Was the Stream Raiders CvC event worth the hype?
Recently we were lucky enough to be treated to a hands-on with Stream Raiders' upcoming CvC mode during a CvC special event. There were both highs and lows to the experience, but join me now as we break them down and explore the silver lining.
First and foremost, what is this CvC you speak of?
CvC is the Stream Raiders equivalent of a PvP (or player vs player) mode in which communities can compete against one another in battles. Hence the name CvC (community vs community).
Using a lot of the same mechanics as the normal CvE (community versus environment) mode, captains and their communities place units on the field and duke it out with other communities for bones and bragging rights.
When was it held?
The event was held between Tuesday 31st March and Thursday 02nd April. It has been teased that there may be more CvC special events in the near future, but the main aim is to implement it as a full game mode alongside the current CvE. Allowing communities to pick between the two.
What are these bones you mentioned?
Bones are the new in-game currency earned by purely playing the CvC mode, think of it as the gold you receive in the CvE. However, instead of buying scrolls from the store and using bones to upgrade your units, you can redeem bones for unique skins and bone chests (which are effectively loot boxes) containing a random number of either gold, potions, scrolls or even skins.
One of the plus sides to the CvC special events is any bones you earn, will be carried over to the next event, so you do not lose any in between.
Can you seriously get skins from the boxes?
You can indeed. I was actually lucky enough between my viewer and captain account to get the CvC event berserker skin and mage skin. Both skins were also available to buy, but we will get onto the price of skins later on.
Example of a bone chest redemption.
The Bone Berserker CvC skin.
What other differences are there?
Between the CvE and CvC, there are several significant differences you should be aware of.
To start a CvC match, captains must now queue to enter battles meaning it may be a few minutes wait before a match is picked up as opposed to the CvE where captains can literally jump from one action into the next.
The time limit for CvC matches is five minutes as opposed to the thirty minutes people are used to with the CvE.
Unit placement for community members has been reduced from five minutes to three minutes, meaning if you are quick enough and the power bar (please see below) is not full, you can place two units a match.
Captains are still able to place an epic unit as their single unit for each match, but unfortunately, epics are not available for community members to place in CvC.
There is now a power bar for CvC matches that takes into account the size of the map. The size of both communities. And the level of the units being placed. Once a captain’s bar reaches 100%, no more units can be placed.
Although community members are still able to select three captains to fight for at a time, they can only place units for one captain if they have chosen two captains that end up in the same match. For example, if you have a slot available for captain A and captain B, you must decide who you would like to support as you will be unable to access the other once you place a unit.
An example of what occurs when trying to support both captains.
What did you think of the CvC special event?
Personally, I loved the special event, it was not only fun with the quick battles, but it also allowed me to meet (and cross swords) with many captains I had not yet met in the official Stream Captain discord. Meaning that the exposure to the broader community was happening organically.
I ran the CvC event uninterrupted on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and on all three days, I saw a significant uptake in the stream chat activity. And even enjoyed popping into other captain’s streams to wish them luck and vice versa. We had people popping into my stream chat for some playful pre-battle banter and well wishes.
On the flip side, though, as much as I loved the event, there were many reasons to loathe parts of it as well. So much so that many community members and captains alike did not play the full event, which was a shame.
Some of the main issues that were noticeable were…
The matchmaking for the CvC selection process was very imbalanced. I would say that our community is a medium-sized one and many battles were evenly powered, and a lot of fun to take part in. However, when faced with a smaller streamer, it would be a massacre with many only having a handful of units compared to the (on average) fifteen plus we were fielding (at times forty units!). On the flip side to this, when going against larger communities too, we were able to give a few a bloody nose before been defeated, and other times it was an outright massacre of our forces.
Luckily, when going to mention this feedback in the official discord, many people had already mentioned this. And the community managers were actively replying to as many feedback posts as possible. The imbalanced matchmaking has been noticed and has been tweaked as the event progressed, and would be further worked on before the next one.
Admittedly by the end of the first event there seemed to be little difference but as mentioned, quite a few captains began to revert to CvE on Wednesday and Thursday, so the number of captains doing CvC was limited.
The power bar
Although a new addition for the CvC event, the power bar went down like a lead balloon for many as it would quickly fill up. Meaning many community members were unable to place units, and even captains were unable to place their units if the community beat them to it.
Now when reading the above you may think ‘well they should have been quicker,’ but honestly, having had this happen to myself too several times, sometimes you would get five units on the field and the bar would be full if they were high ranking. The enemy team could then place multiple lower-level units.
Having read through the feedback on the official discord and the replies from the community managers, this has again been noted and is being looked into. Unfortunately, many community members gave up on the CvC event after constantly joining battles but finding they were unable to place units.
Skins and bones
I’m not going to lie, the CvC special event skins were very nice. Although the rogue and paladin were okay, both the berserker and mage were fantastic with a lovely sort of tribal vibe to them. And I was very excited when I actually unlocked both via bone chests (one for my viewer account and one for my captain account). That been said they could also be bought and I was really shocked at the prices.
When purchasing the bones, they were available in either a hundred for $5 or three hundreds for $10.
The special event skin prices were...
Bone Berserker @ 800 bones
Bone Mage @ 300 bones
Bone Paladin @ 180 bones
Bone Rogue @ 50 bones
The bones section of the store during the CvC event.
On average a head skin for Stream Raiders will run you about $5 with a unique or full-body captain skin running you about $10. The berserker CvC exclusive skin (which could only be bought using bones) was $30. Now I understand the need to make profitable skins, but a $20 increase came as quite a big shock as I have been playing Stream Raiders since closed alpha and seen a lot of special events and skins come and go.
An example of normal skin costing for CvE in the store.
Although the paladin and rogue skins were easy to unlock using bones acquired during regular CvC matches, I honestly hope that before the next event, the skin prices overall are reviewed and brought into line with the CvE prices.
Bone chests and loot
Overall the number of bones you earnt per match was a bit disappointing. You won one bone for a win or loss, and if you managed to find yourself on a winning streak you would double and triple your earnings, but the win streak only accounted for a maximum of three wins and went no higher. There was also a twenty-five bone bonus if you played three matches a day.
When comparing these earnings to the amounts of gold, potions and scrolls you can earn (even during speed run CvE battles where they are shorter than usual), there was a minimal appeal for many to play. For those that did, it was quite obvious a lot were simply trying to farm bones and would quickly switch from losing captains to winning captains if it meant a few more bones. Although I can see the appeal when farming, the sudden jumps from one captain to another imbalanced an already questionable system. Luckily this was raised in the discord and is being looked at too.
The matchmaking process
At several points during the special event, we were unable to find another community for fighting against which especially on the first day was quite surprising because of the sheer amount of people online. If cancelling the matchmaking and then going back in, you would quite often then find a match, but it was a bit annoying.
This seemed to have been an issue that was flagged early on and is being worked on to see what may be causing this as it also appeared in the development stream when SC_Thomas and SC_Brad were the only two online and still unable to find each other.
Regarding the above, If you have missed it, check out our previous development stream round-up here.
I know I have just fired a wall of text at you all, and many of it may not be the best first impression, but I thought it better, to be honest. For anyone that has seen the previous Stream Raider related posts on the blog, you will know I love this game to bits, but as with anything, if it’s got its flaws, I’ll tell you. Just bear in mind though that this was the very first special event for the CvC mode and it is still a work in progress. Personally, from seeing the replies in the official discord and how engaging the community team were with people, I am looking forward to seeing what the second CvC event will be like and will definitely be trying it out.
To end this section on a positive note, I have kept two excellent little features back too.
With the CvC mode we now have two scoreboards, one of which tracks your wins and losses against the captains you have fought, while the other tracks the activity of your community and ranks the community members by kills, assists and units placed.
An example of the CvC captain scoreboard.
An example of the CvC community scoreboard.
Mix and match modes
When playing the CvE or CvC, you can actually mix your open captain slots to include any number of each mode you wish. For example, you can go all CvE. All CvC. Or have two CvC and one CvE. When trialling this out, there was no impact to either load times or functionality, and the two modes worked together quite nicely and still allowed me (as a viewer) to help fellow captains on their CvE battles while trying the CvC from the viewer's point of view.
An example of the mixed modes.
So in summary…
The CvC mode will be a fantastic and engaging mode for Stream Raiders that will honestly drive more social interaction for both your own streams and between your community and the communities of other captains. However, it is a work in progress and needs some additional work to bring it up to scratch.
Community managers and the development team are currently working through all of the feedback and working towards fixing some of the more glaringly apparent issues the CvC event brought to light.
Personally, I can not wait to see what the second CvC event has in store and to see what has improved.
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. For now, though, I bid you adieu. There is a horde of bucket head orcs that need slaying over on Stream Raiders (click the link to join in!).