IT’S HAPPENING!

The moment has come to finally reveal all of the big changes we’ve been mysteriously hinting at in the last patch notes! Before we begin, we want to give a BIG and special THANK YOU goes out to everyone on our official Discord server who helped us test this new version to make sure what we delivered in this patch was up to all of our expectations!

If you are just joining us, we’re talking about a complete* re-work of the RIVALS Match System *(completely brand new code and functionality).

BUT WHYYY?

Now, you might be asking yourself, “Why would you change a running system instead of working on a new feature?” Even if you’re not asking, it’s still good to know why we decided to scrap our old code and re-write a core pillar of RIVALS.

The Match Simulation that you were used to before this release had many shortcomings for both the game experience and the continued development of RIVALS:

  • Your feedback let us know that the match system was too much of a blackbox. It failed to give you meaningful feedback and the flexibility you needed to properly coach your team. Winning and losing often felt like a coin flip, with some matches appearing to be highly in your favor but still resulting in a loss without a logical reason.
  • There were bugs that we could not fix without making major changes (I’m looking at you, towers going down in the wrong order).
  • The tactic system was inadequate for several reasons:
    • The Rock Paper Scissors (“RPS”) gameplay was dissociated from what was actually happening in the match. And if the opponent did not log in, there was a serious lack of gameplay since you could just set up everything before the match and let it ride out.
    • On top of this, the high tactic values made the RPS gameplay obsolete to a point where you could tell whether or not you would win a match simply by checking your opponent’s tactic values before a match.
    • AGR stats were overpowered and could not be balanced without making major code changes.
    • A one-dimensional RPS mechanic is unimaginative and we knew we could do better.
    • Moreover, the match system was hindering our future development plans due to how technically difficult it was to add new features.

So we went ahead and made a plan to address all of this. And before doing anything, we reached out to you in a survey to help quantify the sentiment that we had heard in our reviews, customer support tickets, and our official discord server.

Many of you agreed that the match system wasn’t fulfilling enough. That alone was concerning enough to warrant an adjustment, but the following feedback revealed that there was a much more fundamental change needed.

Indeed, most of you wanted to better understand how the match works and how you can influence it with your coaching decisions. There are many ways to accomplish that, and the rest of your feedback was essential in showing us the most meaningful way.

75% of you wanted interactions during the match, and over 50% of you wanted to have more meaningful control while doing so. With all of this in mind, we were sure of our plan and began working on the….

CH-CH-CHAAANGES!

This will be a long but exciting ride through all the changes and new systems. Ready for it? Lets go!

I AM BLUE…

First things first: Your team will now always be the blue team and on the left side. No more switching sides between matches. This is now consistent with the management part of the app.

And it is of course just your view on the match - in a pvp match on the server each team has a different side as normal.

Basically: Blue = Good (you). Red = Bad (opponent).

MATCH INTRO AND SUMMARY

You can now see the Champion

proficiency of each player during the pick & ban sequence. Colored borders around your picks will still tell you, if the chosen champion matches to your player’s proficiency:

Comfort Pick = Golden Border

Class Pick = Silver Border

This will be important during the match (more on this later).

You will now also get a summary of your champion composition before the match starts.

PHASES and PLAYS

As before, each match is divided into PHASES. There are now up to 6 PHASES (one down from the old match view):

  • 2 Early Game Phases
  • 2 Mid Game Phases
  • 2 Late Game Phases

A match victory can already happen at the end of the Mid Game now.

Each phase itself consists of a series of up to 8 PLAYS. Each PLAY is showing you one set of movement and combat actions of the participating players which have an important influence on the outcome of the match. E.g. GANK is now an Early Game play, which orders your jungler to go and try getting a kill on a lane together with your laner and whether they succeed or not, will have an impact on everything else that happens afterwards.

Each Play will also ask for different Player Attributes (like POS and KNW) to check if it succeeds or not.

In other words: A good selection and sequence of PLAYS that fit to your team’s strengths, is your route to victory now!

Therefore we of course also gave you some agency over what PLAYS your team will try to execute.

SHOTCALLING

The old match system was all about selecting tactics. Now, instead of tactics, you select one (1) PLAY at the beginning of each phase. This we call Shotcalling.

The plays available to you depend on the champions your team picked, and if these are comfort or class picks. Below you can learn all about the play selection during the match:

First you will see the current development of the Gold graph and an indicator of how your Team’s Champions will likely fare against the opponent Champion’s in the upcoming phase.

Then the play selection will give you 15 seconds to select your main play for the upcoming phase.

The header shows you the current state of the match.

 The Timer shows you your remaining seconds

 At the bottom you’ll find 10 Play Cards, 5 for your team and 5 for the opponent.

Your opponent cards show you what you might expect from your opponent this phase.

You can tap on one of your team’s cards to make a choice for the next play. If you don’t do anything, the play that is marked “preselected” will be chosen. This will be the Play that is most compatible with your chosen TACTIC (more on Tactics later).

Darkened out cards mean, that the player has no play available this shotcalling, most likely since the champion is neither a comfort or a class pick.

  •  After you select a PLAY, you can choose where on the map it should be attempted.

 For each option you will see additional cards for COMBO PLAYS that will be triggered by the play you chose. These will show the same indicators as the main play cards.

Each card has several elements and indicators to help you to make your decision:

TYPES of PLAYS

During shotcalling, each of your picked champions can provide you with a play that you could choose to initiate. They can be divided into the following categories:

CHAMPION PLAYS

These are your normal options for shotcalling. Each champion can provide one of these plays if the champion is at least a class pick for the player using it. Which play it is depends on the champion and the current phase (e.g. the same champion will provide you different plays between Early, Mid and Late Game).

POWER PLAYS

As the name suggests, these plays are very powerful. You will be able to distinguish them based on the golden Border in the play card. But you will only have them available if you meet the following criteria:

  • The champion is a comfort pick for the player using it
  • The champion is used in the correct role (e.g. JNG) for the power play
  • It’s the correct phase of the match for the power play (e.g. Mid Game)

In return the play itself has a strong effect, being able to turn the tide of the battle by itself. And in addition Power Plays can trigger:

COMBO PLAYS

Selecting POWER PLAY could also trigger additional CHAMPION PLAYS of your other team members as a COMBO PLAY . This is a huge advantage, since it might mean that your team will be able to attempt more plays than your opponent in the upcoming phase (unless they have POWER and COMBO PLAYS, too, of course)!

GAME PLAN

All selected and triggered plays of both teams will be then sorted into the GAME PLAN. This is done based on the INITIATIVE value of each play:

  • The Play having the lowest initiative value coming first.
  • If Plays of both teams have the same INITIATIVE value, the Play of the team which currently has more players alive or, if that is the same, has the currently stronger champions, will come first.

You will also find that additional plays are sorted into the game plan, which come from the Tactics of both teams. These are general play patterns which will drive the match forward and represent the basic farming and combat moves that inevitably happen in every match.

After this sorting process, the plays will get executed in the order of the Game Plan. While doing so, plays can get CANCELED by the outcome of previous PLAYS.

Imagine the following scenario: Your opponent selected a FIGHT MONSTER play with an Initiative of 10 that orders their Bot Laner to take down the dragon. You select a GANK play with Initiative 6. Your GANK has a lower Initiative value and was therefore the first Play on the Game Plan to be attempted.

The Gank was executed successfully, killing the Bot Laner before he could attempt his Play! This cancels out the opponent FIGHT MONSTER play and removes it from the Game Plan, as the Bot Laner is now out of the action and cannot attempt anything anymore. Thanks to your coaching decision, your opponent will not be able to take the Dragon during phase!

Had your opponent taken out the dragon, he would have earned more gold for his team and all of his players would receive a permanent boost to all of their attributes for the rest of the match! You can see that Plays with high Initiative values are the most rewarding, but they also come with the most risk.

All of your possible Plays will be updated on the Game Plan as the match progresses. It is possible for one team to have more Plays on the Game Plan than the other team.

A – Your Champion Morrisma is going to attempt a POWER PLAY (golden border) first. This POWER PLAY has the lowest PLAY SCORE, so it is first to be attempted in the GAME PLAN.

B – Your opponent selected a CLASS PLAY (silver border), and that will be carried out unless your first PLAY can stop it! If it gets canceled, it will be removed from the GAME PLAN.

C – Your team will attempt a COMBO PLAY (no border). Here you can see that the combination of POWER PLAYS and Combo plays really limits the amount of plays available to your opponent.

D – These are some basic Tower Push PLAYS for both teams. BASIC PLAYS will always fill out the rest of the GAME PLANS.

MATCH VIEW

Of course you want to see how it all pans out, when the Game Plan is executed play by play. This mainly happens on the minimap display that you know, but we made some changes around it:

Ⓐ We updated the header to look closer to live streams from MOBA games.


 Below the map you will see the Game Plan.

Ⓒ The currently active tactics (more on that later).

Ⓓ More detailed infos about all participating players and their picked champions.

At the start of each play, you will see some more information about it:

The game will indicate which player attributes are used to check how well a play gets executed by the teams.

E.g to the right we can see that SRV and DIS are being used by your blue team, and KNW and POS are being used by the red team.

Between the stats you will see a bar filling, showing you:

  • BLUE: The check went well for your team. You will have an advantage during the play.
  • GRAY: No team has an advantage during this play.
  • RED: The check went well for the opposing team. Your opponent will have an advantage during the play.

These advantages can range from buffs for the following combat to general bonuses like additional Gold for your team.

A play can then lead your Champions into combat, which you can now follow by checking the health bars of the Champions even on the minimap.



As before, the most exciting and important combat sequences will zoom in for more details so you can follow the action close up!

Phew - that was a lot of information to take in! If You’re still with us: take a breath, fetch a tea and maybe re-read a section if needed. This next section contains more changes which will build on the foundation of what you just read.

CHAMPIONS

As mentioned above, champions control which plays your team will have available during a match:

  • Each champion can perform 1 POWER PLAY, if all criteria are met (see above)
  • Each champion can perform 3 different CHAMPION PLAYS. They can be triggered as a COMBO PLAYS by POWER PLAYS of your other team members. These plays can also be chosen during Shotcalling, when you have no Power Play available to select.

How well the plays are executed depends on your player’s attributes and can result in combats. During these combats the other aspect of the champions becomes relevant:

We now simulate their Damage and Hitpoint values more accurately during the match and it has a huge impact on the outcome of combats.

Damage and Hitpoints are the result of:

  • The power spike of a champion - e.g. an Early Game champion will stomp Late Game champions at the beginning of the match, but the tides will turn if the match gets to the later phases.
  • The XP level of the champion, which rises automatically with time but can be increased by BOOST plays and other plays that give your champions more kills.
  • The ITM (item) level of the champions, which increases with the gold that the player gains through farming and defeating opponent champions and structures.

As you can see champions are now a very important element of the match system. This was a very conscious decision. For a start, we think it is very flavorful and authentic - the champion compositions play a huge role in all the MOBAs out there. But it also provides some real game play advantages:

  • Since you only know after Pick&Bans what CHAMPIONS you will get, it is more interesting to participate in matches even against offline or scrim opponents (we made sure that being online is not mandatory, as your tactics selection will decide the preferred champions if you are not online)
  • If you scout your opponent and find that their strategy is very strong, you can try to counter it with strategic picks and bans.

The plays and the champion changes together will allow you to really develop your own strategy. Will you put everything into the early game, trying to roflstomp the enemy in the beginning and then snowball your way to victory? Or will you build a stable defense in the early game and then swat the puny enemies away with an unstoppable late game team-fight composition? Or will you annoy the hell out of your opponents by being uncatchable all over the map? The decision is yours - just watch out that the opponent doesn’t crush your dreams with a clever ban after scouting your team!

NPCs

As you might have spotted above, defeating the Monsters on the map will have a huge impact on the Match:

The dragon will give your team gold (to increase the ITM level of your champions) and will increase all your players attributes by 5% for the rest of the match. And multiple Dragon kills stack.

The Hydra will give your team gold and increase all your players attributes by 20 % and all your minions damage and hitpoints by 70%. But only until the end of the running phase.

Did somebody say Minions?

Yes, we now simulate minions, but we only show them when they matter; like when they pile up in a huge wave to threaten a tower (or even Core).


MATCH RESULT SCREEN

During the match all these things we described above will happen quite fast. If you want to analyse everything that happened with more time and in greater detail, you can do so in the updated Match Result Screen.

When you really want to go deep, you can now tap on a phase panel to see how the attribute checks and combats went in detail.


TACTICS

Still with us? Great! If you have been playing RIVALS for a while, you might now be wondering what became of your beloved (or hated) tactics system. We found a new role for them:

You now can only select 3 tactics for the match. Each tactic corresponds with one of the three phases (early game, mid game, and late game)

The tactic controls which play your team will select when you are not online or wait for the timer to run out during Shotcalling. They will also always add some more basic Plays to the Game Plan.

In addition, they will boost 2 of your player’s attributes for the according phases, which also happens to be the attributes that are used for the plays that your tactic will select.

By how much the attributes are boosted is controlled by the Tactic’s level.

This means you can now use tactics to boost your strengths or to shore up your weakness and to build a synergy with the Plays you select during the match.

Important: Your old tactic levels will be converted 1:1 to the new system. You will not lose any of your hard earned training progress!

TOOLTIPS & PLAYER DETAILS

We updated all the tooltips to show you all of the information you will need to coach your team to victory. If you really want to tinker with your strategy, we recommend to study the new champion tooltips.

You find these under “Details” in the ban menu or when you tap on the champions in your player’s detail screens
!

PLAYERS AND TRANSFER MARKET

Vigilant eyes have discovered some different attribute names in the player details above:

  • Perception (PER) is now Timing (TMG) as a more fitting mechanical stat.
  • Aggression (AGR) is now Awareness (AWR) - see, we made sure AGR is really dead! All jokes aside, the real reason “Aggression Training” was renamed was because the name didn’t feel like a perfect fit for what it does.
  • Due to a technicality, Discipline (DIS) and Communication (COM) switched places.

Despite the name changes, you will all keep your current players and not lose any attribute values. Still, you will want to update your roster with players that have the proficiencies you are looking for.

To that end, we’ve updated the Transfer Market so that the players you get will now have proficiencies that better fit the new system. Meaning a Jungler will more likely know some Assassins or other champions which are good when playing on the JNG position.

TEAMPLAY BONUS & CONDITION

While studying the tooltips you might stumble upon another set of changes we made:

  • Teamplay Bonus and Condition don’t modify your team power anymore.
  • Missing condition will now give a chance to your players to FUMBLE a Play. In this case their attributes become irrelevant: They just fail. The more condition is missing, the higher the chance for a FUMBLE.
  • If you have higher Team Play Bonus than your opponent, you have a chance to OUTPLAY your opponent, meaning that your players will automatically do a perfect play setup, even against opponents with much stronger attributes.
  • You now can increase your teamplay bonus to up to 100 % and you will lose 20 % per day. In addition Scrim matches will give your more Team Play Bonus as reward.

We made these changes to make the computation of the teampower less complicated and to show you exactly when they matter during a match. It is also an additional reward for active players, which can now even defeat much stronger teams if that stronger team doesn’t care for their team anymore.

YEAH, you made it to the end of the changes in 3.0! Excited? Overwhelmed? Tears of joy or hate? All of it? To make sense of it all, we recommend you try it all out yourself! Just remember to know what you think on our official Discord server!


A note on the road ahead

With that in mind, we already know some things we want to add in the near future to make it all a well rounded experience:

  • More convenience features - After you all could try out the new match, we might find out that you miss some infos or want some UIs clearer. We already have some ideas and will work on that after gathering more of your feedback.
  • Manual Picks - Since champions are super important now, it only makes sense to give you more control over what your team will pick.
  • Match Results in Fixtures - The new technology finally allows us to show you all the match’s stats and details even some days after the match happened. So we quickly want to add that option to the Fixtures screen.

And that’s it! Simple, right? Thanks for staying with us all this time, and we’ll be seeing you all on the all new Battlefield!