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  1. #1
    Devoted Fan Gondorian's Avatar
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    Preview of Balance Changes for 2.92

    Hi, all!

    Before we get to the upcoming changes, I'd like to take a moment to give a MASSIVE thank you to anyone who ever left any feedback about Shattered Fates (or indeed Shadow Era), whether it be for a particular card or a group of cards or the set overall. Whether you told us a card is lame or overpowered or you questioned a balance change we made, the point is that you spoke up and we really appreciate that.

    In an ideal world, the entire community would have voiced agreement with each other, leaving us with decisions that are easy for us to make and easy for you to accept, but we all know that's rarely how it works out! Opinions can differ wildly, leading to incredibly tough decisions for us - whatever we change or don't change, there will always be people who feel ignored and disappointed.

    It's for this reason we can't make our decisions based on how happy you might be about an individual change. We have to make them based on our guiding principles of enjoyment, balance, variety, challenge and the long-term health of the game - focusing on where the changes will take us to rather than what specifically changed. I sincerely hope we can all look back in months and years to come and be glad all these happened.


    Stardust Extractor - Cost increased to 4cc (from 3cc). Health increased to 6HP (from 5HP). Ability changed to "Steadfast. 0SE: Draw a card. Stardust Extractor's health is reduced by 1." (from "Steadfast. When Stardust Extractor is summoned, its health is reduced by 1 and you draw a card. 0SE: Stardust Extractor's health is reduced by 1 and you draw a card.").

    This version is what should have been in 2.91 in the first place, aimed at increasing the survivability of the 2.90 version to activate its ability and taking away the base attack penalty of using it. The 2.91 version we have right now has proven to be a massive mistake, for which I am sincerely sorry, both for distorting the meta so much and for now having to take away what many people have really enjoyed (ab)using.


    Flameforged Gauntlets - Cost increased to 4cc (from 3cc). Durability increased to 6 (from 4).

    This card was created for Raikka back when her ability was related to fire damage, but then her ability was changed and it became only an Aramia play-thing for a super aggro deck due to giving ongoing draw with no tempo loss from T3 onwards. Consequently, this change is aimed at steering it away from aggro and towards mid-range and control, offering more card draw over time and more damage reduction, which should make it worth considering for all mages now. Whether this ends up being a buff to Shadow Hunter fire builds or not is a question only the live server can answer.


    Rapacious Vermin - Ability changed to "Sustain: 1HP. When Rapacious Vermin is summoned while an opposing player controls at least 3 items and/or abilities, target item or ability controlled by that player is destroyed." (from "Sustain: 1HP. When Rapacious Vermin is summoned while an opposing player controls at least 3 items and/or abilities, target item or ability controlled by that player is destroyed and Rapacious Vermin gains +2 base attack.").

    This change is based on the card currently being undercosted. When you destroy that item/ability, you are already in value town for your mere 2cc, so there's no need for the attack gain. Sure, the Sustain 1HP downside is partly balancing the great 1/5 stats and versatility, but it's not high enough to balance a 3/5 ally for 2cc that just blew something up.


    Bloodpack Shaman - Ability changed to "When Bloodpack Shaman is summoned, target Wulven ally in your graveyard except Bloodpack Shaman is returned to your hand." (from "When Bloodpack Shaman is summoned while every ally in your graveyard is a Wulven ally, target Wulven ally in your graveyard with cost 3 or less is returned to your hand.").

    This card has been on our NPE (negative play experience) watch list for the past year. We left it as-is all this time because, whilst it is annoying in some Moonstalker decks, it has been shown to play a decent role in some Darkclaw and Bloodfang ones. This change is intended to kill off the NPE loop, but then open up other opportunities to compensate. Firstly, by being able to bring back any Wulven ally. Secondly, by taking away the restriction on what's in your graveyard. So Darkclaw can now get back Lightning Hunter and make use of Rampant Krygon, for example.


    Twilight Ritualist - Ability changed to "2: If you control another Twilight ally, target opposing ally, item or ability with cost 4 or less is exiled, and Twilight Ritualist is killed at the end of your turn. (from "2: Target enemy item or ability with cost 3 or less is destroyed, and Twilight Ritualist is killed at the end of your turn.).

    Unlike the other changes, this one is not considered essential, but we figured it was worth taking this opportunity to boost what is generally considered to be the weakest faction-specific alignment in Shattered Fates before it is too late, leaving a better foundation to build on in Lost Lands. In terms of the change itself, this rejig buffs the reach and utility of the ally, to justify the cost of 2 resources and losing the ally at the end of the turn, but then includes a strict requirement of having another Twilight ally in play to tie it in with the Twilight alignment decks it is intended to boost. Since Twilight have a good number of cheap allies, and usually depend on having other Twilights out to work properly, this requirement should naturally be met a lot of the time within a Twilight alignment deck.


    If you have any comments on these, be sure to leave them below, particularly if you've spotted something that might be horribly broken that we missed. Ideally, we're done with SF balance changes now, but WC2015 will be the ultimate test. Thanks, again!

  2. #2
    Senior Member oggtheman's Avatar
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    Twilight better get a major buff, bps should be 2/2 or 2/3
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  3. #3
    DP Visionary ocnarb's Avatar
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    Sounds fair
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  4. #4

  5. #5
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    RIP stardust 2.91-2.92
    Last edited by Anonymos; 09-08-2015 at 09:15 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member starval's Avatar
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    Very well written. Thanks!
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  7. #7
    DP Visionary Shadows R Us's Avatar
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    I'm ok with the changes, but please wait a month extra or so to update iOS so I can use Stardust Extractor a fair amount of time. By the time it was on iOS it was already passé. I want to experience the joy a little longer.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member BP Holy Punisher's Avatar
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    I approve these changes, seem to be on the same wavelength as most (or at least some) people were asking
    Although of course only time can prove if these are now balanced.
    I am a bit sad though that I can't use Ritualist in my standard Zhanna build anymore, but I guess this is a good buff in general that will increase her use I believe.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Caitlyn0's Avatar
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    wow, just wow. i cannot believe you did all of this. way to kill the game and go back to extreme stagnation of the meta. you sure you dont want to kill victor and the other hunters too to go back to the DP meta? why not? over the course of 2 years you have killed every decent card, mostly draw cards, in SF except gambit.
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  10. #10
    DP Visionary Preybird's Avatar
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    Not sold on Ritualist. It was good splash tech in many decks, now its relegated to Twilight only (which it rarely appeared in because it didnt mesh as well as most Twilights).

    In all honestly the rejig feels forced and done just because we want to push tribes.
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