Hi Holotable Heroes,
The Grand Arena Championships Exhibition has wrapped up and we wanted to take this moment to reflect on the gameplay experience and where we want to take Championships in the future.
The Exhibition gave everyone a chance to try the new mode and gave us the opportunity to find lots of small bugs (and several big ones) and get your feedback on next steps for the mode. We gathered a ton of data around matchups, scoring, feats and are making some changes for the first non-exhibition Grand Arena Championship. Grand Arena has obviously been a big topic of conversation around the studio as well and I want to share what we have been discussing and thinking about.
Top Areas of Discussion:
- Ensuring matchmaking is fair, and feels fun
- Integrity of scoring and the leaderboard
- Monitoring, investigating, and removing cheaters
- Fixing technical issues such as crashes, tie breakers, and soft locks
We have been in the middle of taking a short break from Championships to review all the data we collected and make changes. We have scheduled the next Grand Arena Championship for next week, that includes matchmaking changes, bug fixes, anti-cheat improvements, and new titles/portraits!
Please note that you will keep any Grand Arena Championship shipment tokens previously earned, but there will be a one-time reset of all Lifetime Championship points at the start of Championship 1. You will keep your Lifetime Championship Score for good after this reset.
In terms of League status, all players will be reset back to Carbonite at the start of each Championship, and you will not be able to access items in shipments that require you to have reached a higher league (Ex. reach the Bronzium league and purchase) after the reset
, until you get back to that League.
New Title and Portraits:
Players asked for a better way to show off their accomplishments in Championships and now you will have a limited time opportunity to earn special portraits and titles. These rewards may rotate between Championships and some may only be available once! Portraits and titles are not retroactively awarded for performance in previous Championship events.
Earn 4 new Portraits for completing Championship Feats in the next Grand Arena Championship:
- Enduring Eclipse - Complete the “Take a Seat” feat
Win a Fleet Arena battle using the Endurance
- Clone Troopers - Complete the “Three of a Kind” feat
Enter a Grand Arena battle with at least 3 Clone Troopers and win
- Fleet Commanders - Complete the “Fleet Commander” feat
Win 15 Fleet Arena battles
- Separatists - Complete the “Divide and Conquer” feat
Win a Grand Arena battle with a full squad of Separatist characters
We’ve also added several new titles for reaching each league during a Championship:
- Premiere Kyber Champion - Become champion of the Premiere Championship to earn this title
- Kyber Contender - Finish a Championship in the Kyber League Top 2-10 to earn this title
- Kyber Combatant - Finish a Championship in the Kyber League outside of the Top 10 to earn this title
- Aurodium Adversary - Finish a Championship in the Aurodium League to earn this title
- Armored in Chromium - Finish a Championship in the Chromium League to earn this title
- Bronzium Battler - Finish a Championship in the Bronzium League to earn this title
- Trapped in Carbonite - Finish a Championship in the Carbonite League to earn this title
The first big change is that matchmaking now includes Division; players should no longer encounter opponents outside of their division. We will be monitoring how these changes impact matchups in the next Championship and will further refine matchmaking in the future.
Tie-Breakers have been a consistent point of confusion and frustration. Previously in cases where banners were exactly even, the winner was determined by the player with the higher matchmaking score we use for matchmaking. This isn’t something that is visible in the client or easy to calculate off the top of your head and, in order to be more clear and easier to understand, the next Championship will use only total GP to determine ties. We also fixed a rare bug that was causing ties to sometimes be randomly chosen.
Lastly, no-shows have been an issue for folks trying to complete achievements and feats. Going forward, we are further discouraging signing up and not participating by removing all points you would have earned (either win or loss) if you do not participate in a round at all. You will receive an inbox message explaining that you did not participate and will not receive any score or rewards for this round.
Cheating has been a hot subject in the community recently and around the office since the game’s inception. It is critical that we continue to work on identifying, preventing, and taking swift action against hackers. We have zero tolerance for any kinds of cheating, especially in Grand Arena Championships, but there is more to do and we need additional, proactive ways of pinpointing ne'er-do-wells in our game.
Unfortunately, there is no single solution to solve this issue and it will be an ongoing effort from our side to persistently root out malicious tools. We’ve heard your feedback and requests on this issue but it will take time to implement some of the suggestions we received. Features like accurate battle logs are something we are investigating and would remove the obvious, low-effort cheating, but will not address the whole issue. Most likely it’s a combination of tools that will allow us to address the cheating cases still at risk of slipping through.
We’re currently evaluating our potential options to deal with cheating in future releases. As our thinking develops on it, we’ll update you on our efforts. We have in response to recent event expanded our tech that we use to detect some forms of cheating, and further expansion will remain a high priority for the foreseeable future. This will likely not result in a single large “anti-cheating” release but will instead be a regular part of our releases as we evolve to defend against future threats. Please keep the feedback and suggestions coming.
Bugs and Issues:
There were some significant hiccups with Grand Arena Championship during the inaugural Exhibition and we fixed many issues thanks to your prompt and detailed feedback. We believe we have resolved the scoring issues and the leaderboard will reflect the correct scores during the next event. This is something we will continue monitoring very closely and please let us know if you see anything fishy.
We have managed to reduce soft locks during fleet and character battles but there is a persistent soft lock that can still rarely occur during character battles. This is still being investigated and we anticipate having a larger fix in the near future thanks to the new logging tools we added in the last couple updates.
Grand Arena Championships starts next week! Below is the sign up date for each Grand Arena in this Championship.
- Grand Arena #1 - Start: 8/19/2019
- Grand Arena #2 - Start: 8/26/2019
- Grand Arena #3 - Start: 9/2/2019
- Grand Arena #4 - Start: 9/9/2019
- Championship Review - Start: 9/16/2019
Our goal right now is to make regular changes to Championships for the foreseeable future. The next round of changes will likely center on improving scoring to promote more balanced play, and updating our feats. We want to regularly improve Grand Arena Championships in a measured, incremental way to make sure we 1) don’t break the stuff that is working and 2) don’t overwhelm the experience by changing too many things at once. We’re going to be regularly soliciting feedback during our monthly Q&As and we’ll monitor the forums regularly as well. We want to make GAC as great as it possibly can be.