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The Balance Project - Startup Discussion

The game's community balance team discusses card changes here.

Re: The Balance Project - Startup Discussion

Postby hallyll » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:00 am

Change him from a knight to a soldier
- Nathaniel Mayple Morrison

Woah guys hold up, did Nate... just suggest we change a card to a soldier?... I'm going to need a minute to recover from this shocking revelation.
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Re: The Balance Project - Startup Discussion

Postby dermen » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:43 am

ivko wrote:Should it be private to only the people involved?

For me as a beginner, it would be very interesting to follow the discussion. I can understand if the involved players want to discuss separately, but if not, I'm very glad to read about the suggestions. :)
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Re: The Balance Project - Startup Discussion

Postby jotto » Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:04 pm

VanguardX wrote:Count me in. Here are my initial thoughts on balancing the new cards:

Harbinger of Sorrow: It's a really fun design, but it can be exploited because of Dark Portal. I'm in the minority, but I don't think it needs a nerf yet. Demons are easily teched against with artifact removal. That said, if we don't like the flavor of Demons being the best One Turn Heal deck, here are some alternatives:

  • Remove the 'demon' tag, which gets rid of the Harbinger train
  • Increase the cost to 4 mana
  • Make Dark Portal legendary, which would be a buff to aggro demons and a nerf to OTH demons
  • Round the number of souls summoned down, rather than up

Catacomb Keeper: It seems balanced as an addition to any new horizons deck, particularly reanimator archetypes. So far I haven't found it to be overpowered.

Cold Hearted Paladin: Cool design, but he won't see much play without a bit of a buff. I'm ok with leaving him alone, but if we want to buff here are some options:

  • I'd play the heck out of him at 2 mana/2 levels, although that could be too much of a buff
  • Make the body 2/3 to start, and drop him to 2 speed
  • Change him from a knight to a soldier

EDIT: tested the Cold-Hearted Paladin more, and I think he's good as-is.

Spore Shepherd: It isn't seeing much play yet, but there might be a deck for it and the design promotes choice and interaction. This card definitely does not need a nerf. We could give it a buff by playing with the curve. You don't usually want to go to three mana/one nature in a plants deck, and at 3 mana/2 aspects there are so many competing cards (timea & diogen in particular). However, dropping him to 2 mana/2 aspects seems like too much of a buff.

Overall, i'd leave it as-is and see if the community comes up with a plants list.

Siren of the Deep Sea Seems cool. I haven't used it enough to form a strong opinion. Like Spore Shepherd, it suffers from being at 3 mana/1 aspect which is an awkward spot. It would be much better at 2 mana/2 aspects, since implants don't have a lot of great cards in that slot, but it could be overpowered there and is probably fine as-is. It wouldn't surprise me if someone builds an oppressive implants deck using the current version of this card.

Deep Sea Horror As currently conceived, it won't see much play except with Siren of the Deep Sea. For it to see constructed play on its own, it would need to be a zombie.

Merchant of Souls: The only use I've seen so far is to build crazy combos (draw your whole deck, infinite heal, infinite damage). Ivko, is that what you wanted with the card? If you're looking for a cool combo card - this is it. If that wasn't the intention, maybe we should rework it.

Pandemonium: As is, it's much worse than Trigon. My suggestions to make it stronger:
1) Sacrifice 1 mana to add two levels. At that point you aren't ramping - but you are able to go from (for example) 3 mana 1 aspect cards and then play 2 mana/3 aspect cards the next turn, which can benefit decks like zombies (insatiable ghoul into cult). If we determine 2 levels for one mana is too good, try it at 1 mana plus discard 1 card.
2) The spell itself should be 1 corruption, 2 neutral - not 3 corruption. It will never be played outside mono-c control without some flexibility.
3) Alternative - if you don't like any of those, add a tag to the current version of Pandemonium that says "if you miss Divine Offering, you may put a copy of Pandemonium from your deck into your hand". As the 'evil' spell shrine, it might make sense to be the card you get when you make a divine offering and miss.

Got an up vote from me, pretty much covered everything, Siren might be too strong but it's way too early to say, demon decks very much outshone the other cards so it's hard to tell.
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Re: The Balance Project - Startup Discussion

Postby ivko » Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:21 pm

So Jotto, are you in or what? XD

Anyways, I will indeed setup a subforum, but I think initially it would be open to everyone to post. I think some external feedback would be welcome, and the people directly involved would be the most active anyways. If it gets out of hand, we will think about formal measures.

Nate, I was about to invite you personally, glad to have you on board :)

========== About "Beta" Tests ==========

If we have enough people for this, lets say 12-13 people, we can indeed make the cards only available to those people on the real server & set up tournaments where the altered cards can be tested. The idea is that the tournaments will be set up in advance after being announced in the forum and people sign up for them, so we know they will happen for sure.

The questions for you guys are:

1. Will just several tournaments be enough? Setting up queues for this is 100% impractical, and I'm not sure whether invite games will work well too.
2. How much time (days, weeks) do you think are enough to test the changes?

If we deem these beta tests impractical, we will need to rely only on theoretical considerations to make balance changes. Until now that's mostly been the case, although we usually leave 1-2 days for testing 10-15 games or so before finalizing the changes.
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Re: The Balance Project - Startup Discussion

Postby Zadorec » Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:32 pm

I don't see testing in tournament too viable, since relatively many testing players should be online at the same time, and still then wait for the tournament to start. Unless it would be some weird tournament, that is always on, and starts whenever like 4 testing players join and agree to start. But still tournaments take a long time, much longer than just playing games between each other one after the another.

I think making the cards avaible to certain people, and they would only be usable when challening a friend.
I think many of the potential testers has each other on friend list, and other than that in the balance discussion thread after coming to a conclusion and setting the time of the testing period, testers could write when they have the time to test and then meet up ingame for testing.
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Re: The Balance Project - Startup Discussion

Postby jotto » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:12 pm

ivko wrote:So Jotto, are you in or what? XD

Yeah I'm in :D as far as testing goes, practicality becomes the main problem, if direct challenges are usable then 48 hours should be enough to play 10-15 games among testers. Setting up tournaments would be difficult and and you said ques are impractical.
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Re: The Balance Project - Startup Discussion

Postby VitamineC » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:01 pm

Of course I'm in on this!

Regarding discussion I think a subforum is definitely the most comfortable place for discussion. It should be either open for everyone or invisible except for testers. Anything half open will only breed frustration.

Having the changed cards available in the main client for testers to use in invite games seems like the best solution. The only time where a tournament could be useful is for conquest. Is it possible to give some people the right to create an invite only tournament? In that case testers could be given that right, which would allow for semi spontaneous tournament tests.
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Re: The Balance Project - Startup Discussion

Postby Zephiria » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:55 pm

ivko wrote:Zephiria, I am almost certain that you have played in Masters, but in case not - you too are invited!

How could I possibly refuse a personal invitation?
I'm not the most active anymore, but can hopefully contribute something constructive nevertheless. :)

p.s.: My forum name differs from my ingame one (Zephiria = Zefyria), that's why there is always confusion about masters participation, I think.
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Re: The Balance Project - Startup Discussion

Postby freebie » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:00 pm

I hope Vanguard is not serious about the paladin suggestion turning into soldier...

As for Harbinger, you can tech against yes, but it is limiting your option to extreme. What should other players/people that play other decks have as an answer? Sorry but you just have really huge disadvantage of winning due to etc (I remember in HS when Blizz were like, well Shaman is strong now, but there is this Control Warrior player that is having extreme amount of games and positive win rate and he is a pro and really good, so you yeah, maybe its not that bad... they were wrong of course).

This is not a way to look or excuse card or strong combo or whatever. I will again draw parallel with Silencer, because it might not be OP (although I would say it is very close), but when you play it, 90% (make up number obviously) of the time, people want to commit seppuku and never touch the game again. This is not a good thing in general, you don't want to have no options or not be able to respond like in any way, or just play very few decks that can exploit weakness - be that agressive start and hope opponent can't handle it or decay or maybe late game scenario in which you manage to somehow outvalue opponent (yeah right). Those are all very niche and makes a certain type of deck/card way to strong and oppressive. You have no idea how much the game will open if Silencer didn't even exist right now, a lot more different control decks will be played (I mean successfully). Very similiar situation with Alexa and soldiers, which is auto include bullshit op and I've no idea why the devs haven't tune it down. Make Tatician 3/1 for example. This in itself will open a lot more variety as well (but then again, alexa have a lot of variety on soldiers/mid range, sadly the core is same old). There are a few strong cards that if changed a little can make the game a lot more diverse (I feel), and I don't mean that now it is not, but if you spent some time with the game you start to notice how much it is all about putting the same (obviously) best cards in different decks (I am not saying that no new decks appear!). At first glance they look different but play in a similar fashion (that's not diversity). I guess I went a little bit too much out of topic. It is nice to leave new cards to be played more before you decide what to do (if you decide to do something) with (some) of them.

So I just wanted to say that I like the idea and I think it is nice top players give ideas and make adjustments but devs should be careful in the end. Maybe they should be the last judge to call on the final touches (and I don't mean in way tha says - fuck you, just to say yes it sounds good). It shouldn't be only one sided as well. No offense to anyone, but making the game generally more open/attractive to new people also should be considered (pls don't go with the majority of the people don't care about the top/high rank playfield or feel in general of the game), and I have no idea if people would have that in mind.

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Re: The Balance Project - Startup Discussion

Postby pertghost » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:50 pm

I can be a tester, count me in please, I will feedback some Chinese players thought.
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