Copied from the subreddit. Some thoughtful discussion and breakdown:
Last week I spent a fair amount of time thinking of mobile. I realized that it’s impossible to try and hook players into the game with all these cards. Options I saw: CPG is insane and will try it anyway. CPG will reboot the game entirely upon mobile release. Or the most logical one, introduce set rotations.
Edit: Oh yeah. There’s one thing about rotations that is inexcusable: There is no “Wild” format that will be supported by Ranked Mode. “Wild? Sure, you can play it with friends! Or in Boss Battles which nobody really cares about and aren’t a competitive format!” If you are going to rotate cards out, in a digital cardgame, then you have the obligation to let us play with them in a matchmade mode. Either that, or refund us for them.
This game doesn’t even have casual format, and no Casual Wild format seems to be forthcoming. That’s… not ok. That’s not ok at all.
Good change, publicity wise. Even though it’s much better for players’ pockets to actually buy the small expansions in the current model, players kept complaining about the cards being uncraftable. I do recommend anyone planning to pick the game up soon to get those orbs.
However, I’m not so pleased with us not getting the chance to retroactively DE cards that were nerfed from these sets for full value. It’d be a nice way to show appreciation to those who purchased those sets and then had cards heavily nerfed before now (say, Meltdown).
Core Set Changes:
So Frostburn is in. This means “Having good AoE (see caveat later on under “Balance changes”)” is now part of their identity, or, “Full suite of removal.”
Sunforge Lancer staying is great. This is the true Healyonar enabler. Excelsious… not so great. Whatever.
Sand Trap is gone! 1 useless Vetruvian spell down, quite a few more to go! (Fountain of Youth is a glaring example).
Neutral cards is a mixture of shitty cards that nobody wanted, which would improve players’ orbs, and cards that have actually been core to many older players’ experience with the game. I’m sad to see Dioltas and Sunsteel Defender leave. They force us to play with Thunderhorn and all the power-creeped 4 drops currently in the game. Then again, they’re now hiding how bad Alter Rexx is compared to the new mech cards by taking it out, as well as most classic Kickstarter Supporter cards. Somewhat of a split with the game’s history in some ways.
Oh yeah, one less card to screw Dervet over.
- Healyonar got a nice addition to Core Set, so it could keep working after Shim’Zar rotates. Seems someone forgot about Cassyva, as all of the actual Creep pay-off is going to rotate out, alongside most ways to actually generate creep. Oops?
So, this is the big one. Let’s go one by one.
Bloodrage Mask - Mana Cost increased from 1 to 2 Mana
This is the change that should’ve happened a year ago. Instead they nerfed a bunch of other cards. This nerf is good and bad. Because BRM was Songhai’s only truly “broken” card. Its Makantor, its Holy Immolation, and after all the other nerfs, it was far from ubiquitous. Will they revert the other cards? Nope. Songhai is now full of synergy-reliant cards that do very little for too much mana without the synergy. They need the synergy to do what other factions just do.
But still, this is the exact change I proposed over a year ago, so ignoring the larger context, good job.
BTW, Songhai is losing its next best-card early 2018, Ki Beholder
Spectral Revenant - Mana Cost increased from 7 to 8 Mana
“But how can you nerf Revenant without nerfing Makantor and Holy Immolation?!” - Give me a break. This sort of deflection plaguing the Duelyst community was such a disgrace. If one card needs to change, deflecting to, “But Y needs to change too!” is not an answer.
Neither is, “But the faction isn’t broken right now!” Taygete used to be the strongest card in the game. That Magmar wasn’t broken even with her in it didn’t make it any better. And it made games far too swingy and reliant on whether the Magmar drew Taygete on curve, and how many of it it drew.
I’ll also repeat what I said of Kelaino before. Revenant is a crutch. It’s holding the faction up. You need to nerf it (and needed to nerf Kelaino) for them to be able to rebuild the faction without its warping influence. Here’s to hoping Songhai gets the same treatment after BRM, MV, and IF nerfs…
Oh yeah, do I think this is the correct Revenant change? No idea, actually. But it needed to be hit somehow.
Aspect of the Ravager - Mana Cost increased from 1 to 2 Mana
Long time overdue. The flexibility of this card and how cheap it was for a “transform” effect were over the line for way too long. Hidden away because of how much removal Vanar has.
Chromatic Cold - Damage reduced from 2 to 1
Should it deal damage at all? This feels like halfway of the Siphon and Shroud nerf. Focus on what the card is supposed to do, and have it do that. Why tack on effects? It’s the right direction though, making it more of a control tool and slightly less “Even more burst for Faie to kill you with. Oh, and still removal when she needs it.”
Frostburn - Mana Cost increased from 5 to 6 Mana
The caveat from above. This is now a fairly priced card. I don’t really have too much to complain about it now. Just get rid of MDG so it’d actually cost 6 mana and we’ll be good
Saberspine Tiger - Mana Cost increased from 3 to 4 Mana
Last and certainly not least. I don’t like this change. This is the Chrysalis Burst nerf to 6 mana. This is the triple-nerf to Meltdown (unlike the Variax nerf+buff). This is CPG not actually dealing with problematic cards’ design, or problematic mechanics, and just trying to… remove them. Now, they didn’t delete Saberspine Tiger entirely, so there’s that, but they almost did. Rush is a problem that leads to more problems later. So… let’s just encourage players to not play with it, until they open another can of worms.
Overall, big changes. But more for the future than immediately. Most cards getting removed were… well, shit. And the rest that were good? Many of them were power-crept anyway. I can see problems to some factions that didn’t get to enjoy the recent glut of 4/5 minions for 4 mana and such (say, Songhai), but it would increase diversity. It’d also make it slightly harder for newer players, who couldn’t rely on some of those mainstay neutral rares and epics (again, Sunsteel Defender and Dioltas in particular).
Most changes were in the right direction. A couple were well meant but missed the mark a bit. And a couple were not to my liking. But hey, a positive trajectory. Then again, Duelyst has often maintained a positive trajectory with its balance changes while going awfully in the wrong direction when it comes to new cards they release… one could hope the game would go in the right direction during design of new cards, rather than try to course-correct after the fact. But still, positives. Take them when they happen.