Hybrids, and Mutations… Oh My!

Following is based on a Q&A session held 07/26/2012 at Wheels Family Breeding.

In v1.3 and v1.4, several new enhancements have been added to the dragons. Not everything has been bred out and seen on the grid, so today we’re going to talk about some (but not all) of what’s come out, so far.

The BattleBeast Breedable dragons can now have up to 5 traits: Breed, Eyes, Tail, Wings, and Size.

New Trait: Stardust wings

Stardust wings looks different on different breeds; it passes, and adds to whatever breed colors are already there. Stardust wings were randomly injected in existing dragons as part of the update process, in going from v1.3 to v1.4. This means that some of your existing dragons may be carrying Stardust wings as a hidden trait, and it might surface as a visible trait, as they produce offspring. Stardust is a Wing trait, not an a trait for the entire body.

Q: Are these traits all passable through 3rd-4th gens and up, or do they need “new blood”?
A: Stardust wings are passable, without any restriction of number of generations, and without needing new starters.

Hybrid traits

The hybrid traits are an example of pushing the genetics model ahead in an innovative way. It will provide way of adding some traits in depth, which is something people have asked for (that you have to breed out, and then breed out further, to get to them).

The breeding mix (of possible traits) is usually: male visible, female visible, male hidden, female hidden. The hybrids are a little different, because we didn’t want to drive people “nuts” trying to figure it out :).

In order to qualify for a hybrid mating, the traits being mixed have to be Visible in the male, and Visible in the female.

New: Hybrid Tails

The existing tails that were first introduced in v1.3 were Normal, Ridged, Triple Ridged, and Barbed. In addition, we’ve now added the first hybrid tail trait. The first hybrid tail comes from mating a Barbed Tail with a Triple Ridged Tail; you might get a “Triple Ridged Barbed Tail”. As mentioned above about visible traits, you have to have a visible Barbed tail, and a visible Triple Ridged tail.

New: Hybrid Breeds

The first Hybrid Breeds come from mating a Western Scaled one of color with a Western Feathered of another color. As with the hybrid tails, both of the traits required to produce a hybrid have to be visible, and that gives you a chance, but no guarantee, of the hybrid trait being in the offspring. Once a dragon has a hybrid trait, it can pass it along to it’s offspring as either visible, or hidden.

Q: Is it only a combination of western scaled & feathered? or will fancy & feathered also mingle?
A: It’s only scaled and feathered, for now. We might add in some others, later. This is an experiment, to see if you like it, and see how they breed out. Not all colors (breeds) mix like this, only certain ones (see below).

Most of them have been bred out – so if you’ve been watching chat, you’ve seen or heard of most of them. We’re going to show you all of them, tonight. Some of this is nice, as a puzzle, but we also want it to be FAIR, and FUN!  As we add in new hybrid combinations, and we’ll announce what they are, shortly. Those are the 4 combinations that are in the dragons now (v1.6).

– Western Azure/Black Hybrid DualTone (from mating Azure Scaled, and Black Feathered)
– Western Black/Blue Hybrid DualTone (from mating Black Scaled, and Blue Feathered)
– Western Orange/White Hybrid DualTone (from mating Orange Scaled, and White Feathered)
– Western White/Green Hybrid DualTone: from White scaled and Green Feathered

Q: So you can have a stardust hybrid?
A: Yes – Stardust is a wing trait, separate from the breed trait, so you can have, for example, a Western Black/Blue Hybrid DualTone dragon, with Stardust Wings.

Q: Does it matter which the parents are?
A: For any of these pairings, the Scaled and Feathered can be either Male or Female, either way.

Q: Will there be hybrid color tails too?
A: Hybrid colors tails….. hmmmm 🙂

Q: What happens if you breed a hybrid coat to another hybrid coat of a different colour?
A: Oh, good question! Both hybrid coats are possible as the one that will pass (as hidden, and visible). Currently – we don’t “mix” hybrid coats to mate even-more-hybrid coats.

Mutation Traits

We have also recently added a genetic “mutation” model. What you normally get in a genetic mix is based entirely on the visible and hidden traits of the parents. With the mutation model, sometimes… you get something different, that didn’t exist in either of the parents (as visible, or hidden). Mutations happen rarely in nature, so it’s not something to count on. When it does happen, it will most always result in someting interesting and rare.

New: Size Traits

Size traits pass as normal traits, and also use the genetic mutation model. In the case of Size, we all started with Normal Size dragons. Some dragons were randomly injected with a different Size hidden trait as part of the update process. So, new sizes will breed out… as those hidden traits are in the genetic mix. We’ve already seen some Dwarf and Guardian sizes come out – more than likely from those injected hidden traits.

Matings also have a chance to produce changes in the Size trait based on a small % chance – a mutation. This is the first dragon trait that has can mutate. In the future, there will be other mutation-capable traits.  So, as a result of those visible and hidden sizes breeding out, and some additional mutations from matings, you’ll begin to see more Dwarf and Guardian sizes, and it will be interesting to see what they can breed out…

There will be some fun things in the battle and gaming part of what we do, based on the Size trait of the dragon.

You have to breed dragons that are only one-size away from each other. So, for example – a Dwarf and a Guardian, can’t breed 🙁

Q: Are these traits avaiiable now?
A: Yes.

Q: Can you give an example of a mutation?
A: When you mate a Normal with a Normal, you also have a small chance of getting a Dwarf or a Guardian. If it comes out, A small %, but possible, and (from then on) it will be part of the genetic mix (as visible or hidden) when it mates.

Q: So if we don’t have it in the blood yet, its a rare occurance that will bring it to us ?
A: Yes, that’s right. All dragons started as Normal Size/Normal Size. As part of the update process, some of them have been injected with traits that are hidden. You’ve likely seen chat about that, likely, as you’ve used the Updater.

In some of this, we’re covering new ground… and not all of what we do has been “spot on”. in v1.3 we had the new tails being a high % when you mated a 2T with a 2T. That was something one of the breeders really thought would be great. We tried it, and it … led to a small *explosion* of tails 🙁 So… we’re all learning.

In our next release – v1.7, we’re going to make most of the traits “a little easier” to get, to help balance things out. But not “too easy!”. We don’t want it to be all about being frustrated, and we want it to be fun!

What’s next?

One of the highest priorities right now is to get the Beyond vendors working, so you can use your Dragon Gold points. “Dragon Gold” points will be an ongoing part of what the dragons are all about.

Q: What sort of things will be available from dragon gold
A: We haven’t made the final decisions on that. Right now… jury is still open. We *love* getting suggestions. One of the things we wanted to do – right from the beginning – was to get the community involved in how this progresses.

Q: Will buying a starter wont increase chances of any of the new traits?
A: Not a higher % of new traits, but let’s talk about that for a minute. we stay with a pretty normal genetic model – that means that if a trait is there, it can be bred out. So … if you’ve got scaled/scaled and you breed it with scaled/scaled – you’re pretty much going to get scaled, unless there is a mutation. It might be better to buy a dragon at an auction, with a trait you can see, and then breed it out further, or combine it with something else from another line.

Q: I’ve noticed a significant decrease in a trait: Tourmaline Crystal Eyes.
A: The Crystal eyes are harder to get than Lava eyes, and the Lava eyes are harder to get than Glass eyes Crystal eyes are one of the traits that you can get as a hidden trait from a starter, so there might not have been very many, to start with.

The traits don’t have the same % chance of coming out. Glass eyes are easier, lava are harder, and crystal harder still, and some of the LE eyes even more so. If you mate a glass/glass (visible/hidden) with glass/lava there is a much greater chance of getting the glass. So if you want a rare trait to breed out… battle the dragons, and breed it with another rare trait.

Q: Does that include LE starters?
A: Yes – the LEs can have any of the traits, as hidden.

Q: At one point I heard there would be tournaments..is that still on??
A: We’re meeting with (edit) “W.B.F.” (Worldwide Battle Federation) this weekend, to talk about some ideas. If you’re interested, please contact wildorchid Fairymeadow, Blue Loxely, or Ferrari Rahja.