Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Season 2 Changes

Hi guardians!

With Season 2, we're going to be making some changes to the site in a few different areas, as well as adding some exciting new features (more on that to come).

I wanted to take the opportunity to talk through my reasoning on a few of these topics and get some feedback before the season actually starts.

End of Season Standings

  • TLDR A snapshot of the leaderboard standings will be captured the last moment before Season 2 begins. Progress will be reset (where it makes sense) for Season 2. All progress recorded in Season 1 will be saved and visible on your player profile using the Season selector. 

A big thing I want to enable on the site is movement on the leaderboards. If someone is grinding out progress harder than someone else, I want them to be able to see that reflected in the standings. Resetting with the season gives everyone a fair chance to take a stab at claiming that top spot, as well as hopefully giving another reason to play the game.

However, there are some progression goals on the site that simply don't make sense to fully reset. Once you have all exotic weapons, you have all exotic weapons. The site is aware of the collection kiosk and will always give you credit for those items, even if you have none in your inventory.

But, at the same time, the new season brings some changes that introduce the opportunity for the playing field to be leveled back out:

  • The addition of new goal items will add a large chunk of percentage that no one will have at the beginning of the season
  • All max power progress will effectively be wiped, as the power level cap is increasing to 335
  • Faction ranks will only count ranks earned this season. Any ranks from Season 1 (or on your first check-in for new users) will not count toward Season 2 progress. This affects any leaderboard where reputation rank is a subgoal:
    • Faction Rally
    • Iron Banner
    • Trials of the Nine
    • The Leviathan
  • At least one new leaderboard will be added for Curse of Osiris activities that don't fall under anything else.
That last point leads me to...

New Leaderboard(s?)

  • TLDR I anticipate adding at least one new leaderboard, potentially more, depending on the final shakedown of new activities and gear from Curse of Osiris. Nothing set in stone until we actually see what's in the files, what gets added in game, etc.
A new leaderboard will almost certainly be added for Curse of Osiris activities. A lot of stuff that we can assume will be added with the expansion falls under other goals on the site (such as new exotics or Iron Banner ornaments), so this leaderboard will be designed to capture progress on everything from the expansion that doesn't make sense elsewhere. The weapons from the Lighthouse Forge are 99% going to fall under this new leaderboard, for example.

If there are a ton of items that end up falling into this bucket, it's possible I will break it into more than one leaderboard. But, for now, we can look forward to a minimum of one new leaderboard to cover CoO content.

Raid Progression

  • TLDR I plan on combining prestige and normal mode into a single goal with a single leaderboard, effectively eliminating the "Prestige Leviathan" leaderboard. Beyond that, I plan on including all new items that come from the new Raid Lair as part of the Leviathan goal set. 

When I initially created the site, the prestige raid hadn't come out yet, and judging purely by the API files, it wasn't clear if there would be power level differences, prestige exclusive items, or anything else that would differentiate prestige gear from normal mode gear. As we all now know, the prestige gear is entirely cosmetic, with very little gear unique to the mode in general. Unless we learn something about the upcoming raid lair to make it seem that there will be a significant difference in the gear obtained from its prestige mode (whether that be in the form of unique gear or just a huge number of cosmetic-only items), I think it makes the most sense to combine all Leviathan activity into one leaderboard.

This will have the side effect of lowering the contribution of prestige raid progress to overall leaderboard position. Currently prestige raiding is worth 12.5% of overall leaderboard score. Come Season 2, its worth will be roughly 6% of overall leaderboard score, assuming the proportion of normal to prestige items stays the same with the addition of the new gear from the raid lair.

In the end, I believe this is a fairer setup than Season 1, as it doesn't make a ton of sense for 15 purely cosmetic items to have the same worth toward your overall score as getting all ~70 available emblems, obtaining and maxing every piece of exotic armor, etc.

Seasonal Items

  • TLDR Any items that were available only in Season 1 will obviously not be counted against your progress in Season 2. The UI will be updated so that you can still track the progress of Season 1 items even though they may no longer be obtainable. Goals will be updated to include items exclusive to Season 2
This one is pretty straightforward. We all want to track items from all seasons, but it doesn't make sense to count Season 1 items against the Season 2 leaderboards. As far as the actual UI goes, I'm planning on just adding extra sections for items that are no longer available. However, if it's too big of a mess, it's possible I will add a toggle to show/hide items that are no longer obtainable. I'll be sure to give more details once that gets implemented.

That should cover the majority of the changes to existing features that will come with the Season 2 update. I've got a lot in the works for new features that should come out before or shortly after the season update, so keep an eye out for another blog post detailing those as well.

What do you guys think of the Season 2 plan? Leave a comment below or join the Discord server to discuss!

afpac

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