The Year of the Player 2019

Greetings, Dragon Lords!

Here at Pocket Gems, 2019 has been all about the player - we’ve collectively focused our efforts on game improvements, bug bashing, and new features to delight and surprise. At the end of 2018, we highlighted our upcoming development roadmap centered around the “Year of the Player”.

As more improvements make their way to War Dragons, we want each and every player to be in the know about these new changes. This living thread is designed to provide a chronological snapshot of all improvements that release in 2019. It’ll be updated anytime we provide a new Year of the Player Update, and can be referenced in-game, on the blog, and among the War Dragons social channels.

We want to continue delivering quality of life improvements throughout the rest of the year. You can expect new Year of the Player Updates to arrive across War Dragons more regularly and consistently, starting with this week. To set the proper expectations, this means delivering new quality of life features closer to a monthly cadence and not weekly.

☆ The Year So Far (Last Updated 8/27/19)

Year of the Player Updates

☆ Update #1 - 5/15/2019

☆ Update #2 - 6/26/2019

☆ Update #3 - 7/30/2019

☆ Update #4 - 8/27/2019


The Year So Far (Last Updated 8/27/19)

2019 has been a busy year, and we’re not even halfway done! Let’s take a walk through the many Quality of Life improvements that have already made their way to War Dragons this year:

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed the infamous Cloak bug where the Cloak spell was not functioning properly in-game.
  • Fixed the ‘Ghost Notification’ in Event Prizes where the “1” prize indicator would appear even when all obtainable prizes had been claimed.
  • Fixed an issue where players’ Dragons would become unresponsive for a few seconds after using a spell.
  • Fixed an issue where players were noticing their defense power fluctuating despite no changes on their end.
  • Fixed issues with disappearing chest drops, unreliable breeding token bonuses, and disappearing value packs
  • [Atlas] Fixed an issue where incoming Primarchs would prevent attacks against Castle Guards and teams from being able to conquer castles.
  • In Atlas, an issue was fixed in 5.00 where the camera would pan over the edge of the world’s map.
  • Rune functionality fixes were released alongside the 5.01 update. For these specific Runes, the name will remain the same, and functionality will be updated based on the list in our Release Notes.
  • A fix to the Southern Cross Spell was released in the 5.01 update.
  • Breeding UI scrolling has been fixed as of the 5.01 update.
  • In Atlas, an issue was fixed in 5.02 where riders were stuck on a mission indefinitely after a player switched to a non-Atlas Team.
  • When defending, an issue was fixed where players could not return their defense items once they had been dragged out from the item slot.
  • Another issue was fixed where the Dragon Roster would become unresponsive when panning around the Base View.
  • Finally, a mailing system issue was fixed where crashes would occur when trying to open an in-game mail containing a link or scrolling through mails in the “News” section.
  • Fixed a crash in 5.04 that happens when a player taps on any Announcement or General buttons on the Zendesk Support page from in-game.
  • Fixed a crash that happens when a player selects and cuts text from any text field.
  • Fixed a crash that happens randomly when a player purchases Rubies or performs an in-app purchase from the Treasury.
  • Fixed an issue where the option to Bookmark, Attack Next, or Share Replay was not displaying on the battle result screen.
  • Fixed an issue where a player was unable to search for a team using the Team Meeting Hall’s search functionality.
  • Popups related to summoning or expediting are now localised in every supported language.
  • In Atlas, the team made some improvements around the waypoint system to reduce “Failed to add waypoint” errors.

Quality of Life Improvements

  • Spell Scaling, released in January, was an initiative to smooth out the scaling of power amongst most spells in-game to provide a more balanced gameplay across levels and Tiers.
  • The infamous 300 Wall was broken down thanks to efforts made by PG and the Gameplay Faction to smooth out level progression above level 300.
  • Rider Gear Crafting was made available for all players, regardless of having Atlas access or not.
  • Rider Skills can now be reset for any Riders that have learned skills in their tree.
  • In partnership with XPFarmsLoose, 50 new PvE XP Bases were introduced in-game for players to farm XP from.
  • The default Chat was changed from League Chat to Team Chat to see the latest in team discussions upon logging in.
  • A ‘System Messages toggle’ was introduced to Team Chat, allowing players to turn off system messages, such as RSS transfers, castle shields, etc, in Team Chat.
  • Season Keys were introduced in the Springblossom Season as a streamline way for players to obtain one Seasonal Mythic of their choice.
  • Seasonal Dragon Buffs went into effect in the Springblossom Season, allowing current Seasonal Dragons a buff of increased XP gain and decreased heal time.
  • Due to Rider Gear Crafting becoming available for all players, Crafting Shards have been added into Season Prizing and Bronze Chests.
  • [Atlas] Introduced the Bank Ledger 2.0 for increased control and filter of information.
  • [Atlas] Introduced a new Castle Management Menu for increased control and management of Atlas castles.
  • [Atlas] Trapper Attack Redirect
  • [Atlas] A new Primarch Finder was introduced to filter and narrow down searches of enemy Primarchs.
  • [Atlas] Navigation Improvements were made to Atlas so players could copy and paste Atlas coordinates to other players.
  • Tier Based Discounting extended to Harbinger Tier!
  • Egg Token Missions scaled for Empyrean Tier.
  • The amount of energy needed to complete Wildfire attacks have been reduced from 80 flames to 50!
  • Last week, improvements to Fight Pits debuted that introduced Minimum Payouts and Pit Bonuses to the event. For more information on that, check out the latest blog!
  • Maximum Dragon XP payout from attacks will now scale to level 455 instead of level 387, increasing the XP gain from attacks as player level increases.
  • Wars have been reworked to provide a more fun and exciting way to play against your enemies!
  • Elite functionality has been updated so players are able to build a second building even if their Elite subscription would run out before that building completed.
  • In Atlas, the level at which players automatically receive 100% glory has been adjusted from level 400 to level 500.
  • Runes have also gone through an overhaul! The first part of this update released in 5.01, and the second part has recently released alongside 5.02. The final update provides a focus on Tower Runes, completing the Rune overhaul.
  • In Atlas, the team retooled Invader Bases to give out more XP per run, allowing players to obtain more experience with less flights.
  • Ice & Fire Shard Upgrade Costs: After taking some time to look at the costs of new Tower Levels and evaluating where best they should fall, we reduced the building costs in 5.03. Visit this page for a breakdown of new costs!
  • Tier-Based Discounting and new Research Tasks have been added with last week’s introduction of the Abyssal Tier! More information can be found on the blog.
  • We’ve implemented the ability for players to sort an enemy team’s roster by player level in a War.

The First Update

So what’s on the horizon for War Dragons? As we’ve mentioned before, there’s plenty in the works. Here’s a few immediate improvements that will be available in-game soon, and by soon, we mean today!

Tier-Based Discounting

Tier-Based Discounting is a way for previously released lineage Dragons to be bred at a lower breeding token cost and for previously released tower levels to be built with a lower lumber and timer cost. For example: Prior to Tier-Based Discounting, it would cost 20 breeding tokens for every breed of Platinum Tier Dragons. Now with the discounting in effect, it costs 10 tokens per breed.

Now that the Empyrean Legendary Dragons and level 80 towers are available, we’ve extended Tier-Based Discounting up through Harbinger tier for dragons and level 65 towers . For more information, see the breakdown below:

Tier-Based Discounting Details

The following Tiers will be discounted (note that the discount numbers include the previous release of Tier-Based Discounting):

  • Harbinger Tier --> 10% off token requirements (currently at 0% off)
  • Obsidian Tier --> 20% off token requirements (currently at 10% off)
  • Emerald Tier --> 30% off token requirements (currently at 20% off)
  • Garnet Tier --> 40% off token requirements (currently at 30% off)
  • Sapphire Tier --> 50% off token requirements (currently at 30% off)
  • Platinum Tier --> 50% off token requirements (currently at 30% off)

Clarification: For breeding, the tiers above refer to the parents of a particular Egg Fragment.

The following building levels will be discounted:

  • Tower Levels 56-65 --> 10% off resource & timer costs (currently at 0% off)
  • Tower Levels 51-55 --> 20% off resource & timer costs (currently at 10% off)
  • Tower Levels 46-50 --> 30% off resource & timer costs (currently at 20% off)
  • Tower Level 45 --> 40% off resource & timer costs (currently at 30% off)
  • Tower Level 44 --> 35% off resource & timer costs (currently at 30% off)

Just like in the previous release of Tier-Based Discounting, the amount of food and experience needed for leveling up dragons, the time needed for incubation, and the eggs and time required for research will be reduced in line with the token requirement discounts. In addition, Gold Tier research will be discounted by 50% as well, due to technical reasons.

Empyrean Tier Mission Balloon

Towards the end of 2018, the Lookout Balloon was updated to scale breeding token missions with your current Dragon Tier. Gone are the days of having a set amount of tokens to obtain from these missions across all Tiers and levels; with this update, higher Tiers now reward a higher amount of tokens, and are doubled for those with Elite!

Now, we’re taking this one step further to include the Empyrean Tier in the Lookout Balloon, so those who have Dragons in this Tier can increase their token payout as with previous tiers. Just like before, the cost to upgrade the Lookout Balloon will be one egg of the new Tier.

Please discuss your thoughts and ask questions in the Official Discussion Thread.


The Second Update (6/26/19)

In the present day, what can you expect to see coming to War Dragons? Here’s a list of upcoming features to expect in the near future.

Assault Event & Multi-Event Weeks




An event reforged for battle, Assault returns to War Dragons this week! There are tons of prizes to obtain and bases to crush under your power. Additionally, for the first run of Assault, all attacks will cost only 2 energy! All the details can be found on the Dragons blog.


In addition to Assault, this week marks the introduction of Multi-Event weeks, where more than one event will run simultaneously alongside another. This week, we have Assault and Breeding that will run concurrently from 6/26 - 7/1. Multi-Event Weeks are a way to get even more prizes in a week when minor events take such little time to complete. This way, you’ll be racking up event points for all five days!


Mega Coin Updates

For those deep in the inner workings of Dragons PvP events, many are no stranger to a combat tactic commonly referred to as “Mega Quit”. This happens when a player attacks using a Mega Coin, then quits immediately after the battle has been initiated. The player loses out on 50% of their possible winnings, but saves quite a bit on time, making it a headache for anyone on the other side of the coin.


The team has seriously considered how to best solve this issue around Mega Coin usage. We want players to feel empowered to make destructive attacks with the Coin, yet we feel that a more-than-minimal level of effort should be required to prevent these quits. To make our PvP events feel more competitive, we have modified the way Mega Coin functions to reward players based on the amount of damage they deal to a base as seen below:

Percent of Base Destroyed using Mega Coin Original Percent of Points Received New Percent of Points Received
0% 50% 0% - Mega Coin Refunded
1% - 69% 50% 1% - 69%, based on % Completed
70% - 100% 100% 100%


These changes will be live during one of the next two PvP events, depending on what our internal testing results return. Once the feature is ready to release, we’ll be sure to notify everyone about the incoming changes!


Please discuss your thoughts and ask questions in the Official Discussion Thread.


The Third Update (7/30/19)

Take a look at what’s to come in War Dragons!

Raiding Returns!


Next week brings the revival of a long-requested feature back to Dragons: Raiding! Raiding is a way for players to instantly receive event points in PvP events after fully destroying a base, allowing for major time saves and point accumulation. Here’s how it works:


Unlocking and Using Raiding


To unlock the ability to Raid on a target base, players must destroy their chosen base with 100% destruction, regardless of the amount of flames obtained. Once destroyed, a Raid button will appear next to this same base, and will open up the raiding interface. From here, players can choose to use an Inner Fire with each Raid (with a max of 1 Inner Fire per Raid) by checking off the “Raid with Inner Fire” box, earning double the amount of points for the run!


There will be a short 5 second cooldown period in between raids so that dragons can recover before raiding again. Don’t want to raid? No problem! Any target base that’s eligible for raiding can still be attacked as normal by tapping the Attack button.


Raiding Limits and Reset


Once a base has been fully destroyed and raids are unlocked, the act of raiding does not require Dragons to be flown nor Healing Potions to be used. Players can raid the same target base up to 5 times within the Raid Reset period. Each time a Raid is unlocked on a target base, a 6 hour timer will begin to count down. These 6 hours represent the Raid Reset period, and the countdown begins individually for each target base. At the end of every Reset period, the following will happen:

  • Previously raided bases must be unlocked to Raid once again by destroying the base with 100% destruction in a normal attack.

  • The amount of times a target base can be raided will reset to 5.


Raiding Energy Costs


Energy costs will increase with each Raid, though the energy required to Raid versus attack as normal will be substantially lower overall. For the first introduction of Raiding in this week’s Kingdom Wars event, energy costs will be reduced to celebrate its return! Here’s a breakdown of each Raid on the same target base and its associated energy cost:

Number of Raid on Target Base Energy Cost (Launch Discount!) Energy Cost (Normal)
1 2 4
2 3 4
3 4 5
4 5 5
5 6 6

Raiding and PvP Events

Raiding will first be introduced alongside the Kingdom Wars event. We’ll be sure to announce when Raiding can be used in future runs of Kingdom Wars online through War Dragons’ social channels, Forums, and in-game messages!


Rider/Dragon Menu Toggle


A new menu toggle was introduced in 5.02’s release within the Rider and Dragon menus to allow players to more easily flip between their rosters. After some time with the current roster interface, we’ve heard a lot of feedback that having to back out to the home screen to access the Dragon or Rider roster can expend precious time better used for grinding out Breeder Missions or XP. With this toggle icon, Dragon Lords can seamlessly flip between Dragons and Riders in their roster for ease of access.


In addition to the new toggle, the following changes have been made:

  • Dragon info have been moved from the bottom to the top of the screen.

  • The back button will return a player to their base view.

  • Hitting the toggle icon will take a player back to the screen that was previously opened within either the Dragon or Rider menus respectively. For example, if the Bond tab of the Rider menu was open, returning to the Rider menu after toggling to the Dragon roser will go back to the previously open Bond tab.

Please discuss and ask questions in the Official Discussion Thread.


The Fourth Update (8/27/19)

Take a look at what’s to come in War Dragons!



Team Quests Update

On August 7th, an update to Team Quests redesigned the feature to be more player-friendly and easier to accomplish on a daily basis. Some Team Quests now scale by player level and will change based on the current weekly event, making Quests an overall easier endeavor to complete. For more information about these changes, visit the latest Team Quests blog!



For when things just don’t feel right...try left!


Left-Handed Mode Toggle


Shipping in the 5.04 update later today comes the much-anticipated Left-Handed Mode Toggle! This toggle successfully flips elements of the battle HUD (such as spell icons, Dragon HP, and Invoker Ammo, to name a few) such that a left-handed player can easily cast spells with their right hand while breathing powerful fire with their left.

Left-Handed Mode can be toggled on within the Settings menu by enabling the “Invert Battle HUD” option. Once activated, only the Battle HUD will be affected while all other menus will remain the same.



Flak Tower Upgrade Cost Reduction


As part of our efforts to better align the game economy costs with player earnings in a similar way to what was done with Ice and Fire Shards, we are happy to announce that we will be reducing Elemental Ember costs on Flak Towers next week!


For any players who have already built Flak Towers to any level between 71 and 85 at the current cost, we will be refunding the difference in Elemental Embers between the current cost and the new cost. This change will occur before the upcoming Fall Season is available next week.


The breakdown of new Elemental Ember costs can be seen below:

Tower Level Current Ember Cost New Ember Cost Difference
71 6,300 6,210 -90
73 6,750 6,480 -270
75 7,650 6,750 -900
77 9,500 7,800 -1,700
79 10,500 8,100 -2,400
81 11,500 8,400 -3,100
83 12,500 8,700 -3,800
85 13,500 9,000 -4,500



2019 Development Snapshot


At the beginning of 2019, all types of players from War Dragons came together to express the top requested features, improvements, and fixes that they’d like to see in-game. These posts were organized in the 2019 Development Roadmap threads for General Feedback, Bug Bashing, Quality of Life Improvements, and Player Happiness Initiatives.


The War Dragons team compiled the top requested features from every one of these posts and sourced ticket data provided by our Support Team. We determined the top 5 “Easy Win” and “Big Ticket” initiatives that were then added to the first post of the Quality of Life and Player Happiness threads.


It’s been a little while (since, well, January!) that we’ve provided an update on these initiatives. We’ve made some great progress in bringing a number of these top requests to players this year, and we realize there’s more to go. While we have not guaranteed any of the requests to be worked on or shipped in this calendar year, we still wanted to give all players a peek behind our “development curtain” to learn the current state of these initiatives.


Quality of Life Improvements


Easy Wins

  • Left-Handed mode toggle

    • Status: Shipped 

    • A left-handed toggle will be available in the 5.04 update, releasing today!

  • Font Size customization

    • Status: Product Backlog

    • Font Size customization is not currently a priority in our list of requests since it affects a small number of players overall. It would be difficult to create the perfect solution for all devices and resolutions that War Dragons is available on, which would mean a massive undertaking from our UI team to ensure nothing breaks.

    • The feature will be kept in our development backlog for future consideration.

  • Move RSS transfer notifications to improve chat flow

    • Status: Shipped

    • A toggle was introduced in Version 4.98 to flip between keeping transfer notifications visible or hidden in Team Chat.

  • Offer Yearly Atlas Elite

    • Status: Product Backlog

    • We may consider offering Atlas Elite on a yearly basis in the future, but for now, our plan is to focus on main-game initiatives where yearly Elite is currently offered.

  • Add Slider for expedites and base boosts

    • Status: Product Backlog

    • Adding a slider for expedites is not currently a priority as the “Apply All” button can help mitigate multiple taps to finish a building or incubation.

    • We’d like to provide a slider for Base Boosts in the future, however this is currently lower in priority than other economy-focused initiatives that we are working on.


Big Ticket

  • Improve / Smooth building upgrade times

    • Status: In Progress via Tier-Based Discounting

    • The main issues we’ve seen in regards to smoothing upgrade times seems to be focused on the Storage Hut and its upgrade costs. The smoothing of these upgrade times are lower in priority for the team to focus on compared to larger game economic initiatives.

    • Tower discounts will continue to be rolled out via Tier-Based Discounting!

  • Scale Gold Chests

    • Status: Product Backlog

    • Scaling Gold Chests by player level would introduce a series of issues with the game’s economy that are more detrimental than it would be to help improve player progression. For this reason, the team has chosen to spend their time focusing on other economic updates that can reach a similar resolution for players.

  • Make Level-up Rewards global

    • Status: Product Backlog

    • Level-Up Rewards have been removed from the game so that there is no perceived advantage or favoring of certain players over others.

  • In-game Inventory system

    • Status: Product Backlog

    • Introducing an inventory system in-game is in our development backlog, but won’t be a major focus for the team as we hone in on building features related to the game’s economy.

  • Atlas Ledger improvements

    • Status: Shipped

    • Improvements to the Atlas Ledger were introduced in Version 4.97 to increase visibility of player actions for team leaders.


Player Happiness Initiatives


Easy Wins

  • Fix Elemental Ember Economy

    • Status: In Progress

    • Announced earlier in this post, the Elemental Ember cost to upgrade Flak Towers between levels 71 - 85 has been reduced to better align player accrual rates and spend of these Embers.

  • Add ability to rename Riders

    • Status: Product Backlog

    • Renaming Dragon Riders is not currently a priority in our list of requests since it does not have a major effect on gameplay, and there are other initiatives we are focusing on to tackle those first before returning to lower impact designs.

  • Scale Sigil Prizes and Drops

    • Status: Shipped (Sort Of)

    • We began addressing sigil prizes and drops internally back in March of this year. Work on this also came at a time when tons more content was added to Season branches starting in the Springblossom Season, which gave Seasons structure a welcomed makeover. Since then, we have not prioritized more work on scaling these prizes due to the changed nature of Seasons.

  • More Fun Branches like Headless Horseman

    • Status: In Progress

    • Creating more fun branches in Seasons is something the Events and Seasons team is super interested in providing, pending the bandwidth of our Art Team.

    • On a somewhat related note, the team is also planning to incorporate more Limited-Time Branches in Seasons with exclusive rewards, as well.

    • If and when more fun branches like this are released, we’ll be sure to notify everyone on what to expect!

  • Improve Runic and Silver Chests

    • Status: Shipped (Sort Of)

    • Earlier this year, we launched Super Runic Chests that weren’t met with much interest, so the idea was scrapped.

    • We have no plans to strictly increase the value of these chests as a way to “improve” them overall, but we will continue to add new ways in which players can acquire Runes and Rune Dust, inclusive of Limited Rune Branches in Seasons.


Big Ticket

  • Fix Expedite Economy

    • Status: In Progress

    • Similar to many other economy-based requests, addressing how expedites fit into the economy as a whole is a top priority amongst the team. Ultimately, addressing economic pitfalls and pinch points leads to a more enjoyable gameplay experience, and the team is working towards a graceful solution for improvement in each affected area.

    • For expedites specifically, we’re happy to announce that players will soon have the opportunity to choose between completing Timer or Breeding Token Missions from the Zeppelin Balloon! More information on Timer Missions will be available in an upcoming update.

  • Reduce / Remove A/B testing

    • Status: Shipped / Done

    • The team is consciously avoiding A/B testing for major features that have significant impact on progression. All players will receive these changes at once and will be able to provide their feedback as they release.

  • Continue Tier-based Discounting as we roll out new tiers

    • Status: Continuously Shipping

    • Tier-Based Discounting will continue to release as new Dragon Tiers are introduced in-game, the latest coming last week with the Abyssal Tier Dragons.

    • Tier-Based Discounting is an ongoing release, and more details about the next update will be provided as it arrives in-game.

  • Fix issues with Ryuu (or remove Ryuu if unfixable)

    • Status: Product Backlog

    • Addressing the value of the Shrine Dragon has not been a major priority for the team, as the feature ultimately affects a trivial portion of gameplay.

    • We have experimented with ways to replace Ryuu thanks to our test flight with the first Invoker Dragon, Namaka, so there is absolutely potential to circle back to the Shrine and plan for some proper updates moving forward.

  • Improve Wildfire Attack / rebalance

    • Status: Shipped

    • As of May, Wildfire flame requirements have been reduced from 80 flames to 50 flames, making the feature more attainable more often during PvP events.


Please discuss and ask questions in the Official Discussion Thread.