Aloyzo's Arsenal #15: You make the card! Part 4: Card Effect!

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Flaxative, Oct 21, 2016.


Aloyzo's making a new card. What's the card?

Poll closed Nov 4, 2016.
  1. Clear Mind

    5 vote(s)
  2. Disengage, Soldiers!

    2 vote(s)
  3. Ready to Strike

    30 vote(s)
  4. Scout's Vigil

    5 vote(s)
  5. Terrifying Visage

    30 vote(s)
  6. Trailblazer

    3 vote(s)
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  1. DunDunDun

    DunDunDun Thaumaturge

    Those are called delusional warriors, they're doing a pretty poor job at mimicking the role thus far (though if Visage gets approved, they'll definitely be one step closer to their goals).

    I don't follow the question. :X

    The higher the stat, the better ranked the item is. In retrospect, I suppose going off a scale where 1 is best might have been more intuitive, due to expectations related to competitive ranking formats.
    • Clear Mind is the best example of a card that is balanced well to its cost- which is actually one of the strikes against it, given how little its effects stand out and its mid-range potency. It's not a card that's going to give you a cost-benefit edge, or typically single-handedly sway the direction of an engagement. Its versatility is good, however, so it makes a good card for a balance-minded deck, where such utility is quite desirable. In other words, don't expect it to sway battles- but do expect it to help you prevent battles from being swayed by your opponent.

    • Ready to Strike has low versatility, and its potency is the same as a bronze attack per 66% trigger, meaning it'll need to trigger twice (potentially locking up a card retention slot all the while) to pay itself off. Given the unlikelyness that an opponent will intentionally move next to you again after determining you have the card, and you're looking at a lower-than-cost value single attack.
      Nevertheless, if you build or position around it, it will pay itself off. The good balance between weaknesses and positives means it's a pretty well balanced card- it's both not likely to have a decisive impact on a match, but also able to pay itself off equal to the investment you put into it.
      In other words, it's a touch underwhelming on its own, and it's lacking in versatility- but if you build or play around the card, you can push it to above-average. So, in sum, it makes for a great niche card.

    • Disengage has poor balance, as it has quite a clear edge over most similarly valued [and even higher cost] movement cards. Having good appeal on a card is fine, but when it pushes out existing cards and encourages making a map-shifting mechanic easy to access and common to slot.. that's unfortunate both for game meta and for overall helmet deck-building considerations. Put another way, I think the mechanic itself is a bit problematic in its effects on gameplay considerations to begin with, and that it's certainly undervalued at silver. Perhaps I'm just undervaluing the penalties of slide back- but to my mind, even with slide back as the movement effect, it's still a clear one-quality-tier upgrade of cards like Retreat.

    • Visage is too versatile and reliably potent, feeling as though it's two silver effects stacked on top of each other (while neither has the Keep trait, the fact that both are above-average potency for a silver warrior card means the added versatility gives it a distinct edge). On top of that, one could argue that it negatively affects class balance with its added shift of (relatively) cheap non-melee control mechanics over to warriors, as well. :X

    • Scout's Vigil is on the one hand undervalued: While both effects together offer an interesting contrast of options, they don't synergize or have inherent versatile utility- and, in contrast to Visage, neither one individually makes for a good silver card.
      On the other hand, it also manages to be overpowered, in that it would make Quick Reactions all the more undesirable to slot.
      It doesn't make for a particularly compelling card to slot for its price, and it only further weakens the overall helmet slot appeal [by reducing the appeal of QR items] rather than enhancing it.
      In short, my main issue here is how the card doesn't seem as synergistically put together as the other cards, and doesn't balance to the game well. If QR was to be boosted alongside SV's release, that'd resolve that aspect of the card, but it wouldn't address the awkward combination of low-potency effects.
      Keep in mind that you're losing a card to SV to begin with, so what you're really getting is the silver melee block effect. Add in that the melee block doesn't affect you [which in a way is good, as it can't trigger the melee discard over the card draw] and the block is actually only bronze quality- and that's assuming you think the -2 range and +1 die roll [compared to Cause Fumble] actually evens the card out to silver in the first place. I find it already lacking in potency even before the ally-only restriction is tacked on. And, of course, if your allies are already dead when you draw the card, all you end up with is a low-quality, dubious card draw effect that will take on average three tries just to pay itself off.
      Locking up a card retention slot in favor of such weak benefits, or going out of your way to position in favor of the effects, simply isn't worth the hassle.
      Both effects require putting yourself in harm's way, and have very low versatility.
      Slapping together two lower-than-silver effects that don't synergize and have low versatility in order to make a silver card- well, in summary, this card simply isn't very appealing to slot.

    • Trailblazer is similar to Visage in its high versatility, but its effects are more passive and less inherently game-direction-influencing. Put another way, they're not inherently offensive or defense-negating, and rely more on countering the enemy or playing off the enemy's positioning. It's far more tactical and even-minded than Visage.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016
    karadoc likes this.
  2. Just like playing a warrior in general! :p
    You think it should block attacks directed at enemies?
    Interesting perspective. I actually think that these effects synergize quite well, although the range on the defender's block is a little small. One way that I like to look at the game is through incentives. There are disincentives to hitting a character with a Simian-reflexes card draw effect, because they might draw something. So normally, this card would just make people attack the person without Scout's Vigil. Oh wait, there are also disincentives to hitting the priest that's standing next to him, because that simian reflexes is probably going to block it. You are forced to choose between a failed attack and a possible enemy card draw. I think the effects synergize rather well, and the card is thematically well designed. I think I would probably slot this, as it can be a handy buff 90% of the time and a heroic rescue the rest. Unlike Defender's block, you can't protect your allies through a stone wall, which seems like a pretty fair limitation to me.
    ParodyKnaveBob likes this.
  3. DunDunDun

    DunDunDun Thaumaturge

    Cause Fumble and Defender's Block block for allies including yourself.
    This card seems to avoid that. If that's just a misphrasing, then yeah, the block element of the card becomes a fair bit more reasonable. It'd be a parry that, instead of drawing a card. can affect adjacent allies.
    However, even then, given the short range of that effect (which would either require you pulling up your squishies, pulling back your warrior, or relying on circumstantial positioning), it really doesn't make it stand out at all from a normal bronze parry.
    Moreover, it'd still seem underwhelming compared to the silver Cause Fumble (which tends to be mostly be considered unfavorable to slot already).
    Meanwhile, the block element and card draw element would still seem a bit at odds with one another, and the card draw effect would still be far too weak to put any intentional focus onto, so the card is still lacking in good versatility to make up for its underwhelming block effect.
    Still, at least it'd be somewhat reasonable at that point, and if QR is boosted in its die roll reach with the card's release, it'd actually make for quick an interesting boost to Helmets as defensive gear options, shifting them from more armor-centric focus to being a bit more balanced in regards to including block-like effects.

    But currently, as an "Affect only allies" effect? It's pretty notably awful as a silver card, given that both components of the card are underpowered and can't be meaningfully relied upon.

    If it was reduced to bronze quality, it could be quite compelling, making for a great alternative to Parry- though even then, the 'only affects allies' element would still heavily discourage slotting it, as it's still rather a niche utility for blocks.
    Perhaps that's nevertheless still the route the card should take, however:
    3+, block melee affecting you or an adjacent ally, draw a card if facing an attack 5+.

    The card draw effect would be quite compelling at bronze, and the block effect would still make for an interesting parallel to Parry.

    But yes- the more I think about it, the more I'm willing to push for this one being the worst balanced of all the cards. :p
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016
  4. By only blocking cards attacking other allies, it becomes more reliable, as you are guaranteed to only protect that ally. The card draw is a little on the unlikely side, I suppose, but you can presumably equip 2 of them for a decent passive bonus and a one-time protect an ally from 2 melee attacks.
  5. DunDunDun

    DunDunDun Thaumaturge

    You're looking toward some rather improbable-to-occur favorable circumstances for either facet, there.
    First off, you'd have to obsessively babysit your ally while making sure to have facing to whichever opponent attacks them in melee next. Excepting in situations where you're clustering around a singular VP location or have already rushed to protect a squishy, that's just not a favorable situation to get into.
    You're either pulling your squishies into melee, or pulling your warriors back from the front-line. Meanwhile, you're holding on to a block that can't protect you, eating up a slot that could be better served with an "offense is the best defense" attack or a more meaningful defensive/positioning card.
    For example, in the situation you describe, wouldn't a silver team move be potentially much more valuable for your ally, even if the only thing you use it for is moving that ally out of melee?
    Even when doing a duo warrior rush, they'd both be better served by having a (cheaper to slot!) parry each, rather than worrying with trying to weakly counter attacks on the other warrior.

    The other situation is even more unlikely- how probable do you think it'll be to get both cards [and nevermind that scenario doesn't make any items that only slot a single of the card worthwhile], what's the point of retaining those two cards round-to-round instead of something more generally useful, and why wouldn't you slot something more useful for offense, defense, or positioning?
    A 1 in 3 chance to draw is pretty awful, as you still have to pay off the initial card itself [especially if you can no longer use the block ally element, as when both allies are already dead when you draw the card]. Positioning yourself reliably, holding that card instead of a block or armor.. It's an awkward situation.
    Moreover, Quick Reactions (gold) is a 50% to draw, and you can get it on a tokenless helmet with a pretty easy-to-manage drawback card, and yet it's pretty rarely slotted (outside of certain ranged-heavy PvE maps, and then more for flavor than for potency) because of its unreliability, slot retention demands, and need to pay itself off.
    Reflexive Teleport (gold) has the same chance of activating as the proposed effect, but it's also a potentially more useful effect, and has a more useful secondary action than the weak block this card is offering. Even then, RT tends to be infrequently slotted, as well.
    Dodge has the same stats and general effects as RT and is reasonably well-slotted by players.. but it's also bronze, not silver. And again, those effects are likely going to be more useful than what this card currently has- and even with that, dodge still already isn't exactly considered a high-appeal card.

    Remember, the concept we've been working off of is "what will make helmets more appealing", not "would I maybe possibly slot this card". This card simply can't achieve the desired effect of making helmets more appealing to players on the whole.

    And, of course, there's the fact that my balancing list was based on contrasting the different items against one another, not against a static evaluation system. So regardless of whether the card is functional or not, it's still fairly reasonably the least balanced of these six proposed cards.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016
    Potato Priest likes this.
  6. timeracers

    timeracers Guild Leader

    False! Quick Reactions only work when you are affected by a magic or projectile card, unlike this which works when you are targeted by any card.

    Disengage is like a predictable whirlwind everyone, which means both players can play around it.

    PS: I don't have the time to debate every argument that you bring to table that I disagree with. so I stick with that for now.
  7. timeracers

    timeracers Guild Leader

  8. Robo11500

    Robo11500 Mushroom Warrior

  9. DunDunDun

    DunDunDun Thaumaturge

    It can't be false, since I never argued against that fact. I was, as I've asserted previously, only basing off the premise of most favorable conditions, where your point is entirely irrelevant.
    My point was that QR isn't really considered preferential to slot, even in PvE maps where ranged is the primary enemy attack form. Something that has nearly all the downsides of QR with even less reliability [regardless of how much more adaptable it is] isn't really compelling to slot, either.
    Inspiration is, at silver, +1 card draw, +1.5 with Altruism, and it's far more versatile. (Keeping in mind it's still considered pretty low appeal, regardless.)
    Quick Reactions is, under most favorable circumstances, .5 card draw, meaning it'd require defending against 3 attacks on average to pay off [that is, if it was silver, and not gold, which raises the bar further]. On a favorable map, with favorable positioning, you can manage that within 2 rounds, which limits the stress of retaining the card. And yet, it's still not especially compelling to slot under those circumstances.
    SV, while more favorable to slot in general, has a 33% rate, meaning it needs 5 defensive attempts to have a chance of paying itself off. How often, against players or stronger PvE opponents, do you stand there and take 5 hits hoping to draw a single card, and rely on that card being worth the effort it took to draw?
    The utility is great, when it activates, but the effect itself is so unreliable that it's not something you'd really want to put the effort in to intentionally slot- as the more reliable Quick Reactions and Reflexive Teleport [Psst, RT also works against any attack] and Dodge show, with their low rate of usage.

    Or, put in simplest terms: I was comparing the effect unfavorably to dodge, which is cheaper and has more reliable effects.

    Now, if it was a Free Card, I'd remove every single objection I have against it. But the expense of slotting a junky effect waiting for it to pay off is just deck sabotage.
    Certainly, if the main effect is good enough, it's just gravy, added versatility and potential potency, and then it's fine.
    The problem is that the main card effect seems to be rather unusable in itself.

    Another way of reading the card would be:
    Block melee, 5+. If this block would block an attack directed at you, draw a card instead. Keep.
    If an adjacent ally would be targeted by a melee attack, add +3 to this card's die roll and attempt to block on behalf of your ally.

    That's the card, if you ignore the boost categorization it has and make it into a block-only category card.
    Does that really sound better than parry, with its guaranteed draw in addition to an actual block, at bronze? Does the weak ally protection make up for it enough?
    It's a paper tier parry with unusual mechanics that might barely bring it to bronze, combined with a rather low utility bronze tier Cause Fumble. It's just not very good, at silver.

    That's a terrible comparison.

    I suppose it would take a while to restate everything I've ever said.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016
  10. timeracers

    timeracers Guild Leader

    Facepalm. Are you considering how hard it is to setup or not, you can't choose both as your default? Regardless of how you answer that, to determine the power level of a card you must consider all possibilities.

    I don't think a reply was needed.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016
  11. Gingrich Yurr

    Gingrich Yurr Thaumaturge

    Slander! Hawlic was a well known warrior-mage, and is a legend in my eyes. Xander comes close. That said, many others have tried to follow in their footsteps and failed, giving rise to their poor reputation.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016
    ParodyKnaveBob likes this.
  12. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader

    Keep it civil @timeracers @DunDunDun
    Maybe the best way to accomplish that would be to avoid unnecessary authoritativeness on both sides.

    @DunDunDun , when I asked about scale, you've assigned seemingly arbitrary numbers to a bunch of parameters without explaining the range of possible scores. So like, 6 out 10? or out of 5? :)
    ParodyKnaveBob and Potato Priest like this.
  13. WexMajor

    WexMajor Thaumaturge

    If ready to strike gets printed, I'll be happy one of my cards got chosen and put in the game. :D
  14. Khyle345

    Khyle345 Kobold

    Ready to Strike procs on moves, not attacks
    WexMajor, Potato Priest and Flaxative like this.
  15. WexMajor

    WexMajor Thaumaturge

    I know. It is also not penetrating, but who cares? :D
  16. Kalin

    Kalin Begat G'zok

    Dun, I think you're misunderstanding Potato's point here: its more reliable because it is harder for your opponent to get rid of.

    Personally, I think warriors got enough new powerful cards from CM, so I'd rather see them have something small and versatile (my vote is for Clear Mind right now). Ready To Strike would be a great card if you changed its name (and damage type) to Ring of Fire and put one copy on robes.
    Potato Priest likes this.
  17. I think that Ready to Strike is more preferable than Terrifying Visage. Although I certainly wouldn't mind having a reactive trip card, now that warriors have Vengeance, which allows them to move out of turn order, I don't think they really need any new tools for wizard chasing, whereas they might need some new tools to counter vengeance and steps. If you think wizards are at the bottom of the class balance chain right now, you should probably vote for Ready To Strike as it would shift warrior & priest meta away from steps & vengeance, thereby helping wizards stay alive. Voting for Ready to Strike would also help keep control in the domain of the wizard, where it belongs. My one qualm about it is that it isn't helmet themed, just sorta combat themed.
  18. Robo11500

    Robo11500 Mushroom Warrior

    Terrifying Visage does what...? and Ready To Strike is just a copy of a defter cards, yes? and lastly does Disengage, Soldiers! let you chose where those who are affected where they move.
  19. Nope. Pushes everyone directly away from you.
  20. @Flaxative Does the Hard To Block Keyword subtract from both die rolls on Scout's vigil, or only one? I believe that the harness series boosts the rolls on secondary armor effects, like on Mystical Wyrmhide, and this made me wonder about Scout's Vigil.
    ParodyKnaveBob likes this.
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