Author Topic: v1.4 Battle Tides - Battle System Enhancement  (Read 29761 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Blake Mizzi

  • League of Geeks | Director
  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 103
    • View Profile
v1.4 Battle Tides - Battle System Enhancement
« on: July 01, 2016, 04:37:39 PM »
This post is relevant to the features introduced in v1.4 Battle Tides. For all of the details, see the master post here.


Dear battle hardened Armellians and newcomers alike,

We have toiled long and hard at what might seem like a small but significant enhancement to Armello’s Battle System! The crux of the upgrade to Armello's battle system was to deliver a more robust and holistic system that makes more sense to players, gives players more control, gives us the new ways to add new equipment and future proofs the system for more add-ons.

So what has changed;  We have added two NEW types of special dice to complement the existing ‘pierce dice’; These three special battle dice are:

Pierce – Penetrates and “pierces” an opponent’s shield to still cause damage, and destroys blocking shield.
Reflect – Blocks the incoming hit and bounces back the damage to the attacker, which may be blocked again by their own defences.
Poison – If this hit isn’t blocked and thus causes a wound to the target, it will “poison” the victim.



A new general special rule applies to all special dice from here forward; IF two special dice collide they will cancel each other out and behave as their base dice type. Thus a ‘pierce’ dice meeting a ‘reflect’ dice won’t pierce the ‘reflect’ and the ‘reflect’ won’t bounce back a ‘piercing’ dice.
 
It’s very very exciting for us to bring these new special dice effects to Armello’s battle system, it gives us more design room to create interesting new equipment and gives players new tools to counter heroes with huge amounts of body, or thick shields.

To facilitate the introduction of more special dice and to give us even more room to create new equipment we have made a very subtle but significant change to how special dice behave;

Special dice like the old ‘pierce’ dice now won’t automatically shuffle to the front of the attack queue. Instead special dice queue in the normal order and sequence which generated them, thus a card awarded locked ‘pierce’ dice locks in the attack queue before burnt card dice, and before rolled ‘pierce’ dice. Any normal attack dice, from locking, burning or rolling will also take their normal queuing position.

Basically dice now queue in the order they were generated regardless if they are special or normal – we’re not playing favourites any more ;) – The dice order is equipped card dice, burnt card dice, then rolled dice.

This is a small but significant change – let me give you an example; In the old system, Thane’s hero power which awarded a ‘pierce’ die upon burning a sword card, would shuffle that attack die to the front of the attack queue, but in the new system it won’t, the die will take its place in the queue like any other attack dice.

“Whoa!! This isn’t as powerful as the old system”, you might say! ‘I want my ‘pierces’ first in the attack queue!” well…

Remember that special dice now counter each other and a special dice’s position in the attack and defence queue can make a big difference. Also consider you now have full control over the order of your dice queue through equipment selection, you have the ability to design the best battle builds to counter other players’ builds. Whether you choose to equip items with more locked swords or equipment that give you more dice is now a more important decision. Do you want armour that gives you piles of locked shield dice? Or maybe you don’t, as you want to focus on getting reflect dice to activate early? Equipment that awards special dice effects on dice rolls or by burning cards can be used in interesting combinations with other cards and hero abilities.

This has a significant flow on effect with regards to what equipment is now best for different heroes to equip; Take Thane: A Warhammer for example takes 1 fight dice from Thane and locks in 2 swords, which take their place in the queue before Thane can burn any sword cards and lock in ‘piercing’ dice. The third attack slot is still a powerful and useful slot and likely to still encounter an opponent’s shields, but is it better than the first or second slot? Is the first slot worse if your opponent has a locked in ‘reflect’ card? Is the Battle Axe which gives Thane an extra die in battles and doesn’t add dice to the attack queue before Thane has a chance to burn swords a better card for Thane? With the Battle Axe equipped and a healthy mix of cards Thane can burn his attacks in the order that he now wishes them to strike!

Certainly there are now better and worse combinations of equipment with regards to different heroes than there were before and this is a good thing. Equipment choice is now more meaningful. Your combination of equipment and your decisions made in combat, when to burn or not to burn cards has more impact than before. This directly means there is more room for skilled and experienced players to find mastery in Armello and have direct impact in battle. There are now no weird queue jumping dice exceptions to the standard rule. Far more cards are now being burned in battle and this means that more cards are flowing through players hands. We understand that this subtle change has significant impact to the feel of combat and the entire game, overtime as we add more equipment cards these changes will make more and more sense. Know that these changes have enabled us to enhance Armello’s battle system and take it to the next level, our play tests have produced exciting results. We know it will take a few games to adjust your thinking to the new system and we’re excited to hear your ideas for the best builds for each hero and counter builds. We’re also excited to bring more powerful special dice effects to Armello, we know these effects are game changers and aren’t going to be easy to pull off, now it’s up to your planning and skill to make these plays.


Sharpen your steel,
Buckle on your armour,
Go forth and bring battle to your foes,
For the war for the throne just got real. 
 


Warmaster Blake



« Last Edit: July 04, 2016, 06:13:30 PM by Darcy Smith »

Kletian999

  • Backer
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 2505
    • View Profile
Re: v1.4 Battle Tides - Battle System Enhancement
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2016, 10:43:47 PM »
Most times, I would WANT my piercing dice to cancel my opponents reflect.  I really feel removing priority for special dice is a mistake.   Here's my reasons and maybe I'll change my mind, but I have to say what juts out as obvious right now:

1. Overall, this change just further penalizes the equipment of weapons because it'll make piercing miss when it never did before.  The Battle Axe is the WEAKEST weapon in the game mathematically and should only be equipped when there is no other option.  Thane's wits almost never exceed his fight so your scenario doesn't really pan out. 
There are no cards with static piercing dice yet, and the current pierce equipment is rolled dice, which is why the priority system was so important.

2. It weakens the piercing effect and weakens the reflect effect (because no dice positioning is going to make it worth no longer wearing armor with the 3/1 Hit block ratio on rolls, it's too variable.)

3. Without negative priority, Static or Burned poison dice will almost never land.  The cases where you opponent doesn't have many shields will probably be the cases they die without poison.

4. The order you get items (or choose to equip them) will now slightly effect the outcome of battles.  Unless you get all your items in a bunch, it'll be very hard to make informed decisions here; and the "right answer" will be dependent on what your opponent wears too.

5. People will burn cards in battle because of the rewards, or fervent desire to lose cards.  Changing the dice priority I only see influencing burn volume by trying to push the poison dice as late as possible.  I don't consider "people burning cards they normally wouldn't just to get their equipment to work properly" to be a positive thing.

6. Honestly, I feel the lack of priority is going to be LESS intuitive to new players.  When they here pierce dice, they will wonder why no piercing happened when the piercings were too late.  When they have poison, they'll wonder why it didn't proc when hits outdid shields.

The Observer

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 124
    • View Profile
Re: v1.4 Battle Tides - Battle System Enhancement
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2016, 10:54:28 PM »
Note to self: never equip hand cannons or longbow ever again.

Nothing's going to change for my setup. Stack shields and maybe 1 offensive item. Done. In fact, stacking shields are even more important now that poison dice are around and piercing has been nerfed.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2016, 11:14:31 PM by The Observer »

Biologist

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 318
    • View Profile
Re: v1.4 Battle Tides - Battle System Enhancement
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2016, 12:44:43 AM »
I'm going to have to play a few matches with the new ruleset before making sweeping judgements about it, but here are some of my initial thoughts.

Poison attacks: Not sure yet how useful these will be. We have new characters and new items on the way, so maybe interactions with poison will affect its usefulness, but currently I'm skeptical. Generally I want to take out my opponent as a direct result of combat so that I immediately remove them from play and get a prestige reward, not cripple them so they have time to get revenge with a spell before slowly dying the next turn (assuming they don't cure the poison or camp in place). Yes, I've annoyed them with my poison, but I could have gotten a kill with a different piece of gear.

Also, sharing some of Kletian's concern about poison dice and queuing. If I understand correctly, using the Poisoned Dagger shown above, if I burn a Rot card I'll get a poison attack after my equipment dice but before my rolled dice. Now, I commonly run into opponents with 5+ locked Shields from various sources. If I have, say, two locked swords from equipment, that means I need to burn three cards before burning a Rot card. That would require me to burn a full hand of cards if I have 4 Wits, and that's assuming I don't have good reasons not to burn the other cards. That's in a best-case scenario where my opponent burns and rolls no additional shields. Not to mention if I have such specific Rot-cost gear equipped I'm probably a Rot Lord and would rather have just gotten a Rot roll to begin with. Regarding the card itself, it's rough giving up any kind of locked offense/defense for a dubious benefit, which is why I rarely see or use the Sailor's Lantern/Spy Glass combo in game.

Piercing: I think it fares better than Poison, though obviously not as well as pre-patch. Most of my piercing comes from Thane's hero power, which is controllable and, since opponents often  have lots of shields, should still be useful even in the 4th or 5th slot. Also it's very controllable. The piercing gear is a little trickier. Let's say I have Hand Cannons and I'm not Thane (for simplicity's sake), and I want to use my piercing effectively. I'm actually better off not locking in sword dice with gear, and instead going for shields/more dice rolls so my piercing procs have a chance to matter. Also burning non-shield cards has to be carefully considered.

Reflect: Sounds like a "Thorns" type effect, which I know some on these forums have been suggesting. Maybe we finally get that hedgehog-themed cloak everyone's been clamoring for?  ;) As for assessing the effect, it's too early for me to tell. It does give at least a  little incentive to "waste" poison attacks in order to cancel the reflect effect though, making poison indirectly more useful.

Of course, all my theorycrafting and speculation disregards the fact that gear acquisition is totally random. Obviously you always have to make the best of what you get, and there's strategy involved there, but you can't exactly go into a match thinking "Okay, I'm going to get a Poison Dagger, Hand Cannons, and Battle Armor (or whatever). Still, I'm sure this change has been put through its paces already, and these are just my initial reactions. Looking forward to seeing how it pans out!
« Last Edit: July 02, 2016, 12:46:45 AM by Biologist »
Pet peeves: Apes are not monkeys, jellyfish are not fish, and tomatoes are not vegetables!

L4g34s

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: v1.4 Battle Tides - Battle System Enhancement
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2016, 02:10:31 AM »
 Unless getting a kill from poison gives you any kind of prestige the poisoned dagger quite sucks, considering that you have to burn a rot it won't be that efective if you aren't corrupted, so to use it properly you need to be corrupted, you need to land the poison attack, and you need to in the first place have a rot card to burn, but considering the cards with a rot symbol its probably a bad idea since most f them give you rot, with exceptions of hot rot wine(and you want it to kill the king without risking getting attacked), cursed lands(and that would be a good card to burn), dark influence(and you want to use it on yourself to get even more rot), rotten fog(another good card to burn with it), Bane's claw(third good card to burn). So there are 3 cards that would be good to burn when you have poisoned knife, the cards with rot symbol not mentioned here actually give you rot, so it would be a no go.

trashspawn45

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: v1.4 Battle Tides - Battle System Enhancement
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2016, 02:41:19 AM »
Unless getting a kill from poison gives you any kind of prestige the poisoned dagger quite sucks, considering that you have to burn a rot it won't be that efective if you aren't corrupted, so to use it properly you need to be corrupted, you need to land the poison attack, and you need to in the first place have a rot card to burn, but considering the cards with a rot symbol its probably a bad idea since most f them give you rot, with exceptions of hot rot wine(and you want it to kill the king without risking getting attacked), cursed lands(and that would be a good card to burn), dark influence(and you want to use it on yourself to get even more rot), rotten fog(another good card to burn with it), Bane's claw(third good card to burn). So there are 3 cards that would be good to burn when you have poisoned knife, the cards with rot symbol not mentioned here actually give you rot, so it would be a no go.

#1. Burning Rot cards in combat doesn't give you rot. I don't know where you're getting that from.

#2. The item says itself that if you burn a rot card, it will give you 1 poisoned hit. It does not say you have to be corrupted for that to take place. The card usually takes precedence over game rules.

#3. Who says you never want Rot? Rot victory is something you can do.

Kletian999

  • Backer
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 2505
    • View Profile
Re: v1.4 Battle Tides - Battle System Enhancement
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2016, 03:05:14 AM »
1. He means, you'd rather cast the card then play them.  Because for a Rot player, a cost of rot is free.

2.  Yeah simple mistake of Lg4's part.  Still, you need to equip the dagger to get the benefit, so you are likely infected from equipping it.  Sudden Idea for card: Wyldleaf gloves- next Rot costed card you play incurs no rot. 

Combat

  • Backer
  • Newbie
  • **
  • Posts: 22
  • Come on, does this look dangerous to you?!
    • View Profile
Re: v1.4 Battle Tides - Battle System Enhancement
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2016, 06:12:46 AM »
3. Without negative priority, Static or Burned poison dice will almost never land.  The cases where you opponent doesn't have many shields will probably be the cases they die without poison.

Negative priority does exist though

1) Your earlier equipment is slotted in first, so if you had a Shining steel sword in place 1 and (Supposing it existed) a card that gave 2 piercing fight in slot 2, you would get 1 normal attack then 2 piercing as number 2 and 3 in the attack row

if the opponent had a card that gave reflect in slot 1 then it would reflect back to you and then you would pierce their first 2 defence afterwards

2)You just burn other cards before you use the rot card to activate the poison, then you are changing the place that the poison will take place, therefore allowing you to potentially dodge the opponents shields and get the hit in, as was said in other posts even just using it to counter reflect is also viable, has more variety in it than some are giving credit for currently I feel

The system give more opportunity to fake out the opponent and encourages bigger hand sizes to allow for more flexibility

That's actually the biggest problem I feel, it is yet another mechanic that encourages the use of the wits amulet over most others, as the most commonly seen amulet in play (from my experience at least) I feel that something should be done to make others a bit better as wits of best for a lot of strategies in the game, that might be a discussion for another time though

Vryl

  • Backer
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 176
    • View Profile
Re: v1.4 Battle Tides - Battle System Enhancement
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2016, 06:40:56 AM »
I'd have to agree that the special dice will be weaker now... but frankly, I'm fine with that.  Yeah, it'd be nice to take your hand cannons into a fight, sure that if you roll swords then the opponent will be damaged.  But at the same time, most heroes - note that *most* - are not unstoppable juggernauts.

Easy example for you.  You've got those hand cannons and, oh, six fight.  On average you'd expect to get a sword each battle, so let's just say that's what you've rolled.  For the sake of this example, your other equipment gives you two swords and a shield.  Now let's take two swords, a piercing strike and two more miscellaneous damage-dealing rolls and see how they work in two situations.

First situation: Amber is running around with a single set shield and four dice.  Most likely your equipment will impact all the blocking she can do, and your piercing die is wasted.  On the other hand, that's still three damage. Amber is hurting, or dead if she was already injured, after that single attack.

Second situation:  Brun's gotten lucky, he's wearing a lionheart breastplate and a tower shield.  With six dice to roll, he's also almost certain to get another shield die.  This means that unless you get that piercing strike dead last, it will go through a shield... injuring that tank that you really needed the piercing damage on.

You don't get to easily massacre the weaklings, but if you're in a serious fight piercing will still be helpful.  Similarly, if there's an armor being added that gives a reflect die upon rolling a shield, it will probably only help you against an opponent who's really swinging at you.  You will still have to weigh extra set results against the usefulness of getting a special in earlier... but hey, isn't strategy supposed to be part of the game?

faxwang

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: v1.4 Battle Tides - Battle System Enhancement
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2016, 08:03:25 AM »
Can't wait to try it out. Keep up the hard work!!!
Love your game!!

Blake Mizzi

  • League of Geeks | Director
  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 103
    • View Profile
Re: v1.4 Battle Tides - Battle System Enhancement
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2016, 08:58:58 AM »
Much of what Vryl has said about the new Battle System is true, sure in many cases now your reflect or pierce dice don't seem to do much,  maybe your poison attack lands after the killing blow, but in those cases you're winning the fight without the use of the special dice - Special dice now are game changers against the hard tough and heavy swingers. A character now who has a low chance to take out their opponent in battle might be able to deal enough to get in a poison attack and weaken a Brun or Barnaby. Thane can still easily slice through a heavily armoured target, etc...

We are intending on bring new equipment Item cards that lean into the new system and some of those will feature in the V1.4 update - like Poison Dagger above. Also Posion Dagger above is a very useful card, sure you gain a Rot for equipping it, but now if you're not corrupt it's a perfect tool to usefully burn away your Rot cards in battles.

The new system makes more and more sense the more you play it, it does make cards like Battle Axe more useful again, and there is a balance shift in the game with the new system in play. There is truth that it nerfs some cards and effects but it also opens up more possibilities and plays.

Of course we want to hear your feedback as you play and bend your brain around the system, I'm sure you all know that we HIGHLY value your comments and suggestions, some of the best additions to the game have come from you, the community. I will ask that we give the new system a good thrashing and pressure test it with the new gear AND new heroes rolling out, my bet is the new battle system is a solid keeper but we're not going keep something that is worse if it proves that way.

Thanks everyone!

Biologist

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 318
    • View Profile
Re: v1.4 Battle Tides - Battle System Enhancement
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2016, 09:28:40 AM »
Thanks for staying on top of the feedback! I'm sure these changes will work out in the long run, it's just going to take some time to adjust to things being different. Meanwhile, I know I'm glad you're all working to ensure Armello continues to be entertaining and engaging.
Pet peeves: Apes are not monkeys, jellyfish are not fish, and tomatoes are not vegetables!

Kletian999

  • Backer
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 2505
    • View Profile
Re: v1.4 Battle Tides - Battle System Enhancement
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2016, 10:48:00 AM »
3. Without negative priority, Static or Burned poison dice will almost never land.  The cases where you opponent doesn't have many shields will probably be the cases they die without poison.

Negative priority does exist though

1) Your earlier equipment is slotted in first, so if you had a Shining steel sword in place 1 and (Supposing it existed) a card that gave 2 piercing fight in slot 2, you would get 1 normal attack then 2 piercing as number 2 and 3 in the attack row

if the opponent had a card that gave reflect in slot 1 then it would reflect back to you and then you would pierce their first 2 defence afterwards

2)You just burn other cards before you use the rot card to activate the poison, then you are changing the place that the poison will take place, therefore allowing you to potentially dodge the opponents shields and get the hit in, as was said in other posts even just using it to counter reflect is also viable, has more variety in it than some are giving credit for currently I feel

The system give more opportunity to fake out the opponent and encourages bigger hand sizes to allow for more flexibility

That's actually the biggest problem I feel, it is yet another mechanic that encourages the use of the wits amulet over most others, as the most commonly seen amulet in play (from my experience at least) I feel that something should be done to make others a bit better as wits of best for a lot of strategies in the game, that might be a discussion for another time though

1. There's no gear that gives static piercing, even in 1.4.  Only dice based piercing.  Unless you "don't want" to nullify their reflection, you always want piercing dice to be first, but you CAN'T.  Only Thane can burn for piercing. 

2.  That's a lot of burns to make poison work correctly.  It shouldn't become even more so or low wits characters lose viability.

@Vyrl; At this time, there is no roll based Reflection effect, only Static or burning. 

I'm not "trying to massacre weaklings", I'm trying to make sure equipping expensive and rare gear provides a better result than common and cheap gear.   Too often interesting gear is too suboptimal next to common static gear, it's a newb trap and makes high end play boring.  Weakening Piercing (and making reflection and poison weak at the start) is just going to further this problem.


Vryl

  • Backer
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 176
    • View Profile
Re: v1.4 Battle Tides - Battle System Enhancement
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2016, 11:55:38 AM »
@Vyrl; At this time, there is no roll based Reflection effect, only Static or burning. 

I'm not "trying to massacre weaklings", I'm trying to make sure equipping expensive and rare gear provides a better result than common and cheap gear.   Too often interesting gear is too suboptimal next to common static gear, it's a newb trap and makes high end play boring.  Weakening Piercing (and making reflection and poison weak at the start) is just going to further this problem.

I don't agree.  Piercing will still be perfectly valid in hard fights.  This balance change does very little to effect battles in which both players have half a dozen shields, and while you may want to focus on your inability to guarantee a pierce negating a reflection, I'm sure other players will be happy that they won't throw a pierce away just to avoid getting a regular attack against them.  I'm also sure that there are going to be people who are glad their reflections aren't automatically negated to avoid piercing attacks.

Is this different?  Yes.  Is piercing worse off than it was before?  Arguably yes, especially against those weak opponents you say you aren't trying to massacre.  Is the combat system as a whole worse for the change?  I doubt that, and I for one am glad that I won't have my bad games turn into hopeless ones as I face opponents with better fight, gear *and* piercing to ensure that whatever shields I do get are wasted.

Kletian999

  • Backer
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 2505
    • View Profile
Re: v1.4 Battle Tides - Battle System Enhancement
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2016, 01:25:36 PM »
There are 3 kinds of opponents.
1. The ones you can't scratch without piercing.
2. The ones you can damage, but not a lot.  Hard to kill and harder to push out of the palace unless you outdefense them.
3. The ones that can be damaged easily.

Piercing was never intended for type 3, if they roll no shields it already did nothing.  Piercing is needed for types 1 and 2.  Type 1 might be unaffected by this change, but piercing gear needs to also be valuable for type 2. because type 1 is rare outside of barnaby players.  If 1 piercing dice causes you to do 2 damage instead of 1, then it was No Better than the common steel sword (worse because all piercing items are subject to a natural roll).  And now this new dice rule would take that scenario and potentially still make you only deal 1 damage if piercing was your last hit.

Reflection is going to be rarer than Piercing since it's only caused by Magna and 1 Treasure, instead of at least 1 item, Thane, and a Treasure.  Losing Piercing to negate a Reflection is still a net positive unless the battle was a type 1 vs type 1, because it's like getting a free shield for yourself (numerically superior to 1 sword).  Subsequently, a Reflection player will usually prefer to negate a pierce, because 1 shield is more valuable than 1 hit.

Your last comment confuses me, piercing is a tool of the underdog to defeat the juggernaut.  No one dominating the game would wield piercing weapons when they already have 6+ fight dice, unless there was another super strong opponent.  A bad game is not going to be worse if piercing is good; but gear orthodoxy WILL get worse with this change.