As many of you may already be aware, Small Giant has released a large balance update to beta for testing. Being a beta-tester myself, I have had the opportunity to experience this balance change first-hand, and I have found that it fundamentally fails to address the very real problems with balance in the game, and instead actually exacerbates them. See below for the crux of SG’s approach to the balance change.
Continuing the discussion from On the upcoming Big Balance Update & Aether Reset Tokens:
First, I feel that the stat buffs to many of the newer heroes are unjustified. These heroes are already preforming substantially above older ones, and boosting their stats even further makes them insanely powerful. While sharing images from beta is strictly forbidden, as part of my analysis, I took a look at two heroes, The Hatter and Ignazio and compared their stats. Ignazio, I looked at with the proposed stat buff in beta at 4/80. At this level, all that will be needed is to fully ascend him, costing only 4* ascension materials. His stats were 842 Attack, 879 Defense, and 1715 HP. By comparison, my Hatter was limit broken once, sitting at lv 85, and fully emblemed along the defensive path. This means that he required the same investment in terms of ascension materials as Ignazio, but also an investment of all of the aethers needed to level him to lv 85, as well as 1500 emblems. Despite requiring considerably more resources, The Hatter had lower stats across the board at 837 Attack (5 lower than Ignazio), 877 Defense (2 lower than Ignazio), and 1596 HP (119 lower than Ignazio). This massive level of stat creep is not sustainable in the long-term, or even the short-term really, and only serves to more rapidly render older heroes obsolete. I cannot in good conscience support such a change.
Next, while I certainly support hard-caps on damage and believe they are necessary for the long-term health of the game, SG is setting them lower than the current damage output of many heroes. Because of this, the special skills of a great many heroes are planned to be nerfed as of this most recent balance change proposal. This I believe to be fundamentally unfair to the many players who have spent, often considerable amounts to acquire these heroes, but even more so to those who have spent little, or even nothing at all and happened to luck into these heroes. To that end, I propose that SG roll back every single one of these nerfs and index the damage caps to the current maximum damage we see in the game. This will avoid any unfair nerfs and will therefore be better for player morale.
Of course, doing so would mean that the problem of excessive damage would persist, and a solution is still needed for that. Naturally, I have such a solution that I believe would better address the problem, and be fairer to the player-base as a whole. My approach aims to be simple to implement, as it only requires an adjustment to the weights given to HP and Defense in the Card Power calculation. For more information on the card power calculation, see here (CP Calculation)
To summarize the findings by @Garanwyn , that stat-based component of the card power is calculated based on the base stats at 4/80 as:
0.35xAttack + 0.28xDefense + 0.14xHP (rounded down to the whole number below this total)
Because the problem at hand is that the damage dealt by modern defenses is too high, leading to matches being decided much quicker, and thus being more dependent on the starting board, I believe that too much weight is being given to the Defense and HP Stats of the heroes. To fix this, I propose adjusting the weight given to those stats down, and recalculating the base stats of the heroes to leave them at the same power, with the same contribution from each stat. here is the revised formula I propose:
0.35xAttack + 0.26xDefense + 0.13xHP
Because this can be a bit tricky to understand, here is an example using The Hatter. Currently, at 4/80, Hatter has base stats of 735 Attack, 710 Defense, and 1341 HP. Based on the current formula, his 710 points of defense contribute 0.28x710=198.8 points to his overall power.
Under my proposal, this 198.8 would be kept largely the same, but his defense would need to be recalculated based on a revised weight of 0.26 instead of 0.28. Meaning his defense stat would be increased to 765 (0.26x765=198.9; not the exact same, but 765 gets us closer to the 198.8 than 764 would, and stats need to be whole numbers).
The same could be done with his HP stat which currently contributes 0.14x1341=187.74 points to his power. With my revised weighting, his HP stat would change to 1444 (0.13x1444=187.72).
Notably, since the weight given to attack remains unchanged, there would be no change to his, or any other hero’s attack stat.
What this would mean overall is that Hatter would get a buff from 735/710/1341 stats to 735/765/1444. Additionally, every other hero would similarly have their stats recalculated. This increase in the bulk of all heroes would thus mitigate the currently excessive damage and provide more breathing room in all matches.
It also has implications for emblems, where each node provides a boost of 5 points worth of power. Under the current system, an attack node provides 15 Attack (15x0.35=5.25 which rounds down to 5 points), a defense node provides 18 Defense (18x0.28=5.04 which also rounds down to 5 points), and an HP node provides 36 HP (36x0.14=5.04 which again rounds down to 5 points). Under my proposed adjustment, attack nodes would remain unchanged, providing 15 Attack each. However defense nodes would increase to 20 Defense points each (20x0.26=5.2), and HP nodes would now provide 40 HP each (40x0.13=5.2). This would mean that not only would each hero be sturdier on their own, but also that each defensive stat boost from emblems would give them an additional bump above what they get now, leading to heroes taking even less damage.
This of course might require buffs to heroes that provide a Heal over Time or deal Damage over Time to compensate for the higher HP stats, but overall, buffs would I think be far better received than nerfs.
Please let me know if you support this idea as I will be referencing this thread in my feedback to this balance change in beta.
Thank you for your time and support!