November Balance: Priests

November 17th, 2014 at 4:48 am

Hi everyone! We’re busy preparing the game for our upcoming Kongregate launch, and now is as good a time as any to improve the early campaign experience. Coming up we have a bunch of changes in the pipeline, primarily to low-level priest cards and racial skills. Additionally, some (primarily multiplayer) cards that we feel didn’t end up quite where we wanted them after our last balance changes are seeing some tweaks.

All the changes below should be up on the test server by the time you’re reading this, so don’t hesitate to test them out! We’re very interested in hearing from players on two counts: first, how the changes affect the campaign; second, how the changes affect multiplayer. It’s possible some of our changes and additions are format-warping, and that’s why we’re testing them before implementing them. As always, actual gameplay-informed feedback will be much more valuable to us than theory-based reactions, so get testing! Flaxative will be collecting playtest reports and rewarding players with pizza for participating in the testing process. (Refer to this test server guide.)



First, let’s go over some mechanics changes.

Self Targeting

The biggest change we’re making to priests is a fundamental mechanical change to the way Assist (white) cards work. It used to be that some of these cards would say “May self target,” and that meant a priest could play those cards solo. You’ll notice if you log into the test server that there are now 0 cards with this rule. That’s because all Assists self-target now. Heal? You can heal yourself. Buff? You can buff yourself. A constant weakness of priests has always been that many of their strongest cards cease to function when their allies are dead or out of line of sight; we’re stripping that weakness away. Note that this change may make some cards too strong. We’ll keep our eye on that possibility over the course of the playtest.

It doesn't say so on the card, but, as an example, all three of these can be cast on the caster.

It doesn’t say so on the card, but, as an example, all three of these can be cast on the caster.



Frenzy cards have had two problems historically. The first: besides Mass Frenzy, they couldn’t buff the caster. We’ve addressed this issue immediately above: Unholy Frenzy and Righteous Frenzy can both self-target now. The second issue: because frenzy didn’t affect magic attacks, the cards discouraged some types of builds—for the most part, if you carried frenzy, you wanted as many melee dudes as possible, as if you allied with wizards your frenzy cards became less valuable.

Frenzy now affects all damaging attacks. Magic attacks benefit less from frenzy—Frenzy X adds X to melee damage and X-1 to magic damage—but there is still some positive interaction.

Our hope is that this change encourages more diverse builds with one of each class, as well as more variety among damage wizard builds. Of course, most importantly, frenzy cards should become universally more useful in singleplayer.

Some cards with Frenzy thematically don’t work as magic buffing cards (not to mention any balance complications). Frenzy Aura, Horned Plates, and Blind Rage remain functionally identical, carrying the new keyword “Melee frenzy.”

Other frenzy-related changes:
Unholy Wellspring now gives Frenzy 4 (instead of +3 damage to all attacks).
Mass Frenzy now gives Frenzy 2 (down from 3).


New Priest Cards

The third exciting thing for priests is that a lot of their lackluster low-level cards are being replaced. Some of you may mourn the loss of hilariously poor cards like Wavering Faith and Bungled Heal, but we’re optimistic that the replacements will be more useful in the campaign. It would also be neat if some of them became borderline playable in multiplayer.

Let’s meet the new family (note: much placeholder artwork).

New or significantly different priest cards.

New or significantly different priest cards.


Armor Of Faith is basically a Rusty Armor you cast on someone. It can prevent more damage than Minor Heal restores, and it stacks with the target’s normal armor cards. It replaces Bungled Heal.

Surestrike Blessing replaces Wavering Faith as a cooler way to get around blocks and armor in the campaign. This is one we think we might have pushed too hard, so please, put pressure on it when you playtest.

Curse Of Fragility is a targeted, one-turn Vulnerable, replacing Bad Medicine.

I’m including Bad Luck here because it has changed so much it’s basically a whole new card. Blast enemy mobs with this cone to draw out or negate blocks en masse!

Consuming Spear is now Draining Chop—more interesting in singeplayer, still quite good. Besides, we felt we’d given vampires a bit too much range.

Avenging Touch used to be Touch Of Pain, a monster card that snuck into Attack of the Artifacts on two player items. It’s changed slightly (it no longer heals the user), and it’s also going to show up a whole lot more—I believe it’s on 10 items now instead of 2.

Two more cards bite the dust: Healing Benediction and Healing Presence. They’re being replaced variously by Healing Pulse and Avenging Touch.


Other Priest Changes

Cleansing Presence no longer heals enemies.
Healing Pulse no longer heals enemies.
Spear Of Darkness deals 3 damage once more.
Minor Heal range increased to 6.
Demonic Feedback self-damage reduced to 4; range increased to 6.
Inspiration range increased to 6.

• Replace all Healing Benediction and Healing Presence with Healing Pulse
• Unskilled Divine gets Righteous Frenzy to replace Wavering Faith
• Empty Pockets gets Minor Heal, Minor Heal, Armor of Faith
• Totem of Totec, Eagle Bowl, Red Shaman’s Blade, Shadowleaf Maquah, Infernal Trinket, Beech Roots, Maple Roots get Avenging Touch instead of Healing Pulse.
• Flawed Relic gets one Avenging Touch to replace Healing Pulse
• Uncertain Juju renamed to Fragile Juju
• Uncertain Healing Orb to Sure Healing Orb
• Armor of Doubt renamed to Armor of Surety

That should about cover it for priests.

Read about other upcoming changes here:
Racial Skills
General Changes

Remember to help us test these changes on the test server if you’re so inclined. Thanks for reading, and happy hunting! (Reminder: How to use the test server.)

2 Responses to “November Balance: Priests”

  1. Blue Manchu,

    I applaud your nerfing team run and dodge, these have been long standing abuses. However, I am upset by the contemplated Vampire/Draining nerfs (particularly Spear Of Darkness and Consuming Spear). Vampire/Draining was just recently changed and we are changing them again? I just recently spent a lot of gold and time constructing my vampire team thinking no further changes were afoot.

    There are multiple reasons why Vampire/Draining should not be nerfed. First, in Single player, if you lower the damage Spear Of Darkness and Consuming Spear they will be useless again. In single player, many enemies such as trogs, have a lot of armor which completely negates Spear Of Darkness and Consuming Spear. Traditionally, a way to help ameliorate this was mass frenzy. With the changes contemplated to mass freny (buff lowered to 2 from 3), this weakens this. If you don’t like that they are ranged why don’t you make them step? It would fit thematically with Vampires. Just don’t change the damage.

    Second, in Multiplayer Player, no one with high rankings >1650 plays vampires. It’s all 2 warriors and a buffing priest or 3 wizards. This is evidence that draining does not need nerfing. I myself had a 1650 rating when I had my warrior swapped in. Now that I have gone all cleric it’s in the 1300 range, I am having more fun and not spamming nimbus.

    Third, if you lower the damage Spear Of Darkness and Consuming Spear, Hand of Melvelous will suck. As it is now, it is good, not great but good. Hand of Melvelous needs to be used by people and needs to awesome. Why? It is won by defeating Melvin, who is the major antagonist in the early parts of the campaign. I secretly love this item, as does everyone who enjoys the story of the early campaign. New players will love using it.

    Fourth, priests will become solely for buffing and lose diversity. Warriors can be either tank or damage dealer, and wizards can be control or damage dealer. I enjoy the strategy involved with Vampires (as opposed to All Out Obliterating Bludgeon and Unholy Wellspring Burst Damage where there is none needed).

    On a side note, here is some free business advice (I am a Wharton MBA banker who works specifically on distressed companies for 15+ years), don’t alienate your existing consumer base. I understand your desire to make the game more friendly for potential new players that may come in from Kongregate, but the items for Vampires are easy to attain and are new player accessible. Try to make as few changes as possible (considering you just made changes also), that will meet your goals for potential new players, while at the same time retaining those players you have. Do not sacrifice your existing customer base, who gives you baseline recurring Revenue for potential Revenue you may never get. I for one won’t be playing anymore if you make the contemplated changes to Spear Of Darkness and Consuming Spear.


  2. Curse of fragility looks like a card to watch. If it ends up on good items it might be a problem later. In other words I love it!

Leave a Reply