Steem Monsters Gameplay Mechanics Revealed!
Here it is...the post that everyone has been waiting for. We are finally releasing the initially planned gameplay mechanics for Steem Monsters! The stats for all of the individual cards will be released shortly as well on the revamped website, and then the Monster team building and strategizing can officially begin!
Please note that everything posted here is potentially subject to change. We have tried to think through everything as much as possible before publishing it (which is why it has taken so long!) but the top priority is creating a fun and balanced game. If anything here turns out not to work towards that objective, we will not hesitate to change it. We're in alpha! We expect some of this to happen.
So, without further ado, we are extremely excited to present the Official Steem Monsters Gameplay Mechanics!
Each card in the game originates from a certain part of the Splinterlands, known as "Splinters". The emblem in the center of each card denotes which Splinter it is a part of, as well as the overall color and design of the card itself. The currently known Splinters that together comprise the Splinterlands are as follows (symbol, element/color - name of the people - name of the land):
Fire/Red - Ferexians- The Burning Lands
Water/Blue - Azmarians - AZMARE Islands
Earth/Green - Lyverians - ANUMUN
Death/Black - Dark Eternals - MorTis
Life/White - Khymians - Khymeria
Dragon/Purple - Gloridax - Draykh-Nahka
A "Team" is a group of cards consisting of one Summoner card and one or more Monster cards. Each Monster on the Team must be different. That means that even if you own multiples of a card, you can only use one of them on each Team. When entering into a 1-on-1 PvP battle, each player will submit their Team of cards that will fight to determine the winner.
Summoners can only summon Monsters that hail from the same Splinter as them, so that means that all of the cards on a Team must be a part of the same Splinter, with the exception of Dragon/Purple summoners (more on that in a minute). For example, if you choose Malric Inferno as the Summoner for your team, then he can only summon Monsters from the Fire/Red Splinter.
Selenia Sky, the only currently known Gloridrax (Dragon) Summoner, can summon Gloridrax Monsters as well as Monsters from any other Splinter currently known. However, Monsters from the other Splinters will not fight on the same Team as Monsters from a different Splinter, except for the Gloridrax. That means that a Team with Selenia Sky as the Summoner may contain a combination of Gloridrax Monsters as well as Monsters from exactly one of the other Splinters.
Battles and Mana
Once you have created a Team, you can then enter it into Battles. Battles will be 1-on-1 fights between two opposing Teams. Battles may be PvP or PvE, and they may be either individual, one-off Battles or part of a larger group of Battles such as a Tournament.
All of the cards in the game (Summoners and Monsters) will have a cost in Mana, denoted by the number in the blue circle at the top left corner of the card. Every Battle will have a Mana cap, which provides an upper limit on the total Mana cost of each Team that is participating in that Battle.
For example, if your Team consists of a (3) Mana cost Summoner, two (5) Mana cost Monsters, and a (7) Mana cost Monster, then the total Mana cost would be (20). That Team is then eligible to enter any Battle with a Mana cap of (20) or higher.
All Monster cards will have the following stats, each having a value of 0 or higher, that determine's that Monster's "strength" in different areas of combat:
The Melee Attack stat denotes how much damage the Monster will do when it hits an opponent. Melee attacks can only be performed from the first position and reduces an opponent's Armor before their Health.
The Ranged Attack stat denotes how much damage the Monster will do when it hits its opponent. Ranged attacks can be performed from any position except the first position (unless the Monster has certain abilities which allow this) and reduces an opponent's Armor before their Health.
The Magic Attack stat denotes how much Magic damage the Monster will do to an opponent. Magic attacks can be performed from any position. Magic attacks cannot "miss" like Melee or Ranged attacks can, and ignore an opponent's Armor, directly reducing their Health.
The Speed stat determines both the order in which each Monster will take its turn during each round of the Battle, as well as the chance that the Monster will hit its opponent when attacking or evade an attack when defending.
The Health stat denotes how much damage a Monster can take before it is killed.
The Armor stat denotes how much Melee or Ranged Attack damage the Monster can absorb before its Health starts to get reduced. If a Monster has at least (1) Armor, it will absorb an entire Melee or Ranged attack from an opponent, even if the damage from that attack exceeds the Armor value.
- A Monster with (3) Melee Attack hits a defending Monster with (4) Armor and (5) Health - The result of the attack would decrease the defender's Armor to (1) and the Health would remain at (5).
- A Monster with (3) Melee Attack hits a defending Monster with (1) Armor and (5) Health - The result of the attack would decrease the defender's Armor to (0) and the Health would remain at (5) because the Armor absorbs the entire attack.
- A Monster with (2) Magic Attack hits a defending Monster with (4) Armor and (5) Health - The result of the Magic attack would decrease the defender's Health to (3) and the Armor would remain at (4) because Magic attacks do not affect Armor.
Monsters may have one or more of the following abilities, which allow them to do different things, give them additional powers, or modify the typical rules of battle:
Monsters with Flying will have a higher chance of evading Melee and Ranged attacks unless the attacker also has the Flying ability.
When a Monster with Trample kills its target, it performs an additional Melee attack on the next Monster, in order, on the opposing Team.
Monsters with Heal will restore a portion of their Health at the start of each round.
Monsters with Group Heal will restore a portion of all friendly Monsters' Health at the start of each round.
Monsters with Void take reduced damage from Magic attacks.
Monsters with Shield take reduced damage from Melee and Ranged attacks.
Monsters with Dodge have a higher chance of evading Melee and Ranged attacks.
Monsters with Poison have a chance of poisoning their opponent when hitting with a Melee or Ranged attack, which causes the poisoned Monster to take damage at the start each round. Poison damage directly reduces a Monster's health.
Monsters with Stun have a chance of stunning their opponent when hitting with a Melee attack, which causes the stunned Monster to skip its next action.
Monsters with Slow cause the Speed stat of all enemy Monsters to be reduced.
Ranged or Magic attacks do "splash" damage to adjacent enemy Monsters.
Monsters with Inspire provide a Melee Attack boost to all friendy Monsters.
Monsters with Protect provide an Armor boost to all friendly Monsters and makes them immune to Fear.
Monsters with the Fear ability have a chance to cause their target to move to the last position on the enemy's Team. This ability can only be triggered once per Battle.
Monsters with Retaliate, when hit with a Melee attack, have a chance of performing a Melee attack against the enemy Monster that attacked them.
Monsters with Enrage will receive a Melee attack boost when they are below full Health.
Monsters with Sneak will attack the last Monster on the opposing Team instead of the first, and may Melee attack even when not in the first position.
Monsters with Snipe will attack the first Monster on the opposing Team that has Ranged or Magic attack. Only Monsters with Ranged or Magic attack can have the Snipe ability.
When hit with a Magic attack, Monsters with the Magic Reflect ability will reflect a portion of the Magic damage back to the attacker.
When hit with a Melee attack, Monsters with the Thorns ability will do guaranteed Melee damage back to the attacker.
Melee or Ranged attack damage beyond the amount of Armor of the defending Monster will reduce hit the defending Monster's health, as opposed to normally where Armor will absorb the entire attack.
Monsters with the Weaken ability will reduce all enemy Monsters' Melee attack and Health.
Monsters with the Resurrect ability will bring the first friendly Monster that dies back to life with (1) health. This ability may only be triggered once per Battle and a Monster cannot resurrect itself.
Summoners do not take part in the fighting directly and as such they do not have any of the stats or abilities that Monsters have. Instead they each indirectly influence the fighting in their own unique way.
Some Summoners may give all Monsters on their Team a stat buff, while others may give a debuff to the opposing Team. In the future they may also influence the Battle in all sorts of other ways that we probably haven't even thought of yet. Check the details on each Summoner card to learn what they do!
All of the cards in the game (Monsters and Summoners) can gain experience points (XP) through combining duplicate cards or participating in Battles. Once a card has gained enough XP it will "level up".
When a Monster "levels up", its stats may increase and it may also gain new abilities. Cards cannot level up while in the middle of a Battle or Tournament. All XP gained from a Battle will be awarded once the Battle or Tournament is over.
Unlike Monsters, Summoners do not gain any increased influence over the Battles as they level up. Instead, the value in leveling up Summoners is that they can only summon Monsters at their same level or below.
This means that if you use a level 1 Summoner in a Battle, then all of the Monsters they summon in that battle will be level 1, even if the Monster card itself is at a higher level.
The level limits for Summoners will scale linearly for Monsters of different rarities which have different max levels. For example, a level 4 Rare Summoner (which is half-way to max level) will be able to summon Common Monsters up to level 5, Rare Monsters up to level 4, Epic Monsters up to level 3, and Legendary Monsters up to level 2. Max level Summoners
of any rarity will be able to summon max level Monsters of any rarity.
Most other collectible card games use "decks" of cards for the battles which are shuffled into a random order before the match starts. In Steem Monsters, however, there is no random shuffling and the order in which the Monsters are placed in a Team is very important and a key component of the skill involved in the game. For this reason we have chosen to use the term "Team" instead of "Deck" for the list of cards each player enters into a Battle.
The position of each Monster on the Team will determine what it can do and which enemy Monsters will target it. Only the first Monster on each Team will be able to perform a Melee attack, and it will target the Monster in the first position on the opposing team, unless otherwise specified.
Monsters with Ranged attack may attack from any position except the first position (unless their target is not the first Monster on the opposing Team due to having the Snipe or Sneak ability), and Monsters with Magic attack may attack from all positions. Ranged and Magic attacks will also target the Monster in the first position on the opposing team, unless otherwise specified.
When the first Monster on a team is killed, then the next Monster in order on that Team will move up to take its place. Thus, it will be generally advisable to place Monsters that are "tanks" (i.e. have high health, armor, or abilities that help them survive many attacks) in the first positions of a Team, and Monsters that are "support", in the back positions.
Keep in mind, though, that some Abilities (as described above) can affect the order of Monsters on the opposing team, or allow certain Monsters to attack Monsters that are not in the first position. So the best Team ordering may not be as simple as "tanks" in the front and "supports" in the back!
The order in which Monsters attack within a battle is primarily determined by the Speed stat. The Monster with the highest Speed stat value on either Team will attack first and so on down to the Monster with the lowest Speed stat value on either Team.
If one or more Monsters are tied for Speed, then Magic Attacks will go first, followed by Ranged Attacks, and lastly Melee Attacks. If there is still a tie, then the order will be randomly decided.
I've saved the best part for last! Here's a video of what the actual battles will look like in the game. Obviously this is a very early preview, so much of the art is placeholder or missing entirely. Also all of this is subject to change as we work to build the best gameplay experience we can given our time and resource constraints.
Nevertheless, here's what we have so far!
Stay Tuned for More!
We tried to explain everything as clearly as possible, but we know that was a lot to take in so feel free to post your questions in the comments below. We will try to answer all the questions as soon as we can, but please be patient with us! Also we want to remind everyone that these are just preliminary gameplay mechanics, and everything in this post is subject to change as we go through play testing and potentially beyond.
The next 30 - 60 days are going to be really exciting times for Steem Monsters and everyone involved. As we mentioned at the start of the post, we are planning to release our revamped website design which will include the initially planned stats for all of the cards in the very near future. We are on track to have a first version of the 1 on 1 PVP battles live by the end of September, and tournaments will be launched soon thereafter.
As always, we want to sincerely thank the amazing Steem Monsters team, and everyone who has supported us by upvoting our posts, voting for our witnesses, or buying Steem Monsters card packs! We are extremely lucky to have the privilege of working within such a wonderful and supportive community of people here on the Steem platform!