An open discussion regarding game balance

I would like to request some sort of Q&A with developers regarding what factors are being analyzed to determine the need for balance changes, because I myself am having a very difficult time understanding it.

As a developer myself, post market (live) changes are generally viewed as a last resort, only if program integrity is at a risk of being compromised. Now, I also understand that the mobile app game pay to play model will be different from licensed software, which is why I would like this discussion, so that we can reconcile what I feel is not so much apples and oranges, but apples and lawnmowers.

Recently, developers released a list of the 5 strongest performing heroes on offense and defense. Absent from that list?
Bottom of the list on defense: vela

Top of those lists? Costumes and event heroes.

From my perspective as a player, I see a few things that may contribute to this.
Heroes like jabberwock, finley, costume magni, rabbit, and killhare are event or seasonal heroes which have a far lower saturation rate. Which also means the players that have them will tend to be heavier spenders. And will therefore have better troops, on average.

That aside. Is there anyone who has a hero like say, Finley who does not use this hero on defense? He is so strong on defense that most of the top alliances will use a second blue hero on defense just to get him in there. Personally I have him too. But is this not a clear example of actual Imbalance? Is there any tank color (even blue), under which he would not be placed on defense? Same question for jabberwock or killhare. If the meta shifts to yellow or purple tanks, would vela in her previous inception be on everyone’s defense? Personally I feel the answer is a resounding no. But heroes like gravemaker. Finley, killhare, jabberwock will be in virtually every setup to anyone who has these heroes.

To me, the concept of diversity should be trumped by game integrity. And I feel it is not. Why not release similar level tank heroes in every color to create diversity? If you did, the issue would easily be solved without the need to constantly upset and then undercompensate players for their frustrations.

Why not look at balancing those heroes you just declared as actually being the most powerful rather than the ones that are not on such lists? I understand that those other heroes generate continued income for you where the ones you constantly look at nerfing do not. Even the nerfs seem half hearted. Vela supposedly is slightly more powerful than zeline. A simple side by side comparison of those heroes in their current form would be a clear illustration that whoever thought up the design changes did not even look at existing heroes to see they were creating a color fungible hero that was a little sister to a better and older option that already exists, which seems apathetic at worst and careless at best.,

In the end, I guess what I’m trying to say is I’d like to hear from developers themselves what kind of data they are mining that determines not only the need to change but what to change it to, because right now, my feeling as a gamer and a programmer is that the developer mentality has completely lost focus on game integrity, and is half heartedly applying leaky band aids in quick fix form in order to devote their time entirely to additional revenue streams. And that’s not a good feeling to have the people providing the revenue stream in. I’m hoping at least some of the developers at some point used to be gamers themselves. Put that old gamer hat on, and try to make sense of this to us. Right now, some openness on your part might go a long way in keeping yourselves from being a 4 letter word or Voldemort within the community of those that actually provide your income.


Sending you thoughts and prayers!

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The devs are drying their tears with hundred dollar bills at all the wrong they have done to the game.


This times 1000. Very well said.

The lack of integrity is very obvious when they soley focus on nerfing the heroes so many people have (HOTM, like Vela and Telly) while completely ignoring the more rare (event) heroes like Killhare, Finley and Jabberwock.

I just don’t get it. They already released a purple GM (Clarissa) so why not other colored versions of the rest of the GTV team? Problem solved… all with NEW heroes that people might actually pay for… if you hadn’t already killed your integrity by nerfing past heroes people spent money to get.

New heroes is always the answer… if not then what’s the point of summoning them anymore? I don’t have any clue what they’ll be like AFTER release anyway so I’ll just hold on to my money and see what it’s like a year from now. Maybe by then Telly and Vela will be so outdated they’ll get buffed back to what I paid for in the first place… don’t worry I won’t hold my breath.

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Well I definitely feel that the adjustments need be made on all heroes below the top list. There are many heroes ive gotten that get recycled because there useless or were a huge disappointment. Take stonecleaver for instance. Hero i really wanted, but then deleted. His skill damage is a random targeted 150% attack in ghost form, however with boosted defense, talent add-ons and healing which is repetitive or gives more then 50% replenish, he just can’t do any real damage. And like amoneia, stones ghost from is an obvious free mana spot. What they need is to reduce mana pass through ghost form by 50% and give a 50% chance for %of armor bypass for auto attacks. There are many other heros out there needing restructure as well…

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I would also like to point out that spenders who draw heroes like Killhare & Finley could also likely have drawn Telluria. Finley & Telly must have a higher winrate than Telly alone, and many Finley squads probably have Telly too (because they have the resources to draw these things).

The reservation I have with releasing Tellies in other colors (and I assume you’d also want to see Telly-powered tank busters so people can actually beat them, yes?) is power creep. It would make all the previous heroes weaker, and thus even more obsolete, by comparison. Post-release nerfing sure isn’t prettier, but I’d prefer it over them trying to play catch-up with the other hundred or so heroes or just expecting higher power from now on and leaving the others in the dust.


The defense winrate charts did not paint the whole picture because if you take a closer look, they featured 4 out of 5 heroes used in wing positions.

That means:

  1. Those heroes aren’t all used simultaneously
  2. The best flank is Vela (the only flank on the charts)
  3. Top tank and top second flank are “unknown” - likely, Telluria and GM respectively if you look at the raid leaderboards.

Essentially what happened is that we accidentally ended up with a ranking of heroes to use with the staple core trio.


To your first point, my point was regarding the absolute lack of fungibility of those heroes. No matter the tank, finley or jabberwock would be in any defense, improving said defense over any other option in any circumstance. That is the definition of imbalance. Telly alone is simply the new guin.

To your second point, I want to challenge that. What hero has been rendered obsolete with telly that was not already obsolete against guin or kunchen or ursena?


If you are suggesting that the top win rates are solely based on the wings used with all results stemming from the staple core trio, then some actual data to back that up would be nice. I’m not saying it’s false, but I’m also willing to bet non core trio with a variation with finley and jabber would explain quite a bit.

It is my feeling that finley (not gtv but other strong options) jabber would have a higher win rate than gtv with non event 5 wings.

It’s a complex, compounded situation.

Out of all the previous tanks, closest to Telly by nature is Guin. They both force you to make more matches than usual to win (Guin via mana cut, Telly via debuff).
Telly is much tankier naturally, thanks to superior stats and better class (Guin was actually nerfed by her becoming a wizard).

But the crux of the issue is the heroes that surround each hero. Guin did not have viable fast flanks that completely neuter her counter colour. Furthermore, when Guin was the premium tank, there was no combination of 4 fast/very fast heroes that utterly obliterate the opposition if they fire once.

Telly being an ace of all trades is one part of the problem, huge power and speed creep is the other. Both need to be dealt with.


That’s why I advocate for making a raid index for defense per position: top 3 left wings, left flanks, tanks, right flanks, right wings. Preferably with percentages.

If it turns out that Telly has double the winrate of the next best tank, then we have a problem on our hands. Unofficial ratings (titanmafia) indicate so.

I could agree on most, but Killhare?

I don’t see her as a top defender at all.

Really?? Have you faced a +20 Killhare? She does like 6 hundred something damage per hero! She is ridiculous!

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Killhare hits like a Mack truck

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She works as a hard berserk timer. If she fires once, your entire lineup (already mangled by Telly chip damage, Vela damage + a few turns of DoT, GM and probably Drake) is 99.9% dead.

So you have at most 10 turns to win, which means you have a total of 65-70 tiles at your disposal. Average of one colour is 13-14. If you happen to roll less than 12, you’re likely screwed. That’s a decent chance, too.


I have BK, so Killhare really doesn’t scare me at all.
And she is an average high damage dealer, so very susceptible on defence buff or attack reduction.

I find Kageburado, Seshat or Jabber much better suited for defence honestly.

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AoE is the name of the game right now. Snipers are overkill on one target, since the flanks already reduce the offense to 50% by the time the wings fire.
Jabber is indeed superior and does a similar thing with a bit less potency, but faster.


I would challenge that as well.
@Rook can tell you. For months I ran an ursena tank for raids and I sent her weeks of screenshots illustrating two things.

  1. I consistently stayed at the top of my alliance in cups on defense
  2. my win rate over the course of 30 days defensively was 1424 successful defenses against 963 fails. Around 59 percent.

Most of the people not using telly on defense right now tend to have lesser flanks and wings and lower troops (lower spenders), so in order to actually gauge results, you would need to test data only using those people who also have the same great other heroes and troops, but who elect to use other compositions.

And for reference, I was in a top 50 alliance when this happened.

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100% this. An AOE team behind Telly is way more devastating than snipers.

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If they’re fast totally agree. But average… mmmh.
Ursena is another good damage dealer in average zone, and still don’t see much ground anymore.

In a Telluria line up with Vela, Finley and Gravemaker, i can arguabily prefer even Drake.

With Grave and Vela eating flanks, an average in the corner is almost a waste.

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