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MMOSite Interview With Duelyst Developers

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By daniel_csaki Date: Aug 25 2016 Views:

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1. Please tell us a bit about yourself and about your awesome creation, Duelyst that launched back in April.

We’re an indie team composed of lead artists Glauber Kotaki (Rogue Legacy, Chasm) and Christophe Ha (Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Diablo III) and a veteran game design team, including creative director and producer Keith Lee (Diablo III, Ratchet & Clank) and distinguished and award-winning board game designer Eric Lang (XCOM, Blood Rage, Dice Masters, Warhammer, Game of Thrones, The Others: 7 Sins, Bloodborne).

Eric Lang recently won the coveted 2016 Diana Jones award.

Duelyst is a fast-paced collectible tactics game. Head-to-head matches last between five and ten minutes, and focus on thoughtful decision-making and strategic positioning. You’re rewarded with new battle units every monthly season.

You can assemble your battle deck from over 400 cards across 6 unique Factions and test your mettle against other players online in ranked season ladder and draft mode tournaments.

2. Duelyst is a merge of two fantastic genres, tactical combat and CCG. How did you come up with this epic fusion?

We’ve been huge fans of both tactics and CCG genres since we were kids. As a result, we were curious to see if we could develop a multiplayer-first head-to-head tactics game which offered tons of variety while still being deep and quick. We knew pretty quickly that we needed CCG elements to allow players to create their own battle decks to offer maximum variety for online play while keeping our units internally balanced without the need for power curves.

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3. The Denizens of Shim'zar expansion seems to be further improving Duelyst in many ways, what are the biggest features of the expansion that players can be excited about?

Denizens of Shim'zar is our first expansion with 105 brand new cards (including tokens), growing our original core collection set of 400 cards.

The exciting goal of the new set is to continue expanding the variety of playable archetypes in Duelyst, especially lesser archetypes that didn’t get the support from the Core Set to be truly viable.

Ramp Abyssian, Grow Magmar, Vanar Vespyrs, and Mechaz0r are all examples of underplayed archetypes that have garnered popularity in the past that we want to support for this expansion.

Battle Pets are a new tribal card. They act independently at the start of each turn in a predictable deterministic way. So if your opponent plays a Battle Pet card, you can place your units in such a way as to manipulate the enemy's AI favorably for you. Battle Pets are only a small percentage of the entire Shim'zar set.

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4. Turn-based games seem to be slowly losing popularity, do you feel that by spicing up the genre, it can regain its former glory?

The biggest problem we see with turn-based games is that the modern gamer has neither the time nor patience to play them, especially online head-to-head games where you have to slog through lengthy turns AND deal with long games lasting over an hour.

The key spice of our success is how our entire design is entirely based on the speed and length of a matche. Since a match last only 8 minutes, you can ensure that the player will still has fun even if they win or lose. Plus you can now get your competitive fix while queuing up for a MOBA game or even during your lunch or study break.

5. What’s next for you guys, after the expansion launches?

Our goal is to release a new expansion of cards, ranging from 40-100 new cards, every 3-4 months.

Besides continuing to release new content, we also plan to launch Duelyst on mobile devices in early Q1 2017.

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6. Are there any veteran games that inspired you in creating Duelyst?

Fire Emblem series, Tactics Orgre, Final Fantasy Tactics, XCOM, Advanced Wars, and Gundan Generations.

7. A few months have passed since the April launch. How would you describe the road to the first expansion?

We’ve actually been working on this expansion for over 9 months. It’s always challenging to develop the core game, create new expansion cards, and add new core systems and features at the same time. It’s like modifying a plane and swapping out an engine while it’s flying in the air.

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8. Players can still pre-order the expansion. What advantages does this provide?

By pre-ordering, you get a special discount deal of 50 Shim'zar Orbs for $49.99 and a free Shim’zar card back. Ten Percent of all pre-order proceeds will be reserved for the official Duelyst tournament circuit prize pools and Duelyst World Championship, which started in August 2016 and ends in April 2017.

Shim'zar Orbs will be separate from the classic core collection Spirit Orbs and they only award Shim'zar cards.

9. Can you tell us a bit about the new Steam Buddy List Sync feature?

Duelyst on Steam is exactly the same as our regular client. There's no difference and 100% cross-platform. All previous purchases made will be reflected on any platform you play on.

More importantly, if you and your friend both have Duelyst in your Steam library, you'll automatically see each other in-game friends list. Note that both you and your friend must also have already logged in (signed up).

10. Lastly, is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Come visit us at PAX West on Sept 2-5 at Booth #6817! We’ll have some goodies (whiles supplies last) with an exclusive in-game Sarlac Prime and PAX in-game cards!

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