Character Engineering

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  • ErikPeterErikPeter Posts: 714 Critical Contributor
    No opinion about my previous idea ? icon_mad.gif Cause it would be nice about reworking the lvl 140 3* guys. ^^

    You mean the thing about having two powers of the same color? One active, one passive?

    I don't think it would be a big deal, even two active powers in the same color would give you a choice of what to do. But it seems needlessly confusing. The dev team has been moving away from character build exceptions; For example, Cmags and GSW used to have a color scheme that differed from their powers, e.g. GSW's damage was Blue/Black/Purple, so someone could tank for her on green and red so she didn't take hits while building up for Sniper Rifle/Pistol. Now they match. Rags is due for a color rebalancing as well. Making a character have double-blue or something like that would be a step backward in streamlining the design and making it understandable to the players.

    From a macro perspective, it might not be a terrible idea. The learning curve of figuring out that Iceman is more dangerous with blue might end up more satisfying than confusing to new players. E.g. Minecraft, a complex game with no official documentation that players love figuring out by asking friends or checking the wiki; You can bet that Microsoft will try to "fix" this by making it simple to use, possibly upsetting the difficulty curve and unbalancing the game. So there is something to be said for keeping inconsistency in the game.

    In the case of doubling colors of abilities, I think it's too much of a departure from the formula. Imagine discussing the power: "Hey I won Iceman's blue." "Which one?" "Er, Ice Wall." "Is that the passive one?" ... And even worse, trying to figure out which reward you'll be getting for the current tournament. You can just as easily use the existing color wheel for powers and avoid this kind of confusion.
  • KolenceKolence Posts: 678 Critical Contributor
    Here are the suggestions I made for Moonstone's purpleflag.png and blackflag.png in her thread.
    Gravity Warp - Purple 10 AP
    Moonstone forms a gravity warp on a Basic tile that causes it and two closest Basic tiles of the same color in the chosen tile's row or column to be sucked in and collapsed, generating AP and causing the tiles behind them to shift toward the implosion. As tiles collapse, emitted radiation does 11 damage to the target.
    Level Upgrades
      Level 2: Can suck in enemy Attack tiles. Collapse damage increased to 12. Level 3: Can suck in enemy Protect tiles. Collapse damage increased to 13. Level 4: Can suck in enemy Strike tiles. Collapse damage increased to 15. Level 5: Can suck in enemy Countdown tiles. Collapse damage increased to 19.
    Max Level: 178 damage.

    Control Shift - Black 11 AP
    Moonstone tries to take control of a random enemy Countdown tile. If her team has 5+ AP in the color of the tile, she succeeds but spends 3 AP of that color. For any Countdown she fails to overtake, the targeted enemy is stunned for 1 turn.
    Level Upgrades
      Level 2: Chosen tile's Countdown is decreased by 1 (to a minimum of 2). Level 3: Only spends 2 AP of the tile's color per tile. Level 4: Can try to take control of two enemy Countdown tiles. Level 5: Chosen tiles' Countdown decreased by 2 (min. of 1). Spends 1 AP per tile.
  • PylgrimPylgrim Posts: 2,296 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited November 2014
    Kolence wrote:
    Here are the suggestions I made for Moonstone's purpleflag.png and blackflag.png in her thread.
    Gravity Warp - Purple 10 AP
    Moonstone forms a gravity warp on a Basic tile that causes it and two closest Basic tiles of the same color in the chosen tile's row or column to be sucked in and collapsed, generating AP and causing the tiles behind them to shift toward the implosion. As tiles collapse, emitted radiation does 11 damage to the target.
    Level Upgrades
      Level 2: Can suck in enemy Attack tiles. Collapse damage increased to 12. Level 3: Can suck in enemy Protect tiles. Collapse damage increased to 13. Level 4: Can suck in enemy Strike tiles. Collapse damage increased to 15. Level 5: Can suck in enemy Countdown tiles. Collapse damage increased to 19.
    Max Level: 178 damage.

    Control Shift - Black 11 AP
    Moonstone tries to take control of a random enemy Countdown tile. If her team has 5+ AP in the color of the tile, she succeeds but spends 3 AP of that color. For any Countdown she fails to overtake, the targeted enemy is stunned for 1 turn.
    Level Upgrades
      Level 2: Chosen tile's Countdown is decreased by 1 (to a minimum of 2). Level 3: Only spends 2 AP of the tile's color per tile. Level 4: Can try to take control of two enemy Countdown tiles. Level 5: Chosen tiles' Countdown decreased by 2 (min. of 1). Spends 1 AP per tile.

    Interesting reworkings but they have way too many knobs. Even someone like me who is constantly thinking about these things almost gave up reading through their descriptions as the variables and conditions piled up. They need to be more straight forward so anyone just picking the game for the first time will immediately grasp their utility. (Moonstone is the first "higher rarity" character that most new players acquire).

    I believe that Gravity Warp should be a straight out "choose two tiles, they're swapped" (and cost as little as 6 purpleflag.png ) which makes an interesting mini-game of milking as much value as possible of such simple move. Control Shift doesn't require much change, really other than being slightly cheaper and/or not random. 13 blackflag.png sounds fair to me.
  • ErikPeterErikPeter Posts: 714 Critical Contributor
    Yeah, those are too complex. As I mentioned in the fix Moonstone thread, one of the reasons people don't invest in her is how weirdly case-specific her powers are. Control Shift's 'no countdown tiles' clause should be a 5-turn stun (or 2-turn team stun) at that price. Gravity Warp is better as single target destruction and damage (when the enemy has no valid special tiles), and its utility gets more random as you level it up for damage. Here are my fixes (I think Photon Blast is fine.)
      purpleflag.pngGravity Warp 8 AP
      Moonstone manipulates gravity, causing tiles to fall upward after destroying a target tile. If the tile destroyed is a basic tile, the warp collapses dealing an additional 143 damage.
      Level 2: Collapse damage increased to 164.
      Level 3: Collapse damage increased to 186.
      Level 4: Warp collapses when targeting any non-Countdown tile. Collapse damage increased to 207.
      Level 5: Warp collapses when targeting any tile. Damage increased to 229.

      The idea here is that it is still thematic--tiles falling upward (just for the cascade immediately following activation) would be a pretty interesting consideration. And the fact that it always works makes it more generally useful. The rest of the power is geared toward simplicity. It'd be very useful at 3 covers but desirable to 5. The AI would be random but still roughly as dangerous as it is now.

      I'll think about Control Shift a bit more and fill that in later.
    • simonsezsimonsez Posts: 4,663 Chairperson of the Boards
      The problem with buffing characters like Moonstone, is that PvE becomes unnecessarily difficult. When faced with overscaled 2*s and 1*s, at least you can target nodes where 1 or 2 of them aren't as dangerous as say an Ares or Jugg. I really don't want to see PvE where every character in the node can beat the tinykitty out of me.
    • I started a discussion in the Suggestion and Feedback subforum regarding a fix for Moonstone. Since then, it has been brought to my attention that suggestions of this nature would get better discussion in this thread. You can find the original thread I am referencing here.

      I'm just going to quote my OP for this, with some slight tweaking. There are also a few other discussed options in the related thread that should be worth consideration.


      I like Moonstone. I'm probably the only one. I tend to only use her when she is powered up these days, but there was a while where I used her as a regular support character to compliment Thor, Ares and Wolverine when I was in the 2* stage. In particular, I find her red ability to be quite powerful under the right circumstances. Other times, it's kind of meh. But of the three powers, it's the only one that I think is where it should be.

      Her purple ability is one that is more powerful at lower levels. It does a low amount of damage if the opponents don't have a special tile of various colors. The more covers you have, the more colors for special tiles can be moved. This is bad because if you do move an enemy special tile, her ability doesn't do any damage. It also swaps a special tile at random, so if the enemy team has more than one, you might not move the tile you want. When that happens, and it happens a lot, the ability is basically a waste of AP. When there are no special tiles to move is when the ability is at its best. Blowing out a single tile can line up other moves, and sometimes set up cascades or 5 of a kind matches. Not to mention that this is the only time the ability deals damage. This is what we want.

      So what should it do to make it better? Well for one, the power should get better as you acquire more covers for it, not worse. So instead of swapping a random special tile, how about we blow out a single tile. You pick a tile on the board, and you get the effect of the "warp field collapsing" every time. Initially you can only collapse tiles that are purple or black. As you acquire more covers, you can choose tiles of additional colors. Level 2: Red. Level 3: Yellow. Level 4: Blue. Level 5: Any. You can hit any special tiles, so long as it's of the proper color. It still wouldn't be great, but at least it would be usable.

      Her black power is one that could be useful, provided it didn't cost 17 AP to activate. It changes an enemy countdown tile to your team, and brings the timer down to 2. This is pretty sweet if it hits a good ability. Switching over MN Mags tiles can be nice. Her ability also comes with a 2 turn stun, which is always nice. So the biggest issue I have with this ability is the cost. It's not a bad ability, but at 17 AP it might as well cost 100. You almost never get there. Dropping it down to 10-12 AP would make it much more useful.

      So that's my thoughts on how we can fix Moonstone. I am open to other suggestions as well. Constructive discussion and ideas on ways to improve Moonstone are welcome!
    • ErikPeterErikPeter Posts: 714 Critical Contributor
      I agree that Moonstone's two biggest flaws are
      • Control Shift is too expensive for the effect (Especially since a CD isn't guaranteed to survive anyway)
      • If the enemy has multiple special tiles, Gravity Warp has a good chance of doing nothing. Powers that do nothing are bad (see: Daredevil).
      I like your idea of changing Warp to a guaranteed tile destruction effect, which I adapted in my spec of the power, above.

      Control Shift is a different beast, though. To repeat some earlier sentiments, simply making it cheaper might not work the way we think about it, especially since Moonstone is so common an enemy in PvE. Making Shift too cheap would seriously hose CD-reliant heroes like Cap, Human Torch, Hawkeye and MNMags, and frustrate anyone else who uses minor CDs. Before simply cutting the cost by 50% we should think about changes that could fix it, while keeping it a "once a fight" power. My essential point is that If you can build up the AP to use it, it better be worth using. The handful of times I've used Moonstone, it usually ends up being a one-turn stun for 17 AP. Awful!

      It definitely should let you pick the target tile--so you can pick Flamethrower instead of Pistol, or pick a tile that won't be simply matched away next turn. That wouldn't make the AI any more dangerous. And in the presence of no CDs, or lame ones, it should do something better than a little stun. How about a big one? I think the 5/1/1 Stun that Black Widow has would be much more desirable than 2 turns. And the "Always Stun" clause should be rank 3 at the latest.
    • MawtfulMawtful Posts: 1,646 Chairperson of the Boards
      I offered some thoughts on Moonstone a long time ago, here: viewtopic.php?p=158320#p158320

      I think I mention it in the post, but it was originally designed as a counter point to OBW when she was at the height of her dominance.

      My take on Gravity Warp was similar, but with a bit of Fury's trap tiles (except it was before Fury was released). Gravity tiles also destroy the surrounding tiles when matched. At higher ranks, Moonstone can place more Warps, and eventually Warp tiles are linked, so when one is destroyed they all collapse.

      Control Shift would steal enemy special tiles. I think at rank 5 it would take every enemy special tile on the board, but would grant the enemy AP as a part of the cost. This was designed to combo with her last ability.

      Photon Blast was redesigned as a kind of "mana burn" ability, dealing extra damage based on how much AP the enemy had, rather than a particular tile type on the board.
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