Friday, May 16, 2008

Kongai: Patch v1.5 (And v1.4 updated) (4/16/08)

Yes, I'm well behind the times here. But since I was, perhaps, unduly harsh on the last patch, I just wanted to say that Patch v1.5 was a good one.

And not just because the developers feel into my plagiarism trap. That's right by taking my ideas for Helene and incorporating them into the game soon I'll be the one owning Kongai and...wait, what's that?

Ahem, my minions inform me that the law doesn't work that way. Let's just move on, shall we?

Here's the patch notes:

Helene, Frenzied Strikes no longer have a chance for energy regen
Helene, Frenzied Strikes damage up 6x6 -> 7x6
Helene, Sword Slash renamed to Adrenaline Thrust
Helene, Adrenaline Thrust energy reduced by 5, now does 30 damage for 30 energy.
Helen, Adrenaline Thrust no longer has the 10% bleeding proc, instead has a 30% chance to trigger a 30 point energy gain.

Rumiko, Eviscerate energy down 70->65. This allows her to do Eviscerate, Ninja-Port, Shuriken Barrage in a row without needing Scroll of Inner Focus.

Ambrosia, Bleeding Ritual power removed. Now it's a speed 2 attack, initial damage 0, triggers a bleed that does 8 damage each turn for 3 turns. 30 energy.
Ambrosia, Spectral Choke hit percent down 100% -> 95%

Higashi, innate ability makes his intercept do 60 rather than 70 damage.

So, Helene is rounding into form, Rumicans got more sane, Ambrosia got amazingly better, and I'm still scratching my head about the nerf to Higashi. It doesn't matter in the end since it's still influentially lethal but I guess I don't see the point. Makes me realize what it must feel like to read one of my posts. And I don't like that.

Anyhow, the big change is to Ambrosia who has gotten much, much deadlier now and is, I think, approaching my ideal of being the character who'll rip up cards like Onimaru and throw them back in their owner's face in a cloud of twisted scraps drifting lazily through the air. And since I thought she was close already, it confirms my suspicion that all she needed was a little bit of range to maul those close-only bangers and cause problems for everyone else.

I think, now, she has the same problem as Ashi - too many good options some of which are bound to be better/worse than the rest. I wouldn't mind making at least one of her other attacks cheaper and even tossing out one to add in another buff/debuff of some sort. But, I think that's something to ponder for down the road. Right now, I think she's sold and I want to see how the change plays out for a while longer.

As for Helene, I like the changes, obviously. I agree that she felt a bit weak at 7x6 and, as I think I've mentioned (Or maybe not, it's getting hard to keep track of what I've said and what I've meant to have said already.) hitting her multiplier is the way to go. It's really the high multiple that makes Enchant/Frenzied so scary, both are fine by themselves in isolation. 36 was too weak, 42 feels about right. But I really want an Enchanted Frenzy to top out in the mid 50s range rather than the low 60s, though. A hit of 60 kills cards like Popo and Amaya right out and is an automatic killshot against everyone else on a crit and considering Helene has access to the Sharpening Stone, that's a problem. Really strong, in so many words, and while you have the opportunity cost of having to push up to range to pull it off, I don't think Helene should be a character who can one-hit. Damage of around 55, on the other hand, lets characters like Onimaru and another Helene survive - as they should if they're going to have so much health and means low-health characters have a better chance, too, while still finishing off weakened characters on a normal hit. So, what about 8x5 for Frenzied? That's 11x5 Enchanted and a still strong 40 normally.

My other concern is that the energy proc on Slash (Which, yeah, don't change the name. Please.) is too low. My idea for that is that having the energy engine on the alternative to Frenzy should create two viable prongs in Helene's attack routines. A situation where she can go for the big damage of Frenzied which is easily countered by resistances (And then you can get into toggling around and having fun tactically with that) or she can go for the weaker attack with a chance to be more reliable. Basically, I think the energy you get from Slash needs to be enough that, when it happens, you can have enough energy to push into close range again and swing with Slash again, even if you've pushed the round before. Going Frenzied means you're playing the keep-away game while Slash is what will let you keep yourself in someone's face hammering away. It needs to be 40 to do that (Say you start at far with full energy. That's 50 to change ranges, plus 30 to Slash. Add the natural 20 to the 30 you gain now, and that leaves you with 70. Not enough to do anything with if you change ranges. At 80 you can push yourself to close regardless of what your opponent is doing and still have enough energy left to attack with.) and it might even need a higher proc rate. It also means you can use it to switch tracks, too, and switch over to a Frenzied bomb as a finisher if your opponent can't shift. I'll have to play around with it at 30 and see if it works well enough but that's the point I wanted to get it at.

As for Rumicans, I'd rather have seen the reduction gone to her Ninja Port since it's more flexible than Eviscerate - having it cheaper means you can use it in more situations than just after you've stunned or missed stunning someone but, then, that might be exactly why it should be kept where it is. But, yeah, making her combo work without a Scroll goes a long way towards making her a better card.

All in all, though, good patch. And on to the next one...

Before that, though, the v1.4 patch I spoke about earlier went through a few changes before going live:

Marquis, Vampiric Touch energy cost reduced 70->60
Marquis, Life Drain energy cost reduced 50->45
Marquis, Life Drain speed reduced 6->3 (note: this is a buff)
Marquis, Teleport damage increased 0->10

Voss, Double Slash damage reduced from 18x2 to 16x2

Ambrosia, Vamp Kiss speed reduced 5->3 (note: this is a buff)

Ashi, hit points reduced from 85->80
Ashi, Bleeding Slice damage reduced 40->36

Helene, Frenzied Strikes changed from dark magic-type to physical-type. (slash out)
Helene, Frenzied Strikes damage down 6x7 -> 6x6.
Helene, Frenzied Strikes now has a chance to return 30 energy rather than 50.

Zina, Tiger Frenzy energy cost decreased 35->30
Zina, physical armor up from 0->1
Zina, innate ability that triggers on killing blow now powers up 15% for 3 turns rather than 10% for 2 turns.

Yoshiro, innate ability's now also gives a 10% chance to avoid intercepts (in addition to physical attacks).
Yoshiro, Open Palm damage increased 10->18
Yoshiro, Open palm energy increased 10>15
Yoshiro, Chi Blast energy cost reduced 70->65

Changes from the initial version are set in bold.

Helene's Frenzied rightly keeps its dark damage type - that means Helene has a way of causing every kind of damage in the game and can toggle around resistances. Losing that would have lost a big part of what makes her special.

Instead, Frenzied lost its special proc of dumping energy back into your bar. It shuffles over to Slash. But Frenzied was already an impressive skill. Dealt a lot of damage. Dealt damage on Helene's off-type. Worked wonderfully with Enchant. That energy proc was just gravy, it really didn't matter but to Slash, it really does. A lot more than a weak chance to cause bleeding, anyway. So, I like it, and not just because I was the one who suggested it.

Yoshi's Palm creeped up but not to the original 20en. At 15 you can still use it to attack while getting energy back at the end of the turn even without a Scroll. It's pretty fair for 18 damage, too. I'm less keen about the new innate. Yoshiro now has a weak version of Popo's innate and a weak version of Rumi's. It was unimpressive before and it's not really setting the world on fire now. And it's the same old problem: Yoshi's innate is what he has to rely on in order to survive long enough for his fast but wimpy attacks to tell but it's too randomly inconsistant for that. For every time that it saves you there's going to be plenty when it doesn't. The result is a very swingy ability on a card that doesn't really benefit from it - Yoshi's all about the slow and steady.

I'm even less fond of Zina's innate. An extra turn and a bit more damage (woo! Eye does 2 more damage now!) don't really make it any better. At this point, I think, the mega-buff on death idea really just needs to be scrapped and reworked into something better. She gets a bit more armor, too, which she sorely needed since she had - and still has - the weakest protection in the game.

No comments: