Battlegrounds September Update: Technical Beta on the Horizon

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Hello and welcome to our September Battlegrounds update! Last month we introduced our first major milestone- The Great Ranging

This month we’ll be digging deeper into what you’ll see as we rapidly approach Technical Betas, as well as recapping the contents of last week’s live-streamed Discord Q&A with the Battlegrounds devs.

Each Battleground we have planned will feature distinct locations, gameplay, and rewards. At a glance, the Great Ranging will be:

  • An on-demand PvE focused experience
  • Rally to defeat as many Unyielding Creatures as you can in 30 minutes. 
  • These creatures require multiple successful rallies to defeat and can heal.
  • Rally Timers have been reduced.

Read on to learn more!

The Great Ranging

Our First battleground arena, The Great Ranging, will be a PvE focused experience.

Battlegrounds are intended to be content on-demand. Allegiance leaders can choose when to initialize The Great Ranging, and see how many creatures their team can take down in 30 minutes.

That being said, you should not expect this to match your run-of-the-mill PvE event back in Westeros. The difficulty will be scaled up, time is a factor, and a challenging new creature type will require you and your teammates to work together to take them down.

Unyielding Creatures

The Great Ranging introduces the challenging Unyielding Creature type with Wight Wolves, Pale Spiders, and Wight Bears. 

This was a wolf, once. Now it serves a new master.

Unyielding Creatures regain health over time if given the opportunity. Do not give them a moment’s rest! Landing 5 successful hits in a row will defeat them for good.

“In that darkness the White Walkers came for the first time… hunting with their packs of pale spiders big as hounds.” – Old Nan

These are also Rally Creatures, so you will need assistance from at least 1 other allegiance member to attack.

Reduced Rally Timers have been added to this mode– send your marches in as little as 30 seconds, 1 minute, or 3.

Few outside the Night’s Watch have seen the pale, ferocious bears that prowl the Bay of Seals.

Coordinate with your team to exploit each creature’s weakness- The Direwolf fears Infantry, the Wight Bear can be overcome swiftly by Cavalry, and you can more easily hunt the Pale Spider using Ranged.

Lower level creature marches will match general Combat Map stamina costs but they will cap out at a max of 25 Stamina, even for our highest level creature.

Risk & Reward

As previously mentioned, you should expect more of a fight out of these creatures than one of a similar level back on the home Combat Map. 

We’re curious to see how high players will be able to successfully hit. During our Battlegrounds Q&A last week, the gauntlet was thrown down by our Project Owner, Goose, who was doubtful anyone would hit higher than a creature level 40 (let’s see if we can prove him wrong!)

While their difficulty has been scaled, we have also added some exclusive new rewards for folks able to take them down.

Exclusive to Battlegrounds are the Mance Rayder and Rattleshirt Heroes. These will only be available through Battlegrounds rewards.

Rattleshirt is designed to help you hit harder, and higher level, creatures, while Mance focuses on emboldening Ranged troops to deal with those persistent Spiders. 

Each creature favors a different type of reward:

  • Wight Wolf- Mance Rayder Relics
  • Wight Bear- Rattleshirt Relics
  • Pale Spider – Advanced Resources (Bricks, Scholarly Fragments, Soldier Pine, or Pale Steel).

We also have a new Battleground-exclusive pawn that you can earn Shards for. Like the wargs, send this Raven out with your troops to scope the battlefield!

Creature drops are an area we commonly get a lot of feedback on, and we want you to keep it coming!

We’ll be listening carefully to see if there are tweaks that need to be made here… though we also have plans for other rewards and additional ways to earn them coming in future iterations.

The North

We’d like to make a whole article just covering the little polish items that our artists have put into this new game mode, but for now we’ve selected just a few of our live-streamed Discord Q&A last week.

Even Winterfell in our standard combat map has flowing water, but the new biome north of The Wall is entirely ice. The frost spreads across the terrain itself in an almost painterly effect. 

This cold, inhospitable landscape matches the fearsome fauna that lives there, and lays the groundwork for more Battlegrounds you’ll see in the future!

You’ll also notice your keep is replaced by a Battalion in Battlegrounds. This will grow and change depending on your keep level.

And of course, even the little details matter. You will have new march lines in Battlegrounds as well.

First looks

As announced last week, our first previews of The Great Ranging will begin the week of 9/27/21!

Each Beta will run for 8 days, and we will be monitoring and adding additional kingdoms as the weeks go on. That being said, the first kingdoms will be:

829 & 777

Each kingdom involved will receive additional in-game instructions on the first day of their access to the Technical Beta, so keep an eye on your message Center!

Also keep in mind that there is a cool down after your allegiance runs The Great Ranging so plan accordingly! You can read more about cooldowns and the initialization process in our August Update.

Work In Progress

Battlegrounds is a major undertaking that lays the groundwork for a lot of exciting content to come. While there is a lot of new content in our first major milestone, it’s important to keep in mind that this is still a Technical Beta. There will be time to implement changes based on your feedback on these first looks. 

Something that our Battlegrounds team and Project owner reiterated last week at our Discord Stage Q&A is that the main goal of this feature is fun. We want to create something that players will enjoy coming back to time and time again.

So we ask that you let us know what you think- whether it’s by chatting over in the #Battlegrounds channel on Discord, or taking part in player surveys after you have a chance to experience The Great Ranging for yourself. Be as specific as possible- if you don’t like something, what would you prefer in its place? If you do love something, make sure to let us know too so we don’t mess with it.

Your feedback is how we make this as awesome as possible.

We are listening and so excited to see what you think!