Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes – Character Release and Event Cadence

Here is the latest developer blog from the guys over at Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes. This one is addressing a lot of questions people have asked, and clarifies the character release cadence and explains the details of Marquee events.

Hello my Holotable Friends!

Recently Carrie introduced me as Nick Reinhart in the Developer Q&A, but you all know me more commonly on the forums as CG_TopHat. I’m the Live Producer on the team which, admittedly, sounds like a made-up job.

The Live team is responsible for the day to day stuff that you do in Galaxy of Heroes. We plan and design characters and ships, events, and raids, are responsible for the tuning of the game, and a myriad of other things.

We also schedule the majority of stuff on a monthly basis and we’d like to update and clarify a few things around the character release cadence, as well as Marquee, Legendary, and Hero’s Journey events and how you’ll experience them. We know these events are important to you and that makes them very important to us.

It’s been a little over a year since we first unveiled the Character Release Cadence for Marquee events (here). It was quite literally something I wrote my first week on the job as the Live Producer, so it’s incredible to look back on it and see how far the game and the community has come since then. Who would have thought a year ago that Darth Sion, Mother Talzin, and Commander Luke Skywalker would make regular appearances on the Holotables?

More importantly, we, as a studio, wanted to take an opportunity to recommit to a regular movement of characters from packs to grindable locations in the game, and to reflect on the intent of the Marquee events. We also wanted to expand our original model to include some additional details on things that will remain constant.

Finally, we wanted to acknowledge that we made a few missteps in delivering this cadence. I’m going to make it my mission to make sure we are clearer about our intentions and that if, for any reason, a change needs to be made to this cadence, that we will give you all advance notice.

Marquee Event Intention
Originally, our intent with Marquee events was to give new characters a more flashy entrance into the game, bring more characters into the game more regularly, and put them in the players hands as early as possible.

After a year of releases we’ve realized over time that our original intent/mandate had expanded to something even larger: with each Marquee release, we want to establish that each new character or ship has a clear sense of utility. Both backward-looking utility (ex: this character fits right in with an established team, this character is perfect for this Territory Battle or Raid phase) and forward-looking utility (ex: this character will satisfy a future event requirement, this character will synergize with a future rework) are extremely important.

Whether a player buys packs, picks up shards in shipments, farms characters on nodes, or puts them on the back-burner, we want you to have an increasingly clear view of what each new character contributes to their overall experience and set of goals, over a long, enjoyable period of time.

Release Cadence

The overall cadence we laid out last year will largely remain intact with a few minor updates. However, we’ll restate it here with the updates for clarity.

  • All units (characters or ships) released through Marquee events will move to the Chromium Packs or Fleet Packs (whichever is appropriate) and Shipments approximately four to six weeks from the first day of the unit’s Marquee event.
  • From the day the unit moves to the Chromium Pack or Fleet Pack, and Shipments, approximately four to six weeks later the unit will move to a location in the game.
    • These locations are limited to (at the moment): Cantina, Hard Light Side, Hard Dark Side, Guild Store, and Guild Event Store.
    • As per the recent Q&A we are no longer adding characters to the Galactic War Store, Cantina Store, Fleet Arena Store, or Arena Store. Our intention here is that once these stores are exhausted, they are intended to be a source of shard shop currency for our very well established players.
    • We will update this list as needed depending on how the game changes over time.
  • All characters that enter the game through a Marquee event WILL ALWAYS follow the above cadence. Releases of characters through a Marquee event into a farmable “Heroic Event” will no longer occur (looking at Mother Talzin and Wicket, here).
  • Due to the nature of the content release schedule there may be some instances where the units move through the cadence a little earlier or a little later than the exact calendar date. If this is going to happen, we’ll notify you at least a week ahead of time.

We have content releases approximately every two weeks. Our goal is always to release units as close to their landing date as possible and keep within the spirit of the cadence. If you haven’t seen it at the six week mark it is likely coming in the next release.

Marquee Event, Pack, and Bundle Structure

Since they were introduced in February 2017, Marquee releases have been integral to the long-term stability and richness of Galaxy of Heroes. In our quest to continue making the game bigger and better, we’ve experimented with the format and its purposes. In the interest of transparency, we’d like to communicate that this period of experimentation with the format is over.

Fundamentally, we’re at the point where we’d like to come to you the players and “cement” what a Marquee event is so that you have a good idea of what to expect and can make informed decisions on the new characters being introduced. Marquee releases of new characters and ships will now follow the below parameters:

  • Each Marquee event will debut exactly one unit. In some cases where units have exceptional mechanics that rely on other units being present, we may include those other units to demonstrate the mechanics. Any units added for the sake of demonstration would still get their own Marquee event, if applicable.
  • Each Marquee event will tutorialize each ability (basic, specials, leader, and unique) in a unit’s ability kit. There will be a tier of the event for each ability.
  • Each Marquee event will include a “bonus” tier for level 80-85 players to offer a challenge to some of our more established players.
  • Each Marquee event will include a “practice” tier where players can take the new unit into battle against a squad chosen by us.
  • Marquee events will no longer disappear once completed, but will remain open for the duration of their schedule (typically two to three days). You will be able to replay previously completed tiers for no reward, to further practice with the new character.
  • We may include additional tiers to tutorialize additional information that we think is relevant to the unit or a faction the unit represents.
  • All units released through a Marquee event will unlock at two stars (named or unnamed).
  • All Marquee events, if completed entirely, will yield enough shards to unlock the Marquee unit and take the unit to three stars.
  • All Marquee event units will have a single pack which will cost 1299 crystals and yield somewhere between 5 and 330 unit shards. These packs will last for approximately a month after the start of the Marquee event.
  • All Marquee event units will have a single bundle which will cost $9.99 (base USD before currency exchange conversions). These bundles will have enough shards to take a three star Marquee unit to four stars, which is correspondingly enough to unlock a Marquee character. These bundles will last for approximately a month after the start of the Marquee event.
  • If there are any bugs or errors that cause deviations from the above, we will reconcile any missing shards or rewards no later than with the next content release following the error.
  • If there are any changes to the above structure, we will notify the player base two weeks in advance.

We are also looking into potentially finding a way for new players to experience the content we’ve built in Marquee events as they begin their journey in Galaxy of Heroes.

Legendary and Hero’s Journey Events
Over the last year, we doubled the number of Legendary events in Galaxy of Heroes with the addition of R2-D2, BB-8, Grand Admiral Thrawn, and Chimaera. We’ve also begun introducing the Mythic version of these events, giving players a chance to earn late game rewards and relive some of the best moments in Galaxy of Heroes. We’ve also added our Hero’s Journey events introducing Commander Luke Skywalker and Rey (Jedi Training) into the Galaxy as well. These events rotate in and out of the calendar on a regular basis and we are well aware that the players are keen for some clarity on when to expect to see these events and what sort of lead up they will have to prepare for them.

Legendary and Mythic Events

Inside of the studio we have a concept of “New” events and “Legacy” events. This applies to all matter of event types for us – Assault Battles, Fleet Mastery, Omega Battles, etc.

  • Legendary and Mythic events are considered New the first and second times that they appear to the player base.
  • For a New Legendary or Mythic event we will be providing players at least one week of advanced notice that the event is coming. This notice will come in the Developer Announcement section of our forums. Our intent with this strategy is twofold:
  • A Legendary or Mythic event becomes a Legacy event after its first two runs. In those instances, we will be adding those Legendaries and Mythics to the event calendar when we post the calendar for the next month at the end of the current month.
    • As an example, near the end of April we will be posting the event calendar for May and it will include the details for any Legendary or Mythic event that qualifies as a Legacy event.

Hero’s Journeys

Similar to Legendaries and Mythics, we have a concept of a New and Legacy Hero’s Journey.

  • The first two runs of a Hero’s Journey we consider New and will give at least a week’s notice before their launch.
  • Unlike a Legendary or Mythic, when a Hero’s Journey becomes a Legacy event we will not necessarily post it to the Event Calendar at the beginning of the month. However, the intention is that Hero’s Journey events will return roughly every three to four months after they become a Legacy event and that we will give at least a week’s notice before they return to the game. When we announce the return of the Hero’s Journey event, we will post it on the Event Calendar on the forums.

Event Calendar

I also wanted to clarify how we’re going to tackle the monthly updating of the Event Calendar. We’ve been in a rhythm of posting the next month’s event calendar near the end of the current month.

We’re going to stick with that cadence and with the current fidelity of information we are currently posting, with the addition of the Legacy Legendaries and Mythics. We’ll also be adding New Legendaries, Mythics, and New/Legacy Hero’s Journey events to it a week before they arrive.

We hope this blog helps clarify our intention around these important events and better informs when you will learn about their return. More than anything, we want to keep bringing you great stuff. Characters, events, raids, you name it. And we want you to feel like you know when you can expect that stuff to return or how you’re going to get that stuff when it comes around, whether it’s the first time or the 100th time. Hope this helps you plan your game better!

Thanks for your passion, and dedication, and sometimes righteous indignation.

Live Producer (it’s a real job)