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synthc

Synthc's Balance Proposal

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I've always been a strong proponent for rebalancing the game before release, and now that Kubik seems to be behind the idea and there is community support for it I've decided to start working on my balance proposal.

First a little bit about me and whether you can trust me with regard to game balance: 

  • I was very active in Battleforge from 2009 to 2011, and I played on and off from 2012 until the shutdown.  I've played on all of the (non-beta) balance patches and have watched the game's balance change and improve over the years.
  • I've played over 3000 PvP matches in total.
  • In 2011 I was ranked #1 for several weeks in 1v1 with my shadow/frost deck and a couple months later I held the #1 rank for a couple of weeks with my pure nature deck.  This was during a time when Obesity, DeChris, MaranV, and Freemka were active.
  • I achieved a #1 2v2 rank with two partners (IdleAltruism and Tyderianek) using nature/frost, pure nature, and pure fire decks.
  • I owned every card with the exception of a few PvE cards and played every deck extensively except pure frost.  My main decks were pure nature, shadow/frost, nature/frost, pure shadow, and pure fire.
  • I've played my share of PvE, as you had to back in the days before battle tokens since that was the only way to upgrade cards.  I could consistently beat rPvE level 10.
  • I make strategy games as a hobby and have studied and deconstructed the balance design of Battleforge (as well as with other card games and RTS) to help me balance my own games.

Some thoughts on the rebalancing process:

  1. Focus on what's being said, not on who's saying it - analyze and criticize ideas, not people.  Let's not make this a popularity contest.
  2. Being good at the game doesn't necessarily mean you really understand the game.  I've seen really good players make some really silly balance suggestions over the years.  That said, high level players tend to have a much better understanding of the game's nuances.
  3. Being bad at the game doesn't mean your input isn't be valuable.  It's possible to have a good understanding of game balance and the math behind it without having the skill or time to play at a high level (case in point, most game developers).

This balance proposal will consist of two stages: 

Stage 1 involves solving major problems that currently exist in the game's balance; specifically bad matchups, overpowered cards, and bandits being weak overall.  This stage doesn't involve that many changes, but a lot of reworks are necessary in order to fix these problems which unfortunately means that these changes are more complicated to implement.

Stage 2 involves buffing and reworking weak/useless cards in order to increase the pool of useful cards and thereby increase choice and card diversity.  This involves a large list of (mostly) simple changes.

Note:

Orbs will be denoted by color:

  • P = Purple (shadow)
  • R = Red (fire)
  • G = Green (nature)
  • B = Blue (frost)
  • N = Neutral (any element)

All changes are relative to a card's U3 stats.

Stage 1:  Solving Problems

Note to the devs: I realize that many of these changes are more involved than just changing a few numbers, but more complicated changes really are necessary to fix the few egregious problems that still remain in the game.  With the exception of Amii Monument (which I know is a longshot), I've used only mechanics and abilities that currently exist in the game.  My hope is that you can find ways to use certain cards as templates (or perhaps copy/paste data) with which to implement these changes.  Please let me know what currently is and isn't possible so that we can find alternative or compromises.

Phase Tower

The Problem:  Phase tower is simply too versatile.  It functions very well as a defensive tower, however its ability to be used for offense or to be moved to defend another location removes most of the counterplay against towers, which involves attacking another location while your opponent binds power in the towers.

The Solution:  There are perhaps some more elegant ways to rework this card, but I think a simple solution will work just fine here.  We can simply increase the card's cost in order to increase the amount of power it binds and reduce its overall cost effectiveness.  Reducing the range by 5m also eliminates a design oversight that allows it to outrange things like Mark of the Keeper.

  • Decrease attack range by 5m.
  • Increase cost by 10.

Treespirit (Green)

The Problem:  Treespirit is really the last remaining blatantly OP card in PvP.  It's stats are simply too high for its cost and the fact that it's an M counter creates massive problems for most T1 colors due to hurricane limiting the usage of S units.

The Solution:  By reworking the card, we can both bring down its overall power level while also re-purposing it to fill some roles that nature T1 really needs filled.  By changing the green affinity to red and giving it siege, we give nature a good counter to towers (especially phase tower) and a way to rush down instant T2 (currently many decks can rush T2 with impunity vs nature).  A reduction to the unit's HP brings its stats down to be more in line with its cost.

  • Change affinity to red.
  • Change damage type from M to special.
  • Change ability “Gifted Thorns” to “Infused Thorns”: Every 10 seconds, unit fires thorns in all directions that deal 120 damage to enemies within a 35m radius around it, up to 180 in total.
  • Add ability “Siege”: Deals 100% more damage against structures.
  • Reduce HP from 880 to 670.
  • Increase (melee) damage from 400 to 500.

Treespirit (Purple)

By increasing the shadow affinity's max AoE damage while decreasing its single target damage (something that would normally be a nerf since it makes it only effective vs spam) and giving it a damage bonus vs humans, we can mitigate its weakness to ice barriers and give nature a good tool to help them deal with frost mage spam.  The total damage the unit can deal is reduced, however the amount of damage that will end up hitting frost mages instead of ice barriers is significantly increased (unless the frost player spams ice barriers, in which case the nature player can just retreat and re-engage in another location).  The fact that the poison damage doesn't stack also deincentivizes spamming just treespirits.

  • Change damage type from M to special.
  • Change ability “Tainted Thorns”: Every 10 seconds, unit fires thorns in all directions that deal 20 damage to enemies within a 35m radius around it, up to 120 in total (damage, including poison, hits up to 6 targets). The thorns are extremely toxic poisoning every enemy they come in touch with. The affected entity will then take 10 damage every second for 5 seconds.
  • Add ability “Tainted Fury”: Deals 50% more damage against humans.
  • Reduce HP from 880 to 670.
  • Increase (melee) damage from 400 to 500.

Nox Trooper

The Problem:  Nox Trooper is fine as it is, but making purple treespirit do 50% more damage to humans breaks the otherwise good shadow vs nature balance.

The Solution:  The solution is to change the Nox Trooper's type.

  • Change type from human to undead.

Firedancer

The Problem:  The ability to shoot over cliffs and walls makes Firedancer far too difficult to deal with and gives pure fire an unfair advantage on certain maps.

The Solution:  While the ideal solution would involve checking whether the firedancer is shooting over a cliff or a wall, I'm pretty sure there's no easy way to implement this check (correct me if I'm wrong).  So alternatively, we can use a mechanic that already exists with Mortar Tower and make it so that the firedancer can only do full damage if there is a friendly unit or building near the target. 

A normal pure fire attack usually has enforcers, scythe fiends, or a rallying banner near the base that's being assaulted, so this change won't affect normal pure fire play very much.  Cheesing with cliffs and walls, on the other hand, will become much harder to pull off and can be countered by killing any units near the building that's being attacked.

This change makes firedancer about as effective as firestalker when using its regular attack.  When using it's new ability, it does a little more damage than the old firedancer.  Unit cost has been reduced slightly to compensate for the extra micro that will be needed to use it effectively and the fact that its ability can be interrupted once any nearby enemy forces have been destroyed.  Changing the damage type to S and removing the (mostly detrimental) buggy knockback gives pure fire a semi-decent alternative S counter.

  • Reduce cost to 60.
  • Reduce attack damage from 100 to 70.
  • Increase attack speed from once every 4 seconds to once every 3 seconds.
  • Remove siege.
  • Change damage type from special to S.
  • Remove S knockback.
  • Add ability “Bombard”: Activate to target an enemy structure. While attacking the targeted structure, this unit attacks three times as quickly (every second). Lasts until interrupted. Can only be used if there is a friendly unit or building near the target. (No cooldown).

Magma Hurler

The Problem:  Pure fire has no good way to deal with the War Eagle + Skyelf Templar combo and also struggles against other L threats.

The Solution:  Make Magma Hurler a tier 2 pure fire unit.  This gives pure fire a reliable L counter that can also hit air units.  Magma Hurler at tier 3 doesn't fulfill its role very well since archers are generally not very useful at tier 3 (siege units and units that can quickly deal with threats are much preferred).

  • Change orb requirements from NNR to RR.
  • Increase cost to 150.
  • Remove M knockback.

Bandit Sorceress (Blue)

The Problem:  Bandits have little to no defensive capabilities, which makes them helpless against most attacks.

The Solution:  Repurpose Bandit Sorceress to make her a purely defensive unit that can protect or repair power wells and monuments.

  • Increase cost to 80.
  • Increase attack damage from 48 to 60.
  • Increase HP from 520 to 660.
  • Can now enter any friendly building, including power wells and monuments.
  • Change “Blessed Installation”: Activate to send the unit into a friendly building. While inside the building, the unit will reduce all damage done to the building by 75%. Lasts for 30 seconds, after which the unit will exit the building with her life points restored and all buffs and debuffs removed. Costs 15.

Bandit Sorceress (Red)

  • Change affinity to green.
  • Increase cost to 80.
  • Increase attack damage from 48 to 60.
  • Increase HP from 520 to 660.
  • Can now enter any friendly building, including power wells and monuments.
  • Change “Infused Installation” to “Gifted Installation”: Activate to send the unit into a friendly building. While inside the building, the unit will cause the building to regenerate 40 life points every second. Lasts for 30 seconds, after which the unit will exit the building with her life points restored and all buffs and debuffs removed. Costs 15.

Rioter's Retreat (Blue)

The Problem:  Same as above, bandits lack defensive options.

The Solution:  Make Rioter's Retreat a better defensive tower by giving it S and M knockback and allowing it to protect or repair buildings.

  • Reduce attack speed to once every 5 seconds.
  • Add small and medium knockback.
  • Change “Blessed Retreat”: Friendly units and buildings within a 25m radius around the tower take 20% less damage.

Rioter's Retreat (Green)

  • Reduce attack speed to once every 5 seconds.
  • Add small and medium knockback.
  • Change “Gifted Retreat”: Friendly units and buildings within a 25m radius around the tower regenerate 15 life points every second.

Windhunter (both affinities)

The Problem:  Windhunter's ability makes it eruption fodder.

The Solution:  Reduce self-damage.

  • Reduce Gifted/Tainted Sobering self damage from 300 to 250.

Icefang Raptor (both affinities)

The Problem:  While frost's lack of swift units is a deliberate design choice, it can be unfair on certain maps where frost sometimes can't even reach their first power well before the opponent blocks it.

The Solution:  Give frost a semi-swift unit by making Icefang Raptor tier 1.  This should help frost to secure their first power wells and should also help them deal with mortar tower.

  • Change orb requirements from NB to B.
  • Reduce damage from 820 to 650.
  • Reduce HP from 895 to 715.

Timeless One

The Problem:  Timeless One is cheap enough to be very spammable, allowing players to easily lock down any number of locations.

The Solution:  Increasing the cost of the unit and removing the ability cost forces players to both spend more power immediately for the first freeze (80, up from 65) and also forces them to bind more power into combat-weak units, making spamming Timeless Ones hurt a lot more.  This change will reward making fewer Timeless Ones and keeping them alive so that they can use their now free ability many times.

  • Increase cost to 80.
  • Decrease ability cost to 0.
  • Increase damage from 55 to 70.

Stormsinger (both affinities)

The Problem:  Stormsinger's stats are simply too high for a tier 2 splashable ranged M unit.

The Solution:  Reduce Stormsinger's HP to put it more in line with other T2 ranged M units.

  • Reduce HP from 750 to 690.

Spikeroot

The Problem:  Pure nature lacks good ways to deal with M units - especially Burrower.

The Solution:  Increase Spikeroot's damage to allow nature to kill M threats more quickly and to increase Spikeroot's usage as an M counter where Deep One is often used instead.

  • Increase spike damage from 100 to 110.
  • Increase (melee) damage from 1200 to 1320.

Creeping Paralysis

The Problem:  Pure nature lacks defensive capabilities and needs ways to extend their CC.

The Solution:  Decrease the cost of Creeping Paralysis so that it can be more effectively used to lock down attacking units in early T2 where pure nature struggles the most to stay alive.

  • Reduce cost from 60 to 50.
  • Increase charges from 2 to 4.

Deep One (both affinities)

The Problem:  Deep One's stats are too high for its cost, even for a pure unit.  This causes Deep One to often be used in place of proper counters (like Spikeroot and Ghostspears) because of its exceptionally high overall power level.

The Solution:  Reduce Deep One's HP.  Damage should be left intact because pure nature needs Deep One's damage to deal with threats quickly enough.

  • Reduce HP from 1650 to 1450.

Enlightenment

The Problem:  Enlightenment was one of the most heavily nerfed cards in the history of the game, having its power cost increased by 90.  For PvE, the card is still very useful, and actually single-handedly makes pure decks inferior in PvE, since you can just go double nature and play any cards you want with enlightenment.  For PvP, on the other hand, the card is too expensive to be realistically used in most high level matches (even in 2v2).

The Solution:  Make enlightenment a pure nature card and reduce its cost back down to 150.  This means that you actually have to make sacrifices in PvE to use this (extremely powerful) card and this creates a good reason to play pure nature in PvE.  For PvP, the card is made viable again and pure nature T3 becomes a serious contender in 2v2.

  • Change orb requirements from NGG to GGG.
  • Reduce cost to 150.

Earthshaker

The Problem:  A single Earthshaker can destroy three monuments.  In combination with the above Enlightenment change, that means that pure nature can use this two card combo to destroy an entire base for 250 power, and this can be done every 30 seconds.  This can only be countered by frost spells, and the only way all losses can be prevented is through the use of either Ward of the North, or the combination of Shield Building, Glacier Shell, and Kobold trick.  Enlightenment + Earthshaker is thus almost twice as efficient as Curse Well and it has the ability to kill orbs.  This makes earthshaker unhealthy for the meta because a frost orb is always required to counter it (similar to the old wildfire, though much less egregious as a T3 two card pure combo).

The Solution:  Reduce earthshaker's damage so that it can no longer kill wells on its own and decrease the card's cost.

  • Reduce quake damage from 605 to 330.
  • Reduce cost from 100 to 40.
  • Increase charges from 2 to 5.

Amii Monument

The Problem:  Amii Monument is basically cheating in PvE.  It allows players to outright skip boss fights and other parts of PvE maps that really shouldn't be skippable (at least not via OP cards).

The Solution:  Change Amii Monument so that it is a tier 1 card that no longer advances the player to the next tier, but still provides access to the selected orb's element.  For example, fire T1 could build Amii Monument to give them access to roots and hurricane, which could be combo'd with Mine and other things.  Similarly, pure shadow could build this in tier 2 to allow them to play disenchant on their harvester.  This opens up a lot of interesting possibilities and combos in both PvE and PvP, but the 100 bound power still represents a significant sacrifice that has to be made in order to build it.  A lower activation cost allows players to switch between different orbs without too much cost.  If this is not currently feasible to implement, the only other alternative I see is to make Amii Monument tier 4 and reduce its cost.

  • No longer functions as a regular orb, but rather provides access to the selected orb's element without advancing tier.
  • Change orb requirements from NNN to N.
  • Reduce cost to 100.
  • Reduce ability cost to 50.
  • Reduce HP to 800.

Stage 2:  Buffing Weak Cards

WIP

Edited by synthc
indubitablement likes this

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did you read that post? are you on discord?

8 hours ago, synthc said:

Focus on what's being said, not on who's saying it

no teally possible :( people just start arguing who win more matches :(

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6 minutes ago, Kubik said:

did you read that post? are you on discord?

Yes, and yes.  Same user name as here.  Honestly, I think a more holistic approach is better than debating each card in isolation.  This is because game balance is very interconnected in nature - when you change one thing it tends to change a bunch of other things indirectly, so I wanted to write all of my ideas down here first.  That said, I do see the merits of discussing cards one-by-one as well for a more focused discussion, so could you add me as a representative?  And maybe link this thread if possible so people know my position before voting?  Thanks.
 

Quote

 

8 hours ago, synthc said:

Focus on what's being said, not on who's saying it

Quote

no teally possible people just start arguing who win more matches

 

While this is unfortunately true to a degree, I still think people should be encouraged to look at ideas on their own merit, rather than disregarding or blindly accepting someone's opinions solely on the basis of how well you know them or how good you think they are.

One other thing, do you know if there's an up to date list of all cards with their U3 stats?  I know about http://www.bafocards.eu/ and the wiki, but those only show upgrades, not U3 stats (so you have to do math every time you look at a card).  Having more detailed info on abilities, melee damage, and splash damage would be helpful as well.  If this doesn't exist, could it be easily generated?

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7 minutes ago, synthc said:

could you add me as a representative?  And maybe link this thread if possible so people know my position before voting?

I add you to candidate list. You can post the link in your introduction post.

20 minutes ago, synthc said:

I think a more holistic approach is better than debating each card in isolation.

and still you listed cards, obe by one :) on discord they also do not discuss the cards in vacum as completly unrelated topics.

23 minutes ago, synthc said:

While this is unfortunately true to a degree

Unfortunatelly :( only two people that will do that are enough to destroy discusion for everyone else :( if you know about way to prewent that let me know.

I do not think there is any list like that.

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Dear synthc,
your changes to the game's balance are going far. Your suggestion not only increase diversity of units and tactics in PvP, but also heavily influences strenght differences between certain deck types. In actual SR some decks are better on particular map or vs particular enemy, but this doesn't block any colour from being strong and victorious if used in experienced hands (Maybe except pure nature and bandits? I am not sure.). A lot of your changes would greatly influence colour's strenghts and destroy the connections between decks. It would take weeks or even longer to establish new connections strong>weak between certain colours, can you predict what will happen? What if one of colours not taken into consideration will take place of nature or bandit deck and we will come back to the same point, but with even more messed balance?
In my view your suggestions are too far going and I strongly dissagree with taking them into consideration alone, they may work if this changes' influence on the other cards and colours will be taken into consideration (as one big balance patch, but then wouldn't it be even harder to predict what happens?), though.
I prefer the currently suggested changes on discord, that balance single cards and not the whole colour. In such way we can slightly improve strenghts of colour and see it's influence on PvP.
As long as we are in testing stage, it could be worth doing such big changes to check what happens, and then choose the correct options.
I wonder if it's possible to upgrade SR with balance patch that could be easily removed in next few weeks after developers gain informations and feedback.

I am looking forward for more of your's suggestions, they do bring valuable ideas.

Edited by Dallarian

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If you don't change the overall meta the veterans will stomp the newer players and drive them away from the game, leaving the pvp community ultimatively dead for everyone but a couple of old day players.

It's already almost impossible to catch up to all the abusive combos, micro tricks and other gameplay elements to even get on par with the "average joe" player who used to play Bforge before shutdown.

Bugs need to be fixed, wombo combos should be harder to obtain and overall it would be nice to have a couple of equally available units for each unit role instead of a couple of no brainer cards that outclass every other card in one ore multiple areas.

That's why SynthCs approach is good.

Edited by DarcReaver
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38 minutes ago, Dallarian said:

Your suggestion not only increase diversity of units and tactics in PvP, but also heavily influences strenght differences between certain deck types. In actual SR some decks are better on particular map or vs particular enemy, but this doesn't block any colour from being strong and victorious if used in experienced hands (Maybe except pure nature and bandits? I am not sure.). A lot of your changes would greatly influence colour's strenghts and destroy the connections between decks.

This is exactly my intention.  The whole purpose of a large balance patch is the change things up significantly.  Sure, you can win with every color, but my goal is to bring each matchup as close as possible to a 50-50 chance to win (assuming equal skill levels); balance in asymmetric PvP games is mostly about eliminating any advantage that occurs before the match has even begun and emphasizing skill, strategy, and adaptability instead.  I want to eliminate map advantages and matchup advantages as much as possible, and that can't be done without disrupting the current meta and which decks are good against which.

Quote

It would take weeks or even longer to establish new connections strong>weak between certain colours, can you predict what will happen? What if one of colours not taken into consideration will take place of nature or bandit deck and we will come back to the same point, but with even more messed balance?

It will take at least months before all bugs are fixed and all planned features are restored, so we have plenty of time to test and get things sorted out.  No one can accurately predict how the meta will turn out in the end, but understanding the balance system that Battleforge uses and modeling changes mathematically (which I've done) greatly improves the chances of things being balanced from the start.  Make no mistake, though, I don't think that my balance changes (or any one else's, for that matter) are likely to be perfect right out of the box.  It always takes lots of testing and iteration to get things tuned just right, and Kubik has already said on discord that we will be testing any changes on the test server before deploying them.  I'm certainly not suggesting that my changes be implemented as-is without any testing.

Quote

In my view your suggestions are too far going and I strongly dissagree with taking them into consideration alone, they may work if this changes' influence on the other cards and colours will be taken into consideration (as one big balance patch, but then wouldn't it be even harder to predict what happens?), though.
I prefer the currently suggested changes on discord, that balance single cards and not the whole colour. In such way we can slightly improve strenghts of colour and see it's influence on PvP.
As long as we are in testing stage, it could be worth doing such big changes to check what happens, and then choose the correct options.
I wonder if it's possible to upgrade SR with balance patch that could be easily removed in next few weeks after developers gain informations and feedback.

I am looking forward for more of your's suggestions, they do bring valuable ideas.

I think it's actually better to rebalance several cards at once, because it allows you to see how the newly changed cards interact with one another and gives you a better idea of the game state as a whole.  Rebalancing and testing cards one at a time would take a lot longer, because while that one card might be balanced, it might later become unbalanced after you make other changes and then you'd have to go back and fix it, which in turn might break other things... it's a vicious cycle.

I believe the current approach is to collect all the agreed upon changes and put them into a big balance patch, then test and refine things until we reach a good game state.  This is how it should be done, because, as you said, making big changes can have unforeseen consequences.  I definitely think that we should go big with our changes though before the game's release.  It may be an unusual approach to balance patching, but Battleforge is in an unusual state where people have had literally years to think about balance before even getting a chance to play the game again.  We've compiled a lot of information and consensus on what needs to be changed and this is the ideal time to change all of it.

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On the topic of balancing one or several cards at a time:

It has to be remembered that a lot of cards are essential to more than one faction. I have a fear of people only looking at the main matchups (lost, pure fire, fire/nature...) and making matchups worse by not thinking about every single matchup wich is affected by a change. Imo balancing the game without a ,,3 steps forward, 2 steps back'' pace can only be done with multiple changes at a time. How else do you want to balance cards that are in top tier and lowest tier decks at the same time?

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On 8/3/2019 at 5:33 PM, synthc said:

Magma Hurler

The Problem:  Pure fire has no good way to deal with the War Eagle + Skyelf Templar combo and also struggles against other L threats.

The Solution:  Make Magma Hurler a tier 2 pure fire unit.  This gives pure fire a reliable L counter that can also hit air units.  Magma Hurler at tier 3 doesn't fulfill its role very well since archers are generally not very useful at tier 3 (siege units and units that can quickly deal with threats are much preferred).

  • Change orb requirements from NNR to RR.
  • Increase cost to 150.
  • Remove M knockback.

L units and air control is the only thing keeping pure fire from face rolling every matchup. Even with that in mind pure fire is still in the top 3 pvp deck. I agree there are problem with pure fire. Some matchup it is too strong (nature and amii) and in others, too weak (frost, but only in t2 and fire frost).

On 8/3/2019 at 5:33 PM, synthc said:

Stormsinger (both affinities)

The Problem:  Stormsinger's stats are simply too high for a tier 2 splashable ranged M unit.

The Solution:  Reduce Stormsinger's HP to put it more in line with other T2 ranged M units.

  • Reduce HP from 750 to 690.

I don't think trying to balance cards on their own is good idea. Instead, looking at cards as part of a deck give a better idea what the repercussion of this change would be.

  • Does stromsinger needs a nerf in pure frost? No, it's a good card, but not mandatory at all. A nerf here doesn't affect pure frost.
  • ... frost fire? No, it's a core card to an already weak deck, but this nerf shouldn't hurt much.
  • ... stonekin? Yes, If stonekin's t1 become usable (phase tower nerf, semi swift unit for t1 frost), stonekin could become too strong. I think this could be a good change here.
  • ... lost soul? Yes, It could be a good idea here as well. It would help twilight without affecting lost soul's weaker matchup (pure fire) too much.

Tbh, I was against the nerf at first, but the more I think about it, the more I like it. Fire frost would need a little something to compensate.

On 8/3/2019 at 5:33 PM, synthc said:

Deep One (both affinities)

The Problem:  Deep One's stats are too high for its cost, even for a pure unit.  This causes Deep One to often be used in place of proper counters (like Spikeroot and Ghostspears) because of its exceptionally high overall power level.

The Solution:  Reduce Deep One's HP.  Damage should be left intact because pure nature needs Deep One's damage to deal with threats quickly enough.

  • Reduce HP from 1650 to 1450. 

Yes, the card is strong, but is pure nature too strong? Honestly, pure nature is competing with bandit for worst pvp faction. What's the point of this change? Is deep one causing problem in any pure nature matchup? Just to show how silly this idea is, lets look at deep one in every pure nature matchup:

  • Pure frost: Well balanced matchup already. We should try to keep it that way. Deep one isn't a big factor here.
  • Fire frost: Bad matchup for nature. Nature lose in t1 and t3. T2 is bit more even, but still hard for nature who can't deal with drake (double eruption is an efficient counter to oink+parasite). Deep one isn't a big factor here.
  • Stonekin: Deep one is bad here.
  • Lost soul: Bad matchup for nature. Nature lose in t1 and t3. Deep one is bad here, because of nightguard.
  • Pure fire: Insanely bad matchup for nature. Deep one is the only card that give nature a glimmer of hope in this matchup.
  • Fire nature: About 40:60 in favor of fire nature. DO is great in late t2, but not an oppressive card by any mean.
  • Bandit: 50:50 matchup. For nature it's all about cc and burrower. DO is irrelevant.
  • Amii: Very bad matchup for nature. DO isn't playable, because of nightguard. Even without it (in theory, because amii always has nightguard), amii has the tool to deal with DO.
  • Pure nature: DO is irrelevant.

In conclusion, this change has no effect for most matchup or makes hard ones even more one sided. Every faction has the tool to deal with DO in it's current state.

If you want to change nature, first look at SoM and energy parasite. They really limit the design space with pure nature. Then, give nature proper M counter. Finally, if DO+heal overshadow going t3 for pure nature like it is now (this is only true because of SoM and pure nature t3 isn't great), consider buffing nature t3.

On 8/3/2019 at 5:33 PM, synthc said:

Enlightenment

The Problem:  Enlightenment was one of the most heavily nerfed cards in the history of the game, having its power cost increased by 90.  For PvE, the card is still very useful, and actually single-handedly makes pure decks inferior in PvE, since you can just go double nature and play any cards you want with enlightenment.  For PvP, on the other hand, the card is too expensive to be realistically used in most high level matches (even in 2v2).

The Solution:  Make enlightenment a pure nature card and reduce its cost back down to 150.  This means that you actually have to make sacrifices in PvE to use this (extremely powerful) card and this creates a good reason to play pure nature in PvE.  For PvP, the card is made viable again and pure nature T3 becomes a serious contender in 2v2.

  • Change orb requirements from NGG to GGG.
  • Reduce cost to 150. 

I like the idea. This make nature t3 the most diverse. But now we have to balance t4 for pvp. All the good t4 I can think of: 400 power construct, 350 power ice tornado, 250 power incubator?, 270 power kobold inc with MoK?, 390 power LSS, 390 power bloodhorn (probably the best option), 400 worldbreaker gun.

 

All the other suggestion I like. Hopefully we can see some of them in game one day.

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What a bump. from august 4th to sept 15th

 

If we are gonna talk here about anything, than i would also love to ask about the amii t1... I kinda like the diversity of a t1 having access to other tier. you made a hurricane which you call out spell, would also they allow to summon creatures of that tier? example let say i want to use my nightguard to steal powerfull creature in enemy behind the lines or stone skin charges in convoy, would i be allow to use amii to summon shamin to heal them?

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Oh boy....haven't been to the forums in a while and didn't see this....

 

On 8/3/2019 at 4:33 PM, synthc said:

The Solution:  There are perhaps some more elegant ways to rework this card, but I think a simple solution will work just fine here.  We can simply increase the card's cost in order to increase the amount of power it binds and reduce its overall cost effectiveness.  Reducing the range by 5m also eliminates a design oversight that allows it to outrange things like Mark of the Keeper.

  • Decrease attack range by 5m.
  • Increase cost by 10.

Maybe not the best solution, but certainly reasonable.

On 8/3/2019 at 4:33 PM, synthc said:

Add ability “Siege”: Deals 100% more damage against structures.

Wait, I thought you wanted to nerf this card?? You realized that 100% seige is stupid strong? Even with the regular attack at 500 dp20s, that's actually 1000 dp20s for 60 energy? That just makes a toxic card worse.

 

Treespirit is in a weird place because it's really strong, but not actually necessary in a nature deck because the other t1 cards can fill all the necessary roles. In the other hand, pure nature would love a cheap M/M counter. Moving treespirit to pure nature t2 and increasing the stats slightly may be the perfect fix: my main concern is that it will make the root networks too strong. We'll have to see how the numbers look, but I think t2 treespirit solves many problems (for instance, pure nature has no way to kill a windhunter).

On 8/3/2019 at 4:33 PM, synthc said:

The Solution:  Increasing the cost of the unit and removing the ability cost forces players to both spend more power immediately for the first freeze (80, up from 65) and also forces them to bind more power into combat-weak units, making spamming Timeless Ones hurt a lot more.  This change will reward making fewer Timeless Ones and keeping them alive so that they can use their now free ability many times.

This might be in the right direction, but I'm not sure if that's enough. I'd personally rather see some sort of short spawn cooldown in addition to a power increase. Also, timeless one + northstar is kinda busted.

 

On 8/3/2019 at 4:33 PM, synthc said:

Make enlightenment a pure nature card and reduce its cost back down to 150.  This means that you actually have to make sacrifices in PvE to use this (extremely powerful) card and this creates a good reason to play pure nature in PvE.  For PvP, the card is made viable again and pure nature T3 becomes a serious contender in 2v2.

  • Change orb requirements from NGG to GGG.
  • Reduce cost to 150

TBH I don't want enlightenment to be a common 2v2 card. t4 is not balanced for pvp and I wouldn't want t4 to be a pvp balancing consideration. I'm fine with making it pure nature and slightly decreasing the cost for pve considerations, but 150 is too low.

 

On 8/3/2019 at 4:33 PM, synthc said:

Reduce earthshaker's damage so that it can no longer kill wells on its own and decrease the card's cost.

  • Reduce quake damage from 605 to 330.
  • Reduce cost from 100 to 40.

I sometimes take earthshaker in 2v2 because I play fire-nature and my t3 is terrible so if we reach super high power levels I know I have a secret t4 win condition. I take 4th orb instead of elightenment because I can't afford the slots and I want to spam earthshaker at several locations. Even then shield building saves the monument and I would generally say that a lost souls t3 with grigori, shield building, curse well, etc is stronger than t4 earthshaker at all power levels.

In general, enlightenment is too weak to use even in 2v2. Your goal is to kill wells/orbs as fast as possible, and with enlightenment cost, you can't spam earthshaker. If you play another card, there is no clear benefit. A single bloodhorn is not worth going to the 4th orb because you have t3 stampede options, and tbh playing nat-nat-frost and using mo + shield building is probably better than enlighten + [anything except earthshaker] even with your enlighten "buffs." Nerfing earthshaker would probably kill enlighten in pvp (if it isn't already dead) at top levels while having annoying t4 base trades at a level just below that.

Additionally, earthshaker damage is needed to kill rpve spawn camps.

I would be okay to the earthshaker changes if the cooldown was lowered to something like 5 seconds. This would allow the card to have continued use in pvp if using t4 (which has huge downsides) while also preventing enlighten abuse if enlighten is buffed. I think the decision to go t4 for earthshaker is interesting (and tbh probably not optimal), which means I have 2 reasons not to change it. Or at least to promote earthshaker being used with actual 4th orb, while enlighten is used for t4 units.

I don't disagree with making t4 units a "more viable" 2v2 strategy, especially if people want to have fun with t4 units, but pure nature is already a strong 2v2 deck and I would not want enlighten to be the strongest available option. 390 for bloodhorn is probably too good (considering that it also has a self-disenchant without need for a fire orb). I'm okay with it being a viable "fun" option but if t4 becomes the 2v2 meta, I think we need to reconsider something.

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On 9/15/2019 at 12:55 PM, indubitablement said:

L units and air control is the only thing keeping pure fire from face rolling every matchup. Even with that in mind pure fire is still in the top 3 pvp deck. I agree there are problem with pure fire. Some matchup it is too strong (nature and amii) and in others, too weak (frost, but only in t2 and fire frost).

I don't think trying to balance cards on their own is good idea. Instead, looking at cards as part of a deck give a better idea what the repercussion of this change would be.

  • Does stromsinger needs a nerf in pure frost? No, it's a good card, but not mandatory at all. A nerf here doesn't affect pure frost.
  • ... frost fire? No, it's a core card to an already weak deck, but this nerf shouldn't hurt much.
  • ... stonekin? Yes, If stonekin's t1 become usable (phase tower nerf, semi swift unit for t1 frost), stonekin could become too strong. I think this could be a good change here.
  • ... lost soul? Yes, It could be a good idea here as well. It would help twilight without affecting lost soul's weaker matchup (pure fire) too much.

Tbh, I was against the nerf at first, but the more I think about it, the more I like it. Fire frost would need a little something to compensate.

Yes, the card is strong, but is pure nature too strong? Honestly, pure nature is competing with bandit for worst pvp faction. What's the point of this change? Is deep one causing problem in any pure nature matchup? Just to show how silly this idea is, lets look at deep one in every pure nature matchup:

  • Pure frost: Well balanced matchup already. We should try to keep it that way. Deep one isn't a big factor here.
  • Fire frost: Bad matchup for nature. Nature lose in t1 and t3. T2 is bit more even, but still hard for nature who can't deal with drake (double eruption is an efficient counter to oink+parasite). Deep one isn't a big factor here.
  • Stonekin: Deep one is bad here.
  • Lost soul: Bad matchup for nature. Nature lose in t1 and t3. Deep one is bad here, because of nightguard.
  • Pure fire: Insanely bad matchup for nature. Deep one is the only card that give nature a glimmer of hope in this matchup.
  • Fire nature: About 40:60 in favor of fire nature. DO is great in late t2, but not an oppressive card by any mean.
  • Bandit: 50:50 matchup. For nature it's all about cc and burrower. DO is irrelevant.
  • Amii: Very bad matchup for nature. DO isn't playable, because of nightguard. Even without it (in theory, because amii always has nightguard), amii has the tool to deal with DO.
  • Pure nature: DO is irrelevant.

In conclusion, this change has no effect for most matchup or makes hard ones even more one sided. Every faction has the tool to deal with DO in it's current state.

If you want to change nature, first look at SoM and energy parasite. They really limit the design space with pure nature. Then, give nature proper M counter. Finally, if DO+heal overshadow going t3 for pure nature like it is now (this is only true because of SoM and pure nature t3 isn't great), consider buffing nature t3.

I like the idea. This make nature t3 the most diverse. But now we have to balance t4 for pvp. All the good t4 I can think of: 400 power construct, 350 power ice tornado, 250 power incubator?, 270 power kobold inc with MoK?, 390 power LSS, 390 power bloodhorn (probably the best option), 400 worldbreaker gun.

 

All the other suggestion I like. Hopefully we can see some of them in game one day.

The Magma Hurler change was based on the idea that the game will reach a point where every deck has good ways to deal with pure fire aside from air dominance and abusing L units.  This idea was perhaps a bit naive on my part as at our current rate of progress I doubt we'll ever get close to that point.  Still, it would be an ideal change later on if we ever got there to help smooth out pure fire's strengths and weaknesses.

As for Stormsinger, there are plans to rework frost T1 which should help make pure frost more consistent as well.  I also want to rework fire/frost as it's been pretty underwhelming ever since Mine and Mortar were nerfed way back in the day (which were good nerfs, just to be clear).  Stormsinger is just a bit too efficient for a T2 splash card.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

As for Deep One... well, it seems that the more recent top players have been pushing the idea that pure fire is top tier and pure nature is trash tier - both of which I disagree with.  When the deck is built and played correctly, pure nature is actually a very strong deck (as you can build the deck to compensate for its many weaknesses while still capitalizing on its insane strengths).

Regarding your matchup breakdown, pure nature actually has an advantage vs fire/frost due to its ability to mind control their drakes and scythe fiends and fire/frost's lack of offensive power (that doesn't rely on shielded drakes/scythe fiends).  This nullifies nature's biggest weakness which is early T2 defense, allowing them to get SoM up and dominate the matchup.

Vs lost souls, pure nature actually has the advantage here as well.  The T1 is an even matchup vs shadow and in T2 you don't have as much trouble on defense as you would vs nature splashes, plus you can get a lot of EP activations vs lost souls which gets you a huge power advantage.  Souls also has no great ways of dealing with Burrower + CC so you can snowball that power advantage hard with SoM and Burrower attacks.

Pure nature vs pure fire is actually surprisingly even.  As long as you don't lose the T1 fight (which is pretty even, thanks to Dryad) you just pressure them hard with Deep Ones.  Deep One is also awesome on defense because it can grab Firedancers and kill them quickly.  Once you get SoM up you have a huge power advantage and as long as you launch an all out attack and kill and orb when they try to go T3 (not too hard since you have tons of power with SoM and Burrowers + Deep Ones with spell support can do tons of damage), you win.  A DO nerf has the biggest impact on this matchup.

Fire nature and shadow/nature are the worst machups for pure nature by far due to their high early T2 power level with supported Burrowers, and DO is hard to use vs shadow/nature because of Nightguard + CC.  DO helps vs fire/nature, but a buffed Spikeroot would play this role better anyway.

On 9/15/2019 at 2:47 PM, Dion said:

If we are gonna talk here about anything, than i would also love to ask about the amii t1... I kinda like the diversity of a t1 having access to other tier. you made a hurricane which you call out spell, would also they allow to summon creatures of that tier? example let say i want to use my nightguard to steal powerfull creature in enemy behind the lines or stone skin charges in convoy, would i be allow to use amii to summon shamin to heal them?

Yes.

13 hours ago, Eirias said:

Wait, I thought you wanted to nerf this card?? You realized that 100% seige is stupid strong? Even with the regular attack at 500 dp20s, that's actually 1000 dp20s for 60 energy? That just makes a toxic card worse.

Treespirit is in a weird place because it's really strong, but not actually necessary in a nature deck because the other t1 cards can fill all the necessary roles. In the other hand, pure nature would love a cheap M/M counter. Moving treespirit to pure nature t2 and increasing the stats slightly may be the perfect fix: my main concern is that it will make the root networks too strong. We'll have to see how the numbers look, but I think t2 treespirit solves many problems (for instance, pure nature has no way to kill a windhunter).

What you're missing is how much counterplay there is to a Treespirit that has no M damage or poison.  Treespirit only hits up to two targets (and the second one doesn't take full damage, which is more pronounced without poison damage).  This makes body blocking to protect your wells/orbs very easy and effective (especially in conjunction with the HP nerf) and makes Treespirits completely unable to focus down wells that are being actively defended.

What they would be good at is stopping players from going T2 against nature T1 with impunity, and defending against / launching attacks against towers.  Make no mistake, this is a nerf (technically a berf, but definitely reduces the card's overall power level by a lot).

13 hours ago, Eirias said:

TBH I don't want enlightenment to be a common 2v2 card. t4 is not balanced for pvp and I wouldn't want t4 to be a pvp balancing consideration. I'm fine with making it pure nature and slightly decreasing the cost for pve considerations, but 150 is too low.

I get what you're saying here, but back when Enlightenment was 150 and not pure nature, it was only really a problem with Earthshaker.  T3 pure cards should be very strong and nature T3 is otherwise underwhelming, so I don't see a problem here.  If Earthshaker is changed as per my suggestion, Enlightenment would become fairly strong in 2v2, but certainly not an auto-include (it wasn't even when it was 150 and splashable).

I considered lowering the Earthshaker cooldown, but decided against it to allow frost to at least save their orbs without needing Shield Building.  On second thought though, I suppose if you let your opponent go T4 you probably deserve to lose anyway, so I can agree with a CD reduction to maybe 10 seconds.  This would make Earthshaker something that definitively closes out games even vs frost.

Edited by synthc

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58 minutes ago, synthc said:

pure nature actually has an advantage vs fire/frost due to its ability to mind control their drakes

I only played this matchup once as the nature player and once as the fire/frost since beta (both rare faction to see), but I saw parasite swarm against drake quite a few times and it never work.

If nature player use oink, you can double erupt. Because parasite swarm animation is so slow, you have plenty of time (giving you a small 5 power advantage).
If nature player doesn't have the power to oink, you can hit once with drake+eruption (giving you a 25 power advantage).

Ofc spirit hunter+parasite doesn't work either because of ravage and shield.

Even if you screwup and nature gets a drake, you have shielded drake to easily deal with it, so it's not even a big deal.

Early attack from nature with burrower+CC is easy to counter with stormsinger+frostbite. Samething with energy parasite.

1 hour ago, synthc said:

Pure nature vs pure fire is actually surprisingly even.

I played nature vs pure fire a lot in the 120'000 elo range (I used to main pure nature and pure fire is very common). Even if the pure fire's trade aren't 100% efficient, a good fire player never let me repair my well and will eventualy get it down. If I could repair, it cost 100-150 power which would easily end the game. Some map with a lot of cliff dancer spot are auto lose like yrmia. Maybe I just need to get good. I need to see replays of two equality good player.

@Kubik Sorry for ping. Do you have the win rate for specific pvp matchup like pure nature vs pure fire? For me I think it was around 20:80. :(

 

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Double Erupt and Drake shot + Erupt to kill Parasite Swarm is generally an effective counter, but fire/frost tends to rely on shields to attack effectively.  Ultimately, this matchup comes down to the fact that fire/frost just doesn't have anything scary in early T2 that kills pure nature's wells.  Once pure nature gets rolling with SoM they have a big advantage (even without getting any EPs off).

The power advantage combined with the need for fire frost to invest in Ice Shield Tower or Frost Sorceress gives nature enough of a power advantage to use two Parasite Swarms + CC in a lot of cases.  If fire/frost doesn't use shields, then Spirit Hunters + Parasite (the spell) is enough to cost effectively kill ravaged Drakes.

 

As for pure fire, I also mained pure nature and played quite a lot of matches vs pure fire with it, except I was around 170K ELO (don't remember my exact highest ELO).  You have to play very aggressively in this matchup; if you fall behind, you lose.  But if you can keep the pressure on with Deep Ones (which pure fire can't cost effectively deal with), then it's a winning matchup.

There never were many high level pure nature players, so I totally understand why people think it has a terrible matchup vs pure fire (and most other decks).  For balance purposes, win rates are only really relevant at the highest level of play.  Player experience at the lower and mid levels is still important, but I don't think it would tell us much (especially in an alpha phase where most people aren't active).

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Regarding fire/frost vs nature....today I tried a fire/frost deck (rageclaws instead of mounty) and had a pretty easy time against a pure nature player that I sometimes struggle against as fire-nature (my best deck). 

Not saying the mu isn't in nature's favor, but at my level it definitely seemed that way.

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Best is to close this balance proposal here instantly. Makes no sence to start different balance discussions in parallel. There should be one place where right informations are discussed/shared. right now its discord.

Thread like this one here split the community even futher instead of bringing ideas together.

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I’ll close this discussion since it’s a lot of different things being discussed here, if you have something specific to discuss you can open a thread specifically for that.

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