Updates to the Classcraft universe for Back-to-School 2020!




Starting this week, we’ll begin rolling out changes to the Classcraft universe — the vast world of characters, locations, pets, powers, and more that make Classcraft such a rich experience for students.

We’ll share the details on the changes in a minute, but we’d like to begin with a quick explanation of why we’re making the updates and exactly how we’ll be rolling them out.

Adventures in world-building

One of Classcraft’s goals is to make school more meaningful for students.

One of the coolest things about building a world like the Classcraft universe is that everything in it takes on a new level of meaning because of its relationship to what’s around it. The challenging part is the vigilance it takes to watch over that world to ensure a certain level of consistency and cohesion. Just having a lot of awesome elements doesn’t make it a universe. Everything has to work together.

We realized how much of a challenge (and how fun!) this would be when we debuted Story Mode last fall. For those not familiar, Season 1 of Story Mode represented the launch of our new Classcraft universe. Unfortunately, not everything within Classcraft neatly fits within that world. So last year, we conducted a careful review of all the intellectual property (IP) — our creative assets like maps, characters, etc.  — within Classcraft and developed a path to getting everything consistent. This involved some tough decisions, but we’re super excited about where we’re going.

What’s coming to the Classcraft universe for Fall 2020

Enough preamble — it’s time to dive into the good stuff. Here are some of the changes you can expect for this back-to-school season.

Making the transition as smooth as possible

When deciding how to roll out these changes, we thought: “Maybe we should just change each individual element as it becomes ready — teachers won’t mind!”

We kid, we kid.

We’ve been hard at work over the past few months prepping these updates so that we can begin rolling them out before back-to-school season kicks into gear for most teachers. Not every element will be ready or in its final form until later this summer, but we’re going to stagger our release schedule to update the elements that students will encounter early in the school year first. You may see some elements while they’re still in low-res form, but rest assured, we’ll add the high-res versions as soon as we can.

The bottom line: We know that teachers have had to adapt to a LOT of change over the past year, and we’re committed to minimizing surprises while we make these important updates.

Thanks for your support

We hope that you appreciate our point of view on these changes. If you don’t, that’s okay! Our goal is to win you over with all the cool gear, pets, and powers we plan to introduce over the coming months. In the meantime, thanks for standing by us. Your partnership means a lot.

Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback. We know it comes from a good place, and we’ve taken it to heart. We’d like to use this blog as an opportunity to provide an update about the details of the IP changes and to provide some context that will help explain where these changes came from — and, ultimately, what they’re leading us toward.


For several years, I have used Classcraft in my classes to varying degrees of success, happiness and frustration.

Thank you for once again confirming your efforts to bend down to the PC culture that is entirely inappropriate for the high school age I teach.

Warriors to Guardians? You've heard many of us cry out against this, but you turn a deaf ear (or a blind eye, considering you're reading this) to those outcries.

And now you're 'nerfing' Mages and Healers, too? Yes, I'm reading between the lines here but "spiffed up" has been the exact opposite in my experience here. Let me guess... magic is considered offensive to certain groups, so we're removing references to it, right? It'll be some crazy talk like the power of friendship or something? "By using your own inner light, you get to break the class rules and do this" power. 

I have paid out of my own pocket for years for this service. I have never asked my district to pay for it. I paid for it because I believed in it and was always looking forward to new features being promised. Quests were cool, but where were the self-grading battle quizzes? But those new promised features "coming soon" got pushed to the side and kicked away. "Let's spend 3 months adding 2 new maps to the quest page!" -- I know it's not that simple, but that's how it appears from this end.

Instead of ADDING options and features, you have consistently REMOVED features. I prefer the old logo though I realize there are artistic reasons you needed to change it. I prefer the old map and while the current one is not quite the monstrosity you had tried to implement, it's not that much of an improvement over it. I prefer WARRIORS with weapons. These kids play Fortnite and Call of Duty. They're not going to be offended by weapons and if there are some groups that are, then make that an OPTION for each teacher! You keep replacing art, but some of the old art was good art, too!

It's a shame. While I never planned on using this app in the fall due to Covid and the particular classes I'll be teaching, I will be surely double-checking myself before I subscribe again in the spring for the classes that might would have gotten something out of it.

Can I please at least request that you make it a priority to make it a feature that the teacher can choose the picture to correspond to the powers. I renamed my powers to match the original pictures and now that you have changed them the powers no longer match the picture and some appear quite awkward. The mage's second power showed a mage disappearing and was named invisibility, now it shows them summoning or holding the flame spirit ember which does not match or make sense it at all.

In my country we are still in the middle of school so this changed happened while teaching class. If you have decided to redesign the pictures of the powers can you at least let us choose which picture corresponds to which power so we can still make them match logically to the name and description of power...

Hi Dan!

Thanks for the suggestion, that makes a lot of sense with your class!

Can you please email us directly? We'll be able to send you a complete list of our current powers and you can update the names you currently have to make sure it fits the pictures!

Have a great day!

Hi Jenny!

That would not help at all, even if I did spend time to now change the names of my powers as you changed the pictures without warning, the majority will still not match the description of the power.

And to pre-emptively answer your next suggestion to just change the descriptions, I will not change the description of the powers as that would be incredibly unfair to do to my students in the middle of the school year after they chose classes carefully depending on power descriptions, it is unfair to any students who chose the powers beforehand at any time.

So thanks, but no thank you.

Is there a more specific timeline for when these changes (both visual assets and character changes) will be available? I want to know what I'm working with as I prepare to introduce things to students and setup my classes for the year - it's very frustrating to put in time creating classroom resources to then find they don't match the student experience.  Thanks.

Its kind of interesting that you are talking about all these great changes, but dont mention the increase in price?  I mean for this sudden raise in expense, you really would give teachers flexibility--I almost would rather pay $96 dollars to keep everything as it was BEFORE your adding on the story mode, changes in characters, the changes to the ORIGINAL map for the quests.  Is that an option? Can we pay the $96 to get everything before your updates from last year?

I agree with everything that has been said here.  Frustrated to say the least.  I have used Classcraft for years (2015). Both my students and I really enjoyed it and made due with some of the changes that we weren't happy with (weapon removal and elementary level graphics).  But now, I'm now I'm on the fence with whether to continue or not.  In addition, to the other comments, it is unfortunate that we can no longer pay a monthly subscription.  I am the only teacher at my school that uses the program and therefore pay out of my personal paycheck.  I can't afford to pay the large upfront cost. I am not a social media person, therefore all the crowdfunding is not an option. I'm so disappointed in the "progression" of Classcraft.

I agree with most of the comments here: Classcraft has continually gone in a direction that is making the game less fun. Nerfing characters and sterilizing powers is not the way to get students enthused about the game. Do we really expect students to get excited about rewards for practicing good hand hygiene and socially distancing? 

May I ask why whenever Classcraft updates and "improves things" that make it worse and actually take away useful existing features.

When powers were used like Protect 1, it would show the student's current HP and AP before you accepted to help them make their decision on whether to use the power. You've now updated the powers so it doesn't do that anymore, why would you take away such a useful function. Please stop "upgrading" classcraft if you are taking away useful functions.

Since you "upgraded" the behaviors we still can't rearrange them like we were able to in the past in an order that suited us. It's still sorted according XP and GP given and we can't move them around like before making it so much more difficult to find the behaviour I want to give a child.

Advanced warning when changes are going to happen would be nice.

I do not like taking away the weapons.

One of my student died today because we could not see his current life total when he went to block damage.

It looks like you took away the ability to take away gold as a behavior I let students buy things in my class so having a quick way to spend gold is important if you took that away please add it back.

Giving parents or yourself control of how we run our class can mess things up. I have real things I sell for gold so allowing parents to give them too much will cost me real money. We had this problem when you added in a quest chain for introducing new content that I could not see and did not know about that gave them gold and xp. 

I have co-workers who are just now figuring out Classcraft and if too many changes happen they will give up especially when I don't know about them.

Mr. Linn,

 

Thank you for posting these comments. You are not the first to post most of these but I have finally decided this is it. I cannot do it anymore. I don't have any classes I can really use Classcraft with currently (not to mention the whole remote-teaching we're doing now is just not possible). I was hoping to use Classcraft again in the spring with a couple of my classes, but I just don't see it happening now.

I have cancelled my subscription from renewing.

I don't want to do so but I also don't want to continue to pay for a product that is trying to take the power out of my hands. I have run "Wandering potion vendors" where my students can spend gold to heal hp and ap before and after boss battles and the students have loved it. If that functionality is gone, some of the way I play is just gone.

Classcraft, you have killed a product that had so much promise! Congratulations.

I have been wanting to adapt Classcraft to my online elementary class, and based on this feedback, I’m curious - why not have two products, one for elementary and one for secondary? You can keep the weapons and such for the older students, and simplify and adjust the experience for younger players.

I know if there was a choice, and an elementary version was available, this company would be flooded with new subscribers. We are discovering the pitfalls of online teaching in regards to motivation, and there are not a lot of options out there.

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