General Tutorial Mode added - For a long time, we've had concerns about Auro's ability to teach itself to players. It's not a hard game to learn, but it is a real, serious tactics game, and you do actually have to learn some rules in order to play. We came up with the "idea" - if you can call it that - to do a fairly straightforward series of levels, each of which teaches a specific lesson about the game. We recently wrote a blog post about this, which you can read here. For launch, there are 31 of these levels, teaching everything from how spells work, what each monster does, and of course, the mechanics of bumping. We'll probably improve some of them and maybe add more as needed, but we think the game is massively easier to learn now than it was for version 1.0. With that said, we'll be paying attention to your feedback for the new Tutorial mode - let us know what you think. Story Mode Removed - Once the game was adequately teaching itself through the Tutorial Mode, it put the relevance of our Story Mode into question. Story Mode really tried to do three things all at once: teach the game, introduce the setting, and be a fun mode to play. I would say, and most of our testers agree, that it gets a pretty low rating on all of these fronts. It was annoying to play due to the forced early tutorial levels and some unskippable cutscenes. It only taught a random handful of lessons about the game, but at the same time it actually taught some incorrect lessons about the game: that it was about "completion" for instance. Story Mode's gameplay was generally "Auro at its worst", and yet because there's this big "End Credits Sequence", it's reasonable for players to assume that Story Mode is what Auro really is all about, and Play mode is maybe just some side thing, like a "time trials" or something. Ultimately, Story Mode was more of a liability than anything else. By the way, removing the Story Mode also means removing the old "interactive" (i.e. PUT YOUR FINGER HERE NOW) tutorial, which is no longer necessary now that we have a non-horrible tutorial. Intro Movie Added - The *best* thing Story Mode did was introduce the setting, although it needed to be more of a "setup for Play Mode" and less of a self-contained story. Further, it was too long and contained "somewhat crappy gameplay parts" that don't contribute to the goal of introducing the setting. For these reasons, we've also added a quick, two-minute Intro Movie (watch it here on YouTube) that sets the stage for what Play Mode is all about. Let us know what you think of it! Swapped positions of How to Play and Records buttons - it's more important that players see and recognize the "How to Play" button than it is for them to see and recognize the Records button. Now, it says in bright text right on the title screen, How to Play. On top of "Tutorial". Gameplay +1 Cooldown at Level End Master Mode difficulty curves harder at stage 3 and up 10% fewer Power Tiles per level - This and the above two changes are working together to fix a specific problem. In general, we've been having a slight problem with high level players (~Master 3-4) playing really defensively. We have some more dramatic fixes that we're looking at for a future patch, but for now these more conservative changes should at least temper, if not fix, the issue. Bats' ability now start "on cooldown" (both types) Win streaks of 3 or greater now are worth a bonus of 18 points, up from 12 Master Mode can now get win streaks Placement match stage 3 and 4 toned down a tiny bit Placement match rankings tweaked a bit for more accuracy "Our once great people have been decimated! In the original meaning of the term!" "Starting *on* cooldown? I didn't even know that was a thing in this game. Seems bad." "Yeah, well, I'm on cooldown from birth. I spend those first formative turns of my life completely unable to even conceive of a world where my ability wasn't on cooldown."