This update to Fantasy Strike is available on Steam right now.
We have a big update this month! Here are a few highlights:
- There are now story sequences (intros and endings) for all characters in arcade mode.
- There's a new spectator mode that works in a magically simple way.
- You now have options to manage who you face in quickmatch.
- There's a new username system of FantasyTags.
- A new stage.
- Balance changes, including a revamped Bubble Shield for Argagarg.
We'd also like to announce an online Fantasy Strike tournament on July 7th, 2018. There's more information and instructions how to sign up, here.
In arcade mode, all 10 characters now have illustrated, voiced intros and endings. We went the extra mile on these and created sound effects, music, motion graphics, and visual effects to make them come to life even more.
Here’s a couple samples of how they look!
You can now watch games other players are playing. As a reminder, if you want to PLAY AGAINST another player, simply go to your friends list (tab key is the shortcut on keyboard) and click the crossed swords button next to any friend to challenge them, like this:
The new feature is that if they are already playing (so they aren't challengable) then the crossed swords icon becomes an eyeball icon. Click that and you'll begin watching, like this:
When you're watching a friend, you'll automatically follow them across many games. They might be playing a friend match against one of their friends, then switch to a friend match against another friend, then they might get in the quickmatch queue to play random opponents. After you click the eyeball icon to watch them, you don't need to take any further action to automatically watch ALL those games. You'll continue watching their games until you leave spectator mode, or until your friend kicks you from the mode or logs off.
Note that if you happen to try to start spectating in the middle of a round, you'll have to wait a few seconds until the start of the next round (not the next "game", we just mean a "round"). This is a very short wait because rounds are fast in Fantasy Strike.
Another detail of the spectator system is that you can also invite your friends to watch you. For example, you might challenge a friend, then while you're on the character select screen before the gameplay starts, you might send an invite-to-watch to another friend. They accept, then you pick your character and start playing. To invite a friend to watch, just click on their name in your friends list and choose that option from the dropdown menu.
ONLINE OPPONENT MANAGEMENT
We’ve implemented two features to help you choose which opponents you’ll face in quickmatch online.
Near My Skill
First, you can now choose to only get opponents “near my skill” (new option) or “any opponents” (the only choice, previously). If you choose “any opponents”, then just like before, it will try to give you the best possible match. That means the best combination of connection quality and skill match that is available. It’s possible that the best skill match is vastly more or less skilled than you if not enough opponents are online. If you choose “near my skill” then it’s the same process, except that opponents very high above or below your skill are not even possible matches.
Please bear with us that we had to reset our skill level (and XP level) data last week, so it will take a little bit of time before the “near my skill” results get more accurate. Soon though!
Next, we’ve implemented a new “avoided players” feature. This allows you to avoid getting matched with particular players in quickmatch. In your friends list (press tab to get to it quickly), you can now click on any player to mark them as avoided. This includes your “recent players” list of players who are not set as friends. Your friends list has a new “avoided” tab. From there you can see which players you have set to avoid, and you can stop avoiding them there too.
In preparation for cross-platform play, we no longer use Steam names in-game. Instead, when you first try to play online or access your friends list, you’ll be prompted to enter your new “FantasyTag”. This is a unique identifier across platforms. It means that you can add friends by FantasyTag without even having to know which platform they are on. (Note that the only platform right now is Steam, this is just preparing for the future.)
IMPORTANT: You cannot change your FantasyTag once you choose it. At least, for now. We plan to later add (in a few months) a feature that lets you change it one time for free, and then the option to pay to change it after that. The intent is that you don’t change it, so it’s easier to tell who is who.
Choosing a FantasyTag
--FantasyTags must be between 3 and 16 characters.
--Must start with a letter.
--Accented characters are allowed.
--Numbers are allowed.
--Mixed capitals are allowed, barely (eg: HaMMerPanTs)
--No symbols are allowed except for spaces, hypens, underscores, and apostrophes.
--Any space used must be followed by a letter.
Also, names should not be associated with hate speech, discrimination, or religion. They should not be obscene, impersonate Sirlin Games staff or other players, or be harassing, threatening, or disruptive to the community. So please use common sense and stay positive.
When you try to “add friend” from the in-game friends list (press tab on keyboard for a shortcut to it), you will no longer be shown Steam’s UI. Instead, in our own UI you can type a friends FantasyTag. We then show you search results for various names close to the one you typed. Just click on the one you want to add as a friend.
DeGrey’s Library of Justice stage is now available. He has a couple paintings with red marks on them. Who are they and what’s going on there?
--Knee (forward+A), the last 2f of active frames are now recovery frames.
--Ground super is 2f faster, 0+24f -> 0+22f (0 frames before the super flash, 22 frames after)
--Upgraded all Jaina’s moves to our new hitbox system.
--Adjusted animation smear on back+A kick so that it no longer smears during the recovery.
--Fixed a bug with air C that caused Geiger and Argagarg to get up too quickly when they get knocked down by this move.
--Air C hangs in the air 4f longer before falling, but also recovers 4f faster after it touches the ground. This is to make it a little easier to jump and counter if you know it’s coming. It also allows Rook to act 4f sooner relative the opponent if they get knocked down by air C, compared to last month’s patch. (Well, against Geiger and Argagarg, Rook can act 4f sooner + another 13f or so because of the bug-fix above, which was unrelated to any intentional balance change.)
--Changed the animation for forward+A poke to look cooler and more like his Yomi card. No gameplay change.
--Fixed a hitbox bug that caused DeGrey’s B->A (Daggerfall Thrust) punch to always miss vs a ghost-grabbed opponent.
--Dragon Form’s jump A. The second hit no longer has a huge hitbox extending way below his body. We adjusted these hitboxes when we added animation smears, but somehow a very large crazy hitbox got in the mix. Rolling that back, but this move is still very high priority.
--Human Form’s jump forward A. Upgraded this move to our new hitbox system. Priority is lower than before but still good.
--Switched the commands for neutral A and back+A. Before, the faster anti-air options was on neutral, but now it’s on back+A so that it’s easier to block, then do that move at the last moment.
--Back+A (the fast anti-air) is now active to hit 1f sooner (same total number of frames).
--Neutral A (the long range diagonal anti-air) can now be cancelled to B and C specials on hit or block.
--Forward+A (long range punch) has 4f faster startup, 16f -> 12f. This is specifically so it can punish a blocked Setsuki B kick at most ranges.
--Bubble Shield (ground super) no longer pops automatically when you block. Now, you pop it manually whenever you want (while you’re on the ground) by pressing S again. You can do this when you are in neutral state (just standing there or walking) or in blockstun. Note that while it’s popping, you can walk forward and the hitting zone of it moves forward with you.
--Bubble Shield no longer shifts between small bubbles and the large bubble surrounding Argagarg. Now it’s always the large bubble. Before, the small bubbles tried to communicate that Bubble Shield did nothing when he wasn’t blocking, but now it’s cleaner to always keep it the big bubble and always allow it to pop when you press S.
--When you activate Bubble Shield then do air C, you can still press C again to get the super pop in the air. Now, you can also press S to do that same super pop. Also, after the air super pop, you can now do another air move before you land. It’s now possible to, for example, hit with air super pop then combo with air A before you land.
--Fixed a small graphical error where Argagarg’s skin would clip through part of his pants on his hips.
--The connection quality indicator during online matches was accidentally hidden last patch, is now back to displaying properly.
--Converted hitboxes for all characters’ idle animations, walks, and blocks (except Grave, which was done previously) to our newer system. While this doesn’t change that much from a player’s perspective, it makes attacks vs these states more precise. The hitboxes generally match the art well and they don’t bounce around during animations. They have straight, stable lines. This fixes various 1% edge cases that were buggy and would randomly causes some hits to miss before. Examples are Geiger’s neutral A punch vs Rook (who is blocking) and DeGrey’s B->A Daggerfall Thrust vs Midori who had the glowing yellow throw state (and who was standing still in idle pose). Both of these missed before due to irregularities in hitboxes, but both now hit as intended. Hit detection might feel a bit more solid now.
--Landing recovery for empty jumps (meaning you didn’t do an air attack) changed from 1f -> 0f, and landing recovery for all moves that used to have 1f -> 2f. This is experimental. It means that jumping and not doing any move has some slight advantage, as it usually does in fighting games.
--Fixed (we think?) an occasional crash that could occur during online play, that showed a “GGPO assertion” error. It was when a player received UDP packets out of order, we were not handling the older packets correctly.
--When you get a draw game, the rematch screen now says “DRAW GAME!” instead of “D G !”
--Hitsparks now appear in more accurate locations. Though it sounds like a small thing, it really helps the hits look better. Before, there were too many cases where the spark would appear strangely far away from the point of impact.