Warning: Some Power Changes


#2

Oh wow. This is going to change a lot of elf strategies. I suppose it is appropriate, but this is a large change (in my opinion).


#3

yep, thats why I thought I had better give a couple of days heads up.


#4

So Tree Whisperers and Enchantresses are only good in forests. Hrmm…

I wonder what it would be like if the range for Tangle vines was 1 league everywhere, except in forests, where it can be up to 3.

The only time I really take advantage of terrain in the maps is if there’s a very obvious path the zombies are taking toward a pool or settlement, then it’s a game of, “We get better numbers over here guys, so let’s sit for 6 days while they all come for us.” :smile:

We’re in a game right now where it seems 2 players have abandoned us, and a third is about to get eaten by zombehs… and we realllly should have wrapped the game up before the weekend, but now we’re playing sit at the pool and wait for the map to come across to us because the forest around the one pool gives us better numbers against humans in the plains, dwarves in the mountains, etc.

Usually on the current maps where we play elf, we make the elf units, then march onward into every terrain but forest. (Or maybe my memory is getting old.)

Before this change, Tree whisperers would only come along because they were in the starter set on the maps. (Now I wish I could replace 'em :-p)

As for the Enchantresses, I’d really bring them along to help buff the Elder Mage… but maybe I should replace 'em with another mage type from another race for multi race maps.

Marsh Warden though… that’ll become a new favorite. (We had one guy who kept asking should I use it? And we kept saying, no, you’re surrounded by all of us. :-p) Poor guy never got to fire it off the whole game.

I wish I could find a reason to love units that get/give terrain bonuses and abilities, and I find myself always benching them. (I’d rather have a Desert Maiden instead of the Warchief, Vicious Sargent, or even the Butcher or Jolly Tavern Keeper (And yes, I know those last two have nothing to do with terrain and they help all races, but if I have to roll with a single race deck, You roll with the racial unit that gives the best perks over all terrains.)

Maybe it’s just strategy preference. The two elf changes seem like more reasons to not use those heroes than to use 'em. The Marsh Warden change could be huge! Especially considering how slowby those Trolls are.

But I’m just one person’s opinion with a bunch of anecdotal games. :wink:

I’m curious what others think, pros and cons.

It might be close to that time where we do a write up to have everyone stack rank each race’s hero units from ‘awesome’ to ‘never gonna use’. And then discuss why we think that, and what we love/hate about 'em.


#5

Thanks for the feedback!

I think the Enchantress really needs nerfing because with 3 or 4 of them you can basically hold any area. Even in Nightmare games you can just have the flee power firing constantly and the zombies will never get through. I think they might still be a problem, bit I would like to play with them for a while to see.

The Tree Whisperers I agree become a lot less useful and infact might not be useful enough now. We could consider having the vines do a some damage as well.

Now that I think of it, I think the Wardens should also do less damage as well. They should not be for completely clearing the swamp, the should be in support of your melee units.

I would love to hear people’s thoughts about their fav and least fav card. 2 things in particular I’m looking for,

  1. Are there characters that break the game because they are two powerful.
  2. Characters that are so lame you would never take them.

#6

Jay,

I would like to add a point here that it may not be the ability that is out of balance, but the mana cost. Before implementing these changes can I also recommend comparing abilities of cards between races?

For example, one area I would like you to consider is how this change would make the new snare abilities for elves comparable to other races. At least in one case I can name a card whose power is far more out of balance than the Tree Whisperer; that card would be the human ‘Wizard’. For a low low price of 8 mana (only 2 more than the Tree Whisperer) I get not only a snare which lasts 24 hours instead of 12, but also a snare which does additional damage, and also has a 6 hour cool down vs. a 24 hour cool down, and right now has the same range as a Tree Whisperer, it also costs 25 less gold and has 40 more base power. So basically in terms of ‘snare power’ alone, a single Wizard is like having 8 tree whisperers on the field at the same time, not to mention all the other perks.

Again, if your looking to balance abilities can I recommend stepping back for a bit and considering balance of all the cards and how they ‘play’ together. I’m not against re-balancing, but it seems like it’s targeted to just certain ‘problem’ cards and not others.

Also, rather than just making every race equal in terms of abilities I would like to see certain races continue to be better at some things than other races. Right now I feel that there is a good variety in the cards, but with re-balancing in games most of the times things inevitably gravitate towards equality in all things; which is rather boring IMHO.


#7

Since I have today off for President’s Day I went ahead and did a race review for the Elves since I’ve played with them the most…

Elves -

  1. Dark Forest Witch (6/10) - Good but not amazing. Works very well in heavily zombie infested areas. Anything more than 3-4 groups is enough to make sure you get your firing cost back and then some. Not really useful for defending or attacking as part of an army based on its cost to power; far more useful for it’s ability. Cool down seems reasonable.

  2. Elven Archers (7/10) - Usually more valuable alive than dead for its ability. Moderately strong attack is good and has enough power to defend in a pinch. Reasonable cooldown, but I wouldn’t mind seeing it improved.

  3. Enchantress (4/10) - Not something I’m going to typically bring along unless I have the spare slots. Tree Whisperers are more useful and give better control. These work best when backed into a corner or the zombies won’t have anywhere else to go; except maybe another players swords.

  4. Tactician (3/10) - Again, generally I am not going to bring these. Elven Princess has a better boost and works anywhere. If I bring them they usually end up running around behind the lines and claiming towns. If I get a chance to make use of them great; but with elves I’m generally trying to keep things at range.

  5. Tree Whisperer (7/10) - These are great, I usually run them in pairs for a ‘permanent’ snare. Not quite as powerful as the human ‘Wizard’. Great for delaying and building up forces or whittling down enemy forces, but not good for a combat role.

  6. Woodland Assassins (8/10) - Amazing speed, fastest unit in the game that doesn’t fly. Moderate combat power. Makes them good for burning the dead and catching zombie groups that might break away and threaten a town. Also good early in the game where there is an advantage to claiming something quickly before it falls. Often makes the difference between an ‘easy’ play or one that lands out of control. These will generally be anywhere except one of my towns and always moving. Cost seems just about right.

  7. Beacon of Life (6/10) - Every race has one, and this one isn’t special in anyway. On larger maps I’m going to bring this to help push the front line and get troops to the other side of the map in support of fellow players.

  8. Elusive Dryad (2/10) - Seems to have such a niche use case that it’s not really worthwhile to bring. Still need the gold to redeploy these units somewhere else. NOTE: I personally haven’t experienced this (because I don’t use the card) but I suspect this could be a problem card… If I walk into say and Ent grove and claim it, and then use this card to return the previously neutral Ent to my hand, do I get to add the Ent to my collection?

  9. Healer (4/10) - Again, I’m generally not going to bring this unless I have the open slot. Prevents a few casualties, but again elves work so much better at range.

  10. Pool Priestess (2/10) - You really shouldn’t be letting any of you’re mana pools in a game fall. Rarely useful, it’s better to me as a ‘mage’ card than anything else.

  11. Tree Friend (5/10) - Moderate power, and the saving throw is nice. I’ll generally bring these but they are generally too expensive for their power for me to make great use of.

  12. Woodland Bard (3/10) another niche case use card, in multi-race maps this can be a threat to both friend and foe. For the mana cost I’d rather have another firing of my Archer’s or Tree Wisperers than this.

  13. Berserkers (4/10) - Good in theory but not very useful in practice. Generally too expensive for me to ever consider bringing out. The ability is so costly it’s not useful until end game, and Assassins are quicker.

  14. Dispelinator (1/10) - Has no power yet.

  15. Eagle Scout (7/10) - I will always bring this. Speed is a critical factor in the game. Again, getting to something before it falls to mount a defense or burning bodies mostly. Never going to use him to engage in combat unless it’s an oh shit situation.

  16. Eldermage (9/10) - I’m going to bring this anytime mana is going to be a challenge, otherwise generally not. This card can get pretty OP when you have over a dozen mages on the field.

  17. Elven Princess (5/10) - I’ll bring it if I have the open slots. It’s the best boost elves get but since I’m usually trying to keep things at range with elves it’s not going to be as useful as many other cards.

  18. Ent (3/10) - Cheap, but too slow. I never bring them, by the time they get anywhere and you have enough mana to make use of their ability the game is over.

Elf closing thoughts…

Love their speed but no really great melee units. It’s better to keep things at range and fire off abilities. Compared to some of the cards I’ve seen from other races most of these don’t really stand out as being super powerful cards. Generally my strategy with elves is to get to the front lines, snare and range down anything incoming and burn bodies fast before they get over run.


Orcs - A Hero Study - By Tangle Rainbowfilter
#8

I’d actually gotten used to shaping a strategy around Marsh Wardens with their “kill everybody” power. I could leave swamp regions empty except for a couple of Wardens on non-swamp nearby. I think they will be less valuable for me if their kill power is reduced…I kind of like the balance of their being so powerful but also affecting friendly units–it added strategic complexity. I almost always have 2-3 Wardens in my troll decks.

As far as enchantresses and whisperers, I think those are good balancing changes. I don’t use enchantresses that often, but as far as whisperers, how will they be balanced against wizards, who both do damage and also freeze units for twice as long?


#9

@Eshal That is a super useful look at the Elves! It’s great feedback! I really like the score and the description approach.

I’m going to use your notes to go through and do some tweaking passes.

I think this is really important and I might take a step back and make sure each race has its strengths and weaknesses.


#10

This is exactly what I was thinking when we did the first pass but I had been feeling they were just too difficult to use.

Now that I think about it some more, I’m thinking it might be more interesting to have them as a kind of advanced strategy.

hrm, I think I might need to think about this one some more at least.

@IHG-BlightedPea Suggested for Tangle Vines that it could be area effect like the Enchantresses, then Elves would have a theme of doing “area zombie control” and the humans would have the single unit zombie control. I’ll do some playtesting tonight with this idea.

I think the Wizard might just be a little over powered. I know the Storm Firar is crazy overpowered, Range 3 Strength 500 for 8 mana. I don’t know what I was thinking. Basically the same as a Dwarf Cannon with an extra point of range and faster when walking around.


#11

Eshal and I were just making these same comments tonight. I fully understand he needs nerfing, but I would have liked to have used him in action once. Although, it will likely be a long time before I get one anyway, with the way I play.

One counter thought though: Rare cards should indeed be powerful, otherwise I am likely to favor a handful of commons over the rare cards. Right now I don’t have many rares anyway, but I find I don’t use at least half of what I do have because I feel the common cards are more useful overall. It leaves me with little drive to collect the rares, knowing they are likely to sit there in my collection but not my deck anyway. There are some exceptions to this; not all rare cards are like that (the wizard, elder mage, storm friar and others I can’t recall off of the top of my head).


#12

I’m not sure I want the rare cards more powerfull, instead I’d rather they unlocked interesting new strategies. I’d rather think of them as unlocking new content rather than being “just better” than the common cards.

I think this is why I like the Marsh Warden the way he was instead of changing him to be Zombies only and basically just a bigger Rune Dancer.


#13

I was expecting that response, and that is a fair response. My experience though is that by having these hard to get cards just have some unique power, that means that they almost always end up being niche cards that get left behind because of the limited number of slots. If I have to choose between a card I may be able to use (or use but only once or twice) and a card that does well for me the whole game (like most of the common cards), I’m going to pick the “whole game” card (unless I’m goofing around; like when experimenting with the Dryad for griefing purposes; which still wasn’t a rare card).


#14

I like this idea better. The one problem I have with restricting the terrain type though is that it leads to situations where something must go off at a certain time or else… This is difficult when that time happens to be 3AM. Is it possible to make this an AoE effect that applies when the zombies enter the area rather than being cast directly on them at a specific time?


#15

I like this idea. I assume you meant this already, but I think if a group of zombies later walks into the area where the vines are withering around they would be held at that point, but only for the remaining duration of the spell, not starting the full-length (12 hours) tangled vines effect at that point in time.

It would be the only type of spell like this in the game though. I don’t know what that would do for gameplay balance. For example, I could still have two Tree Whisperers that I could cast off every twelve hours and hold multiple groups indefinitely, and I wouldn’t even have to worry about timing it right anymore; the long duration of the spell would take care of that for me.


#16

Very true, but the point about holding groups indefinitely is going to be true of any type of CC (crowd control) type ability; be it snare, force away, or draw towards. I’d rather not get rid of all CC abilities, or have them nerfed to the point where they are no longer useful.


#17

The focus was less on the ability itself and more on the idea of how much easier it is to take advantage of if it is a long lasting passive effect.


#18

What I hope will happen, and I’m not 100% sure how to make it happen at this stage, is that it will be fun to explore specific strategies for specific maps using those cards that are a bit different.

If I do this with one card and follow up with some of this other card I might be able to get a higher score for this map kind of thing.


#19

That’s a really tough goal to reach. One problem is that right now high score is directly related to speed. The faster I take the problem head on, the quicker it gets solved and the fewer casualties I have. Also, the less I engage in ‘melee’ combat the fewer casualties I am going to have. Strategy is always going to favor the speed and reducing casualties approach. I’ll have to think about how to work around this…


#20

I’ve been thinking about how to make melee combat less of a bad idea.

Just last night I was wondering if there was not some simple change we could make to melee so that if you army is twice the size of the enemy you don’t take any casualties. Or the chances are a lot less.

Right now melee combat is “fair” but you don’t really get any bonuses for having overwhelming numbers.

Edit: Perhaps all the generals that give you combat bonuses should also be giving you additional saving throws as well.


#21

As I was reading this I kind of realized that more power per unit means fewer casualties in terms of ‘people’, adding in a saving throw accomplishes the same goal in a different way; but then what use is a card like the healer for. I’d almost rather keep the generals as a power bonus rather than a saving throw; it makes more sense to me that way. I also kinda like the fact that casualties are fair; although I agree that a curve may be added rather than always a rough 1-1 with some randomness.

While reading your comment I stumbled into the idea of ‘well how do other games do this?’ Then the answer seemed relatively obvious to me; why not make it so that casualties aren’t the primary factor in scoring?

A lot of war games handle the idea of who ‘won’ based on ‘results’ rather than who did the most damage by using a victory point system. The idea is that every town and well would have a value assigned to it; either deterministic or assigned by map creation. The game then shifts towards ‘save the towns’ vs ‘reduce the casualties’; and it makes saving towns that have been recruited dry more important. Secondary scoring factors could also be added - such as casualties - that help to differentiate the scores moderately.

It still doesn’t solve the issue of faster being better though; although that may be intentional.