Your guide to the gameplay changes in 9.0
Author note: As part of the Content Creator program we were given the chance to preview the update before it went live which is where all the pictures you see were taken. We’d like to take this chance to thank Kabam for all the support they have provided to ST Central, allowing us to continue creating content for everyone.
Should you be talking about this early Rei?
This article covers the features and changes 9.0 has brought to the game. Use the table of contents to skip to whatever you’re most interested in or settle down for a read1.
New Premium Worker: Yolanda
Yolanda the Summoner has arrived to the city and becomes the 4th premium worker. She resides in the Summoner’s Tent2, a tier 1 building which is located in the hills behind the Sawmill.
She brings two new crafting lines to the table (cloaks and familiars) and her special worker power is a +5% to the Small Talk success rate, making it Small Talk+. Let’s take look at that first and then we’ll get onto the new lines.
Ah Small Talk, the lifeblood of a merchant, known to
frequently occasionally betray you. Long time readers may recall the tests we have performed in the past to figure out the baseline success rate (we had it in the ballpark of 70-75%). Kabam Jeremie was able to confirm to me that we were pretty close there – the Small Talk success chance is 75%, meaning the 5% from Yolanda brings it up to 80%.
I was able to do some testing which we can compare against a previous Small Talk test:
The table on the left displays the Small Talk data from a test without Yolanda, the table on the right displays data with her. As you can see there is a noticeable increase with her buff3.
New Blueprint Line: Cloaks
Revealed by accident4 back in November 2019 cloaks have finally made it in to the game:
- Cloaks primarily utilise Leather, Fabric and Jewels for their crafting materials. Normally this would be considered an unorthodox pairing (jewels with leather) but given we now have an entire line based on it that’s no longer the case.
- For display purposes they occupy the Head slot on a mannequin.
- They can be worn by the following classes in the following Accessory slots:
- Barbarian – Herbal Medicine/Cloak
- Ranger – Ring/Cloak
- Berserker – Shield/Cloak
- Thief – Amulet/Cloak
- Monk – 2nd slot Amulet/Cloak
- Wanderer – Herbal Medicine/Cloak
- Mage – Ring/Cloak
- Cleric – Shield/Cloak
- They offer a large amount of defence (for example, the T11 cloak is 400 DEF.)
- New cloak blueprints will appear in the seasonal packs (not every pack of course, most likely they will be handled the same way wands/guns/crossbows are handled.)
They do have an ascension track already implemented as well – nothing out of the ordinary but it’s currently not possible to max it:
New Blueprint Line: Familiars
Yolanda also brings familiars to the game:
- Familiars are unique in that they are equipment for your champions, not your heroes.
- Familiars will likely never appear in seasonal packs (quoting the developers here, pitchfork them if this changes not me.)
- Familiars primarily use Herbs, Oil and Jewels for their crafting materials (again this is a pairing that would have previously been considered unorthodox.)
- For display purposes they occupy a Shelf spot (they’re displayed as eggs)
Equipping a familiar is no different than how you equip heroes normally. Bring up the champion page and you’ll see there’s a new button for it – tap that and select the familiar you want to use.
Here you can see the Yami with the new Familiar button.
Familiar equipment rules:
- Champions now have equipment tiers like heroes do (it’s identical, so lvl 32 is required to wear a T11 familiar and such.)
- They cannot break (and if you dismantle them they changed the text so it doesn’t say dismantling X which is really unfun of Kabam to do.)
- They can be enchanted with an element and because champions don’t have skills affected by elements you should ideally use:
- an element that matches the affinity of the Familiar if it has one. If not then:
- an Opulent element – it’ll grant the biggest stat increase and seeming they can’t break, no concerns about repair costs.
- They can be enchanted with spirits (which means yes, you can give Polonia a lizard enchant for example.)
- Some familiars have a spirit affinity (we’ll get to affinities soon.)
“If familiars can only be worn by champions, how do I suggest it to a customer?”
Any customer class can buy a familiar, however this is decided when they walk in – you are not able to suggest a familiar to a customer who didn’t ask for one to begin with. It’s also possible for King Reinhold to purchase them as well.
At the moment no Champion will request them (it’d be a bit weird for them to walk in asking for 9 Yeti eggs.) Like cloaks they also have an ascension track already implemented and again nothing special about it/not possible currently to max it:
Blueprint Elemental & Spirit Affinities
Some blueprints now have an elemental affinity. Let’s look at the example mentioned in the patch notes: Tsukuyomi
As you can see under the element box there’s a symbol indicating that it has a Dark affinity – this means any Dark-element enchants placed on it will be stronger. Let’s compare:
If we choose to ignore the affinity and select a different element you can see there’s no difference in how the system works already. If we choose to embrace it however:
You can see we get a much stronger effect from the enchant. Matching up the affinity grants the following bonuses to the element:
- The value is increased by 10%
- The stats are increased by 50%
- It gives an extra +5 of the respective element (in the above example you can see it gives +20 instead of +15 and this is important to remember for when we get to covering gold-tier hero skills.)
Spirit affinities work in the same way as the elemental affinities do, just instead of increasing the element count (because they don’t do this normally) you instead get a stronger version of the spirit’s effect:
A list of the different affinity bonuses can be found in the appendix for this post.
12 new worker statues were added to the grab bags, allowing you to decorate your lawn with your favourite NPC (unless they’re not on this list.) The new statues are:
- Elder Owen
“Wouldn’t this be better with pictures for them?”
Probably, but that’d involve doing bounties and the guild bounty hunter would be quite upset if we interfered with his flow5.
Epic skills (the gold coloured ones) now finally have their long awaited third tier – this does mean an end to the era of “this silver skill is just as good” in many cases.
The catch is that to reach this new tier you need to be utilising the new affinity system – most of them have a threshold requirement that can only be reached by using items with elemental affinity.
This means a new approach is called for when determining things such as best-in-slot items: an item that has lower base stats but a matching affinity for that hero can potentially be better than what would have normally been considered the best option (due to that item having higher base stats for example.)
There’s a list of what the third tier brings to each skill in the appendix. A couple of things to keep in mind:
- Not every class may be able to reach the highest affinity numbers required for max rank gold skills right now – this is something that’ll change over time as more gear as added to the game.
- The current system that is used for gearing/skilling heroes still works fine – it’s not being nerfed or anything, you can if you felt so inclined completely ignore affinity and just stick with what you were already doing. Think of affinity as an extra layer of optimisation/power that’s not currently required6.
We7 will need to rewrite the best-in-slot page to account for this new system but this is going to take some time. Keep an eye on the STC discord, it’ll have the most up-to-date information.
Hemma’s ability has had some adjustments in an attempt to make her more versatile:
- Isn’t a complete vampire to your team
- Doesn’t rely on a special team built around her
- You can pair her with a lizard-enchanted familiar to get some sort of recovery per turn.
- For many players she might be promoted from low-tier boss sweeper
- If you had built heroes specifically to maximise her old ability this is a bit of a downgrade.
- It’s Hemma.
Seasonal Pack and Flashback Changes
The pack and flashback system received some adjustments8 in this patch:
- If you’re not level 55 or above, you will not be offered a T11 blueprint in the seasonal packs – instead it will be chests, keys and components.
- You only need to buy 1 part of the pack to trigger the superior pack/flashbacks, don’t need to buy the mega.
The level 55 rule will be in place for flashbacks as well:
- If you’re still below 55, you will see the low level version of a flashback offer.
- If you reached 55, you will see the “true” offer.
- Collection Book reward track was modified – the amounts of gold given were increased. Go claim them again if you already had in the past.
- Fixed bug allowing players to access higher tier items than intended on the market9
- Daily offer no longer targets bins in your inventory thankfully.
- Winter has arrived.
That about covers it.
Go forth, make cloaks, hatch familiars, abuse affinities!
Thank you to our Patreon Supporters and the fantastic community!
Appendix: Data Tables
|Adventurer Cape||3||52 DEF|
|Administrator Cloak||4||78 DEF|
|Druid Cloak||5||105 DEF|
|Imperial Cape||6||140 DEF|
|Elven Cloak||7||185 DEF|
|Beast King's Cloak||8||230 DEF|
|Dragonlord Crest||9||270 DEF|
|Archbishop Mantle||10||310 DEF|
|Voidcloth From Beyond||11||400 DEF|
10% Critical Hit Chance
Please note that not all of these spirit affinities exist in the game yet and some may never make it (like Armadillo.)
“Then how do you guys knows the numbers?”
Jeremie told us (content creator support etc)
|Armadillo Tenacity+||+25% Chance to survive one fatal blow|
|Bear Vitality+||+7% Attack
|Cat Grace+||+3% Evasion|
|Dinosaur Senses+||+35% Attack on the first round|
|Eagle Accuracy+||+3% Critical Hit Chance|
|Hippo Lethargy+||-2% Resting Time|
|Horse Endurance+||-30% Break Chance|
|Lion Pride+||+7% Attack
|Lizard Regeneration+||+5 Health Regen per turn|
|Mammoth Presence+||+13% Defense
+15 Threat Rating
|Owl Wisdom+||+15% xp|
|Ox Endurance+||+5% Health|
|Ram Robustness+||+10% Defense|
|Rhino Stubbornness+||+10 Threat Rating|
|Shark Bloodlust+||+30% Attack when enemy's HP is below 50%|
|Walrus Nonchalance+||+8% Health
-35% Break Chance
|Wolf Ferocity+||+10% Attack|
|Viper Lethality+||+20% Critical Hit Damage|
Rank 3 Gold Skills
+200% Attack with Staff/Wand
+80% Critical Hit Damage
|Battering Blows||100||+120% Attack
|Blurred Movement||110||+30% Evasion|
|Cloak and Dagger||100||+100% Defense
|Dance of Blades||95||+125% Attack
|Death Dealer||105||+300% Critical Hit Damage|
|Destructive Strikes||100||+125% Attack
+200% Critical Hit Damage
|Double Cast||100||+180% Attack|
|Extended Warranty||120||-50% Break Chance with all equipment
+30% bonus stats from all equipment
|Extra Plating||100||+125% Defense
|Mana Shield||100||+100% Attack
+200% Attack with Bow/Crossbow/Gun
|Perfect Form||100||+125% Attack
|Poison Cloud||110||+200% Attack|
|Super Genius||85||+20% bonus stats from all equipment
-35% Resting Time
+200% Attack with Sword/Axe/Dagger/Mace/Spear
|Whirlwind Attack||100||+120% Attack
+10% Critical Hit Chance
A complete list of affinities can be found here.
- yes, this intro is copy/pasted for an update overview
- the creative naming is astounding
- probably won’t stop people saying it’s rigged but hey ho
- or perhaps it was a really early intentional tease
- keep up the great work Tony, champion of the f2p players.
- this of course could change with T12, or a new tower for Tower of Titans, etc.
- read: Reiga
- cause we all know the flashback system is incredibly stable and will take these new changes with no issues at all
- for the fourth? time