Suggested Changes for Elves


#1

Going back to the whole card balance question, now that some changes have been made I wanted to offer a few suggestions of my own. I feel the cards are much more balanced than they were, but I think a few could use some tweaks yet.

  1. Dark Forest Witch - Perfect!
  2. Elven Archers - Perfect!
  3. Forest Dryad - Weak, could probably use a buff. How about something along the lines of, When used in a forest all zombies see towns within a 1 league area around the Dryad at a distance of +5 leagues for 24 hours. I don’t know how the SW is architected on this, but the idea is that when the zombies reach a vertex and decide where to go next, they would add a 5 league cost to all towns that have this blessing, making them prefer other towns even if further away.
  4. Tactician - Bump to a +6 in forests, or make it +2 for all terrain, +4 for forests, or decrease his cost to 125.
  5. Tree Whisperer - Perfect!
  6. Woodland Assassins - Lower the cost to 275, change power to 16x20, or 12x30.
  7. Beacon of Life - Add ability to deploy Ents when he is also in the forest.
  8. Elven Prince - Bump cost to 200, make bonus 50%, increase power to 150.
  9. Healer - Increase saving throw to 30%, or make her 200 gold and increase the saving throw to 35%. Increase power to 120.
  10. Pool Priestess - Make power cost 5, add an additional use of the power to increase permanently the output of an already clean mana pool by 5; make the buff stack-able.
  11. Tree Friends - Make 6x50.
  12. Woodland Bard - I do not like these types of cards, if it were up to me we would just create a totally new power.
  13. Berzerker - Increase power to 200, or decrease cost to 150.
  14. Eagle Scout - Add the ability to make a strength 100 attack for 4 mana. Increase power to 120.
  15. Elder Mage - Lets see how the +3 mana for each mage works out for now.
  16. Elven Princess - Perfect!
  17. High Elf - Drop the mana cost to 20. Decrease the distance to 4 leagues.
  18. Ent - Increase cost to 200 (now slightly more useful because of the Beacon change). Reduce the cost of the ability to 4 and make it 5x current mana instead. Also drop the valor cost for an Ent Grove to 6.

I can provide my rational for most of these changes if you would like more feedback for any particular item. If I did this initially for this post it would be super long.


Massed Eldermages
Elven Beserker Needs a Slight Buff
#2

On a strategic level (and out of curiosity), why do you think Elves as a faction need this many bonuses? They already have good synergy, powerful and fast units, lots of nifty special powers, and a good deal of durability through cards. Or, in other words, would giving all these bonuses put them in line with another race or strategic baseline you are trying to achieve?

I wouldnt be opposed to seeing a few of these implemented. I love the Ent idea (I would like to see having the card be a useful thing) and the possibly Beacon of Life tie to the Ents, but seeing a power boost to the already super-useful Woodlands Assassins or Eagle Scout would be a bit much, IMO.


#3

A lot of these aren’t really a buff but rather a balance of power and cost. For example, the Woodland Assassins would actually end of losing power from 384 to either 320 or 360; the difference being how easily they can take advantage of other unit buffs and defenses. In return for sacrificing some of their power the cost drops only 25 Gold.

The Eagle Scout on the other hand is more of a buff. He used to be really useful for clearing graves, but now that zombies stick around it makes that a bit more difficult without the aid of another unit. So I’m also trying to fudge something more inline with the other flying units. For example Griffons are 250 Power for 650 Gold. If you look solely at a P/G you get the equivalent of a 150 Gold Eagle Scout. Bumping the power to 120 doubles this to ~300 Gold. And the 100 power range attack is more expensive in terms of mana cost than an Archers; 4/100 instead of 6/200. So combined with the faster speed and ability to evade I would ‘value’ the card at about 400-450 gold.

Don’t get me wrong though, I also think the Griffons deserve a slight boost here as well; unfortunately I’m only looking at the elves right now.


#4

One thing to remember is that I’m looking at a single race. Let me give another example to explain some of my thinking here.

Say you have one Archer unit, what card do you deploy next?

Well another Archer unit for 225 Gold would give you an additional 300 Power and a 200 range attack for 6 mana. I use the Archer as my point for comparison because I feel they have the best value per gold. Presently I wouldn’t really have a compelling reason to pair them with say a Healer or a Prince.

To make the Healer worthwhile I would need to be able to save ~3/4 of a unit at 20% save this would mean pairing her with 4 other units before you get the 1:1 benefit. At 30% it’s going to be closer to 2.5-3 units before she really starts paying off.

Now consider a Prince, for 2/3rds the cost of another Archer I get 25% more range attack and 60 more power (20%). This again means I need somewhere around 3 to 4 other units before I start getting a benefit from him. Bumping his cost to 200, but also his power to 150 and range attack to 50% brings this closer to 2-2.5.


#5

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 -

  1. Balance the cards in a way that deepened the strategy.
  2. Make sure the Elves maintained their advantage on ranged units and CC.
  3. Try to keep melee units with a ability somewhere around ~1 Power per Gold.
  4. 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.


#6

This is really great feedback. There are some great ideas in there, I particularly like the idea for the Pool Priestesses increasing the Mana income from a well. I was thinking they were a bit limited as they are. I also think that the Eagle Scouts are quite limited too, although fast flying units are useful.

I do think the Ents are too cheap, but Jay wants them to stay cheap as they are so slow.


#7

Yeah, I think they need something that makes them a little bit more useful early game. To me the idea that you could pair it with the Beacon was too tempting not to propose it; and I think it fixes a lot of the issues I have with Ents.

Strategy wise I was thinking you might deploy a Beacon for a set of Elf towns and just have him there to summon Ents from their groves to come help defend those Elven settlements. It would give the beacon something to do other than marching across half the map, and add incentive to bring more than one. I thought it was a nice synergy between the two cards.

Lastly… HOW IN THE HECK DOES THE EAGLE SCOUT NOT HAVE A RANGED ATTACK!!!


#8

He is only a scout. I like my scouts to gather intel, drop off a message, I guess burn some bodies, and get out. Giving up their position with an attack is generally not a good idea.

I agree though that they could use something extra now. Before I was OK with their high cost, lack of strength and lack of ability because they could be used to burn bodies. Now about the only use they have is to get to the front lines fastest at the beginning of the game to claim front line cities in time to defend them. After that, I send them for a circuit around the map because they don’t have much other use. And that’s if I put them in my deck at all; with their high cost, I’m just not sure if they are really worth it anymore.


#9

I think they would be cool with a really small ranged attack for taking out those individual zombies that wander around sometimes.


#10

Oh please yes… STR 100 cost 4 or 5 mana? That’s what I had proposed :wink:


#11

I went to increase the Tactician to +6 in Forests and it turns out he already is +6, but his card text is wrong!