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View Full Version : BASE SET 2: Essay on Design Decisions and their Review *EVEN MORE ULTIMATE FEEDBACK*



kiaryp
02-09-2014, 07:22 PM
Let me start off by saying that the design team of DoC continues to impress me with their decisions. In fact this is the most I've been impressed by the design of a game since Starcraft: Broodwar and this is a lot coming from me, since I'm a long time RTS player.

First, let me introduce what I think are the main problems in the current DoC metagame and why a "BaseSet 2" fits very well into the template of a viable solution and what some of the obvious short-comings of the current proposal seem to be.

Introduction:


Vol. 1: Creature aggro and how to avoid it

Creature beat-down is an archetype that's standard to all card games. It's the most obvious victory condition available to players, but in order for the game to be diverse in gameplay there needs to be a solid way to play around it.

Unless you're playing academy who have lower might requirements on their creatures, if you want to play creatures in the mid-game, you are practically forced to play rush/aggro from the start. You can't realistically run a deck that stalls for just 3-4 turns and THEN summons the tainted orc or ravager, because you simply won't meet the requirement, since you'll need to increase your magic to 3-4 and might to 4. You'll only be able to play the might 4 drop on turn 6-7, which leaves you with loose resources and the need to be able to board-clear for 7 straight turns. To consistently be able to clear the board at a reasonable rate for the first 7 turns you are no longer running a mid-range creature deck, you need to play full stall.

There's really only 1 deck-type that is able to successfully transition out of this stall into a creature-based board control and that's Dhamiria. Maybe Shaar can do it too, I believe he's highly underplayed. Both rely on board-clear graveyard recursion with Cosmic Singularity, a card that at first seemed so elegant and beautiful, but has become a weapon of mass frustration in the hands of Sandalphon and some newer NotRM-reliant deck-sifting archetypes.


Vol. 2: "Tools of the trade"

Altar of Shadows, Throne of Renewal, Wastelands, Prison, Avalanche, Earth Shield, Celestial Armor. If these are your "tools of the trade" to avoid having every game degenerate into nothing but a rush-fest, I have good news! You've made the right decision. Unfortunately, you've probably encountered games where it seemed like your opponent's victory came as a result of nothing else but the top-decking of a Stream Singer, Venerable Kappa, Cleansing Light, or The Price of the Void. You take your RNG-loss and press play again, but what really happened? What happened was that the cards you have chosen to use to avoid joining in on the creature-beatdown orgy are so globally powerful and in fact game-changingly overpowered in their effects that their counters feel very sharp and they have to be. After all, a stall Zardoc can run 4 Altars, 4 Earth Shields and 4 Celestial Armors, this is potential for TWELVE turns of creature-based damage mitigation. By the way, did I mention Cosmic Singularity and Night of the Rising Moon?


Vol. 3: There's nothing in the darkness.

If you're playing Spell Arianna, Spell Malik, Gazal HotV or Kal-Azaar with practically no creatures... Stop and think, you're probably doing it wrong. You have practically no victory condition against any lock or OTK and will probably die to a single Tower or boredom 20 turns in. I get where you're coming from, I really do. I played Starcraft 2 the same way, I'd look at the latest pro-games to see what was popular and I would go into my ladder matches almost blindly expecting everyone to do what I just saw on a stream alongside tens of thousands of other viewers. Everyone would log on to play ladder to try the cool new builds just shown by the Korean pros and I would log on to ladder to collect the free wins. The difference between DoC and Starcraft 2, however, is that I can scout and always change my build, but once you're in a match you're stuck with your deck.

PS. If you're still sticking with it, however, Void Ripple is an absolutely wonderful spell, too bad you'll need to cast inheritance and 3 campfires (which you probably won't have in your deck or the requirements for) to remove Prison.

PPS. This in many ways this can apply to a lot of the mass rage decks.


Vol. 4: The pinnacle.

If months ago when the Jackpot was dominated by Crag Hack and Ishuma you felt right at home in that mix, chances are you are now playing one of the 3 creature decks which have both the rushing power to break stalls on good draws and to exert control against other rush decks after falling behind. The holy trinity of "creature+1" decks or how I like to call them, since they are quite similar in many ways are: Cassandra Fortune, Spell Kelthor and Aggro Sandalphon.

Each is able to play very fast, the Haven thanks to Wolf Captains and resource accretion and Stronghold due to their naturally powerful creatures.

Each is also able to exert control. Cassandra with Bridges and an eventual Prison. Kelthor with Fireballs and Forbidden Flames into Blackskull Vultures. Sandalphon simply by being Sandalphon with an amazingly broken Hero ability and an occasional 1-sided board wipe.

The builds for all 3 are incredibly refined and even similar variations with different heroes seem to work nowhere near as well.

Yukiko spell-rush lacks Sandalphon's ability, the resource boost and such strong early creatures. Spell-rush Akane does even worse.

Acamas and Kat fortune rushes don't have enough control, while Shaar who has access to the same spell schools as Kelthor is too slow when he goes second.

Creatures Ishuma dies when he falls behind and spell-rush Ishuma is too slow.

Necro is just plain bad offensively. Of all their creatures between the cost of 1 and 4 only the Lich does more than 2 damage and although poison has some potential, if you're relying on your creatures for removal you have no comeback plan when you get hit with board clear/removal from the hand.

Inferno isn't consistent enough as some of their stronger drops have only 4 health and Academy creature decks are quite awkward to play.

I think it's safe to say that the creature-first deck-type meta has reached its pinnacle. The vast majority of adaptations made by the Kelthors of today are not made to better deal with any new creature decks but to improve their chances of killing the stalls, which as I've mentioned in part 2 already enjoy the constant experience of having to use astoundingly abusive cards on every single turn which always leave both them and their opponent helpless at the mercy of the RNG-gods.


Introducing: Base Set 2

With that as my introduction I welcome the idea of a new format which intelligently limits the card-pool. For example, Altar of Shadows seems a bit much. It's very similar in its use to Earth Shield and Celestial Armor, yes Zardoc can have both of those and that makes him quite unique as he's the only hero that can do so (and he's not even the best hero for a non-sandalphon stall/slow-poke deck,) but every hero can have access to Altar of Shadows and as the tools for stall have accumulated, it may be time to let this card go.


Changes review by faction:


Neutral Creatures:


Big changes are that Dark Assassins and Pao's are gone. I liked Pao's to be honest with you. I'm also slightly mixed on DA's as they encouraged decks that were fast (Earthquake and Sunburst come to mind whenever I think about the DA's, but since they're gone also it's a good thing for the DA to go as well I believe.) One thing that I'm definitely looking forward to is being able to consistently rely on wall-creatures to defend first turns of aggression. DA's made that difficult.

Void Wraiths are staying, I think that's good. I also like the Blind Brother, I think he has potential to see some play and Sahaar Skirmisher is interesting also. I'm not sold on the Greater Elementals and different creature types... We already have Melee/Flyer/Shooter and even Melee-Shooter, adding different damage types that are constantly relevant can turn this into Pokemon.

I DON'T like that the tutors are gone. I think being able to more reliably use a Unique is a good mechanic as it gives good reason for the Unique to not be as radically powerful (not to say that all the Uniques that are left are radically powerful, although some of the creature ones are.) If instead you remove tutors then it will seem to justify making Uniques really strong, but all that's gonna lead to is RNG where you win if you draw it and you lose if you don't. Reliably tutoring for Uniques is a good mechanic because it can assure you that you will get to use it and the fact that it's Unique will still play a role because you can only use it once, unless you manage to reshuffle your deck, which without Cosmic Singularity is going to be impossible anyways.


Neutral Fortunes:


Everything that was ever good is gone, even campfires are gone, stall is now impossible I would be careful regarding where this is going. At least revised tactics are staying, I think it's a genius card. I thought bridges were very well balanced and if I had to guess I thought they'd be here for the long haul.

I don't like that we lose Cosmic Singularity. I think the problem wasn't with the card but with the incredible amount of good ways to discard cards. One, being Sandalphon is removed and I'm glad for that, but Night of the Rising Moon is an incredibly over-powered event and to see it stay unchanged makes me feel like you're catering to the recent spenders who used 80 Wild Cards to buy 4 of them as soon as possible. The event is ridiculous and in my opinion is what should have went and not Cosmic Singularity, as that was the only deck-resetting tool we had. If mills start power-creeping again we're gonna need it back, but there's absolutely no circumstance in which NotRM is necessary for the game. In fact I think it's game-breaking in a similar sense that Ammar was. It lets you sift through your deck way too quickly, radically modifying your drawing probabilities and the fact that events come in a random order makes it even less acceptable.

The Spell and Fortune tutor events are still here but the creature tutor event is gone? Thought they were triplets.


Academy Heroes:


Ammar and the 2 Gazal's are gone. If you were only supposed to keep 4, I think you kept the best 4. I think Gazal HotV vs Akane could have gone either way. You got rid of Adar-Malik and Akane has practically the same ability but for spells. Forked Lightning every turn could be tough. Gazal had to discard, couldn't recur indefinitely and had more interesting spell schools in my opinion, but oh well.


Academy Creatures:


I like it. I would have preferred that you'd keep another 3-cost creature. Either the Unstable Djinn, or the Sellspell Djinn, as 2 of the 3 drops that are left can't even block. Everything else I like a lot.


Academy Fortunes:


I never liked Academy fortunes in the first place they are all too mill-oriented. You got rid of some of them, so now Mill is nerfed. But if the new ones are also all going to be for the purpose of milling, you may as well have kept the old ones. Although then we'd need our Cosmic Singularity back ;).


Haven Heroes:


Sandalphon being gone is great. His ability was too strong. Jezziel was pretty useless by design. Siegfried is very similar to Cassandra and maybe could have seen some play. I think it was Siegfried vs Kieran, too bad Kieran's ability is so beyond useless. It needs a fix, it would be sad if we go down from 7 to 4 heroes, only 3 of which have an ability and 1 of them is completely unusable. That's 33% of all Haven hero abilities now!


Haven Creatures:


Tithes, Praetorians and Wolf Captain are gone. But Anael, Merchant Crusaders and Glories are still around, so it may still be fine I'm not really a Haven player. Once again though, I would have preferred to keep the Bards to tutor that way a turn 6-8 Anael would be a standard play and not something that shouldn't happen most of the time, making preparing for it stupid and statistically a poor decision and in turn causing you to lose if your opponent simply gets lucky and top-decks it.

Haven Fortunes:


Prison is gone! I don't know if I'm THAT happy about it, I think the nature of prison is that you could have just increased its cost and kept it. All the fortunes that are staying seem nice, I like them, but nothing to build a fortune deck around. I don't know if I would even bother putting any fortunes in my deck if it wasn't for the Unique, which once again has no neutral tutor, it seems like you're just encouraging everyone to build pure creature decks (too many good/decent neutral fortunes removed also, campfires were great for speed deck-size reduction and Pillage I think was a very interesting card, the use of which is very strategic..)


Inferno Heroes:


Phrias had to go. Xorm wasn't great but playable, although almost strictly worse than Garant. Belias had some interesting spell schools, but Kal-Azaar has them too so it's ok. Ignatius ability though requires 5 destiny, but there's Inferno fortune that requires 5 destiny...

Inferno Creatures:


Not an Inferno player either, but it seems like enough of a backbone of creatures is staying. Ravager is gone, but he was never that reliable in the first place. Lilim is gone too though and now there's no good 4 drop for Inferno. At least Hellfire Maniac is still there and with the Void Arbiter hand control could still be a thing, which is good imo.


Inferno Fortunes:


There's still some discard left. Not sure how you ended up deciding that Dunes of Madness is the 1 cost fortune you want to keep, even though you already have 2 good ones in there. I think "discard at random" is a terrible mechanic. It should be either opponent looks and discards or player looks and discards. Random discard can be game-breaking and doesn't give you an opportunity to make a decision. If I was you I would get rid of the mechanic altogether, just make each player chose which cards he wants to get rid of. Gate is still there but Abyssal Worm is the only 6+ drop.


Necropolis Heroes:


I like that Nergal is gone, his ability is pretty useless post-nerf. Siham was broken in all kinds of ways. Then it was Adar-Malik vs Arianna vs Mother Namtaru and you dropped Malik... I would have dropped Mother Namtaru and nerfed Malik's ability to non-unique if you think that's necessary. It was fun having fire school as Necro. Oh well, now Necro is the only faction to have 2 heroes with 3 spell schools.


Necropolis creatures:


Six 3-drops? Really? Ok. I think the Minotaurs and the Channelers shouldn't be there. Minotaurs are practically Kappas. Vengeful Spectre is absolutely pointless. Its stats add up to the same as Untamed Wraith but it costs 1 more resource. How does this make sense? Even Fleshbane doesn't take it as long as there are Decay Spitters. Also Ghost Dragons are way cooler than Fate Weavers in my opinion. This all being said Necropolis is looking very strong with both Spitters and Banshees remaining.


Necropolis fortunes:


I'm really really sad that Rite of Necromantic Transfer is gone. It was my favorite Necro fortune by far and now especially that Pao Deathseeker is removed I don't see what the big deal would be with keeping it around as it was never an issue to begin with. I doubt Soul Harvest will ever be playable and I'm surprised you're keeping Seria's Last Order, but removing Kat's Grand Finale from Stronghold.


Sanctuary Heroes:


Kaiko was basically stall-only, I'm ok with her being gone. Ishuma and Akane are also good choices. It makes it kind of unclear though as to which hero can play spell-heavy. I'm guessing it's going to be Noboru if he's going to see any play at all.


Sanctuary Creatures:


Only one 2-drop, Stream Singer doesn't count she's weaker than a 1 drop. That's not ok. I understand that Sayama Stalker was really good and even stronger now that sunburst is gone, but only one 2-drop really? What do you expect Sanctuary to do? Run gold piles on every hero and hope to play Sayama Champion turn 2? Other than that everything seems ok other than the 12:6 melee to ranged ratio. I thought the 2/2/5 archer could have finally seen some play for either Necro or Sanctuary, but now they're both gone. Raya is really strong, but once again no tutor makes her an unexpected surprise, although technically Sanctuary can tutor with their fortunes.


Sanctuary Fortunes:


The best fortune set from all the factions in my opinion in terms of viability and it's still only just good and well balanced, other seem under-powered.


Stronghold Heroes:


Zouleika had potential, too bad she's gone. Kelthor was never an issue as a hero just the combination of his spell schools and they both got nerfed hard. Crag Hack is gone, but so are a lot of the neutrals, I think I would have rather seen Acamas go than any one of the other 3. His ability is largely unusable like Kieran's and once again, that's 33% of all Stronghold abilities.


Stronghold Creatures:


Tainted Orc gone! He was really game defining for Stronghold, but I feel like they still keep a lot of their other better creatures. Shredders will still be great with the Warhuts. I think Stronghold is the best creature set you've kept from all the factions both in terms of strength and balance. Zefiria is a great keep, but once again where are the tutors?


Stronghold Fortunes:


What fortunes? It's the only faction that's missing their Unique fortune. No blood pool, even though it was pretty cool. No arena or stampede for direct damage to hero, even though they were never a huge problem. Famous Last Blows is a really cool card by intention but has really crappy requirements. I don't see why you must give the card such weird might/magic/destiny requirements just because it's a dispell type card. It's not even a banish-effect. Overall surprise attack is the only really usable fortune with the requirement of more than one Destiny and without having any decent neutral fortunes, I doubt anyone except for maybe Kat will go for fortunes at all.


Air magic:


No Lightning Strike and no Wind Gust. Ylath's Breath would have been interesting with Waterfall Guardians, but they're gone. I guess we can try it with some other hypnotize creatures. Everything else is very poor until 4 magic.


Water magic:


I think it looks the strongest or second strongest. Fireball is gone, Sunburst is gone, Earthquake is gone, Lightning Strike is gone, but Geyser stays. Inc Warrior may even see some use, although good thing Tsunami's gone otherwise, with the slow pace that the game is likely to be at, Akane would be quite sickening with it, she still gets Forked Lightning.


Primal magic:


Primal looks like it's keeping everything that made it so good. Two dispells, teleport and town portal. Nether Curse is a pretty interesting new card, I'm glad it's staying. Void Ripple is an underrated removal, although there really isn't anything to remove anymore other than creatures and Time Jump will still solve games at turn 12. Really solid.


Light magic:


Light magic seems pointless right now in my opinion. Other than the dispel and maybe Martyr? I'm pretty sad to see Celestial Armor go, I thought it would be cool if it saw some play. I think keeping Ward from Darkness would actually make sense, at least it would give light magic a purpose other than just dispelling non-existent permanents. No Word of Light and no Sun Burst hurts a lot.


Earth Magic:


No DA's means it's ok to not have Earthquake. Insect Swarm stays and remains the only AOE board clear. Stone shield is still here but there are simply not enough tools left to either help stall with or even for a victory condition towards which to stall for. Other than stalling Stone Shield isn't good for much, unlike Celestial Armor. Deep roots seems promising, one of the only bright spots for what feels like a really underwhelming spell-set.


Fire Magic:


Fire can no longer board clear, that's kind of unexpected. Would have been ok to keep Armaggedon I think, but fine. We still keep the Mass Rage and Immolation and with Void Wraiths still around maybe this can be combo'd somehow. With all other spell schools being nerfed and fire still keeping both fire bolt and inner fire, it may actually still be the best 1 and 2 level magic school for spell-aggro decks.


Dark:


Magic level 3 and up, Dark, Water and Primal in some order are the strongest spell schools in my opinion. There's one hero who has them all and that's Mother Namtaru. Cursed Bound is still here, but only two Hero has both fire and dark spell schools now: Ignatius and Kal-Azaar, maybe we will still see some punisher decks from them. Overall Dark magic looks like it's suffering from the massive power-slash least.


Events:


The cost increase/ping events are gone, which I think is good, because they were very easy to pick up simply by looking at the rest of your deck and picking whatever counters the card-types that you don't use. Unfortunately Night of the Rising Moon is still around, even though it's the most overpowered event in the current meta, I don't get that. Everything else seems fine.


Overall rankings and scores for your selections:


Heroes:


These are your best changes in my opinion, here's how I would rank them.

Sanctuary > Inferno > Haven > Academy > Necropolis > Stronghold

5/6 are good. These are your best changes. Haven would have had the best changes if Kieran's ability was improved.


Creatures:


It seems like creatures will be the main focus in Vanilla BaseSet 2, here are my rankings based on both viability and balance.

Stronghold > Academy > Haven > Inferno > Neutrals > Sanctuary > Necropolis

5/7 are good. Necropolis seems a bit strong, Sanctuary is missing a key 2 drop.


Events:


Slightly sub-par. I think Cosmic Balance, Rise of the Nethermancer and most importantly Night of the Rising Moon didn't have to stay. Night of the Rising Moon is just game breaking. The other two were clearly introduced are responses to 2 archetypes which will no longer be problematic (stall and graveyard recursion respectively.) Of the 2, Cosmic Balance in particular is a card that I think shouldn't have stayed as its implementation could be improved on a re-release if the need for it arises again.

Score: 3/6


Spells:


Given how creature-centric the Base Set is looking, I'm going to rank spell schools simply on their viability of making a dent in the upcoming creature-dominated metagame.

Dark > Water > Primal > Air > Fire > Earth > Light

3/7 are acceptable. Fire is too weak after 2 magic unless you're relying on Mass Rage and Air is too weak before 3 magic. Kelthor would have been a nice Hero to keep. Earth is almost useless and Light is completely useless. Primal would have been higher if there were actually many problematic permanents to remove.


Fortunes:


Since stall decks are gone for sure, at least until more cards are released. I'm going to rank the Fortune sets based on how compelling they will be for the creature decks to include them, since that's what will determine their viability.

Sanctuary > Necropolis > Haven > Academy = Inferno > Stronghold > Neutral

2/7 are acceptable. Most of useful fortunes from Academy and Inferno are tied to their faction-specific deck archetypes (mill and hand-control,) but it doesn't look like they have enough tools for this purpose. Stronghold has almost nothing and all Neutral fortunes that are left are garbage.


Rankings of changes:


Heroes > Creatures > Events > Spells > Fortunes


On design space:


Creature types:


DoC already has creature types. These types are relevant, as the define where a creature can and can't be placed. To move towards categorization such as damage-types, I believe would be taking the game intro a direction that's far removed from what makes it so good in the first place. Original Might and Magic design for creatures was brilliant as it introduced diversity in the form of 3 creatures all of which operated under specific and easily identified constraints and these constraints were transferred brilliantly into the design of DoC. Introducing types of damage or creature-alignment introduces an unnecessary boring complexity, likely involving a convoluted form rock-paper-scissors balancing and may even require dilution of the creature-pool to work as intended.


A Counter Suggestion:


I think a much better change to the creature system that will expand the design space in an interesting way would be to introduce a speed attribute. What this speed attribute would determine is how many rows a creature can traverse in a single turn. This would add more positional complexity, giving higher value to the two middle lanes for Heroes that have creatures without the maximum speed and the ability to move from one side of the field to the other. It would also play nicely into the original design of the Might and Magic games, where speed has always been an incredibly important attribute.


Conclusion:


I didn't address the business model, or the availability of the packs and similar issues as they're external to the gameplay and gameplay is what I care about. As I said in the beginning, I think that Base Set 2 is a great idea and an amazing opportunity to improve the game and the state of its metagame. This being said, I think a large portion of proposed changes are either without much foresight or with some pre-designed expansion in mind and if the second is the case I don't think it's fair to give us a half-working game that forces everyone into the same deck archetype, just because future expansions plan to fix it. I understand that this maybe a good strategy to accrue revenue in the short term, but I personally would lose a lot of respect for the design team if that is your intention.

ZergRusher
02-09-2014, 10:08 PM
Very interesting read. Some thoughts:


I DON'T like that the tutors are gone.

totally agree with your reasoning.


I don't like that we lose Cosmic Singularity.

i dont think there was a problem with NotRM. The problem was uniques recursion. Without it NotRM is decent but not OP.


Zouleika had potential,
i disagree - she was always an inferior Zardoc to me.


Stronghold Fortunes:
What fortunes?

Although is agree that Fortunes as a whole were overnerfed, sacrificial altar is very good


Light magic seems pointless right now in my opinion.
totally agree



tbh a lot of chances are quite random to me. Haven is UP, fortunes are killed, i see no balance. Since there are no new cards we can start theorizing about balance and i feel like Dhamiria is very strong, Lurkers seem OP without Strikes and Ishuma.

totally dont understand lack of Collectors and Broken Bridge.

kiaryp
02-09-2014, 10:31 PM
Very interesting read. Some thoughts:



totally agree with your reasoning.



i dont think there was a problem with NotRM. The problem was uniques recursion. Without it NotRM is decent but not OP.


i disagree - she was always an inferior Zardoc to me.



Although is agree that Fortunes as a whole were overnerfed, sacrificial altar is very good


totally agree



tbh a lot of chances are quite random to me. Haven is UP, fortunes are killed, i see no balance. Since there are no new cards we can start theorizing about balance and i feel like Dhamiria is very strong, Lurkers seem OP without Strikes and Ishuma.

totally dont understand lack of Collectors and Broken Bridge.

I think NotRM is too good of a discard mechanism though. If you want to put a card of any type into the graveyard you can do that and it ends up giving you 1 extra card for just 2 resources with no drawbacks. Celebrations gives your opponent a free card as a drawback and day of fortune requires an extra resource AND a discard.

Also, Sacrificial Altar isn't REALLY a fortune... I mean it has a requirement of 1 fortune and all Stronghold heroes have 1 Destiny so it doesn't require you to invest a hero-turn into using it and it doesn't bridge you to using something like Surprise Attack. It's kind of just a card that all Stronghold heroes can and will use. There's even no week of taxes anymore, which was a big part of what made fortunes feel like fortunes, especially the cheap/low requirement ones.

kmtaekm
02-09-2014, 10:34 PM
Very interesting read. Some thoughts: Lurkers seem OP without Strikes and Ishuma.

Disagree, early playing with the BS2 format, very few if any decks are affected by Lurkers because weenie decks like Cass Fortune aren't viable with lack of resource boost, prevention, and card draw. The only creatures that would be heavily affected by Lurkers are Academy which already have answers in their spells since they can reach their answers faster than any other faction.

Lurkers aren't a problem at all, and I feel Inferno creatures as a whole are pretty weak compared to other factions like Necro and Stronghold. The latter especially lost Tainted Orc, but that can easily be replaced with Cowardly Gnoll, while they still keep both 2 drops and all 3 standard 3 drop options. Big Creatures are going to be a common thing to see with Goldpile I feel being a staple in all but the most controlly decks, and even then I could still see them being run because a turn 4 Entrall is too good.

GustavXIII
02-10-2014, 12:08 AM
Thank you for the effort you put in this post. It was very nice to read through it.


My thoughts on the respective paragraphs:

Neutral Creatures: I dont like the lack of tutors. If they think we shouldnt be able to fetch for "borderline OP" uniques, then change/nerf/cripple them so that they wont have a big impact. But i can already see how a todecked Raya decides a whole Sanctuary Matchup. Thats just a unecessary RNG-variable we dont need imho. I kinda like the lack Pao Deathseekers though. As i feel that Quick Attack could become a unique trait for the Stronghold faction and it would fit in the whole theme for the faction.

Neutral fortunes: I have to admit, i was never a fan of "stall-decks". The whole deck design, especially in the MMDoC environment felt silly to me. They ususally crushed their opponents or were ridicilously hard-countered by decks which could afford efficient counters. I am glad they got rid of cards like Altar of Shadows. Cosmic Singularity felt very abusive in combination with certain uniques like Prison or Forbiden Flame. I think i would have kept Singularity in, now that some of those uniques and probably too powerful cards are gone.
Broken Bridge was a well design card in my opinion and i cant even think of one reason why someone would remove this card. The cards purpose and the requirements were just decent and nothing obscene. While i also liked the design behind pillage, i can somehow understand that its gone, It would always lead to some resource denial decks, which can make for non-interactive games. So they just got rid of a troublemaker. And overall, i like resource advantage more than resource denial...we miss you Campfire.....

Academy:
Gazal LoS was just terrible and had to go. She would probably break the records for the least-played hero in the game if left untouched. Gazal HotV had the potential to be an OP Deck with almost untouched Darkness Magic and Primal Magic (Rise of the Nethermancer would have been an autoinclude in that case).

I had high hopes for my Myranda deck, until i realized Sellspell Djin AND Unstable Djinn are out, Rakshasas and Paos also gone, so there is basically no turn 3 for the deck. I considered the other creatures (the Phased shooters) unplayable before.... it will be very hard to to do something meaningful on turn three with Myranda, i hope i'm wrong though.

Haven:
Sandalphon and his ability caused some of the most annoying decks in the MMDoC history, i am just glad its finally over and we will never be locked again.....i hope so.
Kieran has actually interesting spell schools. But his ability is still about useless, which i consider very sloppy and lazy, it needs to be refined. And the Light Magic school, dear god. Compared to the rest Bless and Elraths Protection seem almost epic worthy. Even though cleansing light is still in, you basically cant play it, due to the "awesome" negative synergy with some of your own, mentioned ongoing spells. I guess the school is going to define itself now as a mainly defensive/protective spell school, without any damage spell. Thats why i cant get Ward Against Darkness is also gone...

Sanctuary:

The probably only competetive hero is gone. His ability was also controversial. The whole deck was never gamebreaking, annoying if at all, but still the only very strong deck overall. So its time for other heroes to shine.....which will get very difficult. As you mentioned, the melee-shooter ratio seems very off to say the least. Spring Spirit as the only reliable two drop is simply not enough. So if you go second you either need Spring Spirit or a Gold Pile for your Sayama Champion. I really dont know what to expect from Sanctuary in the future or if i can expect anything at all...


Those are my first impressions.

Thank you again for your post :)

Alamand
02-10-2014, 12:39 AM
I don't mind seeing cosmic singularity go at all, it was always a horribly designed card. For a card that was seemingly added to counter mill it made no sense that you had to discard it to activate the graveyard shuffle rather than have it activate when it's milled from the library directly into the graveyard. Even without the unique abuse I still hated the ability it gave decks to have nearly infinite stall cards and board wipes.

I definitely hope they rethink some of the cards, my top 3 would probably be losing decay spitter, bringing back bridge, and giving light back at least one decent spell so it has a reason to exist.

SpaceElephant
02-10-2014, 07:58 PM
Thanks a lot kiaryp for this feedback! Our team will certainly (and already started to) read your essay and give it attention.

VampFury
02-13-2014, 02:32 PM
Nice read. Glad that we have more and more devs/cms responses in these threads.

ps. Should be also moved to BS2 forum.

ryangenx2
02-14-2014, 02:28 AM
Notrm was only overpowered when you had cosmic singularity and it actually didn't matter what you discarded.
Without cosmic though you are milling yourself at lightspeed if you keeping spamming this event and have to consider WHAT you are discarding.
It's a decent event now IMO

malkorion
02-15-2014, 12:23 AM
If these are your "tools of the trade" to avoid having every game degenerate into nothing but a rush-fest, I have good news! You've made the right decision.

You sound a little condescending here.

kiaryp
02-17-2014, 01:16 AM
You sound a little condescending here.

What's a T1 non-aggro deck that isn't a stall apart from Dhamiria and the hard-stalls and a mass-rage archetype?? Read the next paragraph for why the other decks are not really "viable."

malkorion
02-17-2014, 09:13 AM
What's a T1 non-aggro deck that isn't a stall apart from Dhamiria and the hard-stalls and a mass-rage archetype?? Read the next paragraph for why the other decks are not really "viable."

The way I interpreted your thread is : "don't play aggro, play combo / stall / lock / mill, because that's the smart thing to do - hence, better tools of the trade"

I like to play aggro decks. Unfortunately, unlike in MtG, there are very few anti-control / mill / lock / combo creature cards in this game. I have no idea how people make it to T1 with an aggro deck. There is is so much removal and hate in the game targeted towards creatures, and the creatures are very fragile, there are a lot of silver bullets against them. Especially dark Gazal, it's a do or die situation. Don't play your big creatures because she steals them, but she's playing creatures against you, so you have to play something.

Also, since there is no drafting in this game, they have no excuse to make bad cards.

kiaryp
02-18-2014, 02:21 AM
The way I interpreted your thread is : "don't play aggro, play combo / stall / lock / mill, because that's the smart thing to do - hence, better tools of the trade"

I like to play aggro decks. Unfortunately, unlike in MtG, there are very few anti-control / mill / lock / combo creature cards in this game. I have no idea how people make it to T1 with an aggro deck. There is is so much removal and hate in the game targeted towards creatures, and the creatures are very fragile, there are a lot of silver bullets against them. Especially dark Gazal, it's a do or die situation. Don't play your big creatures because she steals them, but she's playing creatures against you, so you have to play something.

Also, since there is no drafting in this game, they have no excuse to make bad cards.

The first part of the post goes something like this:

1) Explains why if you want to play a deck that involves creatures you have to play rush beat-down from the very start and can't transition into a mid-range creature deck out of a defensive start unless you're dhamiria or a similar deck which relies on recycling of forbidden flame or other powerful boardclear.

2) The assumption here is that you have been forced into playing early turn creature aggro for reasons discussed above, which can be annoying as it normally just comes down to who had the better hand at the start. So in an attempt to break out of this aggro vs aggro luck-based gameplay every single game you may decide to start playing full-stall (so altars, earthshields, thrones and some kind of lock, be it wasteland/avalanche, prison or hand-destruction.)

3) The other tempting, but not-so-viable way to deal with it is to play dark-removal/mind-control type decks which are meant to be a counter to creature decks but are completely useless against decks that don't rely on creatures.

4) The winners of this meta. Aka, the decks that can partake in the RNG-game of early aggro at the start and thus remain a threat to the stall/lock decks, but still have really strong moves to regain control if they happened to lose the early-game.

Bazaltovy
02-21-2014, 12:13 PM
malkorion: GarantGate. You'll have some 7-drops before Gazal will be able to Soulreaver them. And even if so - BOOM! - Day of the Sanctuary.
Very fun deck.