Metabuff FAQs


Alpha Related

What is the minimum age to participate in the alpha?

There is no minimum age requirement to participate in the Closed Alpha. That said, it is not officially rated by the ESRB and will contain fantasy violence. User discretion is advised.

When will the closed Alpha start?

Stay tuned for updates.

How long will the Alpha be open for play?

The function of an Alpha is to create a stable game client that can serve the player base with a quality experience. CORE will be in Alpha as long as it takes, to burn through any issues that cause frequent instabilities. This allows us to collect fundamental data for match evaluation and balancing concerns. Which then justifies moving the game forward into a wider audience: Closed Beta.

Closed Beta will show a rise in player numbers, which will allow us to find any issues that weren't identified in the Alpha testing.

How many spots will there be available for the alpha?

We intend to release our Alpha with 10k spots. However, to make sure we don't overload the servers with 10k people at once, we will release the keys in waves. This to make sure we can monitor the servers properly and so our Customer Experience Division is handling all the reported bugs. So pay heed: the 10k spot limit might get revised if the need arises.

How can I get an entry into the closed Alpha?

For the first clues, you can follow to get yourself access to Closed Alpha, go to our Twitch Page. https://www.twitch.tv/corethegame Once there, follow the social media channels down below in order to keep track of what's happening with the social community. The public figures presented here are being provided with Alpha keys that they will be giving away on their streams and through promotional events on their channels. You may also follow our social media links available on our website, especially discord.

Will there be founders packs or something along these lines to get a sure entry into all the testing stages?

At the moment we are debating and weighing all the options available to us. The moment we find out what we want to do regarding founders packs or anything of the sorts, we will make sure you get the information via our social media channels.

Will Alpha participants have any benefit for play-testing?

The main benefit for playing in the Alpha is that you'll have earlier access to the CORE experience before the rest of the world. This means you'll be able to help us improve the quality of the game for everyone. As far as other rewards, that detail is yet to be determined, but we are considering numerous possibilities including access to alpha participant ONLY merch store, in-game titles, avatars, banners, and other possibilities.

How will we reward Beta players?

For now, we will focus on the Closed Alpha. This to make sure we have a more elaborate plan for the Beta instead of: we are doing one.

Which heroes will be available during the Alpha?

Lt. Belica, Gideon, Sparrow, Muriel, Feng Mao, Dekker, Countess, Greystone, Murdock, Sevarog, Kallari, Rampage, Twinblast, Khaimera and Narbash.

These are the first 15 heroes that will be available for CORE. This doesn't mean they are the only heroes that will be available during Alpha. As heroes are built out with their functionality and pass through our Quality Control department, we'll return them to the arena to join their fellow survivors of Agora.

What was the reason Metabuff chose these 15 heroes for the closed Alpha?

A lot of consideration goes into a determination like this. Part of it was evaluating the responses from polls that happened through the community. Yes, you have been the primary influencers of who we chose to prioritize for getting into Alpha. We wanted to make sure we had a good starting base of characters with decent variety.

The next part of the equation was looking at the technical specifications involved with programming heroes. Do note, programming a hero is not something that should be taken lightly. Many heroes have unique abilities that influence the environment or require some extra programming on the other heroes, to accommodate the addition of that hero to the game. Rather than delaying the release of the game by adding that hero, we focus on what will get CORE to you sooner. Once those details were worked out, then it became a matter of making sure we had a balanced number of heroes for each role.

Why aren't all heroes available right from the start?

Our intention is to have a starting pool to learn before attempting the more complicated heroes. We could have had all heroes available right from the start, yet, that would mean we would have to delay to make sure all the heroes are up to par. We didn't want to wait until every hero was available, and we will not publish heroes that are not ready. We want you to feel at home when you play your favorite character, not feel like you never met.

When can we expect the next round of heroes to come out?

All of the original heroes of the 38 will be released starting with the first 15. Then each set of heroes will be released after they have been tested and balanced through quality control and customer experience departments respectively.

What will be the specifications needed to be able to run the Alpha?

Nvidia GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7870 equivalent DX11 GPU
2 GByte VRAM
Core i5 2.8 GHz
8 GByte RAM
Windows 7/8/10 64-bit

What regions can play in the Alpha?

The servers will be based in the United States, Europe, and South America. This does not mean we are region-locking the access. We can collect valuable data due to the variances that occur with the connection to localized servers, and data is the point of the Alpha.

How will bugs be reported during the Alpha-test?

At the start of Alpha, bug reports will happen through the Quality Control page on our website. Yes, it's already there and operational (even though you don't have the link to it yet). Issues reported by competitive players and influencers during the recent A/B Map testing event were received, processed, and addressed. Smooth and efficient. As we expand the functionality of the base game client, we will be utilizing EPIC's available built-in ticketing system for reporting.

How often will we be able to expect updates during the closed Alpha?

Alpha is a time of heavy updates. Alpha doesn't launch into constant server up-time. We will start with individual active load tests that happen over targeted weekends, with updates happening between each event. We'll continuously improve on our build-machine efficiency for testing update deployment methods to migrate from individual build deployment to targeted component updates like any other game.

Can Alpha testers record videos and/or stream the games in the closed Alpha?

We will not put any content creators under NDA. We are proud of the work our entire company has been putting into the development of CORE. Also, it's high time that the gaming community as a whole has game publishers show them how a game experiences the improvements of a life-cycle as it progresses through the roughness of Alpha into a polished AAA experience.

Will the closed Alpha have controller support?

Controller support is an integrated feature of Unreal Engine 4, at least for some controllers. We aren't blocking the ability for integration of controller functionality from third-party software for controller support at this time. We're interested to see what the community does with the game, and as always - Alpha is for gathering data.

Will there be any other tests before closed-Alpha start and will regular players be able to join in on these?

While we know everyone would love to get in on the pre-Alpha, we will only be allowing high-level competitive players and influencers to provide feedback. This is in order to streamline valuable feedback from the best of the best to provide only the highest quality. Prior to Alpha, you may see some other build testing by our social media friends. Again, make sure to follow them all from our Twitch page (https://www.twitch.tv/corethegame) to not miss out on seeing the next steps in development.

Can we expect an open beta?

The first step of accessibility by the community will be through the Closed Alpha. From there we'll progress into a Closed Beta. Next in line will be Open Beta. While many would love to see the doors to Agora flung open wide on day 1, we're committed to the quality of experience for our community. Professionalism isn't throwing something out there we can't support. Client stabilization, bug reporting, account management, and support from our Customer Experience Division (CED) will allow us to create realistic projections on access expansion. Then we can staff and train the additions to that division of the company in preparation for the projected needs, and never leave our community hanging.

Proof of Concept follow up and development state

What changes have been made to the heroes or will be made by the MetaBuff team?

As a general rule, hero kits are remaining largely unchanged from what you remember. That's not to say that there won't be experimentation with altered mechanics. We've been gathering up and processing the archived data from the previous community experiences with the game that inspired the creation of CORE and will be engaging the community in direct polls with regard to every single hero.

Our promise from the start was to find out what you loved, what you hated, and innovate the changes necessary to "feel the love" while keeping the characters viable for the competitive and casual communities. Alternate ability variations will come and go with feedback and testing over time, but right now the first priority is giving you back what you know.

The PoC showed an item/card shop, how has this system progressed since then?

The itemization system that was discussed during the PoC was just a high-level conceptualization that is unlikely to be recognizable with the finished product which CORE will have.

Why did Metabuff decide against the original card shop and chose to do artifacts instead?

Artifacts aren't a set determination. The challenge we are addressing with itemization comes from many fronts. We can't directly copy what any other MOBA has due to Intellectual Property rights associated with the design of the other games. We are combing archives and will be conducting more polls to better understand advantages and disadvantages of itemization systems in order to best design an intuitive itemization system.

Will there be any kind of deck building with the new item system?

There will be a builder for the Item System.

How has the UI changed, if at all, since the PoC?

UI is being improved to provide a better and smoother visual experience, also its redesigned to create an individual aesthetic that goes hand in hand with the game concept.

Will you remain committed to streamers/content creators and change the UI, replay system and draft screen accordingly?

Without a doubt. The designs and options for these things are all taking content creators into account.

Will the differentiation between energy and physical damage be realized?

The difference will be realized.

Current status of development, what are the developers working on at the moment?

Every department and stage of development are handling tasks and components on a continuously moving forward progression. By the time we finish putting this FAQ out to the community, the answer would have changed.

Will you involve the community in the development process? If yes, how?

Yes, we will be providing regular surveys to involve the community in the development process. The responses from the community feedback will help ensure that this is a game that you guys in the community are proud of and that you know you helped shape it to be what it is. Feedback gets processed and evaluated to allow us to formulate features that will still be competitively viable without sacrificing the quality of fun engagement needed for the community. It's a balancing act of ultimate complexity, but we're up to the challenge.

Will the map be asymmetric?

For those not familiar with the term, the left and right jungle will be different from each other.

Will the inhibitors respawn?

Yes. Though everything in development is up to testing and subject to change.

Will the development team optimize the game for lower-end hardware, as well as keeping up to date with new CPU and GPU advancements?

Optimizing the game for low-end hardware is one of our priorities. This brings us to an element of company philosophy. Game publishers that are always pushing the envelope to create games with the most impressive graphics and particle effects are telling the world that they only care about the gaming audience that can afford the most current generation of hardware. We 100% disagree with that stand. By all means, take advantage of technological advances with optional enhancements, but requirements should stay minimal. Games should be accessible to as many people as possible!

Which map was most popular during map tests?

The function of the A/B test was to evaluate different aspects of each map, not the overall map. We were looking for people's reactions to lane size, combat area, overall size, preference on lanes favoring defenders versus attackers, jungle visibility, jungle rotations, and a dozen other things. Each of the maps presented a variant to every detail, which is what A/B comparisons are for. Some things the results were indifferent or split on and each map had features that were the clear winner.

Will Metabuff use both maps presented in the Greybox?

Yes and no. Neither of the maps will be used in the launch product. The feedback we got from the testing is allowing us to generate new maps that utilize the feedback to integrate the desired features from both maps into one optimal arena.

When can we expect a "finished" game?

There is no such thing as a "finished" title if it's coming from a responsible publisher. It will be continuously tuned, refined, and expanded until we no longer have the capability to support it for our community.

Now, if you meant when can you expect a game that has all of the standard features of a MOBA, that's a different answer. Every effort is being made to get the functionality built out for what's needed for great gameplay and account features, except for one thing. We won't rush a feature to release at the cost of quality of experience. Basic standards have to be met, and QC evaluation passed before a feature goes into the mass market for breaking.

Are there additional skins being made for characters or is the focus solely on getting the current ones working?

Good question and the answer is both. All of the people involved with getting the characters working properly again just so happen to be different people than the ones with the skills to bring the new skins and characters. No choice had to be made between them.

Were any sounds part of the released assets?

There is a fine line between copying, emulating, having an homage, or creating something that will grant a feeling of comfort and familiarity. While the Unreal Engine Marketplace made a lot of audio assets available, they didn't release any from the inspiring game. They also didn't release their intellectual property rights to what defined the unique experience of that game. Understanding the balancing point between honoring the legacy of what inspires us and what violates intellectual property are distinctions we're prepared for.

Will you ask EPIC Games for missing sounds?

No. We have audio engineers with industry experience that will handle all of our sound needs. We will also be utilizing some of our extensive contacts in the industry to bring in new voice actors for character lines, some of which may be very familiar to you.

Do you aim to recreate similar sounds on your own?

There is a fine line between copying, emulating, having an homage, or creating something that will grant a feeling of comfort and familiarity. While EPIC made a lot of Paragon content available, they didn't release their intellectual property rights to what defined the unique experience of Paragon. Understanding the balancing point between honoring the legacy of what came before and violating intellectual property distinctions is something we are prepared for.

Will there be microphone support?

Eventually, however, the exploration of the feature requires options beyond just on or off. There is so much toxicity in the gaming community at large that you need to have firm control over what you are subjected to. If you want to limit your voice activity to those in your premade, friends, or alliance members, you deserve the freedom to control that.

In-game mechanics

About how long are games going to last?

30-minute average game, 45 minutes for a hard fought game, that is the goal for balancing.

What will the hero mastery system be like?

The hero mastery system will reward players for mastering a character through special rewards specific to the character such as player icon options, titles, cosmetics, and special character customization options.

What will the max mastery level be?

Traditional MOBA rules dictate that mastery happens at 10, but an advanced system of mastery that allows extensive tiers beyond this for dedicated players of specific heroes is being planned.

What are the planned spawn times and cooldowns for river buffs, remnant, and orb prime?

At the moment, these factors are undetermined. While there will be defaults, for the time being, we are awaiting the results of several polls to implement committed determinations that will then be followed by extensive playtesting to verify the value of the established parameters.

What will be the max level that a hero can be in-game?

15, but as with everything, this is subject to change

Will Crowd Control have diminishing returns as it is chained?

Yes, we are working to crack down on potential broken stun-lock sequences, however, there is a fair amount of balancing to be done on this regard. Considerations come from CC duration of hero abilities, diminishing returns, and CC Reduction items. It is a chore, to be sure, but not a decision to be made without data.

What mechanics will orb prime have to make sure it needs to be a team objective instead of being killed by a single hero?

A thorough poll has been deployed to gather feedback to establish the best case scenario for Overseer Prime.

Will static traps be a part of Murdock's kit or will they maybe become an active ability for a card?

Individual character kits will be sorted by the pending and forthcoming polls.

Will every player be equal?

Yes, every player will be treated as equal. However, as a company, we have no influence on each and every person's skill cap. This is where matchmaking and elo come in. Your own accomplishments will get you to the top, instead of us helping you get there.

Will items be locked?

No. All items are available to all players equally. No item advantage based on account progression.

When will surrender be possible and how many votes will it take?

Polls are exploring a methodology for this. However, regardless of the results on the polls, we have decided to let DC's on your team directly impact voting needs.

Can we expect travel mode animations?

Most of the characters never got travel mode animations, which means introducing and including mechanics for that would create a huge workload for the animators. While travel mode is not coming, the animations (when ready) will be able to be triggered by move speed enhancement abilities and items. So, yes. The animations will be available for those that have them.

Will CORE have mirror matches?

In casual, yes. In ranked, no.

Ranked, elo and game modes hype

For matchmaking, will there be an emphasis on similar elo, the strength of the connection, the speed of matchmaking, etc.?

Utilizing the expansive ELO system currently under development, ELO is the first indicator for matchmaking, but as time passes without a complete match being made, the ELO window will grow wider to locate players to fill up the teams.

When can we expect a ranked mode?

Not before the game is stable and balanced. Broken competitive isn't competitive. Ranked will happen when the quality of experience justifies it.

Upon the release of a ranked mode, will it have fully fleshed out tiers and rewards per tier?

That's the plan. The structure of this is being looked into.

Will there be team ranking?

Yes

Will there be built-in competitions?

Yes, there will be season based events that allow individuals to show off their mastery level.

Is Metabuff going to implement their own, transparent Leaderboard / ELO System together with a Ranked Mode at some point?

Yes. We are playing with ideas for a casual mode that will mask your rankings in order to avoid dodging.

Where and how will ELO be measured?

This is still to be determined but our goal is that ELO will be calculated on much more extensive grounds than what MOBAs usually have. Roles will receive ELO based more accurately on individual performance associated with their roles. Supports that heal, shield, and soak damage should be getting credit for that. Structure damage is a stronger indicator of match contribution than flat KDA. Team contributions come from more than just kills, and more than just which team's core drops.

Is there talk of adding role queue to CORE, similar to what League has? (Already flopped)

There is talk.

Will CORE be updated with new modes such as 3v3 and 1v1 with fresh maps when the player base can sustain it?

Yes

Platform, servers and release info

On what platforms will MetaBuff release CORE?

Closed Alpha has to be released exclusively to PC. The function of Alpha is to debug, stabilize, and introduce the quality of experience elements necessary to pass the quality standards that approve CORE for a console release. Meeting those standards is the mark that ends Alpha and starts Closed Beta, with console access for the game starting first on PS4. The extended markets for Xbox and Switch are open to exploration for us, as we do have our developer approval for those as well. The primary platforms are PC and PS4, but we will be keeping an eye on the others as options for expanding player accessibility and reducing queue times as needed.

Is there an ETA for these releases?

The extended releases beyond Closed Alpha are entirely based on stabilization and quality of experience improvements to the game. We don't take the cake out of the oven before it's done.

Via what launcher will we be able to play CORE?

Metabuff will have a custom launcher for CORE. The launcher will be subject to change in the future.

Will it be possible to play in different operating systems like iOS/Linux?

UE4 has the capability to deploy CORE on these operating systems. Whether and when expansion to these platforms occurs will be dependent on multiple factors. We have to deliver to the key markets first. After that, expanded markets will be based on calculations of the workload and expense required to port divided by the player base we can make CORE available for.

Where will the servers be located?

Initially, we will be utilizing NA servers, but have the intention to expand into Europe, Asia, and South America as soon as resource evaluation allows us to do so. Further markets are also being explored beyond that. The Asian market carries much more complexity to the legalities of market expansion, due to the vast variations in regulations from country to country. We're up to the challenge and know what to expect, but it will require a higher commitment of resources to get there. We need to prioritize what will grant us the resources that permit the expansions.

Will there be crossplay?

This is still to be determined but our general stance is: Cross-platform play will be available for casual, allowing everyone to play with their friends no matter what platform their friends are on. For ranked we will have PC and Console leagues, to ensure an even playing field.

Company and generic information

What does CORE stand for?

Sevarog is the only one who can answer that for you.

How many people are currently working for Metabuff?

More than 50 in various departments. There are 12 different departments in the overall structure of the company. Meaning no, there are not 50 people programming the game.
The art department is responsible for all 2d and 3d design for the game and marketing purposes.
CED is responsible for quality control, technical support, bug reporting, etc.
Level design is responsible for the map.
Programming .. well they do all the programming obviously, so on and so forth.

Does the team have the talent to make animations and models for new heroes from scratch that are of equal quality of the original assets?

MetaBuff has contracted some very professional individuals with a wide range of impressive skills to get the job done.

Is Metabuff working on new characters, or are they just thinking about keeping the originals?

New characters are in the works, however, our primary goal is to release all of the original characters including Boris first.

In what ways (besides verticality) does CORE differentiate itself from the other MOBAs?

Third person MOBAs are few and far between. Paragon wasn't alone in having a short life-span. The majority of MOBAs don't survive long enough to set themselves apart in the industry. Third person MOBAs bring a greater requirement for skill execution than top-down MOBAs can offer. Beyond that, this is the first MOBA being developed specifically based on the expressed needs and desires of the gaming community. Not only that, we have an improved basic attack combat system in the works.

In what ways does CORE follow the traditional MOBA formula and is it closer to League or DOTA?

We have a 3 lane map with towers, inhibitors, minions, and a CORE win-condition structure; a decent-sized character roster with unique abilities and intended character roles; an in-depth card shop reminiscent of other MOBA item shops; and a jungle area full of buffs and creatures to slay.

How will Metabuff prevent cheating and deal with it?

The exact methods under development for the systematic identification of cheating are proprietary. We aren't going to inform the cheaters of our methods and empower them to attempt circumvention. There is no place in esports for tolerance of cheating. People that want to do it have plenty of other games they can play. Cheat = Perma-ban.

What kind of report system for toxic players will CORE have?

We'll be utilizing the source tools integrated through EOS.

How will Metabuff protect passwords and stuff? GDPR?

GDPR standards have already been applied to the privacy policy of our website, https://metabuffgames.com/privacy-policy, and are being stringently followed. Proper IT security training will be provided and protocols enforced for individuals that have even tertiary access to systems that tether to sensitive information storage.

How will Metabuff punish bad behavior?

As we all know, the primary forms of bad behavior are abandonment (queue or match), toxicity to your team, harassment, and cheating. While cheating has a universal hard-line result (ban), the other categories have measures of severity and frequency that have to be balanced out by an experienced CED team. Fortunately, we have AAA experience for that.

Will Metabuff reward good behavior?

Just as there will be a reporting system for poor behavior, it is the intent to have the eventual application of a kudos system as well.

Will there be an esports lead by Metabuff?

Formal tournaments are planned, and our leaders are constantly monitoring developments and practices of the esports industry to stay on top of what gamers are looking for.

What will Metabuff do to make sure CORE succeeds?

See every other question of the FAQ. Outside of that, players play games that speak to them. Design for the players. Respond to the feedback from the players. Deliver what the community needs. It's not a difficult concept, but most of the industry is focused on serving shareholders rather than the player base. Our focus is on the players. When we take care of the players, the players will ensure the success of CORE. Knowing that our decisions are being made in service to the community, we're comfortable putting our success in your hands.

What is your unique selling point?

CORE is a game made for gamers by gamers. Along with using key player feedback to help drive the development, innovations will take place over the course of CORE's development to help make CORE into one of the most enjoyable MOBA experiences to this date.

How do you want to compete with other games, especially Predecessor?

We have no intention of competing with other games. We serve the community, and it is the community we look to for what works and what doesn't.

How does Metabuff plan to get LoL / Smite / DotA 2 / HotS players to play and stay with CORE?

We feel our game will speak for itself in terms of quality gameplay and combat, especially when compared to the likes of LoL and Smite.

What if people don't agree on lane division and ignore roles?

Our intention is to create a smooth experience, backed up by community feedback. If it turns out that heroes do not perform as well as desired by our esteemed community, then changes will be made to presentation and to kits in order to help ensure that heroes can perform tasks that the community will enjoy.

Marketing and financial inquiries

How will the monetization scheme work?

Free-to-play. No pay-to-win.

What will players be able to buy with the in-game currency?

Visuals, season passes (with their own exclusive content), lore packs (with their own exclusive content), titles, skins, and some other fun surprises we're waiting to share with you guys.

Does Metabuff have sponsors and if not, is Metabuff willing to get some?

We are working with companies, and are always open to opportunities that avail themselves.

Will skins be for purchase only?

Purchase, achievement, season passes, lore packs and account progression all will have the ability to distribute skins.

Which payment services will be available?

Licensing on various payment services are currently being explored. Convenience for users, cost-per-transaction, and localization of services globally are all considerations that have to be balanced for the final determination. Every decision we make is thoroughly evaluated.

Will there be subscriptions?

In the form of season passes once ranked is available, yes.

How will you use old skins?

Old skins don't require as much effort for integration into the game as development on new skins will. Primarily the old skins are best situated as rewards within other content packs, passes, achievements, and progression based credit. If done as a direct transaction to unlock the skin, costs for the player would be nominal. We do still want the option for you to do direct transactions for the skins you really want. We will not be locking them behind loot boxes that force people to gamble on them. If you want a skin, you deserve a clear path to get it. You are the one who determines if you have a full collection for a hero, not RNG.

Social stuff

Will there be anything similar to community corners?

Yes, we have a wonderful community discord, and once the page is fully operational, I am sure we will have a community corner of some kind available.

Is a roadmap planned?

Yes and we plan to release a public roadmap soon.

What languages will be available in CORE?

We are planning extensive multilingual support for all in-game content. Details will come later, but we are embracing a global community experience.

Will there be holiday events like Winterfest?

Yes.

Is someone going to represent each country? On which channels?

With there currently being 195 countries, the viability for representatives in every country is beyond the current scope of the project.

Will you publish all statistics as they relate to items and heroes passives and actives as well as remain fully transparent with drop chances in the case of event drops or loot boxes?

The website will have builder details for items and heroes. There will be no loot boxes. The community deserves better than to have to gamble on rewards. You need a clear path to the items you want to unlock.

Tutorial or training grounds requests

How do you start as a noob?

You will be introduced to a tutorial system. After, you will play against AI combatants in order to unlock PVP.

Is a Tutorial or Training Mode already planned?

The Proving Grounds are undergoing design at the moment.

Would a tutorial cover everything from the map to the item system to the roles etc.?

Ideally, rather than a single tutorial, this would best be served by a set of smaller tutorials.

Will there be any sort of fully unlocked training area for us to test out builds and/or optimize current builds using numbers?

That is one of the primary functions of the Proving Grounds.

Funny and other questions

Where are you from?

Metabuff, Inc. is headquartered in Boston, MA. The team, however, is located remotely all across the globe.

Will we get models to stream the game where people look more at the models than the game?

Streamers gonna do what streamers do.

Will there be bikini skins?

We have been so torn on the debate for where to start. First skin will be the Rampage Speedo-Skin or the Narbash Thong Songster

Will you get points for a 360 no scope?

No, but we will put your achievement on the fridge.

Can I use my old account in CORE?

Sure, but it's been freshly wiped to ensure a fair playing field for everyone! (answer: No)

Will there be Grux skins?

Yes, unfortunately, they are all worn by Khaimera. (yes this is a joke).