Passive Buff Stacking is Bad Design

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by davre, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. davre

    davre The Benevolent Technofascist

    The thread title is my thesis. Here are my arguments:

    1- The overall philosophy of the revamp was solid: the costing of abilities is a bit harsher than the costing of stats, creating a shift toward more vanilla champs rather than super champs. When choosing between champions within a theme the choices are harder to make. Pre-revamp there were more autoincludes for a specific theme/deck. Although we can still find the 1% unbalanced/autos for every faction, the playing field between the remaining 99% is more even.

    2- The result is efficiency is king and the game has become slightly more tactical: most games are decided by 3+v3+ fights rather than 1v1s with a spell being the decisive factor. In the context of the meta game, global/area buffs are more valuable.

    3- On top of the systemic increase in the power of global/area buffs, DOGs actively increased their availability to a number of themes:

    Beasts got boost3 instead of 2 in a lot of different factions
    Cyclopses got boost3 instead of 2
    Voil got regal presence

    4- The intent of AoE/global racial/class/etc. buffs is to encourage a specific racial. The buff is strong but is balanced by the thematic restriction: only a specific subset of champs benefit from it so your choices are limited and you may have to include less optimal champs. This encourages diversity by giving typically bad champs a spot in some decks.

    5- This restriction has been undermined by the revamp: within each restricted subset it is not difficult to find average or better champions. Before the revamp it would be difficult to propose that a champion gain boost: demon or boost: undead. The vanilification of pox has made it difficult to justify why some themes have access to it and others do not.

    6- On top of thematic buffs, splashable global/area buff units are almost always efficient. Battlehymn/battledrum/battlemaster etc. are available on splashable units in some factions. When these splashable buffs overlap with specific buffs, they compound in a very cost-effective way.

    7- All factions/themes have access to efficient vanilla champions. Some factions/themes have access to compounding buffs to the efficient vanilla champions. Instead of power turns, they get to have power-eras. Some of them also get power turns. The rationale for this is less clear than it used to be.

    8- This is not the sole reason for balance inequity but is, IMO, a substantial one.
  2. Tarth

    Tarth Devotee of the Blood Owl

    It was never an issue prior to the auras being larger and larger and an increase in the power of their buffs. The original aura stacking faction, IS, came with a severe draw back to using the tactic, mainly the range of the abilities was AOE 2 and required a much higher tempo hit as well as took longer to stack up. It was also heavily restricted to what it could buff ( def and attack, now damage) and the overall mobility of the bg was heavily reduced. Then they added "Phalanx buster" abilities and spells that destroyed the playstyle out right, especially when combined with the removing of stacking defender and Battlemaster.

    This led to a power creep in auras as clumping up became a huge liability and the counters were growing ever more powerful on a release basis. Now we have things like boost, commander, regal presence, the entire improve line and so on that are just crazy powerful to make up for having to be with in 6+ spaces now. Its just bad design, as the restrictions are negated by the range and the counters forced such powerful boosts that it breaks most champions with little set up. It only requires one champion with boost 3 to grant stats that would of taken multiple turns/champions before.

    Imo the ideal solution wouldbe to scale down on the power of the cluster buster mechanics/runes and lower the power level of each aura and/or raise price as needed. Standing champions with in 2-4 spaces should be rewarded and encouraged AND viable. The idea just got power creeped to the moon. Especially in the current era where its spam cheap efficient units and buff. DOG really should of lowered the power f the cheap units instead of bringing the prices down for the higher ones.
  3. MakarovJAC

    MakarovJAC I need me some PIE!

    Finally, somebody else beside me speaks it out loud!

    My biggest issue with it is the absud synergy. I understand you guys are worried about abbilities alone. But I would also like to add another issue to the topic. It's more noticeable at ST. It's the Faction Flavour Synergy. I could say I'm guilty of this since I love to play Vampires, and do the Masochism+Brand of Brutality+Bloodcrest combo which makes any DEMON vampire a literal god amongst champions given there is a good timing between draws, and the opponents actions. However, unlike my test BG, I feel the other factions which practice the same "strategy" doesn't have the problems mine has.

    If we take into consideration the infamous Blizzard Cloak+Shield+Nohkan-do combo which people just ignores it exist, then we add to the fact that many champs which get this combo on have 7 spd, over 60 hp, and plenty of healing methods avialable, we are talking about an abuse of power. To begin with, Nohkan-do should'nt really make all attacks miss for 3 times. Specially when taking down a single champion takes about 4-5 attacks when their health is over 60. If you counted right, it means that at least 3 champs are needed to take down that guy. How on Poxanthru can somebody do such a feat if that faction's also got a debuff by Frozen condition which is avialable on several playable runes. And then, we also have Awestruck, which ALSO reduced speed. So even if they manage to bypass Nohkan-do, they still have even more SPD reduction, and damage reduction which makes almost impossible to kill the aforementioned 60 hp. THEN, we also have to check for things such as Gale Force which relocated champions, cause the Frozen condition, AND can even cause even more damage by Knockback damage. And we still haven't touched the main issue with Containment Unit.

    That is pretty much the scenario you will get whenever you see somebody deploy a NohKan-Do champ. Although the same can repeat on any BG with the rest of these runes. I have to be frank, there should be a limit to what a faction can have. At least some sort control like the following:

    -If X's faction flavour is Y, they can't have Z.
    -If X's faction flavour is Y, and they get Z. Z must not be allowed to surpass Z faction flavour.
    -If X's faction flavour is Y, and they get Z, and Z supasses another Z faction flavour. Z Faction flavour must get an equally effective Y wich musn't bypass X's faction flavour.

    But to remain in topic, good rules should be like this:

    -If an effect heavily modifies a champion or player's capabilities, it must last no more than 2 turns.
    -If an effect moderately modifies a champion or player's capabilities, it must last no more than 4 turns.
    -if an effect scarcely modifies a champion or player's capabilities, it can last more than 4 turns.
    -If an effect heavily modifies a champions or player's capabilities, and it lasts more than it should, it either must have a high price and low aviability; or must be easily avoidable/removable.

    I mean, it's all about trying to apply the Algorithm's logic to those effects. Maybe the guilty runes gets shoeboxed overnight because the players using them are way too stupid to come up with other ways to win. But on the flip side, players can actually match wits instead of easy-to-do combos and strategies which requires little to no brain effort at all.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2014
  4. Sealer0

    Sealer0 I need me some PIE!

    I'll just chime in to say that I agree that passive buffs are lame, and should be removed/replaced on themes which don't need them (ie. Skeletons).
  5. MogaBait

    MogaBait I need me some PIE!

    Problems with Passive Boost-esque abilities:
    (1) They are, well, passive. Make a few of them active with an ap cost and cd a la Tortuns Trade

    (2) Certain themes are stacked with these abilities. Limit the potential for a theme to benefit from passive boost stacking.

    (3) Passive boost abilities are on champions that already serve roles outside of support. This is an issue with limiting the roles of champs

    (4) The boost itself offers too many benefits to differing roles. I believe a boost should limit itself to solely boosting an offensive, defensive, or utility buff and not all 3 in one go.

    (5) AoE range is too large. Go back to smaller AoEs in resemblance to the old days of IS phalanx. A huge passive benefit needs a downside, and in this case it would be in terms of play style and actually having to think about positioning and accounting for champ control effects from either side. I know I know, you actually have to think about what you're doing instead of letting your deck play itself. Poor you :(

    (6) Most out-of-control passive boost abilities have no downside besides being restricted to a race or class (not really a big deal in this age of barbdorfangaladin). Sermon, designate flag bearer, etc. are examples of passive boost abilities that require a bit more thought to use

    Obviously not all abilities within the addressed family of abilities need to meet these 6 requirements, but it would be nice if they met at least one.
  6. KingJad

    KingJad I need me some PIE!

    I thought this thread was about aoe/passive buffs... What is this blizzard cloak, nohkan do, shield combo? Nohkan do and blizzard cloak don't stack with each other. I suppose u could waste all ur ap so u dont use ap on nohkan do but is that really a combo your wasting 30 nora to do what the champ could have done passively.
  7. paldirs

    paldirs Devotee of the Blood Owl

    Short summary:
    Ppl cryed for years that meta was boring and asked for theme decks to be viable, so they dont fight with and vs the same champions all the time.
    Dogs remembered this and made theme decks viable.

    Result: ppl cry that that they constantly lose to theme decks with their expensive meta decks.
  8. Sealer0

    Sealer0 I need me some PIE!

    Actually, they also lose with other, less efficient theme decks.
  9. Kampel

    Kampel I need me some PIE!

    What if a stat cant be buffed more than 50% of its base value, unless sayd the countrary? much like SPD?

    Think about it for a sec.
  10. MogaBait

    MogaBait I need me some PIE!

    Problem I see is with champs who are specifically designed to have low base stats but have abilities specifically there to increase their stats under certain conditions of play (snowballing). You'd have to pick and choose what abilities effect the theoretical "stat buffed more than 50% of its base value" limitation
    Kampel likes this.
  11. Kampel

    Kampel I need me some PIE!

    You are right, it would limit the game in a bad way. I was thinking like for example for trees or skelletons buffers would have another ability that increases the buffing limit or something like that, but i didnt count the loner snowballing mechanics.

    Discarted then :0
  12. RedScarlet

    RedScarlet I need me some PIE!

    Giving passive buff such as Regal Presence is problematic to an extent. Such as Voil Queen, or giving Boost when every other theme do not have access to boost.

    What's problematic is when a 50ish nora Dwarven Handler gets to boost twice.

    Constructs, AND gives Regal presence to dwarves while most are Race: Constructs, Dorfs.
  13. BurnPyro

    BurnPyro Forum Royalty

    But trees and beasts though.
  14. MakarovJAC

    MakarovJAC I need me some PIE!

    THinking about it, I insist, the problem of snowballing is simply not having a control for abbilities with the potential to snowball. Not champions. Guys, I understand you want there to be a global rule which states nothing can stack up abbilities. The problem is that it doesn't work once stackable abbilities comes with few drawbacks or counters, and last forever.

    I think a good counter is simply to make them either cost a according to their strengh, the potential synergy currently avialable in its faction, and the time it last in play, and how can it bypassed.

    Yeah, it sounds like a lot of crap. Specially because it takes a lot of work and it is not a miracle cure. But at least that way should they prevent something like snowballing.

    Let's be honest, we can bicker for days until somebody else brings something more interesting to yell about. If we don't start giving out some sort of competent solution, but just nerf calls and "magic" global-regulator, the Greens won't pay attention to us.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
    chickenpox2 likes this.

Share This Page