Feb 23rd 2017 Force Arena Balance Update | Glory to the Free To Play Players

The 1.4 update for Star Wars Force Arena will be released today on 2/23/2017. Here are the main things you should take away from the update:

  • 2 New Units (Aqualish Engineer & Wed Treadwell Droid) – Both of these units do the same thing, repair ally structures for 1% health per second. They both cost 3 energy and have low health pools that can be cleared with any form of long range AOE such as Tie Fighter, Ion Mine, X-Wing, Dioxis, etc. For this reason, I feel like the new units won’t be super effective as they will probably get focused by long range AOE as soon as they are played. The good news is that most counters to this unit require 3+ energy anyways, so you will at least break even when you play these cards and any repair work that does get done will result in a net positive for you. Also, one thing to note is that with the introduction of these cards, push strategies that can 100-0 a turret in one push are going to be more valuable post update. Strategies like double drop pod + ion mine / adrenal which are all-in strategies will be more valuable than strategies that chip away at turrets like Rocket Trooper / Tanks / AT-ST / etc.
  • Boba Fett & Slave I – Boba Fett got a 35% faster attack animation and 25% more damage on his flamethrower. He needed a buff as he is still one of the weaker Empire leaders, but I don’t feel this is enough of a buff to use him over a leader like Bossk, Vader, Thrawn or Kallus. Also, Slave I got a range buff of 4 to 5, so if you’re going to run Boba, I suggest using Slave I alongside of him.
  • Baze Malbus – Baze had his base damage increased from 80 to 84 and his skill damage increased from 330% damage to 390% damage. Baze will be quite a bit stronger after this update, but his passive requiring Chirrut to be alive to benefit from really weakens him as a hero in my opinion. Maybe if they made Chirrut follow Baze similar to Thrawn/Kallus Unique’s he would jump up a few spots in my book.
  • U-Wing – The cost for Bodhi’s unique is now 3 energy. This was a necessary change. I would use his unique now if you have it.
  • AT-ST – The attacks speed of the walker has been decreased from 2.5 seconds per attack to 2.75 seconds per attack. The slightly longer delay is a decent micro-adjustment for the AT-ST. This was arguably the strongest Empire card available and now will be a little less effective at dealing sustained turret damage.
  • Gigoran Rebel – Gigoran Rebel will now cost 4 energy. I can see Gigoran coming back into the fold now that he only costs 4 energy. He will be a strong AT-ST counter but not so expensive that you risk everything on him for your defense. Plus using Gigoran allows you to have some more offensive pressure on your counter push.
  • Snipers – The snipers on both factions got an attack speed buff. I don’t think that is enough for me to use them though. The main issue with snipers is their 4-energy cost and being easily countered for less.
  • Dressellian Rebel Warrior & Drop Pods – The energy cost for both of these cards was reduced by 1. The attack damage of the rebel warrior was also decreased. I like this change and I think it makes the drop pod strategy even more effective now because you will have more energy to support your drop pods after you play them.
  • The Season Reset Rewards now include a guaranteed random Legendary (Leader) card. And the season now resets every week, meaning that all players will get at least 1 new legendary card each week. However, the rewards for climbing are still non-existent. The difference in rewards between the lowest ranked player in the world and the #1 ranked player in the world at the end of each season is only 1600 credits and 32 crystals. They need to give some type of incentive for players to climb to as high of a rating as possible. Right now there is going to be even less of an incentive to climb than there was before the update as all tiers get the Legendary leader card.
  • Playpacks are now gold packs instead of silver packs. (although all packs have supposedly been nerfed as far as the number of cards/credits included in them so this might end up balancing out)
  • Daily missions have been introduced. You can now complete 5 daily missions each day for 5 tickets. When you earn 5 tickets you can unlock a credit pack, which gives you anywhere from 500-10,000 credits per pack.
  • Friendly Matches now equalize card & player levels – This is an interesting change that I like. Now you can see which of your guild mates is truly the most skilled as your friendly battles won’t include card advantage/disadvantage (now players will have to blame faction imbalance for their friendly match losses instead). It also makes it easier to test out new cards because you can see what that card will be like at the same level as your other cards of the same rarity.
  • Leader card upgrade costs have been reduced – Another change which massively benefits Free-To-Play players. Not only will you be getting a legendary card every week, you can now upgrade your leaders for far less credits than you could previously.
  • 1:1 Unique to Unique Card Trades are here – One of the most requested features I see on /r/StarWarsForceArena. You can now trade 1:1 for uniques. Unfortunately, they increased the delay between trading for uniques/legendaries to 1 day instead of 12 hours. However, they also decreased the time between lower rarity trades which is nice for new players or F2P players who don’t want to pay the credit cost on Unique/Legendary trades.
  • Battle Log Menu – You can now see your previous match history along with the rating gain/loss as well as the deck information for you and your opponents. This is a step in the right direction towards the replay system that they said they would be releasing in a future update.
  • Card Pack Price Changes – They decreased the amount of credits and cards in each card pack. Because of this they lowered the diamond cost of card packs in the shop. Also, diamond card packs now contain 2 Legendary Cards. If they lower the amount of cards/credits per pack but keep the crystal cost to open a card the same this is going to be very bad for players like me who use premium boosters combined with crystals to open victory packs. Hopefully the pack changes aren’t too drastic.
  • Matchmaking Improvements – You’re supposed to be matched with someone in the same tier as you much faster than before. You will not be matched against players 2 or more tiers above you. The example they give is that Bronzium will not match against Kyber but that is 3 tiers above Bronzium. Hopefully they meant to write Chromium players will not match against Kyber players, since there is typically a large card level / skill gap between Chromium & Kyber. Also, I’m not sure how they are going to handle 2v2’s when you queue with a guildmate who is 2 or more tiers above/below you.
  • Bug Fixes – They fixed the bug where when you’re playing a card as you die, you see the back of the card instead of the front. They tried to fix the broken respawn issue where you don’t respawn after death. Fixed a number of other bugs.

You can read the entire patch notes here: http://www.mobirum.com/article/detail?cafeId=StarWarsForceArena&bbsId=1571&id=724671

I’m a little disappointed at the lack of Rebel leader buffs this balance update, but I think the main thing to take from this update is that Netmarble is trying to do everything they can to keep the free-to-play players happy and actively playing the game. It’s a great time to be F2P in this game, hopefully they can now focus on marketing and additional game content to bring more players into the game.

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