Today Cat Daddy announces one of the biggest game additions in the history of MyNBA: a new game mode called Blacktop Challenge! On March 4th I had the pleasure of testing this game mode out at the Cat Daddy headquarters, today Cat Daddy has graciously allowed me to unveil this new game mode and announce that it will go live some time tomorrow, March 9th.
Cat Daddy had 4 points of emphasis when designing this mode; first they wanted it to be a true game mode, unlike events this will be available to you 24/7 so eat your heart out! Similar to quick games (QGs) they wanted to offer fast fun, but this time they’ve gone deeper and added extra elements to engage users with more strategy and intrigue. They also wanted to add a crafting element to the game, similar to the idea of the fusion chamber in WWE Supercard but not the same, so they did that, but more on that later. Lastly–and you’ve all been asking for it–they added a multiplayer element to the new mode; although you still don’t play head-to-head matches in real time there’s still multiplayer elements. It’s all explained below!
So without further ado, let’s get down to it, shall we?
The first thing you’ll see is this nifty little screen, you’ll want to hit ‘START’ and then ‘YES’ and you’ll be moved on to the matchmaking screen…
A timer will then begin as you are matched with 9 human opponents. If for some reason there aren’t enough human opponents available by the time you hit the one-minute mark (highly unlikely) CD will fill in the rest of the slots with bots. Each player will use their 25-man RTTC deck, but matchmaking is not affected by deck strength, and you’ll find out why soon…
Once the matchmaking is complete you will be randomly allotted 5 players from your RTTC deck, unlike the RTTC positions are random, so it’s possible to draw 5 point guards (though not probable). You’ll have a minute to set your alignment, if you have extra time you can pop into in-game chat and talk some smack. The minute will finish with a 5-1 countdown (as seen above) after which round 1 begins! All of your opponents will be shown, you can choose who you want to challenge. In the beginning you get +1 VP per win, regardless of the opponent, in later rounds that will adjust. Each round is 3 minutes, you’ll want to get as many quick games in as possible during that time, so yes, this mode will involve fast-tapping.
At the end of each quick game you can choose a different opponent or the same one, it’s up to you, just do it quickly or you’ll be wasting time!
As soon as the 3-minute round timer expires results will be calculated. Be sure to play right up to the buzzer because ‘quarters-won’ is a tie breaker. Once the results are calculated each player’s score is listed from best to last, based on those scores round bonuses are divvied out in the form of Victory Points (VP). The goal is to obtain as much VP as possible over the course of five rounds.
If you won the round then you don’t lose any cards; however, you lose one card (not from your collection, just from this specific match) for every quick game you lost in that round. In the example above our buddy YoungGaryOak placed first but he lost one QG in the process so he lost one random card. At the end of each round all your cards are drained of energy and the higher you place, the more you are restricted. You can see above that when you place first your cards can only have a maximum of 30% energy, that seriously stunts your cards. If you keep placing first every time your cards will be nerfed down to nothing, so strategy definitely comes into play! If you have energies left over you’ll definitely want to use them at the end of each round, if you’re out of energies your players will be at a massive disadvantage, or you could fill their energy with a ‘team refill’ for 50 credits, this is the only time you spend in this mode, and if you’re smart about it you’ll never have to spend at all. Since there’s 5 rounds and up to 5 players drained per round it’s advisable to start each BC with at least 25 energies available.
If you don’t win the round you will automatically lose a card (it gets “slammed”). Although you lose at least one card and get way less VP for placing lower in a round you do get the benefit of less (or none at all) energy restriction.
After the 5th round is completed the total VP is calculated and the rewards are distributed. The reward totals in the example above are off, for accurate reward numbers see below…
Above is the official reward structure for the BC. In total the game mode takes 25-30 minutes. If you can place first and net 120 cards in that time then you’re in good shape! The other number, where it says ‘200’ for first place is extremely important, that’s Blacktop Rewards Points (BRP). You use BRP for the Ultimate Creator.
The Ultimate Creator allows you the chance to claim the best cards in the game. To give you an idea, RC cards are 15% better than regular Star cards, Blacktop Stars are 25% better than regular Stars. Each month the rewards will change, but don’t worry, your BRP carries over. Each time you redeem a pack you’ll have a chance to pull one of those cards, there’s three Star cards, three Legendary card, three Epic cards and three Ultra Rare cards. There’s three different levels you can choose to snag those cards: Basic, Super and Ultimate. Each provides varying drop rates and requirements needed to redeem a pack (packs only give you one card).
Above is an example of the requirements for a ‘Super’ pack. The requirements change every month. You notice that for the first time ever CD reveals the drop rate. The drops aren’t great in the beginning but they can be boosted. Basic starts at a 0.05% Star drop rate, Super starts at 0.5% and Ultimate starts at 7%.
Drop rates can be boosted by feeding cards that belong to the ‘Team of the Day.’ Just like with training cards the higher the rarity the faster everything is boosted, however each Ultimate Creator tier has a cap. Super can be boosted from 0.5% to 2.5%. Ultimate starts at 7% and can be boosted to 17%. The whole ‘Team of the Day’ concept will be an Auction House game-changer. People may actually be able to sell commons now! Plus if you happen to pull one of the random cards required for the creation recipe then that baby is probably going to sell in the AH as well.
So that, ladies and gentleman, is the basics of the Blacktop Challenge! You’re going to have to adapt and hone your strategy based on your opponents. If you only have an Epic tier deck you’re better off placing lower the first 1-3 rounds and then really turning it on after the better players get nerfed a little bit. If you have a superior deck you’re going to have to gauge how much of an energy hit you can take each round and still be competitive. While there’s no matchmaking criteria and the mode itself is designed to even things out, players with stacked decks will always have at least a slight advantage, I’m not upset about that because they deserve it if they’ve spent so much time and money to build their decks up.
As I was testing this mode I was trying to find anything that would be a red flag but it came though with flying colors. It’s evident to me that CD applied a great deal of thought and time towards this project and it truly shows. I’m thrilled that it’s not pay-to-win, it add relevance to the Auction House, and the fact that it now offers the best cards in the game takes pressure off of the Rivals Clash. CD has confirmed that the RC is not going away, however scores should be lower/more realistic now that the game’s top grinders won’t even touch the event as it takes away from valuable BRP-farming time.
The closest thing to criticism I have for this game mode is how long it will take to be able to open an Ultimate pack. I believe it takes 48,000 BRP (on top of the card concoction) to unlock and Ultimate pack. Assuming you boost to the cap with Team of the Day, you have a 17% chance of getting a Star card. That means on average you’d pull one every 5 or so packs. That’s not so bad until you realize most people wont be able to open more than 1-2 packs per month because it will take so much to to accumulate 48,000 BRP; and then imagine going on a 6-pack drought (easily possible), that’s 6 months without earning a Star card–I’d be pissed! I can speculate on the numbers but at this point I want to see it in action, I could be wrong about how long it will take people, there’s always those machines out there that seem to play 24/7 365.
As I stated in the beginning you can look for this awesome new game mode to be released some time tomorrow. Due to Apple/Google questions we can’t tell you the exact time but hopefully it will be in the morning or early afternoon PST.
In the meantime you can join the discussion with all the other excited gamers on our Facebook page. You can also view real-time footage of the new game mode in THIS video, produced by our friend YoungGaryOak.