Back in April, Paladin Studios announced they would hand over Stormbound to a Polish game development studio called Sheepyard . A few months later, Sheepyard is ready to
sheep ship their very first release, after a drought of about 8 months. I am very excited and honoured to be able to announce these changes in exclusivity!
Following Paladin Studios’ advice, the update will hit the production servers some time around July 21st, earliest. From there, the new version of the application will be gradually rolled out to app stores and players are encouraged to update the game as soon as possible. A few days later, a forced update will be conducted to migrate the remaining players to the latest version of the app. Only after that will the new card and new pack offer be available.
Anyone logging into the game at least once during the 3 days following the update will be granted 50 rubies as a token of gratitude and to help with the fact that game development has been silent for so long.
One thing Sheepyard has been quite adamant to tackle is the somewhat awkward in-game economy, particularly the disparity between resources. Their first attempt at taming the beast has been to revisit quests to restore some balance between the three currencies.
- Tier 1 quests will now grant 100 coins.
- Tier 2 quests will now grant 5 rubies.
- Tier 3 quests will now grant 150 coins or 2 fusion stones, depending on the quest.
Each quest can still be rerolled once per day, but a tier 1 quest will always grant coins, a tier 2 quest will always grant rubies and a tier 3 quest will either grant coins (6 out of 10 quests) or fusion stones (4 out of 10 quests).
To compensate the fact that quests overall grant less coins than before, the daily coin cap has been increased to 400 coins (up from 250 coins).
New legendary card
To celebrate their involvement in Stormbound, the Sheepyard studio wanted to mark the occasion with a brand new card in their effigy: Rogue Sheep, a legendary pirate sheep! Meanwhile, Siren is crying in the corner seeing her hopes and dreams of becoming a pirate hero crushed.
On death, deal 1 damage to all enemy units and structures. Add 0‑1 damage for up to 1 Pirate in hand.
On death, deal 1 damage to all enemy units and structures. Add 1 damage for up to 2 Pirate in hand.
On death, deal 2 damage to all enemy units and structures. Add 1 damage for up to 2 Pirate in hand.
On death, deal 2 damage to all enemy units and structures. Add 1 damage for up to 3 Pirate in hand.
On death, deal 2 damage to all enemy units and structures. Add 2 damage for up to 3 Pirate in hand.
Rogue Sheep will be available shortly (a few days following the release) through crafting and books. Additionally, it will be possible to buy a $9.99 limited edition pack containing Rogue Sheep and some resources. This one-time offer will only be available for a few days, so be sure to consider it!
Sheepyard took a close look at the current state of the meta and went nuclear on its main assets, putting down the nerf hammer on many cards, especially but not limited to elders. This is only a first balance patch aiming at fixing the meta. It will be followed by over 30 card updates in the next release to balance things further.
Overall, the idea appears to be to progressively decouple the meta from aggressively cheap decks, and to favor control over rush. It will probably take a few releases and adjustments before getting there.
- Aged Duskbringers have their strength and ability both decreased by 1 at all levels.
- Beards of Crowglyph cost 6 mana at all levels (up from 5).
- Prime Oracle Bragda has its strength decreased by 1 at all levels.
- Blood Ministers have their strength decreased by 2 at all levels.
- Hairy Chestnuts have their strength decreased by 2 at all levels.
- Herald’s Hymn costs 7 mana at all levels (up from 6).
- Queen of Herds costs 7 mana at all levels (up from 6). Additionally, its ability is no longer able to play a card of rarity higher than rare.
- Bucks of Wasteland have their strength decreased by 1 at all levels.
- Frozen Core has its ability decreased by 1 at all levels.
- Rockworkers have their movement decreased by 1 at all levels.
- Gift of the Wise costs 8 mana at all levels (up from 7) and grants one more mana at all levels.
- Earthfathers have their strength decreased by 1 at all levels and regenerate 3, 3, 3 (down from 4), 4 (down from 5), 4 (down from 6).
As usual, some compensation in the form of coins and fusion stones will be provided to owners of nerfed cards, proportional to the level and rarity of the card. Find below the compensation values for each rarity and level.
- Common card: 10 coins at level 2, 20 coins and 1 fusion stone at level 3, 50 coins and 2 fusion stones at level 4, 120 coins and 5 fusion stones at level 5.
- Rare card: 15 coins and 2 fusion stones at level 2, 30 coins and 3 fusion stones at level 3, 90 coins and 7 fusion stones at level 4, 190 coins and 10 fusion stones at level 5.
- Epic card: 15 coins and 2 fusion stones at level 2, 40 coins and 5 fusion stones at level 3, 120 coins and 10 fusion stones at level 4, 250 coins and 20 fusion stones at level 5.
- Legendary card: 1 fusion stone at level 1, 20 coins and 5 fusion stones at level 2, 50 coins and 10 fusion stones at level 3, 150 coins and 20 fusion stones at level 4, 300 coins and 50 fusion stones at level 5.
- Confinement costs 3 mana at all levels (down from 4 at level 1 to 3) and reduce strength to 5, 4, 3, 2 (down from 3) and 1.
- Execution does 1 more damage at all levels.
- Fluffy Badboxers cost 5 mana at all levels (down from 6).
On top of making Fluffy Badboxers more accessible by decreasing their mana cost, Sheepyard has
revisited fixed the confusion mechanic to make it more reliable.
New mechanic: If confused, a unit has ⅓ chance to move forward, ⅓ chance to move inwards and ⅓ chance to move outwards. If sitting on the edge of the board, the unit has ⅓ chance to move forward and ⅔ chance to move inwards.
While it might sound like it is how confusion currently works, it turns out that it’s not at all how it worked until now despite popular belief.
Currently, a confused unit has 4⁄9 chance (you read correctly) to go forward, ⅓ (or 3⁄9) chance to go outwards and 2⁄9 chance to go inwards. When on the edge of the board, it has ⅔ chance to go forward and ⅓ chance to go inwards. No wonder we all thought it was broken.
In the following situation, Westwind Sailors will now have a proper ⅓ chance to go in any direction (but backwards). Similarly, Green Prototypes now have ⅓ chance to move forward, and ⅔ chance to move to the right side. That’s because they are sitting on the edge of the board, so the ⅓ chance to move to the left are effectively redistributed to the right side.
Sheepyard also allowed me to announce that the next update will introduce two extra ways to induce confusion. They are planning on making confusion a mechanic to prolong games, essentially shifting the meta away from aggressively cheap decks. Note that the goal is not to make confusion the new freeze. It is only to provide a way to tempo games a little more.
Stormbound has a long history of awkward matchmaking. In order to make it a little more fair, Sheepyard is introducing a base health upper limit based on the current league a player is in. The caps go as follow:
- Diamond: no cap (besides 20 maximum health).
- Platinum: health capped at 17.
- Gold: health capped at 14.
- Silver: health capped at 12.
- Bronze: health capped at 11.
- Iron: health capped at 10.
Note that these upper limits on base health are not applied in Brawl mode whatsoever. Additionally, the CPU health has also been similarly adjusted when facing bots.
Sheepyard has already started to revisit old interfaces and is going to introduce many interface improvements in this release, and even more so in the next one.
Here, the base health—which is now named “Fortress Level”. It comes with a handy dialog box giving more information, as well as the effective progression.
Still no disclosure of the actual formula determine one’s Fortress Level based on progression, but things are changing fast so who knows?
Another minor interface change which can be seen behind the fortress level dialog box in the joined image is the new icon for the “Friends” button to replace to current one.
- When is the update going to be released?
The update itself has been completed and sent to the different app stores for approval at the end of June. However because Stormbound has been silent for so long, it currently is deprioritised and quite far down the queue. We are hoping to see it on July 21st, but cannot make any guarantee. This is completely outside of Paladin or Sheepyard’s control and we cannot speed that up.
- Is the confusion mechanic really better now?
Sheepyard has conducted a lot of tests after having patched it and it does feel incredibly more reliable than before. It remains a somewhat random mechanic of course, but it is way better this way. With the upcoming new confusion-inducing cards, it’s likely it will bring this mechanic in the meta.
- What’s with all the nerfs and unsollicited buffs?
Most of the changes were a long time coming and carefully considered. The current meta relies too heavily on specific cards which makes for repetitive deck building. The goal is to eventually balance cards out so we see more variety in decks at all levels.
- Does the base health cap means I cannot drop down a league if my health is higher than this league’s cap?
No. The league influences the maximum health of the base, and not the other way around. This change has no incidence whatsoever on the league itself.
That’s it for this update, which is not trivial for the first one from Sheepyard. They already have the next update in the starting blocks, including but not limited to:
- As mentioned before, at least two new cards inducing confusion, thus helping making confusion-decks more competitive.
- Over 30 card tweaks across all factions, hopefully restoring some balance and improving some cards that have long been forgotten.
- A community tab within the game, with links to social media and Stormbound platforms.
- More options when it comes to friendly matches.