Thursday, October 22, 2020

Volco Rework & Upcoming Balance Changes

Minion Masters!

Volco Rework coming in Version 1.18

We've got a large overhaul to one of our oldest masters, Volco, coming in Version 1.18. Here's a sneak peak at the new Volco:

Basic Attack

Perk 1 - Burn the Bridges
Add the card Burn the Bridges to Volco's deck.

Burn the Bridges
Both bridges get covered in flames, dealing damage to ground Minions.
Mana Cost: 2
Card Type: Spell
Damage: 200
Duration: 5 seconds

(Functionally the same as the current Burn the Bridges, but now costing 2 mana, up from 0)

Perk 2 - Tempers Flaring
Summon an Ember of Flame every 15 seconds on a random bridge. When a friendly Melee Minion picks up the ember, all nearby friendly Melee Minions gain Rage

+50% Attack Damage

Ember of Flame
Pickup Radius: 1
Effect Radius: 8

(Embers spawn on your side of the bridge)

Perk 3 - Tempers Burning
Ember of Flame now gives Berserker's Rage instead

Berserker's Rage
+100% Attack Damage. Also self inflict 10% of attack damage

Developer Comments:

For a while Volco has been directed a lot by his perk 1, pushing him into this Spam Master identity. This was never really the intention, as Volco's identity is supposed to be Aggressive, brutish and very much a fighting Master. The Afterburner perk was supposed to give him a tool to put some pressure on the opponent master, allowing him to be more aggressive. However, it has proven that the effect was far too strong which resulted in him being relegated to simply dominating the bridges (with help from perk 2) and spam killing his opponent from a far - Quite the opposite of what we want Volco to really be.

Veteran users will remember the days before Rage was set to 50% where Volco was all about getting to that 3rd perk and destroying your opponent with superior brawling power. This is the style we are trying to get back to with this rework.

By making the rage dependent on the bridge we are hoping to gear Volco into an aggressive track in which he minions are far stronger in offense, rather than in defense. Adding the 100% Berserkers rage should make his perk 3 quite significant again, however the 10% self damage should help make it slightly more manageable to deal with these highly explosive minions.

Ultimately we're hoping this design will help Volco return to his true Identity, as well as removing a play style that has been very frustrating to play against.

It's been a blast playtesting the new Volco behind the scenes, and we can't wait for him to hit the Live servers next week. Let us know what you think!

Other Balance Changes coming soon!

We've also got a selection of other card balance changes coming in version 1.18;

Healing Fireball
  • Healing is now split among friendly Minions.
    • The spell will try to split healing as evenly as possible, but will not "overheal" units. If there are two minions with 100/200 hp, and 100/400 hp, the first Minion will heal for 100, and the second for 300.
  • Developer Comments
  • Healing Fireball simply provided too much value for its mana cost in push-oriented decks, exponentially becoming more powerful the more units it affected and rendering some spells completely ineffective as a countermeasure, or making trades far too valuable after the fact. Nerfing the numbers of the Spell would simply put it in a state where it's either dominant with how much value it provides or too bad to consider running, so we're opting for a rework to how the healing is applied.

Restless Dead
  • Mana Cost 3 -> 4
  • Developer Comments
  • We wanted to take a moment to explain why this nerf didn't come sooner. We were first made aware of how explosive Restless Dead really was just a few days before the release of Version 1.17, which ended up being dangerously close to the patch deadline and would have more than likely affected the Xbox Certification process, and delayed the patch as a whole. 
  • We weighed our options and decided against hotfixing it so we could try a new mechanic on the PTR that could hopefully be incorporated as a balancing measure in the future, but the results weren't satisfactory. We've shelved that idea for now, and while there are still interesting options for Restless Dead on the table, we're opting to go with this change for now and revisit it later.

Screaming Scrat
  • Mana Cost 2 -> 1
  • Health 100 -> 15
  • Add Barrel Shield (Includes the reduced movement speed effect)
  • Damage 130 -> 30

Zeppelin Bomber
  • Attack Cooldown 3 -> 2
  • Damage 100 -> 70

Empyrean Army
  • Requires 5 Unique (non-Wild Carded) Empyrean Cards in your deck to activate
  • Developer Comments
  • This is a change we've wanted to make for a while, as the intention has always been that a significant portion of your deck needs to meet the Empyrean theme for the effect to activate. The usage of Wild Cards would somewhat defeat this goal, hence the change.
These are just a small selection of changes coming in Version 1.18. As always, let us know what you think!

BadAsAFish80's Minion Masters Tournament 2v2 #11

BadAsAFish has signups for another 2v2 tournament open right now! Signups are closing on the 26th for this Double Elimination multi-day event, so if you're looking for competitive Minion Masters action with a friend, this'll be the tournament for you!

This is a global Minion Masters 2v2, Double Elimination, Best of 3 (Finals are Best of 5), Multi-Day event. The tournament will start on the 28th of September, and you will be given 3 days to play each round at your convenience. Please note that this is a global tournament, open to players of all time zones.

1st: $50.00 ($25 each) + 3 Big Dwarf Packs Each (900 Rubies + 45 Power Tokens)
2nd: $25.00 ($12.50 each) + 2 Big Dwarf Packs Each (600 Rubies + 30 Power Tokens)
3rd: $15.00 ($7.50 each) + 1 Big Dwarf Pack Each (300 Rubies + 15 Power Tokens)
4th: $10.00 ($5.00 each) + 1 Big Dwarf Pack Each (300 Rubies + 15 Power Tokens)
5th - 8th: 1 Dwarf Pack each (1500 Gold + 3 Power Tokens)

Cheers from BetaDwarf!