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Rivals Season 2: Electric Boogaloo

Your Crew gave it your all. You played your hearts out, and ended Season 1 as strong as you could. You excitedly told all your loved ones how you made it to [insert your tier here] tier, and your grandma pinched your cheeks and told you how proud she was. You daydreamed of a national parade in your Crew's honor. You enjoyed that dream so much you started looking into how much it would cost to throw that parade, and maybe even contacted a company that made parade floats to get a price quote. But the time for continued gloating is almost over, because Season 2 is around the corner.

Crew Float

(By the way, if you weren't in a Crew for Season 1, don't you feel left out reading that? That could have been your national parade daydream. It's not too late to join one for Season 2!)

Season 2 starts a week from today, on August 24th, and we've got some really fun stuff in store. A bunch of you might have taken a survey we sent out last week, looking for feedback that we could take into account to make Season 2 even better than Season 1, and I wanted to share the raw results from some of those questions.

To start, we asked what you felt about a bunch of different aspects of Rivals Seasons:

Season 1 Feedback

So, what does this tell us? The majority of players agree with most of how we've structured Seasons. Tiers are important, it's fun, killing demotion was a good idea, promotions feel fair, and you were motivated by rewards. The only question that didn't have a majority of people who agree was appreciating the two week break. Even for that question, when we first sent out the survey we hadn't dropped the 83 new missions yet, and it was good to get your feedback after the season was over, which we needed a short break to accomplish.

So, what are we doing with this? We're thinking about some larger changes for Season 3 or beyond, but for Season 2, we're not changing much in the structure of Seasons. The one big difference is beefing up our rewards that we're handing out at the end of the Season in October. If you got one of our snazzy t-shirts in Season 0, you'll want to give your all in Season 2 to be able to cover your dome with one of these puppies:

Season 2 Helmets

Also on the subject of rewards, we're making some changes to the way Seasonal Rivals Points are calculated. Since Bloodstone isn't quite as exclusive as it was before we launched Season 1, SRP provides a great way to truly determine the best of the best within each tier.

Previously, there were some varying bonuses attached to each tier. After some feedback from the community, we're adjusting SRP starting in Season 2, by simplifying and removing any benefit to sandbagging, regardless of skill level. Moving forward, being in a tier at the end of a Rivals Challenge means you'll get a flat bonus equal to the maximum number of points from the tier below you, plus whatever you earned for that week. For example, a Platinum Crew that earns 50 RP in their tier would add 350 RP to their Crew's total.

Another interesting question was asking people to rank all of our Rivals Challenges in this season:

Season 1 Rankings

Some fun data to look through here, but the big takeaway is guys like Rock songs, who knew? We'll also take our licks on the Deep Cuts challenge. We talked through how to make similar challenges more appealing in the future, if we return to dig through some of the hidden gems of our catalog.

We're making some tweaks to make Challenges a little more interesting in Season 2. We played around with a one-off XP bonus back in April, and we want to bring that idea back in a big way for Season 2. Most of the Challenges this season will have XP bonuses attached to them for doing various activities, like playing in a specific mode, or playing on a specific instrument.

We're also making some adjustments to how song play bonuses and XP decay work, starting in Season 2. As it stands now, your Crew gets a 1st/2nd/3rd play bonus for the first time anyone in your crew plays a song. After 10 plays of that specific song, XP would decay by 1%, preventing people from exploiting a song by playing it on repeat.

We're tweaking this to allow each player to have their own bonuses and decay levels per song. Everyone will get their own first, second, and third play bonuses on a song. After that, XP will decay by 10% per play, until your 12th play of a song or beyond, at which point you'll continue to receive 10% XP.

Season 2 is also where we're introducing our Season Spotlight Pass, where you can get a discount on a collection of 8 songs, each one being a brand new DLC track that we'll be Spotlighting during its release week in that week's Challenge. It'll be available starting on August 24th, the first day of the Season, and each week your new song will unlock and be downloadable when it hits the store. It’ll be available throughout this Season, but once Season 2 is over, the offer will come down, so don’t wait too long! You can snag the Season 2 Spotlight Pass for $13.49.

To close out, I'll leave you with some tips to prepare for Season 2:

  • First, make sure you're in a Crew of 10 people! If you're sporting fewer, you can either recruit for more or combine Crews with another smaller Crew. The average Crew size of each tier increases on the way up to Bloodstone. There's strength in numbers!
  • Get the Rock Band Companion App. It lets you chat with your crew, and see a bunch of advanced info about each Challenge, including how much room you have to improve to get top scores on each of the Spotlight Songs. It's a must-have for anyone who wants to be competitive.
  • Practice on those new Missions we added last week! There are 83 of 'em, they'll keep you busy for a bit and make sure your fingers, vocal chords, or wrists and foot (just one of 'em) are warmed up for the start of the new Season.
  • Think about what you'll want on that parade float. It's an important decision.

See you on the leaderboards, the competition will be more fierce than ever.