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A rule change is coming near: the Boss list. In this devblog, we will explain what this changes for you, and why we decided to implement it. 
 

Hello everyone!

Today, we will talk about a rule change that will affect both organized play and online game. It’s an important step towards balance and diversity in Krosmaster. It’s time for us to welcome the Boss list! Its definition is as follows:

 
Starting November 5th, 2015, some Krosmasters will be considered to have the “Boss” type in addition to their original types, be it during team building or during play. As a reminder, only one Krosmaster with the “Boss” type is allowed per team. The following Krosmasters will be affected:
 

  • Kitty Rage
  • Black Crow
  • Ghett Outadier
  • Yugo – Young King
  • Theo
  • Henual
  • Luk Ylook
  • Djaul
 
And now that you’ve read the change, we feel you deserve a few explanations as to why we’ve made this choice. Let’s get to it!
 
 

Why a Boss list? 

 

First of all, you need to know that we’ve been pondering this change for a while now. Be it from the feedback of tournament players or by using the statistics tools of Krosmaster Arena online, we had identified several problematic Krosmasters and teams. However, purely and simply banning those figurines felt like it had the subtlety of a hammer: we needed a new tool to deal with these figurines,  something more measured and delicate than a ban. We toyed with a few different ideas that were eventually discarded in the end for being too complex for the players.


Our main train of thought was to ban specific synergies between characters: we would forbid to put specific Krosmasters together in the same team, like Henual and Ghett Outadier, for example. However, making a complete list of those combinations would have been tedious, hard to use for new players, and wouldn’t have been effective for individually strong Krosmasters that could be taken in any team. Still, we kept digging into this idea, trying to find a way to easily restrict those combos.

The Boss list was conceived as a gentler alternative to the ban list, using rules already well-known by the players. Being on the Boss list does not mean the Krosmaster will disappear from the game: it only prevents players from having too many strong characters in the same team. These Krosmasters are not banned, you will still be able to play with them, but not every combination between them will be legal anymore and you will need to review your teams after this change takes place.
 
 

What do we want to achieve with this list?

 

Ours first motivation is to keep the game healthy. We’re paying a close attention to game diversity so that no team completely dominates the metagame, and we want the game to stay fun for all the players involved.

It’s undeniable that Krosmaster Arena has become more and more “ruthless” as time goes by. With every new release, new synergies saw the light of day, adding to the ever-growing pile of deadly combos. These combos allowed teams to completely ignore intentional flaws given to some Krosmasters, like lack of mobility, or multiply their potential for destruction with AP buffs. We do not wish to make those interactions disappear, as they are part of the game, but we want to promote deeper analysis from the players during team building and play.

 
We also want to renew the metagame. One easy solution to boot out established teams from the metagame would be to release stronger characters that make them obsolete… but we do not want to start down this dangerous path of power creep. Creating specific new Krosmasters to counter the old ones would create a “match-up effect” that we also want to avoid (but this is a debate for another day…).

The Boss list will affect specific teams that are currently dominating both organized and online play. Some of you might know about the Old Guys (Enutrof team) or EliaT (Eliatrope team), and you most definitely know about the many team variants centered on Kitty Rage, Merkator or Djaul. By making their main components Bosses, we will force those teams to evolve and question themselves, which will give a boost to the metagame that was in danger of becoming stagnant.
 
 

Why these Krosmasters?

 

The Boss list is currently composed of 8 Krosmasters. We have deliberately chosen a small number to better analyze this new rule’s impact on the metagame, and we’re still keeping a close eye on non-Boss characters that could rise up in the next few months. This list is bound to evolve; we can add other Krosmasters to it if needed, or remove some of them if we determine that the metagame can endure them in a non-Boss status.
 
Some of the selected Krosmasters have too much individual power, or too many possibilities during play, making them mandatory in competitive teams and overly present in the rest. For instance, Luk Ylook, who combines amazing placement and AP/MP debuff abilities, is selected in no less than 40% of all teams between rank 10 and Elite in the online game!


Other characters create combos that restrict future design possibilities. Henual is the perfect example of this. He makes it so easy to give an AP buff to other characters that we have to consider what future Krosmasters could do with such a buff. Sometimes, we have to preemptively “nerf” them before they’re even released because of him… The same goes for Krosmasters with weak mobility combined with the many placers who already exists. The number of combos available this way mean that we have to contain ourselves more and more in our future game design.

Note that we do not want to completely erase those synergies from the game, however we would like players to carefully select their support characters instead of always going for the best one available. If Henual becomes a Boss, he will still be playable, but choosing him over Lou or Hazwonarm will have a much bigger impact on your team building. The same goes for Luk Ylook and Kanniball Jav: the former proves to be too dangerous when coupled with another Boss, but players can still hire Jav for all their pushing needs.
 

Finally, some other Krosmasters are the central piece of several teams that dominates the metagame. By making them Bosses, players will need to make some less obvious choices and vary their team’s composition. We are aware that not every team is impacted the same way by this list, and some non-dominating teams will be affected as well, but we hope it will help new strategies to rise and find their place in the global metagame without being crushed by the current titans. We think that the Boss list will help more teams to express themselves rather than smothering potential newcomers.
 

We are aware that this is a big change to your habits, but we are acting today to guarantee a better, healthier future to Krosmaster Arena. Your feedback, as long as it is relevant, is always welcome.

Thank you for your attention, and see you around a game board!
 

The Krosmaster team