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Eirias

Suggestion to rework Twilight Transformation: Twilight Evolve

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Posted (edited)

Pretty much everyone agrees that twilight transformation is a lame ability. If you don't know what that is, all "twilight" (cards which require nature and fire) have an ability theme which is to transform into another twilight card in your deck. Sometimes the transformation comes with an ability (the best one is twilight minions' ability which makes nearby twilight units do 30% more damage for 20 sec). The ability is lackluster because

  • Transforming takes 85% of the cost of the regular unit (in most cases) +at least 60 power for the cheapest twilight unit, which is usually more expensive than just summoning the unit you want in the first place, and way more expensive than just using a breeding grounds
  • Transforming does not heal the unit
  • Transforming still takes charges
  • Transforming does not allow you to exceed the unit limit

The only upside of transforming is that your unit becomes unbound. Unlike similar abilities like shadow phoenix and mind control, twilight transformation continues to bind unit power.

There are 3 uses where I have seen the twilight transformation effect in games:

  1. In PvP, if you want to launch a sneak attack with vileblood you could start with twilight minions and transform them, to spend 171 power for a 130 cost unit with a 20 sec damage buff. In my opinion this is not nearly worth 41 power.
  2. In PvP, if you use twilight curse on a vileblood it triggers the vileblood's transformation effect. This ability WILL spawn a full HP unit, but it cost 100 power for a unit that is actually worse than vileblood + lava ability. IMO this is still underwhelming and also requires TWO extra slots in an already slot-intensive deck
  3. In PvE, you can make a massive unbound army. I tried this once or twice and generally found it ineffective (thats because it's actually still bound). PvE speedrunners also say that it's not worth it (especially because twilight t4 units are not very good and there is no flexibility for other orbs).

I suggest that twilight transformation become something like a "twilight evolution."

Instead of a unit transforming into any unit in the deck, I suggest that the unit be able to transform into a specific unit with one tier higher, once that number of orbs is obtained.

For example, perhaps vileblood could transform into mutating maniac once you get t3. Perhaps mutating maniac could transform into twilight abomination once you get t4.

Alternatively, each unit could transform into a "better" version of itself. For example, the pvp vileblood could transform into the pve vileblood, with better stats and a powerful effect upon death. (I would totally play deathglider if it could transform into the pve deathglider :))

My proposed solution has several benefits:

  1. It reduces the number of deck slots required. In PvP, fire nature requires many slots in t2. Many fire nature decks run a single t3 card (giant slayer). I could see players using deathglider instead of hurricane if the deathglider could turn into a t3 unit at that stage of the game (so when I'm t3, I spawn deathglider for 60p and transform it for say 100p). This is weaker than just spawning a t3 unit because it takes more micro, it's slower, it cost more, and twilight t3 cards are simply weaker than other t3 cards. However, with deck slots saved, it might be worth it (also the power is unbound, which is a big advantage).
  2. It allows more pve deck flexibility. Do you want to play a twilight abomination, but also use frenetic assault? If there is a t3 card which transforms into twilight abomination, then you could play that unit and transform it. Since the "evolve" effect only considers the number of orbs, not the color, you could use this workaround to create an army of twilight abominations with nat-fire-shad-shad orbs. (If this is too strong for pve, we could make it check both the number and color of orbs).
  3. It saves charges. Pure twilight decks don't have access to offering, so this is another way to bypass charges. Use a t3 card with 8 or 12 charges and transform it to get 8 or 12 t4 units. Of course it requires more total power spent this way.

I'm not sure how t4 creatures could evolve, but they could also just keep the regular twilight transformation effect. Not like anyone would use the new or old effect on t4 units, even if the effect was somehow good.

EDIT:

Just to clarify for those not following the discussion in the balance discord, the current proposal is for units to transform/evolve into a better version of themselves. So when you are t3, you could transform your vileblood into a t3 vileblood similar to the pve enemy. Zyna has a working demo of this effect. For t4 units, the transformation will be based on power instead of having another orb.

The bound power will be the same as the original unit, hp will be the same fraction (1/2 hp t2 vileblood turns into 1/2 hp t3 vileblood), and the transformation cost will be cheap or possibly free. We have the ability to balance a new version of every twilight card, so I'm working on this proposal over the next few days.

EDIT 2: Deckbuilding options
Since some people don't know what is in a typical FN deck, here is a standard one:

image.thumb.png.f60364cc2bdb7352cb85b8c3b1826377.png

The t3 is a bit larger than typical for FN (smaller than pure fire), so you could replace mortar or sunderer for t3 cards, but you will need to make some t1 concessions to do that. I currently play with sunderer-->vileblood because I think the L units is strong against the meta options right now (although vileblood is probably the weakest L unit in all of T2). Another option is sunderer-->virtuoso, which gives higher odds of winning t3.

Assuming that all the changes go as I want, I would experiment with the following deck which is designed for heavy t3 fights like 2v2:

95517909_twilightt3deck.thumb.jpg.c437957acd96e7e5e8fdb0b8c3335d93.jpg

  • So sundy-->vileblood sacrifices t1 options (esp against shadow) to have some better t2 matchups against some factions (pure shadow, lost souls, Pure fire) and a t3 unit which is like virtuoso.
  • Gladi-->twilight hag (assuming it becomes t2) because hag will be able to 1-shot + erupt skyfire drake, which is the main reason gladi is needed. Gladi would be a better L counter and swift unit (as I am thinking about this though, FN still struggles a bit against L units so I wonder if hag would need the exact same stats as gladi, but without swift and disenchant)
  • Scythe fiends-->deathglider means you'll struggle against defenders and spirit hunters. If deathglider got a t2 buff this might be viable. In 2v2 though, my partner's darkelves can take care of enemy s uniits as long as I provide knockback via hurricane or deathglider. In 1v1 i might keep scythe fiends and use deathglider instead of hurricane if I really wanted to include this card.
  • Ghostspear-->twilight minion is the most obvious substitution. Ghostspear is better because it has slightly better stats, has reach to kill rooted melee units, and can switch to S counter. All of these bonuses are nice, but rarely dealbreakers.
  • In this deck I'm also assuming that twilight hag get some kind of cc buff in t3, so perhaps I could try dropping mortar-->thunderstorm to really round out a t3-heavy deck.

Analysis: this deck will suffer against S units and L units (depending on twilight hag t2 stats) in t2 but this can be overcome by a shadow partner's Aura of corruption and darkeleves. In return I get 3 below-average t3 cards, 2 above average t3 cards (deathglider and giant slayer), and thunderstorm (currently available but makes no sense because if t3 lasts longer than 2 minutes FN is out of charges and dead). The "below average" t3 units would help round out unit counters (twilight hag is AA and L counter, minions can defend silverwind or enemy giant slayers) while also added more overall charges to FN. Lack of charges is one reason that FN loses t3 to other decks.

Even if all 6 "t3" cards were at the average power level of a t3 card, this t3 would still not be too strong. Consider that lost souls typically plays a 5 card t3 where all cards are significantly above the average power curve, and if players really want to emphasize t3 it's possible to use 7-8 t3 cards in shadow frost, pure shadow (I've even seen 10 card t3 in 2v2 pure shadow), and aragorn-style stonekin. Having these cards as a t3 option would not make fire nature too strong, but it would provide a "win more" feature which FN completely lacks.

I expect this deck would become a strong meta option in 2v2 because t3 is more important there, but in 1v1 most high-level games are ended in t1 or t2 (unless you're fighting a defensive deck that just wants to save slots and go t3). In 1v1 I could see twilight minions being played most of the time, with vileblood and twilight hag also played some of the time depending on the player and meta. Scythe fiends are also important in many matchups, so deathglider is a hard sell unless it could replace hurricane by changing its its attack pattern (like frost mage) to more reliably knock back s units. (although don't forget that frost mages have better stats than deathglider and stonekin players still usually play both frost mage and hurricane).

 

Edited by Eirias
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I like the idea of a straight evolution path for each creature. For the sake of simplicity I think it'd be best if the evolutions are primarily stat boosts. Not sure if the ability will see much more popularity if one still needs to manually activate it and pay the power cost for every single unit but then again, who knows. The main advantage is that with the given suggestion one is actually able to get some use out of the transformation passive abilities most Twilight units have. I was never a fan of those passives to begin with though, as many of the cards are vastly overloaded with pages of descriptions for all the effects one can supposedly activate.

In short I am strongly supporting any idea that simplifies the current mess that is the Transformation ability into something more stomachable.

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Posted (edited)

The units are not unbound. If they would the ability would be strong. Recheck in F. E. Communitysmithy. It's easy to check if u kill a transformed unit u ll get void. The units bind as much power as the unit would cost if u would have summoned it normal. 

I suggest that twilight transformation includes a discount like breeding grounds. So you save a deck slot and its at least not worse transforming units instead of killing the old and spawning new one at breading grounds. 

Edited by Karl Lavafeld

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8 hours ago, Karl Lavafeld said:

The units are not unbound. If they would the ability would be strong. Recheck in F. E. Communitysmithy. It's easy to check if u kill a transformed unit u ll get void. The units bind as much power as the unit would cost if u would have summoned it normal. 

I suggest that twilight transformation includes a discount like breeding grounds. So you save a deck slot and its at least not worse transforming units instead of killing the old and spawning new one at breading grounds. 

Oh rip. Then I guess there is no advantage haha.

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For the transformationcost u only get the transformationability. it's the only thing twilight has, and it's not even cheap. U only save a deckslots for spells  that u don't need cause u have the ability. 

But unfortunately No ability is good enough to substitute the real spells u need. F. E. Oink, regrowth... 

Kind Regards 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

How about keep everything as is, but make transformation (only) 1 tier up free? Wouldnt that be big enough of a buff?

Edited by LEBOVIN

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10 hours ago, LEBOVIN said:

How about keep everything as is, but make transformation (only) 1 tier up free? Wouldnt that be big enough of a buff?

well, that would be a huge buff. I'd love to run around with my 60p vilebloods :) But I don't see what the 1 tier restriction even matters, since I could twilight minion-->mutating maniac-->twilight abomination while still only going 1 tier at a time.

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Posted (edited)

Na i meant if in ur example the original unit (that has its power bound) can only be transformed once for free. So after becoming vileblood it would cost you to transform. Spawning vileblood in the first place and transform that to maniac would be Free indeed. 

The difference lies in the amount of bound power, as everything else stays the same going from twilight minions to vileblood wouldn’t change the bound power And no transform cost  but Then going vileblood to maniac would have the Transform cost and update the bound power to what it’s right now like for maniac.

Edited by LEBOVIN

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Regarding the tw fraction ability most likely they will be only able to adjust transformationcost and values of the effect (F. E. tw-minions gets higher damage buff percentage ) , with what it would be allready possible to achieve better balance between fraction abilitys. 

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5 hours ago, Karl Lavafeld said:

Regarding the tw fraction ability most likely they will be only able to adjust transformationcost and values of the effect (F. E. tw-minions gets higher damage buff percentage ) , with what it would be allready possible to achieve better balance between fraction abilitys. 

As far as I understand based on what @Kubik has mentioned about previous possible changes, this is actually an easy change that he knows how to do. I believe there is just a unit ID, and when you transform your twilight unit you click something in your deck and it feeds that ID to the transform ability. So it should basically only require a number change to make pvp vileblood into pve vileblood.

For transformations to units that don't have a stat-buffed version in pve, it would require creating a new unit and unit ID. Kubik as already showed that this is easy to do (for example, by making a playable bandit sniper) as long as you piggyback off of an existing card. The current transformation effect does have a selectable unit ID--if it's not so easy to just replace that with a constant ID, you could instead use the twilight curse ability which always has a constant ID to twilight bug.

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Update on this @Zyna was able to make the change i requested in like 1 min :)

But it creates an unbound creature. Right now spawning a bound creature is impossible (update he just said he thought of an idea)

So another idea is to just make the transformation unbind the unit power (so unit--> same unit but boundless), but maybe add a 30 sec initial cooldown or something.

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5 minutes ago, Eirias said:

Update on this @Zyna was able to make the change i requested in like 1 min :)

But it creates an unbound creature. Right now spawning a bound creature is impossible (update he just said he thought of an idea)

So another idea is to just make the transformation unbind the unit power (so unit--> same unit but boundless), but maybe add a 30 sec initial cooldown or something.

Quick update on this: it's also possible to keep power cost of the original unit bound.

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Posted (edited)

I feel you. In pvp Fire/Shadow had the exact same problem with decks slots and it always felt like you were playing with only haf a deck. You miss out on powerful cards of pure faction and end up with a compromise, that forces you to patch your holes with additional cards.

If I understand you correctly you want a mechanic that essentially gives you T3 monster cards for free. Given the slot pressure, that's not unreasonable. However, I don't think this is a "be-all end-all" change. With this ability, we first must have valid Twilight units to begin with.

Realistically, the only T2 Twilight cards you play in pvp are Brute + Vileblood, of which both are mediocre. Vileblood could morph into Mutating Maniac and Twilight Brute into... Twilight Creeper? The target card for evolved Twilight units seems rather arbitrary to me. But admittedly, this is better than nothing.

The proposed alternative is that units "level up", as you reach a new tier. But here I see the the big problem with player expectation and game readability. A "T3 Vileblood" must be visually distinct from a "T2 Vileblood", this is a must (I am speaking from experience). Otherwise you can confuse your opponents with mixing T2 and T3 Vilebloods and expect them to make a bad choice, this is just toxic. You are also introducing a whole range of new de-factor cards that need to be balance and tested, which isn't trivial.

Now, this doesn't mean that we shouldn't explore this but in terms of deck building, I can't help but feel like using duct tape, rather than having a diverse deck. And again, this make the assumption that all of the Twilight Cards are worth using.

To me, it is clear that the first step must be to make the Twilight Cards viable. I have reservations against "Twilight Evolution", but I'm not fully opposed to it. However, I think with this proposal we get ahead of ourselves. The first step must be to fix the Twilight Cards, there is no way around this.

And I don't think the current "Twilight Transformation" is completely unsavable either. You are right about its issues, can't we fix those issues for the mean time? Just give transformed units full health and not make them use a charge. That alone could make it a good ability to have.

On another note: You mention "players using Deathglider instead of hurricane" -> Why don't we just buff Death Glider instead? Death Glider has essentially the stats of Mana Wing and might be the worst unit in the game. A flying S-counter with S-knockback could be a powerful tool in F/N. I don't care how strong a "T3 Evolved Deathglider" would be, I want it to be good in T2.

Back on the topic of deck slots: I think the deck-slot problem would be mitigated a great deal with more Twilight cards were like Gladiatrix. She's anti-L, she's anti-air and provides a slot-free Disenchant. If the Twilight Cards were multi-purpose oriented we would effectively mitigate the problem with free deck slots. In the Discord the idea has been raised to make Twilight Hag a T2 unit, I think she would be a perfect candidate.

Now, with good Twilight units making up for the shortcumings of F/N you might not even need to change Twilight Transformation and we could play around transformation abilities. Imagine Twilight Minions costing 50e: Suddenly, you have a cheap way of increasing the damage output of your Twilight Units. I know it costs a deckslot, but I think this is a fascinating facet of the faction that shouldn't be discarded.

In general, I think more abilities should trigger if Twilight Units transformed. E.g. if Nightshade plant triggered its effect on transformation, it would be an interesting unit for mass-CC.

But again, I am not completely opposed to Twilight Evolution, I think this can only be a "second step" in making Fire/Nature better. And the Evolution should be very well thought out and designed. For example, a unit should only be able to use Twilight Evolution once. Otherwise a Twilight T2 card is effectively 3 cards (T2, T3 and T4 version), which is unfair towards other decks.

But first things first :-)

#MakeTwilightGreatAgain

Edit: One thing I'm not keen on is forgoing orb restrictions. We should be making Twilight better instead of giving it more access to cards like Frenetic Assault. With Enlightenment and Amii Monument, there are already ways to ignore certain restrictions and I think adding more ways is hurting the game more than it helps.

Edited by ImaginaryNumb3r

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7 hours ago, ImaginaryNumb3r said:

I feel you. In pvp Fire/Shadow had the exact same problem with decks slots and it always felt like you were playing with only haf a deck. You miss out on powerful cards of pure faction and end up with a compromise, that forces you to patch your holes with additional cards.

Yeah, fire shadow is a whole different story without such an obvious solution. It has multiple problems, not just one :) Still we talked a lot about some solutions in the discord...

7 hours ago, ImaginaryNumb3r said:

If I understand you correctly you want a mechanic that essentially gives you T3 monster cards for free.

For almost free. The compromise is that you have to use inferior cards. Sundy is almost certainly better than vileblood. Ghostspears are better than Twilight minions. Gladiatrix would be better than the proposd t2 twilight hag. And scythe fiend/hurricane will be better than deathglider even if deathglider is buffed.

A t3 S squad doesn't exist, but t3 twilight minions would be worse than bandit lancer. T3 vileblood would be worse than virtuoso. T3 twilight hag would be worse than (magma hurler? An already terrible card). T3 deathglider would actually be pretty good in the way I imagine it, since there would be no other reason to play the card.

As I've said many times before, I expect that most top FN players would still prefer the current, more optimal cards, but at least there would be a use for twilight units and it would allow an alternate playstyle and a way to have counterplay vs lost souls in tournament games or something.

 

By the way, here is my suggestion as a starting place to look at stat changes, in case people have not seen it on the discord:

image.thumb.png.faec41aed7f7ec97527bea24eda8f636.png

7 hours ago, ImaginaryNumb3r said:

Back on the topic of deck slots: I think the deck-slot problem would be mitigated a great deal with more Twilight cards were like Gladiatrix. She's anti-L, she's anti-air and provides a slot-free Disenchant.

Case in point: All fire nature player STILL spend a slot on disenchant. Even considering that the gladi disenchant is cheaper than the card version.

7 hours ago, ImaginaryNumb3r said:

Imagine Twilight Minions costing 50e: Suddenly, you have a cheap way of increasing the damage output of your Twilight Units. I know it costs a deckslot, but I think this is a fascinating facet of the faction that shouldn't be discarded.

Nobody wants FN t2 to be stronger :) It's already strong, that's why we use so many deck slots. It would be like suggesting that stonekin get a buff in t2. I think it's great that stonekin has many optional cards so you can play t2-heavy or t3-heavy. FN only has the option to play t2-heavy, and I think twilight transformation is the perfect way to allow weaker t2 and receive a stronger t3. If players want to play that way.

7 hours ago, ImaginaryNumb3r said:

One thing I'm not keen on is forgoing orb restrictions. We should be making Twilight better instead of giving it more access to cards like Frenetic Assault. With Enlightenment and Amii Monument, there are already ways to ignore certain restrictions and I think adding more ways is hurting the game more than it helps.

Yeah that idea is gone. We are only looking at the 1-to-1 transformation which can only be used once (well I guess we could make an exception for something, maybe slaver can transform twice and somehow become an OP t4 XL unit :) )

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On 6/28/2020 at 1:47 AM, ImaginaryNumb3r said:

To me, it is clear that the first step must be to make the Twilight Cards viable. I have reservations against "Twilight Evolution", but I'm not fully opposed to it. However, I think with this proposal we get ahead of ourselves. The first step must be to fix the Twilight Cards, there is no way around this.

And I don't think the current "Twilight Transformation" is completely unsavable either. You are right about its issues, can't we fix those issues for the mean time? Just give transformed units full health and not make them use a charge. That alone could make it a good ability to have.

In theory you have my support on this one although I do not agree with your priorities. Imo almost none of the T2 & T3 Twilight units are worth a deck slot even when their concepts are good in theory. But fixing Twilight Transformation (I'll just call it TT for short) is a must before any rebalancing of the current units can take place. We are talking about an ability that is supposed to define a whole faction and major changes to it can easily make or break the game. The whole thing becomes a lost cause if we first determine what buffs Deathglider needs only to change its ability completely and unwittingly make it OP/UP. I feel that changing TT takes priority over individual balance changes but it should be possible to work on both at the same time.

On 6/28/2020 at 1:47 AM, ImaginaryNumb3r said:

And I don't think the current "Twilight Transformation" is completely unsavable either. You are right about its issues, can't we fix those issues for the mean time? Just give transformed units full health and not make them use a charge. That alone could make it a good ability to have.

I don't think the proposed changes to the current TT are enough to make it a good ability while it might be a quick-and-dirty buff that'd help it out a bit. Honestly speaking I'm not sure if it is worth the time and effort implementing such a change if we can also just straight up aim for the big change from the start.

On 6/28/2020 at 1:47 AM, ImaginaryNumb3r said:

On another note: You mention "players using Deathglider instead of hurricane" -> Why don't we just buff Death Glider instead? Death Glider has essentially the stats of Mana Wing and might be the worst unit in the game. A flying S-counter with S-knockback could be a powerful tool in F/N. I don't care how strong a "T3 Evolved Deathglider" would be, I want it to be good in T2.

Back on the topic of deck slots: I think the deck-slot problem would be mitigated a great deal with more Twilight cards were like Gladiatrix. She's anti-L, she's anti-air and provides a slot-free Disenchant. If the Twilight Cards were multi-purpose oriented we would effectively mitigate the problem with free deck slots. In the Discord the idea has been raised to make Twilight Hag a T2 unit, I think she would be a perfect candidate.

Having units fulfil multiple roles is both an advantage and disadvantage gameplay-wise. While those units become more flexible and attractive to play, it makes other cards obsolete. If a card only replaces the roles of a single existing card then the deck variety stays basically the same as one can choose whether to play card A or B. But if the roles are similar it usually comes down which one performs better and thus the other one is deemed obsolete. If the card takes on more roles then it easily becomes a staple card in any deck as it frees up so many deck slots and it can become OP or too complex to balance. So the only worthwile option I see is to have a card perform multiple roles that overlap with different existing cards, so as to not replace other cards completely. This is harder to conceptualize and implement but it should be worth the effort.

On 6/28/2020 at 1:47 AM, ImaginaryNumb3r said:

In general, I think more abilities should trigger if Twilight Units transformed. E.g. if Nightshade plant triggered its effect on transformation, it would be an interesting unit for mass-CC.

I like that idea a lot. One point why the transformation passives annoy me is that there is seldom a point to even benefit from them and especially some of the T4 Twilight units have active abilities that are difficult to use effectively due to their range. Now if I can use TT to transform my Twilight Creeper into a Skycatcher/Abomination/Nightshade Plant with full HP and trigger its ability upon transformation, that would be simply incredible. It might be a bit difficult to tweak for some units but I see huge potential here, especially with the discussed reworks of other Twilight cards.

 

On 6/28/2020 at 9:12 AM, Eirias said:

image.thumb.png.faec41aed7f7ec97527bea24eda8f636.png

"t3-heavy" with a whopping two T3 cards? :P Seems weird but I see how that can actually be the case with an evolution-style TT. Maybe we can rework Twilight Warfare while we're at it to have a useful T3 spell to compliment such a deck.

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3 hours ago, Kaliber84 said:

We are talking about an ability that is supposed to define a whole faction

Since when? Revenant ability does not define lost souls, and even bandits lifesteal and stonekin armor (actual good abilities) don't define the factions, just give it some flavor.

3 hours ago, Kaliber84 said:

"t3-heavy" with a whopping two T3 cards? :P Seems weird but I see how that can actually be the case with an evolution-style TT

:) I mean I'm making compromises to choose worse t2 units which also function as t3 units, so at t3 there would be 5 useful units, much more than the 1 or 2 usually used right now :) The same way I'd consider lifeweaving to be a t2/t3 card because it is never played on t1 units.

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On 6/29/2020 at 11:18 PM, Eirias said:

Since when? Revenant ability does not define lost souls, and even bandits lifesteal and stonekin armor (actual good abilities) don't define the factions, just give it some flavor.

That's why I added the "supposed" into the sentence. :P I feel like faction abilities should be something that give the faction character. Currently that's not really the case as both Twilight and Lost Souls active abilities are useful in far too few cases. Stonekin passive is more useful, given that it improves the value of heals and buffs. But you are right that it doesn't really define them as it is not dominant enough a factor. I guess that it is similar for the Bandit Lifestealer passive but never played the faction so I'm not sure about that.

All in all I think those faction abilities and passives should feel like a characteristic that makes the faction special and open up faction specific strategies. But you are right, "defining" might be a bit too strong. The main difference right now between Twilight/LS and Bandits/Stonekin is that the passives actually make a difference even when one doesn't feel it that much. The abilities of Twilight/LS are basically never worthwhile to play.

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