Balancing Form card pools

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by Steinhauser, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. Happenstance

    Happenstance Thaumaturge

    Nah, more for using cantrip Boo! to evacuate one of your own guys. That's the primary purpose of the card, really, it's hardly ever used to shut down an opposing character.
    gurel2 likes this.
  2. Frostguard

    Frostguard Thaumaturge

    I'm not an expert of game balance by any means, but I had some thoughts about forms, and I thought I might as well share them. Might help when weighing options or something, I don't know.

    First of all, oddly enough, I'd rank Spirit Form above Vampiric Form for one reason: I see pretty much literally no reason to play Vampiric Form as of now. There's nothing Vampiric Form can do that old-fashioned non-form vampires can't do better, considering that they can get the highest attack density of all character archetypes (except maybe fire wizards), but without getting a potentially unlimited number of random Loners or Flight Auras, don't lock themselves out of drawing Talented Healer, and by choosing their items to equip, they have the way to select which cards they want in their card pool or not (as others have mentioned, Vampire's Kiss is largely a liability due to the way it can put Swarm of Bats in the target's hand). Spirit Form at least gives access to Unholy Curse, which is something characters don't get elsewhere, plus Medium's Garb exists, which does make Spirit cards more prominent overall.

    So I guess I'll try to go over each of those issues, and perhaps come up with an idea for them, maybe? Not sure how helpful that is, but I can always hope.

    First of all, the inherent ability of Vampiric Form is a bit odd to me, flavor-wise. Traditionally, vampires subsist on blood, and they need to go out of their way every once in a while to find some to quench their unholy thirst. They wouldn't be able to just hide in a corner and heal up; on the contrary. So what about something like...

    Vampiric Form
    Trait. Form. Duration 2. At the start of each round, take 2 unpreventable Unholy Magic damage. Whenever you play a Melee Attack with the Heal keyword, add 2 to the damage of that attack and it gains Cantrip.
    Whenever you would draw a card from your deck, instead create a random Vampire card in your hand.

    Or, honestly, even a simple Melee Frenzy 2 would work if the version above is too complicated, as they're also associated with superhuman strength. I don't know. Either way, basically it would be a slightly better Talented Healer with a downside that could be easily mitigated. I imagine this could be too powerful this way, though; I like the idea that the attack would only gain cantrip if it succeeds in damaging an enemy, but that would make the wording even more complicated.

    Speaking of which, Talented Healer's interaction with vampiric cards also comes across to me as odd, and also that vampires would want that card (again, flavor). I guess it's been part of the game for too long at this point, though, so it should probably left as it is.

    Another idea I had a while ago was giving Vampiric Form some odd, new, limited control cards that move enemies closer to you or something of the sort, to go with the flavor of alluring vampires, but that's probably a long shot; it would, however, give the form something that priests otherwise don't really get.

    Then there's Vampire's Kiss. Others have suggested that it could give the opponent a fixed Vampiric Form instead of a random vampire card; I personally like the idea, it's flavorful, and they don't get that Swarm of Bats until it's their turn, which is potentially a huge upside when you're cantrip-chaining. That said, if Vampiric Form gets buffed...

    Let's talk Spirits. There's been plenty on here about Boo!, and I agree that the card needs some reworking. Considering that it's part of Ethereal Form, as well as the fact that it shows up on so many Castle Mitternacht items, it's pretty much a pivotal card, I'd say. There have been quite a few ideas, but I don't know if I can get behind too many of them. While removing the from-behind restriction and reducing the range, even to one, could be interesting, Boo! could still make wizards really oppressive, especially on maps with clustered victory squares, as well as increase the swinginess of games overall, as focusing on it would be a blast against warrior-based teams, but could get defeated by wizards easily - unless Illusory Barrier? (I think that Illusory Barrier provides a slightly too easy solution for slightly too many things, but that's a discussion for another time.)

    It's my personal opinion, so feel free to take it with a grain of salt, but I still think that Boo! is currently very binary in nature and inherently unfun, unless you enjoy not being able to play pretty much anything, and I'd personally prefer a completely different sort of mechanism. I've been thinking about that. What mechanisms are associated with an upset mental state in Card Hunter? Let's see.
    - No attacking (Fright, current Boo!)
    - Decreased die rolls (Unnerving Strike)
    - Discard (Unnerving Strike, Startling Strike)

    Feel free to add more I might've forgotten.

    Either way, since the first one is the one I'm trying to avoid, and something like the second one already exists in Bad Luck, I thought I'd try to go for the third effect. The first idea I had (which I also like the most of the ones I came up with) would be...

    Attach to target, duration 2.
    Whenever target takes damage from an Attack from behind, they discard their oldest card.

    I'd say it's flavorful, personally - you're scared, you get hit by something you don't see, you get startled and drop something. It's still somewhat niche, but I think definitely useable as a more limited Dastardly Curse, and maybe even powerful? Really hard to tell without testing, I guess, and it'd also be map-dependent. The damage-from-behind check should already exist because it's present on Weakened Armor, so that's no issue. The duration is a random number, and I didn't specify range on purpose, as those both could be used to fine-tune the card's balance.

    I had other ideas (things like target character can only end moves adjacent to blocking terrain or another ally) would probably be way more tricky regarding both balance and coding.

    But if we're at flavor, honestly, Ethereal Form's inherent ability is even weirder to me. Usually, spirits, being incorporeal and all, are fairly resistant to physical attacks, and magic is your best chance at hurting them; fire especially, as they're generally associated with cold and darkness, and fire is the opposite of both. In contrast, here we get spirits who are practically immune to fire, resistant to many forms of magic, but are easily killed by being whacked with a stick. This is just odd to me, and I still say that some weird slashing/piercing/crushing resistance (or just resistance to Melee, I guess) would feel more in place for them than the current ability, but maybe it's just me.

    As for Lycanthropic Form, I think everything that I could say has already been said; it's powerful, maybe even too powerful, and the flavor's mostly on point, too.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be overly harsh or critical. I'm just trying to... come up with things, I suppose.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
  3. Scarponi

    Scarponi Moderator

    Definitely one of the better proposed fixes for Boo! that I've seen. This could be really interesting with a Boo! wizard and Nimble Strike warrior!
  4. ParodyKnaveBob

    ParodyKnaveBob Thaumaturge

    I was about to say the opposite:

    "This would give yet even more power to Nimble Strike warriors, as if we don't see enough of those already." Something like that was my first thought upon reading Frostguard's suggestion.

    • Discard Attack cards (Cowardly)
    • Cancel Magic cards (Defensiveness 2/3 of the time)
    • disrupt movement (Maze of the Mind, Hypnotic Beacon)
    That might be a major use, or even the primary use, of the card now, but seeing as it's a pure Attack, I'd have to be convinced by someone straight from Blue Manchu that its primary purpose is to assist an ally with evacuation as opposed to attacking an opponent with a shutdown. As far as I can see, the overpowered card got overnerfed, period.
  5. Steinhauser

    Steinhauser Lizardman Priest

    I know you DO get the talk about it, cause it's hard to use and requires a specific setup to be useful. And even then, how is it better than TK in the average case? I remember you mentioned it was itemized well on Frightening Wand, but that doesn't make it useful as a random ghost draw. I'll put it in a similar category to Ancient Grudge in that regard.
    Doom is bad. The others are pretty poor for their cost, but they are decent coming for free off of a Medium's Garb. At least they fit into the normal wizard repertoire, unlike Boo. Flavour wise I could see Teleport Self replace Fly on a ghost.

    I don't know if there's a good, gold priest card that fits vampire flavour. Maybe Frenzy Aura or Unholy Wellspring?
    Sir Veza likes this.
  6. hello world

    hello world Hydra

    I have to disagree with fly being overcosted to the point of being an issue, the card can be very powerful on a wizard, It is probably the card I want to draw the most from my medium garb, even more than creature of the night and memory loss, I'm pretty happy to draw it in decks using focused ethereality too, and I'd imagine it would be very good even in decks using the tokenless spirit skill.
    ParodyKnaveBob likes this.
  7. tolkien

    tolkien Thaumaturge

    1. Is Flaxative1 actually@rinco69 ?
    2. Would Boo! be more usable if ancient grudge was instead telekinesis or doom was replaced with winds of war?
    3. Is anyone else annoyed by the card art similarity between Consuming Touch, range 1 and Consuming Spear, range 2? I say replace that card with Dangerous Maneuver to give melee vamps another move instead of the relatively dead Flight Aura. I also agree wholeheartedly to replace with talented healer. Or to morph vampiric form into its own version of talented healer.
    4. Does anyone else remember we already had a very similar discussion previously? Flash Of Agony was a good suggestion then as now. Ancient Grudge must be removed. Barrier Of Hate was a good suggestion to replace doom
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
    Steinhauser likes this.
  8. Maniafig

    Maniafig Thaumaturge

    Medium's Garb being able to create Telekinesis, Winds Of War or Barrier Of Hate would be ridiculous card advantage, especially against warriors. Spirits shouldn't get staple wizard cards without severe nerfs being made to Medium's Garb.

    I'm fond of the Flash Of Agony suggestion as it makes use of a Spirit's innate resistance and isn't as exploitable when drawn by Medium's Garb.
    ParodyKnaveBob and Steinhauser like this.
  9. Aak

    Aak Kobold


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