State of the Game Post November 2023
With another year behind us, it’s time for yet another State of the Game! 2023 has seen big updates and bigger milestones, and we have some fun and exciting plans for 2024!
What we’ve released so far this year
One core feature saw a major refresh in the early part of the year. Guild War 2.0 rolled out in February, and we’ve been really pleased with how it’s performed in the live game. We know that there are still sentiments out there that the Season rewards could be improved around the Hero Chips, which we understand. It’s frustrating to get Chips for Heroes you don’t need them for. We hope to one day find a solution for this to make the rewards the absolute best they can be!
As indicated in our December 2022 State of the Game post, we wanted to make the Car Bonuses more meaningful. We added five more levels to Car Bonuses 1-6, with each month seeing an additional five levels until capped. The Guild Influence Storage perk also received an additional level.
Yellow Rarity’s successor, Emerald, was released with 5.3. The color and name were chosen through the DH Community, and the rarity itself aimed at giving players custom Hero stat options through subclasses to add new dimensions to the same old fight modes. With several adjustments in subsequent patches, Emerald gained much more positive feedback from the Community and continues to be a positive addition to the game.
We introduced four new franchises and twenty Heroes so far this year!
Lastly, we can’t discuss 2023 without reminding ourselves that DH reached its FIVE YEAR milestone! Five years is an incredible accomplishment for a mobile game, and we are so thankful for your support.
Bug Fixes and Emerald Rarity
Bugs! We’ve closed out 105+ bug tickets so far this year alone. With over 200 Heroes in the game now, things have gotten a bit complicated for our QA Team. We do our best to eliminate known issues before they go live, but sometimes things go undetected for one reason or another. We truly appreciate patience and understanding while we work through the bugs in the game.
As we continue to operate with a small team, the turnaround time for bug fixes may be longer than ideal. We aim to get issues resolved as soon as possible, but sometimes it’s out of our control. Some of the still-in-progress bugs that are frequently reported are:
- Lag, game takes a long time to load
- This is an on-going project and can’t be done all at once. We will continue to make adjustments a little bit at a time to improve the game’s performance. We are looking at solutions to badge recipes and other ways to optimize.
- Looping issues
- Some heroes synergize well, while others create a perfect storm causing battles to time out. With over 200 heroes in the game, we sometimes miss these edge cases, but continuing to report them with support tickets helps us track them down and fix them.
- Hero balancing
- Hero refreshes and new hero releases have caused issues with the overall balance of the game, and next year we hope to more fully tackle proper balance and fixing power creep to keep a diverse range of heroes relevant in daily gameplay.
Emerald Rarity came in hot this year, and while we didn’t hit the mark off the rip, after several iterations and consistent feedback from the community, Emerald is now as exciting as we intended it to be! We hope that trying out different subclasses for each hero is engaging and fun as you battle your way across the city!
Even though we are happy with the changes we’ve made with Emerald, I cannot emphasize enough how valuable your feedback is. Please continue to provide your opinions or questions, that may help clarify and improve the experience for all players!
Things to come in 2024
Looking ahead to 2024, we’ve got some exciting things on the horizon! We are of course still releasing new Heroes, but want to limit the amount. With over 200 Heroes already in the game, we’re dialing back the number of new Heroes. Instead, we want to focus on more QoL game improvements, bug fixes, community engagement, and hero refreshes.
- Yellow QoL
- This one has been a long time coming, but it has not left our focus. This is a big undertaking, so we cannot promise exact due dates.
- Expect the changes to be released in batches
- Addressing the major pain points first
- Fine-tuning in another update
- Changes include a rework for the Codebase rewards and making it more relevant for the modern game.
- NEW Non-War Guild Perks!
- Changes to Friendship Campaign
- We’ve heard your feedback, and we agree! The Friendship Campaign needs improvements, and we hope to bring it back to being a fun and engaging experience for everyone.
- Server 21 Merge
- The date is still up in the air, but we are aiming to merge Server 21 down to Server 1 before the Anniversary
- Changes to Battle Pass
- We want the Battle Pass to become a more integral part of the player experience, so we’re working on changes to improve the rewards and keep it engaging for all players.
- NEW Server 26!
- Disney Heroes: Battle Mode as we all know, is over 5 years old! In the mobile gamesphere, that is a long time. We recognize that the game may no longer be relevant to compete against new titles crafted for new audiences, so we want to try recreating the game tailored with modern learnings.
- This will not affect any of the already existing servers. Fundamentally, it will still be the same base game, but we will release things in a different manner to cater to an improved new player experience!
- Costumes and Mastery Skins
- Existing Heroes may also see exciting new COSTUMES! It’s been a long time since we released any costumes, but now with Disney’s approval we have the green light to give your Heroes some fun new flair!
- We’re also testing out a different type of Costume, that we dub “Mastery Skins.” One by one as we refresh heroes, they will get an exclusive, unlockable Mastery Skin starting from Gold, to Platinum, with a final unlock of a Challenger skin. We’ll have more info for you as we get closer to releasing them!
- Improved Hero teasers and release cadence
- As mentioned, we will be dialing back the amount of heroes we’re releasing into 2024. The new cadence will be a hero released every 8 weeks! This is to ensure we slow down the rate of power creep and take more time to improve already existing game modes, heroes, and economies.
- Another reason is to get community feedback earlier on. We’ll try a new system of teasing heroes, but this time, you get a say in certain aspects of the hero kit before we release! We’ll highlight parts of the hero kit that can be changed, you’ll give us feedback or questions, and we’ll make changes accordingly. We want you to be a bigger part of the hero creation process, and we are so excited to involve the community!
- Because of this new cadence, we will no longer be releasing new heroes through the Prize Wall. Instead, new hero chips will be rewarded throughout the game through the Battle Pass, participating in contests, and trials. The Prize Wall won’t be gone for long! We hope to still utilize this limited-time event as the main hub to earn costumes.
- Campaign Stories
- We’ve also been toying with the idea of Campaign Stories. This would be like a spinoff from the main Campaign with Heroes that don’t normally interact with each other. This idea is in its very early stages. We have to see if it’s feasible but welcome early feedback on it, too!
- NEW Content Creator Program!
- As we explore new avenues of engagement in 2024, we are excited to announce that we will be testing out a new Content Creator Program! Calling all streamers, YouTubers, and other content creators, keep an eye out for more info regarding how you can be a part of this exciting new adventure.
- NEW Official Discord!
- New year means new beginnings, in PerBlue, we are working on a dedicated Official Discord Server for Disney Heroes: Battle Mode! This continues our effort to breathe new life into the game and modernize our community experience.
That was a lot! Thank you all so much for making Disney Heroes: Battle Mode so much fun, and I look forward to seeing your thoughts and feedback below!