If you missed it (as unlikely as that is), you should know that the WAVEN Alpha will be available again from July 30. It will be accessible to all, as long as you have an Ankama account, and will remain open for a limited – but as of yet indeterminate – amount of time, depending on how long it takes to collect information and feedback about the PvP combat mechanics and class balancing.
So you can keep busy and anticipate the various changes made since the previous alpha, over the next two weeks, we're publishing various Devblog articles outlining the changes made in terms of PvP gameplay.
We're starting today by giving you an overall picture of the general mechanics.
Progressing to Level 6
In Alpha No. 1, you had access to level-1 characters, then to level-5 ones in Alpha No. 2. For Alpha No. 3, you'll play at level 6 – this will serve as a reference level and will allow us to ensure a solid base that is as close as possible to the expected competitive level, in order to prepare for the remaining balancing confidently.
Overhaul of All Spell, Weapon and Sidekick Values
This point was the biggest area of work in PvP balancing because all the game's values were revised. And when we say all, it really is all of them.
First of all, the values have been increased as a whole: An average hero has 400 HP, offering more freedom in balancing spells and effects thanks to the increased accuracy, while strengthening a character's feeling of "power".
Then, we aligned all the spells so their brute force would be similar for each one: Here, the aim is for the choice of spell or sidekick to be made mainly based on the desired synergies and strategies, rather than on the power of the spell itself, in order to avoid any feeling of having to make a choice that greatly limits the game variations.
We're aware that this is a first step and that many adjustments still have to be made, which is particularly where we'll need you – we're counting on you to play, then share your feedback with us so we can collect enough data allowing us to effectively evaluate if this new balancing seems to keep its promise, and to continue improving it.
2v2: A New Game Mode
Alongside 1v1 PvP, a new combat mode – 2v2 PvP – will be available in alpha testing for the first time, accessible through the same portal as the Haven Island's.
How it works is simple: Each team plays alternately, each one starting on their own side of the battlefield.
The first team to eliminate the two opposing heroes wins the fight. So far, nothing surprising. What's special about this game mode, besides the fact it's really nice to play, lies in the "Ghost" mechanic – the first team hero who dies doesn't really die, but turns into a ghost. We opted for this concept so as to allow a fallen hero to continue to take part in the fight rather than standing idly by waiting for it to finish.
A character having turned into a ghost no longer has any sidekicks, those already placed on the battlefield disappear, and the character's spells are replaced with five single-use spells:
Soul in Pain: Your ghost gains 2 MP and Phase Difference.
Supernatural Attraction: Attracts a character who is aligned with your ghost.
White Lady: The targeted ally becomes Untargetable until the start of your next turn.
In a Bad Fix: Your ghost switches places with an ally.
Poltergeist: Your ghost's AT doubles until the end of the turn.
They can use one spell per turn and, of course, their close-combat attack.
It should be noted that the ghost is invulnerable, so there's no point in trying to hit it and inflict damage on it – at this stage, you just need to focus on the remaining opponent.
Lastly, the Sudden Death time gauge is shared by both players.
Change to Sudden Death
Let's talk about Sudden Death. Overall, we're satisfied with its positive effects - games are faster and the average game time has been shortened. On the other hand, we're aware of the frustration this can cause, and we're going to try a smoother alternative.
In this version of the game, you'll have a time reserve: 5 minutes per player in 1v1 and 7 ½ minutes per team in 2v2. Once the time reserve runs out, the length of a round is reduced to 15 seconds. As such, taking time at the start of the game to think about the strategy to put in place no longer means inevitable defeat, but the final rounds must be played quickly.
Osamodas Unavailable: Revamp in Progress
The situation regarding the Osamodas class can't be denied: It requires in-depth work to achieve a suitable revamp. Although it saddens us, it therefore won't be available in Alpha No. 3.
Feature News: Chat, Friend List, and Emotes
The friend list and chat systems have been implemented and will be available in V1 of Alpha No. 3. Nonetheless, it's important to keep in mind that although the feature works, it isn't being shown in its final form and will undergo a graphical revamp later on.
To chat with another player, you first need to add them to your friend list – two players who haven't accepted one another's friend request won't be able to contact each other. This restriction is a choice we think is preferable for everyone's in-game comfort.
The friend list also makes it possible to form a two-player group before starting a 2v2 fight.
At the same time, we've also made progress on the in-game emotes project, and some of them will be integrated in animated form for the occasion.
That concludes this first article, which we hope quenched your thirst for information… while waiting for the next one, which will show off the changes made to the Xelor class. See you soon!