August’s Big Patch Summary

19/08/2015 by Kaloyan Pishmanov

Hail to you Spellweavers,

on 18th of August 2015 we released Spellweaver version 0.91 which introduced six new Heroes as well as many major balance changes and some fixes. This is the biggest and boldest update our game had so far. Let us make a summary of all these exciting changes and additions.

Brace yourselves for a long read!

 

HEROES

 

We have six new Heroes! Hurray! Probably the most important content addition to the game up to date. It also means a lot for us and the community, because it is the first goal from our Contribute campaign we fully developed and introduced. Once again big thanks to everybody that took part in the campaign and is helping Spellweaver to become a full-featured, fun and polished game. We are doing our best to deliver you all the features you asked for as soon as possible.

Hope you enjoy the new Heroes!

Hermelion, Hand of Justice

(Aspect: Order)

Hero Skill – Tireless March: Ready all allied creatures and heal all damage from them. Go to your Deploy phase.

sw-hermelion-hero-art

Elrike the Twin Blade

(Aspect: Wisdom)

Hero Skill – Illusion Twin: Summon a Djinn Illusion creature with ATK, HP and SP equal to the largest ATK, HP and SP among creatures you control. Whenever it is dealt damage, destroy it.

sw-elrike-hero-art

Ka'ainu, Edge of the Spear

(Aspect: Nature)

Hero Skill – Weapon Mastery: Play a creature with cost 3 or less from your hand under Ka’ainu without paying its cost. At the start of your next turn, put it on the field with a Might emblem on it.

NatureAvatar2

Enoch the Steel Horror

(Aspect: Corruption)

Hero Skill – Blood Feast: Sacrifice a creature. Creatures you control get +1 ATK until end of turn, and you get 1 life for each creature you control.

sw-enoch-hero-art

Coronis the Blood Reaper

(Aspect: Dominion)

Hero Skill – Pay 2 life. Summon a Soul Raven onto the field. At the end of turn, if the enemy Hero is dealt damage this turn, put a Might emblem on each Soul Raven you control.

sw-coronis--hero-art

Burkh the Uncontainable

(Aspect: Rage)

Hero Skill – Double Chop: Burkh deals 2 damage to each of up to two enemy creatures on the front line. They deal damage equal to their ATK to Burkh.

sw-burkh-hero-art

Of course there is a lore! You can read their stories at our Heroes page – https://spellweaver-tcg.com/heroes

 

CHANGES AND FIXES

 

Some minor changes include:

  • new icons for some hero skills (however, skills icons for the new heroes are still placeholders)
  • fixed music track shuffling
  • removed effects in Open Pack when a playset is completed
  • fixed occasional bug with deck unlocking for the Greater Evil Pack
  • basic heroes no longer appear in packs (they can only be obtained from the starter decks)

 

GENERAL BALANCE

 

Here are the major balance changes and some reasoning below:

  • player starting life increased to 25 (from 20)
  • players win the game for having 50 or more life (from 40)
  • the Legendary rule now regards the controller of the cards; no player can at any time have more than 1 copy of a Legendary card on his side of the field

(quoting Ivko from the forums here, feel free to join the discussions)

Raising the starting hero life is a big change that can easily be misinterpreted. If considered in a vacuum, one could think that it would make the control decks unbeatable, as they were already too strong. This is far from true – along with this change, we made a lot of other adjustments to make sure everything remains balanced, while also working towards achieving our goals in terms of gameplay.

The game was in a state where if you didn’t play a super-aggressive deck, you were forced to use life gain. Otherwise you just lost. This led to a metagame of super-aggro and heavy control, without anything in between. We were looking for a way to shake things up and make more decks viable, and raising the starting life total was a tool to make this possible. (Note: We heard ideas for adding life gain to all aspects except Rage, which only proves how bad things were. However, we don’t think that’s a viable path to take.)

After increasing the hero starting life, we needed to weaken some control elements for the game to remain balanced. Which we were going to do anyway, because even control players agreed that control was too strong. Playing against heavy control over and over quickly becomes a boring and dishearthening experience, which is another big argument in this direction. So we made a list of changes, the most striking one being moving Cataclysm to 6 mana.

We realize that control being too strong is a controversial topic, and that some control players will feel uneasy about the changes. However, one of the game’s most liked gameplay features of Spellweaver is the combat system, and in the current control meta there was barely any combat actually happening! That’s why we’d like to make creatures better represented in the meta, helping us underscore one of the game’s most important features.

Increasing the starting life, combined with weaking control elements in the game, lets us acomplish several things without totally disrupting the existing card balance.

1. It gives slower decks the direly needed time to capitalize on their late-game advantage.
2. It steps back from a metagame where each creature played was promptly killed, and many games were decided by direct face damage.
3. It makes using bigger creatures more viable.
4. It lets us make the Heal kills a bit more difficult (you now need to have 25 life more than the life you start with, rather than 20).
5. It makes the game more interactive and fun to play.

We realize that the changes can be quite shocking. However, we are certain that they are good for the game in the long term, and will let our players enjoy Spellweaver a lot more.

P.S: Starting with 25 life needs some getting used to, but you’ll stop noticing it very quickly. It does not change the game that much – it generally makes the games last 1/2 turns longer.

In light of the major game rebalance AND the newly introduced heroes, we are decreasing card crafting costs by 50% for the following week!

 

ASPECT SPECIFIC CHANGES

 

OrderCaption

 

  • Guardian of the Fateful‘s power is reworked (New mechanic: When an attack is declared against you, if 3 or more creatures are attacking, sacrifice Guardian of the Faithful and destroy those creatures.)
  • Guard Duty has been reworked, is an Instant spell, and its name is changed to “Guards! Guards!” (New mechanic: “Summon 2 Militia creatures onto the field. Allied Militia creatures have 3 SP until end of turn.”)
  • Soldier-related changes

Soldier were totally missing from the metagame, so we made some changes to make them a bit stronger. With the recent changes to control elements and Cataclysm, we don’t think we can push them any further right now.

  • Angel-related changes

We adjusted some cards which felt overpowered, and led the games to stalemate far too easily. Notably Guardian of the Faithful now isn’t under your total control, and your opponent can force you to sacrifice it. The Triangelica skill saw an increase in mana cost to account for the games lasting a bit longer due to the higher starting life totals.

We’re also removing the Vigilant perk from the game – it was present on a single creature.

 

WisdomCaption

 

  • Charged Aurite starting energy reduced to 0 (from 1) (The combo of a first turn Aurite into a 3-rd turn Foundry Engineers was a tad too strong.)
  • Forcewielder is now level 1, and its power converts only up to 4 mana to energy
  • Astral Dive has been reworked (New mechanic: “Up to 2 cards you control gain <Energy:2>. Draw a card.”, costs 3 mana)

We are making the energy mechanic a bit easier to use, and generally improve the energy mechanic design with these changes. It could need a bit more than this, but it’s also one of the things which will be made better with the higher starting life totals, so we’ll wait and see.

  • Contraptionist is now level 1, and only puts the artifact in your hand

The card felt “cheaty” when played against you (for example when getting Metabolic Overcharger with it), and at the same time it didn’t feel particularly good when you play it. So we decided to make it honest, and make a 2-drop in an aspect that’s lacking 2 drops at the same time.

So you don’t have to kill yourself when using it with Dark Portal on the board.

Many people told us that Obelisk made playing any aspect in your deck very easy, and we agree. In the future there will be dual-aspect shrines and other goodies which help you with multi-aspect decks, but letting Wisdom make 6-aspect decks just with a single card was too much.

Making it Legendary solves this problem, and keeps its unique mechanic. Drawing a card when playing Obelisk is crucial in my opinion, as the card wouldn’t do enough otherwise. It will also allow you to play any extra copies, and get a replacement card, adding to the Legendary feel of the card.

This card was also a major enabler in the One Turn Heal decks, but that’s not the real reason for this change.

Yep, we overdid it last time. This should be more like it.

CorruptionCaption

 

  • Restless Tombs is now Legendary and has been rebalanced (New mechanic: “Once each your turn, summon a Zombie Legionnaire creature onto the field.”, cost 3, level CC)

Corruption needed a little boost, as it wasn’t really competitive. We did the minimum here, as we believe Corruption benefits from the higher life totals. We will wait and see whether other adjustments are needed.

Restless Tombs has been a card considered overpowered by many. Having multiple copies played against them led too many players to frustration, and while we don’t think it was overpowered, we decided to address this issue. It now costs 3 mana, it is Legendary, but it summons a Zombie onto the field on the turn if enters the field.

DominionCaption

 

For the “little” Despina, we were fearing that the mana-gaining skill can be too overpowered, and costed it conservatively at 3 mana (also making the cooldown 4 turns). It seems that this makes her underwhelming, so we’re trying this skill at 2 mana. In the late game, it shouldn’t make a big difference. However at 2 mana it could be used for a little boost as soon as turn 4/5, and this will put her early game more in line with the rest of the heroes.

Honestly, this skill was too much. We were quite hesitant to change it, because no one likes to make a card worse, but repeatable removal and life gain can’t be that cheap. It gave a boost in both card advantage and tempo, so it needed to be toned down.

The Sell into Slavery skill is a cool concept we were really fond of. It let you cycle your early game creatures for something better, which was its original intention, but it also gave Dominion players an option to sacrifice everything they took control of, and get a card in the process. It also made control decks a bit too consistent in the late game, and enabled them to easily find multiple copies of Karthas and Silencer, which isn’t fun at all.

We wanted to tone down the card a bit without making it unusable, so we put a restriction on what can be sacrificed. We opted for this change rather than increasing the cost or cooldown, because it also limits its use to permanently get rid of any enemy creature in conjunction with Helm of Dominion, which can feel very annoying.

As a Magic the Gathering player, I always took a 4-mana Wrath of God as the norm. However with time I was convinced that’s way too cheap in Spellweaver. One major reason for nerfing Cataclysm, as pointed out in the general balance discussion topic, was that it impedes creature strategies which aren’t “face rush” too much, and we want to promote creatures in the meta.

At 4 mana it was balanced to be able to take care of a quick creature rush, but against a slower deck it was a too cheap and consistent way to gain enormous tempo advantage. Last, but not least, it is a spell which is able to turn people off from the game. Especially when played against you two times in a row, which is quite likely in Spellweaver because of the extra card draws from Shrines.

Again, we didn’t really want to nerf this card… We believed that card games need such cards with a lot of punch. But the voice of the community prevailed. People were right to complain that the card did too much, and it was one of the cards with the most requests for toning down along with Guardian of the Faithful.

In retrospect, I think we were just too attached to good old Karthas. This version promotes interaction rather than letting you sit with Karthas on the back line, and gaining life from everything which dies.

  • Vampirism now loses you 3 life, instead of 1 life for each controlled creature

Vampirism has always been on the strong side, and we made this change to make sure its drawback is actually a drawback. It shouldn’t change the card’s power level that much (except when playing multiples), but by playing it now you actually risk something – it will deal damage to you if your opponents manages to clear your side of the board from creatures.

 

NatureCaptionRageCaption

 

These aspects were indirectly balanced by the starting life change to 25, and we like their design, so the changes here are minor. We’d like the advanced Ne’eva skill to see a bit more play, and the reason for the other change – let’s keep it a secret : )

 

And that’s all folks… for now! You can expect more features, improvements and content in the future. If you want to give us your opinion, share your ideas or … frustration, please feel free to do so in our forums. As you know we do read all the feedback!

Cheers and have fun playing!