Suggested Balance Adjustments

This is a thread I’ve wanted to make for a while: a general “balance pass” of my own, looking at various things in the game that could use some attention. I’ll be adding to this thread gradually as I go through the many, many things in the game and making notes and observations on them.

Anyone else is welcome to chip in with their own suggestions, of course!

For the first post, I’ll draw attention to effects that have similar or identical effects.


TRAITS

Ninetails’s Revenge
After this creature is attacked, it gains Attack equal to 20% of the damage received.

Compare to Untamed Vortex’s Expansion trait:
After this creature takes damage, it gains Attack equal to 50% of the damage it took.
Untamed Vortex both has a far easier trigger AND gains more attack from it.

Suggestion: Have Ninetails’s Revenge contribute two stats instead of one, perhaps Intelligence or Speed.


(suggested by JTR)
Valkyrie Priestess’s Illumina
After your creatures are Attacked, they have a 25% chance to gain Shelled. This trait does not stack.

Compare to Phase Paladin’s Shield Aura
After your creatures take damage from an attack or spell, they have a 35% chance to gain Shelled. This trait does not stack.
Phase Paladin’s trait has more triggers and a higher chance to take effect than Valkyrie Priestess’s.

Suggestion: Elevate the chance of Valkyrie Priestess’s trait.

Andolin Seraph’s Break the Cycle
If this creature has Provoked at least one time this battle, a random enemy is sent to the bottom of the Timeline each time it Provokes after that.

Compare to Citadel’s Mind Prison
After this creature Provokes, it sends a random enemy to the bottom of the Timeline.
Andolin Seraph’s trait is more or less the same but with an extra step attached.

Suggestion: Give Break the Cycle a chance to bump an ally to the top of the timeline - if that chance fails, it sends an enemy to the bottom instead as usual.


SPELLS:

Hell Forge and Internal Combustion have the same effect:
Target gains Taunting and Splashing.

Suggestion: Make one of them grant Defensive instead of Taunting, since Defensive is currently not granted by any spells and has few sources in general.

Crystal Spears and Rend have the same effect:
Target takes a moderate amount of damage and is afflicted with Bleeding.

Suggestion: Base Crystal Spears off a portion of the caster’s Defense or perhaps Barrier potency, since Crystal Shield is also defense-based.


PERKS:

Consecrated Ground (Cleric) and Losing Touch (Dreamshade) have an identical effect and are both anointable:
Your creatures are immune to Blighted.

Suggestion: Have one of them either strongly reduce or outright eliminate blight damage while still allowing it to be applied. This would allow for debuff synergies.

Deathrattle (Bloodmage), Never Forgotten (Purgatorian) and Retention (Windrunner) have an identical effect and are all anointable:
Your creatures’ stats are no longer reset after they’re killed.

Overheal (Cleric) and Paradox (Dreamshade) have an identical effect and are both anointable:
Your creatures can trigger healing effects even while they’re at full Health.

Suggestion: Not sure for these two. They are already powerful effects and difficult to really add to or change without risk of making them under or over powered.

Contrition (Inquisitor) and Singe (Sorcerer) have an identical effect and are both anointable:
After an enemy attacks, they have a 4% chance per rank (Max 100%) to be afflicted with Scorned.

Judgment (Inquisitor) and Psychic Scream (Sorcerer) have an identical effect and are both anointable:
After an enemy Casts a spell, they have a 4% chance per rank (Max 100%) to be afflicted with Silenced.

Suggestion: Change one set to stat loss instead of a debuff.

War Machine (Siegemaster) and Unbound (Paladin) have an identical effect and are both anointable:
After your creatures Provoke, they Defend.

Suggestion: Invert one so it’s the other way around.

Phase Paladin and Valkyrie Priestess have Similar effects, Priestess trait being weaker than Phase Paladin’s

Marine Pit Worm - Making ALL creatures RESISTANT to debuffs after 5 turns is just far too useless for something that requires 5 turns to activate.

Maybe making your whole team immune to debuffs would be a better call here or even resistant after 2 turns.

STATUS EFFECTS

Arcane
When an Arcane creature casts a spell, the spell does not consume any Charges. Then, this buff is removed.

As there are now a lot of ways to mitigate charge use or regain charges, Arcane generally seems lackluster outside of very basic starter builds.
Suggestion: Arcane can also be expended to either unseal gems, or cast them even when they’re sealed.
Alternate Suggestion: Casting with Arcane also boosts spell potency significantly.

Blight
Creatures with Blighted cannot be healed and take damage from healing effects equal to 25% of the effect.

Blight’s damage output is well-known for being on the low end at the best of times, which isn’t necessarily too bad given the heal block effect - however, it tends to lack any kind of useful synergy due to how it works.
Suggestion: Give Blight a potency factor similar to Poisoned, Inverted, etc. Instead of a flat 75% damage cut, the potency would dictate how much damage a Blighted creature takes from being healed. This would allow some traits (Shamblers in particular) to establish a stronger synergy with this effect.

Death
At the start of Death’s master’s turn, it has a chance to kill the enemy with the lowest Health. The chance is increased based on how low the enemy’s Health is.

This barely ever seems to go off enough to be worthwhile, especially since other ways of killing are much more effective and quick. It is also useless outside of normal battles where instant death effects are blocked.
Suggestion: Death triggers it’s master’s on-death effects in some way.

Famine
After Famine’s master attacks, it decreases the target’s Maximum Health by an amount equal to 30% of the damage dealt.

In Necromancer teams where Famine generally sees the most use, it doesn’t seem to have much impact on the battle overall.
Suggestion: Allow Famine’s effect to also be triggered when casting a damaging single-target spell.

Resistant to Debuffs

Compared to immunity, Resistant often doesn’t feel worth taking in effects due to it having rather limited effects on debuffs in general. The stunning debuffs it attempts to curtail still take enough of an effect (especially Snare) that it most often feels like Resistant isn’t doing a whole lot.

Suggestion: Resistant creatures have a % chance to avoid debuff application.
Alternate Suggestion: Debuffs on resistant creatures only last 1 turn or are otherwise limited in duration.
Alternate Suggestion: Debuffs on resistant creatures have only half the usual chance to apply their effect, and/or apply at half the usual effectiveness.


PERKS

Even the Odds (Trickster)
At the start of normal battles, you have a 2% chance per rank to instantly kill a random enemy.

This could possibly use an effect outside of normal battles similar to Reaver’s realm perks gaining such a boost.
Suggestion: Chance to set a random enemy’s health to a lower percentage.
Alternate Suggestion: Chance to send a random enemy to the bottom of the timeline.

Prey (Trickster)
When your creatures Attack while the target is afflicted with Disarmed, the target’s artifact’s Stat Slots are applied to your creature for all effects that relate to that attack.

Enemy artifacts are too unfocused and not powerful enough to make this perk worthwhile.
Suggestion: For every enemy with Disarmed, your creatures’ artifacts are more powerful.
Alternate Suggestion: Steal stats when attacking a Disarmed enemy.

Guiding Light (Cleric)
At the start of battle, your creatures gain a Barrier that absorbs damage equal to 1% of their Maximum Health per rank.
Saving Grace (Cleric)
After your creatures are resurrected, they gain a Barrier equal to 2% of their Maximum Health per rank.

Since Barriers were recently changed to scale off highest stat instead of Max Health, I feel these should too. Cleric would become more flexible as a result but still allow for health-stack builds to base the barriers on.

Admonish, Castigate, Condemn, Berate, Rebuke (Inquisitor)
At the start of battle, enemy (class) creatures are afflicted with (class-based debuff) and lose 30% (class-based stat).

Even with the extra boost these perks received they’re just too inconsistent, based on often-nonexistant enemy synergy, and often fail to perform even within their niche - for example, dropping 30% of the Speed of a Giant isn’t going to matter, since they’re already slow, and they don’t care too much about stat gain so Feared similarly won’t do a whole lot to them.

Suggestion: Base the stat drop on your own team’s composition, for instance “Enemies have _% less Speed for each Nature creature on your side”, sort of like an anti-tribalist. Make it a constant “have less” effect rather than a start of battle stat drop so that clever Inquisitors can use Morph spells to adapt which stat is being dropped at any given time if they’re using more than one of these perks. Drop the debuff aspect entirely as this is already a powerful effect.
Example: Admonish is changed to: “Enemies have _% less Intelligence for each Sorcery creature fighting on your side.”

Flagellation (Inquisitor)
Your creatures’ healing effects deal damage at 35% effectiveness when applied to enemies.

This is a very weak perk, as it is barely more damaging than Blight - which is both a common status effect and also itself infamously poor at damage output. To make matters worse it also conflicts with Blight, making you unable to damage Blighted enemies even if you try to use it.

Suggestion: Rework the perk entirely.
Alternate Suggestion: When an enemy is healed, they lose max HP.

Anguish Through Awareness (Animator)
Your Animatus starts battles with 1 random buff per rank.
Adaptation (Druid)
At the start of battle, your creatures gain a random buff for each creature missing from your group.
Batallion (Tribalist)
At the start of battle, your creatures gain a random buff for each creature that belongs to the same race fighting on your side. Maximum of 6 buffs.

The random buffs are often a bit too scattershot to be useful and don’t synergize too well.
Suggestion: Grant buffs in a specific order, similar to Eft Elder or Grovetender’s Nature’s Wrath.

Ancestry (Druid)
At the start of battle, if you have at least 5 creatures missing from your group, your creatures gain 1 random trait that belong to their race per rank.

The traits granted by this are often not useful or sometimes even outright counterproductive, depending on what you’re running.
Suggestion: Use the “innate trait is more powerful” effect from certain Master traits instead.

Companion (Druid)
You can have 1 additional creature per rank in your group without it counting against other Druid perks.

Suggestion: Taking this perk and then not taking the extra creatures it affords you should count them as extra missing creatures. This would increase Druid’s build and style options, making the true one-creature-build even more potent (though as always, not without risk).

Flow of Magic (Cabalist)
After your creatures cast an Ethereal Spell Gem, they gain Arcane.

Temporal Concentration already makes Cabalists get free Ethereal casts, so this doesn’t do much.

Suggestion: See changes proposed to Arcane above in this same post.
Alternate Suggestion: This perk specifically makes Arcane more powerful in some way.

Perplex (Sorcerer)
After an enemy takes damage from an attack, they have a 1% chance (15% max) per rank to be afflicted with Confused.

This seems generally weak, especially compared to the much easier to apply Bafflement (Trickster) or Mass Hysteria (Witchdoctor).
Suggestion: Works with any damage.

Graceful Spirit (Warden)
At the start of your creatures’ turns, they gain a Barrier that absorbs damage equal to 1% of their Maximum Health per rank.
Suggestion: Base on Highest Stat to keep it in line with the recent Barrier changes.

Rune of Lua/Cor/Dun/Nax/Sah (Rune Knight)
At the start of battle, your (class) creatures gain (relevant spell).

These being granted at battle start as ethereal spells only to certain classes gives Rune Knight as a whole a problem of being rather inflexible when it comes to builds, which is troublesome since their perkset seems to call for both stat-stacking (the rune spells having 100% stat basis), and a multi-class build (to get the benefit of perks that ask you to cast all rune spells in one battle).
Suggestion: Instead of gaining it at the start of battle, make the spells work like Colorwave in that creatures of the relevant class “always have” the spell. Similar to the proposed Inquisitor change, this will allow Morph spells and other class changing effects to be used to switch access between Rune spells, allowing for full use of the spec’s perk set and make build options much more flexible.

Diabolism (Rune Knight)
Your creatures are immune to Silenced.

Suggestion: Supplement or replace this with making Rune spells immune to sealing. Sealing is much harder to undo than silence and can effectively shut down the entire perk set for the rest of the battle.

Inspirit (Rune Knight)
Your creatures’ Rune spells grant them a buff which differs based on which spell it is.
Undermine (Rune Knight)
Your creatures’ Rune spells afflict enemies with a debuff which differs based on which spell it is.

These tend not to have much impact on battle. The debuffs in particular don’t line up with the rune spell they come from - Cor inflicts Burning, an int-based debuff, but Cor runs off Attack, for example. In addition, given how much Rune spells get cast, applying the same buff or debuff repeatedly doesn’t have much impact overall.
Suggestion: Change these to stat gains/stat reduction, for example Nax boosts Speed for whoever casts it. Since Nax runs off speed, this goes with the theme of the perk set getting more and more powerful as more rune spells are cast.

CHAOS CREATURE TRAITS

Contagion (Venomous Clutcher)
After an enemy dodges, this creature afflicts it with Poisoned and Silenced.
Vehemence (Flamegrip Clutcher)
After an enemy dodges, this creature afflicts it with Burning and Scorned.

These have little effect if enemies are already afflicted with these debuffs, effectively wasting a trigger.
Suggestion: If the target already has Poisoned/Burned, the potency is increased when the effect is triggered.

Cock-a-doodle-doo (Contagious Cockatrice)
At the start of battle, your Cockatrice creatures gain a random Cockatrice trait. This trait does not stack.

Given how synergistic Cockatrice traits are (and the two you’d generally want don’t stack), this is fairly weak.
Suggestion: Share its fused or artifact trait with other Cockatrices. Doesn’t work if it appears more than once on the team.

Reticence (Sludgechemist)
Enemies gain 35% less benefit from their Artifacts’ Stat Slots (other than Health). This trait does not stack.

Given Concoctions hinge around using Disarmed which just disables artifact stat slots entirely, this doesn’t do much.
Suggestion: This creature always has Proficient and/or your Proficient creatures inflict Disarmed when attacking.

Awareness (Death Guard)
Your creatures no longer take additional damage from critical damage.

The main danger from critical damage often comes from triggered effects rather than the additional damage - though this isn’t an insignificant effect it does lack a little something, especially compared to other Doomguards.
Suggestion: Also mitigate a portion of class weakness damage on top of the current effect.

SKREEE!! (Harpy Screamer)
At the end of each enemy’s turn, this creature has a 20% chance to afflict it with Confused.

While Confused is a powerful effect, there are much more consistent ways to apply it - in addition, applying it at the end of the turn means it will take longer to actually do anything in battle.
Suggestion: Empower Confusion instead - make it harder to remove or longer-lasting.

Flesh Wound (Minotaur Juggernaut)
After this creature takes damage while below 50% Health, it gains a Barrier that absorbs damage equal to 100% of its Maximum Health.

Suggestion: Base on Highest Stat to keep it in line with recent Barrier changes.

Amongst Gods (Angel Bat)
After an ally Attacks, this creature heals your creatures equal to 15% of the damage dealt. This trait does not stack.

Compare with Mutated Vampire Bat’s Vampiric Aura:
After an ally Attacks, your creatures recover Health equal to 25% of the damage dealt.

Angel Bat is directly inferior by 10%, having the same effect.

Suggestion: Have Angel Bat grant buffs or statups instead.