Note I really don’t want to make this thread about Telluria nerf, although she may serve as an example here and there
So I wrote this little post in one of the ‘end is near’ topics about where I think issues in PVP in this game are.
It got over 30 upvotes (still counting) so I conclude that I am not alone in this feeling.
The game has now around 3 years, and although the progress is very slow especially with the ascension mats, it looks like we have reached the inevitable point where many players can just form a ‘perfect defense’ of strongest heroes of each color and each class that are strong on their own and overall very strong together. A lot of players also suffer from having heroes which they spent resources on, but they are either no longer relevant because of the power creep or they are fun new heroes but “fun” doesn’t win the game, SPEED wins the game. That’s why fast and very fast are really all we see nowadays and that’s why a single hero like Telluria impacted the meta so much (because all the problem with her is she’s changing very fast and fast into average and slow).
Raids and war attacks became too quick. Plus there’s also disparity between physical attack and special skills on attacker and defender makes it difficult to balance (defense charges faster, making specials more devastating but their slash dmg is weak; offense relies mostly on physical tile attack because there’s high risk they won’t charge for their skills to have impact). There were always complaints about bad boards (even leaving the conspiracy theories aside). But when raids were slower (longer), you could recover in case board was bad if you gave it some thought. Now it’s harder and harder.
I don’t want to outline or propose a single remedy to that, there’s probably a lot to think about (especially newer players with fewer heroes and how to not impact them that much). But I wanted to gather some of the ideas I had which may restore certain level of fun in this game, some maybe quite general. Some may argue that general idea sounds good but when it comes to details, these would be extremely difficult to balance. I am aware. A lot of testing and tweaking around these would be necessary. It’s of course open for discussion and new ideas. Especially interested in those from the late game players who also ‘suffer’ from having dozens of maxed 5 stars but using maybe only a % of them currently which sucks out the creativity and fun.
These may work on their own, or may be considered run together. Just loose ideas out for polishing.
Rebalance the HP/damage of heroes. Avoid situations where 2-3 heroes casting specials would make half of the other team dead. When heroes have now 1200 hp, maybe they should have 3600 or 5000. Obviously that would call for rebalance of all the healing abilities as 30% of 5000 easily outshines the most devastating snipes. But if “sweet spot of survivability” is found, it would be easy way to make raids last longer.
Allow the attacker to see the starting board BEFORE selecting the heroes to play. No more excuses that the board was terrible and didn’t match the heroes you took. But it would require to significantly lower the benefits of stacking single color, just so people don’t abuse the single strong combo that they see on the board. That would call for some handicap on defense also. Would probably also need to think about reroll option - it should not allow to keep rolling for the best board, or for the best team to be attacked with the board that was randomed. But it would greatly benefit strategy thinking and reduce impact of randomness.
Reduce the bonus of stacking in general, but also remove the 20% buff of stats of the defense. OR add some unique bonus for running rainbow team. Stacking has become the only viable strategy recently (not even full mono, but 3+2 etc). But stacking brings frustrations because it’s easier to get completely useless boards. Less stacking - less frustrations. Also no bonus dmg of stacking = longer matches as heroes won’t just go popcorn when sending tile train at them.
Allow to use more than 5 heroes per match. Now that’s probably hardest because it would require rebuilding the core of the game. But I think forcing to use only 5 heroes in a game with over a hundred just ruins its potential and lifespan in general. Perhaps figure out how to allow us to play 6 v 6, 7 v 7 etc.
A variation on the above in case there’s really no room to change the game mechanic that much. Implement a reservist system. For the defender, beside just having 5 heroes selected for the frontline, have another 5 waiting in the shadows, visible to the attacker. If any of the defending heroes dies, a reservist takes their place (make it fun by having the order predefined by the player; there’s a Kunchen 1st on their bench? then maybe you want to kill the wing first, not tank…). But same goes for the attacker - they get to take more heroes. If one of them is killed, you get to pick someone from the bench. Or maybe even allow to swap them in game at some cost of mana, or losing a tile turn. Would probably need some play around mana gain calculation as ghosting tiles would be difficult and could leave the attacker at disadvantage.
Introduce weekly ban lists with random (but universal across all the players) list of heroes banned from using on raid defense, offense (and perhaps even wars?). This could be limited to 5 stars, maybe 5 stars and some 4 stars (like 20x 5s, 5x 4s). Every week you would need to prepare your defense probably from the scratch, not being able to run the godlike one all the time. But it would open also some space for strategy crafting. ‘Ok maybe Aegir isn’t the best tank in the game but Zeline, Evelyn and Caedmon are banned, so there’s less chance at being dispelled by the green stack attacker’. It could force more even emblem distribution because if you go va banque on one hero and they get banned, you may be in trouble. It could potentially leave some players at disadvantage when they are unlucky to have 50% of their heroes banned, but it would only last a week until next change, and I would personally appreciate creativity more than precious trophies. Heck, even make it as optional arena for players at certain level, throw in better raid chest rewards if you participate, make separate top 100 ranking for each week and if limits make you angry, just opt out…
Well I could probably go on and on, but don’t want to make this post too long to be readable. I hope some of you made it this far, and it’s really open for further discussion. I am pretty sure there’s a lot that could be added to the game to make use of its PVP potential, and what I am trying to get at is how some small and not game-rebuilding change may have a great impact on overall gameplay and player’s satisfaction.