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PSA: OMG Food Fest in Houston is Another Food Festival Scam

This also includes a list of the most notorious organizers hiding behind their event names, and their festivals to avoid.

TLDR: - OMG Food Fest is misleading the public about its event - Christopher McMurray (Chris Mac) is the real name of the Green Light Events organizer responsible for OMG Food Fest - almost all of the known food events and festivals organized by Green Light Events are listed - other shady food festival organizers and their festivals listed

Depending on the pages and friends you follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, chances are 0you've seen social media ads for OMG Food Fest. There's also the possibility you've seen linked articles about the festival shared on Facebook. If so, don't fall victim to this festival and its shady practices.
https://www.facebook.com/events/222145518790055/?active_tab=discussion

OMG Food Fest is being marketed as the world's first hip-hop music and food festival. It's taking place in Houston this Saturday, March 14. It was planned originally for March 7 at either Peggy Park or Emancipation Park. The organizers announced a venue change in February, moving to the event to Midtown Park because of ticket sales and demand. The festival is organized by Green Light Events. Amanda Sapp of Asapp Productions was hired as the event's publicist (she's also a radio personality at KMAZ-LP 102.5 FM) .

The food festival promises "tons of food vendors, shopping, outdoor games, [and] activities," while they "keep you entertained with the city's best Djs and bands playing hip-hop, rap [and] old-school [music]." Here's the real deal: it's all smoke and mirrors.

First of all, there isn't a website for the event. It's not just this event either. Many if not all of events and festivals from Green Light Events don't have a website. The events all have web domains redirecting to Eventbrite. And the Eventbrite ticketing pages lacks lots of information. That's a huge warning sign.

To date, there isn't a list of food and beverage vendors for OMG Food Fest. When tickets went on sale in January, the festival didn't provide a list of participating food vendors. That's a major component to know being it's a food festival. It's also a warning sign many should have taken into account from the beginning. Another warning ? Green Light Events asked for food vendors the day tickets went live and a couple of weeks leading up to the festival. Food vendors and participants should be in place the moment the event and ticket sales go live. That wasn't so with OMG Food Fest.

Some food vendors were announced later by Green Light Events on OMG Food Fest's event page on Facebook, but none are listed under the description or on the ticket site powered by Eventbrite. The vendors posted in separate posts were: Krave Funnel Cakes, Foreign Policy, Kono Pizza, and American Lobster and Seafood. Other food vendors that will supposedly be in attendance are Tila's Tacos, Toros Barbecue, A Diff Swirl, Peirre's Cajun Creations, and Skillet Cajun, per each of their Facebook pages. I found those after performing various Facebook searches. None have been confirmed or listed as vendors by Green Light Events. Basically, it's a glorified food truck festival with a handful of known food trucks and the rest unknown food vendors.

After months of requests for food vendor information, Green Light Events began deleting comments and blocking people. The organizer or its publicist responded rudely to ticket holders and those wanting to buy tickets but wanted answers. One reply from Green Light Events in response to why they haven't released the list of vendor with the event a week away,was this: "For reasons that we don't need to explain. We will get it up either tonight or tomorrow morning." The response from Green Light Events was Friday. It's Monday and still no official list of participating food and beverage vendors in sight.

Another shady practice of Green Light Events? Using photos found on Instagram of food from non-participating restaurants that won't be available at their events. No trustworthy festival would use photos of foods from restaurants, chefs, or other food vendors that aren't participating. But that's what Green Light Events is doing:

https://www.facebook.com/greenlighteventshouston/photos/gm.222508628753744/3682012238483033

Screenshot:
https://imgur.com/a/vDSXryv

The photo of the chicken pieces served in a waffle cone are from Chick'nCone, which is not participating in this event at all. The other photo used to promote this event is of a burger that's from from Bleecker St. Burger, a restaurant in England:

https://www.esquire.com/food-drink/food/news/g2765/all-things-meaty-best-8-burgers/?slide=1

Last week, a week before OMG Food Festival takes place, Green Light Events adds a VIP package. The VIP is $500 for 8 or more people. What credible food festival does that at the last minute? And for what's a glorified food truck festival that won't have anything special?

One glance at the event page filled with grammatical and spelling errors, and it's clear it's not a professional event. It is certainly not one deserving of anyone's money. But that hasn't stopped people from shelling out for tickets. It also hasn't stopped this event from getting a lot of publicity.

Channel 2 ( KPRC) and Narcity wrote about this event. Each of the articles were shared over 8 thousand times on Facebook alone (Close to 40k shared Narcity's article on Facebook), thereby giving this event legitimacy without doing their due diligence in making sure the event and its organizers are trustworthy:

https://i.imgur.com/Hh12gC1.png

In addition to Channel 2 (KPRC / Click2Houston) and Narcity failing to research and verify Green Light Event's track record with festivals (and its overall lack of professionalism), neither news sources bothered verifying if the press release sent to them by Green Light Events (or hired publicist Amanda Sapp) was accurate. If either publication did, they'd discover within a minute Google search OMG Food Fest (aka the Hip Hop Food Festival) is NOT the world's first hip hop food festival as it claims. At least one event from 2015 shows a festival called the The Cookout: An Annual Hip-Hop & Food Festival. The festival is/was held in Ontario, Canada. There were probably others predating The Cookout. But it goes to show credible news sources the public trusts (though I wouldn't put Narcity in that company), don't do their due diligence in making sure what is reported is factual.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/events/absinthe-hamilton/the-cookout-2015-annual-hip-hop-food-fest-thecookout2015/675429392590077/

Other digital magazines and website have publicized this event with articles also posted to Facebook. Because of the reach of those article, and the reach due to promoted Facebook and Instagram posts and ads, news of the event has spread all over the state and across the country. From the comments on the event page, people are flying and driving into town, purchased lodging accommodations because they're attending this festival. Sadly, they're in for nothing but disappointment.

And with so many questions surrounding OMG Food Fest , the biggest should be who is Green Light Events. Green Light Events is the same organizer behind the disastrous King of Crawfish Festival held two weeks ago in Houston.

It was discussed on Reddit the day after the festival:

https://old.reddit.com/houston/comments/fc155x/the_king_of_crawfish_festival_yesterday_was/?sort=old

Green Light Events didn't apologize for the event on Facebook. Instead, they wrote rude replies to angry patrons, deleting comment on both Facebook and Instagrams, blocking people, and ultimately deleting the Facebook event page for King of Crawfish Fest and the Facebook page for King of Crawfish Fest. These measures are always taken to make it seem as if the event was a success. Or if people try to look at the event from the previous year, they won't find much about it ot many negative comments.

Interestingly enough, Green Light Events sent ticket holders a recap letter through Eventbrite where they claimed the event was a success, for the most part:
https://i.imgur.com/Jz9S1j6.jpg

The organizer did admit there were issues, which were glossed over. But what's more surprising is the gall to blame most of the failures because it was their first all-you-can-eat King of Crawfish Fest. That is partially true. This was the second year Green Light Events produced the King of Crawfish Fest. Last year, someone asked Reddit about King of Crawfish Fest and the event was also publicized on Facebook (the page was deleted after the festival) and Eventbrite. This year was the first for all-you-can-eat crawfish:

https://old.reddit.com/houston/comments/aqapdx/king_of_crawfish_festival_216/?sort=old
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/king-of-crawfish-fest-the-biggest-crawfish-party-in-houston-tickets-54634250514#

King of Crawfish Fest received much of its exposure the same as their OMG Food Fest, ads and promoted posts on Facebook and Instagram. There were also an article promoting the event on Narcity. Houston Chronicle helped give the event legitimacy with an article of its own that was shared over four thousand times on Facebook alone.
https://imgur.com/a/qaG5Sc3

There is no transparency with Green Light Events. The general public does not know who's behind Green Light Events, an organizer who's been producing food festivals since 2017 (with the same results: poor planning, severely under-delivering, deletes Facebook event page when lots of people complain to limit others from knowing how the events actually turned out, etc). That's because the organizer goes out of their way to hide their identity. But knowing who is involved with Green Light Events is important for the public's sake. The continued practice of organizing fraudulent festivals that never deliver on its promises should be reported. A name is needed to report this organizer to the city's Special Events Office and the state's attorney general. If more of these organizers are brought to light, then the more they will be held accountable and people can avoid them altogether.

So, who makes up Green Light Events? Christopher McMurray or Chris McMurray for short . He also goes by the names Chris Mac and 713ChrisMac on social media. Here's his photo:

Photo of Christopher McMurray, the organizer hiding behind Green Light Events

He operates his events under the entity Space City Events LLC (his name and entity's name are key information if reporting his events and shady business practice to the city and the state).

The extent of McMurray's hospitality experience is as a club promoter mostly. He promotes parties for Access Lounge. In the past, he promoted parties for Bar Republic. McMurray has little hospitality experience in the food and restaurant industry in Houston. His Instagram bio lists him as the owner of Sauced Up food truck.

Other food and beverage festivals produced by McMurray, some dating back to 2017, include (you can also search for their Eventbrite listings):

Trap Wine Fest
Taste of New Orleans (I don't know if Timothy Hudson was involved with this, but at one time Hudson was involved in an event with the same branding)
The Houston Food Fest
Midtown Wine Fest (a repackaged festival of its fail-tastic Wine on the Green)
Wine on the Green
King of Crawfish Fest
H-Town Crawfish Fest
H-Town on Tap Beer Fest
Fiesta Del Taco

McMurray goes out of his way not to link himself or Green Light Events to the Houston Food Fest and Midtown Wine Fest on Facebook and Eventbrite. Green Light Events is not listed as the organizer on either event pages. It's possible McMurray goes to such lengths because those two festivals are his cash cow events that attracts a wider audience and demographic (i.e. marketing to a potential white audience). However, Narcity included Green Light Events as the organizer of the Houston Food Fest in its infomercial article for OMG Food Fest. There are permits and records, including a DBA for Texas Wine Events filed in January (there's a Facebook page too), linking both events to Chris McMurray of Green Light Events.

McMurray and his shadow company Green Light Events also organizes music festivals. I have not attended the music festivals he's organized in the past, but if they're anything like his food festivals, it may be best to avoid:

Houston Zydeco Fest
Reggae in the Park
Soul Flower Music Festival


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Steer Clear of These Other Food Festivals (Wine Festivals) and Their Organizers


I put together a list of organizers and their festivals that are either questionable, proved to be scams, or turned out to be complete disasters. Reference this or pass it along so others are informed. Maybe local news stations will look into this further since almost all the major local news stations have helped legitimized many of these festivals by promoting them to their viewers.

Timothy Hudson

Remember the debacle of Houston Beer Fest's inaugural festival? If not, Hudson organized the event. There are countless articles about the festival, Hudson, and others involved:

https://www.google.com/search?q=%22timothy+hudson%22+%22houston%22+%22beer%22

Hudson also had several court cases in Harris County, including theft by check. He also organized the Houston Food Truck Festival The Best Damn Food Truck Festival Ever around the same time as Houston Beer Fest's duration. He's still in the food and beverage festival business bilking people out of their money with sub-par events.

Below are events and food festivals he's organized (or is involved in some way be it through marketing the event or assisting in the production of the festivals ) in recent years, including this year. You wouldn't know he's involved because his name is not listed in any of the event's descriptions. The events also don't provide the organizer's name on Eventbrite and on their Facebook event page to inform the publc the festivals are from the same organizer:

Houston Wine Festival ( This went by the name Houston Wine Fest in its first few years & were disasters + rip-offs; read more about it here. )
Houston Food & Wine Fest
The Urban Food & Wine Fest
Houston Cocktail Fest
Houston Seafood Fest
OktoberFest Houston
The Crawfish & Music Fest or may go by the name Houston Crawfish & Music Fest
Houston Cider Fest
Houston Moscato Fest
Taco X Tequila Fest

In regards to the Houston Cocktail Fest and how it connects to Timothy Hudson, it was kind of tricky to find; which is usually the point (organizers of shady events or festivals won't connect themselves to newly created events in fear people won't purchase tickets because of their past events). There isn't a Facebook page for Houston Cocktail Fest, but there is an event page on Facebook for the festival with Shake Stir Sip Inc listed as the organizer. The same organizer is the producer of the Austin Cocktail Fest. There is also an Eventbrite listing for Houston Cocktail Fest. Like all the other festivals from Hudson listed above, the organizer isn't listed on Eventbrite. Towards the bottom of their Eventbrite page is a list of other festivals from the organizer. Guess which festivals are listed as other events of the unlisted organizer? Many of the festivals listed above, which connects this festival to Hudson.

Further digging uncovered the entity TBK Holdings listed as the producer and organizer of the following festivals: Houston Seafood Fest, Houston Crawfish & Music Fest, the Urban Food & Wine Fest, and Houston Cider Fest. DBA records filed in Harris County for TBK Holdings list Timothy Hudson, the same Timothy behind Houston Beer Fest. TBK Holdings is not associated with TBK Holdings Inc, the parent company of the Breakfast Klub, Reggae Hut, Signature Kafe, the Alley Kat, and Kulture.

Hudson may also have involvement or is associated with EW Media Group (or EWMedia Group) who are involved in some way with these food festivals and drink festivals in the Houston area:

Brazilian Food & Music Festival
La Izquierda Surf & Music Festival
Houston Reggae Fest (The Reggae Group aka the International Reggae Group is the organizer. Special event permits for this event list Timothy Hudson. He's assisting in some capacity with the event)
Woodlands Margarita Festival

The Houston Margarita Festival is produced by Jirmar Proctor of Escutcheon Entertainment. Proctor is also the organizer of Woodlands Margarita Festival, Humble Margarita Festival, Austin Margarita Festival, and Beaumont Margarita Festival. Proctor's festivals aren't the best IMO and really under-delivers, but at least he's transparent some. He makes it known he is the organizer of those festivals. Transparency aside, this isn't a festival worth attending.


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Jordan Cummings and Ta' Whitmore

Cummings and Whitmore make up Late Nites Early Mornings or LNEM Events. Like Chris McMurray of Green Light Events food and drink festivals organized by LNEM Events are more about a party atmosphere than the food. Past events on Facebook and Eventbrite list more parties than anything food related. The organizers are not involved in any aspect of Houston's food community. It's evident from their events with obscure food vendors. Their events also have restaurants, food trucks, and chefs that aren't well known in Houston.

Last year's Nola Boil was cancelled over the weather. Refunds weren't provided to ticket purchasers. LNEM Events provided tickets to their Hennything Fest instead of refunds, much to the dismay of angry ticket holders. Duplicating the pattern most failed festivals or festival rip-offs, LNEM Events deleted much of negative comments and posts, blocked people, and removed the review portion of their page preventing people from leaving a review.

LNEM Events also hosts the Hennything Fest, a festival for all things Hennessy purpotedly. Their most recent Hennything Fest was held in Dallas. Many complained of the festival being a scam and a rip-off. Many of the original comments were removed from the event page and Instagram, but some complaints can be found on public Facebook profiles. Last week, Narcity wrote an infomerical article promoting LNEM Event's Henneything Fest, further helping spread this festival to people on Facebook and Instagram.

Most of the food and drink festivals from LNEM Events are listed below.

◆ The Nola Boil
◆ Hennything Fest (a Hennessy festival)
◆ The Houston Daiquiri Fest
◆ Funtober Fest

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Honorable Mention

Bar Crawl Nation

This company isn't based in Houston, but does hosts bar crawls across the country. Like the other events above, Bar Crawl Nation uses the power of social media to promote its events, placing promoted ads on Facebook and Instagram.

Bar Crawl Nation has a website, dedicated email address, and an app to register for their events. Everything looks on the up and up, but the crawls severely under-delivers. The crawls makes up bars along Washington Ave with discounts for food and drinks provided the week of the event and when checking in on the app. YMMV if the discounted prices are worth the hassle or time. Bar crawl attendees who participated in events in other cities have complained.
So, while not a rip-off as the other events above, you may be better off attending a local bar crawl that has a better track record or create your own bar crawl. .

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Ways to Sniff Out a Food Festival That is Probably a Scam or a Rip-Off


Last year, CultureMap listed a number of ways to sniff out a food festival that's a rip-off, a scam, or will under-deliver. It's a good starting point in gauging whether or not a food festival is a scam or will be a total $%^show. The list could also apply to music festivals, cultural festivals, or any niche festival.

http://houston.culturemap.com/news/restaurants-bars/07-23-19-6-ways-to-evaluate-whether-a-food-festival-will-be-good-or-bad/

Houston Food Finder also lists red flags to look for in an article about Houston Brunch Fest (or HTX Brunch Fest, organized by Bruce Bray of Bray Consulting Firm and Diiverse Entertainment):

https://houstonfoodfinder.com/news/inaugural-brunch-festival-left-many-attendees-feeling-ripped-off/

Each festival has an audience they're targeting. One festival may appeal to one person, while it won't to another. Not every food festival in the Houston area will be a Chris Shepherd produced Southern Smoke or Houston Barbecue Festival, but that doesn't mean they have to be a bait and switch either. Regardless of a festival's target demographic, no one deserves to be duped of their money. People attending a food or beverage festival want to experience the food, they want to meet the people behind the food, they want to enjoy themselves while getting their money's worth. It's as simple as that. However, some organizers are money and fame hungry, throwing festivals to line their pockets without caring about the consumer or vendors.

A rule of thumb is do your research before handing over your money (and credit card information) to people you don't know. Here are more ways to to spot a potential festival scam or rip-off and how to be proactive:


Look at past events organized.

  • If the organizer's name is listed alongside the event/festival, check their Facebook event page or click on the organizer's name on the Eventbrite page to view other events produced.
  • If the promotions for those events look sketchy, avoid it.
  • Search for reviews of past events/festivals organized on Facebook, Yelp, Reddit, Groupon, and Twitter to read accounts from festival attendees.
  • If you can't find an event page on Facebook for past events organized, or there isn't a dedicated Facebook business page for it, 9 out of 10 times it's because the organizers removed the pages to hide all the negative comments from attendees who considered the festivals as scams and rip-offs. In hiding the or deleting the page from the public, it limits the public from viewing how poorly organized and tip-offs their past events were.
  • If the organizer also hosts or promotes parties at dance clubs (this is sometimes shown by viewing past or upcoming events organized by the festival producers), avoid the food festival they're promoting at all costs.

Check if the main attractions (i.e. food, chefs, and beverage participants) are listed.

  • Organizers of food festivals who only care about lining their pockets will not list participants (this includes food vendors and entertainment). These sketch organizers may never provide a partial or full list of participating food vendors. Other times, the organizers will list a partial or full list of vendors a few weeks or days before the event after ticket holders purchased their tickets. If you come across an event that divulges in this kind of deceitful practice, avoid it. Reputable festivals or food events will list participants once tickets are available for purchase. Providing a list of participants gives transparency and allows consumers to be informed before deciding whether to purchase tickets or not.
  • If there are food vendors or participating chefs or restaurants listed at the onset of ticket sales, contact the listed vendors to verify if they will be in attendance. This only applies to festivals or events from organizers you don't know or can't find any information about their identity and operations through normal search methods (like Google, trusted news sources). Sometimes shady organizers who hide their identities (or there's little to zero information about their festivals) will list vendors who've never committed to attend, or worse, know nothing about the festival.


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Excuse the typos and other errors. The keyboard on my laptop is broken and there's a delay when typing due to problems with the motherboard.

Information found on the state comptroller's website, Harris County Clerk's website, and the mayor's office of special events' website
submitted by crowsandbrows to houston

8

Closed Beta 2.0 patch notes!

Hey Breakers!
It's been a long time. We've missed you! Welcome to (almost) Closed Beta 2! We've got a lot of stuff to share with you, so why don't you settle in, grab yourself a cup of something delicious and have a read of what's coming your way in the very near future?

PS4 Beta Launch

Over the course of Spellbreak’s development, one of the most frequently asked questions by players has been, “When’s it coming to console?” Well, the answer is Closed Beta 2! You’ll be able to face off against PC players and shortly after Closed Beta 2, you’ll be able to squad up with them as well! This is a huge milestone for Spellbreak and we're eager to get it into as many hands as possible!
  • Cross-play between PC and PS4 is enabled by default.
    • Under Settings on Playstation, you can opt-out of cross-play entirely and only play with other Playstation users.
  • If you're interested in purchasing access to the PS4 Closed Beta, you can get it from the Sony store

Talents

YESSSSS! Talents are a brand-new system that allows you to customize your character with a variety of new options that you can mix and match to suit your class and playstyle.
If you've been following Spellbreak for a while, you might remember the old system where you could pick two classes. It allowed for lots of flexibility, a ton of permutations, some great theorycrafting discussions, and more, but it was unfortunately difficult to understand on a number of levels. Talents are how we're bringing back many of the parts we loved while hopefully eliminating some of the weaker aspects.
We're curious to see what builds y'all come up with in Closed Beta 2! Please give us feedback on both the system as well as the individual talents themselves.
  • Before a match begins on the Class screen, players can now go to the Talents menu.
  • On the Talents menu, players can choose their talents for that class.
    • These choices are saved to that class, so you can define your talent selection per-class and won't have to set them every match unless you want to change them around.
  • There are three categories of talents: Mind, Body, and Spirit.
  • Players can only choose one talent per category to bring with them into a match.
  • Each talent has a cost associated with it and players can only allocate up to 6 points worth.
    • You could take two 3-point talents, three 2-point talents, etc.
  • Once in match, the selected talents immediately affect the player and will continue to do so for the remainder of the match (unless other specified).
  • Players can find Scrolls to upgrade their talents, up to three times, for that match.
    • Each upgrade makes the talent more potent, with the final upgrade being a much bigger upgrade than earlier ones.
  • Scrolls have Mind, Body, and Spirit variants and each one upgrades the related talent.
  • Scrolls can be found in Chests.
  • Players will drop one random scroll that they previously read when they are exiled.
  • Players can unlock new talents by earning XP with classes.
    • Each class unlocks a talent at level 3 and 6.
    • These talents can be used across all classes, not just the class that unlocked them.

Specific Talents

Let's see the good stuff!

Mind

  • Focused Mana
    • "On Full Mana: Spell Damage +15/18/20/30%"
    • Cost: 1
    • Starts unlocked
  • Spellslinger
    • "Store extra Gauntlets and Runes in your Inventory"
    • "Sorcery Cooldown: -5/8/10/15%"
    • Cost: 1
    • Unlocks: Rank 6, Tempest
  • Harmony
    • "Immune: Slow, Frozen, Shocked"
    • "Incoming Damage Reduction: 5/7/10/15%"
    • Cost: 2
    • Unlocks: Rank 6, Toxicologist
  • Tracking
    • "On Spell Hit: Outline target for you and your squad (3/3.5/4/6s)"
    • Cost: 2
    • Unlocks: Rank 3, Frostborn
  • Runic Fluency
    • "Max Rune Charge: +1"
    • "Rune Cooldown: -5/7/10/15%""
    • Cost: 3
    • Unlocks: Rank 3, Conduit

Body

  • Dexterity
    • "Jump Height: +25%"
    • "Levitation Mana Cost: -15/18/20/30%""
    • Cost: 1
    • Unlocks: Rank 3, Tempest
  • Scavenging
    • "On Exile Opponent: Restore 25/30/35/50 Health and Armor"
    • Cost: 1
    • Unlocks: Rank 6, Conduit
  • Fervor
    • "Spell Cast Speed: +15/18/20/25%"
    • Cost: 2
    • Starts unlocked
  • Finders Keepers
    • "Chance to find Scrolls: +50/75/100/150%"
    • Cost: 2
    • Unlocks: Rank 3, Stoneshaper
  • Fortitude
    • "Create a barrier that absorbs once source of damage before reforming."
    • "Cooldown: 60/50/45/30s"
    • Cost: 3
    • Unlocks: Rank 6, Pyromancer

Spirit

  • Escapist
    • "On Damage Taken: Run Speed +2/3/4/5 (5s)"
    • Cost: 1
    • Starts unlocked
  • Recklessness
    • "On No Armor: Spell Damage +15/18/20/25%"
    • "On No Armor: Mana Cost -15/18/20/25%"
    • Cost: 1
    • Unlocks: Rank 6, Frostborn
  • Recovery
    • "On Health Damage: Regenerate 50% of damage taken (10/9/8/5s)"
    • Cost: 2
    • Unlocks: Rank 6, Stoneshaper
  • Thirsty
    • "Potion and Shard Consume Speed: +50/60/75/100%"
    • "Potion and Shards affect nearby teammates for 50% as well"
    • Cost: 2
    • Unlocks: Rank 3, Toxicologist
  • Vital Stone
    • "On Disruption (once): Resurrect with 10/25/35/50 Health"
    • "Immune for 2s after Resurrection"
    • Cost: 3
    • Unlocks: Rank 3, Pyromancer

Wearables (Amulets, Belts, and Boots)

  • Wearables have undergone significant changes both in functionality and their role in Spellbreak:
    • There is now only one of each type of wearable at each rarity. (e.g. There is only a common, uncommon, rare, epic, and legendary Amulet).
    • All other versions of wearables have been removed.
  • Wearables now only affect their base stats and have no additional effects.
    • Amulets increase max mana.
    • Belts increase max armor.
    • Boots increase max movement speed.
These are pretty large changes, so let's talk about the reasoning:
  1. Talents have a large impact on the abilities of a player and you may have noticed that some of their functionality replicates some of the wearables we had previously. In order to make design room for Talents, we had to scale back on what wearables could do. Given what we want to do with Talents going forward, it wasn't going to be tenable to support both systems interacting in the same space.
  2. Wearables often felt very hit or miss based on the RNG. Some games you'd have a huge leg up with an early lucky drop and in others you'd end up feeling underpowered in the late game if you weren't able to keep up. While the looting RNG can be fun in some cases, the disparity that could result was just too overwhelming. This change, along with some changes to chests that you'll read below, will greatly smooth out the RNG and its effects on a match and your experience.
  3. Generally speaking, players understand higher rarities are better. But when higher rarities could have drastically different abilities, that broke down. Instead of seeing an epic or legendary and knowing it was better than what you were wearing, you had to stop, read, internalize how that worked with your build, all while worrying about what was happening around you.
  • Players now start with 0 armor and 0 max armor.
  • Belts dropped from Chests or Mana Vaults refill your armor to max.
  • Players must have a Belt equipped to use an Armor Shard.
The first two changes here are significant as well. Players will become more vulnerable in the early game until they've found their first belt and you won't have that moment after you pick up a belt where you have to wait around while the Armor Shards work their magic and refill your armor. It also softly encourages looting in the mid/late game by giving you a "free" refill when you pick up an upgraded belt, which can swing some combats in dynamic ways.

Looting, equipping, and the hotbar

We wanted to prioritize a streamlined system for looting, managing your hotbar, and providing quick access to your items. This is a large departure from how these systems used to work, so you'll definitely want to give this a spin to get used to it. As always, we're interested in your feedback here!

Equippables (Gauntlets, runes, and wearables)

  • Your class gauntlet is now always your primary gauntlet and it cannot be replaced or dropped. It can only be upgraded to a gauntlet of the same element and higher rarity.
    • There's very rarely a case for running a class without its matching gauntlet and in imposing this restriction, it allows us to clean up a bunch of small inconsistencies with control and looting.
    • By default, your primary gauntlet when using keyboard and mouse is your left gauntlet, while it's your right when using a controller.
    • This is mentioned below as well, but there's now a setting to swap which hand is considered
  • Similarly, players cannot drop their currently equipped gauntlet or rune.
    • We realize this adds a restriction to teamplay where it's no longer possible to bring your friends items they might be able to use, but again, this allows us to make many interactions far faster and more straightforward.
  • Players can only have one gauntlet of a given element anywhere in your inventory at a time.
    • Another case that didn't make much sense outside of a few rare circumstances and just cluttered up looting.
  • Players can only have one rune of a given type anywhere in your inventory at a time.
  • Players can no longer pick up an equippable that is lower rarity than one of that type you're already carrying.
    • Given the above changes to wearables and gauntlets, this no longer made sense as an option.
  • Unless players have the Spellslinger talent, they cannot store Gauntlets, Runes, or Wearables in their hotbar.
    • This is another very large change. We wanted to keep the ability for advanced players to hotswap their equippables, but not without a tradeoff.
  • Amulets, Belts, and Boots can no longer be stored in the hotbar.
    • With the changes to wearables, being able to store them no longer made sense.
  • Amulets, Belts, and Boots can no longer be picked up if you're carrying one of equal or greater rarity.
    • Same as the previous note, there's no longer a reason to do this in the current system.
  • Amulets, Belts, and Boots can no longer be unequipped and dropped.
    • As with gauntlets, while we recognize this will remove some of the aspects of teamplay and giving your friends loot, it felt like a good tradeoff in terms of usability.)

Hotbar and Consumables (Health Potions and Armor Shards)

  • Only Consumables can be placed in the hotbar.
    • Spellslinger exceptions aside...
    • This is just to clarify what it means for consumables with the changes above.
  • The mouse and keyboard UI now includes the concept of a "currently active slot, similar to controller.
  • The mousewheel scrolls through slots and the "Use Selected Hot Slot" keybind (defaults to Z) uses the currently selected slot.
  • 1-4 keybinds still continue to work and will select the appropriate slot and use the item in one press.
These three changes allow an alternate control scheme.
  • When picking up an item, it's possible to directly place an item into a chosen hotslot by using that hotslot's corresponding number.
    • Another feature for advanced players who want to very directly micromanage their inventory quickly.

Chests

We took the opportunity while we made a bunch of item changes and added scrolls to revisit how our chests behave. They could often feel too random and streaky (even if they weren't) and facing a match where you couldn't find an item for a slot even after looking at many chests could lead to some lopsided feeling fights. We've made a number of changes to simplify and improve your chest-looting experience. * There are now 4 types of Chests: * Small Chests: These contain one Rare or better item. In addition, there's a chance for a Scroll to drop as well. * Medium Chests: These contain two items, one of which will be Rare or better. In addition, there's a chance for a Scroll to drop as well. * Large Chests: These contain three items, one of which will be Rare or better. In addition, there's a chance for a Scroll to drop as well. * Epic Chests: These always drop one Epic or better item as well as always dropping a Scroll. * Chests will no longer drop multiple gauntlets of the same element. * Chests will no longer drop multiple belts/boots/amulets, respectively. * Chests are somewhat biased towards spawning things for slots you're currently missing. E.g. There's a better chance to find a belt if you're not currently wearing one.

Gauntlets

Toxic

  • Toxic puddles no longer apply Corrosion, though they will still slow/damage players that are in them.
    • Between the slow and the large AOE of a puddle, Corrosion could be doubly punishing and gave Toxic too much kick at range.
    • This apparently got pulled from the build at the last minute. It'll be in a future release. Sorry!
  • Increased duration of Toxic Spray cast to 1.8s from 1.3s.
    • Poison has high burst damage at close range, but also had a fairly high cast speed. The Fervor Talent made this imbalance even more obvious and could lead to some egregious situations. To leave design room, we're scaling back this speed.
  • Reduced spread of Toxic Spray to 6 degrees (from 8 degrees).
    • This will make it slightly more accurate at mid-ranges and easier to hit people with multiple globs.
  • Corrosion can no longer be applied to teammates via friendly fire.
    • This was an oversight!

Fire

  • Reduced Fireball velocity from 4250 to 3250 cm/s.
    • The speed and AoE of Fireballs made them too general-purpose, both powerful up close, at range, and everything in between. Now that we've figured out a better balance amongst various builds and specs, the slower "classic" fireballs can be reintroduced.
  • Players can no longer ignite their teammates with friendly... fire (hahahah).
    • Again, an oversight!

Lightning

  • As a Conduit, the lightning bolts fire less rapidly after the first 3-bolt burst (0.24s between shots for first burst, 0.33s between shots for remaining).
  • For non-Conduits, the cooldown after firing a burst was increased from 0.32s to 0.58s.
  • The Potential Energy skill has always been borderline overwhelming/overpowered. Again, we need the design room for Talents and other cast-speed affecting abilities here, so it had to be scaled back somewhat.

Wind

Wind has always suffered as an offhand gauntlet. The idea here is to make it more powerful at very close range, without making it too powerful at mid/far ranges. * Increased Wind Shear's max damage to 8/10/11/12/13 from 6/7/8/9/10. * Adjusted damage curve over distance of Wind Shear. Previously damage decreased between 10-15 meters, now it decreases between 5-20 meters.

Stone

  • Reduced cast time of Boulderfall to 1.0s from 1.4s.
    • Given various changes to Boulderfall over several patches, the long cast time seemed inappropriate for its level of power. Let loose the boulders of war!

Runes

To help making looting through a match interesting as well as to give players easier access to their prefered runes, we're making a fairly large change to runes...
  • All runes now come in all five rarities!
  • Rune rarity affects both the frequency of how often you'll be able to find a rune but also the rune's cooldown.
    • Almost all runes now have equal to or lower cooldowns at their previous rarity.

Dash Rune

  • Previously an Epic rune with a 5s cooldown.
  • Dash's cooldown is now:
    • Common: 9
    • Uncommon: 7
    • Rare: 6
    • Epic: 5
    • Legendary: 4.5

Springstep Rune

  • Previously an Uncommon rune with a 5s cooldown.
  • Springstep's cooldown is now:
    • Common: 8
    • Uncommon: 6
    • Rare: 5
    • Epic: 4.5
    • Legendary: 4

Chronomaster Rune

  • Previously a Rare rune with a 15s cooldown.
  • Chronomaster's cooldown is now:
    • Common: 22
    • Uncommon: 18
    • Rare: 16
    • Epic: 14
    • Legendary: 13

Teleportation Rune

  • Previously a Rare rune with a 20s cooldown.
  • Teleportation's cooldown is now:
    • Common: 22
    • Uncommon: 18
    • Rare: 15
    • Epic: 14
    • Legendary: 13
  • Increased maximum range of Teleportation to 60m (from 48m).
    • We're still not super happy with the range of TP, having gone from super far to too close and then scooched up a bit again. We're bumping it up once more!
  • Teleportation’s windup animation duration has decreased to 0.6s (from 0.8s).
    • This should make it feel more responsive and let you get out of tight jams just a hair faster!

Featherfall Rune

  • Previously an Uncommon rune with a 12s cooldown.
  • Featherfall's cooldown is now:
    • Common: 14
    • Uncommon: 11
    • Rare: 10
    • Epic: 9
    • Legendary: 8
  • Featherfall's gravity now cancels when players attack or aim a spell/sorcery.
    • This lets you use Featherfall as a much more strategic tool and not end up as a sitting (flying?) duck.
  • Slightly increased height of Featherfall and reduced gravity.
    • Along with the above, this makes Featherfall feel more responsive and lets you get to slightly higher spots for tactical or movement advantage.

Flight Rune

  • Previously a Rare rune with a 15s cooldown.
  • Flight's cooldown is now:
    • Common: 18
    • Uncommon: 15
    • Rare: 12
    • Epic: 11
    • Legendary: 10
  • Canceling the Flight rune with a spell will no longer allow players to get a free shot in.
    • To be clear, this is a bug fix, but we wanted to call it out here since it was not uncommon to see. It could lead to some very unexpected and bursty damage.

Invisibility Rune

  • Previously an Uncommon rune with a 10s cooldown.
  • Invisibility's cooldown is now:
    • Common: 10
    • Uncommon: 8
    • Rare: 7
    • Epic: 6.5
    • Legendary: 6
  • Invisibility now increases strafe/backward speed in addition to forward speed.
    • This is a bug fix, but wanted to call it out up here as well since it improves the feel of invis in a meaningful way.

Shadowstep Rune

  • Previously an Epic rune with an 8s cooldown.
  • Shadowstep's cooldown is now:
    • Common: 13
    • Uncommon: 10
    • Rare: 8.5
    • Epic: 8
    • Legendary: 7
  • Shadowstep is receiving a number of additional changes as well:
    • Players can now Shadowstep in any direction, similar to Dash.
    • Shadowstep no longer carries momentum.
    • Increased Shadowstep invisibility duration to 2s from 1.5s.
    • Increased Shadowstep’s verticality.
    • Shadowstep’s VFX have been tweaked to clarify the direction the character stepped.
    • Largely speaking, we wanted to bring the power of Shadowstep up slightly as well as bring its functionality more into line with how other runes work. It had a hard time keeping up with other options, so hopefully this will help it out!.

Wolf's Blood Rune

  • Previously an Epic rune with an 12s cooldown.
  • Wolf's Blood's cooldown is now:
    • Common: 12
    • Uncommon: 9.5
    • Rare: 8.5
    • Epic: 8
    • Legendary: 7
  • Wolf's Blood now increases your run speed by 4 while active.
    • Wolf's Blood is another rune that had very situational uses and it was extremely powerful in them, but in lots of other scenarios, it came up short. By adding the speed to it (along with its much lower cooldown), it can now be more relevant in more general situations.

Movement

  • While casting spells in mid-air, acceleration is prevented and a small amount of friction is applied.
    • This is intended to be a fairly subtle adjustment to reduce aggro/chaser ("W key") advantage a bit by inflicting a trade-off between attacking and closing distance.
  • Increased ratio of sprint vs strafe/backward speed to 81% (from 73%).
    • This is a buff.

Classes

  • To answer the inevitable question here: There are no non-bugfix changes to classes coming with this release. Talents, equipment, and rune changes are going to shake things up heavily on their own and we'd rather not adjust classes and throw more variables into the mix. We want to see how things shake out with all of the other changes before making further changes to classes or skills.

Out of Match Progression and Rewards

This patch represents the first time we'll be rewarding you for leveling up your classes. Over time, you'll unlock a variety of cosmetics with each class which will allow you to customize your look and show off your inner battlemage, regardless of which class you might be playing in a match.
Important Note #1: The XP curves have changed "out from under you" and there are new values to reach different levels. Your levels from version 1.2 are going to be recalculated and will likely decrease. This is intended.
Important Note #2: As we're still in Closed Beta, it is very likely that there will be at least one wipe before the game reaches full release.
  • The bulk of XP is now awarded through the following:
    • Damage done
    • Time survived
    • Both of these scale logarithmically so early improvement is very "valuable". This compresses the progression curve so playing consistently and playing well is better than having spiky games where you end up with a feast or famine situation.
  • Players can still earn some XP for various accolades, but this has been rebalanced and tamped down.
  • Many of the trivial accolades have been removed.
    • These didn't feel great and were often spammy and they've been sent off to pasture.
  • The following are now unlocked per class as you rank them up:
    1. Class Badge, Tier 1
    2. Class Card, Tier 1 + Class Talent 1
    3. Class Title, Tier 1
    4. Class Artifact
    5. Class Cloudburst + Class Talent 2
    6. Class Badge, Tier 2
    7. Class Afterglow
    8. Class Card, Tier 2
    9. Class Title, Tier 2
    10. Class Triumph If you make it here, be proud. It's not an easy road!
  • Note: coming soon, there will be a "Mastery Screen" UI that will allow you to see what's coming, but in Closed Beta 2, you'll have to refer here to see what ranks will award what.

Friends, Party, and Social

We're trying to make playing with your friends and dealing with problematic players smoother with this release. There's still a lot of work to be done, especially as we launch on other platforms! * Players can now send a party invite to their Epic friends via the friends screen. * Players can also send and receive Epic friend invites from players you've recently played with. * If a player blocks another player, the blocked player can no longer be placed on the blocking player's team during matchmaking. * Players can now easily report other players from a variety of places. * Players can now individually mute specific other players from voice chat.

Map

Dustpool

  • Dustpool has undergone a very large update with brand new art and design across the region!
    • Includes new buildings, foliage, ground and building textures, props, and more!
  • A brand new Dustpool Hold has been moved north to the edge of the gameplay space and has the following:
    • New outer wall and towers
    • New marketplace area
    • New central structure situated on top of terraces within Dustpool Hold
    • New mountain range behind Dustpool Hold
  • Gritfield Village has also been added to the region and showcases new houses and huts.
  • From the Teaser: As a part of our goals, we wanted to create a desert area that felt vast and expansive, while still allowing for interesting gameplay elements. By using multiple levels of very disparate heights as well as channels into the ground, players can have long sightlines and take advantage of the high ground while also being able to take covert routes to their targets or sneak through to loot-rich areas. Massive rounded domes and destroyed huts with missing walls and external staircases give players unique silhouettes and new ways to navigate and fight with each other. Areas support multiple engagements taking place at the same time and you’ll never know who or what will be just out of view as you come up over an edge.

Banehelm

  • Banehelm also received some hefty updates, including:
    • A newly designed Banehelm Keep
    • Northfall village
    • Windmills and aqueducts that provide new gameplay obstacles and strategic options

Miscellaneous Map Updates

  • Fixed lots of bug all over the map related to collision, floating objects, snags where players could get stuck, clipping etc
    • Just say no to invisible collisions!
  • Fixed several locations where Mana Vaults and other interactive objects could spawn underground.

Controller Support

  • Spellbreak now has full controller support on all screens.
  • We've added a new aim-assist system, specifically tuned for each gauntlet.
    • Since these are per-gauntlet AND they are works in progress, please give us your feedback on how they feel and when you do, please mention the gauntlet you're using!
  • If you're moving and open a menu or a map, you'll now keep running in that direction.
    • PC players could already do this, but wasn't possible when using a controller.
  • Added preliminary rumble support.
    • Now you can FEEL the magic as well!
  • Additional controller customization options are available in settings:
    • Aim-assist options
    • "Dead zone" settings for controller sticks
  • Controllers now have a few additional options for layouts and control schemes:
    • We wanted to offer a few different layouts to free up additional shoulder buttons to be used with either jump/levitate or runes so you can keep your right thumb on the stick, maintaining better control and accuracy.
    • Default stays the same.
    • Elemental Swap: R1 = Spell, R2 = Sorcery. Hold L1 to switch to your off-hand gauntlet.
    • Sorcery Swap: R1 = Primary Spell, R2 = Secondary Spell. Hold L1 to switch to casting sorceries.
  • Similarly, we added a few options for "auto-levitation" as well.
    • Default (Hold): Levitation will toggle on once initiated, either by holding the jump button briefly while on the ground or by tapping it while in the air. Tapping the jump button to jump will not trigger levitation.
    • Tap: Levitation will toggle whenever you press the jump button, even a tap.
    • None: Levitation requires that you keep the jump button held continuously.

UI

  • Talents
    • There's a Talents UI out of match where players can see and edit their chosen talents and see what's left to unlock.
    • There's also the in-match Talents UI which will show players which they've chosen, how far the talents have been upgraded, and when the talents are active.
    • For more Talent info, see the top of the notes!
  • Leaderboards have been hidden.
    • We're currently reevaluating Leaderboards and how we want to use them going forward. Stay tuned!
  • Vitals HUD has been totally revamped to give players way more information for them and their teammates!
    • Shows equipment and rarity for the player and their team.
    • Shows outfit portraits for the player and their team.
    • Shows which platform everyone's playing on.
    • Now you can know who's geared up and who can use some help at a glance and match in-game characters to names more easily.
  • Updated the exile feed and alerts.
  • Settings screen has been updated.
    • New UI, improved layout and interactions.
    • Added new tabs: “Account”, “Keybindings”, and “Controller” tabs.
    • Removed “Controls” tab.
* Spellbreak now supports user-defined UI scaling! Players can scale various portions of the UI up and down to their liking. This is just PC for now... Seems this might have been pulled at the last minute. It'll be back in a future build! Sorry for the confusion!
  • There's now a setting to determine on which hand your primary gauntlet is worn.
    • In-match inventory / loadout has been revamped with talents and new equipment systems.
    • End of match screens have been cleaned up and unified with easier to read callouts and information on stats and results.
    • Map screen has been updated with new icons for portals and Mana Vaults.
    • Directional damage indicators have been improved.
    • The Collections screen has been updated with new backgrounds and UI.
  • Players can also now preview Cloudbursts and Afterglows here as well.
    • The "hamburger" menu at the top right of the main menu is now packed with more flavor.
  • Friends, News, Settings, and Exit all live up here now.

Other Art, FX, and Sound

  • New icons for a variety of cosmetics and equippables
  • New idle animations for characters on the main menu
  • New music while falling from the portal
  • Camera shake added in a few places for that visceral feel!
    • These are experimental and works in progress, so please give us your feedback on them!
    • There's now a slight camera shake while you're falling to the world from the portal to give players that sense of WHOOOSHing.
    • Your camera will shake upon taking damage. This isn't scaled to the amount of damage done, but it's good CRUNCH feedback when you've been hit.

Optimizations

We spent a lot of time optimizing performance this patch for all of our platforms.
  • Optimized many different VFX.
  • Fixed FPS drop while using Flight Rune.
  • Greatly lowered CPU required to draw the HUD.
  • Optimized animation system and logic for characters.
  • Optimized physics computations.
  • Reduced hitching when streaming in portions of the world.
  • Lots of miscellaneous CPU and GPU optimizations!

Game Modes

  • We've temporarily vaulted Clash in CB 2 so we can focus on cross-platform stability to ensure the best experience when we reintroduce it.
  • Solos and Squad Battle Royale will be available.

Bug Fixes

  • There was a bug in the math of Frostborn's Ice Prism that would occasionally cause it to do too much damage.
    • This was rare and is very much not a balance adjustment.
  • No longer possible to windjump and use Updraft as Tempest to fly great distances across the map.
    • While it was fun, it was supremely broken.
  • Players using a controller will no longer sometimes swap gauntlets from hand to hand.
  • The sound played when a teammate is downed should now always play.
  • Flight rune description no longer mentions being able to be interrupted by damage (because that hasn't been the case for a long time).
  • Spectators would not hear Featherfall's sound effect.
  • The exile UI's reported damage should now match the damage number the player sees.
  • The damage indicator in the HUD will no longer always show storm damage as coming from the right.
    • Sneaky storm!
  • Occasionally, the spectate button at the end of a match wouldn't work.
  • Spectating players would sometimes not see vaults.
  • Player icons on the minimap should no longer leave "trails" as the player rotate their cameras.
  • While spectating an invisible player, they should no longer appear visible.
  • Players should no longer start the mana regen animation while they're in the air if they levitate just before hitting the ground.
  • Fixed a rare bug that sometimes caused players to enter a match as the wrong class.
    • No, you're not crazy and didn't pick the wrong class. That was our bad.
  • When casting Ice Lance, the "bow" should no longer disappear for a few frames.
  • Cleaned up a few sound effects being unaffected by the volume sliders in settings.
  • Gauntlets should no longer be visible to other players during Chronomaster's rewind.
  • Players will no longer briefly become visible mid-Shadowstep.
  • Frozen Toxic Clouds should update their collision when set on fire.
  • Spectating a player should properly show the spectated player's card.
  • Mana Vaults will no longer continue to play their sounds after they've been opened or not there in the first place.
  • Sound should no longer cut out on occasion after being exiled.
  • Moved the world to prevent players from missing the map entirely if they chose a certain portal and didn't move as they fell.
Whoa! These have been the longest patch notes in Spellbreak's history! Congrats for making it this far! We're incredibly excited to be transitioning into Closed Beta 2 and welcoming players on Playstation to Spellbreak for the first. We've got a bunch of stuff planned in the coming weeks with special events, playtests, and more. We're making Spellbreak together with you, so don't be shy with your feedback. You make what we do possible, so thanks and we'll see you in the Hollow Lands!
submitted by proletariat_sloth to Spellbreak