Major balance patch card testing tracker

Discussion in 'Testing' started by Phaselock, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. Phaselock

    Phaselock Bugblatter

    Erm, starting this thread to track the more impt mechanics changes and post the results instead of going over them in my head and then losing track of what I've tested and having to re-test again. Sorta like a note -to-self list:p

    If anyone has combos they would like to test or clarify, feel free to post. I'll do the necessary when free.


    Short Perplexing Ray: Target discards 2 random cards then draws a card.

    Tested in combo vs quick reactions. If you have 2 cards, 1 of which is QR. Being hit with SPR and successfully triggering QR will cause a net discard of 0. Ie, QR sorta counters SPR if it triggers.

    Flash Flood: Target three unoccupied adjacent squares become Water Terrain (Water Terrain is impassable). Duration 2.

    Tested in combo with Blooming Ground, Flash Flood does not spawn under an adjacent char, wai. New changes need testing.

    Quick Scuttle: To be tested, check for longest possible cantrip chain. Someone is bound to do a cantrip build to bypass movement control.

    Slowed: First Move 0 card. Needs to clarify if this mechanic is intended, bypassing handicap effects is a useful exploit.

    Cleansing cards: now they have heal, meh.

    Tested in combo with Talented Healer. TH procs successfully with all terrain cleansing. Becomes a 4 hp heal + cantrip for self terrain. Combos with Cleansing Ray to give 4 hp heal + cantrip + card draw, that's like an Inspiration + Heal + Quick Step --> card advantage !
    neoncat and Flaxative like this.
  2. neoncat

    neoncat Feline Outline

    I did a Quickness Aura + Quick Scuttle build that was great at trouncing Cardotron. Jump out from behind cover, get behind the opponent, and smash stuff.

    Something to test - how does Slowed + Quickness Aura + encumber work out? Is it move 1? (Also, just to bug check - is Slowed + encumber still move 0?)

    Yeah, I was looking forward to trying to exploit this. At the very least, it means that you can cleanse terrain and move in before the opponent can cast flash flood again. ^_^
    Squidy, Flaxative and Lord Feleran like this.
  3. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader

    I'd love it if someone could tests these for us.
  4. neoncat

    neoncat Feline Outline

    I tested encumbrance + movement boosts and found a bug.
    Phaselock likes this.
  5. Phaselock

    Phaselock Bugblatter

    Nice ! Slowed is bugged, I'd reckon its a low priority one tho.

    Quick Scuttle and Quickness Aura is a good combo, even better than Quick Run + QA due to free move imo.

    Tested Talented Healer + Cleansing Burst gives a 2hp AOE heal to all chars + cantrip = Triple Heals + cantrip
    Tested Healing Spirit + Cleansing Burst gives a 3hp AOE heal to all chars.
    Tested War Cry vs Defender's Block, wai. Tested Chops vs Cause Fumble, wai.
    Tested Dancing Cut vs Flash Flood, wai.
    Tested any move 2 + Flight Aura vs Flash Flood = Nimble Strike vs Flash Flood minus the damage. NS is now equivalent to Quick Scuttle + Flight Aura + Bludgeon.
  6. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader

    Did Talented Healer not give the caster of Cleansing Burst 2 extra hp?
  7. Phaselock

    Phaselock Bugblatter

    It did. Talented Healer's working fine. :)
    Flaxative likes this.
  8. Phaselock

    Phaselock Bugblatter

    Resetted phaselock, doing a campaign pass (ElfW, DPriest, HWiz) with focus on the balanced cards. Cleared all advs till lvl 6. Initial comments:

    Deadly Sparks are my preferred choice, early mobs have no counter. Bypasses armor means golems and trogs no longer have a chance.
    Firestorm is still as useful.
    1 x harness + Resistant hide was sufficient for all advs unlike b4.
    Goblins have no chance against NS due to fly.
    Telekinesis is more useful vs difficult terrains in the caves and what not.
    New lifesteals fair better with healing builds.
    New bashes + bruiser counter guard dogs, ie, they die even faster. =)
  9. Phaselock

    Phaselock Bugblatter

    Finished another 8 more advs, up till Melvelous. All items slots on party unlocked. Stuff that might be an issue:

    a) Harnesses. Not an issue at low levels and for newcomers since most harnesses reside on the higher rarities. Problematic when stacking 4/5 as the animation takes ages. More so when used in conjunction with Firestorm. Without trait limits, the deck is pretty compact after a few turns. I think it was even more compact than before, smthg MPers are going to exploit. While it is strategic deck building, it also means its likely we'll see more of the same non-harness cards.

    b) Draining attacks are no different from stabs now. In the past, it was difficult for priests to close in on trogs. With harnesses and more card draws, I'm cycling my drains and finding it much easier now to face off trogs and lizardmen.

    c) Cleansing is easily available and quite literally obsoletes minor heal, affecting around 40 items. Not that we miss minor heal ... shrugs.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014
  10. neoncat

    neoncat Feline Outline

    I've been testing a drawbot + harness-stacking warrior. Unfortunately, I haven't played long enough matches to see the deck-thinning effect, but I've got 6 or so harnesses to pull into hand, leaving more opportunities to draw oblit bludgeon, etc...
    Phaselock likes this.
  11. Phaselock

    Phaselock Bugblatter

    My lvl 9 elven warrior has 8 but only the 4 chain harnesses matter. I'm running pathfinding to grab the steps, weak parries and traits for more draws. Games never last past half the deck anyways so I'm looking at grabbing big attacks from (36/2-4) 14 cards thereabouts. Its alr over by turn 3 w/o FS... for SP anyways. W/o legs/epics, its just the usual fragile elf warrior...
  12. Phaselock

    Phaselock Bugblatter

    Tested some combinations of move boosts, handicaps and encumber wrt to walk, shuffle, dash. All wai, Shuffle has some value against frost now.

    No new mechanic on other cards, cursory tests for Cause Fumble, Defender's Block, Deadly Spark, Potent Spark, Dodge, Leap, Barge. All wai. Elven Trickery has been caught.

    Continued campaign push with focus on cards from balance patch 3. Cleared another 7 advs till roaches. Deadly Spark and Potent Spark combo well with Spark traits. I'm hitting multiple targets with buffed damage, so do the lightning imps. Leap is awesome in the few levels of demon portals with single tile impassables, plus it combos well with nimble strike to fly throughout the board. Spark traits trigger everytime I cast Flash Flood, super annoying when testing. FF works great with multiple VPs that can be used to barricade, especially against the roaches. So does Jumpspark. :confused:
  13. Phaselock

    Phaselock Bugblatter

    I think some wiki frequenters should by now have seen a couple of new wiki links on advanced guides that are still WIP. Primary reason is I have yet to figure out how best to automate the guide with queries and my thoughts are as always the ramblings of a half crazy fog-minded tinkerer. And seeing as how there's this thread here already filled with ramblings, figured might as well just post my ramblings here and get ramblings^2. Maybe when the light bulb hits, I'll commit to the wiki. That said, expect Wall of Text: attack, magic, mental, infinite range, Target thread becomes Wall of Text (Wall of text is unformatted, LOS radius decrement every turn, die roll 5+ blindness saving roll). Duration X where X is life of char. Readers have been warned !

    Primary rambling thought: spawned from the major balance patch and direction shift towards positioning play announced on July 29th. With the emphasis going back to positioning play, I believe that all moves, move boosts, move debuffs, terrains, terrain affects, LOS, map size and racial configurations will become of interest and a major force to be reckoned with in future.

    Move boosts: Rushing Aura (RA), Quickness Aura (QA), Energizing Move (EM)

    The situation with boosts is this: racial cards every turn benefit from pairing with 1 of these in hand every turn. Every single EM trigger with Walk is equivalent to a Dash. So over 4 turns, EM nets 4 extra Walks. The power of EM is in not using it but in repeated triggers. The question becomes: how does the opponent remove this card reliably ? Virtually all classes get access to it, elves get a few more so there isn't much of a race/class distinction. QA isn't easily available for wizards. Elves don't get as much benefit since map size isn't terribly huge plus it tends to disrupt formations when a single char moves 5-6 compared to 3-4.

    Move 2s: Surging Shield Block (SSB), Sparkling Cloth Armor (SCA), Reflexive Teleport (RT)

    Free walks, 2 are position dependent and a single reveal self-counters. SCA is situational which makes it great in the hands of a great and vice versa. Distribution wise, SSB isn't as available for wizards, RT is more available for wizards, no racial distinctions. You can get slightly more RTs per char than SCA/SSB and RTs get a good edge with teleports. But that's about all to be said for situation triggered moves. The interesting aspect is the sparseness of this tier which points to a virtually unexplored design space.

    Move 3s: Team Run (TR), Slippery (Slip), Elvish Scamper (ES)

    This tier is dominated by elves. 2 anti-encumbers with item limitations on TR. This is where the racial distinction starts to appear and the situation is pretty clear. Non-elves teams that have TR are officially high mobility outfits tho not yet on the same par as pure elves. But what happens to non-elves teams w/o TR ? The question really boils down to 'how much is TR affecting the racial distinction ?' Combined with cycling, draw and traits... if we see more TR in plays, chances are non-elves teams w/o TR are screwed in the mobility game. Even elves running ES only has a slight edge (except for mirror matches).

    Move effects: free move < fly < teleport

    The tri-factor of movement effects that went from 1 disjointedness to another like a pendulum. What happened ? Free move doesn't go past impassables/blocked terrains, fly doesn't go past blocked and teleport triumphs all. Before the balance patch, there was a need for teleport due to Wall of Stone (WoS), ie, teleport was a narrow counter to WoS. With the removal of WoS, who cares about teleport anymore ? Instead the inclusion of Flash Flood created a gulf between those who have fly/teleport and those w/o. The value of teleport and fly is now largely correlated to the number of blocked and impassable terrains around each VP in a map rotation cycle. And has nothing to do with whether fly/teleport WAS gameplay important. Imo, a real pity... I hope WoS resurrects in future with more gameplay counters.

    LOS modifiers: Smoke Bomb, Wall of Illusion, Illusory Barrier

    All counterable by cleansings and are wizards only. Fly/free move/tele-able through. Nothing much to comment as I see this still as a development track. Highly Map dependent. Most users will find a card just to shut down LOS not as economical unless the map says otherwise. And SB is so much more than the others (in terms of tiles affected), it isn't even much of a decision making exercise. Interesting future trends possible include LOS interference with damage/debuffs/buffs/situational triggers etc.

    Move debuffs: Encumber, Halt (Entangling Roots, Hit the Deck, Trip) keywords

    Changes to encumber means halt gets more attention, which is a good thing. The problem ? There's only 1 freaking aggro worthy halt in the card base atm. And Entangling Roots (ER) is priest only, so is cause fumble. Fall of encumber -> rise of entangling roots. I'm really liking the sound of lockdown priests. A lot more can still be done tho.

    Aggro move control: WoW, GoW, Path of Knives, force cannon, force blasts

    Classic linchpin of move control builds with SCA only the real recent threat. I can't emphasize this aspect of development enough and imo, currently the most well-designed aspect of the entire card base. Easy to manage, separates the strategists from the wannabes. Early wiki guides (TT, SoB) alr talk about this in depth, nuff said.

    Move aggro terrain: Acids, spikes, illusions

    Move aggro refer to terrains affect movement in an aggro fashion. Acid takes the cake in this tier for now but I expect big things here. Heck, you could throw 1 full time designer doing nothing but move aggro terrains and it still wouldn't be enough. Think about penetrating linear stone spikes, linear diagonal stone spikes, anti-teleport barriers, anti-fly entangling head hurts.

    Control terrains: Flash Flood (aye, we really need more control/hidden terrains)

    With the absence of Wall of Stone (I simply cannot fanthom why blocked terrains can't be cleansed -.-), FF isn't really all that great a substitute. It does change the scenery but the control aspect isn't a strong enough incentive for use, instead the LOS benefit for the caster outweighs the tile denial aspect. Where WoS played a dual role, providing VP denial and cover for both teams (VP denial hate and the lack of counters is what WoS is really problematic with). FF is really more about ranged over melee. I hope to see a lot more of impassables and blocked terrains but they must matter more than just denying positions and/or affecting LOS passively.

    Concept: Power Turning (PT) vs moves

    Power turning refers to the buildup of potential and turning the tide. This concept is as old as poker. Keep a good hand and unleash hell when ready. Simple, right ? In game design sense, PT is a micromangement hell. PT works when (a) there is potential in hand to keep and (b) the unleashed potential can turn the tide. If there are many good cards easily available in a build, the average PT rate becomes higher (basic maths). There are 2 types of PT, short term benefit VP PTs and long term benefit char-kill PTs. Team run is a great example of a PT enabler for both short term and long term PTs. Ditto for the old Moves 3s/4s steps (old dancing cuts and nimble strikes). The problem with the old steps was solely due to a proliferation of (a) and (b). Instead of actually playing the game, you could toy with the opponent instead, haves vs have-nots. With the hard cap and power reduction on steps, gen pop shifts to the next tier of move3s and move4s. Duh ! The emphasis must however be clearly demarcated. No single card should be so valuable that its value for both (a) and (b) are apparent for short term and long term benefits. If unavoidable, then a new gameplay aspect should be introduced, as a control measure for the PT rate and allow for build diversity.

    Concept: Macro vs micro positioning

    Throughout my ramblings, I haven't touched on the Move 1s. imo, Move 1s are the micropositioning for finishers and closing down of opponents. I admit, I adore macro positioning. Macro positioning refers to the entire domain of pincers, flanks, blitzs, CCs, chokes, terrain configurations, LOS understanding, kill zone setups, movement control, offensive/defensive map control, attrition play etc. Macro positioning is the war before the war that separates the thinkers from the barbarians. The board is a passive spectator, it is not dynamic. If there is no way to change the LOS/impassables/blocked terrains actively, then position stagnation occurs. Stagnation here refers to players who camp the same key spots in a map over and over. Dump a wizard at 3 squares from the VP in Streams of Blood and get a huge LOS coverage. Imo, positioning stagnation occurs because the penalty isn't harsh enough to overpower the benefits. A good way around the problem is to make terrain cards harsher/different. Say, a lava tile actually drops the height and a char standing in it is in a downhill position which leads to some form of attack/def penalty. This would boost the value of cleanses and terrainers more so than artificially inflating the power level of cleanses to boost priest usage. Of course, adding a different dimension to tile effects isn't the only way. There are many ways to skin this cat.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014

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