So first things first, we have to start with a design intent. On the forums Jay has mentioned that he was envisioning elves as the king of range and CC. Elves are supposed to be weaker on Melee than the other races. That said I tried to interpret this in a general way -
- Balance the cards in a way that deepened the strategy.
- Make sure the Elves maintained their advantage on ranged units and CC.
- Try to keep melee units with a ability somewhere around ~1 Power per Gold.
- Keep in mind the rarity of cards and try to adjust powers accordingly.
That said, I chose the Archer as the base unit for beginning to make comparisons. Please keep in mind that I’m trying to limit comparisons to within the same race; I’m not making any kind of judgement on the other races.
Forest Dryad was nerfed some time ago, and I think that was probably a little pre-mature. There seemed to be a very real concern with keeping units at range almost indefinitely. It is the only mass CC in the game, so I understand the basic concern. That said the current power is so much less useful. Many times towns sit less than half a league within forests, this means that while the ability remains AoE, it effectively has the range of 1/2 a league in most cases. Basically I wanted to address the original concern in a different manner than making the card almost currently worthless. Adding to the cost table for which towns the zombies go after doesn’t prevent them from eventually making it to these towns - they are simply going to prefer to move towards other towns first. It would return the ability to a mass effect CC while requiring a fair amount of planning ahead of time.
I felt the Tactician needed a bit of a buff, I understand its a common card, but the +4 bonus in forests is very situational. I think its cost either needs to come down or it needs a reduced non-situational power to help make him a bit more worthwhile.
As previously discussed Woodland Assassins I felt needed a bit of a nerfing. Speed does carry a fair amount of value, but for the 300 gold, they were also a bit more on the expensive side. Lowered the price a bit, but also sacrificed a bit of their power.
Beacon - Jay has commented before that the Beacons were also mostly situational and has talked about the idea of adding an additional bit of power to make them a little more useful for every map play. Here I felt the Ents were always a little OP, but never useful enough to make them something I wanted to bring. For example, for flavor I was thinking that Ents would almost certainly be out in the world, not just in their groves, just not as a community. I like the flavor idea of having the Beacons be able to talk to the trees and find those lone Ents that might be out roaming the wild. This comes with actually having to claim an Ent grove of course, and Ents without their ability are about on par with the basic units (in terms of power). Of course if you’re going to make the Ents something that can be summoned in a wider variety of circumstances the cost also needed to be adjusted upwards. I also felt the 10x current mana was always geared more for the later phases of the game. I wanted to try and bring them more into the earlier phase of the game by reducing the power cost, but also scaling back the benefit as well. I.E. 20 mana would let you add a 100 power bonus, and only cost the 4 mana. 100 mana would add 500 power, almost doubling the strength for a much smaller mana cost, but not inflating the Ents into these giant 1,500+ power super Ents.
I’ve also discussed the Elven Prince and Healer so I’m going to skip those for now.
Pool Priestess has a very niche power right now. In all the time I’ve been playing I’ve only used it once. Here the idea would be to invest a little bit of gold and mana to have a unit which would boost the mana output. It takes time (24 hours) to recoup the mana investment alone, but long term over the course of the game you might get 20-30 additional mana back in small increments over the course of the game.
Tree Friends are all or nothing currently. It’s a slight power bump for them, but more importantly it spreads out the save so that they are no longer all or nothing.
Berzerkers I’ve used a few times since their power change. short of playing on a map with all elves their power/cost is on the low side. They take a fair amount of time for the power to build up, and of course it could all be gone with a single combat. For a rare card I felt either the investment needed to be slightly less, or they needed to have a bit more power for bringing them out a little later in the game.
Elder Mage got the nerf that was long coming.
High Elf also got a bit more of a nerf, except the mana cost came down a bit to account for the fact that the mana is spent once the power is activated. Unlike the Blind Justice which keeps the same base each time she is used.