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Author Topic: Bringing all mages on par!  (Read 271995 times)

DarthDadaD20

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2014, 07:24:15 AM »
No- its not creep. Creep is when new cards are so powerful it makes old sets obsolete. (Essentially)

And I am a big proponent for "Bleeding the color wheel" for mage wars, I always have been.  Its not even really bleeding in mage wars for most effects.
Where does my greatest enemy lie?
It has been around since the dawn of time,
it follows your loved ones as well as mine,
takes the form of a mountain as well as a flower,
it cannot be outrun by the greatest of power.
Where does my greatest enemy lie?
Within Shad0w.

webcatcher

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2014, 07:29:11 AM »
Creating other-school alternates to teleport is a great idea and I endorse it. In that case we're just creating options that are on parity with existing cards but which are easier for other mages to access. And creating cards to specifically counter currently strong builds is not, in itself, a bad move. The reason I remain cautious is that there's a thin line between a new card that helps Mage X beat Mage Y because it counters one of Mage Y's high-power cards and a new card that helps Mage X beat Mage Y because it increases Mage X's overall power level. In my opinion a good example of this is the Iron Golem. The Forcemaster was coming out and she had tons of board control and psychic enchantments, so they released an unmovable psychic immune creature to combat her. A good move in theory, but the creature also has high armor, a good swift attack, and plenty of health, and it's only disadvantage is that it's slow (barely a disadvantage in an era of teleport dominance). Had the Iron Golem come with a 4 dice attack and 7 health, I'd think it was a nice situational counter to Forcemaster cheese. As it is, it's a very strong creature in its own right in addition to completely negating the FM's advantages. Consequently, it was (and maybe still is) one of the dominant creatures in the game and will arguably grant an auto-win to a competent player against certain builds. That's the sort of thing I think we need to avoid, and balancing conjurations and enchantments is probably even more difficult than balancing creatures.

jacksmack

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2014, 07:30:31 AM »
Various thoughts on my mind:

1)
I do not see a problem with divine intervention when using it to teleport enemy mages into a pit trap with creatures or escaping your own mage or just moving a creature.

However, I agree one on of Deckbuilders point from another thread:
Spells fail if the target or caster is teleported - this is related to DI and Enchantment transfusion.
Imo the spell / attack should only fail if the target and cast is out of range of each other.
If the caster is casting a creature spell and the caster gets teleported, he then targets the zone he is teleported into - and the creature will be summoned there.

Enchantment transfusion simply becomes too strong if you can waste an enemys action and mana so easily.
This is imo not transfusions trademark. Rather its banking up actions while out of range and unleashing simoultaniously. Or transfering that vampirism, bearstrength and rhino hide from a dying grizzly - this seems like tranfusion to me.
Definately Not out of control very cheap Counterspell.

2)
Teleport Incantation:
When targetting an enemy creature, it can only be teleported up to 1 zone away.

(leaving the teleport trap as it is.)

3)
Some sort of crossbow for Johktari.
Ranged Full attack 1-2 zones. 4 dice with X push chance.
As a quick action the mage may pay 1 mana to put a load counter on the crossbow.
If there is a load counter on crossbow the attack is a Quick ranged attack with range 0-2 zones.
When this weapon is used to attack remove any load tokens.

4)
Nerf the wizard. He will never be balanced otherwise.
War, nature and opposite elemental school should costs 3 spellpoints per level.
(Opposite = fire and water    &   Air and earth).
It will still be easy to make very strong viable builds with him.
Now he just has to somewhat specialize when deck building like all other mages has to.

DeckBuilder

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2014, 08:05:50 AM »
@Darth
You are referencing cards they don't know, mate. Dangers of early morning posts...

Subject Point 2: Immunity

For example, in D&D if a creature is immune to fire it takes extra damage from cold and vice versa. If having immune creatures created as many bad matchups for yourself as it created for your opponents, it would balance itself out. Currently the only drawback to being Non-Living is Finite Life. If we tack on extra drawbacks to the Psychic Immune and Poison Immune traits we could turn things around.

This is a great idea and I've already gone down this route already but ended up rejecting it: I'll explain why...

We already has special Immunity rules with Hydro and its exception rule so best make it official in the Codex?
Rules tweak: every Immunity has its own entry in the Codex which are supplemental to base Immunity rules.

Hydro Immunity. Because it is always twinned with Flame +2, its exception is for Hydro to douse all burn on it.

Poison Immunity. A trait of Nonliving but not always (Malacoda) so associated with Light vulnerability. Acid vulnerability is an obvious choice but Jelly has Acid Immunity and Acid is niche while Golem has Lightning vulnerability. I think I'd just like each poison condition rolled become "change 2 normal damage to critical damage" as this compensates but to a lesser extent. Any better ideas?

Psychic Immunity. A trait associated with Nonliving (but not if an Elemental) and Insects. This hurts Mind School so I think maybe "push effects are applied twice against these creatures"? Mind Mages will have both Psychic and Force and know that if one doesn't work, the other works alot better. This is annoying as Psychic attacks are quite often Sonic damage really. Is improving Push against them too engineered?

Flame Immunity. Well it has to be Frost +2 doesn't it? (So no vullnerability really but heigh ho, we live in hope)

Burnproof. This is a sub-benefit of Flame Immunity, Incorporeal and a few objects (e.g. Golem). Maybe make them more ponderous so worse affected by Daze, Escape, Defense so "gets -2 on all d12 rolls except damage rolls"?

Acid Immunity. I think Hydro+3 is the obvious counter vulnerability for Water trained mages. Hydro washes away the Jelly. Has it got it already?

Lightning Immunity. Again following the same principle, Wind +2 for the Air trained mages?

Light Immunity. I hate to nerf her but, lacking Necrotic damage, maybe "attacks gain +2 on effect die roll to deliver poison conditions on this creature"? That's the closest the game has to Necrotic damage really.

One problem is these are all highly engineered for game balances.
In many cases (like Plants or Golems), they have already have an in-built weakness.
The big problem iscreatures have already been costed to include current Immunities without these vulnerabilities.

So, no in the end, after exploring where this leads too, Mage Wars sadly can't go down this route with a rules tweak.

Mage Wars is a game of silver bullets.

I see you play old Temple of Light so I play Samandriel (she appeared in my Fire Wizard book with Lord of Fire then).
I don't have to go down that route but I chose it as a silver bullet.

So the solution has got to be "provide in-school silver bullets to defeat your silver bullets" like those curses listed.
I play rock. You play paper. I need to be abe to play scissors.
This was the essence of Mage duels in Arabian Nights Tales when shapechanging is used (Mouse beats Elephant).

Zuberi, do you understand why applying new vulnerabilities (requiring referencing) may not be the best approach?
As we have a partly developed game already.
Great idea though.

Sorry for going into detail down a promising false path but I had to explain why I ended up with curses (not buffs).

Still, I will put it down as a possible solution...

I am editing my prior thread with solutions as and when they are mentioned and I notice them!
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DeckBuilder

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2014, 08:30:44 AM »
Folks, this involvement is awesome. Thanks for the interest.
Problem is there are so many great ideas coming all at once.
See Message 10 where I have collated everyone's thought so far (and will continue to do so).
Feel free to contribute new ideas as and when you have them please!

However, if you look at Message 10, alot of people have mentioned more choice.
This was my post on this topic of greater choice...

Trying to not re-invent the wheel, I think this Utility school is called Novice

Novice Dispel - range 1
Novice Dissolve - range 0
Novice Teleport - range 1 friendly only
Novice Nullify - optional reveal vs. incant only (not enchants due to dupe, transfusion silver bullet anyway)
Novice Block 1 - optional reveal vs. ranged attack
Novice Block 2 - optional reveal vs. melee attack
Novice Jinx 1 -  optional reveal when casting enchant to full counter

The better versions would be in their schools

The best thing about having a mini-set of utility expansions is it gives CHOICE!
I hate the fact there is so little choice for staples

"But there's no theme in such an expansion" is no doubt the excuse bleated
And there lies the nub: 2 different philosophies
Those who see it as a roleplaying simulation with thematic pre-constructed decks
And those who see it as a blank canvas for customising and micro resource-management
Both philosophies have their strengths and should be respected but there's an imbalance

It's supposed to be a customisable game
There should be choice when choosing composition of staple mechanics

What do the forum think about such an approach?
Or would you prefer specific schools getting alternative solutions?
E.g. old one of mine "Sundering Strike, War Command, next attack dissolves equipment cost up to damage rolled"

Whilst I have in the past gone down the alternative schools path, I'm now leaning more towards weaker Novice.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 08:33:48 AM by DeckBuilder »
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webcatcher

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2014, 08:55:06 AM »
I think having more novice spells would be great. In hindsight I think they should've initially decided that either all mages or no mages were trained in arcane to maintain parity, but since that ship has sailed more novice spells will restore the balance some. I think non mandatory Nullify and block are too powerful, though.  I'd revise them so optional Nullify could only affect level 1 spells and block reduced attack dice by 4. That way books that depend on a big few creatures or spells aren't completely hobbled.

DeckBuilder

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2014, 09:04:33 AM »
I think having more novice spells would be great. In hindsight I think they should've initially decided that either all mages or no mages were trained in arcane to maintain parity, but since that ship has sailed more novice spells will restore the balance some. I think non mandatory Nullify and block are too powerful, though.  I'd revise them so optional Nullify could only affect level 1 spells and block reduced attack dice by 4. That way books that depend on a big few creatures or spells aren't completely hobbled.

Nice, well thought-out and explained feedback. I concur. It was just a rant brain dump at the time. Thank you.

So is more Novice the way forward? But would that homogenise the game too much? Remove what makes schools special?

I think not because it's still in that school, just novice - the full fat version is available for those lucky enough to be trained.
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Zuberi

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2014, 09:29:55 AM »
I agree with you, DeckBuilder, that it is too late to introduce built-in counterbalance to the immunity traits. I was just thinking off the top of my head without giving it too much consideration. You are absolutely right that said ship has sailed.

I like the distinctness of the different schools, but agree that they can, and should, be blurred some. The biggest one I believe is Dispel, but counterspells like nullify, block, and jinx should have altneratives as wells. I think that teleport already has a viable alternative with push effects, and there are some alternatives to dissolve with explode and steal equipment (though they are not as viable and other options might should still be provided). I do not believe that any of these spells need to be altered to be made novice. Not everyone needs to have them at face value, but nobody should have a monopoly on them and nobody should be completely screwed for being weak in their school.

@webcatcher: I think teleport needs to be nerfed rather than handed out like candy. To do so would require multiple cards, a single one would not be enough, which have a new mechanic that prevents or otherwise counteracts teleportation. Having such a mechanic in the game would have the same impact that unmovable has on push effects and bring the two effects on par with one another. That would have the impact of both reducing the power of teleport and creating a viable alternative to teleport in the way of pushes.

@jacksmack: I could see the reasoning behind changing the rules so that forced movement only cancels an action in progress if it moves you out of range, however if you do that then moving a mage to a new zone should still counter a creature spell. You select your target during Step 1: Cast Spell. If afterwards you are then moved outside of the range of that target, you shouldn't be allowed to backpedal back to Step 1. The spell should simply be countered. I apologize if that means your rule change does not have the intended effect, but it is coherent.

Wildhorn

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2014, 09:49:49 AM »
I dont know if it is only me, but I think most cheesy stuff come from Enchantment Transfusion being able to transfuse facedown enchantment. These enchantment that you normally have to set up just before needed to not waste them suddently become counters on demand. I think this card should be errated or add in the rules that enchantment with mandatory reveal cant be transfused/moved. It would reduce the power of the wizard by the sameway.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 09:51:42 AM by Wildhorn »

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2014, 10:02:07 AM »
Zuberi, let's use push as an example since there are obvious  similarities to teleport. Eagleclaw boots are a great counter to push and I'm glad they exist. Iron golem is a bad counter because it negates push, also negates the other major advantage of the mage most likely to use pushes, and would be a good creature even without push negation. The task with Teleport is to release multiple cards of Eagleclaw boots power level without straying into Iron Golem territory. I think it's a fine idea,  but let's be careful.

sIKE

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2014, 10:27:49 AM »
I think that the main thing that is out of balance is that no matter what spells we add they only have a 2x cost for the Wizard. I already have seen we can't do anything that helps the Wizard with new spells. The problem is any new will help the Wizard unless they are Mage or School Only cards. This doesn't sound very appetizing to me.

So the first thing that needs to be done, is an errata on the Wizard, and some re-working of the Minor Schools so that the some of the Elements are in opposition to each other. Thus a Fire Wizard can't cheaply stack in 6 Dissolves for 12 Spell Points instead it is now 18.

Wizards Tower - No comment yet

The other major? issue seems to be non-living, though as far as I can tell the Druid is stronger than the Necromancer. That then leaves the non-living non-dark twins of destruction Jelly and Golem to be the focus here. Lightning, Acid, and Piercing are IG weaknesses, so more piercing will help here greatly or as others have said more dmg dice. As for the Jelly, in the movie (its Origin Story) it doesn't like Cold.....

I think I have covered most of this, the other suggestion is to create a combat effect that affects both living and non-living. I suggested sever as a mechanic (a successful roll convert normal dmg into critical dmg (the anti-veterans belt). I am sure someone can come up with something else or something better
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DeckBuilder

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2014, 11:04:47 AM »
I dont know if it is only me, but I think most cheesy stuff come from Enchantment Transfusion being able to transfuse facedown enchantment. These enchantment that you normally have to set up just before needed to not waste them suddently become counters on demand. I think this card should be errated or add in the rules that enchantment with mandatory reveal cant be transfused/moved. It would reduce the power of the wizard by the sameway.

Transfusion Cheese. I'm horribly biased here as I'm a control freak (you'd never guess...).
I think the card is fine as it is because of...

However, let's not forget these facts: using Enchantment Transfusion means you have additionally paid...
+1 spell point (assuming Wizard)
+1-2 to cast it
+1 mana per enchantment moved (Arcane Ring discount on Nullify)
most importantly, +1 quick action

It's fine to spenad all those extra resources above on a timed Nullify (often too pressured as Tarkin said)
That's a fair price to pay surely?

This is where both me and jacksmack have an issue

Quote
Enchantment Transfusion says "target" so it should target, not bypass Nullify.
Bypassing Nullify, we get double Nullify situations and make Transfusion free action guaranteed delivery.
We also make Transfusion mean "counter any spell targeting an enchantment on this creature".
Is "Counter" what "Transfusion" means? I never realised this when I last donated at the Blood Bank.

There is nothing intuitive about moving is a counter unless you move target so it's out of range.
What should happen is if I move an enchantment out of range of your Dispel, then it is countered.
Not just because I moved it from my mage to the creature I just summoned next to it or even you.

A creature spell targets the mage's current zone.
A mage is moved while summoning - why does it not simply target the new current zone?
Why MAKE UP a rule that seems grossly counter-intuitive - and knowingly keep it quiet for so long?

Enchantment Transfusion used to be "counter by moving to itself" in the prior FAQ.
But now it has its own rules and it has to be to another target, even in the same zone.
What is the intuitiveness of the first rule or even the second rule? Why does it counter?
The target is still in range and still has line of sight and line of effect (D&D 4E term). Why counter?

Zuberi (Judge Dredd) points out that it's in the rules, the laws are coherent.
But the rules were written for Divine Intervention, not Transfusion.
All it takes is a rules tweak that nobody (except Zuberi of course) would even notice!

By all means counter the spell if in its new location it's now an illegal target
So Dispel and Seeking Dispel has a range of 2, move it so it's out of range or out of LOS
As for Divine Intervention when I summoned Adramelech/Sardonyx, I summoned it in MY zone
That's what range 0-0 means: MY zone, wherever I am! Move me and I summon it there instead!
How much more intuitive can you get than that?

It's an awful rule and the cheese of it ("I can still target it so why is Dispel countered?") is why Transfusion is hated!

Enchantment Transfusion single handedly creates Combo (action burst) in a game of pick your cards (iawesome).
You pay a premium so it's best done in multiples but can be done for optional Nullify style effects at a steep price).
Change the stupid unintuitive rule about moving, not the spell which is great (may not be to your taste, Wildhorn).
Don't throw the baby with the bathwater!

[Returns to calm, unbiased Facilitator mode]

Wildhorn, you make an interesting point about Transfusion which does indeed deserve hate for its "cheese".
I am unsure if totally nerfing is necesary as a fair price has been paid but i do agree its "move to counter" is cheesy.
Despite my strong views on this, your viewpoint is just as valid so I will make a note of it Message 10 of this thread.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 11:11:02 AM by DeckBuilder »
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Zuberi

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2014, 11:39:46 AM »
Hehe, +1 cool points for the Judge Dredd reference. However, I am not supporting the counter via movement rule strictly because it IS a rule. I support it because
A: It makes sense to me.
B: I do not believe it is over powered.

Quote from: DeckBuilder
I am unsure if totally nerfing is necesary as a fair price has been paid but i do agree its "move to counter" is cheesy.

This is my sentiment exactly regarding both Divine Intervention and Enchantment Transfusion. I agree they are powerful, quote "cheesy", but I believe a fair price has been paid on both of them.

Quote from: DeckBuilder
That's what range 0-0 means: MY zone, wherever I am! Move me and I summon it there instead!

I'm afraid that that is not what it means. It means you pick a zone within range of your feet. If you then get moved to a different location, the zone you picked is no longer within range of your feet. Perhaps summoning a creature involves drawing a circle on the ground and you have now been moved away from that circle. However you want to justify it thematically is up to you, but mechanically what range 0-0 means is you pick a target within your zone during Step 1: Cast Spell. Once you move past that step, you can not change your target and if you move out of range of that target it becomes illegal and the spell is countered. If you allow them to change their target after the move for creature summons, there's absolutely no justification for why they can't change their target on any other spell. Meaning you're changing the rule so that movement doesn't counter anything. And I find that unintuitive.

Quote from: DeckBuilder
Move me and I summon it there instead!

This logic would then be open for any spell to use. "I'll just cast it there instead."

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2014, 11:43:17 AM »
I think I have covered most of this, the other suggestion is to create a combat effect that affects both living and non-living. I suggested sever as a mechanic (a successful roll convert normal dmg into critical dmg (the anti-veterans belt). I am sure someone can come up with something else or something better

Your idea to giove Jokhtari some bite against Nonliving was an excellent idea, sIKE. I hope they will use it soon.

I don't think an errata on the Wizard is an option. There must be other ways to nerf him.
My feeling is that they should make him into an Archivist, enevr to receive another Wizard Only or Arcane Only card.
Over time, this lack of "real goodies" compared to other mages will compensate for his generalist 2 schools training.
In addition, if there were lots of weaker Novice versions of Arcane staples, his training there will become devalued.
That would surely be the way to weaken his advantage and give more choice (in staples) when building your book.

I will note your comments in the Message 10 Summary.
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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2014, 12:19:56 PM »
Wow many great posts so far!
I am afraid though that we need to better focus or otherwise we will have a couple of subdiscussions in here soon which will make it difficult to follow this thread as a whole. Therefore I would suggest to not go too much into detail when talking about spells like Teleport and Transfusion.

IMO one of the first questions we need to answer is the following:
Do we think its possible to balance the Wizard without changing his stat cards? And if its possible, are we sure that the side effects dont breed new and bigger imbalances?
Or do we think changing the Wizards Stats (e.g. triple cost for some schools) is the way to go?

I tend towards changing his stats. I know its a hard decision to change a printed card, but I believe its for the healthiness of the game. If we dont change the Wizards stats and try to solve the problem with adding new cards, im afraid at some point he will become too dominant again, since he will always profit the most from an increasing card pool in general.
To me it seems like every mage should have one triple cost school at least and if he is trained in two schools he should have two triple cost schools.

@Adding more novice spells and more spells that mimic Dissolve/Dispel:
Im not too sure about this. Adding new spells to remove enchants/equip might have VERY big side effects - especially if they are novice. Anyway what keeps the Wizard from using them as well? When I play the Wizard I often go to the limit for Dispel and Dissolve and add 2-4 Seeking Dispel and maybe an Explode on top of that! I dont think there should be more level one or even novice spells that remove enchants/equip or otherwise they will be devalued alot. Who would play a level two out of school enchant/equip if he can almost be sure the opponent has enough spells to remove it?
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 12:26:34 PM by Charmyna »