I wanted to provide the community with a sense of what's coming up in a future update to Spiral Knights.
Our recent projects, including Guild Halls, were selected based in part on feedback from players, both in the forums and from some of the surveying we do from time to time. The requests are, of course, many and varied; however, one of the frequently requested features for the game has been pets.
We've been exploring some ideas that combine elements of a pet-like feature to increase the variety and type of play available to players. We're calling this project 'Battle Sprites'.
E-Class Battle sprites were originally small, mechanical, AI-driven field companions that aided the Spiral Knights in planetary reconnaissance. That was before the crash landing on Cradle. Sprites collected from the crash within the Clockworks appear to be reacting to the Core's energy signal, changing dramatically based on their environment, improving their capabilities even as they remain loyal to their primary directive to support Knights in exploration and discovery.
What are Battle Sprites?
Battle Sprites are new combat companions that all Spiral Knights can acquire. Each Battle Sprite has a selection of skills that can be used by the player when the Sprite is equipped. Skills range from direct attacks to party buffs and monster debuffs.
Battle Sprites will continue to level up as you use them. As a sprite levels up they evolve, become more powerful, and develop new skills. Players can feed materials to the Sprites for faster leveling and control the abilities they develop.
How will Sprites affect gameplay?
We hope that Sprites will be fun, providing a new experience in the game. They are also intended to provide players with the ability to specialize their role in a party.
The choices you make for your Sprite will act like a class for your Knight, augmenting your choice of weapons and armor. For example, you may choose a Sprite that deals direct damage with attack enhancements or instead choose a Sprite that bolsters your parties defenses.
How do I get one of my own?
Once the Battle Sprites are available, a new series of rank missions will be added for players as soon as they reach Haven. These missions will teach players about Battle Sprites and allow them to try out each of the three starter sprites before ultimately choosing one to keep.
Of course, these new rank missions will be playable by any player who has already surpassed those early ranks, rewarding you with a Sprite to keep just like new players.
Sprites will be a significant part of the Haven Garrison's Laboratory.
What are the three starter Battle Sprites?
The first three Battle Sprites represent three different play-styles. While each has at least one skill that serves as direct damage, they each offer different play-style options:
The smoldering Drakon resembles a dragon and delivers powerful, fiery blasts to your foes. It's ideal for anyone who favors head-on combat.
The divine Seraphynx resembles an angelic cat-like creature and uses its luminous powers to defend the party from attacks. It's a fine choice for knights who wish to aid their fellow party members.
The shadowy Maskeraith resembles a masked phantom and uses its toxic powers to debilitate enemies. This devious sprite is a perfect choice for those that like to hide in the shadows or cripple their foes before delivering the final blow.
When is this feature launching?
Battle sprites are still in development with a planned release date in the first half of the year. Keep an eye on these forums for more info!
What else is going on?
A great deal! We continue to work on new content for the game and refine existing features. We have some other new features that we promise to announce and discuss in the coming months.