Magic Academy (January 2020) Update Patch Notes

The Magic Academy version will bring numerous new heroes and events based around the Carano Magic Academy story, and deliver an updated battle mechanism and equipment system for mid-lane mages to give players the best possible experience.

Magic Academy (January 2020) Update Patch Notes

Dear Challengers,

Arena of Valor will be taken offline on January 20th, 2020 for maintenance, during which the game will be updated to the new “Magic Academy” patch.

In “The Reversal” we focused on optimizing elements of the core gaming experience, including game performance and match controls. There is still much that we can do, however, so as we continue to focus on the core experience, we are also working on improvements to areas such as the match environment and match-finding rules, in order to deliver a fresher, better gaming experience.

Players may also have noticed that we have done a lot of exploration with respect to the lore in the past year. The new “Magic Academy” themed version will bring numerous new heroes and events based around the Carano Magic Academy story, and deliver an updated battle mechanism and equipment system for mid-lane mages to give players the best possible experience as we go back to school.

A. Match Environment Improvements

We believe that players should be rewarded for continuing to work hard even when the tides turn against them. As such, we are providing more direct compensation for players who keep fighting even when their teammates go AFK or fail to perform: stars instead of Brave Points. In addition, we are also clamping down on position-hogging and verbal abuse, with the aim of making the competition environment more positive for everyone. Finally, the system for determining AFK has been improved, with more reasonable determination and penalties.

No star penalty for active play after teammate goes AFK

Behind the changes:

Having somebody on a team go AFK significantly upsets balance, making things very frustrating for their teammates. We have previously tried to offset this with Brave Points, but we found that it was not sufficiently direct, and did not distinguish between players who simply give up on the match, and those who continue to push forward. Players who continue to play hard even when outnumbered now receive a more significant reward.

Details:

Players who continue to play actively after a teammate goes offline will no longer lose stars after a defeat.

Note: Applies only when a player is offline for an extended period, not if they reconnect after a short time.

Additional stars for victories with AFK teammates

Behind the changes:

Meanwhile, players should also be rewarded for winning when outnumbered.

Details:

Players will receive an additional star for winning with less players (only applies when there is major AFK issue).

No star penalty if MVP performs well in defeat

Behind the changes:

In order to compensate players who do their best to carry their team but come up short, the MVP of the losing side can avoid losing a star if they perform well. Nevertheless, AOV is a team game and we do not want to have players merely focus on the MVP when the battle is not going well. There are therefore several conditions that the players has to meet, including score, team participation and other statistics. We will also continue to pay close attention to this and ensure that it does what we want it to do.

Details:

Losing MVP get star compensation for good performance.

Increased penalty for verbal abuse

Details:

We are stepping up the detection mechanism and player reports of verbal abuse, and we are hoping that players can remain civil regardless of the situation.

Post-match report for negative behavior now includes “Position Hogging”

Behind the changes:

Some players are not choosing their heroes according to their assigned lanes in pre-selection mode, a behavior that has significant impact on the game experience for many players. We are looking to introduce Credibility penalty for such players from reports to improve the match environment.

Adjusted AFK detection and penalties

Behind the changes:

There are some aspects of the AFK detection and penalty system that are not fully working as intended. For example, players who disconnected before the end of a match were likely to be considered serious offenders regardless of whether they reconnected and the length of time that they were offline, and players lost all Brave Points regardless of the severity of their offense. We want the penalty to match the offense, and encourage players to reconnect to a game that they disconnected from.

Details:

Improved AFK detection for disconnecting before the end of a match.

Reduced Brave Points penalty for reconnecting after a disconnection and active play

B. Improved Match-Finding

Match-Finding has always been an area that we pay a lot of attention to, in order to make the matchups as fair as possible. We have made some improvements to this area in the new version and will continue to focus on it.

Tweaks to Ranked Match solo and party queue match-finding rules

Behind the changes:

We have noticed that when solo players and parties are matched together, the strength of a party has a bigger impact on the outcome than solo players. A strong party is more likely to carry the team to victory, while a weak party is more likely to compromise the team’s performance. We do not believe this is fair to the solo players in such matchups, so we are trying to ensure that solo players match up with other solo players as much as possible, though we will also allow parties to be matched up with solo players if matchmaking takes too long.

As this may result in a small increase in matchmaking time, we will continue to monitor the results closely and adjust as necessary.

Before:

Solo and parties (2 and 3) were matched with a priority on reducing match-finding time.

Details:

Solo players are much more likely to appear in solo-only Ranked Matches, meaning all 10 players are solo.

Solo players will be matched with other solo players if possible.

Parties of 2 are matched with parties of 3 if possible. Search is expanded to solo players are 30 seconds.

Parties of 3 are matched with parties of 2 if possible. Search is expanded to solo players are 30 seconds.

Ranked Match matchmaking takes into account players’ recent hero and lane preference

Behind the changes:

Position conflict is an issue that we receive regular feedback on, and having two marksman or mages on the same team can make things very difficult. The game now takes account players’ recent hero and lane preferences, to avoid putting players who prefer the same lane in recent matches on the same team.

This aspect of match-finding is still a work in progress, and we will continue to make adjustments based on player feedback.

Details:

Player lane preferences in recent ranked matches (middle, jungling, Slayer, Dragon, Support) will be logged beginning with this update, and they will be tagged if they reach a certain frequency with a lane.

Players with the same lane tag will not be placed in the same team in match-finding.

In parties of 2 and 3, only the player with the highest percentage in a particular lane is affected, meaning each team can only have one tag.

Parties of 5 are not affected.

This affects players of all tiers in ranked, but is disabled when pre-selection is enabled; only the pre-selection assignment rule will apply.

Tier calculation adjustment for party match-finding in Ranked Match

Behind the changes:

In the current Ranked Match system, players are matched based on the tiers of the players on both sides. What we have found is that many players use sub-accounts to find matchups of a lower tier, resulting in those players being matched against opponents below their skill level. This allows them to quickly increase their points while compromising the integrity of the match-finding system.

Details:

Therefore, low-tier players will now have lower weight in parties of 2 and 3 for the purpose of match-finding. The final adjusted tier of the party will be closer to the player with the highest tier in the party.

Eliminated matchups with uneven compositions in Ranked Match

Behind the changes:

The game had allowed matches to start with uneven teams to reduce match-finding time when there are fewer players on time, such as 3+1+1 vs 3+2 or 2+2+1 vs 3+2. What we have found is that such matchups put one side at a disadvantage, and players would rather wait longer to find a matchup than to be placed at such a disadvantage and risk losing their stars.

Details:

Eliminated all matchups with uneven compositions in Ranked Match.

Improved 5v5 match-finding algorithm to reduce actual tier discrepancy

Explanation:

Previously, match-finding for 5v5 was based on the ELO algorithm found in many competitive games, which did not put a high weight on tier. The idea was that this would deliver more even matchups; for example, a highly skilled Bronze player could dominate 5v5 Bronze matchups if they never played ranked, and thus never left the Bronze tier, compromising the match experience for many 5v5 players. The ELO algorithm compensates for this and allows the Bronze player to be matched with players similar in skill, all the way up to Legendary.

But if the lower-tier player lost the match, they might perceive it as a fault in the match-finding system. Since 5v5 allows for players of any tier to form a party, it places more demand on the match-finding system to compensate for the unpredictability of pairing players of disparate skill levels.

Our analysis of 5v5 match data indicates that less than 3% of all matchups actually feature players 2 major tiers or further apart. Starting with this version, we will begin tweaking the match-finding algorithm of 5v5 matches, increasing the weight placed on tier, and limiting the maximum tier disparity between the two sides in 5v5 to 2 major tiers, and increasing the percentage of matchups where the maximum tier disparity between the two sides is one major tier or less to 90%. We expect to complete these changes by the next version.

C. Ranked Rules Improvements

We have taken note of certain issues with the Ranked Match experience rules, which we are attempting to address with the aforementioned changes. We are also aware that there are still things that we can improve upon with the rules design, and in this version we are focusing on Brave Point protection, with other changes to come in subsequent versions.

Brave Points deduction tweaks

Behind the changes:

Previously, Brave Points protection only triggered when a player would have lost a tier, and they lost all their current Brave Points when protection triggered, which could be disappointing for a player who was about to gain a star.

Details:

Brave Points now protect star rather than tier.

Only a set amount of protection points is deducted.

Protection point threshold for each tier has been increased accordingly to avoid excessively increasing Brave Points protection.

D. Package Optimization

The package optimization we made in the last version received a lot of positive feedback. We have further reduced the package size in the newest version; the installation package requires only 767 MB on iOS and 63 MB on Android.

Resources that have already been dynamically downloaded will not longer have to be re-downloaded in future versions if there are no changes to them, allowing updates to be finished faster.

E. Battlefield Changes

Behind the changes:

As a new season dawns, we continue to review the current meta for the various lanes and classes. We consider the middle lane to be foundation of a team due to the unique terrain features, but recent updates have reduced the number of viable choices at middle lane, and with it the importance of the lane to a match and the team. We have made various improvements to the middle lane and mages in this version, with the aim of rebalancing the lanes.

Details:

Explanation:

In some matches, Support classes may wish to avoid compromising teammate growth in the early game, but are forced to remain on the lane or accidentally vulture their teammates’ resources while roaming, which can sometimes lead to conflict between teammates. We have made changes to Support equipment distribution in the early game, allowing Support classes to act based on the situation without having to take into account teammate complaints. While this change slows Support growth slightly in the early game, we have also reduced the price of Support equipment, and these changes will expire at the 8-minute mark to avoid compromising the Support experience.

The changes result in a significant increase to Water Stone drop and marksman growth on the Dragon lane, so we have tweaked the effect of Water Stone and extra gold for upgrading minions, so that it does not become a no-brainer for this version.

We are also making Support equipment attributes consistent, encouraging players choose skills based on their team’s needs rather than pure stats.

Support equipment changes

When Support classes share a lane with another hero, other heroes will receive full lane EXP and Gold, while Support gets a separate pool of rewards. This is only valid for the first 8 minutes of the game.

T2/3 Support equipment price reduced to 800/1750 Gold

T2 Support equipment now have the same base stats: 5% Speed, 200 Armor, 20 MP recovery/5sec.

T3 Support equipment now have the same base stats: 5% Speed, 250 Armor, 30 MP recovery/5sec, 500 HP, 10% cooldown reduction.

Water support equipment aura removed, now consistent with Wind support equipment “Distinction” effect.

Water support equipment contribution, EXP and Gold gain changed to giving both Support and teammate 25 Gold and 30 EXP.

Lane upgraded minions no longer provide extra Gold.

Mage equipment changes

Ancient Scriptures

Recipe: Mana Regen Pendant

New: +20 MP recovery/5 sec

Boomstick

New: +30 MP recovery/5 sec

Berith’s Agony

New recipe: Ancient Scriptures + Silver Bracelet + Light Armor

New: +30 MP recovery/5 sec

Apocalypse

New recipe: Ancient Scriptures + Spell Tome + Trick Blade

New: +30 MP recovery/5 sec

Vlad’s Impaler

New recipe: Spell Tome + Spell Tome

Virtue’s Necklace

10% cooldown reduction -> 15% cooldown reduction

30 MP recovery/5 sec -> 25 MP recovery/5 sec

Unique Passive: Magic Pierce +75

Unique Passive – Restores 1% Mana every second

Explanation: Orb of the Magi and Phoenix Tear had been no-brainers for a mage’s first equipment. We added MP regen to 3 equipment, to reduce instances of mages slowing down the pace because of insufficient MP. We are also changing Virtue’s Necklace to increase its MP regen, giving the mage a virtually unlimited MP pool.

Magic Pierce equipment tweaks

Book of Death

Recipe: Enchanted Scroll + Spoopy Mask + Ring of Vitality

240 Ability Power -> 220 Ability Power

New: Unique Passive – Extermination: 75 Magic Pierce

New equipment: Frostguard

Price: 2150

Recipe: Spoopy Mask + Magic Ring + Ring of Vitality

Attributes: 140 Ability Power

500 HP

10% cooldown reduction

Unique Passive – Extermination: 75 Magic Pierce

Unique Passive – Ice Blast: Releases a shockwave after taking more than 10% damage of current HP, dealing (50 + Lv x10 + 0.5AP) Magic Damage to enemies within 3 meters and reducing attack speed and movement speed by 30% for 2 seconds. This effect has a 2 second cooldown.

New equipment: Evil Secrets

Price: 1980

Recipe: Spoopy Mask + Magic Ring + Ring of Vitality

Attributes: 120 Ability Power

500 HP

10% cooldown reduction

Unique Passive – Extermination: 150 Magic Pierce

Explanation:

As far as Magic Pierce equipment is concerned, Lv.3 equipment with fixed Magic Pierce have relatively poor bang-for-buck; Spoopy Mask is typically the only option. In this version, we have added 3 choices for fixed Magic Pierce, with the aim of increasing diversity.

Other tweaks

Arctic Orb

Unique Passive: Impervious – Immune to all effects for 1.5 seconds, but cannot move or use abilities. 90-second cooldown.

(New) Unique Passive: Impervious – Immune to all effects for 2 sec, but cannot move or use abilities. When effect expires, create a (400 + Lv x30 + 0.4 AP) shield for 1 second. 90 second cooldown.

Battlefield

Added “Protection”, a 3-minute buff, to middle lane tower.

“Protection”: Tower gains 40% damage reduction.

Tower healing pack initial refresh time: 60 sec -> 30 sec/

Middle tower healing pack effect: 105 HP, 35 MP/sec for 3 sec -> 6 sec.

All healing packs refresh interval: 75 sec -> 60 sec.

Dragon Lane Gold minions replaced with original melee minions.

Restored “Skill and tower healing pack effects are not interrupted by minion and monster damage”.

Explanation:

In addition to improving mage damage, we found that towers had been more vulnerable to attacks after middle mages began roaming, due to a previous reduction in lane intervals. As the most strategically important outer towers, this was a high price to pay for the middle hero roaming. By increasing the strength of towers and their healing packs, we hope to make roaming viable for middle heroes.

F. Control Improvements

Camera moving with indicator:

Behind the changes:

In previous versions, ranged skills were not suitable for aiming downwards. We have added a control setting where certain ranged skills with range extending beyond the bottom of the screen now enable the camera to be moved while you drag to aim.

Please note that this may represent a significant change from what you are used to, so be careful about using it.

Arena of Valor camera moving with indicator

Arena of Valor camera moving with indicator

G. Balance Tweaks

Marja

Marja has not been in the spotlight for a while. Her passive Life Steal is a key part of her damage output; when your side is at an advantage, she deals more damage, absorbs more health, and is difficult to take down. When your side is at a disadvantage, however, her Life Steal is usually not enough to save her from being ganged-up on.

In this update, Marja’s Life Steal is no longer associated with her damage output. Nor are the healing effects provided by abilities 2 and 3, while her passive now grants a speed bonus and cooldown reduction, giving her greater mobility when her HP is low. Her Ultimate’s second attack is now more effective, making the choice of when to use it more meaningful – do you retreat to a safe distance, or push all the chips in and charge into the fray?

Passive: Gain 1% physical/magic Life Steal for every 2% HP lost ->

Gain 2% speed and 1% cooldown reduction for every 5% HP lost,

Removed 20% Slow from normal attacks and ability 2

Ability 1: Fires a shockwave forward, dealing 400(+80/lv)(+0.65 AP) Magic Damage and inflicting 40% Slow for 4 sec. If this hits a hero, Marja’s attack is increased by 5%(+1%/lv) for 4 sec. (New)

Cooldown: 7/6.7/6.4/6.1/5.8/5.5

Ability 2: Marja summons worms to attack the enemy, dealing 300(+60/lv)(+0.5AP) Magic Damage, and heals 150(+50/lv)(+0.3AP) HP if this hits an enemy hero, or 1/3 that value if this hits a non-hero. (New)

Range increased by 0.5m

Cooldown: 4

Ultimate: Marja becomes ethereal, increasing movement speed by 20% and becoming immune to damage for 2 sec. In ethereal form, Marja heals 15%(+5%/lv) of HP already lost. When effect expires, inflicts 50%(+20%/lv) Slow, 1 sec Silence and 750(+375/lv)(+1.2AP) Magic Damage.

Cooldown: 30(-3/lv)

Maloch

Maloch is a little unwieldy on the Slayer lane; to allow him to keep up in the new version, we have made significant changes to his handling and made his Ultimate easier to use, while tuning down the damage his abilities deal to compensate.

Normal attack range increased to 4 sec, shorter immobile time after ability use, smoother ability use

Base attack speed growth per level 1% -> 2%;

S1 damage: Damage: 400(+120)(+1.8AD)

Ultimate damage: Reduced cast time, improved handling, reduced damage: 450(+225/lv)(+1.3AD)

Wiro

Wiro’s performance has long been below-par; while some players have been able to use him to some effectiveness, his overall strength and play experience is not where we really want it to be.

On the whole, we aim to make Wiro a more consistent and pleasant experience with this update. His ability 2 no longer causes Daze to self or target after hitting an obstacle, no longer deals damage to towers, and has a shorter recoil. It now has a more clearly defined role: in group battles, covering a retreat or protecting teammates. It also gives increased attack speed when it hits a hero, which combines with the improved normal attack for ability 1 to deal damage. His Ultimate now gives immunity to control during the charging stage, and can begin charging while dashing with ability 2, increasing ability synergy and group battle effectiveness. To balance things out, the Ultimate will slow movement speed slightly while charging. We are hoping that more players will give Wiro a try, and we will continue to pay close attention to him.

Ability 1: Now targeted

Ability 2: No longer deals damage to buildings

No longer causes Daze to self

Attack speed increased by 25% upon hitting a hero, stacks up to 2 times

Ultimate: Grants Super Armor while aiming, but reduces speed by 25%

Cooldown: 60(-10/lv)

Riktor

We want Riktor to have more terrain choices in battle. His land form now gives greater bonuses for straight-up brawling: attack speed, damage reduction, in-combat healing. Meanwhile, his ability 2 can disrupt formations while in water form, giving Riktor more versatility in switching lanes and offering support. The aim is to bring Riktor back into the spotlight.

Passive:

Land: Increases attack speed by 15%(+3%/lv)

Brush: Heals 1% of HP lost per sec

Ability 1:

Land: Grants 15%(+1%/lv) damage reduction on hitting a hero (New)

Brush: Damage % reduced to 6%

Ability 2:

Land: Damage reduced to 200(+40/lv)(+1.0AD), Daze-counter effect with block replaced with healing 10% of HP lost for every hero hit, stacking up to 3 times. (New)

Brush: 250(+50/lv)(+1.5AD)

Riverbed: Damage now 200(+40/lv)(+1.0AD), 0.2 sec Knockback + 0.3 sec, for a total of 0.5 sec control. (New)

Astrid

Fixed an issue with ability 1 lunge distance being longer than expected, ability 1 MP cost: 40(+4/lv)->30(+4/lv), ability 2 MP cost: 50(+5/lv)->40(+4/lv)

Enchantment

Number of uses for Endless Cycle: 3 -> 2.

Explanation: The Enchantment “Endless Cycle” is becoming rather ubiquitous; virtually any class can make use of its resurrection effect in a variety of ways. 3 chances per round seems to be a very low-risk, high-reward choice, and it is a virtual no-brainer to use on death. By reducing the number of uses, we aim to make it more of a choice as to whether to use it immediately upon death.

Capheny

Basic movement speed: 350 -> 360

Firing Range: 6.75 meters -> 7 meters

Aquamarine Locked Range: 8 meters -> 8.25 meters

Armorbreaker

Armor Pierce: 10 (+3/Lv) -> 15 (+2/lv)

Murad

Another Dimension

Target armor reduction: 100-475 -> 50 (+40/lv)

Temporal Turbulence

Damage: 140-250 (+0.68AD) -> 135 (+45/lv) (+0.6AD)

Valhein

Pocket Glaive

Yellow Glaive Stun Duration: 0.5 seconds -> 0.25 seconds. Reduced chance of Yellow Glaive.

Movement Speed buff stack limit: 5 -> 6

Curse of Death

Yellow Glaive Stun Duration: 1 second -> 0.75 seconds

Bullet Storm

The movement speed buff provided by Pocket Glaive and Bullet Storm are now the same: each stack increases movement speed by 5%, stacks up to 6 times.

Astrid

Spin Slash

Armor Reduction: 30% -> 15%

Fearless Charge

Cooldown: 16-12 seconds -> (18 – 1/lv) seconds

Errol

Blood Drinker

Each stack reduces 3% armor and magic defense -> Each stack reduces 3% armor

Demon Claw

Cooldown: 60 (-5/lv) ->50 (-5/lv)

Wisp

Attack Speed Increase with level: 2% -> 3%

Base Movement Speed: 350->360

Loose Cannon

Base Damage: 75 (+25/lv) (+0.9AD) -> 60 (+28/lv) (+1.0AD)

Brunhilda

Ballistics

Duration: 2 seconds -> 3 seconds

Entrench

Cooldown: 32 (-4/lv) seconds -> 32 (-8/lv) seconds

Kriknak

Terrifying Plague

Damage: 350/400/450/500/550/600 (+1.5 bonus AD) -> 300/350/400/450/500/550 (+1.4 bonus AD)

Drone Drop

Damage: 660/880/1100 (+2.6 bonus AD) -> 600/800/1000 (+2.3 bonus AD)

Wukong

Normal attack speed: 1 second -> 0.8 seconds

H. Hero and Skin Rest

Hero visual updates:

Taara and Wukong models and animations reset, skins with no special animations have their animations remade with the hero.

Taara’s Tribal Chief skin model effect remade with hero, Wukong’s Agent skin model effect remade with hero, Wukong’s Embers skin effect reset, Zanis’ Casanova model remade.

Bug Fixes and Other Improvements

Improved account carry-over: Once the hero selection phase has started, you may continue playing the same session by logging in with a different device onto the same server (previously, you will be removed from the session or match and lose Credibility Score).

Liliana: Improved handling.

Ilumia: Improved handling.

Veera: Fixed an issue where her ability 1’s indicator radius did not match projectile effective range.

AIri: Fixed an issue where her ability 1’s indicator radius did not match projectile effective range.

Ignis: Fixed an issue with ability 1 indicator radius not matching projectile effective range, improved handling.

Lauriel: Fixed an issue where her ability 1’s indicator radius did not match projectile effective range.

Natalya: Fixed an issue with ability 1 projectile visuals not matching flight distance.

Krixi: Ultimate now has a time counter bar.

Fixed an issue where Zanis’ ability 1 normal attack buff duration indicator did not match actual effect time.

Fixed an issue where Nakroth’s ability 1 sometimes could not be quick-casted.

Violet: Enhanced normal attack now has a time counter bar and area indicator.

Natalya: Arcane Nova from ability 1 now has an area indicator visible to the enemy.

Diaochan: Fixed an issue where ability 2 visuals did not match actual effect area.

Quillen: Invisibility effect after Ultimate now has an indicator circle visible to the enemy.

Veres: Fixed an issue where her ability 2’s indicator radius did not match projectile effective range.

Raz: Fixed an issue where his ability 2’s indicator radius did not match projectile effective range.

D’Arcy: Ability 1 now has a time counter bar and area indicator for enhanced normal attack, fixed an issue with ability 1 visual effect not matching effective area.

Jinnar: Ultimate now has a time counter bar.

Kahlii: Fixed an issue with normal attack area indicator not matching projectile flight distance, fixed an issue with ability 1 visual effects not matching effective range, Ultimate indicator area now matches projectile flight distance.

Mganga: Improved ability 1 warning circle display for enemies.

Yorn: Fixed a bug where overhead effect duration display did not match actual time.

Tel’Annas: Fixed a bug where her ability 2 can still do damage after the projectile has disappeared.

Veres: Fixed a bug where her ability 2 did not correctly reflect her starting location when the ability is used.

Fixed a bug where Preyta’s enhanced normal attack and life steal were higher than expected.

Source: Arena of Valor Official site.

2 Comments

  1. Bld January 20, 2020
  2. jerin January 23, 2020

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