Portgas D. Ace
The Friendly Battle feature during Team War Prep Phase is a splendid feature, but unfortunately it also revealed some very shocking and at times heart-breaking truth about the AI.
Can you guys do some fine tuning on certain monsters? Because as it stands these are performing at a very disappointing level.
Before I go into specific examples, I noticed that for example Timerion's first move is mostly Space Time, but at times it does use Looped Damage. While certain monster's starting move is always the same, like Thetys with her Stamina Devourers. Which means that having a monster have variation in their first move is possible, while also having a set move is possible as well.
Certain monsters that can utilize 2 types of denial will really benefit from a random 50/50 split so the opponent cannot plan for their attack. For example Al Canine should randomly do Unpaid Loan & Vendetta, so the attacker cannot just bring a stun immune team to exploit the AI.
Certain monsters that really has only 1 decent move to start like Talika, who is a stunner and everyone knows it, has no problem starting with Ricinus Seeds. As if you bring a stun immune team to counter her, that is very fair.
The ones that I find currently not performing well on defense are the following:
Timerion - currently starts with Space Time like 90+% of the time really hinders his performance. Consider CD activated at 50% chance, Space Time 25%, Looped Damage 25% (if at all possible, or some kind of variation between the 3).
Nishant's Bodyguard - currently starting with Niff, when Turbulence is likely the most practical move to start her rotation with. (Gakora is doing it right, with Lord of Beginnings, why can't she?)
Flamerion (and probably other reset CD monsters) - keeps doing Cooldown Self Reset, making this monster unplayable on defense if you want to utilize that move. His priority setting should be one of the damaging moves like Max Damage or Fire Hack.
Necromancer - keeps doing the self extra turn move Vaporo Corporis if spec with this move, making him also laughable on defense.
Baba Yaga - currently starts with Forest Kidnapper, but ideally should be 50/50 with Yaga's Curse so you can't just bring possess immune monsters to take advantage.
There are probably many more examples others can list, but I think you get the point I am trying to make.
Portgas D. Ace
Thanks for you courteous and thoughtful reply.
I agree it will definitely change the way the game will be played, it is also important to be ever cautious that not all changes are good (look at their last iteration on the 72 hr challenge for a recent example). As I see it, the defense AI is already very vulnerable as it is, it really doesn't need another factor to make it perform even more poorly. The game will be a one-sided one to see who screws up less on offense.
Just wanted to at least express my concerns, so if this turns into a disaster at the very least I know I tried.
Last bit of warning @Carlos if you happen to be around: we will go with whatever iteration you guys feel comfortable to put out, just don't nerf Elvira after you attract people to make the purchase, all in the glorious name of "balancing".
If you feel Xiron is the OP "big brother" that protects his team with denials so the other 2 can carry out their strategy, then Elvira is the "big sister" that protects little Xiron so he can do his job. That is not a minor power creep in any shape or form.
Portgas D. Ace
Is not often I am privy to strategy suggestions from an esteemed veteran such as yourself, so while I have your attention in this subject, allow me to also just ask a few more questions:
Now, let's place Elvira on that defence team, wearing team speed. So, still a 5 or 6 team speed Xiron - but starting with Evasion (note, Elvira here has made Xiron more effective, not obsolete).
In your example, Elvira is the one that should be given credit, as she is effectively acting as the primary denier, even before Xiron, as Xiron is being protected by her. In a sense, your team now has 2 deniers going first, and your team is more effective (not Xiron being more effective), as it now can achieve 2 different layers of denial (evasion + whatever you feel complements your team makeup) with no sacrifice in speed. Xiron was feared as it is able to put a stop to many things as the primary denier as its speed is extremely fast and has strong denial skills. Yet, you don't feel something at lvl 100 (heck even lvl 4 if you don't face pestilence traps) and can be practically runeless is able to set up an effect even before a 130 Xiron goes doesn't make it much less dominant? (I agree obsolete is too strong a word) In Xiron's slot in your example, I could very well put Kihaku and it will achieve a similar effect. That doesn't make Xiron's importance diminish you feel? Not to mention, against certain teams that is not able to remove positive effects, I don't even need 130 deniers anymore in that team makeup, I can run 115s or 110s even and probably get away with it. I bet in certain war rules, I can wipe a whole war team of level 130s with just a low Elvira and something like Prince Charmless at 115. How many monsters you know can do what Elvira can do in her current proposed design, or even come close? None. Her effect maybe subtle to some, but make no mistake, this will be a huge power surge again in our game.
No doubt there are any number of ways to tackle the problem. I like Gortak/Sweeperion - Samael/Ingenica/Valgar/Demise/any of the many monsters that can clear positive effects from the enemy team - and a denier, with 7 or 8 team speed and 1 or 2 strength runes on the Clearer and the Denier (I like Hydratila for this).
So, defence Ruby goes first. Then attack Gortak/Sweep clears negative effects on its team, the attack Clearer goes next removing Evasion, then the attack denier does its thing.
In your example, don't forget, only monsters who cannot be denied will work at going first. And that short list being Gortak and Sweeperion. The other monsters on your list Samael, Ingenica, Valgar, Demise, heck I will even add the others for you, like Baba Yaga, Kihaku, Llum, has a good chance of getting stopped by Xiron or whatever denier is going first in Elvira's team. "In time" everyone will have high ranked Gortaks you propose.....what do we do meanwhile? Well I will give you the simple answer, is to pay the 900ish gems to buy Elvira and duke it out that way. My point is not that Elvira cannot be countered or she is guaranteed to win, but I am just against a change that has detrimental effect to diversity and what monsters I can use and not feel gimped.
Now, Elvira on attack: again, she makes her denier more, not less, powerful. Not at all obsolete. But current meta looks to outspeed on attack. With Elvira, the attack team can run slower and with more strength, knowing the denier can go second or even slower.
Ok maybe I didn't express my point well, so allow me to explain. She does not make the denier on her team obsolete. She makes the enemy defense denier obsolete. Again the presence of her is too imbalanced.
Lets say you need to set a war defense, and I assume Elvira is in Winged so lets use this example: Winged, Water, Fire, so you can use all your favorites that you mentioned like Hydratila, Ingenica, Samael etc. You pick a defense that will stand up to the following without running Elvira:
130 Kihaku (full speed), 100 Elvira (3 TS), 130 Shallinar (1 Str, 2 TS). This is nothing fancy, many F2P players can achieve this, don't even need 1670 elementium to make any nemesis. Remember this enemy is giving you a 30 level handicap, and we are purposely picking rules that have many monsters to remove positive effects as well. If you are having trouble or have to use very stringent conditions to DEFEND against it, I hope you will understand what I am trying to express that it will make defense a joke in wars. Furthermore, if you have to bend over backwards to ward this team off, I bet your defense performance will not stand either against other team makeups in war.
Again to be clear, I will still play the game with her released as is, and I will be FORCED to run her. I love the game as much as you do (or nearly as much), and I just don't like this direction it is leading to.
Even if they want to keep it as an AOE, seriously evasion is way over doing it. If you want her to be powerful and be anti-denial, make it 1 turn Fearlessness (Gakora's skill), while allowing damage, CD activate, Stamina removal, daze, time stop etc to go thru. We can't all run Gorthak all the time just to counter her presence.
Portgas D. Ace
I am not as pessimistic. It is true that Elvira will have a significant impact on the speed denial game. But I am not convinced that is a bad thing. The full speed meta was getting a little ho hum and anything that expands the range of options is good IMO. Elvira's one turn opening evasion does not make all those denial monsters useless. It makes their effective deployment different, that's all. It requires rethinking the meta.
That in turn makes them vulnerable to a defence Samael inevitably opening with Pain Scourge or Ingenica with My Favorite Trait, or Valgar with Light of Punishment, or Hydratila with Unblessed Area etc etc. The following defence denial monster in that case can go second rather than first in the turn order, and be as devastating as ever.
Base on the scenario you presented, this is probably what will happen:
Appropriate denier (Ranked 5, 3 Speed), Appropriate hitter, (Max ranked, 2 TS, 1 Str), Elvira (level 100, 3 Team Speed)
Enemy Defense Team (not using Elvira)
If you do not outspeed their denier, you have to either pray for resist, or it miss you, or you have to build an entire team immune to that denial. I would say the advantage is not to you.
If you want to try to outspeed it, well you can't effectively do that either. Ok lets say you do 3 Speed max Rank Samael or Ingenica supported by similar 5 Team speed, and their denier is not Zimnyaya and you happen to go before their denier. You can't extra turn for the win, so you do Pestilence. Ok you are back to their denier going again, back in control but you have some damage over time running on their team. The scenario where you strip the evasion then deny is not possible to happen.
For non-Elvira teams, it doesn't matter if you have rank 5 Zimnyaya, Kihaku, Timerion, Jasastur, Xiron....basically your effort to rank all this time is going to get trashed by her.
For your other proposition: load a lot of effective life and try to ride out the storm. Sure, if you have a lot of max Diamond shields lying around, and every rule with Elvira in it you have enough monsters that can equip 3 or 4 and go turtle, all the power to you. I am just thinking is this a feasible thing to ask the majority of the player base? I am guessing no.
Remember, the above is happening when Elvira is only at Rank 0. While its opposition has to struggle with more rank involvement while still at a disadvantage. When a monster forces its opposition to have to use VERY stringent team composition and strategy, to even have a chance, I would deem that as imbalanced. I am going to dare assume 80%+ of the player base do not have the means to tackle Elvira without using her. Is not hard to get her at Rank 0, even if you just buy during happy hour is about 920 gem cost, much less than even a Rank 3 rank up offer.
Now, the MAIN problem is going to be, since running non-Elvira team doesn't quite work, you want to compete against it, you have to do one of the following:
Use her yourself, which for the sake of diversity is not a good thing. Do you want to see every war rule that she is allowed to just fight her, and almost every PVP team running her? Sure you might find some novelty at first, I am sure most of you will find it a bore eventually. (hence I mentioned the Thetys Voltaik era)
Or assume there is more in SP's plan, which is another WM will soon come and make Elvira's mechanic useless (so pigeonhole everyone to buy Elvira and the said counter).
For the sake of constructive criticism, I propose the following:
Every mechanic should have its Achilles' heel so to speak, so that it is not universally effective, and players can mount counters to it. Evasion is no different. Your recent changes so that it evades CD activate and stamina removal contributed greatly to the imbalance that will be with Elvira. I understands it is probably done to achieve better sales with her, but seriously, even without it, she is plenty powerful. Consider reverting that change so even with evasion, CD activate will still take effect.
Consider lowering her evasion area of effect, either to just limit to herself, or if you want interesting, make it she will cast evasion on a random monster on team.
Portgas D. Ace
I strongly urge you to reconsider the current design of Elvira's trait. I also find it too imbalanced, especially now that you guys buffed evasion to avoid CD activate & stamina removal as well. Here are the reasons:
Any monsters that the player base worked hard to rank, that does not have an ability to remove positive effect (I am going to say that is over 90% of all monsters) will be set at a very disadvantaged position against a team that has Elvira, even if Elvira is Level 100 and has no runes. Like Rank 5 Jasasturs, Timerions, Hackster, Thetys, Xiron, Voltaik, Zyla, etc, is going to be a long list. Making players feel like their hard work in ranking their precious monsters completely useless and a complete waste of time leads to significant dissatisfaction to your game and not an uncommon reason for people to quit playing.
Your AI design is already very suboptimal, with Elvira's trait in play, basically any defense team, whose monsters are not designed to use remove positive effect as their opening move, will likely gets easily bypassed by teamed running Elvira. For example Kihaku can remove positive effects, but he will probably always do Kuzushi. End result you already know. All you guys who enjoy war, get ready to enjoy seeing your defense easily bypassed by anyone with an Elvira, running over your Lvl 130 deniers with X runes.
Any team trying to take down an Elvira defense team will be forced to run a monster that remove positive effect, to even have a chance to touch Elvira's team. Getting rid of the evasion doesn't mean you stopped Elvira team's denier, so you have to have another denier too. And to add more problems, your remove positive effect monster has to be faster than your denier otherwise it won't work. That makes it way difficult to take down. Anytime you introduce a monster that pigeonholes the player base to use it or be gimped, you should already know it is a bad decision in terms of balance for the game. I remember you said that era when everyone used Thetys and Voltaik as something you were not fond of. Well here is just another version of that.
Seriously think this one over, this trait is OP beyond belief, and it should be obvious as day. A runeless monster at lvl 100 has more success than a lvl 130 Gakora equipped with full speed runes attempting (not necessarily successful) to go first. If that don't sound wrong to you, I pretty much lost faith in the design team.
Portgas D. Ace
@Portgas-D.-Ace well im no tech and certainly not someone in charge of updates,
but isnt there some button/switch you can push or turn on to not do an automatic update and when is a good moment to do update/maintenance or even to announce it. When its good for you its probably not good for me. I know when there is a major update then there is a role out, SP often announces them...
Oh consider yourself lucky, if you haven't been in those final maze discount hour where the game keeps resetting and you lose maze coins if you happen to be moving, because of whatever they are doing in the back end. There was one where they wasted so much of the hour, I didn't have time to even make all my moves.
Disabling automatic update does not save you from these, just so you know.
It doesn't matter if it is a good time for you or me, when these unavoidable resets happen. Even if I don't happen to play at the moment it happens, I wouldn't want my team mate, friends, or other players to have to go thru such frustration.
It helps everyone if we know when it is planned to occur so players don't try to battle during these times.
Portgas D. Ace
Someone please relay this message to the nice folks in charge of updates:
Please try to not update the game, run maintenance, or other shenanigans during the last hour of the maze. Many players are trying to use their coins during this discounted time. You have done it several times now and it has been a very unpleasant experience, to the point that I feel something needs to be said.
Also, have you guys ever considered doing announced server maintenance/update so is more systematic for everyone? As a player, it sucks to be winning in a war battle or PVP, only to be greeted with a message "Surprise!! Something went wrong, please restart the game" or just plain crashing due to unannounced game updates or maintenance.
Portgas D. Ace
@Ekto-Gamat This is likely due to Fatid's Resurrection skills using a positive effect for them to work, and this means Artifact monsters can't be revived due to them being immune to all status effects.
There is definitely a logic to Fatid not being able to revive something that wasn't 'alive' in the first place. But then it should:
a) Work the same for the other resurrecting monsters. I.e.: make 'resurrection' a positive status effect in general, not just when Fatid uses it.
b) Not apply a reaper countdown on my still dead/broken artifacts either. ;)
I suspect the different damage boosts in the resurrection skill is the positive effect that is stopping the skill from working.
The code is probably written to "apply damage boost AND resurrect AND apply reaper countdown". If any does not happen, the skill fails.
If the condition can be written to apply the 3 effects independent of each other it should solve the issue. (my crude guess)
Edit: There is an official ruling that Fatid is not allowed to resurrect Artifacts. Source:
Portgas D. Ace
yes LoA and Laomu
Galante is already required in Laomu's breeding, so I didn't fault them for that. For being a couple, SP really frowns upon a combination of Galante + Violet in any breeding event. And Galante + Jr., well is just wrong.
Was hoping to get a little better chance at elementals for ranking Kihaku :(