[Feedback] Comments on Balance Changes AFTER Playtesting

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by neoncat, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. Stexe

    Stexe #2 in Spring PvP Season

    Except it makes these things mandatory which means they aren't an actual meaningful choice.
    Jacques and Lord Feleran like this.
  2. Lord Feleran

    Lord Feleran Guild Leader

    I think I'm not the only one who didn't excpect so HUGE changes.
    Most people were asking NS from step-4 to step-3, SPR from range 3 to range 2 etc. Now we got 50% less steps on NS, near-unplayable SPR, 10x the legendaries in Randi and harnesses... are out of bounds. They're so much better than they used to be. All stacking harnesses could then have armor 1 at most to compensate, then it's possible to play around them without removing them.
    Stexe likes this.
  3. Stexe

    Stexe #2 in Spring PvP Season

    Yep. I think they are going overboard. The game was pretty well balanced before minus a few outliers. I can understand the focus on a more interesting game that revolves around positioning and movement, but the current state is a bit off. There was a lot of interesting double think and bluffing going on at the highest levels of the meta (he moved within 4 distance, does he have an NS or is he bluffing so I'll waste a move to go away, etc). The more I've played on the test server (even ignoring the obscenely OP cards like Deadly Spark, Harness stacking, and Cause Fumble) it leads me to feel like it is more about playing until someone makes a mistake and then getting a lucky hit. Before you had to weigh the option of going for little damage dealers to whittle down the opponent or pushing your luck and trying to go for a huge hit. Now it seems like huge hits are the only way to go as it would take more than 4 NS attacks to equal a single OB. Why would I waste all this time doing small attacks here and there when I can just wait for one big smash?

    I'm really unsure on the actual goal or direction that they are going, but from my perspective it seems very weird. Would be curious to get some feedback from other top ranking players like PaladinGP, TheShadowTitan, ch33seman, and others.
  4. UiA

    UiA Ogre

    Going over the top ? Maybe. Its true that they changed much much more than I think anybody was expecting. That said I'm overall pretty happy with the changes, and they are being very active with feedback from testing. I'm hoping they implement a harness stack limit(maybe 1-2 with the exception of officer harness to keep it unique), a facing requirement to cause fumble would make sense too, and I've noticed a few warriors start using grounding plates to avoid spark dmg.

    The important thing here is they removed some of the worst offenders from play. In my mind these were cards with little to no counterplay. WW/WWE was abused in conjuction with NS at the highest levels of meta, it was very much a "who has the legendary vibrant pain, wins" sort of thing. There were maybe a couple players near the top who didn't just go WWE/NS but the rank and file 1700 + are filled with owners of multiple VP/Lochaber. The only real thing you could protect against WWE was save some movement, often negated by the cantrip style dash+attack of nimble strike anyway, and the slowest but toughest race was not seen as a disadvantage in mobility due to a single card alone, so became a no-brainer to anyone with VP. This type of play in my mind hurt the game, I can see ppl lose interest in MP completely over such cheesy tactics. You could have a very synergistic draw, and excellent positioning, all to be completely negated by the WWE button eg. "I win because now your priest is sandwiched between my wars trololo" Even on the rare occasion an enemy WW put you in a better position, I felt more a vindictive "hahaha now you die for once troll WWE spammer" attitude than a satisfied one from using good tactics to win. Heck one day after a bout facing seemingly endless WW/NS spammer teams, I made a troll deck comprised of 3 Dwarf wizzies running a ton of WW/WWE. Motivated only by frustration, I proceeded to spam the heck out this stupid card. The funny thing I expected to tank rating maybe going down to 1200's in a day doing this but I didn't care, however even this unimaginative troll deck only dropped me 100pts stabilizing around mid 1550's and all I was doing was mindlessly spamming random positioning moves focused on capping victory points only. I did get a few expletives thrown my way doing this however, I couldn't blame them, my purpose was just to spread around the WW hate even more, hoping the devs would someday do something about.

    The funny thing is even some players that thought WWE/NS was stupid used it anyway, because it was so obviously good. The other day I matched against a guy who said he'd been gone 6 months but came back because he heard about the balance changes. Specifically he said he was glad they changing WWE/NS. I told him I was surprised to hear it, I had assumed that's exactly what his team was going to be, since he had 2 d.wars and 1 d.wiz. Laughing he told me in fact it was that very same combo, but he just didn't see any reason not to use it, since he had the cards for it. Summary I guess is most players enjoy to win more then they care about not abusing cheese tactics, probably a study in psychology somewhere there. ( he didn't win but still the point remains, sad thing is I'd prob run VP in current meta if I had it too)

    SPR change is great too, instead of simply stacking SPR vs melee, wizards now have to think about positioning more, and potential avenues of escape.

    Encumber also is a card they changed for the better, instead of completely locking down an enemy movement they still have a shuffle at the least, which is 10x better for the other player than being a statue. So in short, I think they've done a pretty good job at taking some unnecessarily frustrating and counterproductive (fun-sucking) aspects out of the game.

    The new firestorm was proclaimed a dead card by some vocal opponents, however it's been tested and made to work on SP. And Squidy recently made a pretty effective "suicide bomber" type of FS team on MP that shows it's not dead at all, just, different.

    Now I predict we will see much more variety and shifting dependent on maps. You just simply can't rely on the same tactic over and over to retain your standing in the new meta, the devs are certainly shaking things up. Considering they designed the game in the first place, and its already pretty fun, I have faith in their ability to make continued positive changes. Just my perspective on it, I'm sure others will disagree but that's life :D
    Squidy and Flaxative like this.
  5. Jacques

    Jacques Hydra

    This was mostly related to the PvP season, where players used what they thought it was the best possible deck, regardless if it was cheesy or not. Now tthat he season is over, there is no reason to keep playing WWe/NS. I chose not to play MP at all with my main account until the balance changes hit live because there are players that keep playing that combo, even when the season is over. I wonder what's their motivation.

    About the changes, yes, they are bigger than anyone expected. But I don't mind big changes as long as the meta is balanced. The good thing after the last changes is that it isnt't clear which is the best possible team out there (at least not yet). The thing I like the most about the changes is that we have plenty of options where before we didn't. Shields, for instance. Before there were only like 3 or 4 shields that were being used. Now, Slippery Shield is not so good anymore and stacking parries could be a bad idea given that there will be more direct damage wizards than before. Now Acrobatic Flip, Surging Block, Defender's Block, Catch Arrow, even Weak Parry, all of them are usable. It's not perfect (who would use Shield Block now that we have the strictly better same quality card, Defender's Block), but there are more options.

    The same goes for weapons. One of the main reasons why we didn't see much legenedary weapons in MP aside from VP is because step attacks were essential, and most legendaries for some reason don't have step attacks (there are exceptions like Reaper's Scythe, valuable even without those). I have some good legendaries like Shieldripper which I couldn't use because I don't have a VP so I needed all my weapons to have step attacks to match those who had VPs. The epic Lochaber Axe was also a must have if you didn't have VP. Now, with the step attack nerf, there are a lot of usable legendaries, and weapons in general. It's still a good idea to have some step attacks, but they aren't so mandatory as before.

    Wizards are the same example. There isn't a clear wizard's archetype anymore. Now they have to make some meaningful choices. Do I go with Fire and Vulcano, PB or sparks for the offense? What do I choose for deffense between Illusionary Barrier, Flash Flood, Encumbrance and Slide? The only clear thing is that they must have some sort of armor removal (and the fact that it's a must have is the reason why I don't think the current armor's state is healthy for the game), even when playing sparks (because of Resistant Hide and Grounding Plates). I also like the SPR change. I think that the range wasn't the problem. That card was mostly used as a defensive resource when the opponent's warrior ended next to your wizard, so range 2 wouldn't have solved the issue of the great card advantage it generated.

    About armor, I like the idea of a Harness cap, 2 max maybe. And it could be made that Officer's Harness doesn't count for that cap, so that it keeps its meaning, because that card went from being a valid strategy (stacking OH) to be one of the worst armors (why would I include OH when I can put some of the much better Harnesses). That way, all those legendaries and epics that have OH wouldn't be so deteriorated.
    Flaxative likes this.
  6. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader Staff Member

    This thread continues to be very helpful, thanks.

    Quick note: We don't yet know the final form of the balance changes, but we're very unlikely to reduce their scope.
  7. Stexe

    Stexe #2 in Spring PvP Season

    To see how high they can reach in Elo and because winning gives chests.

    Yeah, I don't mind big changes either as long as they are balanced. I just feel that there is a LOT more work to be done to balance the current changes.
  8. The Run

    The Run Mushroom Warrior

    ive tested harness stacking a lot on the test server and it isnt op at all i ran it on 2 warriors with a buff priest a good stack of harness does about the same as dodge imo the only difference is if 4+ harnesses get removed you more or less instantly lose because the opponents value is too stronk :p i would compare a harness build to a vamp build a gimmick that won't see play at high elo the big difference between the 2 is harnesses are easily countered hard and when they are there is no chance of a win :p no one over 1400 rate would play a build with such a weakness.
  9. Jacques

    Jacques Hydra

    I don't think it's op, it can be effectively countered by Sundering Strike by priests and warriors and armor removal or acid by wizards. The problem is the very little choices warriors and priests have to remove the armor in comparison to the wide choices they have for stacking it. It's unbalanced. If you run a melee team, it's pretty much obligatory to run Sundering Strikes ATM (which aren't easy to find either) if you don't want to find an opponent that can negate most of your attacks just with armor stacking. It's easy on the test server where you have access to every item, so you can equip both your warriors with Sundersong, but it's going to be a problem in MP.
    Also, I don't know why you say that you can't win after your armor gets removed. Many turns could pass where your opponent doesn't draw his Sundering Strikes (again, difficult to have many of these) and at that point, once he draw it and remove your armor (even though you still can block Sundering Strike by the way, but let's say that you don't) you will have had enough advantage that will mitigate the card advantage your opponent gain that turn.
  10. Oberon

    Oberon Hydra

    I think the new cause fumble takes vampire builds outside of gimmick. They are a heck of lot stronger against warriors (though still pretty weak to armor).

    I haven't heard/seen anyone actually manage to break the harnesses yet. I'm not arguing it's got potential, but I'd at least like to see it occur before calling it. Haven't even seen a proposed build posted.

    The testing had been okay so far, but personally I'm not all that comfortable until we have a better idea of what the best strats are. Heck right now I don't even know that there's much consensus on what the best weapons are post balance (rageblood could be making a comeback for all I know).
    Flaxative likes this.
  11. The Run

    The Run Mushroom Warrior

    i know 1 thing for certain you will not see harness stacking builds at high elo. the changes to harnesses make them playable and you will probably see a few in warrior builds but what most people seem to be afraid of after hearing these changes is 3DC and they won't be stacking harnesses and you probably don't want to run too many against them because wizards have the best armor removal :p and in melee vs melee fights where there will be a few harnesses spread around all they will do is counter some of the crazy burst (mass frenzy) which people don't like. most people asked where the mass frenzy nerf was this change should slow down the damage in another area while at the same time making the items with harnesses on not complete trash and semi playable.
  12. Stexe

    Stexe #2 in Spring PvP Season

    Wrong. I would run them assuming Deadly Spark and Cause Fumble doesn't stay the way it is (otherwise I'd just run Deadly Spark and Cause Fumble builds). The trade off for Harnesses is very minor compared to the potential impact of what you get. I'll trade 1 token to get a few Enchanted Harness if it means the enemy has to waste multiple tokens fielding anti-armor attacks. The net gain is still in my favor even if he does remove my harnesses.

    At the highest levels the game boils down basically to what advantages can you squeeze out over the enemy. Having a token advantage is really important (which is why Team Run is so strong -- 1 token and card to counter act multiple tokens and/or cards that the enemy uses for control). With the current changes I see Team Run being even more mandatory due to the lower mobility and armor stacking as a huge thing, which means everyone will have to pack a few armor removal and play sub-optimal builds.

    It boils down to rock-paper-scissors before the match starts with armor still having a decent edge due to no penalty of stacking. I mean, you have to equip armor anyway so what are you giving up? A reliable mail or two for a harness that stacks? Seems like that's a no brainer.
    Sir Veza likes this.
  13. The Run

    The Run Mushroom Warrior

    ok so you would only run harness if they are going to revert 2 of the upcoming changes they havent even hinted about changing :p you are not making harness sound very op by saying you would only use it in this situation :p and you from what you said it looks like you would only swap out your reliable mails for harnesses and not go for the full harness build that people who havent tested are scared of and what ive been trying to say is a build that won't do well. ok say if they changed deadly spark and cause fumble could you throw together a quick build so i could see how many harnesses you would use? because i don't see harness being the game changer in there.
  14. The Run

    The Run Mushroom Warrior

    i'd also like to point out that on heavy armor there is no piece that combos enchanted harness with arrogant mail or grounding plate and i can't see a warrior without atleast 1 of either.

    on a side note i'd like to see war cry changed to something like "target can't block this turn" because right now cause fumble makes it useless unless you have 2 in hand :p
  15. peonprop

    peonprop Thaumaturge

    Chain Harness was largely ignored before but when stacking harnesses it's nearly as good as Enchanted Harness. Both Ozone Plates and Aranak’s Chain Web will have Grounding Plates.
  16. Scarponi

    Scarponi Moderator

    I also think that the harness change is okay - though maybe not for the reasons you've given. I think it makes both armor and armor removal much more relevant to the game where it was not present before... and making cards that were previously of little relevance more prevalent in the meta is part of what balance is about.

    That said, I'm not sure your comment about grounding plate or arrogant armor holds. If, as you were offering in your thought experiment, deadly spark does not remain as it stands, then grounding plate begins to lose its appeal, and arrogant armor is not as necessary with the encumber nerf, not to mention, it is already naturally avoided by anyone running buffing traits.
    Sir Veza likes this.
  17. The Run

    The Run Mushroom Warrior

    Stexe is one of the only people who thinks the harness change is op and even called harness stacking obscenely op :p but he himself would only use it in these circumstances "I would run them assuming Deadly Spark and Cause Fumble doesn't stay the way it is (otherwise I'd just run Deadly Spark and Cause Fumble builds)."

    i'm glad most people like the harness change, since the WW and SPR changes non 3DC wizards needed a go to card to use in arcane item slots and armor removal being in the meta will counter cards like toughness and res hide which a lot of people were confused about not being nerfed :p i believe this is the reason they were untouched. bringing previously junk armor and armor removal into a playable but not op state while at the same time "nerfing" the op armor cards just from the shift in the meta and not having to change them was a masterstroke.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2014
  18. Stexe

    Stexe #2 in Spring PvP Season

    Because if Cause Fumble and Deadly Spark aren't changed back every build will be just Cause Fumble or Deadly Spark. That would be even less of a meta than we have now.
  19. The Run

    The Run Mushroom Warrior

    you're saying there would be 2 builds on top with one build being useless against the other? i doubt that.

    that would leave just deadly spark on top :p

    imo cause fumble is op against melee builds but you can't run too many because it is useless against wizard builds and i don't think deadly spark is op because the penetrating does nothing after you've already removed all the armor :p
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2014
  20. Stexe

    Stexe #2 in Spring PvP Season

    No, I'm saying that they would be dominant builds. It would be like how FS builds exist with NS + MF.

    Either way, that's just my opinion from doing tests on the test server. I encourage everyone to go and test out their own theories.

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