First off, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Colexiel and I have been playing this game for six seasons, currently on my seventh. I main Vetruvian and am a faithful to the Imperium as a whole. With that out of the way, let’s get right to the theory!
Foreword: So we all know, or at least believe why the devs nerfed cards like Scion’s Third Wish, Portal Guardian, Pyromancer (Blast no longer counterattacks ranged minions) , Starfire Scarab, Star’s Fury, Scion’s Second Wish and Zirix’s Blood Born Spell “Wind Shroud”. Simply put, they were either considered too powerful, enough people complained, or simply broken. Instead I am going to take the chance to make this theory as to why these minions and spells got weaker over the course of Duelyst and where the Hell the minions and spells introduced in Shim’zar were.
(Spoilers… I guess)
The Decline of The Vetruvian Imperium: So as anyone who has read/listened to the lore in the codex should know, the Mana Cores used in the Player vs Player matches play a giant ass role in the lore of Mythron, where Duelyst takes place, mostly because they are used to make EVERYTHING work. Mana Cores, at least from what I gather, are essentially crafted from the crystals that come from the Eyos Tree or ones that are dug up and are used to make golems come to life, cast spells, summon minions, basically everything. Now then with that in mind, it is also explained in the lore that these crystals and by extension the cores are NOT exactly a renewable resource outside of the Eyos Tree spitting more out, but that is considered somewhat of a rare ass event. So what happened?
The answer is that the Vetruvian Imperium over exerted itself.
If anyone reading this or playing the game thought that the Blood Born Tournaments were the only places the six factions got together to beat each other to the brink of death then you are wrong. See it’s honestly reasonable to assume that there are some, if not many, armed conflicts between the six factions and various other neutral parties through out Mythron. Hell there have been wars before (ie the Vetruvian Wars). Don’t believe me, go an read the lore on Aerial Rift. It states that the Lyonar Kingdoms have had quite a few excursions into Serpenti Territory. Anyways, this proves that there are, or at least have been many conflicts outside of the tournaments we all know and love to beat each other to death in. What this means is that the Vetruvians had begun to overuse their Mana Core reserves a bit too much and were fighting too many fights, or to put it simply, they were punching a brick wall for about three days straight without any rest. Now everyone reading this is probably wondering, “Ok, what the Hell do you mean by this?” To which I will now answer by addressing all of the nerfs and giving a reason that is well reasonable lore wise.
First up we will do the easy ones, the nerfs on Blast and the Starfire Scarab.
So anyone remember when blast could counterattack ranged attacks, I sure don’t, not going to stop me from explaining it though. Well as everyone should know by now, the Vetruvian are not completely robotic, so sorry guys they aren’t the super bad ass sand robots we knew and love, instead they are super bad ass sand CYBORGS. See when a Vetruvian citizen reaches adulthood they go through a ritual that essentially fuses them with their Sand Shield, the armor you see Vetruvians wear, turning them into cyborgs. You can of course read the process on the lore located with the Siphon Energy Card in the Vetruvian Collection only 40 spirit so go craft it and give it a read. So what this means is that the Pyromancers, Vetruvian’s kind of weak two drop, are half human half Sand Shield cyborgs that have been TRAINED in the art of using Blast Magic, at least that’s what I am going to call it. So what this means is that the current Pyromancers we see in Duelyst right now are an entirely different generation of Pyromancers than the ones from ages ago (ie when Blast would counterattack ranged minions). See the reason behind the Blast Nerf is because the Vetruvian Imperium had been using the Pyromancers as a form of Shock Trooper alongside the Orb Weavers to fight it’s many conflicts outside of the Blood Born Tournaments. This meant that with every battle it is safe to assume that scores of Pyromancers had died. So in response and in order to not run out of steam the Imperium decided to shorten the time a Pyromancer would spend in what I like to call their version of Boot Camp. This meant that newer Pyromancers would’ve been trained in the basics in Blast Magic (ie shooting all of the things in a straight line) and not the more dexterous skill of shooting back at an enemy ranged minion. So now that we have the Pyromancer’s excuse to not being able to shoot the Hell back at ranged minions, what’s the deal with the Starfire Scarab and Wildfire Ankh? Well let’s talk about the Scarab first. As we all know the Scarab used to be a proud five drop, boasting beautiful stats with four in its attack and a giant seven in health as well as the keyword Blast. Sadly CP nerfed the Scarab’s health a little after one card draw was introduced as well as Blast Minions being able to counterattack ranged minions. Well in order to actually say why the Scarab got nerfed lore wise, I’ed have to present two theories inside this already giant sized theory. So the first one, and one that I personally believe, is that Starfire Scarabs are manufactured machines of war, with the only purpose serving as the Vetruvian Imperium’s front line TANK OF BAD ASS, and heavy fire support. And since it’s obvious that the Scarab is not piloted nor remote controlled it is safe to assume that it has some form of an AI and targeting system, so not to shoot the shit out of allied forces. So same thing with the Pyromancer is that in all of the conflicts the Imperium got involved with outside and in the Blood Born Tournaments the supply of Scarabs had begun to fall faster than a three ton boulder dropped off a cliff. So to compensate the Imperium’s factories had to produce more and more Scarabs at a quicker rate to replace the losses from battle. This meant that the Scarab’s hull would be slightly weaker as less resources had to be put into it so that more could be produced. As for the inability of not being able to shoot those damned Widow Makers in their smug faces after they throw their stupid pebbles at my awesome Scarab, easy, because of the mass production of the Scarabs as to compensate for losses the Mechanysts of the Imperium essentially cut corners on the thing’s AI not programming in the code that would tell the Vetruvian’s Bad Ass Tank to shoot back at ranged minions. It’s basically a Sherman vs Tiger kind of deal with the current iteration of Scarabs being the mass produced American Sherman and the older Scarabs being the basically hand crafted German Tigers, though I use hand crafted loosely as I know that both were assembled on an assembly line. AND YES I know that the Blast Nerf came before the Scarab’s health nerf and so to explain, the Mechanysts began to cut corners on the AI first THEN put less effort into the Scarab’s hull as to compensate for losses. Now for the second theory. Starfire Scarabs are indeed actually organic beings trained and bred for combat in the Vetruvian Imperium. As such they typically spend time at where ever the Hell they are bred and trained for some time before being shipped off to the stars know where for combat. So as the Imperium began to lose steam its leaders began to pressure the Scarab Trainers and Breeders to send more Scarabs out in order to replace losses. This meant that at first the Trainers would raise the Scarabs well into their adulthood and basically train them to just shoot at the enemies of the Imperium, and skip out on the “shoot back” lessons. Eventually the Imperium needed more Scarabs and this meant that the Trainers had to once again shorten the time they had with their Scarabs sending them off EARLY in their adulthood a little before their shells could thicken (ie the health nerf). Now finally the Ankh. So basically the reason behind this is simple, in order for the Ankh to fire a blast, it must use some form of a charge. So the only actual reason behind our Generals not returning fire is to conserve the Ankh’s charges and use them for offensive purposes. Also the reason behind the Ankh’s increase in cost is because they have become more expensive to produce since the Mana Cores used to produce them have been relocated to producing other things.
Next we have the Portal Guardians.
So the reason here for the Portal Guardian’s drop in health can be boiled down to TWO possible reasons. One is that the quality in their armor had dramatically dropped as the need to produce this Sand Shield variant for new recruits to be trained in and sent off to replace the losses to the Vetruvain’s FRONT LINE BAD ASSES. Two is that their armor’s quality is considered average by Vetruvian standards and that to compensate for losses the Portal Guardians had less time to strengthen their endurance and were sent off to fight the good fight, for the Imperium at least, with an average endurance to damage. Of course this could also be chalked up to a mix of the two theories as well.
Now for the spells. I’ll be doing this explanation for all of the spells in one whack.
So the reason lore wise for the nerf of a number of Vetruvian’s spells is due to one of many reasons. My personal favorite is that due to Mana Core Shortages the spells had to be changed as to compensate for the lack of high quality Mana Cores. See I say high quality under the pretense of “Since the cores are essentially crafted from crystals then there would be quality tiers”. So since say Star’s Fury used to cost four Mana Cores to cast, it is safe to assume that due to the shortage of the High Quality Cores that the Low Quality kind were being used to compensate. Because of the fact that the Low Quality Cores do not have as much mana as the High Quality kind, then you would need more Mana Cores to cast Star’s Fury (ie the nerf of four to five in cost). However the opposite goes for spells like Second Wish, Third Wish and Wind Shroud. See the spells themselves are either really complex or really powerful. So to compensate for the Low Quality Cores the spells themselves were rewritten. Second Wish went from “Draw Two Cards” to “Plus Two Attack and CAN’T Be Damaged By Generals” to cut on complexity and Third Wish was essentially rewritten to cut down on power, so it went from “Plus Three Attack to Three Friendly Minions” to “Plus Three Plus Three and Blast” to the Dervish Specific variant as it possibly required two High Quality Core to cast the spell along with a single Low Quality Core and then to “Plus Three Plus Three and Flying” to compensate for the lack of High Quality Cores, this variant also targets Dervishes only as it is possible that it requires less power to give the qualities of the spell to Dervishes. As for Wind Shroud, well the same thing as with Third Wish. The lack of High Quality Cores. See it’s safe to assume that Zirix had a personal stash of VERY High Quality Cores to use for this spell specifically. Though as with all things awesome, it ran out and thus Zirix had to change his own signature spell to summon Iron Dervishes as it would probably cost two of the Low Quality Cores to cast a spell that required one High Quality Core.
So to wrap up this section, the reason behind the nerfs, at least lore wise, is because of the fact that the Vetruvian Imperium was beginning to run low on High Quality Mana Cores and the need to replace dead warriors and destroyed equipment.
Where THE HELL Have These Bad Asses Been?!
So anyone pissed and amazed that Vetruvian’s back on the ladder? I KNOW THAT I AM ALL KINDS OF PUMPED!!!
Anyways, in this section I’ll do my best to explain where the Hell these newcomers from the Shim’zar Expansion come into play. Note this section may or may not be much shorter than the previous.
Ok so where did Falcius, Pax and the awesome monster that is Nimbus go/come from? Well to/from Shim’zar of course! See my assumption here is that Nimbus and his crew, I hear he calls them the crew, were probably sent out by the Imperium on a war march to pillage and gather resources. So WHY THE HELL WERE THEY GONE FOR SO LONG?! Well when looking at the world map Shim’zar is located in Magmar lands, and well I assume the reason for this war party was to pillage resources and possibly investigate rumors of something in the Shim’zar Jungle. So naturally the war party took the long route to Shim’zar by going first through Songhai lands, then through Lyonar lands (both to gather resources) finally reaching the Shim’zar Jungle to investigate whatever the Hell they came for. However one would expect them to pack up and leave right away. Instead it would seem that they stayed for a period of time, can not say why, but my best guess is that it might involve whatever they came to investigate. So after their stay they travel through the Abyssian lands, where Nimbus probably learned how to create the Soulburn Obelysk as he possibly studied Abyssian Death Magic in between marches through the Abyssian Territories. Finally when the Vetruvian Imperium was on the brink of collapse the war party returned with the resources pillaged and with new information.
So in conclusion all of the new spells and abilities of the new minions can be somewhat explained by experiences from the neighboring factions.
So that was my long ass theory for the current state of Vetruvian with regards to the lore. If I missed a Vetruvian nerf or if you have theories of your own, then well you know, reply and stuff.
Thanks for reading this, and I would love to hear feedback on this theory, so don’t be shy to literally rip this theory to pieces.
GLORY TO THE IMPERIUM AND HAIL NIMBUS!
Have a good one guys!