December State of the Beta: Phase Ladder Breakdown

Posted in NEWS on December 12, 2018

By Chris Clay

Intro

With the December update we'll also be introducing the next iteration on the phase ladder. We're excited to be getting these changes into your hands, and we're looking for feedback on how we can continue to improve functionality around the phase ladder.

What's Changed Around the Avatar

"An avatar he sculpts of anger and flame"

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We've moved the Phase Ladder to a more minimalistic style to take up less space on the screen. The current Phase/Step you're in is important, but not as important as the previous Phase Ladder made it out to be. The high pixel space allocated and high heat often distracted from more important information. This particularly problematic for new players, as we saw many people focusing on the Phase Ladder at times when it really didn't matter. The Turn Indicator is now represented by the orange flare. In addition, when it is not a player's turn the whole Phase Ladder will fade for your opponent to further help clarify turn, just as yours will fade when it isn't your turn. You can see this below.

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Priority now has a larger flare when it switches between players and a higher heat than the previous light blue halo. We believe this will also help with priority passing clarity when you have priority on your opponent's turn.

What's Changed Around the Button

"The Rakdos know little of technology, but they definitely know how to push buttons"

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When you enter into combat we now display a detailed version of all of the combat steps above the primary button. This mini-ladder will also show stops on your phases and steps as a red octagon, and a blue octagon for those on your opponent's turn. Clicking on the mini-ladder will toggle stops through three states, off, your turn, and your opponents turn. The Damage Icon will split to more clearly show the two combat damage steps when first strike is part of combat. You can also set stops on any of the new combat steps. We've changed the primary text to Next, with a footer that gives more detail on where you can generally expect to end up pending actions from your opponent. We've also changed the combat button to be red to help players distinguish when they've moved into combat. As you can see in the 2 Attackers image above the shield is highlighted when I'm hovering over the primary button, letting me know that the game will be moving to blockers when the button is clicked.

New Gameplay Options

"Seosu hated to limit options."

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In gameplay options, you can also turn on a phase ladder above the primary button outside of combat by checking Show Phases, or toggle it on and off with the L key. This is in addition to the phase ladder in the middle. We found in our testing that having the central phase ladder best served quick glance analysis of the current state of the board, but having the mini-ladder above the button allowed for double-checking before proceeding to the next phase or step. We choose to have it off by default as the duplication of information can lead to confusion for new players, who can graduate to the full system if they so desire.

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Full Control mode has also been updated to match in style and give a prompt on the key to press to turn it back off.

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