Welcome to your weekly balance update. We’ve been really pleased with the current state of the game and whilst we have quite a few things we still need to get in order before launch we’ve decided to slow the pace a little this week to give the game a bit of time to settle.
In saying that, we still have quite a few exciting changes to run you through! Our highlight this week is a rework of the overkill mechanic whereby we have key-worded it to make all overkill cards consistent and no longer confusing, especially to newer players.
- All cards that give/have overkill have been replaced with the keyword that says ‘overkill’ and overkill means: “When a card with overkill deals damage from an attack, any excess damage is distributed randomly among any enemy characters.“
For existing players this overkill change essentially removes the weirdness that occurred when you attacked a creature with overkill.
It has also removed any inconsistencies where overkill sometimes hit creatures only and sometimes hit characters only.
Unfortunately this has had the side effect of also removing overkill from roar effects – however this is something we may explore in future with different mechanics.
- Shadow Prince changed from “Whenever your opponent draws a card, draw a card.” to “Whenever your opponent plays a spell, draw 2 cards.”
We want to provide more decks with answers to spell heavy decks floating around and we feel that this card may provide Magic decks with an interesting choice in the late game mirror as a way to get card advantage.
- Spelljam Shaman changed from “Whenever you play a Nature card, cast a random Nature spell with targets selected randomly.” to “After your opponent plays a spell, add a random Nature card to your hand.”
Spelljam Shaman’s previous version was an extremely toxic and buggy card that failed several of our balance tests and design guidelines. We’re really happy to redesign this card as we were worried about its randomness for the health of the game.
In our internal testing, this card was particularly devastating and toxic in combination with mana refresh abilities or cheap nature spells. Believe me, there’s nothing more frustrating than your opponent casting a 1 mana Photogenesis. Therefore, we’re hoping that the Spelljam Shaman becomes a solid meta choice against spell heavy decks.
- Ocular Fiend changed from “Roar: Add 3 random runes to your hand, then cast all runes in hand, targets selected randomly.” to “Roar: Add 2 runes to your hand. Give Ocular Fiend +1/+1 and deal 1 damage to a random enemy creature, repeat this for each rune in hand.“
Ocular Fiend is a fantastically fun card (fun fact: it’s our lead game designer’s favourite card!) that we’ve been trying to update it for a while but we unfortunately kept running into extremely pesky bugs. We’ve given it a simpler and less buggy design so that we can get some balance testing in much faster.
- Amplification Machine changed from “Ability: Return target friendly creature to your hand. Reduce its mana cost by 2 this turn.” to “Ability: Add a random creature with a roar to your hand.”
In a very similar set of scenarios to Ocular Fiend, we wanted to get a version in that we could balance test sooner rather than later. Unfortunately the old version was far too buggy and a huge balance risk given the lack of testing.
We’re very excited by the new version as it’s high risk and very high reward. We really want Amplification Machine to showcase the endless possibilities of the Ability mechanic and we feel we’re getting closer to that.
- Annoying Combatant changed from 4 strength to 3 strength.
We have been trying to find the right balance between making Drider of the Depths rewarding enough when compared to Annoying Combatant. We will continue to experiment with both to try and find the right balance to the point where the decision to include or another will become increasingly difficult.
- Golem Excavator changed from “Whenever your opponent draws a card, add a random anim to your hand.” to “Whenever your opponent plays a spell, summon a random anim.”
Golem Excavator has also been reworked to provide Neutral with a stronger answer to spell based decks.
Thanks for reading!