Ranged and Blast mechanics need to be reworked


#1

Not in the mood to write an essay so I will keep this short and sweet.

The Ranged and Blast mechanics need to be reworked because the effect of being able to target any enemy on the board and not taking counterattack damage is too powerful. A single Ranged/Blast minion unchecked can completely decide the game. Besides directly removing (destroying/silencing/transforming/…) that minion there is no counterplay through movement or positioning and it is very rarely possible to come back onto the board without dealing with that minion first.

To prevent Ranged/Blast minions from dominating the game these keywords are budgeted at a high cost and consequently the bodies of those minions are very weak compared to vanilla minions. Since these minions are too strong and would dominate the game they are stat’ed in a way that makes removal easy. Additionally safeguards like Crossbones exist to make sure Ranged/Blast minions will never be anything more than niche. One could say they are setup to fail because having them succeed would essentially ruin the game because they invalidate the game’s biggest selling point which is the board mechanic.

Consequently Ranged/Blast minions are hardly used outside of the Songhai faction in Constructed. Most of the time they are immediately removed and in the rare cases they are not they are very oppressive and able to decide/swing games. Most of the time they do not work and if they do they work too well. That is a very binary answer-or-die scenario and since the question whether the opponent has removal or not is mostly dependent on luck this pretty much turns the outcome of the game into a coin flip. Gauntlet is not my concern in this thread.

So with the goal of making Ranged/Blast minions viable outside of the Songhai faction and make the game generally better I think it would be good to rework the Ranged/Blast mechanic and make it weaker in order to be able to stat these minions better and having them actually survive and do something. So make Ranged/Blast minions work more often but in the tradeoff be less powerful if they work. This would also open up design space for better and fun additions.

So here are my suggestions for how to lessen the power of the Ranged/Blast mechanics while improving the gameplay and making them more interesting and fun:

  • Ranged minions: Range is limited to 3 tiles.

This way Ranged minions would still be able to attack enemies without taking counterattack damage (green tiles) but if this target is not killed it will put them into movement and attack range of the target in the opponent’s next turn so the Ranged minion has to be protected by blocking the path. This way we can have actual positional warfare with blockers in the front protecting the ranged behind them and so on.

  • Blast minions: Do only half the damage (rounded down) if they have moved the turn.

This way Blast minions become a powerful area denial tool (fitting the Vetruvian theme) by limiting the opponent’s movement and summoning option while still retaining flexibility to move and attack but with a less devastating effect.


Positioning: What If Some Spells Had A Range?
#2

I pretty much agree with you, but people.Often timed shut me down cause they believe that the understated trade off for ranged minions is enough to justify it. However, I think it swings games too much to be justifiable. Also I think making blast minions have a blast range of maybe 4/5 tiles is okay too, instead of the damage redux, but I’m fine with either tbh.


#3

I aggree with the thought but i dont think 3 tiles is suitable for how understatted ranged minions are you would essentially be making them non existsnt in the game. 5 tiles atleast is alot more suitable. Also the damage reduction of a half is impractical just because odd numbers exist. I think that reducing the damage by 1 for each tiles travelled by the blast is more suitable. Such as a starfire scarab 4/6 would damage 4 tiles in a row and deal 4,3,2,1 points of damage respectively.


#4

That is another interesting alternative for tuning down the power of Blast which I really like.

The idea is that the reduction in power of the effect would justify an increase in the base stats especially life which would make the body more sturdy in order to decrease the likelihood of it getting immediately removed. So if CPG decided to go that route all current Ranged/Blast minions would have their stats adjusted.


#5

imo, ranged should have a limit. blast should not. this is because you’re already restricted to moving to the same lane as a minion, which, if you play vet a lot, you know this can be a lot harder than it sounds. it’s also a faction specific keyword so it’s ok if it’s a little stronger. personally, i have no problems with blast. if i lose to a blast minion it’s generally because i got outplayed and not because i couldn’t find an answer and lost because of it, which happens with ranged threats a lot


#6

yep, but vets always get the blame when it becomes too strong but it’s okay if every other faction has completely uninteractive playstyles and just run around with it while vets are stuck with this mess.


#7

My point was not that the current Blast minions were too strong, but that making the effect weaker would allow for the stats to be buffed to make sure that the minions actually survives into your next turn. In my opinion buffing the stats without changing the effect would make them too oppressive.


#8

Blast is in a somewhat decent place. It has playable minions, the 5 cost is pretty strong (4/6 blast vs 4/9 golem). The positioning is restrictive and it is countered by ranged.

Many people have voiced complaints about Ranged, but the response was always that this is just how Ranged is in Duelyst, it has advantages and disadvantages with aids and counters on a small board. It’s currently preferencea simplicity, but it would be cool to try out a limited range mechanic to see how that performs. We could have both limited and unlimited range mechanics.


#9

I just love how people insist on putting the word “need” in their thread titles. Like they are one hundred percent absolutely without a doubt positive their suggestion is in fact he best thing for the game and it needs to be implemented.

Okay, let’s see how you elaborate on that. Also Blast minions can’t target any minion and can be played around but lets let that slide for now.

True. But, strong minions in general when left unchecked can often win the game by itself. Be that something like 4WM, Shadowdancer, Kelaino ie types of minions you also play behind like ranged minions or something which you might play more aggressively like Vindicator.

Besides, you don’t nerf mechanics based on something that “can” happen. Unless the mechanic is blatantly limiting the game design (which Ranged/Blast) aren’t, then you can’t possibly use this reasoning. I “can” leave the house and randomly stab half a dozen of people, but no one can touch me unless it’s established for a fact how I am to be considered a thread.

So you list all these ways that can counter ranged minions, and then you list a single way in which you can’t and you use that as an argument to why they’re a problem? I don’t know how to react to that.

But enemy playing a ranged or blast minion usually means they are sacrificing lots of tempo in hopes to regain it back and more later if the minion survives. That’s the entire idea behind it. So why is this a problem?

Anyway, I’m not convinced with your arguments nor with your non-elegant solutions to the “issue” at hand. Could it be possible how we simply play the game in different tiers and as such perceive it’s balance in different ways? The whole thing reminds me of this thread really:


#10

Comparing my post to the thread you linked shows me that you have not understood the point I tried to make. I thought about it but I cannot think if any way to express myself any clearer than I already did so I can only suggest you try to read it again.


#11

You really want to make Vetruvian weaker? Seriously?
I kind of understand you, you want positioning to be more relavent, I get it but do you want it because those mechanics are too powerful? Because they aren’t.


#12

In one sentence: I want to lower both the risk and the reward of Ranged/Blast minions while making them more interesting/challenging by making positioning matter more.

Vet needs a complete overhaul and Blast minions are only a small part of that equation.


#13

Positioning vs ranged minions does actually matter. Especially when placed in corners (which most people like to do for some reason) its rather easy to cut their path with a bulky minion, only exception is Jax and MDS.


#14

You are technically correct - the best kind of correct. That earned you a smiley sticker on your report card. I also have modified my above post accordingly. Stay vigilant.


#15

Where have you seen that blast is good atm? Heck even remotely played? Blast way too often forces you into awkward positionning just to get vale out of it and the blast creatures are either terribly weak (hi pyromancer dying to bloodtear and losing tempo in the process) or way too slow to even provide the difference (hi scarab or useless grandmaster).
Please Vetruvian has no more ranged removal, don’t ask for the disapperance of one of our only way to deal with them…
If Vetruvian was good… Then maybe… nonono… Siphon Energy man…


#16

Not in the mood to write an essay so I will keep this short and sweet.

The Ranged and Blast mechanics need to be kept the same because the effect of being able to target any enemy on the board and not taking counterattack damage is a nice alternative to always being in each other’s face, enticing people to use positioning and the whole area of the board.


#17

With the changes I have proposed one could still attack enemies without taking counterattack damage. One just has to be a bit smarter about it. And with these changes positioning would actually matter more. Also I cannot see the games getting too cramped in one area of the board. The 3 tiles attack range I have proposed gives Ranged minions actually quite some reach when also taking into account their movement. It just means that they will have to move more and that the movement matters more instead of them just running of to the far edge of the board.


#18

As others have said here I think Blast is fine as it is right now; a range limitation would make sense conceptually, but within the game it’s already plenty balanced.

I agree on Range though and believe the keyword should be qualified on a minion-by-minion basis. I.e. a Heartseeker would have like Range 2 (following OP’s diagram), Widowmaker might have Range 4 (to make it competitive vs Sworn Avenger who could have Range 3) and the more expensive the minion the stronger its Ranged ability could be. Could also be a sane way to balance out Ki Beholder vs Widowmaker. Rogue Warden might top out at Range All or Range 8 or whatever else comes out well in testing.

The point is: a shit-flinging bonobo furry shouldn’t be able to reach as far as a military paragon with a frickin’ longbow, both from a game play and conceptual perspective. Imo.


#19

Don’t know man,
looks like you suggest to nerf blast for no reason, “it can win games if not answered” what next, obelisks win games if unanswered too, i don’t see nerf threads about them (i’ll stop here, but as you can guess, there’s more, like azurite lions and onix phanters, or kelainos, i’ll stop now, abyssian’s juggernought).

As for ranged, my 2 cents as a vetruvian player, hug the enemy general (and hug HER good). The end.

But for sake of the thread: as you can easily try by yourself (hoping you already tried playing ranged minions, you did that before posting, and you know they are op, am i right?) Ranged minions are not brainless things you pop everywere you want on board and they work regardless of their position (like kelaino, stops why don’t you put your efforts on kelaino, for god sake she is everywere, just kidding). So position IS THE STAPLE of ranged minions.
Anyway i like the range limit on ranged minions, just i don’t remember a play where it would have make the difference.

but i don’t know nothing, as every time i pop a pyromancer the enemy surrends.


#20

I don’t really agree that Ranged and Blast should be changed, but I think a lot of people are misunderstanding what OP is trying to say…

Taking Ranged as an example, If I got it right, the problem is not only that the effect is powerful and can win you the game, but also that people don’t really play Ranged minions because they are really unreliable. Exactly because they are balanced around their strong effect, they’re disgustingly easy to remove and invalidate, leaving the player with nothing or a very weak body for its cost. Because of that, they end up not seeing much play, especially when they’re higher in the curve. The only ‘big’ Ranged minions that sometimes see play are Jax, Mechaz0r and Grailmaster. What OP proposes is to weaken their effect so that their body can be stronger and they can be less of a tempo loss when they don’t pay out and less game changing when they do…

Now, personally, I think Ranged is in a good spot (not sure about Gauntlet) and the problem is more specific of certain cards like Rogue Warden, Widowmaker and Fire Spitter, which are simply bad. Sworn Avenger, Jaxi and Ki Beholder, on the other hand, are example of Ranged minons that are just fine cards all around. It’s true that Ranged units can spiral out of control when you don’t have ways to answer them properly, but that also applies to A LOT of other cards in Duelyst… And it’s not like the opponent can keep vomiting pesky 1/1 ranged minions forever, amirite?