Close

Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 45
  1. #1
    Senior Member Veles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Serbia
    Posts
    4,216
    Tournaments Joined
    29
    Tournaments Won
    2

    Preview of Balance Changes for CotC Cards

    Some of these cards enabled decks that took control archetype to its extreme. In the community it is often called stall. Control archetype is of course essential part of a healthy meta, however, having decks that slow the gameplay too much or have decking out as one of their main win conditions is generally unhealthy and leads to negative player experience. This is achieved by continually playing tools that allow little to no interaction to the hero. In the second group we have cards that enable combo-like decks that use stall strategy to completely ignore board state for multiple turns while attacking opposing hero.

    Soul Reaper - Casting cost up to 4 (from 3). Ability changed to "Remove all ally cards in your graveyard from the game. Your hero heals 1 damage for each card removed." (from "Remove all ally cards in your graveyard from the game. Your hero heals 2 damage for each card removed.")

    Soul Reaper has been a staple in midrange Zaladar and we wanted to preserve the most of its original version. Heal has been reduced to make its potential appropriate to its cost in relation to other healing options in the game. Cost has been increased for that reason as well, but more importantly to get it out of range of Mimic. Mimicing Soul Reaper that was already used is not the issue here since graveyard is probably not as full of allies as the first time. Issue here is mill Praxix being able to discard Soul Reaper and then Mimic it. If Soul Reaper was to be removed from the game post summoning, it wouldn't change this interaction.

    Armor of Ages - Ability changed to "Your hero is disabled (it can't attack, defend or use its hero ability). When Armor of Ages is destroyed, your hero takes 6 damage." (from "Your hero can't attack or defend.")

    Armor of Ages is a common card in mill Praxix and other stall elemental decks. While not seen that often at higher ranks, it was quite popular at lower ranks. Being able to save the hero from both ally and hero attacks in combination with other similar effects like Rain Delay and excessive healing is too good since it has no drawback in decks it is used. This version hampers Praxix ability to mill and makes the armor bigger liability vs item destruction. 6 damage on destruction also mitigates amount of damage it prevents.

    Crescendo - Casting cost up to 7 (from 6). Durability down to 4 (from 6).

    Crescendo has fallen out of favor lately, but it has been a staple for a long time in Millstalker decks and as long as it is in its current form it opens up possibility for that deck to reemerge. Increased cost and reduced durability should make it easier to remove by increasing range of tech that would work against it, namely Widespread Decay or Acid Jet, which require now only 2 or 1 hit to do the job.

    Into the Forest - Ability changed to "Attach to target friendly ally until the start of your next turn. That ally has stealth." (from "Attach to your hero until the start of your next turn. Your hero is hidden (it and its attachments can't be targeted).")

    Into the Forest has been a center piece of deck which is difficult to classify, commonly known as Solo Gwen. It isn't control, nor aggro, and I would explain it loosely as a combo deck. It, however, implores stall-like strategy by chaining Rain Delays and Into the Forest and opted to avoid controlling the board as much as possible. Instead it tries to ignore board state while attacking the hero.
    Another use of Into the Forest is in control decks, most commonly Skervox. He would poison allies and let them slowly die while chaining Into the Forest, Rain Delay and his ability over multiple turns. Creation of many anti hidden cards have proven not to be successful and it still ended up on the ban list.
    Consideration was to just replace hidden with stealth. Stealth would indeed weaken match ups against heroes with direct damage but that still leaves majority of decks in similar situation as with hidden. This led to redesign of the card that still fits the flavor and could help ally based builds.

    Lay Low – Ability changed to “Duration 1. Friendly allies have ambush and stealth. “(from “Your hero and allies can't attack and are hidden (they and their attachments can't be targeted) until the end of your next turn.“)

    Lay Low has been used in similar way as Into the Forest with Gwen. It enabled strategy of ignoring the board turn after turn until combo with Knight of Unaxio has been set up. As with Into the Forest, we opted not to allow hero to have stealth, as in majority of cases it would have similar effect as hidden if we were just to do the most basic switch between the two abilities. In compensation for losing hero protection and hidden, allies will have minor buff of having ambush as well.

    Full Moon - Ability changed to "Duration 1. Friendly allies have +2 attack. Combat damage to your hero is reduced by 1. Ability damage to your hero is reduced by 2." (from "Until the start of your next turn, friendly allies have +2 attack and your hero takes no damage.")

    Full Moon is used by solo weapon based Darkclaw and control Millstalker. It doesn’t have hidden, but with current card pool complete damage reduction equals not being able to target the hero in most cases. Fixed damage reduction should still provide some protection in combat and bit more vs direct damage.

    Holy Shield - Ability changed to "Attach to target friendly hero or ally. When that hero or ally is dealt damage, that damage is reduced to 0 and Holy Shield is destroyed." (from "Attach to target friendly hero or ally until the start of your next turn. That hero or ally takes no damage and can't be killed.")

    Holy Shield is another card that provides complete damage denial. It can save far more than 4 damage than comparative cards can heal. It is not big issue with allies since their health is low in comparison to hero health. That is why we considered just removing the option to target heroes. This would make it targetable by General of Unaxio as side effect, which would then translate into buff to attachment priest deck and that is already high tier deck. Variations of the card that limited effectiveness upon different conditionals have proven too long and complicated for a card from basic set. In general, with all these changes it is desirable to keep effect relatively simple as they belong to the first set. In the end we went with the version which removes NPE potential of hero saving excessive amount of health while keeping ally protection aspect on reasonable level.
    Last edited by Veles; 03-28-2019 at 12:46 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Veles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Serbia
    Posts
    4,216
    Tournaments Joined
    29
    Tournaments Won
    2
    I explained general motivation for these changes on the other thread already in reply to Starval:

    Quote Originally Posted by Starval
    I thought Armor of Ages and Crescendo were fine as is personally - because counterplay already exists. Just destroy the item. Same goes for Full Moon, Rain Delay, Holy Shield, Voice of Winter - all of these have counterplay options. Into the Forest and Soul Reaper simply could not be countered. Soul Reaper, you could attempt to counter by removing allies in opp graveyard (which I used to try) but it did not need many allies in the graveyard to get a ton of value. Lay Low was probably fine as well.”
    Quote Originally Posted by Veles
    In theory that is true. And it is in theory true for all cards in question. But in practice you cannot bring enough removal to match them. Between draw engines, armors, weapons, artifacts, attachments they run above usual numbers of, we reached enormous redundancy of tools that can be used in such strategy. Another midrange, aggro or regular control deck, can carry very limited number of removals which is usually tech to one or two card types. So, from the start they can't cover all types without diluting their deck too much. These games often come down to pre-match decision during deckbuilding: Did you put appropriate tech for the matchup? No? probably going to auto lose. If yes, then you need to cross your fingers you draw that tech on time to use it in the right situation. So entire game is reduced in the end to one card. From that game there is always one player coming out very frustrated.

    I am a strong believer these kinds of situations need to be avoided as much as possible. Compare the role and impact of having tech or not having tech option in non-stall match ups. Facing warrior, you may or may not have brought attachment removal for Blood Frenzy. If you did, then great, you get an advantage, but the game isn't over on the spot. Vs rogue you may bring artifact removal for Ill-Gotten Gains. If you do remove it, great, you gain some advantage, but the game isn't over yet. If you did not bring tech, that is fine too. You may be in slight disadvantage, but you play out your game plan regardless and still have decent chances of winning if you have a fine deck and good knowledge of the game. This is not the case with Into the Forest, Holy Shield, Lay Low, Full Moon, Rain Delay in stall decks. Having or not having one card is way too polarizing. This is the key difference of using tech for stall and non-stall matches and why players report bad experience and often complain specifically about underpowered tech in relation to stall. Tech should be something that gives you advantage but should not be the sole reason to win or lose a match.

    Examples of redundancy I speak of in the first paragraph:

    Solo Darkclaw or Millstalker can run 4x Rain Delay and 4x Full Moon and in theory can go for 8 turns switching between them to make the game completely noninteractive. Or you put support ability removal and you win on the spot after 8 repetitive turns.
    Priests could do something similar with Voice of Winter and Holy Shield. In addition to that, they can run bunch of armors, Bazaar, Glass Chalice of Knowing, Book of Curses, Lily, Bad Santas and so on. Enough draw and recycle to replay any item removed. Which leaves them open for a key turn when they hide behind Holy Shield and the question is now whether opponent has attachment removal and if they drew it on time.
    Hunters are similar. Chain Into the Forest and Rain Delay and so on.
    Praxix with Armor of Ages, Rain Delay with an inbuild mill win condition.
    Throw in hero abilities like Moonstalker and Skervox have for even more redundancy.

    In a larger scope of things, we also need to think about long lasting impact these cards have on design and balance of other cards. How many new cards need to be designed not to their full power potential because of them? How many cards will need to be nerfed because of these? How many overpowered tech cards need to be made that mess up non-stall decks? Or mediocre tech only really effective in few matches? Because of the above explained redundancy, any new control tool made for regular control style can enhance even more stall versions. Any new weapon for Gwen or Darkclaw is always checked against Into the Forest and Full Moon.

    These changes won't kill archetypes in question. There are non-stall priest control decks and non-stall Darkclaw decks for example. Several cards have been designed specifically for these types of decks even in the last batch of LL cards, and we will continue to support them in the future.

    As always we are looking forward to your feedback and suggestions.
    Last edited by Veles; 03-28-2019 at 12:39 PM.

    Design Team Leader

    Check out this thread for some awesome articles and guides.

    “Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine”
    ― Nikola Tesla




  3. #3
    Senior Member Veles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Serbia
    Posts
    4,216
    Tournaments Joined
    29
    Tournaments Won
    2
    TL;DR

    Changes to these cards are being made because:
    -Nature of decks they are most commonly used in reduces matches too often to a situation where a single card, tech option for the card that allows stall decks to avoid interaction with the board, decides the outcome. This is often the cause of negative player experience more so than lack of tech options or win rate of decks that use stall strategy.
    -They are greatly limiting design of new cards
    Last edited by Veles; 03-28-2019 at 02:54 PM.

    Design Team Leader

    Check out this thread for some awesome articles and guides.

    “Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine”
    ― Nikola Tesla




  4. #4
    Senior Member indastria's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Italy
    Posts
    666
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0
    What will happen to physical cards?
    Does this mean that shadow was only considered a digital game?
    Is it possible to do buffs or redesigns to completely useless cards even in meltdown (eg despair, wooden staff, etc.)?
    IGN: 17 indastria
    Telegram contact: @indastria

  5. #5
    Member Chuck Morrison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Italy
    Posts
    34
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0
    Both Holy Shield and Crescendo look way too downgraded to me. I'd reduce HS's cost to 2 and Crescendo's to 6, if they are getting these new abilities.
    Last edited by Chuck Morrison; 04-13-2019 at 10:31 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Veles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Serbia
    Posts
    4,216
    Tournaments Joined
    29
    Tournaments Won
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by indastria View Post
    What will happen to physical cards?
    Does this mean that shadow was only considered a digital game?
    Is it possible to do buffs or redesigns to completely useless cards even in meltdown (eg despair, wooden staff, etc.)?
    What happens with physical cards is up for game management to decide. I can see two options. Players can use those cards as if they have updated effect on them and keep the physical synced with digital that way until potential reprint. Physical and digital can be considered different products and physical players can use those cards with their original version.

    Regarding buffs we decided not to do any at this point. Buffs are much harder to test for balance against all other cards. In general it is useful to have under-powered cards in the game as part of learning cure for new players and also because of in game economy but I don't think this is the place to go too much into detail about it.

    Design Team Leader

    Check out this thread for some awesome articles and guides.

    “Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine”
    ― Nikola Tesla




  7. #7
    Senior Member starval's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    United States (GMT-4)
    Posts
    1,756
    Tournaments Joined
    0
    Tournaments Won
    0
    My only thoughts right now are around Armor of Ages. 6 damage feels a little harsh for AoA. Rothem's Visage is 5 damage for an armor dishing out haste (granted it's 7cc). On top of that, the hero is disabled being unable to even use their hero power. I would say either disable the hero or have the armor deal damage. Both feels too much for a 6cc armor.

    Edit: The issue with AoA was Praxix being near untouchable while still being able to do everything he wants to do. This was focused around his usage of his hero power. Self-damage makes the card pointless. To still be usable as a form of defense without being abuseable in that deck style, I would suggest

    Armor of Ages - 6cc - 6 dur/6 def - Your hero is disabled and cannot gain shadow energy.

    With this change, the hero is a sitting rock - nothing more, nothing less - which is what the card was initially thought of to do.
    Last edited by starval; 03-28-2019 at 01:47 PM.
    IGN: TJ Starval
    TG: @Starval

    Elder, Mentoring Officer


    ShadowEra.Net Editor

  8. #8
    Senior Member Veles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Serbia
    Posts
    4,216
    Tournaments Joined
    29
    Tournaments Won
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Morrison View Post
    Both Holy Shield and Crescendo look way too downgraded for me. I'd reduce HS's cost to 2 and Crescendo's to 6.
    Hypothetical question: If Holy Shield didn't exist in the game, and a new card with effect of proposed changed version of Holy Shield was made, would you think it is heavily underpowered at 3cc? I know it is different class pools and card types, but we have something similar in the game and that is Decoy Trap at 2cc. Holy Shield would allow you to choose which ally gets damage reduction, while opponent chooses on which ally to trigger Decoy. And it is also usable on the hero.

    Design Team Leader

    Check out this thread for some awesome articles and guides.

    “Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine”
    ― Nikola Tesla




  9. #9
    Devoted Fan Gondorian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    England (GMT+0)
    Posts
    24,037
    Tournaments Joined
    1000
    Tournaments Won
    999
    Blog Entries
    1
    You know how I feel about changing anything beyond the banned cards at this time, so I won't repeat myself at length again with all the reasons why it makes no sense to do now and stick what I believe are the main points against this action:

    1) there's absolutely zero urgency to change anything other than what's being unbanned.

    2) even if it did make sense to change any now, there are far more problematic/over-powered/NPE-inducing cards than these that could also be on a Watch List to change at the appropriate time based on collected information and analysis.

    Please just change the 5 banned cards that are being unbanned and put everything else you think might need to change on a Watch List and do some proper analysis of resulting meta when unbans happen and expect to have a longer and more suitable list of other cards to change in about a month from now.


    As for changes to the banned cards, you over-nerfed Soul Reaper and ruined the sense of ITF and LL. Crescendo looks nerfed to oblivion, but that's ok by me. Not sure if the AoA change is in the right direction, but it's the least of my worries right now.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    PA, USA
    Posts
    649
    Tournaments Joined
    1
    Tournaments Won
    0
    ITF could be changed to give hidden to allies. Exiling it upon destruction so it can’t be recycled ala gambit.

    Another option would be to keep it targeting hero, give hidden but perhaps with some penalty like no attacking for 2 turns, loss of SE or weapon durability (3?). It’s use in Gwyn relies on the weapons. Make the hiding cost her something on the weapon side. Perhaps both an SE reduction and durability reduction.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    IGN: E2E BallyWorld
    Common Hero: Victor, Serena, and Gwyn

    Resident Sapper and Proud Member of E2E: Enlisted to Endure.

    "For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found." Luke 15:24
    "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Romans 3:22-24

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •