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Author Topic: Paladin and Fighter Mage Changes  (Read 17296 times)
Ross Przybylski
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« on: August 01, 2012, 08:52:37 PM MT »

Dear Hero Mages Community,

It's been quite awhile since I've proposed a game balance change. Getting all of the characters and abilities balanced to everyone's liking is a process that took years of experimentation to hone, and I'm glad that the system has proved itself for so long.

That being said, I am considering changes to two characters with the very soon-to-release update. These characters are the Paladin and Fighter Mage as the subject suggests.

The Paladin

First, let's talk about the Paladin. I have observed countless games (particularly test runs using the computer AI) where the end game reaches a stalemate between two opposing Paladins. The ability to self-heal has needlessly extended the duration of these endgames as much as 80 additional turns of dice slugging. We all love throwing dice, but I think most of us would agree that this is a bit excessive and dulls the experience of game play.

So, what I propose is:

#1. Eliminate the Paladin's ability to heal herself. This will eliminate drawn out battles. At the same time, we don't want to handicap the Paladin as a character choice, so this brings us to...

#2. Increase the Paladin's Bless ability such that it cures all negative ailments. Far too often I have seen player's use Bless thinking it will cure Roar, Hex, and other nasty effects, so this change seems like a no-brainer to increasing her desirability as a party member.

#3. Grant her the ability to use Combat Healing roll 2 attack dice against enemy creatures. This was suggested as a way to "add flavor" to the archetype Paladin, and I think it adds further benefit to her without being excessively powerful.

All in all, I think these changes solve the end game problem and make the Paladin more true to her nature as a self-less "do gooder". What do you think?

The Fighter Mage

The Fighter Mage's stun immunity gives him an incredible advantage, particularly in free for all "circle of slaughter" type matches. Many players have suggested that this advantage is overwhelming when compared to the starting abilities of other mages and I am inclined to agree.

How can we adjust the Fighter Mage's power without taking away his allure? Here's a few possibilities:

#1. Change the order of Relentless and Augment Superior (or Flash). This would leave him vulnerable in that key first round of circle of slaughter and also increase the usefulness of his Augment buff as early enchantments could take advantage of the +1 boost. However, players may argue that a first turn Fighter Mage could easily get the necessary valor and then have a super-advantage.

#2. Weaken the ability of Relentless by:
      A. Stun immunity is not guaranteed, but determined by dice roll (5 or higher)
    OR
      B. Change stun immunity to "Fighter Mage may move and attack while stunned."   Stun would still prevent him from casting spells.

If we weaken his stun immunity, what can we change to maintain his allure?

Thoughts?

Please voice your opinions on these possibilities. It's important I incorporate the balance change before the update for the game replay ability to be compatible with future versions.


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diesbudt

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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2012, 09:10:49 PM MT »

#2) For the fighter mage, since he is all about movement, and to fair up the stun issue people claim about him, or used to claim especially since he already has the best defense, is to change the stun immunity to movement impairment immunity. Basically make it so he can not be immobilzed.

But this is just my idea as I have never seen stun that big a deal, as I always carry an ace up my sleeve to unstun my mages via outside sources, so I figured just make it so he can't be impaired is a good enough change.

#1) For the paladin, I would think removing the ability to heal herself would be the best way to go, and add in bless the ability to remove all negative status effects, but in return shorten the range she can reach with it. As always having a dispell by hand can be quite powerful if she just sits across the map.

If you give her an extra way to attack, you will want to balance it out much like the Psionists beam. By making it a set defense. And since the psionist has a weaker attack and defense, the defense requriement would be required higher. Maybe 15+ only? this way a barbarian and mages who have low defense wont have to deal with a ouch 5 dice attack (for 1 card extra) from one of the more defensive units in the game.
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Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2012, 10:13:50 PM MT »

Dies - interesting point about limiting the range of the Bless. I didn't fully consider the ramifications of just how much power this adds to the Paladin.

It wouldn't be quite as powerful as a Dispel Magic as it wouldn't work on removing enemy buffs, but it would counter many guardian abilities like Roar and Taunt as well as spells like Hex, Imprison (if cast on Paladin), and of course still anything that causes Stun or Immobilize.

I've looked into the potential of having Combat Healing serve a duel function, and, while I could do it, it would add significant delay to the update release since Attack actions are separate classes from Play and Discard actions.

That being said, the easiest solution for the time being would be to keep the unlimited range on Bless, allow it to remove any negative effect (except Sprint and Warrior duel wield penalties) and eliminate her self-heal ability.

The summon bane ability could be an additional power, but this would make her the only guardian with 3 abilities and I'm not sure I want to go that route.

I really like your idea about making the Fighter Mage immune to immobilization. So, what if his ability changed as follows:

Relentless: Fighter Mage cannot be immobilized and may move and attack while stunned.
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Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2012, 10:26:34 PM MT »

Dies, thanks again for these suggestions! I really appreciate.

I really like the idea of the Fighter Mage being vulnerable in some way to stun since it's such a crucial game element. By adding the immobilization immunity and allowing him to move/attack while stunned, this vulnerability to stun is compensated by the strength of total mobility.

So, in essence, the flair of what the Relentless ability stands for is actually enhanced. We've created a Fighter Mage that is more true to his nature as a combat specialist. Likewise, the change to the Paladin has made her more true to the nature of a self-less healer.
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Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2012, 10:42:20 PM MT »

One more thought...

If the Fighter Mage can still attack while stunned, it brings up an interesting challenge for the AI. Normally, the AI will not attack stunned units because they are not a threat. However, a stunned Fighter Mage is a threat if it can attack. In some cases, it's best not to attack so he can't cast spells. In other cases (if he's only got 1 health left) it may be best to attack him.

Perhaps I should look at the unit's available health when deciding whether to stun/attack a unit.
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diesbudt

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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2012, 05:51:37 AM MT »

All programming and AI limitations set aside, having the fighter Mage still being able to attack and move while stunned, is not helping the situation as much as needed. As he can still just run away and hide. Stuns strongest point has not been to shut a Mage down from casting, though a big help, but to lock them in place for a turn in a vulnerable situation to allow your army to close in on him for a massive strike. If you wanted to go that route, you may have to rework how stuns work on spells like ice shards a separate die that much like psionists mind control requires a certain number+ to stun. This would A) allow an attack from the frost spells still stun if missed (making blizzard a little more useful for 3 mana) and B) regulate the defense that is required to roll for that as the FM's higher defense already would give him a little less chance to get stunned.

With that stun change it could allow the FM that ability so he can't cast spells or use abilities while stunned, and make it so he cannot sprint while stunned, just move 5 and a basic attack.

The paladin route, would be a fine fix for now to just remove self heal. And go ahead give bless more abilities. But do not remove taunt via bless. That would undermine the only good thing the soul reader has going for it, basically allowing a target she taunted "2" attacks. 1 via taunt, another via blessed off and can attack normally.

I agree no 3 abilities, however of customization comes around you could have a choice of heal vs that attack ability (basically choosing a more defensive or offensive paladin)

« Last Edit: August 02, 2012, 06:36:11 AM MT by diesbudt » Logged
Uberdoggie

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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2012, 07:29:39 AM MT »

If I remember my old DnD, Elves had a natural 'resistance' to sleep and stun effects.  Instead of an immunity to stun for the FM, perhaps it should be a resistance.  Cut movement in half, remove sprint for that turn and prevent casting.  Attacking should be allowed.  As well as Flash.

I agree with the Pally mods.  Remove self-heal.  Add broader spectrum for Bless.  Might even consider a combining of the heal and bless into one ability, raising its cost and is used as a 'as needed' ability concerning results.  If its needed as a bless and you don't need the health, then it just clears status effects.  Vice versa.  Or both if needed.  Thus the extra cost.  That way, it leaves you a window to create a second ability without worrying about the three ability difference.  Perhaps a Holy attack of some kind, like Holy Smite or Pillar of Fire..
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MagicMissle

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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2012, 08:58:08 AM MT »

Alright Ross, here is my opinion.
Pally- I think Blessing should PREVENT negative effects from a character and Combat Healing should heal the negative effects from a character. Why? Blessings are usually put on some one to PREVENT harm, not remove it.

FM- I think the immunity to stun should be removed completely and a new power should be put in. Such as an automatic increase to defense and attack (10 valor) then the +1 to augment spells is passive (no valor) flash and dragon's fury should stay the same
-Kevin
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Archie

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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2012, 03:18:39 PM MT »

The paladin is my favourite guardian and I am rarely work without her. I like the theme of her not being able to heal herself but to balance thst,  whatever you do with bless, and I do like MM,s idea of prevention then I would ask for another point of health.

]
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Archie

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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2012, 03:21:39 PM MT »

My son had the idea that as a holy warrior she should have some ability to attack or rebuff the skelletons. Perhaps her bless could act as a stun or an attack to undead creatures.

Which also creates the idea of having monster types in future editions.
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diesbudt

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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2012, 10:34:53 PM MT »

Alright Ross, here is my opinion.
Pally- I think Blessing should PREVENT negative effects from a character and Combat Healing should heal the negative effects from a character. Why? Blessings are usually put on some one to PREVENT harm, not remove it.

FM- I think the immunity to stun should be removed completely and a new power should be put in. Such as an automatic increase to defense and attack (10 valor) then the +1 to augment spells is passive (no valor) flash and dragon's fury should stay the same
-Kevin

The natural attack and defense is already high enough on the fighter mage. Plus he is more about moving and in close range attacking. So it would be best if stun still works, just reduced effects i.e. No spells, abilities and sprint. But can still move and attack.

Preventing negative effects are nice, but since you cannot predict who an opponet will strike, and they wont do negative effects on those you bless, what would be the point of it?

The paladin is my favourite guardian and I am rarely work without her. I like the theme of her not being able to heal herself but to balance thst,  whatever you do with bless, and I do like MM,s idea of prevention then I would ask for another point of health.



Her high defense already makes up for the hp. If she was to gain an hp, she would need to lose armor to compensate, as her abilities and defense make her a strong support unit already.

And the Attack idea, it would mean a 3rd ability (which breaks the trend of 2 each and complicates the game if you add too much) or add it onto one of the other ablities (again complicated)

What i stated would be the best idea when customization comes around you can choose her abilities 1 choice could be a small attack or her heal. Also the skeletons are so weak as is itd be unwise to waste an ability on just them. If there were a dungeon crawler / pve system with plenty of monster/undead types, could be a good idea
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MagicMissle

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« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2012, 05:26:14 PM MT »

Diesbudt, I think we are going to butt heads on this. NO STUN IMMUNITY AT ALL! I was winging and idea for a new power. Not actually meaning it. SO I think Ross should just include a new passive power that evens the playing field. Stun immunity is crazy unfair and I believe that the FM should have something more along the lines of spending one less to play Aug spells (such as the wizard has to pay one less for Manipulation spells) or even a one person "Entangle" type attack. It would fit the wood elf background because they are all forest-y and stuff. It's like in WoW, druids have entangling roots. Nature background = Controlling terrain.
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Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2012, 06:06:25 PM MT »

I've carefully considered everyone's input and here's where we stand for the soon-to-be released version:

Paladin
  • Changed Combat Healing from "Target ally recovers 1 lost life." to "Target ally recovers 1 lost life. Paladin may not heal herself."
  • Changed Bless from "Remove stun and immobilize effects from target ally." to "Remove negative effects from target ally."

Fighter Mage
  • Changed Relentless from “Fighter Mage cannot be stunned.” to “Fighter Mage cannot be immobilized and may move and attack while stunned.”

Adding Holy Smite type abilities for damaging undead creatures is under consideration for a future expansion that would allow customizing guardian special abilities.
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Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2012, 06:08:08 PM MT »

Also, thanks again to everyone for sharing your ideas. This was a very successful community driven effort and I think these changes will add further value to Hero Mages game play.
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MagicMissle

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« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2012, 06:17:14 PM MT »

THANK YOU ROSS! But I still disagree with the stun thing... STUNNED MEANS BY DEFINTION: To deprive of consciousness or strength! So moving and attacking would go against stun because the FM would still have it's strength and consciousness to take actions. I think Relentless should be removed. I'm sorry, but this just won't due... Btw I AM A GRAMMAR NATZI! You can probably tell Cheesy
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