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Messages - PopeShine

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Regrettably, I've taken a break from IW, but I'm still in the habit of checking for news that something positive is in the works. Unfortunately, every time I check it's either no news or bad news.

I just wanted to post on this topic and say I'm in agreement with everything Weak_Wolf has said. I wasn't around for the beginning of IW. I started playing and investing in it about 1 year ago. And honestly, the IW experience has really left me sour.

When I found this game I was ecstatic. IW hit so many of the right marks for me, from aesthetics to gameplay and more. I was willing to put up with the bugs and vitriol because the game is solid and the concept impressive. But I've learned a valuable lesson from my time with IW, and that is more important than a great game and great idea is a great developer. Sadly, IW's developers are garbage.

From the intentional and unintentional lies, excuses, misinformation, unfulfilled promises, incompetence, willful neglect and just sheer laziness, everyone at Yodo1 and Lightmare are guilty. It's disgraceful and abhorrent how they've treated IW and it's community.

Whatever "new" project they're working on as an excuse to abandon IW I'm sure will fail as well. I'm so upset by my experience that I may actively discourage people from playing anything made by Yodo1/Lightmare. They cannot be trusted and anything they make needs to be avoided.

If IW dies, which it seems very likely, it wouldn't be because it's a bad game. It's a great game. It just has had terrible people managing it.

I'm with Weak_Wolf, if I had the money and resources I'd snatch this game away from these clowns and give it the proper treatment it deserves. IW would be a interesting reclamation project for a team of good developers to take on.

News and Developer Talk / Re: Latest Balance Changes and Bug Fixes
« on: April 10, 2017, 03:36:19 AM »
I haven't had a chance to test and/or play with the changed cards or see what its doing to the meta, but on paper all of these changes look very good.

Taiga is still strong but definitely taken down a notch in power level. I like that there is a bit more risk and decision making involved to maximise her potential.

The Acquire change is very welcomed. Its no longer a mill card but I'm okay with that. Power level seems more appropriate for a 4-resource common and it doesn't outperform other higher rarity card draw/advantage spells any longer.

Red Tape is a step in the right direction, I think. The card is clearly not as powerful or as versatile but the nerf helps to bring a little more balance to FD and reduces the number of super efficient tempo answers it has.

I'm very happy Marina is no longer an OP 2-resource Factionless card, but the whole design approach to her has been confusing. I still don't understand why she needed to be changed at the time of the Legends balance patch. Her newest iteration is okay, but definitely seems forced. If this desire to create a character with a deploy effect that grants untouchable and extra lives was so strong, why not make a whole new card for it. In a perfect world we'd have the original character stealing Marina and a whole other character properly stat'ed with this untouchable/extra lives effect.

I like the Martyr of Life change as well, limiting the effect to just characters will reduce the power level of the deck and allow for the match ups to have a bit more interaction and gameplay.

All the other changes aren't very dramatic but I feel they're all good decisions.

The one change I don't particularly care for is removing Host to Ancestors from draft. Removing those useless cards from DoD's draft pool is great and will increase consistency but DoD still doesn't have access to enough threats within the class. Perhaps the new consistency will make up for the loss of a draft bomb, we'll just have to wait and see.

Looking forward to playing with the changes, so far the approach to this round of balance updates looks very encouraging. Thank you to the balance team, keep up the good work:)

General Game Discussion / Re: So, why is this?
« on: March 27, 2017, 12:23:00 AM »
why to we have watch lists?

also, new guys being farmed in normal.......very frustrating when a newbro runs into decks that could be run in ranked, but   in normal, he feels helpless and almost guaranteed uninstall (I almost did when i was a few days old and ran into avatar decks fairly often in normal, being farmed for points. i suggest giving them a moral cost when they die, new guys feel a little less helpless at least.)

dunno how you stop guys being farmed in normal,  but the watchlist needs to go, and avatar needs a moral cost (i think)

I honestly think those this have been a contributing(there are probably more) factors of loss of players in an otherwise fantastic game. or maybe im full of it, could be either way lol

I don't actually think new player farming takes place in IW. First, you can't farm Normal mode, there's no point to it, just a few IP points on a win. In Ranked, because the player base is small you just have to play who you come across, there aren't enough new players to farm, just luck of the draw.

When it comes to new player frustrations against powerful cards, this is really on the new player. There's an answer for almost every threat in IW. Granted, new players aren't always aware of them, but if Avatars are a problem here a list of cards to can fight against them very effectively.

FD (if you're playing rush)
Red Tape
Intimidating Rally

Hubris of the Strong
Verore Kidnapper

Gorgon Beam 9000

Decent into Madness


Fight Another Day

Zuza, Angelic Siren
Ethereal Fusion

And these are just off the top of my head. The game is complex and takes time to learn, but the answers are there if you think creatively and know the interactions.

Suggestions / Re: Meditations on Design Space and New Set Releases
« on: March 26, 2017, 11:55:06 PM »
I've taken some time to think over what you wrote and I agree IW is running out of design space in certain areas. However, I feel there is still plenty of room for new design given the current set up.

I see the issue a little differently. The game as a whole hasn't run out of design space, it's really an issue of 1~2 factions being overdeveloped. Of course, the factions in question are FD and GI. The other factions, comparatively, could be considered woefully underdeveloped. There is so much more that can be done with Sleepers, DoD and Exiles etc. and tons of space for these factions to grow.

The problem with FD is that the faction is simply too efficient and has reached critical mass of its best effects. I'll relate this to the problem of original UU Counterspell in MTG. From the inception of the game this has been the most efficient version of the effect and all future iterations have been underpowered in comparison. The only way to make that effect better is power creep and we all know that's not a good idea. The same can be said of FD's effects -- Flame Dawn Hound, Stumble, and Exhaust are the most efficient versions of these effects without being OP and they're all part of IW2013. In terms of just raw stats FD has also had Kali, the Flaming Blade and Knight of the Flame Dawn as well. The design for FD was pretty much cut off at the knee since the game launched and over time instead of exploring new design these effects have just been made stronger, more varied and more abundant.

GI isn't as bad as FD but almost there in terms of efficient design. GI buff effects have been overdeveloped and there isn't much more space for the faction to continue down that route.

Rotation has been the classic "reset button" when design goes wrong. I'm not a fan of rotation, but I completely understand why it's necessary. I would say IW could probably release a few more sets before rotation needs serious consideration, but right now I'd say the card pool is still small enough to manage and balance issues can be selectively dealt with.

So what are some alternatives for design space? Taking a page from MTG again I think design space can be created with the introduction of new keywords and mechanics. Overcharge is a great example of this in IW, officially made into a keyword in Oppression and a cycle of cards was developed for it. If each new set going forward added a new keyword and card cycle that would lead to a lot new interactions and faction strategies/synergies. The "defiant" cycle in Rebellion, though a little underpowered, is another example of creating new design space via keywords and mechanics.

There's also the idea of limiting the printing of new cards for overdeveloped factions. We've seen them bizarrely take this approach with Sleepers in Rebellion and just give that faction 1 new card in the entire set. Perhaps as a counterbalance measure the same approach could be applied to FD and GI. Probably wouldn't be popular but maybe worth considering, at least until the other factions could catch up.

And there's also exploring under utilised mechanics within FD and GI and fleshing them out more in future sets. Tithe Collector in FD and Mega Unit/Voltron in GI would be examples of design space that could be further explored.

The new faction idea is also intriguing. I'm not opposed to it, but the addition of a whole new faction opens up the door to tons of unforeseen balance and logistics issues. I still feel that 6 out of 8 factions still have plenty of room to grow, so I'd rather see their development happen first before new factions are introduced.

In the end, for me its really all about how they approach FD and GI. Whether they rotate, nerf, find new design space it really doesn't matter. These factions have to be brought down to the power level of the others or vice versa for the game to standout and capture the attention of competitive TCG players.


I thought the untouchable was a nerf to prevent combos like splat?

That may have been the intention but in practice it makes already hard to deal with characters, extremely hard if not impossible to interact with. In OoS Rhaziel and Sol are great examples of Marina's untouchable ability being OP.


I would like to point out that you get to choose the card you get. It would not be unplayable, it would still be absolutely useful in the decks that they are mainly used in. That being Verore control decks with Oblivion and Calamity. Not to mention the fact that generally the card that you are going to use recycle on is that unique ability card so that you can play it again. Aside from Dragon collar, your unique abilities that you want to pull back out are really high cost. So I think it would still be completely playable.

The problem with costing them so high for use in one specific faction and a specific deck type defeats the purpose of being Factionless. You might as well make it a CoV card at that point.

Trading Post / Re: Updated Official Trading Tier List
« on: March 20, 2017, 03:01:15 PM »
This list looks pretty solid to me. Thank you for putting this together:)

ES has already stated that Acquire is up for rebalancing with the next batch of cards they do. So I'm very glad for that. Just want to also voice my support for changing/nerfing the card.

Recycle costing 6 and Gather thoughts costing 8 due to the powerful nature of their abilities. Recycle has Awaken ability with an additional draw effect. Being a factionless it should naturally cost higher than it's factioned counter part. Same thing with Gather thoughts pulling 3 cards from grave with an additional draw effect.

This seems a bit extreme for re-costing. At 6 or more resources they become absolutely unplayable as you're essentially paying a whole turn's worth of tempo and resources in the mid/late game to get a conditional regrowth effect.


My suggestions to make the card balanced for its cost and purity requirements: Draw 1 card from the opponents deck, the card is revealed to the opponent, remove Acquire from the game after use.

This is more the direction I would take acquire. As already stated the card does way too much for 4 resources. For me, Acquire shouldn't "steal" from the opponent's deck, "creating copies" would be more balanced. If the idea of the card is to use it for mill, then the player getting milled has to know what cards are lost. And to prevent abuse, it should remove itself from the game.

General Game Discussion / Re: Why we can't have midrange
« on: March 20, 2017, 09:23:44 AM »
Well, sadly, the answer to your question is that the designers don't want it. I'm a fan of mid-range and have been beating that drum but at the moment the game hasn't been set up to promote that deck archetype. As you've pointed out in the strengths and weaknesses of each faction, there's enough evidence to suggest that the designers have consciously decided on what the power level of removal should be -- and it's going to be limited to decent single target and weak sweepers.

They've ensured that each faction has at least 1 strong single target option, but have only given powerful sweepers to 1 faction, CoV. DoD comes in 2nd with yuanshi effects and there's a few narrow sweepers in other factions. There's also the grand daddy of all sweepers with Calamity that all factions have access to (but I'm of the opinion it's an unhealthy card).

The other side of the equation is spammable and/or sticky Characters and token generation. The amount of cards in this category are far more numerous and powerful and every faction has a varied toolset of them.

So if we put those two sides together, it's no accident, the designers want Characters and combat to be the primary strategy. Combat tricks and buffs/debuffs are much more favored instead of hard removal and sweepers. This isn't necessarily bad and does have some benefits:

1. Easier and more intuitive gameplay
2. Faster games
3. Feels good (?) interactivity

And so on. However, there are problems with this approach:

1. Narrow meta
2. Limited viable deck strategies
3. Repetitive gameplay

And so forth.

It's not impossible for mid-range to become more of a thing in IW, but given the current design I don't have high hopes. The effectiveness of mid-range is dependent on sweepers and/or value removal. So far the designers have been very reluctant to introduce more early game and powerful mid-game options. Doing so would seriously affect the viability of aggro strategies and I just don't think that's something they'd like to do.

As an aside. If you're really hungering for mid-range it's possible to do in rift-run. It's not the most powerful strategy by far but it can do well if the draft goes your way.

General Game Discussion / Re: An untapped resource
« on: March 17, 2017, 06:49:33 AM »
Morale is a feature i found interesting about the game.

would be interesting to hear what top 10 cards all think the morale is wonky.

This would be my criteria for characters that should have high morale costs (not in order of importance). So characters that can/have:

1) Large stats with low resource cost
2) Super-Sticky or super hard to remove
3) Act as 2-for-1 (or better) removal
4) Greatly increase the survivability of other characters through (repeatable) stat buffs, extra lives and/or negating removal effects
5) Greatly increase the survivability of the player
6) Game winning/ending abilities and effects
7) Very efficient ramp or resource cost reduction
8) Very efficient token production

Bear in mind that many Characters hit these criteria but are designed in such a way that stats and/or costs are adjusted to make them balanced. Or drawbacks are built-in. On a side note, in a sense Morale can be seen as a "drawback" mechanic. Conditionality of the effect is also a big consideration. For example, if a character needs to be on the battlefield to enable the effect then that can become very risky to use and so could be considered somewhat of a drawback. So with all that in mind, based on the aforementioned criteria these would be the characters that over perform and I would rebalance their morale:

Helix Worm
Dragon of the Autumn Wind
Martyr of Life
Prophet Karani
Hehkeem (just a little)
Brings like by Passing (just a little)

Lucca, Ascended
Lucca, Combat Mechanic
Logrithmatron (maybe just a little)
Secluded Constructor

Diseased Brute
Malignant (just a little)
Subjugated Dragon (really, 0 morale?)

Bromich, Field Commander (just a little)
Flame Dawn Commando (just a little)
Klore, the Rapier Centurion (just a little)
Noble Protector
Sacullas, the Final Hammer (maybe)

*Ao, Shun Dragon of Wisdom
*Avatar of Daode
*Avatar of Lingao
*Avatar of Yuanshi
Daode's Honor Guard (just a little)
Host to Ancestors (just a little)
Xi, Ascended

*I get the flavor of not attaching morale to avatars but even for 3P these Characters are incredibly powerful and have literally no drawback other than the initial high resource cost.

Hehkeem, the Corrupted

Nothing of Note

Daclerius, the Law
Rhaziel, the Solitary
Sol, Champion of Vengeance

Martyr Golem

After making this list it seems that the many offenders come from Rebellion which is the newest set. Maybe lower overall morale is an intended direction the devs want to take? I hope not.

The other side of this is that many many characters are penalized too heavily by morale. So bringing down their morale cost would add further balance and/or playability to the game. Just some notables:

Tithe Collector
Syn, the Hope of Dawn
Ireul, Vanguard of Ruin (maybe)
Liand, the Fearless
Xi, Who Honors Many
Cyber Infested Dragon
Patient Zero

Looking at my list, it's not a huge amount of cards that I feel need more morale. And even if you changed these cards it wouldn't break the game. Ultimately, a complete morale overhaul would be best but as is if only a few of the worse offenders were adjusted I'm sure it would bring better balance to the game.

General Game Discussion / Re: An untapped resource
« on: March 17, 2017, 05:19:47 AM »


If you make Moral a balancing tool then you have to make moral relevant. If you make moral a relevant consideration you will ruin the game. First let me clarify this by saying that moral is not a relevant mechanic at the moment. Yes moral decks do exist, even at the high level. But no, at no point in deck building does anyone ever consider moral. People do not consider moral, because it is not really a relevant mechanic.

If you make moral 'relevant' in a normal match (with the average game ending on turn 9). Then you have made it so that people could potentially lose on moral with a standard deck by turn 9, yes?

If this is the case then you have made control decks incredibly powerful. All they need to do is kill your characters and survive till turn 10 to win the game. Surely you can see that this would be toxic?

If we extract this further, characters will become less and less popular and you'll get a metagame of decks filled with some uncouterable win condition like Siphoner combos. But just enough control to beat standard decks on moral.

Moral cannot be a relevant mechanic, or it would ruin the game. Characters are an important part of the complexity of this game, you should not discourage people from using characters.

This sounds a lot like doomsday-speak and the argument for it seems pretty biased and based on personal preference. You're suggesting that since historically face-damage and character spam have been the most effective win conditions in IW that dynamic should never change and other win conditions should never be introduced to counter it or even be on par.

The argument for higher morale is that it will add more dynamism to IW in everything from gameplay decisions to deck building. Morale should be considered when building decks and not summarily ignored.

And what's so bad about losing to morale on turn 9? Taking 100 points of face-damage or taking 100 points of morale damage, both feel equally bad to lose to. And they both would feel equally good to win with. It's just another axis that IW could be played on instead of forcing everything to be face-damage and character spam.

And the meta you're envisioning probably wouldn't exist. I'm assuming players would be able to adjust and learn not to just throw characters into removal. They may even start including cards to counter removal instead of just filling deck slots with more face-damage. The gameplay at the higher levels would become more complex and more decisions would have to be made.

It's all about balance. Removal should in general never over power character based strategies, but at the same time character based strategies shouldn't have carte blanche to dictate the style of gameplay. At least I feel IW can be a game where it doesn't have to be solely character driven. There are also other card types like Missions, Artifacts, and Locations that could become win-cons. And I'm pretty sure the designers have been inspired by games like MTG that allow multiple axises of attack and alternate win conditions and less so inspired by games like HS that limit gameplay to face-damage.

General Game Discussion / Re: An untapped resource
« on: March 16, 2017, 04:25:13 AM »
Thematically you might say, GI is a bunch of robots, who cares if they die, they shouldn't affect morale? Well, flavor-wise low morale on robots makes sense, but balance-wise as a win/lose condition it doesn't.

Hehe good point. Although the human commanders and soldiers might be demoralised by seeing their robot army in pieces. Very depressing to see your uber mech warrior turned into a pile of rubble. But if the Omnimind was commanding the army it wouldn't lose moral so thats a tricky one. Though it might still withdraw after taking x amount of loses due to its calculations. The robot AI's might be programmed to be very cautious so as to never risk complete destruction.
Perhaps GI could have lower moral costs but for each GI purity you have in command you start with 10 less moral. (Not a real sugggestion btw just musing about the thematic)

The marriage between flavor and gameplay is always one of the biggest challenges for card games.

I tend to enjoy solid gameplay over solid flavor, but both are important. Right now though it seems things are tilting a little too much towards flavor.

General Game Discussion / Re: An untapped resource
« on: March 16, 2017, 04:12:24 AM »
Yea lets make control decks incredibly boring and 1 dimensional??

You don't need to have a win condition, you just purely focus on defending and win by default.

Sounds boring AF, you're taking away the intricate balance that makes control a fun style of play. The balance between defending and committing to your win condition, playing a game of how greedy can I be? That's what makes control challenging and interesting to play.

I would say the game is already one dimensional and it's because there's a lack of powerful mid-range and control decks. And these decks are pushed out because of catering to aggro strategies. As mentioned elsewhere in the thread, RoboHammer is the pinnacle of hyper-efficient card design and I would argue the best deck in the meta. It's filled with low-resource, low-morale, high attack characters that all synergize with each other and has an insane flicker-damage combo to boot. Where's the balance of defending and committing? Interesting gameplay? Challenge? I really don't see any of that with decks like RoboHammer. The only hard decision you make is on turn 6 whether to save your characters for Sacullus or continue to hit face.


Moral is a failed mechanic. It was designed to prevent people from sending endless armies into each other. But literally no thought ever went into it, instead of sending endless armies into each other people would just not deploy any characters and suddenly you have the most boring game in the world.

It's impossible for morale to be a failed mechanic. It's built in to all character cards and it's part of the rules engine. It is, however, an under-utlizied and misappropriated stat in the game at the moment. And just because it hasn't done it's job effectively up till now doesn't mean it should be abandoned. It just needs revising and rethinking.

General Game Discussion / Re: An untapped resource
« on: March 15, 2017, 12:10:40 PM »
I also like the idea of using Morale as a balancing tool. As mentioned before, there's a feeling that newer cards seem to have arbitrary morale costs attached to them, almost as an after thought.

I would go a step further though and suggest Morale balancing shouldn't be limited to legendaries. I think entire Factions should be more balanced around morale. GI would be my test subject here. They literally have no chance of dying from morale but in the course of a normal game create 2-3 times the amount of characters compared to other factions. The issue here is high-impact, spamable characters with low morale. For me Lucca Ascended and Lucca Combat Mechanic need higher morale costs. There's very little disincentive to just throw these Uniques on the board and trading them in turn after turn. Lucca is the power behind GI and right now GI is a little too efficient at the buffing game. Taiga has a ridiculously low morale cost for what she brings as well.

Thematically you might say, GI is a bunch of robots, who cares if they die, they shouldn't affect morale? Well, flavor-wise low morale on robots makes sense, but balance-wise as a win/lose condition it doesn't.

If morale were recalculated it would also open up new strategies for CoV and DoD to take advantage of. DoD would finally have a threatening win-con and CoV just wouldn't be FD's sidekick anymore.

How is my thoughts on them being a troll (i actually posted this to only just state my basic thoughts , that perhaps not all players agree (me) in this case with in that they are not terrrible or toxic or P2win..that is all.

"The post already explained the major problem with factionless cards being too powerful and versatile- the fact that they can and will be used everywhere therefore becoming a must have in all decks. This makes it so if you dont have it, you cant compete with those that do making the game more pay 2 win."
I 100 percent disagree with this statement , but i respect it as yours thoughts on the subject. Much as loved your dod post.

That said here are my responses 
Mainly FD cards are so well made the synergy is execptional, to a degree not all other factions feel as powerful or have created such a larger card pool as exceptional? sound right? as it does in my overall view. (if all other factions were as good as this one feels well it would be awesome! GI comes close really strong in all cards work really well, well other factions maybe be  a little unfinished in comparison? kinda  I do agree with you dont take FD tools and give to  other factions,, rather give the other factions a better synergy, hiding made a great card that counters FD push back by locking there defense in zone and does fit there faction very very well.....yes THIS is what we need.)

the marty calamity debate is a old one...,,we dont mention the coyle which i LOVE its versatile to many decks.,... we nerfed the noble and the game really changed at that time., and marina is getting alot of heat i dont think her controversy warrants nerfing the factionless to oblivion.
Factionless cards and can help create some unique decks and i enjoy that feature, some ideas only work because the factionless aspect. i am having fun expirementing with marina within each faction to make a fun deck.. i really never had a problem about factionless cards. i never raged over it in game or lost a match and realized it was unfair.....the new factionless card that stops initiative is a great card for factionless and a tool for decks that struggle against certain Combos many factions 2 cents. factionless can be used in any deck thus expanding the creativity and fun of creating decks that may not be the ordinary.

Thank you for the reply. Sorry, if my troll comment was a bit much. It's sometimes hard to know when members of the community aren't being sarcastic.

In regards to the power level of FD, I think we both agree that their toolset isn't the problem. And the solution is to bring up to the power level of other Factions (or to bring down FD and GI).

I had a thought today about what makes FD and GI synergy so strong. I believe it's an issue of critical mass. FD has more than enough high damage Charge characters that can flood the board at every turn on the game. There's never really a moment when they miss a beat. The consistency of their draw is excellent. There are FD decks that run Calamity and then drop a load of charge characters on the board to push through the last bit of damage. That kind of shows me they have too much Charge if they can play it up to turn 12 and not run out of gas.

With GI they now have a critical mass of buffs between Lucca Combat Mechanic, Lucca Ascended, and Taiga. After turn four their value game is very strong and can essentially 2 for 1 the opponent on every combat trade.

Perhaps what the other Factions are missing is a critical mass of their key win conditions. CoV is getting close with Death Blast variants, but coupled with FD it's already there. Warpath will be there soon with Beast synergies and the Hermit Deck is a strong showing of a critical mass strategy. OoS is a watered down version of FD's gameplan, they probably have enough flyers but aren't as fast as FD. Sleepers is a very watered version of GI but is way slower and Graveyard dependent. Exiles is a mish-mash of random effects and they're far from having consistent and good discard outlets for their namesake mechanic "Exile". And DoD doesn't really have anything except high health characters and that's not a great strategy for closing out games. Triple DoD does have the Avatars which are powerful but too easy to remove.

If critical mass is the reason for the success or failure of a Faction's strategy is that best for the game? I'd probably say, no. But that's a hard one to tell. The meta might become something like tribal-syngeries vs. good-stuff decks vs combo. Hmmm, maybe that would be better...I dunno...

Now onto Factionless design. I understand your point about Factionless opening up a few deck archetypes but I think in practice it actually has the opposite effect. Cards like Marina and Martyr Golem take away from creativity in deck building. No matter what aggro deck you build Marina will be an auto-include. Martyr Golem is the same. The value these cards provide is substantial to aggro strategies. Decks not running these cards will be putting themselves at a disadvantage. The only time you won't see them in aggro is when a deck has a degenerate strategy like Sacullas in RoboHammer (but Marina may even sneak her way into that list).

And while I respect fun decks and build them myself, the game is balanced around competitive decks. The more OP Factionless cards get made the more it warps competitive gameplay.

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