Thylacine Studios - Forum

[Discussion] Buff/Nerf Thread!  (Read 10126 times)

Offline VagrantSun

  • ****
  • Posts: 414
  • Diabolic PR Manager
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion] Buff/Nerf Thread!
Reply #13 May 12, 2015, 01:36:19 AM
Alright, I can see your point then. There needs to be better game balance between the WDS/Shadowdancer combo and the rest of the tanks, but I feel like Mummy Lord, at least, is balanced due to its incredibly difficult-to-get status.

I still disagree with you about hosers, but that's likely a personal preference, because I think any creature whose ability prevents a strategy you don't even necessarily use (Pegasus never needs to defend/provoke, for example) is justified in having a powerful effect on that strategy.

Offline Grakor456

  • **
  • Posts: 57
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion] Buff/Nerf Thread!
Reply #12 May 12, 2015, 12:44:14 AM
Not looking to start an argument, but I do want to clarify a few things.

Hosers: There are two different design philosophies here. Yes, in the current game Frenzy Ghoul is necessary to create a hole in perfect defense set-ups. My argument is that if those set-ups weren't available, Frenzy Ghoul would not only be not necessary, but it'd be harmful to the game's balance. If I'm using a non-perfect defense set-up, you don't need Wrath to take down my Chaos Guard/Autumn Aspect/Troll King/Whatever tank, it just makes that creature completely useless for the first several rounds of the battle. (And yes, Blight is probably the lesser of the evils here compared to Wrath because Blight itself can't kill you. That said, in some ways I find it worse because you can't exactly turn off healing abilities, and it actively harms you while Wrath just prevents an action.) So the question is: should the game be based on radical abilities with hard counters, or more moderate abilities with soft counters? I prefer the latter because it makes the game much easier to balance, as seen by my next point...

Perfect Defenders: The problem, as I said in my first post, is that they invalidate the vast majority of the other tanks in the game. Do you ever see anyone talk about using a Chaos Guard tank, or an Autumn Aspect, or a Troll King, or a Dragon Guardian? It's always the same suspects every single time: Stronghold early game for perfect provoke, and then later most folks are either using Stronghold + WDS, a Cloak and Dagger WDS, or a Taunt Mummy Lord. Heck, the "why use X when Y does everything better?" question is especially relevant here. Why use a tank that boosts defense, when I can just use a Taunt Mummy Lord who reduces almost all of the same stuff that defense affects to one damage? Yes, there will be a few bizarre edge cases where another tank might have an edge, but nine times out of ten, why would you ever use a Dragon Guardian or Autumn Aspect over a Mummy Lord with Steadfast Resilience?

It's the problem when you have extreme abilities that act as absolute hard counters. Blood Dance and Death Beckons are effectively hard counters to direct attackers, so what happens to the creatures that soft counter the same?

Edit: After re-reading this morning some of my comments sounded more passive-aggressive than I intended, so I removed those bits. Sorry guys.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 07:12:48 AM by Grakor456 »

Offline VagrantSun

  • ****
  • Posts: 414
  • Diabolic PR Manager
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion] Buff/Nerf Thread!
Reply #11 May 11, 2015, 11:57:30 PM
Scorn doesn't cause already applied buffs/debuffs to disappear immediately. You scorn a Frenzy Ghoul, you're still afflicted by Wrath until it times out, same as if you killed him.

Edit: Not to mention only two creatures natively apply Scorn that I'm aware of...one of which only has a 50% chance to apply it, the other triggers it only when hit. I question if it's healthy at all to have creatures whose abilities utterly destroy things as ubiquitous as healing and tanking.

The Pit Guard has a ~44% chance to inflict Scorn on hit, and Summon Wild Imps will duplicate its effect on any monster.

~*~

Hosers

On the contrary, I think hard counters are completely necessary. Your point about perfect defenders only stands so long as there isn't a Frenzy Ghoul on the other team, for example. Mutant Swampdweller, additionally, I don't count as a hard counter because Blight does not prevent healing from happening, and doesn't kill creatures after it inflicts proportionate damage, which means that Pit Wraith Dominator still gets its boost even against Swampwalker, and enemies still have to target and kill your creatures instead of autowinning.

Also, Scrolls of Mass Dispel will remove any detrimental status once the status creator is gone.

That said, Nightmare Mummies, I agree, are not good for the metagame. It's not so much what effect they have against creatures as what they do to the player; they nerf an entire class, making all but one of the Wizard's class perks useless, and that one an out-of-battle passive. I don't agree with punishing the player for picking an already tough-to-play class.

~*~

Luck Creatures and Builds

I agree completely that Vilify and Warp Reality threaten the usefulness of a dozen creatures easily, and require nerfing. Where every other stat debuff in the game is a percentage and recoverable from, only these two completely and outrageously tank a stat to effectively nothing.

~*~

Perfect Defenders

These aren't as bulletproof as you think they are. Stun knocks down your defense for a turn, Wrath prevents it entirely, and Grip/Snare can keep you indefinitely paralyzed. Damaging effects such as Enchantment / White Knuckles / Carrion Swarm don't care about your defenses at all; and Faith Hunter has a good chance to kill you outright for even trying.

I'm satisfied that they're balanced, given these counters, though the WDS is undeniably the strongest defense you can obtain in the game, and may need a minor nerf.

~*~

Status Creatures

I'm already nervous with how badly status has been nerfed in this game; it's got to be a valid alternative to damage, and the methods by which this is plausible are decreasing rapidly. Gravestorm + Electroheart does need nerfing, I admit, but Timebomb seems valid to me, given that it's effectively a random 2HKO that requires defending (lots of things will punish you for this).

~*~

Creatures that Need a Buff

Frozen Spirit: It's a cool concept, but creatures that defend and provoke are incredibly likely to keep defending and provoking, because they're built to do so. Frozen impedes neither of these things whatsoever, and only bothers you if for some reason you decide to have your tank punch things in the face.


Minotaurs in General: They're intended to get stronger from being punched in the face, but hybrid builds are unimpressive at best, and this means you have a damaged creature leaving off defense duty and exposing other, softer-bellied monsters to attack, so that it can . . . deal mild damage. Because you built it as a tank so that it could survive taking shots in the first place. There's a problem here.


Minion Monsters: Every single monster in the game that uses minions is slightly underpowered, bar the Blood Hound (due to its plethora of support) and the Lich King (Deathknights are basically SuperLeech, which is already a valid ability for the Bats). I've never had a time where I wanted to use a Mutant Seadweller, or Pit Guard, or Planetary Amaranth, or Mauler Fend. A small side benefit to make them more effective than "I casted a Summon spell" would make them more distinct.


Mutant Rotmongeror: Skeleton Cannoneer does literally everything better than this creature, and that is a big problem in terms of design.


Pestilient Smog: Infection and Disease now deal damage off of the inflictor's base Speed and Luck. This creature has base 6 Speed and base 10 Luck. It doesn't need to be attempting to inflict Infection and Disease anymore.


Priest of Light: This creature has a 40% chance to heal your party for a total of 105% health on its turn, distributed randomly and inequally. Ashwood Ent heals everyone for 20% on their turn, in a reliable and predictable manner that always works and grants 120% health over the length of a round (and gets better with turn-stealing shenanigans).


Red Storm: Stagger is cool, but with the crappy Attack of the Storms in general, you're not going to be doing anything worthwhile with it. The Storms in general need a damage-dealer species to make him more viable, or he needs a buff.


Winter Aspect: The Minotaur conundrum again - if this creature's ability boosts attack, what am I doing trying to draw fire?


Wildfire Efreet: Objectively worse than Dragon Soldier, now.


Carnage Antagonizer: A half-and-half chance to deal damage to an attacker based on a tank's dump stat. Minotaur conundrum!

Offline Noetherian

  • ****
  • Posts: 423
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion] Buff/Nerf Thread!
Reply #10 May 11, 2015, 09:06:39 PM
I don't want to sound scornful, but isn't there a counter to hard counters?

<laughs > ... well-played

Offline Grakor456

  • **
  • Posts: 57
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion] Buff/Nerf Thread!
Reply #9 May 11, 2015, 09:04:22 PM
Scorn doesn't cause already applied buffs/debuffs to disappear immediately. You scorn a Frenzy Ghoul, you're still afflicted by Wrath until it times out, same as if you killed him.

Edit: Not to mention only two creatures natively apply Scorn that I'm aware of...one of which only has a 50% chance to apply it, the other triggers it only when hit. I question if it's healthy at all to have creatures whose abilities utterly destroy things as ubiquitous as healing and tanking.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2015, 09:14:58 PM by Grakor456 »

Offline crumplecup

  • ***
  • Posts: 179
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion] Buff/Nerf Thread!
Reply #8 May 11, 2015, 09:02:35 PM
I don't want to sound scornful, but isn't there a counter to hard counters?

Offline Grakor456

  • **
  • Posts: 57
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion] Buff/Nerf Thread!
Reply #7 May 11, 2015, 08:57:18 PM
Actually, calm reminds me of something else I want to bring up, and that's creatures that completely hose an entire strategy.

This may be another controversial opinion, but if a strategy is too strong, then that should be nerfed, not "fixing" it by introducing a creature that just completely screws the composition with no counterplay possible. Talking about things like Mutant Swampdwellers, Frenzy Ghouls, and yes, even Nightmare Mummies (if the magic system gets improved.) They just show up and say "lol, your composition is now useless, enjoy the stomping!" and proceed to destroy you. There's no creature that counters them, they just kill healers/tanks/whatever. Mercury Slimes and Volcanic Efreets do the same, except that they are countered...by one of the uncounterable "destroys X strategy" creatures.

I'd rather they simply not exist, though an alternative that would at least be tolerable is to have the debuffs immediately disappear as soon as the offending creature is killed. Right now Blight and Frenzy linger for a while after the creature is dead.

Offline Arqane

  • ***
  • Posts: 123
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion] Buff/Nerf Thread!
Reply #6 May 11, 2015, 08:39:37 PM
I think something that would help is an anti-stun ability or three.  I considered asking about it as a basic ability, but I think it would be fine to add as skills, such as a 30% chance to negate stun for the entire team, or 75% chance to negate stun on an individual creature.  Stun tends to be one of the most powerful abilities.  Calm is obviously as powerful, but much less common.

Offline jamosup

  • ***
  • Posts: 205
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion] Buff/Nerf Thread!
Reply #5 May 11, 2015, 07:10:00 PM
I agree with Electroheart being reduced to one turn, and maybe also not a 100% proc rate as well. One of the silliest abilities in the game, especially if you combine it with Cradle to the Grave.

Offline Arqane

  • ***
  • Posts: 123
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion] Buff/Nerf Thread!
Reply #4 May 11, 2015, 06:58:24 PM
I hate to mention it, but I'd have to say Electroheart (there's a reason Cephyric put it in an unbeatable group).  It's just a bit too easy to abuse if you know how the enemy AI works.  Make it a tempting target, and anything but spells will automatically give you 2 turns for free.  And it's quite easy to get the creature up in the meantime and repeat the process.  Maybe make it non-resurrectable, or only a 1 turn stun.

Though I'd have to say, I'd like to see abilities follow more of a level/rarity trend for their power.  Some skills can be very powerful if you need to get L30 on More Creatures, and their respective legendary material should be hard to find.  Skills will never be fully even, but at least you can say you worked hard, or got really lucky, for some of the more powerful ones.

Offline Grakor456

  • **
  • Posts: 57
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion] Buff/Nerf Thread!
Reply #3 May 11, 2015, 04:42:39 PM
Seems Cephyric beat me to making this! Replying here, then:

The following are just my opinions: some folks obviously have a lot more experience with the game than I do, and hopefully they'll chime in.

Nerfs

Unguided Entity + Incantation: Won't go into much depth on this one because there is another thread on it, but at max power balance this theoretically one-shots anything.

Doom Devil: Timebomb at will is another one of those "endless depth" things, so long as you can stall long enough for the devil(s) to kill everything. Gets crazy with Itchy Finger. Perhaps Timebomb should just do damage?

Perfect Defenders: This one's going to be a bit controversial, but hear me out. I'm specifically talking about two things here: the Mummy Lord and the Witch Doctor Sacrificer. The problem being that once you get a "perfect defense" set-up, the rest of the tanks in the game feel entirely useless in comparison. Why bother with a Chaos Guard when I set it up so I never take more than one damage from attacks, ever? This gets more problematic because both Death Beckons and Blood Dance have flaws built into the abilities...flaws that can be countered with another ability (Steadfast Resilience and Cloak and Dagger, respectively.) Perhaps the abilities should prevent you from keeping those respective buffs?

Buffs

Troll Alemaster: I actually feel a little awkward putting this here, because I get the impression that this is a joke creature and not really intended to be used in any serious capacity. Nonetheless, I'm bringing him up. Near as I can tell, Mystery Brew just slaps a random debuff on everyone in the battle, either Buzzed, Tipsy, Drunk, or Smashed. Which is hilarious, sure, but it screws you over more often than it messes up the enemy, since two of those buffs can restrict commands. The last thing you want is a defender to get Tipsy, for example, and near as I can tell this provides you with no real benefit or way to exploit it that benefits you more than the enemy. Other than tweaking the debuffs, perhaps Mystery Brew should instead inflict everyone with a gradually shifting debuff, like going from Buzzed -> Tipsy -> Drunk -> Smashed as the battle continues. At least then it would be something you could plan around.

Dryad Naturalist: Already acknowledged, but I'm putting it here for completeness: the Naturalist's ability is just a worse version of the Nightmare Golem's.

Twisted Devil, Elder Ent, etc.: The best buff these guys can get is the removal of Villify and Warp Reality. Egad. That said, the Twisted Devil in particular is a bit puzzling. He's a tier one creature, the starter for Chaos mages, but he doesn't actually seem any good at his job as an attacker until much, much later when you can build around buffing Luck. At the least, he feels like a much weaker tier one critter than things like the Iron Golem.

Minotaur Warrior, Minotaur Juggernaut, Winter Aspect, etc.: These creatures kind of lost their purpose with the taunt nerf. You can no longer even attempt to make a creature that is both a tank and an attacker, since Taunt now requires provoking and the meta basically asks that you take one creature and make him go full on defense for tanking purposes. So, any creature that is effectively "get hit to increase damage on attack" is dubiously useful at best. This is particularly perplexing for the Minotaur Juggernaut, who explicitly needs to hit the attack button to use his ability.

Other Thoughts

Abbadon Guard: See the above re: Minotaur Warriors and such. At least some use for Sidewinder can be used, but I don't think it will see anything other than Assault Stance due to how binary tanking is in this game. Perhaps, at the very least, they should get the ability to stack stances?

Nightmare Mummy and Topaz Paragon: So, I don't think these abilities are OP on their own. Rather, I think they expose a problem with the magic system in the game. There's something clearly wrong when I find that the game is much more fun and interesting when you completely remove the magic system from it. I know this is undergoing a change in the future, but I'm going to express that my problems with the magic system is mostly that it benefits enemies more than it benefits me. They don't need to worry about limited spell charges, I do. That alone is enough to banish spells into a "save it for emergencies" role for folks like me. The fact that enemies can just randomly throw an Aftermath or Armageddon from nowhere is enough for me to think that Nightmare Mummy is a mandatory creature for any of my builds.

That's enough for now. I think discussing the nuances of which attackers are better than others can come later.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2015, 04:46:09 PM by Grakor456 »

Offline Zack

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3384
    • View Profile
Re: [Discussion] Buff/Nerf Thread!
Reply #2 May 11, 2015, 04:39:14 PM
Thanks for starting this thread! I'm curious to hear what everyone has to say.

I took a look at Unguided Entity and it's actually bugged; it should only ever deal damage equal to 40% of the target's Current Health under any circumstance.
Designer and Programmer of Siralim and The Negative. Follow us on: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Offline Cephyric

  • **
  • Posts: 64
    • View Profile
[Discussion] Buff/Nerf Thread!
Reply #1 May 11, 2015, 04:25:33 PM
Anything you feel is way too strong or too weak? Explain your reasoning here and give suggested input.

For beginners, Ill mention the combination of Viper Occultist and Unguided Entity.

Recomending a nerf to it, heres why:
The combination of Viper and Unguided Entity oneshots any target as long as you keep your power balance high enough. The percentage-based damage makes endless builds very easy to pull off (4x this combo, a topaz paragon and a pegasus with Electroheart beats anything in the game, basically)