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Dervish

Road to Legend class balance

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Hi everyone! My group and I are working on putting together a homebrew rebalancing of the classes for RtL to take into account the very different balance level for coop-play, and the first step to this is deciding which classes are strong and weak, relatively. I'd like to get some community feedback before moving past here, so I'm putting up what we think the class balance is like and asking for discussion to help correct the list.

This takes into account a number of factors:
- Damage, healing, and support are much more important than control and applying/removing conditions such as stun, immobilize, etc.
- Aoe attacks are massively more effective, even with the RtL damage nerf to them

- Conversely, multi-target attacks that were designed to hit many monsters even when the OL is spreading them out (and had high costs to account for this) are less effective compared to cheaper aoe since they are equally affected by damage halving.
- Overlord deck manipulation skills are useless
- Search deck skills are less useful (since they don't affect how much gold you earn)

- Some skills/tactics become more or less effective when there isn't an OL intentionally focusing a specific player (e.g. group heals, etc.)
 
WARRIORS
Very Strong: Berserker (whirlwind and counterattack are very powerful in RtL), Knight (already was strong, tanking is more useful in RtL)
Strong: Beastmaster (familiars more useful without a competent OL)
Normal: Champion, Skirmisher
A little weak: Marshal (Overlord deck manipulation skills don't work)

MAGES
Very Strong: Conjurer (OL isn't controlling the images, so prismatic strike is very strong), Geomancer (can use stones to block large creatures out of combat with no OL to intelligently clean them), Hexer (without an intelligent OL to play around it, plague cloud is far too effective, esp. with Seer Kel)
Strong: Runemaster (cheap blasts are very useful), Necromancer (familiars more useful without a competent OL)
 
SCOUTS
Strong: Treasure Hunter (was very strong, but search deck manip is not quite as useful now), Shadow Walker (monsters easily group around shadow soul for debuff, and hit the shadow souled target whose defense is buffed
Normal: Bounty Hunter, Thief, Wildlander
Weak: Stalker (was already weak, RtL didn't help)

HEALERS
Very Strong: Disciple (extremely high raw healing, prayer of peace is too strong against rtl ai), Bard (group healing is more useful in rtl than against an OL)
Strong: Apothecary (high damage output, limited spike healing is not as much of a balancing factor in rtl)

Normal: Spiritspeaker
Weak: Prophet (numerous skills that are not as effective when not fighting an OL)

Edited by Dervish

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There has been some talk on board game geek about the apothecary being strong in Road to Legend.  I don't have the expansion with apothecary so I can't comment on the validity of this talk.

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geomancer and necromancer make great tanks with their familliars, beastmaster too.

 

also beastmaster would gain alot of additional dices from ajastent wolf, so he must be pretty powerfull too (haven't played with him)

 

TH still have insane damage output, and you want health potions and stamina potions, mostly, so manipulation of search deck is kinda nice. and searching tokens for free and from distance makes him great.

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They are a little stronger, but not quite on par with the other highly tiered classes IMO, I've added another tier in between for those.
 
The higher tier for damage dealer classes is reserved either for spammable aoe (which is a big big deal in rtl), or truly obscene raw damage.  Like what a conjurer can do when no OL is keeping his images in check (every turn 4 normal attacks, and another +4 damage attack, all with bonus green dice, with surges resulting in all or more of the stamina cost being paid back)

Edited by Dervish

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One of the strongest skills of the geomancer (and other classes with familiars) is to place the stones in a way to block the placement of large monsters. If a large monster would engage, but cannot be placed adjacent to a hero due to the stupid stone, they have to do something else, and the action is usually wasted.  The rtl App is usually too stupid to activate another group to clean up the stones first, so large monsters  are usually no threat at all. Just let them bash a stone and stand around without being able to move in a meaningful way.

 

It is however to some extend up to the players to choose how stupid monsters behave.

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@Dervish

I haven't found standart aoe damage as so powerful: when it's halved for all targets, except one it became pretty weak and worth only against weak monsters, like spideys, goblins, and imps. IMO , better way to deal with something fatter will be a single and powerful attack. And for weak monsters, straight damage (tempest, for example) will be better.

That's why i'm think, that beast Master will be better in field of samashing monsters, than berserker.

But it's just our style.

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Agreed with blocking large monsters, though IMO it's only the conjurer that does this extra well. You can do this with just the placement of your usual heroes, and familiar classes have the advantage of an extra figure to do it with; the geomancer only adds a bit to this due to their slow stone recreation (as opposed to conjurer who can just dump out 3 whenever he wants, or other familiars who can move much faster and die less easily). Still, bumped geomancer up a tier per your comments.

Re:AOE, these attacks are intensely powerful for crowds in rtl. Knowing you have a guy who can multihit on command, you can stack damage on him in weird ways. For example in our group it is common for the berserker to go last in the round so as many monsters as possible are bunched up, and be buffed with +8 or more in hexes (that's being conservative, an end-game hexer can often put down 15-20 hexes in a single turn) and 2 green die or a yellow die from the healer.  Take nanok so you can shove a little guy out of the way and position yourself to hit 6+ monsters, and even with damage halving, the whole group is very likely to die (including the big guy, who unfortunately for him suffered from the hexes on everyone else in the group)

 

Our team setups, we usually want one "crowd clearer" which demands something like whirlwind or blast or similar, and one "big guy killer", which means something like the conjurer who can kill absolutely anybody in one action.  I'm not saying single target damage isn't also a big role, just that you have stiff competition to be classified "very strong" in that category, and most of the crowd killers are also good big guy killers.

 

Run a team of Berserker/Hexer/Conjurer/Disciple and you will steamroll everything rtl has to throw at you, often in a single round.

Edited by Dervish

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I so totally disagree about the Hexer. We played a game using one and it feels like their hexing isn't as useful as just being able to kill a monster in a single action. This is even with the various abilities that spread it out. If I can hex four monsters to get one more damage in OR hit a single monster for another 4 I'm definitely picking the latter.

 

I also think the skirmisher is exceptionally strong in RtL due to Unrelenting and whatever the skill is called that allows you to bounce through a bunch of monsters at once.

 

I guess for us if you can clear away a monster or two before their activation that's a LOT better than setting up four monsters to die after their activation.

Edited by Taear

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I so totally disagree about the Hexer. We played a game using one and it feels like their hexing isn't as useful as just being able to kill a monster in a single action. This is even with the various abilities that spread it out. If I can hex four monsters to get one more damage in OR hit a single monster for another 4 I'm definitely picking the latter.

 

I also think the skirmisher is exceptionally strong in RtL due to Unrelenting and whatever the skill is called that allows you to bounce through a bunch of monsters at once.

 

I guess for us if you can clear away a monster or two before their activation that's a LOT better than setting up four monsters to die after their activation.

 

Have you read through all the errata on what Plague Cloud actually does?  If the Hexer wanted to, they absolutely could wreck multiple monsters for more damage than anybody else could in a single turn.  The only reason to delay a little bit is because they can set a Berserker or a Runemaster or whoever up to do EVEN MORE RIDICULOUS things.

 

Hit a single monster for another 4?  The hexer laughs at that idea.  Let's take a very common situation in rtl: there's 5ish monsters bunched up in a hallway.  Seer Kel Hexer attacks and places a hex somewhere in the group.  She then casts Plague Cloud.  All 5 monsters now have 2 hex tokens and the original has 4, thanks to internal rot, and she now performs an attack that targets all 5 monsters, using all of their hex tokens for +12 damage and +2 pierce.  Even with halving, that is downright brutal (and keep in mind the piercing does not get halved).

 

Or, like I said, they don't use up the hex tokens, instead just allowing plague cloud to soften up the monsters (and it still gets +2 pierce).  Then they use viral hex to place the rest of their hex tokens.  Next player to go is Nanok Berserker, who shifts one of the monsters over and place them so he can get between all 5, and do a +20 damage whirlwind.  Goodbye everybody.

 

Is there a second group nearby?  Then Kel uses viral hex to spread the hex to someone in that group before the plague cloud and now hits both groups for +15-20 damage in a single turn, don't even need Nanok's help.  What other character can do something like this?

Edited by Dervish

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Overpowered: Hexer (without an intelligent OL to play around it, plague cloud is far too effective, esp. with Seer Kel)

 

 

I don't own Seer Kel ... I can imagine how effective Plague Cloud would be with her ... but I really have to say without her (or some other way to mitigate LOS) ... it's not that effective (and believe me I've tried!)

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Seer Kel bumps the hexer from "better than all other damagers" up to "wipes out rooms", but even without Kel it still seems like a significant step up from anybody else in the killing-things department.

 

Between Descent's extremely lax LOS rules, and rtl's tendency to jam all the monsters up together, it seems pretty safe to say you'll get LOS on at least a 3-4 monster clump, especially if you play someone like Ravaella or Leoric who can get up in the front.  Let's check out this typical scenario where monsters are engaging someone and jamming up on each other (M - monster, B - berserker, H - hexer):

  MM
 MMMM        
  MB
    H

Hexer goes first, hexes the monster on the right, virals it over to the monster on the left of the berserker, then casts Plague Cloud.  This targets 3 monsters (from berserker: left, up, up-right).  However, since all monsters are adjacent to them, they are all hexed for 2 (in addition to the 4 hexes that were already there).  Plague cloud hits the 3 for +10 damage, +2 pierce.  (what other damage dealer can jump straight to a multihit +10 attack on their first turn?)

 

Next up, the monsters go, in all likelihood stepping over the corpses of whoever died and surrounding the berserker again.  If not, the berserker steps forward on his turn to whirlwind 4-5 of them for probably another +8-10 damage attack.  This is the 'selfish' version of the hexer who used the viral to boost their own attack (since people voiced a preference for immediate damage).  They could instead do the viral last, which means the hexer's attack would be lighter, but then the followup attack by the berserker would get double the bonus and almost assuredly wipe out the rest of the group.

 

Then of course, there is Seer Kel, who would have just hit all 7 monsters with a +18 attack in the first place.

 

I guess though given how most seem to feel about Hexer, and considering the non-Kel version of it, I'll bump them down from 'overpowered' to 'very strong' with the other really powerful damage dealers.

Edited by Dervish

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Even with just a 3 member group, the hexer can get a +10 damage, +2 pierce attack on all of them in the first turn.  Or they can set someone else up to do a +14 damage attack.  I don't know of any other classes that really compare in the doing damage department.

 

And its much more common that there's a second group as well, the hexer manages to hit both even if they are not standing together (for probably +15 or so damage), another advantage over other damage dealers.

Edited by Dervish

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I just had to do the calculations regarding the hexer myself and I came to the conclusion that this is insane (but correct). I really don't like the erratum to plague cloud because it turns around the actual text of the card completely. I mean: If they wanted this skill to have such a devastating effect, then why didn't they write: action, all monsters next to hexed monsters in your LOS are hexed. Then, perform an attack targeting all hexed monsters in your LOS. Seems to me that the designer of the card and the guy who wrote the errata aren't the same person and they didn't talk to each other either. Anyway, plague cloud has only in RTL such a devastating effect because the monsters are just stupid. I'm gonna house rule this.

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