Pearl Abyss announced they have made major changes to the gameplay of Shadow Arena, greatly affecting the game moving forward. The game has officially ditched the battle royale mode and has shifted over toward a 3-v-3 mode moving forward. According to the devs, the change comes "after an extensive review of player feedback during early access, which has given the developers the opportunity to give its players exactly what they're asking for: more strategic and cooperative gameplay". Essentially, battle royale wasn't working, but people loved 3-v-3. We have more details here on the changes to the game, and you can read the entire list of patch notes here.
Pearl Abyss has outlined distinct Hero roles on the team: each hero in Shadow Arena now falls into three distinct categories, with more specific team roles that facilitate teamwork, strategy and a co-operative focus.
- Brawler: Has high life/defense skills and uses strong crowd control and rush skills to lead battles, but is limited in attack range. Brawler Heroes include: Schultz, Goyen, Jordine Ducas
- Dealer: A fast and mobile class with high damage skills but has low HP and defense stats. Dealer Heroes include: Yeonhwa, Haru, Orowen, Ahon
- Support: Focused on buffs and healing party members, but is not a strong 1v1 combatant. Support Hero includes: Herawen
In addition to the new game mode and team roles, the Shadow Arena development team also added several new features to re-balance and streamline gameplay to go along with its more strategic and cooperative gameplay. New features include:
- New Black Spirit Skills: Matchlock, a firearm, and Hand of Healing, a healing ability, are available as new Black Spirit Skills.
- A new in-game shop, where players trade in tokens dropped by monsters in battle for items to increase team stats like attack points, HP, defense point, moving speed, and attack speed.
- Other balance and gameplay changes include the removal of the Laytenn and Putrum, as they were overpowered and threw off the combat balance.
- A new function added to the post-match results screen allows players to see a breakdown of party members and enemies' gear, stats and damage dealt in battle.
- The development team also addressed issues where attack and combo special effects obstructed the player's view. These visuals have been toned down, and the team has also widened the viewing angle at a macro level to increase player visibility.