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Changes to targeted spells

Posted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:07 am
by Murasaki
My group of friends and I have been playing this game for a few days now, and so far we love it. That being said, we have found what we consider to be a balance problem with some of the moves. Sure, this problem could be addressed with a matter of servers banning or nerfing the abilities, but it comes down to a design problem that could be harmful for the game in the long run.

Video demonstration

There are abilities that
  • have a low exp cost
  • Do good-great damage + effects
  • instant
  • Are targetable aka impossible to miss

These skills are:
  • Cluster Headache
  • Flame Shock
  • Frost Shock
  • Living explosion

Imagine a little in the future when the game enters beta or just has more people trying it.
They join a public server and there are some people using this build. Someone walks up to the new player, holds one button to do this combo and the new players die.

When you die in a competitive game, you’re suppose to feel like you lost because the other player was better than you. This combo is frustrating, could steer away new players, requires low skill to execute and just doesn’t seem like it fits the nature of the game.

The solution

We believe it is possible to change the skills in a way that will make them require more skill, have similar effects, but be more rewarding to a team.

Change these abilities to a delayed aoe, similar to Meteor.

*new* Frost Shock
Does frost damage and slows the movement speed of targets in an aoe after x second delay.

*new* Flame Shock
Does fire damage and applies a fire DoT in an aoe after x second delay.

*new* Living explosion
Does fire damage and knocks back targets (relative to the center) in an aoe after x second delay.

*new* Cluster Headache
Makes people confused in an aoe after x second delay.
*confused players do damage to themselves when they use an ability or melee.

We believe the delayed AoE approach would be best as the game has a lot of bolt attacks already.

Thank you for taking the time to read our post. We love Spellheart so far and want to see it shape up into an amazing game.

~Spellheart Scrim Network

Re: Changes to targeted spells

Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:52 am
by spellheart_com
Thank you for your post!
I am very glad to see people starting to play the game more seriously! :D

I saw your video, and it is a real issue for sure, but even if these abilities are altered, other future abilities would be able to get similar effects.

I think the best way to counter these kind of combos are other abilities. If someone takes only offensive abilities, the opponent should have to take something that counters it, like the ability "Protect", "Blinding Flash" or "Fire Protection".

Maybe a new ability can be implemented to counter these kind of issues.
How about a "Silence" ability? That ability would then make the target unable to use abilities for a short period of time, which also makes it harder to dispel compared to "Protect" and "Blinding Flash", as a second player would have to cast it on him.
With "Silence" in mind, a second ability, like "Protect" or "Blinding Flash" would counter these kind of offensive builds easily.

Also, the ability that makes all of these offensive builds possible, "Curse of Weakness", should be nerfed. 50% more damage is quite alot, maybe could be nerfed down to 25-35%?

What do you think? :roll:

Re: Changes to targeted spells

Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:16 am
by Murasaki
No problem! This game has a high skill ceiling and we think it would be best to keep it that way.

When we discuss balancing we do it relative to 3v3. From what play testing we've done 3v3 feels like a comfortable 'balance' for 'competitive'/serious play.

The biggest problem we have with Frost/Flame Shock, Living explosion, and Cluster Headache is that they are targetable Abilities which make them impossible to miss. Which brings me to this:

To be blunt, this game is hard. It has over 80 abilities in Alpha which is amazing, and I think this is a great thing. If you, as the developer and designer, want the game to be easier than targetable abilities are fine. We believe the game would be better with as little targetable abilities as possible. We would rather have them turned into more difficult to land, but more rewarding, skills instead of, "aim and click to do damage".

And funny that you mention Silence, we were discussing a Silence ability as well!

And yah, Curse of Weakness is pretty strong. Its another one of those targetables, but its requires followup to be useful, so its not to bad in that regard.

Re: Changes to targeted spells

Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 6:01 pm
by spellheart_com
You are right, the game is supposed to be based on pure skill and not to just aim and click to kill.

I have altered the abilities a bit. Only one ability now offers that kind of behaviour of click to inflict major damage, which is Living Explosion, though I have altered the damage on it to a maximum of 20 instead of 25.
Also, the ability Curse of Weakness has been rebalanced to 30%, 50% was a bit too much.

These are the changes to the other click to damage abilities to counter this, and they can be quite interesting for other purposes as well:
Frost Shock - Deals 5 frost damage to the target. For 3 seconds, the movement speed of the target is slowed by 35% and the attack speed of the target is slowed by 25%.
Flame Shock - Deals 5 fire damage to the target and 6 fire damage over 3 seconds. Physical damage against the target is increased by 10% for 3 seconds.

I also added the ability "Silence" that I was writing about before.

These changes are all added in the new patch that I just released.

I think these changes might fix this imbalanced combo, let me know otherwise! :D

Re: Changes to targeted spells

Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:12 pm
by Murasaki
Sorry for possible typos in this post I'm on my phone.

These skills fit a lot better in their new form.

I'm excited to try out silence!

Off topic:

We'll be making a post about abilities soon. Just a heads up!

Thanks for the interaction you have with us. We really appreciate the effort you're putting in!

Re: Changes to targeted spells

Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:56 pm
by spellheart_com
With the latest patch, the ability Hide might also counter this build, as it now also removes all detrimental effects (like Cluster Headache or the DoT from Flame Shock).
Also, now as a cast range per ability has been implemented, this build requires the user to be closer because Cluster Headache and Curse of Weakness now have shorter cast range.

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