Welcome to the weekly Glenn Jones's Diary! Below are the most interesting, surprising, or otherwise important answers from the Ask-The-Team channel on the Marvel Snap Discord from the last seven days. Music and VFX are coming soon! What cards might be changed soon? Galactus again?
Q: Do you guys have any plans to change/buff Klaw any time soon, maybe up his power?
A: Klaw recently enjoyed a pretty significant renaissance, so I think we'll leave him alone for a bit and see how other changes settle.
Q: I played Wave and he played Mirage. He copied my Zabu while everything cost 4, this got me thinking. Did he coincidentally copy it because it cost the same, or was he copied because he was a 2-cost card?
A: Coincidence. Mirage cares about the current Cost, not the base Cost.
Q: Does lower series cards like 1,2 are not likely to be nerfed and buffed that often? Because they might impact the meta game of those series players?
A: It means the threshold for changing those cards is much higher, not that we won’t change them. More time, discussion, and playtesting takes place. For example, Hawkeye’s buff was in our playtest build for about two months.
Q: Will Dan Hipp Devil Dinosaur ever be made available again?
A: We don't currently have plans to re-release variants that were sold in bundles.
Q: I was wondering if some old nerfs could be/are being considered to be reverted, specifically in the cases of quinjet and beast.
A: We've demonstrated we're open to reverting nerfs in the past and will continue to do so. I don't expect us to ever adjust Quinjet back, as its effect is fundamentally troublesome. Beast is still doing all right, but he could certainly exist at a lot of shapes and sizes. I do personally prefer bigger to smaller, since that's more Beastly, but we'll see how things go.
Q: After the Hulkbuster update, I was expecting a Forge update to follow, but I didn't expect him to get a +1 on his effect, especially since it essentially makes him a 2/4, which is kind of a premium stat line for cards like Colleen Wing, Cloak, or Mysterio, which have a "downside" that you build around.
A: When possible, we prefer to make changes that push players towards synergy, rather than generally raising the floor of the card. That's why we went with 2/1 and +3 rather than 2/2 and +2.
Q: Iron Fist and Heimdall move cards to the right. Why is the Bifrost opposite?
A: We need a mix of movement directions in game, otherwise the cards have diminishing returns. The early cards move left because movement is complex to learn, but later cards (and locations) have more variable movement. Plus, it’s good flavor for Heimdall specifically, who uses the Bifrost to both send and recall Asgardians.
Q: I'm told during beta, Kingpin destroyed any card that moved into his lane— at any time.
Is there any chance Kingpin will ever be returned to his beta functionality, where he can destroy incoming cards on any turn?
A: Kingpin is likely to be changed, but not to that.
**I agree that Kingpin’s beta text would be too strong, but am happy to see he is likely to be changed since he is quite weak.
Q: Is the Team satisfied with the performance of Galactus currently or is the card crossing the line for your internal thresholds?
He’s landed almost exactly where we hoped he would.
**Personally, I agree and love the new Galactus. I think it’s one of the dev teams most clever changes. Do you agree? Roast me in the comments, Galactus originalists.
Q: Hi developers, my opponent had 2 Cap. Marvel (1 Iron Lad that copied CM and 1 real Cap. Marvel); on my line I had 1 Cap. Marvel; my opponent had the priority at the last turn.
So that was the situation, now the facts: at the end of the last turn his CM moves on a field, so my CM moves to that field for winning, BUT now his Iron Lad moves to that field for his winning!
A: Priority is irrelevant to Captain Marvel. When there are multiples, they trigger in the order in which each card resolved.
Q: With more new cards released every week, the gap between new pool 3 players and series 3 complete players grows. Is there any thought of expanding the pools based on CL?
A: Our MMR-based matchmaking naturally resolves large gaps between players' likelihood to win a given game. If you're a winning player, the difficulty of your opposition will increase toward an equilibrium point. That means if a CL1000 player is consistently playing against CL7000+ players, it's because the former is beating them ~50% of the time.
Q: Are there any future plans to ensure the viability of the Zoo Deck without the constant fear of a turn 6 Killmonger?
A: Depends on how you define Zoo--and to be honest, I've never really understood the community's definition.
If you mean a deck that commits a lot of Power by playing often and early to the board, I'd argue the current "deck of the week" featuring a Silk and Kraven package is pretty Zoo-like.
If you just mean a deck playing tons of 1-Cost cards, that deck's going to have a rough time during "destroy season." But the live metagame is cyclical, and times will change.
Fun fact: Killmonger was the most popular card with a negative winrate last week.
**A lot of chatter came out of Glenn’s Killmonger fun fact. Some things to keep in mind: Killmonger has appeared in a very wide variety of decks, including bad ones. He can be used in so many different ways these days, offensive and defensive, that his winrate, while interesting, should be just a part of your analysis when deciding whether to put him in a deck or not.
Q: Are there any plans to implement the ability to sort cards by artist?
A: We've definitely talked about this internally, I'll bring it up again with the team!
**Given that this functionality sort of exists in the PC UI that launched this week, I was hoping for it to come to mobile soon, but it sounds like it’s not imminent. I guess we’ll have to login to the PC client to get out clout pictures of our Momoko or Artgerm pages or laugh about how many pixels we’ve got.
Q: I heard some new music was coming "in our next season", was that referring to Big in Japan or the season after that?
A: I'd recommend playing our September season with sound on.
**I’m guessing we’ll have something spooky for October. Could we see some licensed "The Marvels" music for November? Something with sleigh bells for December seems like a safe bet.
Q: Ever since hit monkey season locations haven't had any VFX. So my question is do you plan to add VFX in upcoming patches?
A: Yes absolutely! A good chunk of our art team's focus has been on preparing an amazing PC experience for our players. We're looking forward to getting more card and location FX into the game.
Q: The Spider-Man rework is still fairly new, but I think so far the community has been positive on it. Personally, I think it was a great change that has improved the health of the game and I like how Spider-Man is now a move card like the other spider cards. Can we expect more of these types of changes in the future?
A: We’re not sure what the right cadence is for these, and they are a fair amount of work—about the same as making a new card. However, I agree it seemed to go well and that’s an indicator we should be more open to it in the future.
**This answer is pretty surprising. They’ve said in the past that they’re reluctant to rework cards for a variety of reasons, including what Glenn says here about the workload of a rework. However, it sounds like the response to the Spider-Man change was more positive than they expected, and they’re now more open to the idea of reworks. The less severe Wolverine rework was similarly lauded. While I imagine they’ll still be few and far between, perhaps this means we’ll get a Captain America rework someday? What cards do you think should be first in line for a rework like this?
Q: Is there any reason Shanna just doesn't spawn a specific set of tokens instead of random one drops?
A: Put simply, diversity is more interesting. Shanna's variance appeals to different kinds of players than Doom's consistency, and can be costed differently.
**This is the third time this week alone that Glenn has mentioned diversity as a game design ideal. It seems clear that they value variety in game design as a way to keep the game interesting and fresh for different players. While I’m sure more seasoned card game players or competitive Snap players would love to play around with a Shanna that makes consistent tokens, it seems the Shanna changes are not targeted at them alone.
Q: Looking at the latest Crystal change, I struggle to see what her role is going forward in the game if her ability remains what it is (or even a facsimile of what it is).
A: We already don't design new cards with draw abilities. Crystal already exists, and with this simplified ability we can use her to test the boundaries of the effect and learn where it might be fun or strong. Since she's one of our least played cards, it doesn't cost anything to explore the space with her and see if there could be a fun, safe home for something like this. Maybe one day we'll rework her again, but until then why not poke around?
**The question we all had was: What exactly is the point of Crystal? It seems like the changes to Crystal are less about making her a good card and more about experimenting with and monitoring the power level of draw effects in the game. For anyone hoping a shuffle-draw mechanic comes back, it sounds like you’ll be waiting a while.
Q: What are the team's thoughts on potentially over buffing under-used cards, to get their play rate up, vs a more conservative change like the one Shanna got?
A: There are times and places to experiment with an overbuff--remember 4/6 Enchantress?--but when we're trying to diagnose what a card might need long-term or how future cards should be structured, a clear overbuff is counterproductive. As a hyperbolic exaggeration, if we'd made Forge give +7, we'd learn nothing to apply to future cards seeking to enable Deadpool, Lady Deathstrike, or Brood--we'd just learn 7 is a really big number, and we already know that. Our goal isn't just to guarantee more people to play the card, it's to find its healthiest home and apply those learnings.
It's a little underappreciated, but the gap between 3-Cost and 4-Cost cards is different than the gap between 4-Cost and 5-Cost cards. That's because the game structure lets you play two "equivalent" 3-Cost cards on turn 6, assuming there isn't a balance outlier. This is the reason Zabu and Sera have been fundamentally strong decks. Maybe we're shooting a little low on Shanna here, but I'd be surprised if 3/4 was correct. We don't want Shanna + another 3-Cost card to threaten the majority of 6-Cost cards on rate, but we are curious if it's strong enough to be a competitive option when you don't need Zabu or Sera to enable the play.
**I found Glenn’s discussion of the gaps between 3, 4, and 5-cost cards to be quite instructive as to how the power levels of those costs are valued by the dev team. It’s true that Shanna always felt best as a turn 6 play, and now players will likely experiment with her more in that slot. It’s also clear that they are trying to see if Shanna can spread her wings as a kind of mini-Doom closer, separate from Ka-Zar and especially outside of Zabu decks. I don't think they'll be shy about making another change for her in the future.
That's all for this week. Let us know what card changes you'd like to see and which answers you found most interesting. Head to the Marvel Snap discord and ask a question to potentially be featured here next week.