Thursday, January 26, 2017

Namco Taiko Blog (26 January 2017) - The Blog Update Rush Awakens

20161222_00_keyart 太鼓の達人 イエローVer.

It's been a while since we had three blog updates in the same day but sure enough, the news drought of this week is halted by a trio of posts from the Taiko Team!

The first piece is a small anticipation of what to expect from Red Version's very last full operating month (that is, this coming February). But first, have yet another visual reminder that the third Cinderella Girls collaboration's website has a new video up today (together with last Monday's new one)!

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For February's monthly unlocks, we have yet another 1-piece outfit to collect in one play over the next month, with the Rainbow (虹) body piece becoming part of the players's customization catalogue before the firmware versions's color spectrum has been completed.

2017年2月のきせかえ(太鼓の達人 レッドVer.)

And with the returning Namco Original Donko's First Date as Red Version's last Don Challenge unlockable song, Red Version officially made it to be the only current-generation firmware to only host song recycles for the aforementioned monthly unlock system! ...congratulations?

2017年2月のドンチャレ(太鼓の達人 レッドVer.)

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In mobile-related news, today's second post sees the Taiko no Tatsujin franchise joining the digital sticker shenanigans of modern mobile messaging, as a set of 24 Taiko-related LINE stickers is now available in Japan and Taiwan from today! Below is a preview of the stamp set.

太鼓の達人スタンプ

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The last article of the trio is also the meatiest of the bunch, as its subject is the introduction to a new arcade unlocking system that will replace the current Don Point and Rewards Shop formula, starting from Yellow Version.

One of the main points of this mechanic update is to have a feature that lets Banapassport players to be able to see their special point count in plain sight and being able to unlock&enjoy the purchased items directly from the Taiko arcade (except for the Kisekae outfit parts, for the time being). For those reasons, the Rewards Shop will be moved at the main menu since Yellow Version's inception! After a visit to this shop, players will be automatically redirected to the usual Play mode.

太鼓の達人 イエローVer. ごほうびショップについて01

The currently-active point scheme is also going to be disbanded, in favor of a newly-acquirable currency! After each play with regular songs (excluding Dojo Ranking and Tokkun Mode), players will be rewarded with Don Medals (どんメダル) which, unlike with the former point system, are earned in an unchangeable set amount, aside from particular boosts that may occur during specific holidays and for the first play of the day/week/month.

太鼓の達人 イエローVer. ごほうびショップについて02

One big upgrade from the ongoing Rewards Shop system is that the shop's content will be entirely swapped after each change of season, featuring different sets of new outfit parts and songs each time! All the items from the former season will be removed after the change, as well as any leftover Don Medal earned for the previous 3-month cycle.

The seasonal shop change is expected to kick in on Wednesdays, and for Yellow Version's inception there are already planned the first two outlets for 2017's Spring and Summer seasons.

太鼓の達人 イエローVer. ごほうびショップについて02

The Donder Hiroba online shopping will still be held in an alternative way, as the new currency there will be based on the Katsu Medal (かつメダル) currency. Each Banapassport arcade play on any mode will always net one Katsu Medal, which can be used in the Donder Hiroba version of the Rewards Shop, which is setting up a different selection of fixed rewards. As the online Rewards Shop aims more on quality than on quantity, Katsu Medals don't ever expire, although there's an (unspecified) amount cap for those.

The following paragraphs of this last blog update feature Etou looking back at the currently-active system, the reasons that have lead to the need of such an unlock system overhaul and how the currently-active Rewards Shop and Don Point system are going to be treated until their discontinuation.

Basically, the ongoing model with Don Points and Rewards Shop Points getting earned after each play (together with the tickets acquired for selected special events) has sprung over time the problems of understanding the amount of point categories held at any time and an unbalanced and less-rewarding system for the players to enjoy, especially for the Rewards Shop. What the Taiko Team means by that is that there basically are two extremes of players: those who are struggling to get really expensive awards and those who instead have already bought everything in the RS and they're waiting for new items. There have been suggestions from Taiko fans in the past years about fixing the current system's problem by either adding more items or more means to unlock stuff on top of the pre-existing system, which instead are being integrated into one huge mechanic overhaul due to the Team not being able to add that much content while working on many other projects at the same time (song creation, collaborations, other events, ...) and due to some extra means to unlock future content that are currently held back and going to be communicated in the future, always based on the new unlocking system.

With that wall of text behind our backs, how are the current features going to be handled for the next firmware transition?
  • The Don Points system will be completely abolished and as such, all the related unlocks of the past/present/future will be either ported to the seasonal Rewards Shop as limited items or added to the default song list in other ways if no other unlocking means are decided for each. Again, its intended successor is the seasonal RS with Don Medals.
  • The ongoing Rewards Shop system based on the Shopping Points will also be completely abolished. From tomorrow to Red Version's last operating day, each Rewards Shop article and the Title Parts Gacha will be discounted, with a couple of titles being awarded to players on Yellow Version if they've either purchased at least one of the RS default items (お買い物ポイントの達人, 'Master of Shopping Points') or bought them all (お買い物ポイントの大富豪, 'Shopping Points Millionaire'). Most of these items will be ported to either the seasonal RS or other unannounced means, with the Shopping Points RS successor being the Donder Hiroba store based on Katsu Medals.
  • Due to the new firmware's inception (and the related mechanics overhaul), both the Don Challenge and Monthly Gift features will be paused until further notice.
If you want to hear more about the new Rewards Shop system (complete with a guided tour of the mode and a sneak peek to its first load of purchasable items), see you next Thursday for the Taiko Team's first livestream of the year!

Below are the links to today's blog entries:

Red Version's February Monthly Content
Taiko no Tatsujin LINE Stickers
Yellow Version's New System

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