The forums are closed as we are moving all discussions into Discord.

Join our Discord server by following this link.

Harbinger of Souls, Combo Spawner

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

Harbinger of Souls, Combo Spawner

Postby ivko » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:50 pm

Our intention was to create a fun, strong, and versatile card that lets you do a lot - manage your life total, create strong synergies with other cards including Dark Portal, useful for both aggro and control. We didn't realize the combo potential, but that's not the most important thing actually.

Game-winning combos have been famous for alienating players. People seem not to accept "losing out of nowhere to a bunch of silly cards, with no skill whatsoever involved". That's the general feel of the feedback we've been getting.

Hearthstone has been shying away from such combos and this tells us a lot. Modern card games are forced to not let in cards that cause too much anger and frustration to keep their players in for a long time, which by itself is essential for the game to live long and prosper. This is something that Spellweaver has not been pushing hard enough.

On the other hand I know that some of the vets here love combos, and are quite frustrated when we kill those. Is there any middle ground?

Current ideas about changes to this card, that I think are viable:
  • Remove the Demon tag.
  • Add mana cost activation to Enchained Soul, or make Enchained Soul gain 1 life when it dies.
  • If we want to consider keeping the combo, make Dark Portal legendary.

I don't like changing Harbinger's ability altogether, as it is a fun one. Neither I do like making it virtually unplayable everywhere outside Demons by bumping the mana cost to 4.

You may suggest other solutions, put please explain your choices :)
Your friendly Spellweaver lead, programmer, designer... you name it!
ivko
 
Posts: 5252
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:13 pm

Re: Harbinger of Souls, Combo Spawner

Postby SashaIr » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:27 pm

I understand that playing against a combo deck is frustrating, but I don't think that killing options is the right choice. I'm strongly in favor of adding the Legendary tag to Dark Portal, and keep everything else as it is.

This way there are no more 1-mana Harbingers, which is the real issue. The full combo (4 Harbinger + Enoch's Hero Power, or 3 Harbingers + Enoch's Hero Power + Chalice of Yunx) will cost 10 mana, and I think it's totally ok for a OTK combo that requires that many cards, especially because in the meanwhile Portal will slowly kill you.

The other advantage of this choice is that the Aggro Demons deck gets a buff, and since it is a Tier 2 deck, it feels ok to me to buff it a bit.

This needs test though, because then Aggro Demons might be too strong, or maybe it won't be enough to stop the Harbinger combo. I like the possibility to make Souls "Gain 1 life when it dies", but keep in mind that it won't stop anything: Purple Demons will simply start playing Bloodborn Prince. It slows the combo, but doesn't stop it (it might be ok, but we must consider that). Adding a mana cost seems the only way to stop this combo once and for all, but I'm not sure about that.

I'm against removing the "Demon" tag to Harbinger, but it might be a solution as well.
User avatar
SashaIr
 
Posts: 112
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:10 pm

Re: Harbinger of Souls, Combo Spawner

Postby Maximvs » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:34 pm

Make it legendary and reduce it's hp to 3 or even 2.
"Quick quick, rush him, we don't want the game to last more than three minutes!"

"Oh crap, he's playing a complicated deck, but that hurts my brain! What should I do?"
"Just play a mill deck, bro."
Maximvs
 
Posts: 700
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:26 pm

Re: Harbinger of Souls, Combo Spawner

Postby Jeronimo » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:31 pm

Dark Portal has to be Legendary.

It would help in many ways

*It could lower "high energy portal" with another fresh portal in absence of herald of despair.
*It could auto-dispel annoying Haunt, just like Tombs over Tombs.
*Cheesy combos would dissapear: OTH with harbinger and pseudo-OTK with Aezerhis and 3 vultures in hand.

Harbinger is well designed because out of Demonic decks, it serves as a good mid-creature on aggro curve.
Jeronimo
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:33 pm

Re: Harbinger of Souls, Combo Spawner

Postby VitamineC » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:49 pm

I completely agree with Zephiria.
Stacking cost reductions, 0 cost cards and free mana almost always lead to broken shenanigans eventually. I believe it was the case for Banshee heal (I don't think the nerf to Banshee itself was necessary) and dragon OTK, it is the case with Portal and Harbinger and it probably will be the case with Celestial Blossom at some point. Future proofing Portal now would mean more design space for future demons without having to brick them outside of Portal decks.
I don't like making Portal legendary because it would greatly reduce the risk of playing the card and also completely prevent multi-portal all in stuff. Instead changing it to "Demons you play cost 1 mana less than their base cost." will leave the OTH combo possible, albeit a lot slower, and probably prevent current and future cards around portal from having to be frequently nerfed.

Edit: Seems like Zephiria just changed her mind and deleted her post. :D
Your friendly neighborhood forum moderator
Filthy spammer vermin exterminated: 892
User avatar
VitamineC
 
Posts: 2340
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:48 am

Re: Harbinger of Souls, Combo Spawner

Postby SashaIr » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:57 pm

Maximvs wrote:Make it legendary and reduce it's hp to 3 or even 2.


This doesn't break the OTH combo, but nerfs it in other Demon decks. It seems that the most of us agree on making Portal Legendary, so maybe we should just test that for a while and then see what happens.
User avatar
SashaIr
 
Posts: 112
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:10 pm

Re: Harbinger of Souls, Combo Spawner

Postby Dobrycy » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:18 pm

I belive that making portal legendary could be a good move

The problem with Tainted mechanic though for me is that only Harbinger has interaction with it, other cards don't, you could remove tainted from all 5 of them and it wouldn't change anything tbh. So making Tainted actually meaningful at other cards could make them playable more, and negate impact of harbinger on meta, and enable some new deck building possibilities based around life manipulation, but I guess we have to deal with obnoxious combos first :)
Dobrycy
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:01 pm

Re: Harbinger of Souls, Combo Spawner

Postby VitamineC » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:12 pm

Dobrycy wrote:The problem with Tainted mechanic though for me is that only Harbinger has interaction with it, other cards don't, you could remove tainted from all 5 of them and it wouldn't change anything tbh. So making Tainted actually meaningful at other cards could make them playable more, and negate impact of harbinger on meta, and enable some new deck building possibilities based around life manipulation, but I guess we have to deal with obnoxious combos first :)

I agree that tainted isn't a very interesting mechanic on its own but saying that removing it wouldn't change anything is a bit far fetched. It's like saying the 3 life loss on Insatiable Ghoul didn't change anything. Playing a Paladin on curve definitely hurts when you're trying to fend off aggro.
Your friendly neighborhood forum moderator
Filthy spammer vermin exterminated: 892
User avatar
VitamineC
 
Posts: 2340
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:48 am

Re: Harbinger of Souls, Combo Spawner

Postby Zadorec » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:49 pm

I only played Harbinger as a relatively good early anti-aggro card. It offers a really good value, so it can help a lot in hopefully stopping aggro, but only in exchange for precios life points. I like this "2-edged sword" kind of play.

So yeah, I think portal should be the one to be changed. I kinda lean towards VitamineC's "Demons you play cost 1 mana less than their base cost." idea, because I don't really like the idea of resetting the portal without actually including cards for it, but I'm not a great demon deck player (I don't think I even has all 4 dark portals), so making it legendary might work better.

I think for the other cards tainted is there as a setback, as you usually get great value out of them, so it is a price to pay.
Maybe so tainted is not strictly a negative effect for most of the time, Merchant of Souls could use it too.
Zadorec
 
Posts: 363
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:02 am

Re: Harbinger of Souls, Combo Spawner

Postby Dobrycy » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:09 pm

VitamineC wrote:
Dobrycy wrote:The problem with Tainted mechanic though for me is that only Harbinger has interaction with it, other cards don't, you could remove tainted from all 5 of them and it wouldn't change anything tbh. So making Tainted actually meaningful at other cards could make them playable more, and negate impact of harbinger on meta, and enable some new deck building possibilities based around life manipulation, but I guess we have to deal with obnoxious combos first :)

I agree that tainted isn't a very interesting mechanic on its own but saying that removing it wouldn't change anything is a bit far fetched. It's like saying the 3 life loss on Insatiable Ghoul didn't change anything. Playing a Paladin on curve definitely hurts when you're trying to fend off aggro.


Well, maybe I used wrong words (I guess I did haha) but the thing I've meant was that removing tainted from those cards doesn't make them work very differently, it's a buff ofc, but instead of losing 3 life they could just have worse stats/higher mana cost/any other drawback cause losing 3 life doesn't contribute to their mechanic and flavour at all
Dobrycy
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:01 pm

Next

Return to Balance Team Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group