Hey! Remember the "Winter Update Preview" thread? Mind-blowing, right? Yeah? Now forget that! That's the past! Shut it off, Zhu Li!
A lot has changed since I created that other topic and I'd like to start fresh. Some screenshots will be re-posted, some will be new. All will attempt to be more relevant to the current state of things. So let's get started, shall we?
Starforce. (Or is it Star Force?) What an... interesting mechanic. So complicated, so overpowered, so controversial, so difficult to balance... and yet I insist on keeping it in the game . Why? Because, deep down, I know it has the potential to be a great thing. Hunting them all down in and of itself is both a joy and a challenge, and the god-like powers they grant are well worth the effort. Sure, tracking down all (currently) 1024 stars can be a grind, sometimes a bore, but when you finally get there it's incredibly rewarding. At such high power levels your character is able to mow-down enemies like it's nobody's business and with relatively little resistance! It's pretty great... unless you're talking about player battles.
As the defending team in a player battle, you (currently) have no defense against the opponent's starforce. This combined with the fact that your opponent is able to see your entire team before selecting theirs puts you at a huge disadvantage. This lead many players in the top spots to greatly dislike the player battle system, and others to hate the starforce system and suggest its removal. Both of these needed to be fixed, of course, but axing either them was not an option. Too many users have put forth massive amounts of time and effort into collecting their stars and the idea of axing them or removing their primary function does not seem like the fair or correct choice.
Because of these things, I've spent the last several months (almost a year now...) revising and tweaking the starforce mechanic and how it interacts with the game based on both my own ideas and feedback from the community in chats. I've also been revising other parts of the game, of course, and many of them coincide with fixing these issues. Some mechanics, like "coreguard" were conceived and quickly abandoned, while others like the Dark Elements have grown and evolved into something new and different. I believe that what we have now will be for the best, but as always I'm open to more changes as time goes on and as I get feedback from the community.
Now, before I go on, I want to apologize to those who have been following this thread since the beginning and trying to make heads or tails of the whole process. I know it's been hard to keep track of what will be and wont be included in the update, but that's one of the pitfalls of open development. I could easily have kept my mouth quiet for a year and let everyone go stir crazy, but I wanted to share my thought process with everyone and build this thing together. So yeah, I'm both sorry and very thankful to all who have helped me sort through the messy details of this gigantic Winter Summer(?) Update.