PDA

View Full Version : Frost Arena : The terrible design decisions



Theik
08-16-2015, 05:59 AM
Let me first say that the Frost Arena is great fun, I've been running it for ages now, but every now and then there are just encounters that make you go "whatever", surrender and withdraw from the arena because they are just plain undoable.

While the overall arena is great, certain encounters are just super poorly tuned and really need some looking at.


Challenges on boss encounters
I have no idea who thought this was a good idea, but it really isn't. A difficult boss like Eurig can be made downright impossible when he gets something like a tower or a shrine. To make matters worse, if you get a combination that is downright brutal like say... Xarlox and a Cerebral Fulmination, you can't get around it.

Where as your reward for winning a challenge is just plain lost if you lose a fight against a boss, you will be forced to bang your head against that same boss with the same challenge for no reason whatsoever.

Just get rid of challenges on bosses, it's needlessly unfair and turns an otherwise easy run into an RNG nightmare.

War Bot
This guy is just... plain boring. If you happen to play an artifact deck he's a complete joke, if you don't you're forced to either play rush and burn him down before he gets to 10 charges, or play the long game and play only a single troop and hope he doesn't decide to board clear you anyway.

Maybe this will be fixed one day by allowing us to have a mercenary with an all artifact deck, but right now he needlessly punishes people who don't play rush/artifact.

Xarlox The Broodlord
This guy wins the award for worst design in the history of gaming, to be frank. If he draws well, your deck is milled in 4 turns and you're out of cards. If you draw poorly, you will be facing 3 5/5s on turn 5 who also take down your own troops as they spawn. If he draws regularly and you do too, he's not a big deal.

This guy is just a RNG nightmare that screams "you better hope you get lucky", as there is little to no counter-play to be had here. A good start would be to remove the "kill opposing troop" from his Terrortanulas as that just adds insult to injury, but quite frankly his ability to mill your deck in 3 turns if he happens to draw well is also just plain silly.

Xenavire
08-16-2015, 06:25 AM
Boss challenges:

I rarely find these to be a problem. I almost never lose to bosses when they have challenges on them, and the only truly dangerous one is mastery of time. This is only punishing for less experienced people.

War Bot:
Boring? Check. Difficult? Depends. I think that the charge power is too cheap, which just makes the other flaws more obvious. At 15 would have been the sweet spot to punish aggro that plays badly, without being able to blow out control or combo repeatedly.

Xarlox:
The problem here is the power of his mill. There aren't enough anti-mill cards, so taking 10, 4 escalating, 4 on a recurring troop, and 3 from charge power, not to mention the unique vennen cards he has, adds up very quickly. I don't mind him as a fight as long as he isn't completely milling me by turn 7-8, since it is very hard to kill him early. Nerf the mill a bit, and you have an interesting fight.

All in all, the arena isn't all that difficult atm. I think these balance talks are best saved until after the AI can play competently, which will be the time the flaws matter.

Theik
08-16-2015, 06:39 AM
The boss challenges can be fairly easy, or just downright punishing if you happen to get a shitty combination.
However, there literally is no reason to even allow them to happen on bosses in the first place. It adds an extra pointless RNG mechanic where you can either have a very easy run because you have a bonus against a boss, or a far more difficult run because you are facing a boss with an additional penalty.

Aradon
08-16-2015, 07:59 AM
I disagree, I like the fact that challenges show up on boss fights too. I think that they needed to add a way to create some harder levels of difficulty for stronger decks, and this does it without completely disrupting the experience for people who don't have strong decks yet. I do think that, like the bonus, the challenge should go away after the first failure, so that decks that aren't up to the challenge don't just get booted out of the arena.

MaximumSquid
08-16-2015, 08:39 AM
Arena is a like a dry run for up coming PvE content

There has been a huge amount of feedback with regards to AI and ability balance already

You need to take into consideration how strong PvE decks can be once you add equipment, though

Building something that can win even when the AI gets near perfect RNG is the goal you should be aiming for

AdamAoE2
08-16-2015, 08:56 AM
I'm okay with challenges on boss battles, but the problem is that you aren't summarily rewarded for beating the ramped up difficulty. If there was enhanced loot, or special treasure for beating a boss with a challenge, it would make for a much better feeling. Instead, it's just a huge difficulty spike with no real benefit.

Turtleshellon
08-16-2015, 09:21 AM
I agree that challenges on the boss is pretty dumb and counter productive to the whole point of the challenge. Then on top of that if you lose to the boss the challenge stays there until you beat him. I strongly disagree with challenges on boss fights.

WWKnight
08-16-2015, 09:24 AM
I like challenges on Boss Fights, but my complaint is that if I lose the challenge stays. Meanwhile, if I have a buff for the boss fight and I lose, that goes away.

All I'd really want is, one way or the other, make it uniform. Either the buff stays through loses, or the challenge leaves after a loss.

Arbiter
08-16-2015, 03:52 PM
I don't like challenges on boss encounters. The encounter is already harder, as you missed the chance to get a bonus on it earlier,Nd if you get through you may end up with two bonuses on the boss after, trivialising that. Some combinations are almost impossible - I have gotten a prosperous King Gabriel once... it wasn't pretty. The boss buff should be consistent with the player buff and go away after the first loss.

I have more of a problem with the rarity of the Uru encounter. Being that rare on a grindy instance is not good design. It would be far better if the encounter was procced, or had a higher chance of coming in if you had a certain play condition met. Low, uncontrollable,random chance is not fun.

The final issue I have is the loot proportion. You need four cards form a playset, but only one to two - if there are two different ones - pieces of equipment. The loot tables are all out of whack, which makes equipment valueless and inflates card values. Maybe crafting will, fix this, but I'd prefer to see better odds more in proportion on the loot table. Put all the PVP equipment in chests and get the cards off that loot table and the Wheel of Fate too.

HaemishM
08-16-2015, 03:59 PM
Challenges on boss encounters are a really bad idea, especially if we are going to continue with some of the ridiculously bad and overpowered bosses such as Xarlox. Plus, there seems to be no real reward for beating a boss with a challenge - if you already have a loss, beating this challenge will only remove a strike. There's no additional bonus loot for beating a challenge boss and the loot tables are bad enough as they are.

I totally agree with the original poster about War Bot and Xarlox - these are both horrible, lazy-design encounters that reduce the game to an utter random roll of the dice. Both bosses can board wipe with almost no effort and there is absolutely no counter for it. Even burn/rush decks might not work because of how quickly some of the board wipe conditions can escalate.

thereck
08-16-2015, 05:11 PM
my problem with arena right now is that it's obviously designed with player classes and abilities in mind, it's too powerful for most decks to survive in it. (I'd argue the only deck that is arena capable right now is Rush orcs) the drops are ok now that they added dust to it, and I'm sure crafting will let me mill these dead equipments into consumables.

Malakili
08-16-2015, 05:32 PM
Robots crushes too. And gets around warbot.

Mejis
08-16-2015, 06:17 PM
I totally agree with the original poster about War Bot and Xarlox - these are both horrible, lazy-design encounters that reduce the game to an utter random roll of the dice. Both bosses can board wipe with almost no effort and there is absolutely no counter for it. Even burn/rush decks might not work because of how quickly some of the board wipe conditions can escalate.

Not true. I've recently been playing with Yazukan-themed decks a lot and found that these are a good counter to mill/Xarlox (not Warbot though, as he voids).
I've stomped Xarlox several times using such decks because any cards he mills either come back from the dead, or add excessive counters to Scroll of Yazukan such that I'm bringing out a 6/6 crush each turn.
Sure, he can still RNG you, but it's become a highly enjoyable deck for the whole of arena.

WWKnight
08-16-2015, 08:07 PM
There are plenty of arena capable decks beyond orcs :/

Where the heck do you get a statement like that from.

Prominis
08-16-2015, 08:16 PM
There are plenty of arena capable decks beyond orcs :/

Where the heck do you get a statement like that from.

This.

Ruby Orcs and Dwarf Weenies are just the most commonly used, most efficient, fastest, and also rather relatively cheap options, especially if you went with either of those starters. A number of decks can reliably clear the arena, but usually slower and more expensively.
For example, I can consistently clear with a lifegain deck based around Paladins (necropolis & righteous) but it takes twice as long as my Dwarf deck.

Oroniss
08-16-2015, 08:17 PM
The storm cloud deck from the recent convocation packs rolls both these two very nicely. Xarlox pretty much straight up loses to a single cloud king, and you can usually get warbot the same way - just sacrifice everything early, and you can use your stormlings to kill your other elementals in response to him using his power so they all come back when you play and sac the cloud king.

Life gain decks work pretty well against both encounters (spearcliff cloudknight + equipment is really good against both). Anything that tunnels is good against them both, so are troops with speed. Titania's also works well.

I don't really like the design of either encounter, but there are many, many decks that can go perfect against the arena, including beating those two most of the time.

Mejis
08-16-2015, 08:55 PM
Yep ^

I will also add that I've had huge success with complete runs using some nice prophecy decks too. Coyotles can get out of hand quite quickly. It's a lot slower than ruby rush of course, but it's fun and different.

WWKnight
08-16-2015, 10:15 PM
That's the thing. If you stop speed running through arena, it can be fun to brew new decks just for the hell of it.

Sadly, since set three the AI has just been completely dumbed down. I had endless enjoyment of running through before.

Mejis
08-16-2015, 10:26 PM
That's the thing. If you stop speed running through arena, it can be fun to brew new decks just for the hell of it.

Sadly, since set three the AI has just been completely dumbed down. I had endless enjoyment of running through before.

I'm gonna argue it hasn't be dumbed down, I think there have been numerous changes that have altered its behaviour such that it is currently in some weird intermediate stage that makes it appear dumb whereas in fact it is just going through some evolutionarily-necessary valley...

;)

WWKnight
08-16-2015, 10:28 PM
Oh, its definitely not intentionally dumbed down.

Something that was fixed is now broke. I don't think this was a decision that was made, for sure.

Mejis
08-16-2015, 10:33 PM
Oh, its definitely not intentionally dumbed down.

Something that was fixed is now broke. I don't think this was a decision that was made, for sure.

Sorry, I re-read my reply, I didn't mean to imply you meant it was deliberate. I was just making a point that I hope it's a necessary consequence of a hopefully-soon-to-be-realised leap in AI ability. :)

Khazrakh
08-17-2015, 01:21 AM
Sorry, I re-read my reply, I didn't mean to imply you meant it was deliberate. I was just making a point that I hope it's a necessary consequence of a hopefully-soon-to-be-realised leap in AI ability. :)

Let's hope you are right. I showed Hex to a friend coming from Hearthstone yesterday and while he liked the game initially he was somewhat shocked how bad the AI is. I really enjoyed coming up with different decks and I've perfected the arena with a lot of different fun decks, but right now I just farm it with my fastest deck possible because there is no real challenge anyway.

Marsden
08-17-2015, 01:25 AM
War Bot:
Boring? Check. Difficult? Depends. I think that the charge power is too cheap, which just makes the other flaws more obvious. At 15 would have been the sweet spot to punish aggro that plays badly, without being able to blow out control or combo repeatedly.

The charge power is probably priced right at 10, but the problem is it's combined with Crackling Vortex and bonus charges for almost every card War Bot can play and it becomes ridiculous and effectively only costed at 5.

When War Bot also gets the Shrine of Prosperity challenge for those extra charges I almost ragequit.

starwing
08-17-2015, 01:39 AM
Yeah, the arena AI is silly right now, but I have a lot of fun building and trying out new decks in the arena because of the variety of decks to play against. I wouldn't like to encounter Uruunaz with a lesser deck I was toying around with though :p (I haven't encountered him at all yet.)

I just about killed War Bot with my elf deck last night, which made losing more annoying because I was just so close to victory! lol

Showsni
08-17-2015, 06:37 AM
As a regular enemy, I don't think War Bot is really a big problem. You shouldn't expect to 20-0 with every deck you take into the arena. Maybe you have a bad matchup against War Bot; and that's fine, because it's just one fight and you can make it up elsewhere. Without some more challenging regular enemies there wouldn't be a challenge at all, and that would be worse. War Bot in particular, I'll admit, is an interesting point, as it's very easy to build a counter deck (run artefacts yourself, or something like Total Meltdown), but he's a big challenge for any deck not tailored to beat him.

Boss challenges; yeah, they're pretty bad. I would disagree with the OP who's complaining about Fulmination challenge against Xarlox, though. Fulmination challenge is great! Free cards! Sure, he might get Terrorantula a little more easily; but you're drawing more cards to replace the ones he killed anyway. Now, when Xarlox gets the Mastery of Time challenge and also good draws... that's a nightmare. And it does feel unfair that they keep the challenge if you lose and have to fight them again.

As for Xarlox in general... He needs to get very lucky to fully mill you out, but sometimes it happens and feels unstoppable. That's rare, though. More common, he'll hit multiple Terrorantulas, and that feels hard to beat. A single one you can usually cope with. But if he gets lucky and gets two or three you might be in trouble without board wipes. Though it does make a nice story for when you overcome him - in one of Alucard's arena speedrun challenges we had to beat every enemy without dealing fatal damage to them. And I ran into Xarlox - and he got all three Terrorantulas out before my turn three, then Inquisitioned and Milled away my major wincon. Just look at the crazy luck (and one AI misplay) I needed to claw my way back:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lASLvNNR-AQ

EntropyBall
08-17-2015, 07:02 AM
I can live with boss challenges if they take out Xarlox. Worst part of the arena IMO. Far too swingy. Princess Cory is swingy, but he comes out on the losing end of his random abilities enough that it doesn't feel as punishing. Xarlox with Mastery of Time challenge is absolutely horrible, and pretty bad with Cerebral too.

I think War Bot is fair. You know what's going to happen, you know you may run into him, and you either have a strategy or you accept the loss. Because the AI is predictable, there are ways to play around his ability. Xarlox is just far too RNG dependent for my tastes.

Clawdius
08-17-2015, 07:21 AM
Really with Boss challenges, the problem the way I see it is that you lose your buffs if you lose once, but they have the same challenge bonus. If you run into Xarlox with a Cerebral Fulmination challenge, your run is probably over. It's bad enough that my luck with RNGs means I will get a turn 1 Terrorantula 2/3 runs, but with Cerebral Fulmination I can easily have 3 5/5s facing me on turn 2.

The difficulty level would be so much higher if the AI wasn't completely idiotic and broken. I really hope that the arena has a lot better loot when they manage to actually fix the AI, or else there will be no reason for anyone to ever do it after there is any other kind of content out.

Ertzi
08-17-2015, 07:30 AM
Regarding different decks that can do well in Arena, I just perfect-cleared using a 5-color Necrotic deck. I also curb-stomped Xarlox and War Bot in the process. Try it, it is surprisingly powerful. Slow as sin though, as figuring out which shard to play alone takes time :D

Vorpal
08-17-2015, 09:54 AM
I disagree, I like the fact that challenges show up on boss fights too. I think that they needed to add a way to create some harder levels of difficulty for stronger decks, and this does it without completely disrupting the experience for people who don't have strong decks yet. I do think that, like the bonus, the challenge should go away after the first failure, so that decks that aren't up to the challenge don't just get booted out of the arena.

Instead, the opposite happens. You lose your boss bonus, and the boss keeps his boss challenge! This is bad.

The other worst design decision for arena is Urunaaz being so rare and so valuable.

Sixlooter
08-19-2015, 05:02 AM
I'm okay with challenges on boss battles, but the problem is that you aren't summarily rewarded for beating the ramped up difficulty. If there was enhanced loot, or special treasure for beating a boss with a challenge, it would make for a much better feeling. Instead, it's just a huge difficulty spike with no real benefit.

/signed a challenge boss battle should result in a significantly better reward and you should be able to choose it like in an option. My current deck is running arena even when boss challanges occur on a 50% perfect all tears to 1 loss due to really bad luck und drawing/lucky other side on the other 50%. But not everyone has almost every card to build a decent deck or the experience.

Theik
08-19-2015, 02:37 PM
There -is- actually a bonus to beating a boss with a boss challenge, you will face the next boss with an extra bonus to start with. (So you could have both a brawler and 25 health, for example.)


However, this is obviously not a very good risk/reward system.
If you can beat a boss with a penalty, you really aren't going to need that second buff against the next boss all that badly.

Sixlooter
08-20-2015, 04:17 AM
There -is- actually a bonus to beating a boss with a boss challenge, you will face the next boss with an extra bonus to start with. (So you could have both a brawler and 25 health, for example.)


However, this is obviously not a very good risk/reward system.
If you can beat a boss with a penalty, you really aren't going to need that second buff against the next boss all that badly.

/signed ;)

Vorpal
08-20-2015, 08:26 AM
There -is- actually a bonus to beating a boss with a boss challenge, you will face the next boss with an extra bonus to start with. (So you could have both a brawler and 25 health, for example.)


However, this is obviously not a very good risk/reward system.
If you can beat a boss with a penalty, you really aren't going to need that second buff against the next boss all that badly.

Yup. Congratulations! You beat Xarloxx with Mastery of Time! Here, have 5 more health against Princess Cory.

pyrovoice
08-20-2015, 01:34 PM
don't forget that the arena is by no mean perfect, it is just here to have something PvE while developing the real PvE content

Tsundere
08-20-2015, 02:43 PM
I agree with the op's comments on the arena.

I scrambled together an Elven Ruby / Wild deck and Xarlox and Warbot make me pull my hair out.
I had no strikes up until i met Xarlox and he made me rage quit after he just threw all my deck in the trash can before i could throw four troops on the board which he immediatetly butchered with the spiders...

And i'm not fast enough usually to rush Warbot unless i luck out (me very good hand, him very bad hand)

Also i've seen King Gabriel with Prosperity, all i can say is Ouch. :)

Prominis
08-20-2015, 05:55 PM
Ruby elves can actually pretty reliably take out War Bot, I find. Since it usually won't use its charge power unless you have more than one troop, just put a Blademaster down and keep pumping it up. War Bot doesn't void it, and you can kill practically anything War Bot puts out via swiftstrike.

I think Xarlox is perfect as he is though, because even if I hate him and have been 0 -3 'd by him before, he's the only boss I've met that can, about half the time, beat me. Uruunaz is of course, exempted because the dragon doesn't exist... right?

HaemishM
08-20-2015, 09:17 PM
War Bot is certainly beatable with more than just rush decks. All of these champs are beatable. The problem is that some of them, specifically War Bot and Xarlox and I'd put Princess Cory into the mix as well, they just ARE NOT FUN. Xarlox is especially horrible because all it takes is a turn 2 terrorantula and game over. There's a certain randomness to expect in CCG's, and I'm down with that. Princess Cory's randomness is annoying and frustrating because it is so stupid. It hurts itself just as much if not more than it hurts the player. Xarlox, however, is one of those kind of "flip a coin" encounters. Heads you win, tails you get 50 cards milled in 10 turns and everything you do gets countered for free by terrorantulas and there's not nearly enough cheap interrupts to stop it no matter what color you play. It's simply NOT FUN.

War Bot isn't random so much as it is completely the opposite of fun. Oh yay, I get a board wipe every 5th turn unless I only have one chump card out. And it's free for him! HURRAY! That takes so much skill. OH wait, no it's the opposite of skill. It's more like playing a four-year old who scatters all your cards whenever he feels like it and you can't stop him.

If the AI had even the modicum of ability to block correctly or recognize the value of cards, some of these encounters would be utterly impossible 90% of the time.

Prominis
08-21-2015, 06:29 AM
I'd put Princess Cory into the mix as well, they just ARE NOT FUN.There's a certain randomness to expect in CCG's, and I'm down with that. Princess Cory's randomness is annoying and frustrating because it is so stupid. It hurts itself just as much if not more than it hurts the player.
(cut out non-cory parts)

What is this blasphemy. Princess Cory is the best boss.

bwarner
08-21-2015, 07:30 AM
Princess Cory is definitely the most fun boss. The utter chaos that ensues every time you play him is awesome. You've got all sorts of opportunities to stomp the AI with your well-tuned aggro deck. Cory is your one chance to sit back and enjoy as your troops are turned into artifacts only to return as ridiculously overpowered legendaries.

Malakili
08-21-2015, 07:31 AM
Princess Cory is definitely the most fun boss. The utter chaos that ensues every time you play him is awesome. You've got all sorts of opportunities to stomp the AI with your well-tuned aggro deck. Cory is your one chance to sit back and enjoy as your troops are turned into artifacts only to return as ridiculously overpowered legendaries.

I assume this is sarcasm?

catacasa
08-21-2015, 07:43 AM
Princess Cory is definitely the most fun boss. The utter chaos that ensues every time you play him is awesome. You've got all sorts of opportunities to stomp the AI with your well-tuned aggro deck. Cory is your one chance to sit back and enjoy as your troops are turned into artifacts only to return as ridiculously overpowered legendaries.

I concur. He is fun and chaotic.

Salverus
08-21-2015, 07:47 AM
i dont think its sarcasm. Cory is just a fun and easy boss and additionally you get to play with some cards that are not in your deck, maybe even cards you do not own at all. which is always great.

bwarner
08-21-2015, 08:04 AM
I assume this is sarcasm?

No, I'm completely serious. The best is with my Shin Hare decks, because then I have like 7 troops out, and when he plays his randomize everything card, I have to try to reassess all the new troops I have. I love it!

Mahes
08-21-2015, 08:09 AM
I think the dragon is the worst part of the Arena.

Creating an ultra rare random encounter, that no amount of play skill has influence on seeing, that only rewards if beaten, is the worst design decision of the Arena by far.

At least I get to play against the bosses everyone hates.

Tazelbain
08-21-2015, 08:23 AM
Up the Uru % and but only if you have no rares and legionaries in your deck.

catacasa
08-21-2015, 08:43 AM
I think the dragon is the worst part of the Arena.

Creating an ultra rare random encounter, that no amount of play skill has influence on seeing, that only rewards if beaten, is the worst design decision of the Arena by far.

At least I get to play against the bosses everyone hates.

I made a similar point in a different thread. The Uruunaz encounter was implemented very poorly. There could have been interactive events that would possibly trigger Uruunaz to show, but instead we get lazy RNG. I really hope the campaign doesn't have more of this laziness. This is supposed to be a RPG after all...

Vorpal
08-21-2015, 09:00 AM
Princess Cory is definitely the most fun boss. The utter chaos that ensues every time you play him is awesome. You've got all sorts of opportunities to stomp the AI with your well-tuned aggro deck. Cory is your one chance to sit back and enjoy as your troops are turned into artifacts only to return as ridiculously overpowered legendaries.

I enjoy the Princess Cory encounter too. It is highly random, but it can lead to some pretty hilarious board states and let you see/play with cards your deck otherwise wouldn't see.

He's generally a pretty easy encounter, despite the randomness, so it's just a fun way to show off a cool deck concept.


I think the dragon is the worst part of the Arena.

Creating an ultra rare random encounter, that no amount of play skill has influence on seeing, that only rewards if beaten, is the worst design decision of the Arena by far.

At least I get to play against the bosses everyone hates.

Yup, that was awful.

HaemishM
08-21-2015, 09:27 AM
Don't even get me started on Uru as a boss encounter. I have played WAY too much Arena trying to earn gold to open the buttload of chests I have but I have NEVER seen this boss. Ever. Surely there should be some additional condition you can fulfill to get to him. I'd rather see him as a random chance to play a 21st game in Arena after a perfect run than just be some completely random ultra uber rare encounter.