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Devlog #1: Balancing War

Balancing War

Balancing is always a problem. In State of Wonder, balancing problems sometimes grow and fester into enormous catastrophes (Okay I’m a little dramatic here). But this specific issue was with frustration on playing against a deck. The deck we are talking about is the Cult of Voices. A deck focused on tokens and going into a defensive shell. Where they can thrive upon their income cards and their large army of peasants. So what was the problem than? Couldn’t we just lower the numbers on the cards and be done with it?

The problem arose from the deck being really weak when players knew about the strengths of the deck and how to handle those strengths. The Deck also had at best mediocre cards without the synergy inherently in the card. The best example of this was the Siren of War. Which before it was “Fixed” looked a little bit like this. This card might look powerful on the surface. It has poor stats for being a 4 cost card. Only having 2 attack and 2 health, with assault to allow it to be sent to war on the turn it entered play. But it had another ability that made it look powerful. You can buff the attack of all your units by 1 until end of turn!

In a token deck this sounds very powerful and it can be. If you can amass the correct amount of tokens this card can win you the game. So the type of game plan this card made players try, was to build 10 to 15 tokens and then amassing 8 or 12 gold and playing down as many of these as they could. If you opponent allowed you to do this. You would most certainly win the game which lead to an “unfun” and frustrating experience when players got there.

As I was fiddling around with other cards, such as cards that created tokens I had a thought. “When do you ever play the Siren of War, when you don’t do that swing?” and the answer was sadly never. This shows that even though the card could win you game, it was inherently way to weak. As it required so much setup and it was most likely one of the biggest reasons why the game could become frustrating.

So I did more changes. The First one being making the Siren of War into a Good card. Here is the new one! Well, that was a change most people most likely didn’t expect as the card looks much weaker. But now you can play two of these and with both the Cult of Voices state ability to turn non token units into token when they die and their walls to protect them while they activate during battle. These are now actually a very formidable defensive and offensive option.

But this required more changes to happen with the Ritualists, with this card and the amount of token creation they had it would be a very strong aggro deck and the Cult of Voices is supposed to be the top defensive faction in the print and play and with the huge amount of cheap units in both this and the truth Whisperer the deck could make a Flood tactic. Which was to strong, as you could at 5 income play one of each every turn. Which you would generally reach with a Barricaded Village in play.

After some tinkering, the card went from the 3 cost card that it was, into this still very strong four cost card. With the light testing I’ve done with this, the faction feels stronger and better at surviving, but with one of the biggest frustrations, with the combo of triple sirens for win is now gone! That is all for now and I hope this gave you more insight into my work process!


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