• Phil

How was the Stream Raiders CvC 2.0 event?

Recently we reviewed the new community versus community mode in Stream Raiders under the post ‘Was the Stream Raiders CvC event worth the hype?.’ Surprisingly this quickly became one of the most popular posts on the blog to date.

Admittedly during the CvC 1.0, there were many highs, a few lows but overall a fantastic start to the CvC modes journey to full release. Last week though we were treated to a second twenty-four-hour event that gave us a hands-on with the CvC 2.0. But how has it changed?

What has changed between 1.0 and 2.0?

To begin with, there is no official version number per se for the CvC modes, so I have opted to use the digit dot digit to differentiate the different hands-on experiences.

Between 1.0 and 2.0 there have been some very noticeable changes such as…

  • Matchmaking

The load times this time around for the matchmaking process were a lot faster with a solid eighty per cent of battles been found and initiated within a few seconds as opposed to the several minutes it took before. However, depending on the time of day and how many captains are playing the CvC mode, this can differ.

In general, the matchmaking also seemed a lot more balanced, pairing similar-sized communities against each other more frequently. Again a significant improvement on the first event and very noticeable, which was happily welcomed by many captains.

  • Captain placement period

Before each battle is now instigated, and viewers/community members are allowed to place their troops. There is a designated sixty-second window in which the captain can set their own unit and if quick enough, can draw up a pre-placement battle plan.

For the 1.0 hands-on we had; unfortunately this was not implemented and many captains grew frustrated with being unable to take part in their own battles. Although there is still a lot of negativity surrounding the power bar, which we will move onto shortly, for the most part, the amendments were welcomed by many.

  • Power bar

This time around the power bar was increased to allow more units to be placed. Although specific figures are not currently available to the community, such as how many points a level x unit or x specialisation unit costs to place, it was still noticeable.

Admittedly a few people have been working towards a community made set of figures on how much each unit costs to place. But this is yet to be confirmed officially so just be aware of this if strategising around such community figures as they may be incorrect.

  • Skin prices

Last CvC event one of my personal dislikes was how expensive the CvC skins were compared to the cost of normal PvE skins; however, they have been reduced to be more attainable. Personally, though, I think they are still quite expensive. But we have been advised by community managers that the CvC skins are going to be a lot more unique and more of a collector item for hardcore CvC players.

- An example of the bone rewards in the store -

As you can see there are a lot of plus sides to the new event, but with the positives, there are also still a few negatives, and based off of the comments in the official discord (which you can join here) they are…

  • Balancing enhancements

To allow the most captains to join the CvC event, an automatic balancing system was put into place that would enhance the forces of smaller captains versus larger captains. Or the forces of captains that were unable to fill their power bar to one hundred per cent before a battle started.

As with the first time around the automatic balancing is still a work in progress as this time around (myself included) many smaller communities were put up against some huge communities. Such as Mister Hooks (one of, if not the largest community in Stream Raiders) and we won. Even though we had less powerful units and fewer units overall.

In both the discord and during the official Stream Captain development stream yesterday (04th May) the balancing issues were acknowledged and the auto-balancing has had to be ‘nerfed.’ To ensure it provided less powerful buffs.

  • Performance

For the most part, the CvC event ran a lot smoother than it had done previously, but there were still issues where at times there would be a delay between captain’s power bars both reaching one hundred per cent and the start battle option appearing. And at the end of a battle, whether it be a win or loss. Multiple captains and viewers reported instances where the action did not end and move to the reward screen for up to a minute.

Again the performance issues have been reported, acknowledged and are currently being worked on by the development team. Who are presently unsure of what is causing the errors. But hope to have them fixed for the 3.0 event next week after looking into them further.

  • Power bar

Although the power bar has had a lot of TLC put into it and was working a lot better than it’s 1.0 incarnation, the 2.0 power bar was still swift to fill and at times would fill with just a few units having been placed. Although this is a known issue and one that the team are working on, it does appear to randomly not scale to both larger and smaller communities when battles start, sometimes allowing the opposition the upper hand.

This is actively being looked into and has been one of the most reported issues as a lot of viewers were unhappy; they were still unable to join battles. The development team are looking at reasonable increases to the bar that will not create both unfair advantages over others but also disadvantages.

An interesting choice...

Although neither a pro or a con at this stage. One of the questionable choices between 1.0 and 2.0 was to limit captain selection for viewers to one captain at a time.

- An example of the restriction message -

Although previously you could not join two captains that were fighting each other, and play with both sides (which is still the case). They have now restricted participation for CvC to one captain at a time, meaning your other two captain slots (or three during a battle pass enabled special event if you have a paid-for battle pass) are PvE. Although in some ways, I see this helping promote loyalty towards captains, it was also noticeably annoying for viewers who simply wanted to farm bones. Personally, I would like to have the option to mix and match game modes as we want, but we will see what the development team settle on in future CvC events.

What is the Buster problem so many complained about?

There have been many people complaining about Busters and Balloon Busters this time around and although not a real problem in my personal opinion, it has made formulating strategies and talking to your community all that more important.

Just as an FYI for people who have not heard of these units before, they are geared towards high levels of damage and can take out large groups of heroes in a single attack. Many captains have been using a strategy where their communities deploy large amounts of Busters and Balloon Busters to decimate the front lines of the opposing captains. The larger the community, the more of these units you may face.

The units are simple to avoid by either countering them with your own or preferably taking them out at range with Musketeers, Archers, Mages or Flying Rogues. If it helps, we found (through trial and error) that even a Volatile Buster (one of the most potent forms of the unit) if placed directly in front of your deployment zone. Can only hit units three placement spaces deep, so if your forces deploy beyond this, you can take the Busters out with minimal to no casualties.

Unfortunately, especially for new captains, the mass use of Busters and Balloon Busters tactic has caused them to become frustrated.

What else changed in in 2.0?

  • New maps

In addition to the amendments mentioned above, there were also three new maps put into circulation to test captains tactics.

- The three new maps -

Moving from left to right, we have the first map, which is two different sections of blue on red. Allowing you to split enemy forces and fight on two fronts.

The top right map is a tweak on the original CvC where the middle section is no longer a 'no mans land' but is actually a neutral placement zone.

The final map (bottom left) is an exciting map and one of the most challenging where you have both the blue placement and red placement interchanging. Meaning not only are your forces able to split but could possibly get sandwiched in the middle.

My personal favourite of the new maps was the second one which had a neutral placement zone in the middle as it really tested the advanced planning of both captains and their communities.

  • Loyalty bones

There were also loss rewards implemented that meant captains and viewers would both get a bone each if fighting and losing a match. And a payout of additional bones if you managed to break a losing streak. These ‘loyalty bonuses’ have been well received and were implemented to encourage people to stick with captains no matter the outcome of fights, which worked well to an extent. However, there are still many viewers who jump captains regularly to farm more bones.

What did you think of CvC 2.0?

Overall I still believe that the CvC mode is going to be a fantastic addition for Stream Raiders and even between 1.0 and 2.0 there have been some very noticeable changes. Many for the better. Admittedly though as the mode is still in its initial mass testing phase, it is not perfect and still needs some tweaking. Luckily this is occurring both during the event itself as specific issues were noticed and patched. But also between the individual events too when it is not live.

Due to work been carried out on the CvC mode, issues with the Twitch API which has caused problems for all developers (not just Stream Raiders). And the launch of Dark Heart (the next Stream Raiders special event, that launches this week!) there will be no CvC 3.0 this week, but there is due to be another CvC twenty-four-hour event on Monday the eleventh of May. With a 4.0 already announced for the twentieth of May, which is the Wednesday after.

I am genuinely excited already for 3.0 and can not wait to see where the mode takes us next.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read through the post, and I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions or views you wish to share, by all means, please leave a comment. If you are interested in Stream Raiders and have not done so already, you can sign up and play for free here.

There is also currently an application form for people wishing to take part in the Mobile Lite trials for a mobile version of Stream Raiders, which you can sign up for here. At the moment, they are only taking a small number of applicants but will be drafting in additional testers as the Mobile Lite gets closer to release.


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