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Author Topic: 02/22/2010 IGF Balance Changes  (Read 33337 times)
Ross Przybylski
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« on: February 22, 2010, 10:58:36 PM MT »

IGF Balance Changes
Two excellent callouts from the IGF judges regarding the balance of game play were:
  • Too Defensive- entire turns would pass with every attack blocked (I find this especially evident in games littered with high Defense units like Warriors and Paladins
  • Too easy to deal a lot of damage in a short time (I suspect Destruction spell barrages are culprit)

What I feel this boils down to is a need to adjust the range of values so that there is a higher probability to cause consistent damage overall but less likelihood to cause lethal damage all at once in such a way that it canít be anticipated or defended against.  In other words, strategically positioning your units to surround and attack a single enemy is an acceptable form of pummeling since the opponent can see it coming and defend against it.  Teleporting next to and disintegrating an enemy mage or casting a succession of low-cost destruction spells are unfair forms of lethal damage, since the opponent has no opportunity to react or recover with healing spells.

With these proposed changes, I hope to resolve these issues and further develop the characters to make the game even more enjoyable.  The following generalizations summarize the changes overall:
1)   Increased mana cost for all Destruction spells
2)   Creatures may no longer attack the first turn they come into play
3)   Defense values have been reduced for most characters
4)   Increased count of certain spells in deck
5)   Revised abilities to make characters more exciting and attuned to their roles

SPELL CHANGES


Destruction Spell Changes
Blizzard- decrease dice rolled to 2
Demonic Lash- increase cost to 2 mana, allow any visible target, roll 3 dice with exact damage of 2
Disintegrate- roll 4 dice with exact damage of 4
Fireball- increase cost to 3 mana
Ice Shards- decrease dice rolled to 2
Lightning Bolt- increase cost to 1 mana
Meteor Shower- increase cost to 3 mana
Seeker Missile- increase cost to 2 mana
x2 Demonic Lash in deck
x2 Lightning Bolt in deck

I want to reduce the max damage per turn players can achieve through spells.  Keep in mind that with reduced Defense values across the board, we should expect to see more consistent damage in lower amounts.  The intent is to offer players the chance to react to attacks and expose units in order to close distance without the fear of annihilation from Destruction spells in a single turn.


Summons Spell Changes

New Summoning Rule: Creatures are placed according to their specific card.  Creatures may not use actions until their next turn unless they have an ability stating otherwise.

Air Elemental- increase cost to 3 mana, reduce Defense to 13, gains ability Haste: Air Elemental can move and attack the first turn it comes into play.
Earth Elemental- reduce Defense to 14, change Crushing Blow: Earth Elementalís attack dice results of 15 or more are converted to 20ís.
Flesh Golem- reduce Defense to 12, increase Strength to 3
Iron Golem Ė reduce Defense to 17
x2 Air Elemental in Deck
x2 Earth Elemental in Deck

With the increased the cost of Destruction spells, it was necessary to adjust the summoning rule to maintain the balance of the spell schools.   By eliminating the first turn attack, Summon spells no longer act like Destruction spells and the two schools are more distinct.  It also opens up fun possibilities for ďrule breaking abilitiesĒ, like the Air Elementalís new Haste ability.

Manipulation Spell Changes

Imprison- increase cost to 2 mana
Gateway (2): Remove a wall from any space on the board.  Return the wall at the end of the first turn its space is unoccupied.
Sleep (1): Roll a 7 or higher to stun target unit.
Crumble (3): Permanently remove a wall from any space on the board.
Silence (3): Target unit may not cast spells or use special abilities until the start of your next turn.

Gateway was too inexpensive at only 1 mana, allowing for non-Wizards to combine it with Destruction or Summon spells for early game hero kills.  Iíve increased the cost, but also changed the way it works to make the spell more flexible and easier to understand.  Since thereíre so many possibilities for Manipulation spells, I decided to add some new ones rather than increase the count of existing ones.  Silence should prove to be exceptionally good at fulfilling the Wizardís ďdisruptiveĒ role, while Crumble should help open up defensive maps for more exciting end game brawls.

Augmentation Spell Changes (Will be called Attribute Spells)
Replace Cripple with Sunder Armor (1): Target unit with Defense of 15 or greater gets -4 Defense until the end of your turn.
Replace Dragonís Fury with Hex (1): Target unit gets Defense -1 until defeated.
Battle Horn (2): All visible allies get Strength +2 until the start of your next turn. (Useful in team games)
x1 Sunder Armor in deck (formerly there were 2 Cripple spells)
x2 Bloodlust in deck
x2 Armor of Aegis in deck
x2 Archonís Might in deck

Cripple, for its cost, was far too disabling for the already vulnerable mages.  Splitting the spell into an anti-armor and weaker, permanent Defense penalty provides some variation while helping to discourage over-reliance on heavy units (which was the original intent for these spells).  The inclusion of more unit buffs in the deck should also see magic playing a more important role in combat.

Recovery Spell Changes
Revive Ė No longer restricts unit movement- revived unit can use all actions immediately.
Mana Surge- Will only generate 1 mana instead of 2
Full Heal becomes Heal: Target unit recovers 4 life.
Group Heal- increase cost to 3 mana.
Healing Touch- Target adjacent ally recovers 2 life.
x2 Dispel Magic in deck
x2 Heal in deck

The reduced damage-per-turn caused by the increase in Destruction spell mana costs merits a small reduction in healing capability.  Group heal was too beneficial to cost only 2 mana, especially when used in team games.  Mana Surge was overpowered- not only did it grant the ability to form some unfair combos, but it also resulted in the generation of an additional card for nothing.  With the adjustment, youíre now sacrificing a card for a mana.

UNIT CHANGES


Summoner  2S 12D 6L
Skeleton Warrior (1 | 5 Valor): Place a skeleton warrior on target space.  (Cannot be used if Summoner controls 5 or more Skeleton Warriors)
Sacrifice (1 | 10 Valor): Destroy one of your visible creatures.  Summoner recovers 3 lost life.
Summoning Mastery (Passive | 15 Valor): Playerís creatures get +1 Strength +1 Defense.

The Summonerís army building power is brought to the extreme while the new ďcreatures cannot attack first turnĒ rule keeps it balanced.  The value of her Sacrifice ability should not be overlooked; if used every turn, it substantially increases her chance of survival (as seen in the Battle Simulator).  Summoning Mastery is now her ultimate in order to really push players to score that 15 valor.

Sorceress 2S 13D 6L

Fire Rain (2 | 10 Valor): Roll 3 attack dice against all visible enemies. (Replaces Meteor Shower)
Natures Wraith (Passive | 15 Valor): Sorceress can cast Destructions spells for 1 less mana but gets Defense -1 until the start of her next turn for each one cast.

Her previous Damage Bonus allowed ordinary Destruction spells to become devastating without any strategy or risk.  It didnít serve well to capture the Sorceressís strategic role.  With the revised Natureís Wraith ability, she has the potential to annihilate her enemies in a carefully coordinated strike or risk total vulnerability.

Fighter Mage 4S 14D 6L
Dragonís Fury (2): Fighter Mage gets Strength +3, Defense +3 until the start of your next turn.

A minor reduction has been applied to his Defense (which should be expected as Defenses have been lowered across the board).  In addition, Dragonís Fury has become a unique spell to the Fighter Mage, and as such, may no longer be cast on other units (it was far too advantageous to combo him with the Warrior and use this ability every turn).  As compensation, however, 6 additional buff spells have been added to the deck, making his Augment Superior much more valuable.

Soul Reaver 4S 15D 5L
Taunt (1): Force an adjacent enemy to attack Soul Reaver.  This enemy may not attack on their next turn.  (Replaces Duel)

The Soul Reaver delights in teasing her enemies, coercing them to attack and then exploiting their weakness.  The intent of the Duel power was to trap her enemy in order to encourage a fight.  However, itís clear that it didnít create the psychological effect I wanted and was used by players primarily to sprint towards enemies (mages usually) and pin them on the board.  Her new power better captures the attitude of her character and should make her much more fun to field in battle.

Samurai 2S 15D 5L

Critical Strike (1): If at least one of Samuraiís attack dice hits, his opponent loses exactly 3 life.
Eviscerate (2): Target adjacent unit loses 1 life.

The Samurai is meant to inspire awe and fear from opponents; yet, at the same time, his damage bonus coupled with his high Defense was so good that it trumped the value of other characters.  Iíve recognized playersí need to adjust his power, and while the change may seem a bit extreme, consider that he still beats most units in combat and doesnít require the expenditure of cards to do so.  Additionally, Eviscerate can now be used regardless of the opponentís remaining life, adding invaluable offensive capability.

Bard 3S 14D 6L
Inspire (1): Add 4 to target allyís attack dice with results of 11 or more until the start of your next turn.  (Does not apply to spells or abilities)
Song of Valor (2): All visible allies get Strength +1 until the start of your next turn. (Replaces Precision Strike)

My goal is to further reinforce the Bardís supporting role and make her an exceptional choice for team games.  Additionally, her Inspire ability is balanced to only take full effect against higher Defense units (it was far too deadly against mages before).

Psionist 2S 12D 6L

Mind Control (1): Roll a 7 or higher to move target enemy up to 5 spaces.  (May not be used on units that are immobilized or sprinted last turn)

I feel what made Mind Control too powerful was the 100% certainty that a Psionist could pull an enemy unit into a vulnerable position every time.  This change adds a 30% chance of failure, giving opponents of the Psionist a reasonable defense against her power while not taking too much away from what makes the Psionist awesome.

Warrior S2 D17 L6
Dual Wield (Passive): Warrior may attack twice per turn, but gets Defense -2 until the start of your next turn if he does.

Iíve maintained the Warriorís high Defense, but also made it a resource to power his abilities.  This gives players some interesting tactical choices, allowing them to use the Warrior in different ways depending on the situation.  The increased number of buffs in the deck should also make the Warrior more appealing.

Barbarian S5 D12 L7
The lower Defense and higher life pushes the Barbarian further towards the ideal of a hardened, brute fighter capable of dealing more damage and taking more punishment than the average man.

Paladin S3 D16 L5

Paladin gets 1 point deduction in Defense to reduce some of the dice slugging typical of attacks made against her.

Rogue and Wizard

These two already fit well in the rebalanced version and thus have no changes planned.
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diesbudt

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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2010, 12:39:48 AM MT »

You knew my input was going to be here quickly:

Destruction Changes
-Blizzard: I do not like this change, 2 dice is meaningless for 3 mana, I already discard this card 9 times out of 10 for the sheer lack of uselessness.
-Ice Shards: Once again 2 dice, this card will be seen more as an ability throw-a-wayer more now.   (Decreasing defense by 1, but dice rolls by 1, is an actual decrease in predictable damage done, less damage done overall yes, that was your intention, but I feel this will really hurt the usefulness of damage spells.) {I propose 3 dice, 1 exact damage, and stun}
-The rest: I like these changes.

Summon Changes
-Air Elemental: Love this change. Definite makes it more interesting

Manipulation Changes
-Gateway: Why the mana increase? Since you increased Destruction costs massivly, gateway at 1 mana is just fine, plus if we keep raising all cards mana costs, 1 spell per turn will get boring extremely fast for players such as I.
-Crumble: Nice new idea but 3 mana? A Mage uses all its mana to remove 1 wall, and not be able to at least do some attack by spell afterwards?

Augumentation Changes
-Hex: I don't like this card, 1 defense as I have stated, since the Def. of all units have dropped, is barely if anything a waste of a mana and card. (I never use +1 def card unless I have 7 cards 3 mana and nothing else to do)
-Cripple: With the bard change, I don't understand why cripple had to change? Not many units have 15+ def as it is (And -4 after a +10 shield [to give 20def] is useless). {Basically another card I can throw away.}
-I do however like the extra amount of Arch might and Bloodlust.

Healing Changes
-I Like these changes all around, with the decrease in Offense added, but mana surge only 1 mana? (The way i play this games "currency" of mana and cards is combined. If i have 7 cards and 3 mana, I have "10" points. A mana surge at +2, is a nice usage to give me an extra point for either a new card or extra spells, especially with all this mana increasing changes. (Being +1 = another card I will throw away).

{Sidenote: As Im typing this, I am currently at 10 cards I will freely throw away without much thought.}

HERO CHANGES
{I will rate the changed units in my personal rating system}
Summoner[/u]
{7/10}
-I Like this small change.
Comments: She needed that help to heal early on, also having early +1 attack and def on summons could be scary. With this she is more able to survive, as long as she has summons.

Sorceress
{5/10}
-First does she not have a 5 valor move? or did you not type it as it is the same?
-Second 10 valor = 2 card discard for 3 dice? So all that changed was it is moved up 5 valor but lost 1 dice? (I do not like this change, as 4 dice almost never hit over 1 as it is, and for 2 cards...)
-Third 15 valor = 1 word description: Useless. Almost every destruction spell was increased 1, and now she can reduce it 1 AND with a def penalty? Unless she carries the +1 mana surge, she cannot cast more than 1 unless an extremely lucky hand.
Comments: As it stands, with the weak spells as they are for 1 extra mana, her only good focal point is her (I assume she still has is) 5 valor lightning.

Fighter Mage
{9/10}
-I agree with this change, but this change isn't one that will tip the balance in forcing him from his #1 duel hero slot, as he is still powerful. (Most my duels, I am extremely unlucky, if it is still undecided by 15 valor, and I think we all know how many kills my FM has, even with unlucky rolls and not using certain units.)
Comments: With such increased mana cost, augumentation spells will probably be the main focus of my game now using this at 10 valor. Because for 2 mana I can cast a Demonic lash that does 2 damage for 1 time only, OR I can give +2 Str buff to a guardian or himself that stays on until death (more bang for your mana buck, since spiking has been reduced, its better to plan long game and not try to kill 1 unit immediatly.)

Wizard
-N/A

OTHER UNITS

Soul Reaver
Comments:
-I don't Hate the changes, but with both Def and HP nerfed, and her only good ability to pin a unit down. I will more likely stop using this unit, unless Random wants to hurt me some more.

Samurai
Comments:
-Definitly glad to see his STR drop a point, to lessen how often he hits, and now 7+ STR samurai won't go around decapitating people.

Bard
Comments:
-Interesting change, I only liked her for her ability to give units +4 to their rolls, and with her having a permanent 2, warriors and paladins were not as scary.
-But, the new ability it was  replaced by? 2 card cost... I just don't like it, 2 cards for +1 strength to 3 (6 in team) units just seems to expensive.

Psionist
Comments:
-I like and agree with this chance of luck on the mind control, I however, though Have to say, with the psionist even losing 1 defense AND gaining no new offensive abilities, she is way way too weak.
-Also can't MC on units that sprinted? That means every other turn if I don't need to attack, or just cast spells I can sprint and make sure im 6+ tiles from all my opposing units and other than spells there is nothing he/she can do.
-(I whole-heartedly disagree with the sprint mind control change, and no extra offense to offset the randomness that is her only true ability. (Especially with lowering defenses, a preset 14 def. Range attack actually buffs half the units defenses for that attack.

Warrior
Comments:
-First change I am very interested in trying. Now he can play as a very defensive unit for 1 attack, or for go some defense to get an extra swing in.

Barbarian
Comments:
-Another change I really like. for 2 reasons.
1. As a barbarian, he is a "beserking" fighting style, meaning he charges in with full adrenaline (all offense, no defense) and won't stop fighting until his legs and/or arms are cut off. The 7 life and lower defense Depicts this greatly.
2. Also look at his picture... HE HAS NO ARMOR ON, how can a man have 14 armor with no armor on, but there is a poor summoner that at least has some bone armor protection thingy underneath her clothes.

Paladin
Comments:
-With the ability to heal and lowered damage overall, this change is also a great change .


Overall:

These changes just seem "too much". Yes less offense was needed, but with only a few units losing only 1 defense in return, It feels like games are going to take a lot longer than before. And in your first few comments "Too Defensive- entire turns would pass with every attack blocked (I find this especially evident in games littered with high Defense units like Warriors and Paladins)"  This game will be even more defensive. Not defensive in less damage per attack, but less damage a turn. And with sprinting and hiding waiting for heal cards, games will take much much longer against equal skilled players. (And some games I have had with Vinman lasted up to 40 minutes, unless one of us Spiked each other immediately)

Also, a few units have Flipped to opposite spectrums of the usefulness Table: Mainly teh Reaver. Taunt isn't very useful, Duel was amazing. *Not only to catch heros in an akward position* But also, most people unless they have a cripple or buff, wouldn't attack a Reaver. So dueling it, ment that unit would sometimes not even attack her that turn.

Only advantage I see with this change is, if I was to buff her Def to 20, have her sprint to a Hero (lets say a Sorceress who has 2/6 HP) and force her to attack me with 2 dice, meaning I get 1 free attack after a sprint because of counter, unless Im really unlucky.


You also say its fine if a lot of damage comes from pummeling (Many units on the same opposing unit), but not outright spells. What could be done, is weaken the spells only a little, not as much as they are now. Also increase HP a few points keep the defenses low, and than add in the mechanic DnD uses. +X to your rolls if any more of your units are around the same one. (aka flanking). Lets say, +3 per other unit.

Also what I don't understand with the cripple change, Old cripple is -4 defense, which would bring most units to 11. Which is the minimum allowed, and now that the bard requires dice to at least be 11, These spells wouldn't be able to be combo'ed.  This was the only time cripple took a huge bite out of units HP.

These are just some of my thoughts.

-Diesbudt
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 12:46:40 AM MT by diesbudt » Logged
diesbudt

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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2010, 09:15:11 AM MT »

I guess to sum up what I think of the changes:

-In a duel, it now seems first to lose a unit, since offense was lowered, will be at a major disadvantage. unlike now, if both my guardians die with my opponent at full power, I can still win. That will be impossible without extreme luck now.

-The overall card changes I think work well in FFA, though I feel duels will be way more defensive now, relying more on luck than strategy.

-An Idea I thought about this morning between classes, to offset psionists nerfs: have her have 0 STR. but her mind blast ability becomes free, and does 4 dice at 15 def. This will be fair because A) her low def and STR, unless desperate, she will rarly participate in melee combat. B) Also unlike the rogue, her ability can't be affected by buffs/opponents debuffs. I think this would be a fair offset to her only ability being. C) also, since the higher mana costs, means less cards drawn per turn unless you spend every other or 3 turn doing no spells, she doesn't have the luxury to attack by discarding a card.

(If I think of more to add I will)
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 09:17:41 AM MT by diesbudt » Logged
Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2010, 04:26:57 PM MT »

Excellent feedback, diesbudt!  I was hoping to discuss these changes with the community prior to the update, and youíve provided some very good points to consider.  Here are my thoughts on what youíve said:

Destruction
Perhaps the -1 dice to the ice spells was a bit harsh (especially for Blizzard).  My thinking was to balance it more with the increased Meteor Shower's 4 dice for 3 mana vs. Blizzard 3 dice with stun for three mana.  Your exact damage of 1 idea sounds like a possible compromise, but I wonder if this makes the spells verbiage too complex - also- it seems to make Ice Shards more effective than Sleep.  What about - "If at least 2 dice hit, target unit is stunned"?  This lends the spell more towards damage with the possibility of stun on a good roll.

Summon
I was surprised you had nothing to say about the new summon rule- Thoughts?

Manipulation
Hmm... I did go back and forth on the Gateway/Crumble tweaks alot.  Originally, Crumble was going to cost 2- the reason for the increase was to make it particularly valuable to the Wizard- though, I suppose with the other mana increases, it would be safe to lower these.  How about 1 mana for Gateway and 2 for Crumble?

Augmentation
I have to admit I was surprised you didnít like Hex.  For only 1 mana, you can permanently reduce an enemyís Defense.  Depending on the initial Defense of the unit, this can have the same statistical effect as reducing the unitís Life by 1 or more.  Also consider it when cast by high level Fighter Mage.  Since the effect is permanent, it can also be utilized by teammates, unlike Cripple.  The reason for the Sunder Armor card was to give the Cripple spell a more evident weakness- I wanted it there as a way to deal with pesky high armor units and to act as a counter to the increased Defense buffs now in the deck.  Also, I should have mentioned Iím removing the Defense cap of 11 (this rule was in place as the old safe guard, but the newer requirement of targets with min Defense 15 eliminates the need for it).

Recovery
The problem with Mana Surge was that it had no strategic weakness- since you paid nothing for it and got 2 mana, you ultimately earn 1 free card for nothing.  With the change, youíre paying 1 card (the mana surge itself) and basically converting it to 1 mana (resulting in a net change of 0 cards).  However, youíve got a point about the 1 mana being somewhat insubstantial (in light of increased mana costs).  Maybe another idea would be: Mana Surge (0): Generate 2 mana now, but only generate 1 mana at the start of your next turn.  This would allow for fun gambits like Teleport + whatever, but leave you more vulnerable if your attack fails.

Summoner
Did you catch that she can now summon up to 5 skeletons at once?

Sorceress
Yes, she still has her lightning bolt.  I only wrote down abilities have changed (in case of Summoner, both her abilities and their order changed, so I included them all).  And, point taken about the 15 Valor ability.  It does require a fairly good hand to pull off her winning finishing move (a couple demonic lashes, maybe couple lightning bolts and ice shards, etc.).  I tossed scenarios in my head around quite a bit, feeling that the reduced mana cost would be too powerful with the right hand combinations, hence the reason for the Defense penalty (I wanted to add strong sense of risk).  Perhaps there is a better way to do it without making her ultimate so card dependent.  A simple adjustment could be to put her abilities back in original order, and simply make Natures Wraith (10 Valor) without Defense penalty.  Ideas welcomeÖ

Fighter Mage
Yes, part of my intent with the changes was to make spells more useful to their respective casters.  One shouldnít disregard Demonic Lash, however.  A virtually guaranteed 2 damage ranged attack has some advantages over +2 strength buff.  It all depends on your setup- if you can use it to eliminate an enemy in a single turn, more power to the destruction spells.

Soul Reaver
I can see how her new ability might disappoint you given your previous tactics.  Yet, I urge you to look deeper at the implications.  The player commanding the Soul Reaver now has a means to leverage a very powerful Strength 4 attack from her for a mere 1 card.  Since you control how to use this ability, you can make easy gambles against skeletons or other low Strength heroes (like Wizards for instance) who will probably miss their attack and receive an additional pummeling from Soul Reaver.  Or, put a Shield on her, and Taunt something bigger.  Thereís also the Defensive aspect to consider.  You can have the Soul Reaver taunt a Samurai or Barbarian approaching your mage, and while she might suffer some damage, she stops them from being able to attack your mage next turn.  And- if you canít attack, you canít sprint.  So, while she canít fully pin a unit, she can still prevent them from running out of your movement reach for next turn.  Still find her unworthy of joining your team?

Bard
Funny that you should find the 2 card cost too much, I had long considered making it 3.  With any guardian ability, youíre getting an exceptional deal in comparison to casting a spell.  Every spell cast with mana actually costs (in terms of total cards lost) whatever the mana was plus 1 (because you also lose the card that you cast).  So, another way to think of her power is Battle Horn for 1 mana but with only +1 strength.  Even without team mates, this power rocks with the right setup.  Think of a Summoner commanding her 5 skeletons, an iron golem on your team- or a Soul Reaver, Warrior, or Samurai- and how much a mere +1 to strength benefits their attack.  I was actually concerned the fact you could use it every turn made it too good, but suggestions for alternate powers are welcome.

Psionist
Ok, Iím willing to leverage my changes with her a bit (she is my favorite, after allÖ).  For starters, her Defense can remain 13 to give her a little extra protection- and Iím willing to abolish the sprint change to the Mind Control.  So, all sheís losing is 30% on her Mind Control to work, making it still a potent ability with only a minor gambit.  Sound fair?

Overall:
I realize many of the changes might seem extreme, but know that a great deal of thought went into considering how each change would affect the game overall.  In some cases, like the Soul Reaver, major stat reductions were necessary to keep units from being too good right off the bat.  With the right enchantments and combos of characters, many of these weaknesses are converted into strengths.  I felt many characters and spells were simply too good before (they had no apparent weaknesses); I want to move away from this because weaknesses are part of what makes strategy games fun.  Part of the problem solving should be ďhow can I compensate for this weakness- or how can I exploit my opponentís weakness?Ē

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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2010, 05:14:27 PM MT »

first off i'm excited to see the list of new changes. (this will keep me from contantly bombarding dies with class changing questions..ha)

i like the change of the gateway spell. the new crumble spell i like as well this will go well with the new gateway spell. i don't think gateway's cost should have been increased since you sort of solved the bombardment problem with weakening a lot of the destruction mafic spells. also if it was at 1 mana it would at least make it possible for the wizard to use crumble and gateway in the same turn and use a weaker destruction spell.

i like that you added more augmentation spells to offset the lost in str and def for certain units. I'm kind of bumbed out on decrease in mana surge especially since most spells that did damage now cost more mana or you have to cast more of them to equal the same amount.
I like the revive spell. this makes it alot more useful. i don't know if i've even used that spell for that reason since most of the time they would die before i could help them.       The summoner change was a briliient idea. this allows the summon to be the massive army maker that you think she should be.  (also getting that +1str and +1 def was devesating at 10 valor) anyway i'm writing this in class and i have to stop i'll finish it later lol
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diesbudt

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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2010, 05:36:47 PM MT »

Destruction
-I like the 2 Dice have to hit stun on Ice shards. That would definitely work.
-In many games, a blizzard/meteor shower won't hit more than 3-4 people in a 4-way ffa, unless you risk putting your hero into the middle of the board. So the 2 dice was just too low, I realize your trying to equate it to Meteor shower change, but here is a problem (as I am sure Ill address in a bit) The Sorc. new 15 valor ability. Meteor shower for 3 mana isn't worth it to the other mages in most situations. But dropping it back to 2 with the sorceress's new ability, makes it too powerful at 15 valor for her. (As you can see I do not like her new 15 valor ability) and neither do my brother or a friend who play this that love the sorc. She would now be considered last in my opinion of usability in HM (Used to be summoner's spot.)

Summon
-I wanted to think on the summon rule change. First, that is a nice way to reduce the crystal golems and iron golems effects quickly, but on the problem side, Is summoning really worth it, if it will probably die without being used (Wasted mana) if I don't, now treat it like a real unit.
-2 side notes
1) New Earth elemental is a waste, only 2 characters have higher than 15 defense, so his new ability is extremely situational at best and has been severly demoted on the usefulness list. (Shields don't grow on trees)
2) The dual skeleton summon. for 2 mana, not being able to attack on summon means this card has only 2 real uses: ("picking on me rule" for valor in 2v2/FFA by summoning 1 skeleton by 2 different opponents) and (Block peoples path as I run. They cant stand up to any damage, and unless a summoner, they are a waste for 2 mana with that rule change.  Otherwise I am still in debate with myself on this, as I think this one will have to be throughly tested by myself, and others near my level of play.

Manipulation
-Yes with the increase in destruction mana cost, a 1/2 mana cost for gate/Crumble would work. This way mages would have 1 mana to play with in an assault through a defensive setup.

Augumentation
-Hex: I very rarly miss the damage i need to do by 1 armor (5% more chance to hit per dice), and reducing 1 armor, this card would be better used to "cycle" the deck for a better card.
-"New cripple": I see, but with only 1 card in the deck, and a 17 def warrior running loose, it will take some time to destroy him.

Restoration
-Mana surge: I really like the idea you just proposed. This would mean, you can try an all out assault of 5 mana again (which is already a bit weakened by increased mana costs), and if you fail, you will be hurting next turn and have to "recharge"  [I think this would be a great and fun idea]

Summoner
-She can!?!? holy... wow didn't catch that.

Sorceress
-I don't mind the order of her valor abilities. I just realize her "comet shower" (Cant call it meteor as its 3 dice instead of 4) which costs 2 cards for 3 dice, which compared to a free lightning bolt, this would be a "If i have a full hand of useless cards, ill discard 2 to play 'meteor comet'".
-And the 15 valor ability, yes with the increased mana cost, without a mana surge, it just isn't strong, and it even has a bad effect. (I really don't know a good change, but with the changes you have described, I see Healing and augumentations spells being the new top spell classes to use, over what used to be summons and destruction)

Soul Reaver
-Actually yes, I still don't find her worthy. Wasting 1 card to cause someone to attack her (And with her lowered defense odds are hit, its a wasted gamble unless combo'ed with a few certain cards.) Also I would not in a million years taunt a sami, as if he hits, she will die the next turn. (Since all the opponent needs to do is 1 damage + eviscerate). Yes it protects the hero, but with increased mana costs, guardians are now 2-3x more important, and having 1 dead on a too risky gamble can mean an easy win for your opponent.

Bard
-Most the time, the 2 cards you will need to discard would have been more useful as +1 STR (lets say you have all 3 units alive +2 summons)  5 Strength will not make or break a game unless the rolls are on your side. I have a very hard time ever considering using an ability that costs 2 cards. I rarly use Sorcs Meteor shower, or Fighter mages Dragon fury. And only if I am attempting my spike combo, the sami never eviscerates. (Its another one of those, "well i am going to throw 2 cards away for new cards, might as well gain a benefit from it")

Psionist
-I still do not find it fair. Just because she has no offense. 2 Str with 13 Def is just wrong. She is not ment to attack based on those stats. And Mind blast? That ability more or less isn't very good for 1 card, as it buffs 6 Units Def to 14 for 3 dice that cannot be affected by augumentations. So basically her only "real" attack costs a card, while others don't. A rogue (most similar she is too) can have his attack modified and opponents def modified for the attack, and even has that extra 3 dice if they reach 1 hp.  I just have never ever seen the psionist as an attacking unit. (It would be like making the bards 1 card song ability have a 30% chance to fail also)

Overall: I just see this as such a huge change, too many won't want to come back trying to relearn the more strategic parts of the game. And with so many changes at once, they could combine to create unbalanced match-ups  WHICH...

I have already figured at least a few new strats that will probably be as effective and powerful as my retired "duel" setup that only lost 10 ranked duels?  And I retired that setup because it was too boring to 1 shot a mage and instantly win the games.

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diesburgz

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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2010, 06:06:16 PM MT »

As much as it pains me, I agree with my brother on most parts.

-The sorceress now seems kinda useless to me. I loved her old 10 valor ability, it was probably one of the only reasons I keep winning with her. Also her new 15 valor ability to me seems pretty bad for being her top ability. She needs cheap destruction spells but not at the cost of losing a game. I don't know, maybe make it an optional ability or make it so she can only lose two defense at most from the ability.

-Also I agree with Ross, these new changes will most likely make it more interesting in FFA, but can you tell when was the last time you popped on and saw more than one person who wanted to play? Usually you can only get duels now. Recently I just have to play my brother over and over because nobody is on...... with an exception there seems to be more people coming on as of late, but like my brother said all these changes might scare some new people away.

-And last I would just like to thank you for not changing my rouge, I don't think I could play anymore if you did. The Order of The Rouge thanks you kindly.

diesburgz
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diesbudt

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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2010, 06:10:42 PM MT »

Ok i thought about it... Sorc.s New 15 valor ability is way too situational.

What if I had the hand:  Lightning boltx2, Ice shardsx2, Demonic Lashx2, seeker missle

She gets 24 dice + 2 Demonic Lashes.

Maybe the ability is too... out of sync? Horrible for her signature AoE spells, but ungodly with a great single target hand.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 06:13:40 PM MT by diesbudt » Logged
Glenn

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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2010, 08:00:23 PM MT »

aside from what i said before. The higher mana cost bothers me more than the weakening of the actual spells. I just fear that it puts to much emphasis on the guardians. While this might increase the tactical aspects in some areas it kinda of screws you in FFA. for example the other night i was in a 3 man FFA and one person is bound to get ganged up on a little bit more and lose his guardian(s) before the other two lose even 1 of theirs. One of the things that i like was that as long as you still had your mage you could still have a good chance of winning as long as you played your cards right and got lucky. With this newer system it seems like your chances of winning in a situation like this has been greatly decreased.

don't get me wrong i like alot of the changes i just don't want to see the person(s) who get ganged up on in an FFA not be able to do anything once their guardian is gone.

ps i haven't bought the summoner set yet but her new changes have me dying to try her out.
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Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2010, 10:34:02 PM MT »

This is all great feedback!  I'm glad to have encouraged some exictement and concerns.

The sorceress, in particular, needs some more thought I can see.  Other aspects will be hard to fully judge until this system is tested- it is a lot of changes all at once (but necessarily so to make the adjustments fit within the new framework).  I'd love to hear some more feedback and ideas before I implement anything in the game.

What do you think needs to happen to push the game towards the ideal balance?  How can the heroes be adjusted so they all have equal chance of success if played well?

Would anyone like a "beta" release to test some of these changes before full implementation?
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Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2010, 10:47:07 PM MT »

Regarding the new summon rule- the change will substantially change the strategy/tactics of summons.  To your point, diesbudt, about wasting mana on creatures- yes, you take that risk if you tactically insert them right next to the enemy.  To avoid this situation, you place them far enough away from the enemy that they are out of range, but can move in and attack on their next turn.

This tactical change agrees with IGF feedback of "no chance to react" since creatures are no longer appearing out of nothing and attacking.  They have to be positioned first (giving your opponent a chance to retreat or engage).

It might also be helpful to new players, many of which I found in demo games didn't find it apparent that creatures were "living missiles" that could attack the first turn, and so were placing them away from enemies such to protect key areas of the board.

Again, this is probably something we'll need to try in a few games to test the feel.
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Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2010, 11:07:47 PM MT »

To Glen's point about mana cost vs. damage, what about tweaking the Destruction along these lines instead:

Fireball- keep at 2 mana, decrease dice to 4
Meteor Shower- keep at 2 mana, decrease dice to 3 (still nice for Valor and eliminating summon hordes)
Seeker Missile - keep at 1 mana, decrease dice to 4
x2 Meteor Shower in deck instead of x2 Demonic Lash (that card is too evil to have 2...)

Then... Sorceress could get:
Lightning at 5 Valor for 0 card
Fireball at 10 Valor for 2 card (ends up being 1 mana cheaper than regular fireball, but no added buffs)
Natures Wraith at 15 - Any units hit by Sorceress's Destruction spells lose an additional life.  (Similar to old ability, but this extra damage CAN exceed the number of dice rolled- I really want to eliminate the old Damage Bonus rule....it's confusing to new players)

Also, with the other Mage's spell-school specific abilities now being 15 Valor abilities, I think the Augment Superior should maybe be as well.  I always feared the Fighter Mage getting that Dragon's Fury (he was almost invincible at 18 Defense a turn), but now he might need it earlier to make up for his lower initial Defense of 14.
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diesburgz

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« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2010, 11:23:39 PM MT »

Ross I really like the changes in your last post. That seems really good for toning some of the spells down while still making them worth playing, well in my opinion. Also as a player who mainly plays sorceress, I like the new set up you presented.

Also I wouldn't mind testing a "beta" before the changes are permanent.
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diesbudt

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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2010, 11:58:31 PM MT »

Well, i like the ideas coming out for the changes, but a huge problem I still foresee, is because of the sorceresses start of game +1 dice, seeker missile is still a 5 dice nuke for 1 mana to her. And with the lowering defenses, (On average SM will hit for 2 on heros), she still has 2 mana to play with. (We are back to possible nuking of heros in 1 turn)

On that Note, I propose keeping Fireball at 3 mana for 5 dice (I like the idea of fireball being a big long distance nuke, and this way a player cant Gateway and fireball OR follow up with an ice shards or something, with no extra mana help).

Also seeker missile, its ability to go around corners (up to 8 spaces) if it becomes 1 mana Id rather see it at 3 dice, and 4 dice if 2 mana.

Meteor shower, I am not a huge fan of aoe attacks that only throw 3 dice. But at the moment I do not have any ideas on how to fix this.

I just find the sorceress having +1 dice and +1 damage to spells would be overwhelming in a game we are trying to reduce the spike damage for.

And the Fm get Dragons fury early? The problem Im seeing now, is if this is to help his defense to combat say  healing by summoner and massive damage from sorc, what is the wizard going to do? With sleep now "on chance" he has less "escape" abilities, especially being at 12 def.

I also agree, we do not need 2 demonic lashes.

Also with a +1 damage that can exceed strength, what would that mean for Disentigrate and Demonic Lash? Do they still do "exact" damage, or will they get +1. Meaning 1 out of 5 dice hits with Disentigrate, it does 5 damage. (Since sorc gets +1 dice.

I personally just think, everything can be helped if:
-you raise the HP of all the heroes by 2.
-Fireball stays 3 mana 5 dice
-Meteor shower Stays 2 mana 4 dice (Cannot be modified by sorcs ability???)
-Seeker Missile 1 mana 3 dice Can now be used up to 10 spaces (Have 2 in deck, 1 replaces the other Demonic lash)
-Demonic Lash 2 mana 3 dice (Exact damage 2, cannot be modified by damage from sorc.)
-Disentigrate 3 mana 4 dice (exact damage 4, cannot be modified by damage from sorc.)


Yes I threw a lot of ideas out there.

Summary:    I just don't know if a sorc. can have +1 dice and +1 damage if your trying to scale back single target damage so its no instant kills.

I think we are jumping between a Sorc who isnt up to par, and a sorc who would be the most deadly hero in the game. (She already has a free 5 valor lightning, making her the most powerful damager (5 Strength, 3 from Lb, 2 from attack),
« Last Edit: February 24, 2010, 08:22:05 AM MT by diesbudt » Logged
diesbudt

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« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2010, 10:46:47 AM MT »

Also, how are the changes going to affect the new unit(s) you have planned? will they have to be reworked now?
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