Foundation & Metagame Edit
Foundation is a set designed to incorporate select cards from sets prior to the two newest blocks released, that will continue to be a part of the Core pool of cards. Those core cards, along with the the newest 2 blocks (6 sets- 3 to a block) will make up the Ranked and Rift Metagames.
Lightmare's team got together and put themselves through a Design Review. They went over what they started with back in Alpha, what's been done over the course of development, and where the game is at now. This allowed Lightmare to evaluate everything that's ever been done to the game, how it's grown, how necessities have changed, and what the future looks like with the current plan being set in motion.
As taken from a post from Lightmare's community Manager:
- The review has allowed us to stipulate what "Blocks" will exist in our game. Blocks, and their associated Sets, have an environment within them. This environment can be both the design concepts applied, as well as the meta game concepts.
- It has also allowed us to recognize that without these processes previously in place, the environment has become inconsistent and mixed with other environments that were a symptom of these statutes not being in place while we moved through the initial development phases.
- A good example of this is where the Overseers of Solace are introduced into the game at the end of what is now considered a Block. The environment now has a couple different metagame designs introduced to it that were outside of the initial concept parameters.
- The actions we have to take for the health of the game will be a system shock I'm sure to quite a few of you. Moving forward, implementing and sticking to this structure will allow us to create a much smoother and more efficient design flow from Set to Set, then ultimately Block to Block. It's going to lead to good things, a bright future, and afford us a lot more flexibility in terms of balance and design overall.
- There will be 2 Blocks available for Ranked Viability at any given time, which means there will be anywhere between 4 and 6 sets available for purchase in the store at any one time.
- Block Structure- Each Block contains 3 sets. Each set released is part of a Block.
- The first block released so far is “Rise / Infestation / Ascension” (Rise block). The next will be “Order / Oppression / Rebellion” (Order block). Blocks are rotated out of the Store as a whole. This is done for a couple of reasons:
- Cards are designed with their environment in mind, and created to work with other cards within that block.
- It avoids situations where a faction that is being rotated out is awkwardly left with only a few playable cards.
- At the start of each Block, a new faction is introduced. At the same time, one faction will begin to be phased out.
At any one point in time, there will be seven active factions in a set. After great discussion, we have decided that 7 is the sweet spot for the number of factions that we want to be supporting at any one point in time.
- Ultimately, we add factions to keep the game constantly fresh, and to explore new territory in gameplay. We intend for Infinity Wars to exist for a very long time, and are setting forth plans now so that it can continue indefinitely. One of the fastest killers of a card game can be it becoming stale, and a good way for that to happen with Infinity Wars would be having the same factions and concepts in development 3-4 years from now.
- We would rather create a new faction in place of an outdated one, introduce new mechanics/themes, in place of changing one of the old factions into something it was never intended to be in the first place.
- We will be choosing which faction to phase out, based on factors like which factions we feel are getting stale, running out of design room, or are unhealthy for gameplay. Once the decision has been made, the lore will be designed with this mind. Ultimately, we have decided that in Infinity Wars, the gameplay comes first, and story second, and do not make such large gameplay choices based on storyline.
- We understand that certain 'pillars' of the gameplay experience must always be preserved, there must always be options for aggressive decks, mid-range decks, control decks, etc. and will always be mindful of preserving that balance when adding and removing factions. With 7 factions in the game, there are often more than one faction covering such a role, in their own way, so players can rest assured that the metagame will be maintained when faction rotations happen.
- Lastly, Sets that are rotated out will be looked at and specific cards will be added into the Foundation set.
The Purpose Of FoundationEdit
Each year, Lightmare updates the cards in the 'Foundation Set'. The Foundation Set contains X number of cards that have been chosen to keep in the metagame. They are all reprints, and we do not drive existing players to buy them. These simply exist for new players to have the means of acquiring cards Lightmare has deemed as "Core". The cards kept in Foundation are for the Metagame so that as more and more cards/sets get added the developers can keep a handle on the balance of the game.
Doing this keeps the number of potentially relevant cards to a minimum, so that a player coming into Infinity Wars 5 years down the road will still only have a maximum of 6 sets to consider when looking at competitive viability, rather than having to comprehend the entire history of Infinity Wars in order to be up to date.
Foundation is used in both Rift Run and Ranked play. In Rift run, this allows for the pool to be streamlined allowing for better card draws and less reliance on RNG. In Ranked, Foundation is used to focus the meta and allows the meta to shift more frequently, and far more naturally. As an example, 1 new set when we only ever have 6 ranked legal packs with Core cards has a much larger impact on the game and it's Meta as compared to 1 set after we have released 20 sets that would be in the ranked pool.
Cards that are not a part of Foundation that are rotated out, will have cards with similar abilities or strengths printed in future editions of the game. The cards are still able to be used in Non-ranked play, such as Infinite gamemode.
Once a faction has rotated out, if Lightmare feels that players would appreciate some more content for that faction, Lightmare will be releasing alternate art packages, where players can buy a pack of 10 alternate art cards based on signature cards from that old faction.
The current plan is to allow a chance for Gold and Foils in the packs, as well as a rare chance for an 11th alternate art card to be included in the pack.