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September 22nd
Dev Blog: Year 4 Events 
Posted in Idle Champions.

Hey everybody! Justin Stocks, Lead Game Designer for Idle Champions back again with another Dev Blog during our Third Anniversary Celebration Third Anniversary Celebration . This time I want to talk about our next year of events in Idle Champions.

Dungeons & Dragons Third Anniversary

This week will mark the fourth time Highharvestide has come upon us. As we mentioned in our Dev Blog at the end of 2019, we've been planning some changes for Year 4 events for quite a while. While you will still be able to recruit and gear up three unique Champions during the event, including the brand new minotaur Champion Torogar Steelfist, our Year One Champion Stoki will no longer be available to recruit or gear up as part of the event.

We made this change for a number of reasons, but the primary one was to keep events of a fixed, manageable size moving forward. We wanted to avoid overwhelming new players with four (this year), five (next year), six (in Year 6 events), or more new Champions during each event, and the amount of effort required for year three events felt like a good spot to focus in on.

Dungeons & Dragons Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms

We understand that some players were looking forward to either recruiting or continuing to gear up their year one Champions during the events this year, and with that in mind, we've spent the past year making it easier than ever to recruit and gear up the Champions of your choice through the expanded Time Gate system and Patron chests. With Time Gates you can now pick a Champion from a full list, rather than just three random options, and the rewards have been improved with an additional gold chest and multiple silver chests. The Patron system offers an alternative method of gearing up event Champions via the Patron chests, which can contain gear for any Champions that meets the Patron's restrictions.

Moving forward players can expect us to, as always, monitor player feedback regarding these adjustments. We have already made some small changes based on community feedback, such as always offering at least one year one Champion during free weekend Time Gates.

We hope you enjoy Torogar and all of the other Champions coming your way in our Year 4 events. Thanks again for helping to make Idle Champions the great success it has been.

Feedback Wanted!

We know that this choice will not be popular with all players, but we always appreciate your feedback, so please let us know what you think in a Community Q&A or feedback post on the Idle Champions Subreddit, a post on the Steam forums, or on the Official Idle Champions Discord!

September 14th
Dev Blog: Third Year Retrospective 
Posted in Idle Champions.

Hey everyone. I'm Justin Stocks, the Lead Game Designer for Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms. In the lead-up to our Third Anniversary Celebration, I wanted to take a few minutes to look back over everything we've accomplished in the last year...


Dungeons & Dragons Dragonbait

Fall 2019

September 2019: Patron System (part of the Y2 anniversary)

We kicked off our third year with a bang, adding the Patron System, which allows players to replay variants and free plays with additional restrictions to earn unique rewards and powerful perks. While we started out with just two patrons and a handful of rewards, we have since expanded the system with a third patron (Strahd von Zarovich) and numerous additional rewards for purchase, such as familiars, skins, and sought-after modron component chests. We plan to continue to expand on the system with additional patrons, store items, and perks, including some new skins during the upcoming Anniversary Celebration!

October 2019: New Campaign (Descent Into Avernus)

October saw the release of our fourth permanent campaign: Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus. This fiendish campaign has been expanded upon multiple times over the year and will continue to get updates moving forward. This update also managed to sneak in an update to our in-game effects descriptions, helping players to better understand how their formation abilities interact with each other. Usually.

Dungeons & Dragons Dragonbait

Winter 2020

New Year's Day 2020: New Evergreen Champion (Dragonbait)

The new year brought about another Evergreen Champion to join the ranks of Hitch, Drizzt, and Azaka. Dragonbait was a challenging unlock from a variant of the final adventure in the Tomb of Annihilation campaign, and while he is still trying to make a name for himself in a very competitive bench slot, he's nevertheless a highly sought-after saurial.

January 2020: Updated Time Gates & Offline Progress

The new year brought exciting new updates, many of which were included out in our Idle Champions in 2020 dev blog at the end of December last year. The first of which was an expanded Time Gate System. Gone were the days of gambling six time gate pieces and hoping you got a Champion that you liked. Now you could pick precisely the Champion you wanted to gear up or recruit, and the time gates themselves were made more lucrative, with up to three gold chests and numerous silver chests up for grabs. Players flocked to earn Mystra's favor and recruiting and gearing up missed event Champions became easier than ever before. And at the end of the month, Offline Progress arrived, allowing players to continue to progress during their adventures even while logged out!

Dungeons & Dragons Dragonbait

Spring 2020

March 2020: Spring Extravaganza with Updated Formation Saves

The first of our 2020 seasonal events, the Spring Extravaganza, brought with it a week of free rewards, including an awesome Champion skin, but more importantly a revamped formation save system. Instead of being limited to only three formations per campaign, players could now save up to 50 formations with customizable names, and their formation saves now included familiar placements as well as Champions. Getting back up to speed after a reset had never been more convenient.

March 2020: Leaving Early Access on Steam

As a personal milestone for us at Codename, in March we also left early access on Steam. This was a big moment as it meant that Idle Champions had finally reached a point where we felt it was deserving of a full release, with features such as the Patron System really fleshing out the replayability of the existing content.

Dungeons & Dragons Ulkoria

Summer 2020

July 2020: Summer Spectacular with Modron Automation & Multi-Party Play

The Summer Spectacular at the end of July was host to the game's largest evolution yet: Modron Automation & Multi-Party Play. These two new systems combined to add incredible new depth to the game. With two adventuring parties running at the same time players had to dust off several underutilized Champions to fill every slot, a trend which will continue as additional adventuring parties are made available over the next year or two.

With Modron Automation we started to put the "Idle" back "Idle Champions", letting players set up their adventuring parties to reset automatically, fill the formation automatically, and farm gems and favor to their heart's content. Finally, the Modron Components mini-game added some new strategy to the game for folks who couldn't get enough of the pipe mini-game in Bioshock or the latest Spiderman PS4 game.

August 2020: New Focus on Bugs & Performance

Modron Automation and Multi-Party Play was a big tech investment for us, and resulted in an unacceptable backlog of bugs and unoptimized code. In August we refocused our attention on bugs and performance with the addition of our public-facing bug report system. Through the month we managed to track down several memory leaks and patch them up, leading to a noticeable improvement in stability and performance. As no more major features (on the scale of Modron Automation) are planned for 2020, we will continue to iterate on these improvements and fix bugs as quickly as we can.

August 2020: Finished Waterdeep: Dragon Heist Campaign & New Evergreen Champion (Ulkoria)

Most recently we released the final adventures of the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist campaign and included alongside them our fifth Evergreen Champion: the reclusive mage, Ulkoria Stonemarrow. Ulkoria is a magic specialist who can do some incredibly powerful things for a full formation of spellcasters. While her full potential hasn't yet been released, future Champion releases will no doubt add to her repertoire and increase her play.

Dungeons & Dragons Icewind Dale

Third Anniversary & Beyond: The Future

So what does the future look like for Idle Champions? It's bright! While we don't plan to release any major features in the next few months, we do have a new campaign on the horizon. You can also expect us to continue with bug fixes and performance enhancements. We also intend to continue to iterate on the offline progress system, which runs your background parties during multi-party play and should result in speed improvements to everyone's progression, especially if your background party is farming gems.

May 26th
Dev Blog: May 2020 Steam Issues  
Posted in Idle Champions.

Over the past few weeks many folks playing on Steam have been affected by glitches affecting their progress. We are deeply sorry for any inconvenience this has caused and would like to take some time to explain what happened and what it means for the future of Idle Champions.

Why did everything break?

There was a perfect storm of things that caused the issues over the past couple of weeks.

The first issues were caused by a major overhaul of the game systems to support multiple adventures running at once, as described in our dev blog from the end of 2019. Changes were made to both the server and client code, and while they were tested internally quite a bit before being pushed, a number of non-trivial issues slipped through the cracks.

Additional issues cropped up later that week due to both our rush to fix the initial issues (for example a late-night 11pm update had issues that were missed in testing and persisted until morning), and other tech that was being worked on in parallel (for example Modron Automation, which will function hand in hand with multiple adventure mode). It's a small spoiler, but Modron Automation will be able to reset your adventure multiple times if you're offline for a while, so the reset code was being touched and that caused some of the issues around resetting.

Finally, with our launch on the Nintendo Switch we were attempting to do a fair number of optimizations to both the client and our server infrastructure. Some of those optimizations caused some unintended side-effects that affected saving, but on the flip side in the longer term they will end up resulting in much smoother gameplay and less issues with memory growth.

At this point, we are confident that we have addressed almost all of the major issues resulting from the initial push and we're preparing to move on to the next phase of testing of these upcoming features.

Why only on Steam?

Steam is often the first place we push new builds and content live, especially high risk ones like the system revamps for multiple adventure mode and modron automation. The reason for this is that we, as the developers, can control the client releases without having to go through an arduous or time consuming approval process (which are not designed to catch the types of issues that occurred anyway).

Other platforms, such as phones and consoles, have complicated release cycles that can range from 24 hours to several weeks before a submitted build is available to players. By releasing first on Steam and then observing the build for a few days we ensure that players on these harder-to-reach platforms will receive a generally well tested build without any major issues.

Why not test more before releasing on Steam?

While we make every effort to not release buggy clients by testing them internally, at the end of the day we are a small studio with a very ambitious release cadence. The occasional bug may slip through, and we always prioritize things that are affecting a large number of players for immediate fixes.

The magnitude of the issues these past couple of weeks on Steam was outside of what we find to be acceptable, and we have provided compensation to affected users as an apology of sorts. We will always endeavor to do better in the future.

What is coming?

One benefit of these growing pains is that we are now one major step closer to completing all of the new features outlined in our 2019 end of year dev blog. Multiple adventure mode and Modron Automation are closer than ever, and you will start seeing more information about them in the coming weeks. We are very excited about what the future holds for Idle Champions, and we hope that you are too.
April 17th
COTLI: Dev Blog: All Tier Easter Jeweled Chests 

Hail Crusaders,

On Monday morning we were made aware of an issue affecting All Tier Easter Jeweled chests. From the launch of the event on Thursday until Monday at 11am PT, the All Tier Easter Jeweled chests did not have the ability to drop gear for the new Tier 5 Crusader Dr. Almquist. This issue was fixed shortly after we received the reports.

While the number of affected players was very very low, and many players who opened the chests would not have missed out on any contents at all, we feel that some compensation would be fair. Therefore, anyone who opened these chests during the time period they were bugged will receive additional free All Tier Easter Jeweled chests based on the number of these chests they opened (at a rate of 1 compensation chest for every 4 chests opened). Affected players will receive these chests the next time they reload the game or start a new objective.

We would like to extend our thanks to the players who reported this issue as soon as they noticed it.
March 24th
Dev Blog: Champion Balance Update (March 2020) 
Posted in Idle Champions.

Since July of last year we've had an item on our 'to-do list' that we've been pushing further and further back. First it was to make room in our development schedule for Feats, then came Patrons, followed by Patron Challenges & Advanced Effects Descriptions, Updated Time Gates, and Offline Progress.

It has been a busy 8 months! But we never forgot about finishing our balance update for our remaining Year One Champions, and today we're going to talk about the updates to those Champions coming with our v1.0 Launch / Spring Extravaganza Update tomorrow. This blog ended up being a bit of a longer one, so we've included a Table of Contents for you to browse.

Would you like to know more? Read on!

Table of Contents


General Updates

As many players may be aware, Champions with debuff abilities are quite powerful in the current meta because they allow you to double-dip on their debuffs when you use ultimate attacks. Champions' base attacks take into account the debuff in their damage and thus that increased damage determines your BUD. When you use an ultimate attack it uses the BUD value for the damage and then applies the debuff again, allowing debuffs to double dip, something that regular formation buffs do not do. Unfortunately this is something that we feel needs to change, as it means that debuff Champions are simply too powerful compared to their non-debuffing counterparts. The biggest change in this patch is that debuffs will no longer apply to ultimate attacks. They will still apply to base attacks, and so still influence BUD just like normal formation abilities do, but ultimates will no longer double dip. This will not affect the BUD that players can obtain, but will affect the top area that players can grind to as ultimate damage may be drastically reduced. We will continue to monitor the results of this change over the coming days and weeks and take action to offset the lost progress if necessary.

Ultimate Damage Change

Ultimate attacks will no longer have their damage increased by debuffs on enemies. Affected abilities include, but may not be limited to: Minsc's "Go for the Eyes!" (ultimate debuff portion), Gromma's "Spiked Shell", Strix's "Poor Hygiene", Catti-brie's "Mark for Death", Donaar's "Command: Flee", Warden's "Hex", Aila's "Storm Soul/Storm Aura", Spurt's "Wa-speration: Skunky", Krull's "Plague: Pain", Minsc's "Favored Enemies", and Regis' "Ruby Weakness".

Level 'Soft Cap' Increase

New upgrades have been added for all Champions, increasing the soft cap to approximately e62/e63 gold.

Champion Updates

Dungeons & Dragons Deekin Scalesinger

Deekin Scalesinger

Deekin's Story of Doom stacked a little differently from other support Champions so we tweaked how buffs apply to it to bring him more in line with the others. This necessitated a rebalance of all of his Story of Doom upgrades, so he should come out a little ahead of where he used to be with average gear levels. We also expanded his speed-up abilities through a new specialization choice and feat.
  • Buffs to Story of Doom now apply to the post-stack value instead of the pre-stack value.
  • Upgrades for Story of Doom have been rebalanced given the above change.
  • The Epic Tale of Little Kobold specialization now increases the effect of "Story of Doom" by 100%, up from 50%.
  • Added new specialization choice, Boss Wants Speed, which increases the effect of Confidence in the Boss by 100%.
  • Added a new Feat to increase the effect of Confidence in the Boss.

Dungeons & Dragons Gromma Nander

Gromma Nander

No changes to Gromma this go-round as she was already tweaked somewhat recently in the Tanking Healing & Shielding Update and sees decent usage (though we will watch the effects of the ultimate damage change and tweak things accordingly).


Dungeons & Dragons Ishi Snaggletooth

Ishi Snaggletooth

We've shown Ishi a lot of love with boosts to her DPS and gold find. Some of her abilities that used to stack additively now stack multiplicatively, really rewarding you for building a non-human focused formation. We removed her two gold find-related specializations and replaced them with a single ability that boosts her gold find when she gets a killing blow. We've also updated her Friends to X specializations with new races, increasing her synergy possibilities.
  • The Monsters Are People Too! ability now stacks multiplicatively instead of additively and we have increased the base stack size to 100%, up from 25%.
  • Increased the base effect of Let's Find Some Treasure, however this ability continues to stack additively.
  • The specializations Wait for it! and Clear 'em out! have been removed
    • Upgrades for the above specialization have been removed.
  • Added a new ability, Treasure Hunter, which increases the effect of Let's Find Some Treasure for 5 seconds after Ishi gets a killing blow.
  • Added new races to the Friends to X specializations.
  • The Friends to X specializations now stack multiplicatively.
  • The gear in slot 2 which increased Global DPS now increases Ishi's DPS.
  • Ishi's self DPS upgrades have been redistributed.

Dungeons & Dragons Dhadius the Scarlet

Dhadius the Scarlet

Dhadius got both some DPS and Support tweaks. A properly utilized Dhadius should excel at buffing high intellect, magic using Champions, with even his buffs now varying over time based on his trademark Practice Makes Perfect ability.
  • Added a new ability, Together In Magic, which increases the effect of Skill Empowerment on Champions with a magic base attack.
  • The Empowered Orbs specialization now also increases Dhadius' damage by 400%.
  • The Empowered Empowerment specialization now also increases the effect of Skill Empowerment by 50% for each stack of Practice Makes Perfect that is active.
  • The Chromatic Specialist upgrade no longer requires the Empowered Orbs specialization, so Dhadius will now more often cast the same elemental orbs in a row regardless of specialization choice.
  • Dhadius' self DPS upgrades have been rebalanced.

Dungeons & Dragons Krond

Krond

Krond was already a pretty powerful evil damage dealer, thanks to his earlier rebalance when his event re-ran again in year 2 and the addition of more strong or evil Champions over the past year. We've made some small tweaks, but nothing major.
  • Updated the advanced effect display of Survival of the Fittest to reflect that upgrades and equipment apply to the pre-stack multiplier value (a rare occurrence in the current meta).
  • Updated the Cantrip: Shocking Grasp specialization to also stun the affected target for 3 seconds.
  • Reduced the damage multiplier of the individual Cantrip: Fire Bolt fire bolts so that Cantrip: Shocking Grasp may be a superior choice vs. individual enemies.

Dungeons & Dragons Hitch

Hitch

As the least-recently created Champion in the rebalance, Hitch needed quite a bit of love. While his Friendly ability was invaluable in the meta in the past he has fallen out of favor more recently. With that in mind we've completely redone his dagger throwing ability and added some big buffing power there that ramps up in certain situations. Since we want this new Hitch to focus on buffing others, we've removed his DPS tag and reorganized some of his equipment buffs and feats in order to emphasize his support role.
  • Renamed Friendly to Natural Performer.
  • Added a new ability, Ricochet, which gives Hitch's thrown daggers a chance to bounce off of their target and hit another target. Each time they do Hitch increases the effect of the "Natural Performer" ability. This effect can stack with each ricochet and the stacks degrade naturally over time. Due to years of intense practice (and some DM hand-waving), daggers can ricochet off of an enemy and then strike the same enemy again. There are buffs to this ability that increase both its ricochet chance and the bonus it provides.
  • Replaced Hitch's self DPS feats with ones that increase the damage bonus from Ricochet.
  • Added a new Feat that increases the odds of the Ricochet ability proc'ing.
  • Added a new epic Feat that increases the number of daggers thrown.
  • Removed many upgrades that increase the number of daggers thrown.
  • Removed DPS tag.
  • Changed the effect of Hitch's slot 1 and slot 2 equipment (to Buff Ricochet Damage Bonus and Global DPS respectively).

Dungeons & Dragons Birdsong

Birdsong

Birdsong is one of my personal favorite Champions, so I wanted to make sure that we addressed some of her long-standing issues in this update. The main issue she has is that while she's a decent buffer, her Song of Victory stacks are very difficult to consistently keep up, especially if she's not also your main damage dealer. To fix this we've added new specialization choices that add a secondary trigger for Tempo of Victory, each tuned with a certain situation in mind. Now even if Birdsong isn't your primary damage dealer she can keep her song-based-buff going long and loud. We've also given her upgrades some love to make sure she can stand tall as either a primary DPS option or a powerful support Champion.
  • Individual stacks of Tempo of Victory are now multiplicative with each other instead of additive, and buffs to this ability apply to the post-stack multiplier.
  • Added a new set of specializations:
    • The new Soloist specialization increases Birdsong's damage by 400% and increases the base cooldown of Tempo of Victory stacks to 60 seconds.
    • The new Concertino specialization causes Tempo of Victory stacks to also be triggered when any Champion affected by Song of Battle (including Birdsong) gets a kill. Stacks triggered in this way last for at least 10 seconds.
    • The new Crescendo specialization causes Tempo of Victory stacks to also be triggered when any Champion affected by Song of Battle (including Birdsong) attacks a boss enemy. Stacks triggered in this way last for at least 5 seconds.
  • None of these specializations affect the fact that Birdsong getting a kill will continue to trigger a stack of Tempo of Victory that lasts for at least 15 seconds.
  • Added a new feat that buffs Tempo of Victory.
  • Birdsong's slot 2 gear now buffs Tempo of Victory.
  • Birdsong's upgrades have been rebalanced to increase both her buffing ability and her self damage, including new buffs for Song of Battle and global damage.

Dungeons & Dragons Barrowin Undurr

Barrowin Undurr

As one of our earliest "OP" champions, Barrowin's power has waned over time as we've tried one thing or another to fix her. She also suffers from being in the same slot as some powerhouse Champions that see a lot more use than she does. We've decided to double down on the niche that we want Barrowin to fill: the best support in the game for Champions that attack very very slowly. We've completely redesigned her Blessed Hammer ability in a way that directly emphasizes this core design, and given her a number of other small buffs as well.
  • Barrowin's Blessed Hammer ability now statically buffs adjacent Champions based on the differential between her attack speed as theirs, causing Champions with slower attacks to receive a much larger buff.
  • Barrowin's Healing Word ability will now buff Tank Champions in the column in front of her by half its normal amount.
  • Barrowin's Even Temper ability will now trigger whenever any ally that is eligible for Healing Word is attacked (Champions in the same column or Tank Champions in the column ahead of her).
  • Barrowin's ultimate now increases her attack speed by 2 seconds for 15 seconds following its use.
  • Barrowin's base attack speed has been adjusted.
  • Added a new Feat that reduces Barrowin's base attack speed.
  • Rebalanced all buffs to Blessed Hammer.

Dungeons & Dragons Strix Beestinger

Strix Beestinger

We expanded upon Strix's "Haunted" ability in order to increase her buffing ability in certain situations. If your team is having trouble defeating a boss, why not turn all those wipes into a good thing?
  • Strix's Haunted ability will now persist its stacks through area changes, and can add multiple stacks for the same Champion if they are killed multiple times during an adventure.
  • Strix's existing specializations have been completely removed and replaced with three new options.
    • Added Anxious Fireballs specialization which increases Strix's base attack cooldown by 2 seconds and her damage by 300%.
    • Added Echoes of the Past specialization which increases the effect of Haunted by 200%.
    • Added Smelly Lunch specialization which increases the effect of Poor Hygiene by 100%.
  • Updated Strix's upgrades (for Haunted, Poor Hygiene, Global DPS, and Self DPS).

Dungeons & Dragons Azaka Stormfang

Azaka Stormfang

No changes to Azaka at this time. We were hesitant to do too much too quickly; the ultimate changes will be a big adjustment in this update, and we wanted to hold off on changing players' other major farming technique at the same time.


These changes will go live as part of the v1.0 Launch / Spring Extravaganza Update. As always, we look forward to your feedback: let us know in a Community Q&A or feedback post on the Idle Champions Subreddit, on the Steam forums, or on the Official Idle Champions Discord!
March 23rd
Dev Blog: Formation Saves Update 
Posted in Idle Champions.

We’re very excited to announce that our Spring Extravaganza brings a much requested quality of life feature - more Formation Saves!

For a while now, we received requests to expand the ability to save formations from our current three save slots to reflect the changes in formations needed over the course of a run, and also allow for more flexibility to try new formation combinations.

That’s why we’ve increased the number of formations you can save from 3 to 50.

Formation Saves FAQ

  • Favorite Formations — The three side buttons remain, but are now ‘Favorite’ slots.
  • More Formation Saves — Creating a new saved formation prompts a new dialog box where you can scroll through all 50 of your formation saves. From here you can load, overwrite, delete or favorite individual saves.
  • Name your Formations — Saving a new formation will prompt you to name it, and you can rename one by tapping the little pencil icon on existing saved formations.
  • Unlock and place — If you load a formation but you do not have all the champions unlocked, as you unlock them the game will attempt to place them in the correct slot (may be blocked by carts or other accompanying obstacles).
  • Familiars — Familiar Saves remain unchanged. When saving a formation, all familiars assigned will be saved in the slot they are assigned to.


Dungeons & Dragons Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms

Feedback

As always, if you have feedback or questions, please do not hesitate to reach out on the Idle Champions Subreddit, Steam forum, or the Idle Champions Discord!
January 29th
Dev Blog: Offline Progress 
Posted in Idle Champions.

This morning we were working so hard to wrap up everything related to Grand Revel and trying to make sure that we could simultaneously activate Offline Progress for players with the latest update, and we forgot one key, crucial, important thing: an Offline Progress Dev Blog!

Our deepest apologies. Would you like to know more about how this latest system introduced to Idle Champions works? Read on...

Offline Progress FAQ

This week's update (v284) introduced the Grand Revel event along with another major feature, Offline Progress, for all players. This system simulates the time you spend offline; the idea is that Offline Progress will simulate similar behavior to if you had left your game unattended for the same period of time. Specifically, Offline Progress allows:

  • Area Progression — While offline, your Formation will continue to progress at approximately one area per minute, assuming they could make that progress while online. This is based on players' average area completion time. This may be considered a bit slow for early areas, but works out when comparing to areas closer to your wall. If the enemies are able to kill your champions, progress stops in that area.

    Note: progress may be slower if your Champions are not able to kill enemies at the expected rate during simulation.

  • Boss Loot Drops — Bosses drop exactly the same loot if killed during Offline Progress as they would if they were beaten with the game open and running. A total number of event tokens, chests, and gems earned in this way will be displayed when you log back in.

  • Champion Leveling — If you are using Familiars to level up your Champions, they will continue to level your Champions while you are offline.

    Note: this will stop at Specializations, so you will want to level up your Champions and unlock your preferred Specializations before going offline.

  • Challenge Progress — Progress in active challenges is simulated during offline progress whether for a special event or Patron Challenge.

  • Farming Support — "Zorbu Farming" is simulated during Offline Progress, whether you stay in a single area or if you progress through multiple areas. An approximation of monster type kills is added to your progress. Other types of "farming" may not work as expected.

Thank You to our Beta Testers

We've been working on this feature since November 2019 and are excited to see it go live earlier today. We'd like to give a huge thanks to our Beta Testers who helped us through this process:
  • Gaarawarr
  • inmediasrays
  • Jadisero
  • KLED
  • Mars
  • Pokota
  • Psylisa
  • QuickMythril
  • Ronin
  • Sorce
  • Thunder
  • zeke640

Feedback

We will be keeping an eye on how Offline Progress performs now that it is live across all platforms. As always, if you have feedback or questions, please do not hesitate to reach out on the Idle Champions Subreddit, Steam forum, or the Idle Champions Discord!
December 19th, 2019
Dev Blog: Idle Champions in 2020 
Posted in Idle Champions.

Well met, Idle Champions! Welcome to another installment of our developer blog. I'm Justin, the lead designer on Idle Champions, and today I'll be revealing our high-level plans for Idle Champions in 2020. It's going to be a big year for the game, so buckle up and let's get to it!

A Year In Review

2019 has been a big year for Idle Champions. We released nearly 100 updates, taking us from v186 at the start of January to v279 at the end of the year. We added 17 new Champions to the game, including fan favorites like Spurt, Jim Darkmagic, and Artemis Entreri. We also added a new campaign, 16 new adventures, and numerous challenging variants. We did two big balance patches with the Core Champion Balance Update and the Year 1 Champion Balance Update (Part 1). We also added the Locked Chests & Combinations system to all platforms, unveiled Patrons, launched on the web, and reworked ultimate damage with the BUD system. Our roster of monsters has grown to over 1000 (including special monster variants), and players have redeemed more than 7 million free chest codes since release. Wow!

But this blog isn't really intended to look back. We're more interested in sharing what's coming up! So, without further ado...

Offline Progress

Dungeons & Dragons Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms

This is a big one. Early in 2020 we hope to roll out offline progress to all platforms. This will have its biggest effect on console and mobile platforms, where leaving the game open for days on end is a challenging prospect to say the least.

Offline progress will advance your formation through the game even when the game is closed. It will not be a full simulation, but will attempt to mimic online play as closely as possible, including stopping on bosses or areas that would wipe you, completing patron challenges, and farming gold at your wall. Our intent is that offline progress will not allow you to cheese challenging variants (like "Never Split The Party"), as it will take into account changes in the formation and the challenge levels of new areas as it progresses you along.

Offline progress is currently undergoing beta testing with a small group of volunteer players, and our goal is to have it tweaked and ready for prime time early in the new year. Based on feedback from our current testers, we're confident that this will make Idle Champions a much more enjoyable experience on both mobile and console platforms, as progression should feel much less punishing. It also feels really good on Steam or web platforms if you're forced to close the game for a longer period of time. Who doesn't like coming back to the game 300 areas later and with a bunch of gold and gems to spend?

Time Gate Rework

Dungeons & Dragons Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms

An update we often see requested is improvements to time gates. We've seen a lot of great suggestions over the past year, including increasing the number of available Champions, allowing players to re-roll the available Champions, and so forth. We've decided to go above and beyond those suggestions, though, and make time gates truly a feature you can use to recruit and gear up any Champion you want to over time.

Early in 2020 we'll be rolling out our new time gate system. Once it's live, you will be able to open a time gate for ANY Champion at ANY time. The cost will remain the same (6 time gate pieces), but rather than opening a gate and having a choice of 3 random Champions, you'll be able to choose from a list of all of the available Champions. No more rolling the dice.

Additionally, we'll be updating the actual content of each time gate. In addition to two basic adventures with ever-increasing area requirements, one of the Champion's original three event variants will be offered with each opened gate, allowing you to complete their event variant achievement even if their event is not active. This extra variant will award a gold Champion chest, bringing the total number of chests you can earn per gate up to 3. This also means that the only Champion achievement you won't be able to complete outside of an event is the one to beat certain area targets in free play.

One thing we aren't changing is the free time gate weekends. They will still only offer three random Champions for free, so you'll still be able to debate amongst the community which of the three is your best option, and/or which of the three is utterly trash. The difference now is that you can choose to just ignore those three free Champions and open a different gate for time gate pieces, removing a previous restriction on time gates that the old system had. The three Champions will remain free throughout the weekend if you want to open one of their gates later, but as soon as you've opened one of the three, the two others will go back to their normal price.

To help new players from being overwhelmed by all the Champion choices, we will be providing several sorting options for the list of Champions, including popularity, which will be determined by the number of time gates recently opened for a given Champion. This should help newer players get a glimpse of the current meta and make informed time gate choices.

We will also be removing the Time Gate Fragments premium pack from our in-game store when this update rolls out.

Year 4 Events

Dungeons & Dragons Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms

The time gate section is a good segue into our next topic: Year 4 events. There was a lot of discussion around our original implementation of Year 3 events, so we want to get ahead of that by letting you know our plans for Year 4 as far ahead of time as we can -- that's now!

One of the reasons we are opening up time gates to all Champions is because we feel events are right on the cusp of having too much content to complete in the available time. This was a significant concern for us at the beginning of year 3, and why we initially reduced the freely available champions to two during the first year 3 event. While we did relax this after player feedback, it still remained a concern. As such, starting in Year 4 only the three most recent event Champions for each event will be available in their respective events. For year 4, that will be Champions from years 2, 3, and 4. When we reach Year 5 events, only year 3, 4, and 5 Champions will be available, and so forth.

With time gates being expanded, players will still have an opportunity to recruit and gear up specific older Champions if they wish, now that the randomness of time gates has been removed. While we appreciate that some players would prefer all event Champions be available during their events, we feel that would simply be too overwhelming during events, particularly for newer casual players. For any year 1 Champions considered to be at the top of the meta, the revamped time gate system will allow players of all levels to recruit and gear them up in their own time without having to wait for an event to start or feel rushed during it.

"But wait," you say, "won't that leave you wanting to run Time Gates more often? Don't they distract from doing normal adventures, or doing patron challenges, or farming gems?"

That brings us to our next big feature...

Multiple Adventure Mode

Dungeons & Dragons Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms

By the time we finish our cycle of year 3 events, Idle Champions will be home to at least 67 unique Champions (and possibly 1 or 2 more). With only 10 slots available in any given formation, this presents us with a very real problem: 57 Champions sitting on the bench doing nothing. 57 Champions you have recruited, geared up, and learned to use, but have no use for. Our solution to this is to let you run multiple adventures at once, with a unique formation of Champions in each one.

We are still in the process of optimizing and building out this system, which will likely piggy-back on the offline progress system we are developing. The end goal is to allow you to make use of 20, 30, or even 40 of the Champions on your roster at once, so that you can take advantage of all that time spent recruiting and gearing them up.

Now, your first thought after hearing this might be the same as ours -- running twice as many adventures as once sounds like twice as much work. Won't this make the game more onerous? Well, that brings us to our last update of this blog...

Modron Automation

To go along with being able to run multiple adventures at once, we want to provide players with some utilities to make those additional adventures easier to run, and start to close the gap between normal players and those who enjoy scripting the game to play itself.

Modron Automation will allow you to set the game to play up to a certain area and then potentially reset and run it again. You'll be able to use this feature to run time gates, farm for gems or chests, complete patron challenges, etc, and you'll be able to use a different script on each adventure you're running with Multiple Adventure Mode.

Both Multiple Adventure mode and Modron Automation are still in early stages, so you shouldn't expect them too early in the new year, but they're important pillars of our plans for Idle Champions moving forward.

Closing Thoughts

Aside from these big picture items, we are of course still hard at work on new Champions, balance patches, soft cap increases, new blessings, and new adventures and variants. We have no plans to slow down in 2020 and we thank you for joining us for the ride!
September 23rd, 2019
Dev Blog: Year 3 Events 
Posted in Idle Champions.

This week we'll be releasing the Highharvestide event for the third time, marking a new milestone in Idle Champions history. It's an exciting time for us, but also a challenging one, as we start to run into many issues that did not exist in earlier versions of our events. In this blog I will briefly outline our plan for year three and future events, and then take a step back to touch on the challenges with (and our goals for) events in years 3, 4, 5, and beyond.

Notice: This structure was changed dramatically in the second event of the year: Liars' Night. This blog no longer represents the final implementation of year 3 events.

The System

  • The new Year 3 Champion will be available to unlock just like previous years' Champions have been (you have immediate access to their recruit adventure, variants, and free play).
  • You can choose one of the previous years to also unlock like normal (you will then able able to access that year's Champion recruit adventure, variants, and free play).
  • Additional years of the event will cost 6 Time Gate Pieces to unlock (as above).
You may have some questions about why we choose to implement a system like this. I will address a number of player concerns that we've read since we announced this on our weekly stream last Thursday, however, first I want to talk about the challenges and things we had to consider with year 3+ events.

The Challenges

Each time we repeat an event we add a new Champion to that event. For example, year one of Highharvestide only had Stoki. In year two we added Farideh. In year three we will add yet another Champion. This is very important for us as it gives us an opportunity to shake up the meta and potentially introduce some new lore or bring a popular content creator's Champion to life. These are all exciting things, and we want the newest Champion to always be the star of each repeated event. One possible solution was to lock the newer years' Champion behind earlier years' completion (as we have in Crusaders of the Lost Idols), but for the aforementioned reasons this was not something that would work well in Idle Champions. The new Champion always needs to be available right away.

With all of these new Champions becoming available, this excess of event content presents a challenge, as the available time to do it in remains constant (12 days per event). Imagine a sixth year event with six Champions to unlock, gear up, and experiment with. We can easily see new players being incredibly overwhelmed with the extremely tight timelines required to complete 24 adventures/variants and a similar number of free plays. It could make Idle Champions start to feel more like a full-time job than a fun game you can play in your spare time. This is something we desperately want to avoid, so any solution we came up with needed to be able to scale in future event years and keep the amount of content players will have available to play relatively consistent.

Other Goals

One of the things we balance our events around is how much equipment players' have for their new Champions upon completion. Generally this is a full set of blues and at least one epic item. We would like this to continue to be the case moving forward, as recruiting a new Champion without any gear isn't terribly compelling and often times means that new Champion will simply be ignored in favor of their more geared compatriots. With three, four, five, or more Champions available to recruit from an event, the time and token pressures would quickly lead to most, if not all, of those Champions emerging from an event under-geared. We would rather players focus on gearing up one or two Champions per event as opposed to feeling like they need to spread themselves thin in order to try to gear up all of them. While this may be a minor problem in year 3 of an event, it compounds itself moving forward.

With that said, we did want to give our more hardcore players the option to spend more time and currency (Time Gate Pieces/event tokens) on an event if that's their desire. Time Gate Pieces seemed to make sense in this regard, as they can already be used outside of events to unlock what are essentially two event free plays with a guaranteed gold chest in each. Instead of two gold chests, we could let people access an entire years' worth of event content, with the base adventure to unlock the Champion, three variants, and unlimited free plays for as long as their event tokens held out. Many players already used bounty contracts to get additional tokens in an event and do more free plays than the basic token drops would allow.

Side Benefits

This system has a couple other indirect benefits. As mentioned above, it increases the value of Time Gate Pieces. Instead of getting two gold chests for six Time Gate Pieces, you could potentially get eight or nine chests (with most likely 3+ being gold). That's twice the value for something you already had and were already going to use to get event chests anyway. Additionally, in some analysis earlier this year, a large percentage of active players had more than one Time Gate worth of Time Gate Pieces (6+) saved up, with a non-trivial percentage having at least a dozen pieces just sitting around. This new system allows players to derive some additional value out of those extra pieces, if they so desire. It also allows players who have a hard time finding time to open manual gates to get predictable, arguable more powerful use out of their Time Gate Pieces that they may otherwise struggle to use. This has an overall effect of increasing the value of Time Gate Pieces, making them a higher priority item for players to obtain and giving us a better excuse to include them as rewards in future game systems.

Secondly, one of the main things we rely on to tell how we're doing is community feedback, and another small benefit of this change will likely be an increase in community chatter around the start of each event about which of the previous years' Champions are the highest priority to recruit and gear up. We gain a similar benefit each time a natural time gate weekend begins and we get to see what people are suggesting on the reddit thread, steam forums, and discord discussion. These discussions and debates give us insight into what the community thinks about each Champion, and informs our balancing decisions in the future.

Player Concerns

We've been reading a lot of reddit, discord, and forum discussion since we initially talked about this system last week during our weekly stream and we've seen a lot of good feedback and concerns. I'd like to take a few minutes to address some of those comments directly, so hopefully you can all understand where we're coming from a little better. These aren't direct quotes from any particular player, but rather generalizations of feedback we've seen across the board.

"I can't get as much stuff from year 3 events as I could from earlier years"

We've designed this system to actually keep the amount of content you can easily get from events exactly the same -- that's one of the core goals! You get two potentially new Champions and exactly as much gear for them as you could from year 2 events. We consider content beyond those two Champions to be a bonus; more content than you have been able to unlock in previous years.

"But I want to unlock and gear up all the available Champions"

That's a fair point, and that's why we provided an option to unlock additional years instead of just locking them out entirely. What we want to avoid is players feeling like they have to unlock and gear up all the available Champions in order to keep up with the meta. Gearing up all available Champions from scratch will require a significant investment, including additional bounty contracts to get the tokens you need for additional free plays. We want that to be a choice that is not made lightly.

We also don't think that, in practice, most players will be too concerned with unlocking and gearing up all event Champions right away. From both our impression and analysis, players tend to focus on only one "meta" Champion per event and mainly gear that one up, doing only a token amount of work (pun intended) on the other, less desirable Champion. With three (or more) available Champions, events where more than two of them will be actively considered "OP requirements of the meta" are unlikely.

"You're locking me out of content behind a rare item or paywall"

While this is true, players do have the means to eventually make the Time Gate Piece cost fairly negligible through Patron shop purchases and the normal drops. Some players have made the point that new players may not have access to Patrons, and this is absolutely fair, but I would also argue that since they don't yet have access to Patrons (a large chunk of content in the game), is it actually unreasonable that they also don't yet have access to additional content in events? There will always be a progression curve from a new player to a veteran player, and these additional costs will inevitably become negligible at some point on that progression curve. We will also likely be adding more ways to get Time Gate Pieces in the future.

"I can't complete the event achievements and am missing out on those bonuses"

This is a fair comment. However, four out of the five "event" achievements can actually be completed outside of their events. Only the achievement for completing event variants can not be completed by recruiting the Champion (say through a time gate) and gearing them up/using them outside of events. For those concerned about the difficulty of gearing up event Champions outside of their events, we have actively been taking steps to make it easier with weekend promo chests (sign up for the newsletter to get a free one each week), time gates (which will be receiving some more love in the future), and more recently Patron chests (which can drop gear for a wide variety of Champions). Future Time Gate tweaks should also help in this regard.

"Just increase the event tokens drops and leave everything like it was. Problem solved."

It's true that this may have been a workable solution for year 3 events (and we did consider it), but as we move forward into years 4, 5, and 6+, the other challenges and design goals described above would have eventually overcome any additional token drops we provided. For the vast majority of our players there simply isn't enough time over the course of a 12 day event to recruit, gear up, and learn to use so many new Champions.

"This is unfair to veteran players."
"This is unfair to new players."
"This is unfair to middle-of-the-road players."

We've seen a lot of comments like this, and while no system is perfect, we believe our solution strikes the right balance between new, mid-range, and veteran players. New players may indeed struggle to obtain enough Time Gate Pieces to unlock three Champions every event, but this will allow them to be more strategic about their unlock choices and let them spend more time exploring the Champions they do unlock. Likewise for mid-range and veteran players who may already have one or both of the Champions from previous years, this will let you make real decisions about which Champions you truly value, or whether you'd like to spread out your effort to gear up more than two Champions per event.

"I'll never be able to catch up now"

It is true that this change will slow down the ability of new players to "catch up" to veteran players in terms of having all the Champions unlocked and having them all geared up. It may surprise you to hear that we don't necessarily view that as a bad thing. Spacing out content and new Champion unlocks may actually be more fun than unlocking them in masse. Additionally, since you always get immediate access to at least two Champions each event every year, you will eventually be able to unlock all of that event's Champions without spending any Time Gate Pieces. For players who start now, that will be after playing all the events twice. Considering "day-one" players may have been playing for four years by then, it doesn't seem too unreasonable to have done it in basically half the time.

With That Said...

With all of that said, we always pay attention to how these types of changes are received by the community and will not hesitate to make changes in future year 3 events if our solution isn't doing what it was intended to do. We appreciate all of your feedback and encourage you to keep it coming. We are interested in hearing what you all think after the Highharvestide event has ended and we've all experienced the system in practice as opposed to just in theory.

An Apology and a Gift

I'd like to close off with an apology. One of the other big concerns we saw from players is that we've announced this new system too late and they don't have time to save enough Time Gate Pieces for the Highharvestide event. That is fair, and it's our fault that we didn't say anything until now, so we're sorry for that. With that in mind, we'll be gifting everyone six Time Gate Pieces when the event starts. You can use these to unlock all three Champions from Highharvestide, or save them for a manual Time Gate or future event unlock. They won't expire or disappear if you choose not to use them right away. Our goal here isn't necessarily to eliminate the unlock cost for this event, but rather to let everyone enter the event as if they'd been saving up Time Gate Pieces for a couple of weeks in anticipation.

Update: Wed Sept 25, 2019

Spending 6 Time Gate pieces to unlock the last Champion also comes with an extra 5000 event tokens to spend on the event. Thank you for your feedback on these changes.
August 23rd, 2019
Dev Blog: Patron System 
Posted in Idle Champions.

Hi everyone! Lead Designer Justin here with another installment of "What's That New Thing?" Hot on the heels of the recently-added Feats System, today we're talking about the upcoming Patron System, a brand new form of end-game progression coming to Idle Champions as part of next week's 2nd Anniversary Extravaganza!

What is the patron system?

The Patron System is the basis for a new form of progression within Idle Champions. It allows you to replay previously completed variants and free plays with additional restrictions, and rewards you with patron currency and influence which can be used to purchase unique rewards and unlock unique perks.

How do I use the patron system?

On PC and mobile platforms, click the new patron button on the top-left menu next to the reset button. On consoles, find the patron panel within the normal menu system. Once there, you can see the available patrons listed on the left. Each patron has a unique set of requirements you must meet and costs you must pay before they will accept you as a follower. Pay their price and you can begin to collect patron influence and currency by starting variants and free plays with the given patron active.

What are patron requirements and costs?

Patron requirements and costs are requirements you must meet and costs you must pay before you can begin to adventure on behalf of a given patron. Requirements include things like having a certain number of Champions unlocked, having a certain number of adventures completed, or even having a certain number of loot levels across all of your Champions' equipment. Costs currently include gems, time gate fragments, and silver chests.

What are patron restrictions?

Each patron comes with unique restrictions that apply to every variant or free play adventure you do while that patron is enabled. They apply in addition to the normal restrictions on a given variant, and can make the variant much, much more challenging.

What are the first two patrons and their restrictions?

The initial iteration of the patron system will launch with two patrons: Mirt the Moneylender and Vajra Safahr, the Blackstaff. Mirt requires all Champions take a side in the great battle between good and evil, and will not allow neutral Champions to partake in his adventures. Vajra, on the other hand, requires Champions of great constitution to do her bidding, and therefore does not allow Champions with a CON score of 13 or lower to represent her interests. Vajra's unlock requirements are slightly higher than Mirt's, as are her area requirements in her variants.

How do I use my patron?

Once you've unlocked a patron, you can activate them on the campaign map after you've completed your current adventure. Look on the right-hand side of the screen to see the patron selector. When active, the campaign map will show you all available patron variants and free plays for your chosen patron. You can disable your patron in order to do normal adventures. Once you start an adventure you can not switch or disable your patron without first completing the adventure.

Patrons are not available to use during event campaigns or time gate adventures. Switching to an event campaign or opening the time gate dialog will disable your current patron temporarily.

What are patron variants?

Patron variants are versions of all the normal adventure variants that you can start with an active patron, but include the patron's additional restrictions and have a much higher area requirement. You must complete the base adventure variant before you can do the patron variant. Patron variants award patron influence and currency based on the area requirement of the adventure, along with normal divine favor rewards. You only get the influence and currency if you complete the objective. Going beyond the area requirement does not increase the reward. Like normal variants, patron variants can only be completed once.

What are patron free plays?

Patron free plays are versions of the normal adventure free plays you can start with an active patron. Unlike patron variants, patron free plays do not award patron influence, but do award currency based on the area you reach, along with normal divine favor rewards. There is a maximum of 5,000 patron currency that can be earned from patron free plays each week, and after that, you will only gain normal divine favor rewards for completing patron free plays. Additional patron currency can be earned by completing patron variants or patron challenges.

What is patron influence?

Patron influence is earned by completing patron variants and can be used to purchase patron perks. The amount of influence earned from variants is fixed and can not be increased.

What are patron perks?

Patron perks are similar to blessings, and can be unlocked with patron influence on the patron dialog to increase your party's effectiveness. Some patron perks only apply while adventuring under your patron banner, while others apply globally on any adventure for any patron (or even no patron).

What is patron currency?

Patron currency is earned by completing patron variants, patron free plays, and patron challenges. Patron currency can be used to purchase unique rewards from the patron shop. There is a limit to the amount of patron currency you can earn from patron free plays and challenges each week, but there is no limit to the amount you can earn by completing patron variants (though there are a limited number of variants available).

What can I buy in the patron shop?

The patron shop allows you to purchase unique items using patron currency. The first items available are patron chests, which contain loot items for any of the Champions available to use on the given patron's variants and free plays, including event Champions. Additional items in the patron shop may require that you have a certain amount of patron influence before you can buy them, but include potions, time gate fragments, feats, skins, silver event chests, and familiars. Some items have a weekly limit on the number you can purchase, and others are only one-time purchases.

Note: Some patron shop items, such as skins, familiars, and silver event chests, are not being released with the launch of the system and will be added later.

What are patron challenges?

Patron challenges are another way to earn patron currency each week. They are a set of 10 challenges, similar to The "C" Team challenges we did earlier this year, that you can complete each week. You must be on a patron variant or free play in order to make progress towards that patron's challenges. Patron challenges can award 5,000 additional patron currency for completing them all each week, separate from the free play currency cap.

Note: The patron challenge system is not launching with the initial patron system, but will be added after several weeks.

How often will you be adding new patrons?

We do not yet have a firm cadence for new patron releases, but we hope to release many more patrons in the future and expand the system in other ways as well. We are looking forward to hearing your feedback about the patron system and may make changes in the future based on it.

Does this mean we're going to get less new adventures in the future?

We do not believe the patron system will impact the cadence of our new adventure and variant releases -- in fact, it will lead to more content being available because every time we release new variants they will be available to play with any unlocked patron you have as soon as you have completed the base variant.

When will the patron system be released?

The patron system will be released alongside the Year 2 Anniversary Celebration on August 28th, 2019.