On July 28, 2016, Lego rolled out another update for Merlok 2.0. It was kind of exciting because of the new splash screen and the addition of Robin's Workshop. There were also big changes to the Nexo Power star levels, some frustrating, some exciting. As I experimented with the new features, I learned a few things and decided that I needed to study the changes a little more before writing this post.
Not that big of a deal, but the new splash/load screen is nice. A few icons have changed and now the app uses an orange and white exclamation point to remind/nag you that there is something that needs your attention.
Have you been working on the Mission Challenges and collecting Lego studs? We finally get to find out what they are used for. Robin's Workshop is used to convert Lego pieces into Upgrade Gems. Each gem will temporarily raise the Star Level of 1 color of Nexo Powers by a specific # of levels. Each gem has a limited number of uses. At the beginning of each Mission, you have the opportunity to equip zero, 1, or 2 gems to your shield. Using a gem in this manner will decrease the number of charges it has left.
You can craft as many gems as you want and the Merlok app will nag you if you have enough studs to make more gems. The round plates are virtually unlimited since you can replay Missions to get more of them. Round bricks, however, are limited, but round bricks are the only way to get +8 and +10 gems. For now, I think that the current star levels give you enough damage to get through the areas that are currently unlocked. I don't feel that the gems are necessary. As the game ages and more areas/enemies are unlocked, things could change.
By far, the biggest and most confusing change was to the Nexo Power Star Levels. There are some things that make it easier for casual players and there are some things that make the new system more exciting for advanced players.
NOTICE: If you had any 5-star Nexo Powers before the app update, it will look like your shield collection has been frozen and you cannot level up any of your shields. This is a weird feature/glitch that Lego did a poor job of explaining. In order to "unlock" your shield collection, you have to craft at least 1 gem in Robin's Workshop, start a Mission, and equip at least 1 gem onto your shield. If you do those tasks correctly, an orange exclamation mark will appear on your Shield Collection icon and remind you to look there.
In your shield collection, you will probably have shields with an orange and white exclamation point. When you tap on one of those Nexo Powers, the power stats appear on the left side of your screen and the Nexo Power icon will pulse. By tapping on the pulsing shield, you will "activate" your 5-star Nexo Power and EVERY shield of the same color will increase by 1 star level.
Your Nexo Powers still have to be scanned 6 times to fully power them up. However, the first 5 scans appear to have NO EFFECT on the amount of damage that each Nexo Power does. When you achieve Star Level 5, powerful things start to happen. Every shield that you scan to level 5 will reward you with 1 star level. In the new system, any time you earn a new star level, it applies to ALL of the Nexo Powers in the same row/color. Instead of maxing out at 5 stars, every row of Nexo Powers can advance to level 30-something. Each power will inflict 20-160 extra points of damage for each star level per hit. That ends up being about 700-5600 points of extra damage when you max out your star levels.
The other big change to advancing star levels is that you can level up your shields just be using them during Missions. Scanning still works, but for casual players that don't know about our site and our QR codes, and don't own every Nexo Shield, once you scan a shield, you don't have to scan it again. You can level it up to 5-stars just by equipping it during Missions.
Merlok's Shield Collection hasn't been growing very much lately. The June update gave us 172 shields, Lego has bestowed 5 more shields with this update.
The neat thing about this update is that you can tap on the shields that you don't have yet and find out their name, power #, and see an "action graphic".
That's about all that I noticed. There's a lot more details and pictures that I want to post about gem crafting and star levels, but I'll save that stuff for a separate post.
FInally, August 1. The Summer Wave of Nexo Knights Lego sets are finally available for sale on Lego.com. The new sets have been available for at least a few weeks in other countries and there was a seller on Amazon selling Jestro's Volcano Lair for a LOT. I'm pretty sure that the U.S. is the last country to get these sets.