the weekly StoneBlade stream was changed to Tuesdays at 5pm PST. Because of this, The SolForge Report will now be releasing on Wednesdays since that is when a majority of information is released. Anyways, on with the Report!

Preview Card – Botanimate

800px-Botanimate

The design behind this is very interesting and I like how they want to make sure there is a downside to every removal effect. This card can put you behind early if you wish to level it but can really stop aggressive cards like Grimgaunt Devourer and Uterran Packmaster.  Another great use of this card is that it replaces a creature, either yours or theirs, and foregoes the death triggers of creatures like Grimgaunt Devourer, Fleshfiend, Death Seeker, etc.

An interesting side note is that spells will only have one artwork instead of transforming artwork like creatures.

More preview cards were promised throughout this week and StoneBlade says they will deliver. Look for more cards on their Facebook and Twitter feeds! These cards will be included in the Report next week.

Set 1 Full Release

The full release of Set 1, nearing 200 cards, is slated to go out for the PC and iOS in early August. The iPhone update and Drafting will not be a part of this update but are planned to follow soon after GenCon. During this time, they plan on rewarding people with in-game currency for playing the game and earning achievements that can be used to purchase new booster packs.

Trading

This was a hot topic after StoneBlade’s admission that Trading is not going to be ready for Set 1 release, Kibler provided insight on some ideas they might be implementing to help out players until the Trading system is ready and secure. They are currently looking at a “sell back” option to get rid of extra cards, the ability to gift cards to other players, and various other options. Once they decide on a system they plan on letting us know about it before they implement it.

Tournaments

On the stream, Kibler talked some more about the system for Drafting and Constructed tournament play. For asynchronous tournament play there will never be a “winner”. Prizes will be awarded purely on your record when you have played all the matches. This will not be the only method that tournaments will follow. Expect more traditional-style tournaments to be available as well.

The Tournament interface on SolForge is still under construction but Kibler promised there would be some screen shots posted in the near future.  The Tournament feature is planned to be a part of the early-August Set 1 release.

Data Collection

StoneBlade has been tracking almost every conceivable data point from Online Play since it started. One of the first things Kibler had everyone guessing on the stream was the card that is correlated with the best wins: Fangwood Ravager. Some less surprising statistics included the most played card – Echowisp – and the most played faction – Uterra -. Grimgaunt Devourer is not very high in the win rate department despite what people would believe.  To those surprised at this fact, think of all the decks playing this card against each other, leading to about a 50/50 ratio.

StoneBlade plans on having some of their statistics available in the client for players to see (personal and otherwise). There is no word yet on what specific stats, but we should expect to see something similar to what is offered in League of Legends.

Leaderboards and Matchmaking

StoneBlade is still working on how they want to set up their Leaderboard and Rankings system. They are thinking of adding ways of earning “Marks of Winter” when you win at various ranked matches and tournaments (Constructed, Draft, etc.) and these Marks would reset periodically. The goal, in the end, is to promote a system that encourages people to play and not try to “sit on their rating”.

For Matchmaking they want to use an ELO system. This will be separate from the Leaderboards and purely based on this hidden background system. This will ensure people of relatively equal card pools and skill level are playing against each other.

Misc.

  • A really nice review of the game was posted on the somethingawful.com forums.
  • Another review of SolForge was posted on the videogamerebellion.com main site.
  • Kibler will be in Amsterdam for the Magic: The Gathering World Championship for the next two weeks. Expect other StoneBlade employees to be invading his home and streaming in the coming weeks.
  • Participate in StoneBlade’s Flavor Text Contest! Those who come up with the selected flavor text will earn a spot in the SolForge credits. Also, one lucky winner will get their likeness on a card in SolForge.
  • Online Chat is low on StoneBlade’s task list because of the customer service support that would be required for player interactions. There will be online chat but don’t expect it in the near future.
  • StoneBlade is thinking about possibly removing the ability to discard a card and level it without playing it. (This doesn’t include cards like Technosmith or Synapsis Oracle – Right now you can click on a card and just discard it without playing it.) They want to design cards to have opportunity costs when you play them and this feature would limit their design space.

The Stream


Watch live video from stoneblade on TwitchTV

SolForge Stream Sum-Up #8

Hey everyone! SeomanReborn here with this week’s edition of the SolForge Stream Sum-Up! The stream was pretty short this week, but we got a lot of cool information about online play as well as a preview card. Let’s get right to it then!

Card Preview – Brightsteel Gargoyle

Brightsteel_Gargoyle

We finally got another Alloyin preview card and this one is pretty unique. This is the only card so far to have an effect on your opponent’s turn. Not only that, the card also has different art and card stats on your opponent’s turn.

Defender_Brightsteel_Gargoyle

This card, just like the last reveal, promises some really sweet gameplay and shows that Stoneblade is able to design with new and fresh ideas to spice up gameplay.

Online Play

  • Will most likely be out next week (Week of July 15th), though it should be available before next Thursday (See Misc. section for why). If it is like the other releases SolForge has had, we should see it on Monday.
  • Will most likely only have the ability to queue against a random opponent in the beginning.
  • Asynchronous play with no time limit. You can leave the game and come back to it later.

Misc.

  • They currently have a build that uses Chess Clocks (a timer that counts down during your turn) to limit game time.
  • They have a way of pitting two AIs against each other called “Bot Battling”. No ETA on when it will be available.
  • Kickstarter Backers will get their Kickstarter shirts in August.
  • Developers will be online and queued up to play during the Stream next Thursday with Online Play.
  • No in-game chat yet. Still exploring various options.
  • Scout Drone might be changed at higher levels to not count as an action at all. This would allow you to play it last in a turn.
  • Functional Deckbuilder on the iPad.

iPad Deckbuilder

This week there was a crash and Kibler has to restart his computer so the stream is divided into two parts. Enjoy!

 Stream


Watch live video from stoneblade on TwitchTV

Watch live video from stoneblade on TwitchTV

SolForge Stream Sum-Up #7

Hello everyone! SeomanReborn here again with another SolForge Stream Sum-Up. This week, because of the 4th of July and the Monday update, the stream was done on Friday July 5th. There was no preview card this week, but Kibler managed to give us some really good information about what is coming up for the future of SolForge.

The 20 Booster Packs

There were a ton of questions on the SolForge forums and Steam forums about who exactly gets the 20 booster packs for free. Kibler clarified this and said that anyone who contributed before the Steam Early Access will be getting them for free. This includes the Kickstarter campaign, the PayPal extension, Pre-Orders, and the Ascension SolForge add-on.

Also, starting the second week of July, they plan on allowing people to purchase 20 packs for $20 (max of 5) in the SolForge Store. People seemed excited about this in the chat, so it will probably do very well.

Tournaments

Kibler also talked about the future of SolForge Tournaments. He mentioned his interview with The Mozu Report and talked some about a tournament idea that StoneBlade is trying to make happen. The problem, Kibler states, is that not everyone can block out 4-6 hours to play a full tournament. Also, during a tournament, there is a lot of dead time for people who finish their games quickly. StoneBlade wants to offer an alternative tournament format that lets you play it on your time. The idea is that you can queue up and play against other people who have similar wins/losses until all the rounds are over. They are not sure on the specifics yet but really want to offer this to people who don’t have as much time. This would be available for Draft, Sealed, and Constructed.

As a side note, when talking about GenCon, Kibler mentioned that the first iteration of Tournament play should be implemented by the end of August.

GenCon

  • For GenCon, they will have a much larger booth than last year.
  • If you wish to interview developers at GenCon, contact StoneBlade on Facebook.
  • They want to have large screens overhead showcasing Developers vs Fans.
  • They want to have many SolForge events but gave no specifics yet.

Card Design

  • Mentioned changes to removal spells but offered no specific changes.
  • Mentioned a possible nerf might be coming for Windcaller Shaman stats.
  • Factionless cards will not be as powerful as faction cards but will have unique effects that do not fit in the factions.
  • Kibler mentioned that the first set is really designed to define the different factions and players should not expect many cards to have cross-faction abilities.
  • Since their design space allows them to add smaller sets of cards, Kibler stated that they may bring structures into the game with a mini card update instead of with a big release.

Misc.

  • There are a bunch of cards that are close to completion. There will be a regular schedule of card releases soon. Also, if you have a fan site, send a message to StoneBlade on Facebook to see if you can get your very own card to spoil on your site!
  • Current plan is to have at least three tiers of Rarity in normal 8 card packs. Five Tier 1 cards, two Tier 2, one Tier 3 card, and the possibility for one of the Tier 1 cards to be a Tier 4+ card instead. No official word yet on exactly how many rarities there will be, though they did mention that they had started with five and were now looking at four.
  • They do plan on retiring sets over time to prevent a build up on sales in the store. They also plan on bringing sets back with special reprints.
  • They plan on having the ability to gift packs and specific cards to friends.
  • They are throwing around the idea of having “Card Spotlight Weeks” where everyone can try out a specific rare in their decks. At the end of the week they will have a sale on that card.
  • Game replays will not be available immediately but are still planned to be part of the game. They are currently looking into having streaming capability inside the game client (to see an example of a game currently using this, see Planetside 2).
  • Kibler showed the iPhone version of the SolForge client on his webcam (pictured in the header) stating it was coming along very well.
  • There is a very good chance that StoneBlade will be at PAX East in 2014.
  • Kibler goes on a Lore rant that you can view from 52:25 to 54:57 during the stream. They would like to produce fiction separate from the game about the SolForge universe but they have no specific plans.
  • If you have feedback, StoneBlade is watching the solforgegame.com forums as well as the Steam forums.

Stream

Watch live video from stoneblade on TwitchTV

Forging the Deck #8: Deck-Builder Celebration Stream

On Monday, six of the Forge Watch staff gathered together to celebrate the launch of SolForge’s new deck-builder live on stream.  We each built a deck and paired off for three really fun (for us, anyway) matches.  You can watch that stream below, but more importantly, you can see the decks we played as well!  The video will have explanations on the purpose behind each deck and how you might play them. The decks weren’t meant to be the very best, but rather a representation of a few of the different popular deck types from our experience.  We hope you enjoy them!

Noetherian’s Nekrium/Tempys Deck

Creatures:
3x Grimgaunt Devourer
3x Corpse Crawler
3x Death Seeker
3x Magma Hound
3x Windcaller Shaman
3x Wind Primordial
3x Flameshaper Acolyte

Spells:
3x Cull the Weak
3x Grave Pact
3x Uranti Bolt

Raidrinn’s Nekrium/Uterra Deck

Creatures:
3x Grimgaunt Devourer
3x Scourgeflame Sorcerer
3x Corpse Crawler
3x Death Seeker
3x Vengeful Spirit
3x Spring Dryad
3x Echowisp
3x Grove Huntress

Spells:
3x Cull the Weak
2x Grave Pact
1x Soothing Radiance

Racecar0’s Tempys/Nekrium Deck

Creatures:
3x Flamestoke Shaman
3x Cinderfist Brawler
3x Ashurian Mystic
3x Riftlasher
3x Windcaller Shaman
3x Flameblade Champion
3x Air Spirit
2x Magma Hound

Spells:
3x Uranti Bolt
2x Cull the Weak
2x Firestorm

Hoywolf’s Alloyin/Nekrium Deck

Creatures:
3x Brightsteel Sentinel
3x Forgeplate Sentry
3x Ionic Warcharger
3x Matrix Warden
3x Spark Bot
3x Scrapforge Titan
2x Synapsis Oracle

Spells:
3x Sonic Pulse
2x Tech Upgrade
3x Cull the Weak
2x Hungering Strike

SeomanReborn’s Alloyin/Tempys Deck

Creatures:
3x Synapsis Oracle
3x Scorchmane Dragon
3x Magma Hound
3x Brightsteel Sentinel
3x Ionic Warcharger
3x Windcaller Shaman
2x Alloyin General
2x Scrapforge Titan
2x Forgeplate Sentry

Spells:
3x Uranti Bolt
2x Sonic Pulse
1x Firestorm

grim2103’s Tempys/Uterra Deck

Creatures:
3x Rageborn Hellion
3x Wind Primordial
3x Rumbling Earthshaker
3x Deepbranch Prowler
3x Echowisp
3x Spring Dryad
3x Ashurian Mystic
3x Windcaller Shaman
3x Cinderfist Brawler

Spells:
3x Enrage

Stream


Watch live video from forgewatch on TwitchTV

SolForge Stream Sum-Up #6

SeomanReborn here again with another Thursday SolForge Stream Update! This week Kibler dropped a crazy amount of information on the future of the game.

Deckbuilder

Deckbuilding 6-27

Kibler did a nice job of previewing the features of the deckbuilder and made a few decks with it. Here are some of the things it can do:

  • Filter visible cards by Faction and Card Type (Creature or Spell)
  • Order cards by Name, Faction, Type, Attack, or Health
  • Save up to 6 different decks
  • Warn you if the deck is not legal for play when you save (if a deck does not have exactly 30 cards or has more than 3 of any specific card). The deck is still saved and can be edited later.

Read More »

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