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Balancing Fighters between Legions and MM

Discussion in 'Balance Discussion' started by Bluejin, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. Bluejin

    Bluejin Member

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    Hello, I just finished catching up on a heated balance discussion on discord between @Jules, @Roshkatul and @Seraphon about Mech still being too strong and how to potentially change it.

    [Quote = "Jules, 20:27, 27.09.2018"]
    It's a difficult problem to solve because Mech's units are all balanced in Mastermind, but Mech is still a bit too strong, which points to the synergy among their 6 units being strong
    and it sucks having to nerf or change units that are balanced/fun/working as intended for 85% of players (Mastermind) when Mech is 5% of players
    totally understand that it's something that needs to be addressed. I'm just saying it's tough. thanks for your ideas in the thread! [/Quote]

    I believe that reducing synergy within a legion may be the wrong approach. I'd rather add more strong synergies to Mastermind instead. Here's my reasoning why :
    If I was only interested in gaining rating right now, I'd probably play Legions, the only reason that keeps me from doing that is the fun aspect of MM. All legions (except maybe Grove, just can't figure out how to make that work personally) are a pretty good roll and are super consistent. And that is fine for me, but seeing as Legions are intended for beginners, at some point on the ladder skilled MM players should outscale Legion players of the same skill, but right now that is not really the case. Adding more synergy between units of different legions would make MM even more interesting while also giving players an incentive to eventually switch to MM since it is overall more rewarding.
    That's also why I was quite unhappy with the Headchef change last patch : Before the patch, it had good synergy with forsaken, but an even stronger synergy in MM with towers like Heaven, Fenix, Whitemanes, Golems etc. After the patch that MM synergy was basically gone while making Headchef even stronger with spam and Gargs/Green Devils, overall reducing Headchef synergy with MM and increasing synergy with Forsaken. Maybe Headchef was too strong in MM, but in my eyes that change was a disaster.
    On the other hand a really good example of MM synergy over Legion synergy would be Ocean templar for me. Good unit in Atlantean, but if combined with Towers like Gargs/Devils/Gates it can become even stronger.

    And here we end up at Mech again and why it it problematic in my eyes : You have a bunch of units that are balanced individually, but have within the legion some of the strongest and cheapest synergies possible. Peewies are probably the best match for Leviathans in the entire game right now, APS is a problem child in his own right in mech since no matter where you shift it's power it will be super strong in mech (flat ad makes Zeus/peewies/Vets massive, shift to %damage or attack speed would make doomsday insane).

    Here some ideas on how to potentially shift synergies :
    • Make Leviathan meele or find some other way to make it able to tank (for instance, make it buff not adjacent units, but 6 units that are two field behind it or something alike). That would make it way more usable in MM with Violets/Buzz/other meele flyers.
    • I think the aps aura is really not suited for Mech. Thematically it's fine but it's too hard to balance, thus I'd consider swapping it with Whitemane aura. Yes, it would be a big change, but I think having whitemane aura in mech / having MPS aura in Grove would still be useful for both Legions while moving aps aura to a legion where it can cause way less damage, and once again it would increase cross-legion synergy since you want Whitemanes on big tanks and aps on fast attacking units as of now.


    Discuss.
     
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  2. Seraphin

    Seraphin Member

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    Well, I don't completely agree. Except Mech, others Legion can be beaten. Mech well played in high elo is just really too strong. If the player does not do a stupid mistake, he can easily win (and also if his mate does not throw too much) even if you have a really strong roll as MM. But, others Legion are not that strong.

    However, I would say at the moment the early game and boss waves are too much dependant and all Legions are really nice balanced and strong for the early game :
    - Element are strong with Fire ele + Rogue ele for early wave, Disciple + Fenix for bosses.
    - Grove are strong since Canopie are really op in early game and bunk is pretty easy to get. For bosses waves, still have ranger/daphne which are the best units for wave 10.
    - Forsake has the best starter at the moment with 5w. Except with a big mistake, impossible to leak before wave 7. Wave 10 is not that easy to hold but since you can spam bone against the boss, it is not that hard to hold. (except when the boss is bugged and focused first berserker/nightlmare)
    - Won't talk about Mech. Everybody knows it now.
    - Atlantean are special (and I still think that's a huge mistake) since it's depend a lot if you go to eggs start or another start. But anyways, too strong early with Deepcoiler + Kinpin (deepcoiler is really strong for wave 10).

    I know Jules you said you didn't want to rework any Mech unit but I still think you don't have the choice...

    So as I showed, all Legions are really good early and it is pretty hard to make them leak if they don't greed too much. They have also all the potential to greed hard workers if they received 2 hard sends 2 waves in a row.

    When you play MM against Legion(s), you so need :
    1- An early game, at least, as strong as Legion
    2- A balance roll to be able to not have a huge weak wave and.
    3- A balance between DPS/tank unit

    This is the absolute necessaries to be able to compete with Legions. Now if you want to have a little advantage, you need, additionnal, to have a roll which gives you the opportunity to greed a lot of workers in early/mid game.

    So yeah, at the moment, if a high elo player just want to climb the ladder, he should just perma pick Legion and not Mastermind.
    I precise, I just talk about high elo players(1700/1800 elo+).
    Contrary to Bluejin, I think it's really tough to balance it in favor of Mastermind without giving it a stupid advantage. However, more you will have Legion, the more it should be hard to have a really good roll (at least equal to a Legion roll). Indeed, you will have more and more units which won't synergize together.

    There are not so much solutions (that I see) unfortunately :
    - Force players after 1600 elo to play only MM in "Normal game" and they can do what they want in "Custom/Casual" game.
    - Increase the income base of MM ==> which is probably the worst solution since it means MM will be probably too strong and it's really artificial.
    - Introduce units which are reserved for MM roll. This can increase some synergy for MM.

    But anyways, you will always get roll condition for the Victory. Last time, I had just one unit as Pierce damage and it was Peewe. I just said gg wp and leave the game before it began since it was too hard to play.
    I don't say the system to draw the roll is not balanced. Just say, you will always have a probability where a team will have a really better roll.

    Concernant Mech, as I proposed a solution which I think is interesting since it adds a new "real" tank in the game who is not natural or fortified def (yeah dunno why they are no Arcane/ligh armor real tank).

    I don't agree with the APS I think it's strong at the moment without being OP.
    Also, will say it again, but remove this egg start please...This is just destroying all the fun and this is a huge gamble about the game. You got full eggs ? Get 80% chance to win. You don't ? Sorry now it's only 40%. (number are just randomly given) .
     
  3. Bluejin

    Bluejin Member

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    You're drunk bro, go home :D

    On a more serious note, I think you missed the point I was trying to make and went directly on a rampage.
    • If you reach a certain level of game knowledge, MM should slightly outperform Legions.
    • Instead of giving MM an innate advantage like bonus income, it would be better to give MM more strong synergies that incentivise players to pick MM over Legions.
    That's what I was trying to bring across.

    That's just wrong, it's even easier to climb with legions in lower elos where you can copy&paste the same build every game and noone knows how to properly send against it. How do you think we ended up with a bunch of boosted dudes on 1.8k and more that have no idea how the game works outside of building their legion?


    Of course it's not easy, else we wouldn't need to discuss balance over and over again and could just let Jules do his thing.
    That's why I proposed to add more synergies to MM. The more strong synergies exist in MM, the more likely you are to get one. These synergies could give MM an edge over Legions if the player knows what he's doing. More synergies like the old bunk butcher that were super strong on certain waves but could still be broken on others.

    Forcing people to play MM once they hit a fixed elo would just be a huge pain. Giving MM more income is exactly the kind of buff I don't want to see, it's such an unfun way to do it. Last solution is also meh since you want people to be able to familiarize themselves with units before they start playing MM.
     
  4. Seraphin

    Seraphin Member

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    Hu ? How you know ? :O
    More seriously, You don't agree with me that Forsaken, Element, Grove and Atlant are not too strong ? Of course they are not bad but not op either.
    Anyways, I think the problem is their "stability" during the early game.

    Interesting point since I miss understand with your first post ;) Now I understand better.

    wanted to talk only about high elo players since I just played at this elo past 9 months. So I don't want to judge medium/low elo statement.

    Yeah sorry should not express it in this way. My bad.

    I don't think this is a solution. If you have some "OP" synergies, it could bring the next situation : "I don't have an OP combo contrary to my opponent. Let's ff I have lost it".

    Problem with Mastermind is you need to have a lot of combo but no OP combos in order to be sure you have strong combos in for each roll you will get. This is not the case at the moment in my opinion. (Not enough "real" tank, some unit too much op early/mid game i.e. Banana or Kingpin).

    Well I don't think you have any solution that you could love then :p That's not possible to have something balance in high elo I think till playing Legion and playing Mastermind is not the same game.
     
  5. Jules

    Jules Developer Staff Member

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    You guys bring up some great points. It's worth noting that whenever Mastermind has very strong synergies, players tend to complain "X combo is OP" or "game is too roll-dependent" and ask for nerfs/changes. Here are some examples of cross-legion synergies that have been complained about:
    • Starcaller + Lord of Death
    • Butcher + Honeyflower
    • Pyro + Bone Warriors
    • Grarl -> Millennium start
    • Head Chef + Banana Haven
    • Ocean Templar + Gargoyle
    I'd like to introduce more Mastermind synergies in addition to changing something about Mech.

    I also agree with you, Seraphon, that wave 20 is too roll-dependent and I'm working on some improvements. That's a separate issue though.

    Thanks for the great discussion and feedback!
     
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  6. Bluejin

    Bluejin Member

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    I don't think they're overly strong, but I don't think they are weaker than your average MM roll either. And if you factor in that you always have the same units and can perfect your placement, I'd call it a pretty good deal.

    Of course you don't want to introduce over the top strong synergies, just ones that are strong. It should be something on the level that you're happy to pick it but don't feel like it's an instant loss if you have to play against it. Of course I don't want stuff like the yolo zeus mps madness we had a few patches ago.
     
  7. Bluejin

    Bluejin Member

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    Well, Millenium was just completely broken when you added the explosive shells for the first time :D
    And I guess the Butcher + Flower was when the spell damage still applied the flat healing, so that was admittedly pretty stupid.
    The rest never seemed overly strong to me and I would have loved to see more such combos. I think you could especially experiment with combos of high cost towers since you are usually limited to get not too many of them, strong low cost tower synergies seem way harder to balance (if we remember Zeus with GreenDevils etc for example).
     
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  8. IggyPopAli

    IggyPopAli Member

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    Simple solution.Remove mastermind.
    Its called Legion TD not Random TD.
    All problems mentioned here are purely mastermind problems.
    Balancing a Legion isnt a problem, balancing all different unit combination is.
    And why the hell are we not allowed to play legions anymore ?
    I want a strategy game not a slot machine...
     
  9. Themryon

    Themryon Member

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    Please stop upping posts of months ago. Make your own thread.
     
  10. Marchombre

    Marchombre Member

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    @IggyPopAli
    Why ?
    Because mastermind is the only thing keeping the game alive.
    Remove MM, and you remove variance, a great deal of fun and almost all competitive aspect of the LTD2.

    And you don't want that.


    EDIT:
    you right, shouldn't have answered @.@