Duelyst Forums

Need some Duelers opinions

I’m actually a game developer. My goal is to make a Duelyst-like game but with some differences.

-There is a TLDR at the end for lazy people-

Actually, I said Duelyst-like but the common point will be turn-based board game where you have the possibility to create your own unique playstyle.
The biggest difference will be that the focus will be placed on Generals, not minions. In my opinion, minions are the main factor of the boring aspect of Duelyst, it’s pretty much “remove or die” every turn until you can’t remove any more, then you lose. Of course, I’m exaggerating a lot and Duelyst isn’t entirely like that, but anyway it’s not the topic I want to talk about.

I already made an online game before so I’m pretty confident I can do it.
I put a lot of thoughts into it and shaped a rough outline of what it might be :

  • Turn-based board game focused on Generals, not minions (there will still be minions though). You’ll be able to play 1v1, 2v2 and maybe even more.

  • No cards. No decks. (No RNG!) So how you customize your playstyle? The game has classes. Each class has 5 active skills and 3 passive ones, but you can actually choose for your 4th/5th active skill and 3rd passive skill between 2 skills. In other words, your loadout should be: (Skill 1, Skill 2, Skill 3, Skill 4 A or B, Skill 5 C or D, Passive Skill 1, Passive Skill 2, Passive Skill 3 E or F). So you have a bit of personalization on each class with the skills (that’s already 8 different loadout possibilities). But well, that’s far from enough, so let me introduce you to the next part…

  • Artifacts. You may equip a certain number (2-3, still not sure) of artifacts, who are a bit like passive skills. They give stat boosts and the best ones may even have special effects. For instance, you could equip an artifact that gives you a minion fighting alongside you at the start of the game but takes a bit of your maximum hp. Artifacts will be created only by players and will be tradeable, and the more artifacts you create the better you will be at creating them (on top of that, your name will be displayed on all the artifacts you made so you can be a famous craftsman).

  • The game has three goals: The first one is to unlock all classes, the second one have the best artifacts possible (there is no upper limit) and to be as good as possible at crafting (still no upper limit).

The sharpest minds may have noticed a few issues with this:

  1. If there are no cards, it means no draw, so no RNG, so each game might be the same, with using skill A on turn 1 then skill C on turn 2 and so on…

  2. Since there are no minions, how will the board aspect of the game be interesting? Won’t it be just face-punching all the time?


  1. That’s true but I’ll try to make each game different simply by making lots of possibilities for classes/artifacts…

  2. That’s where I’m counting on you, fellow dooly players. I have a few ideas to make each class interesting to play and to make positioning matters. But I need some more, and as the saying goes just found it on the internet “Teamwork is essential. It allows you to blame someone else.” So I need you to design classes. No need to go in detail with stats, skills, and everything. Just the general outline of the playstyle it should have and why it would be interesting to play. You can do anything you want, there are no limitations.

In short, I would love you to design a class and it’s playstyle for a turn-based board game. Please explain the core features of the class and why it would be interesting to play. It can be… anything, there are no limitations on what could be made.


Sounds like a cool idea. Especially the fact that players make all of the artifacts. But I feel like there are a few major flaws in it as well.

I cannot see a 1v1 mode working for this game. Even 2v2 might be too much of “whichever team has the best artifacts and a modicum of intelligence wins.” Now, maybe if it were 4 players, all pitted against each other Duelyst, Battle Royale at last!, that could be interesting. Betrayal is always fun.

It won’t, unless every class can summon minions… or if there are obstacles of some sort on the field. Perhaps different maps with set obstacles like walls on them in different formations to begin with?

Before I design a class, I would like to know two things: what will the art style of this game be, and what is the theme (is it a Duelyst-like “everything goes” theme, or just futuristic, or just medieval?).

I’m confused. Do players enter contests and you implement the winning artifacts, or is there some way in-game to create artifacts? If it is the latter, that is a terrible idea. All of the artifacts will be boring combinations of set abilities, and if you get better at making them, some of them will be unbalanced. Also, do you mean Steam trading? If so, your game will go down in flames like Artifact.


I was more thinking about pvp as a bonus: you play it to have fun with friends, not to gain anything in the game. The main mode would be 2 players teaming against NPCs (who will have some sort of intelligence). But FFA is for sure a great idea!

Well I indeed plan to make several different maps with hazards, for instance, a dark and narrow street with trash blocking the ways, and the maps will likely have some kind of hazards / interactive stuff (for example, some walls could be destroyed, a bridge could be destroyed, or you could make a pillar fall to block a path or deal damage to enemies).

On top of that, I think the board aspect can be interesting anyway, here’s an example of abilities that could make the board interesting:

  • Targeting a tile, and next turn a lightning bolt will fall on it
  • Putting smoke on a few tiles, and you don’t see characters in the smoke, however, attacks may disperse the smoke
  • The ability to place down traps
  • Knockbacking people, dealing extra damage if there’s an obstacle behind
  • Placing down a decoy

I’m more into everything goes like Duelyst.

Yeah, about artifacts, everyone can make one, anytime. It will just cost some (fake) currency. When crafting artifacts you can choose the effects you want, and the choice pool increases when you get better at crafting. On top of that, there will be some subtleties when crafting so even crafting is not just mindless button smashing and is somewhat interesting in itself. Also no steam trading, just in-game trading. I’ll do something like: power of the artifact = log (time spent crafting) which, while it does not cap the maximum power makes it pretty hard to go beyond a certain value, so the artifacts made by the best crafters will be better than others just by a very small difference. Having the very best artifacts will be mostly vanity in a way.


Would it be a story mode of some sort? Progressing through levels? Otherwise I feel like it would be boring to fight dumb AI over and over again (sorry for insulting your AI-programming skills).

Good. That sounds promising.

Hm. Ok, I’ll think about a class.

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Some kind of rogue based class (been playing a lot of roguelikes recently and really like the solo theme). Basically its a combo centered class based on mobility and stacking some buffs in order to get one big turn and deal a bunch of damage. Problems I can see with this is Mantra/8g8s style play where you basically run and stall which doesn’t really use the board and could become solitaire, along with some rage and hate. Could also use a lot of tricks and traps in order to force their opponent into a prime position for a massive combo.

Example Skills

Skill 1: In X number of turns, take another turn. Deal X^2 damage to your general.
(You can choose the number of turns).

Or have it so you can use another skill or something.

Stacks with itself

Skill 2: Move X additional spaces. You lose Y hp and cannot move next turn.

Skill 3: Stun both generals. Deal X damage to both of them next turn.

Skill 4: Attack a nearby enemy. They cannot move until the end of their next turn and all damage they take until then is doubled.

Skill 5: Throw a poisoned dart in a certain range at an enemy for 50% of your attack (rounded up). That enemy takes X amount of damage for Y turns.

Skill A: Restore X health to your general. Take X damage split over the next X turns.

Skill B: The duration of all positive buffs on you are increased by X. The duration of all negative buffs on your opponent are increased by X. (I guess you could also call them debuffs?)

Skill C: Summon a Shadow Clone of your general that takes half of the damage your general takes (rounded up). Shadow Clone has a certain amount of hp but haven’t really put thought into that, and it is destroyed when it loses its hp. Also not sure if you should be able to control it like a minion, or could be like a battle pet.

Skill D: Set a remote controlled robot on an adjacent square. It is not visible to your opponent. When the robot collides with an enemy, deal X damage and stun them. You can control the robot like a minion.

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Three Witches: based on the witches of Macbeth, torment your enemy with spells and potions while using three units to get an advantage on your opponent! While you control three units in total, you may only use one active skill each turn. Numbers are for reference,


Base stats
0/12 (0/4*3)

Base Passive: Sisterhood
Start the battle with three witches with evenly divided health and attack.

Base Passive: Shadowstep
You may exhaust a witch to have another one move an additional time.

Passive A: Eternal Sisterhood
When another witch dies, your remaining witches gain +0/+3

Passive B: Lady Hecate
When all witches dies, Hecate becomes your player character


Stats: 0/7

Passive: Godess of Crossroads
Can move twice in a single turn

Skill: Elder Hex
Give a character at least 2 spaces away -2/-2

Skill: Hounds of Hecate
Summon a 3/3 Hound you can control.

Base skill: Bloodbog potion
Steal 3 life from an enemy in a knight’s step to a witch.

Base skill: Serpent Familiar
Summon a 3/6 Serpent battlepet that targets target enemy in front of a witch. (Active once every 3 turns)

Base skill: Cloak of stars
Take 2 less damage from enemies on the same row as any witch until the end of your next turn.

Skill A: Nettle branch
Give a witch +3 counterattack damage permanently. Your opponents do not know which witch.

Skill B: Simmering Cauldron
Summon a 0/6 Cauldron Structure with: Whenever a friendly minion dies, all witches gain 1 life (active once every other turn)

Skill C: Curse of Amnesia
Gain: “Cannot be damaged by adjacent enemies” until the start of your next turn. Deal 1 damage to an adjacent enemy.

Skill D: Kingsblood Potion
Give a character +2 Base attack, +2 Base movement, and +5 health at the end of your next turn. (Active once every four turns)

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Sounds like a cool idea. A piece of feedback I have is that you should try thinking of ways to make the board matter more. Characters should have skills that increase their mobility and there should be mechanics that benefit players to actually roam the board.

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Fucking stupid mobile keyboard.

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I mean, bears should matter more regardless. Bears are cool.


imo “no-RNG no-deck” could work, and i think RTS games could be useful reference. even more when it feels like you have some MOBA inspiration already.
Things about them that makes strategy work despite having low effort:

  • tech upgrade trees make you stronger, but makes you lean on a certain strategy (or sometimes closing off other strategies entirely)
  • different maps/boards changes where side-objectives are, and where you should be in order to gain positional advantage.
  • Fog of war makes for good breathing room but also provides an unknown-but non-RNG factor in the game

Cant agree with @cloudfrog more. Talents are things that have made many Mmos/mobas have diverse strategies. While there always will be the BEST talent build for each general, certain combinations will be a surprise and will provide a learning curve.

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The problem with no units is that aggro is unplayable. When Aggro is unplayable Combo just destroys Control. Some people may like control only metas but Duelyst’s form of control feels horrible to lose to, always.

People aren’t creating their own cards, they are just picking from a pool of options with the better cards locked behind progression. Terrible design from a consumer perspective.

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Sounds like a turn based 1v1 moba

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Remember that there wont be any cards, so that means that aggro here will be different from aggro in dooly.


Aggro in all games with a board require multiple threats to function.

Sounds awesome! Great concept, I love it.
Btw if you don’t feel like it, you don’t have to make all the skills and everything, just describing the rough outline of the class is enough (I appreciate the effort though !)

True! And I have no idea what form “aggro” styles will actually take, will need to play the game to know…

Anyway, I’ll have some time tomorrow so I hope I’ll be able to make some progress ! I’ll keep you guys up to date!

When do you think you’ll be done with this game?

…Q4, perhaps? :wink:


I would suggest Aggro would be about playing artifacts and skills that would summon tokens.

Maybe a basic skill that is like the poop dervish one.
An artifact that doesn’t do anything immediately but summons a token at the start of every turn after.

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