We heard you loud and clear. In response to your feedback, we’re releasing a balance patch to address top balance concerns next week. In this post, we’re going to lay out our proposed changes to get your initial feedback for this and future balance updates.
Please note: these balance notes are subject to change.
Our increase to the base Requisition rate made early game Listening Posts a no-brainer, which we feel are too effective at holding their ground relative to their cost. As a result, we’d like to increase their cost so that the choice of where to bunker down needs to be a more strategic one.
- Listening post cost increased from 200 to 300
Skimmer Unit Pathing
If you’ve ever controlled a group of skimmers, you know that occasionally they will perform fantastical wild turns when the distance doesn’t warrant it. Here at Relic, we’re holding a moment of silence for all the skimmers that were needlessly lost while trying to perform acrobatic feats in the midst of battle. We have a change we’re testing that should replace these instances with shorter reverse-pivot turns. This will be of benefit to all skimmer units, though it will have a greater effect on Eldar players due to the number of skimmer units they have available. We also want to increase the rate at which they scale vertical objects, as that can also lead to them feeling unresponsive.
- Skimmers will now prefer to do shorter reverse-pivot moves instead of curve turns over short distances (these were particularly noticeable with move commands issued slightly behind and to the side of the skimmer)
- Increasing vertical traverse speed
Once win rates settled after launch, it became clear that the Eldar were imbalanced. They had a much higher win rate than both Space Marines and Orks, though they were especially strong versus Space Marines. Dire Avengers were overwhelmingly picked over other early game options and the Wraithlord’s Improved Webways doctrine was nearing a unanimous pick rate in the upper skill brackets.
However, the combination of our May 31st Eldar changes and the improvements to not only Tactical Marines - but also to resource generation - have exposed the general weakness of the Eldar early game. Since the trading capability of Dire Avengers was weakened, we’ve consequently seen that win rate flip the other direction.
Perhaps more importantly, webway teleportation changed in a big way. Eldar players were almost unanimously using the Improved Webways doctrine, which allowed them to circumvent the intended counterplay for the faction - Eldar are intended to build multiple webways to maintain their mobility advantage across larger areas. The webways themselves need to be vulnerable once the opponent figures out where they are. That being said, we understand that players liked how it felt to be so mobile all of the time, so we’ll continue to keep an eye on two things 1) win rates and overall balance concerns, but also 2) do they feel appropriately Eldar?
Despite wanting to knock their early game mobility down a peg, it had a big impact on how it feels to play Eldar. As a result, we want to recapture some more of the hit-and-run flavour but still make webway gates feel worth their value.
- Eldar infantry unit speed increased by 1 across the board
- Bonesinger increased from 6 to 7
- Dire Avengers increased from 6 to 7
- Dark Reapers increased from 5 to 6
- Howling Banshees increased from 6 to 7
- Shadow Spectres increased from 5.5 to 6.5
- Rangers increased from 6 to 7
- Speed bonus for non-elite infantry decreased from 3 to 2
- Speed bonus for Vehicles, Wraith and Elite units remains unaffected
- Requisition cost decreased from 150 to 125
- Power cost decreased from 30 to 25
We know this guy is too powerful, so we’re looking to address the counterplay and the way units are clustering so that his combo is a bit harder to land and not quite as devastating without support.
We can explore further changes such as capping the number of units he can pull with Eldritch Winds. Interestingly, we noticed that Kyre does not have a melee charge, but we’d like to re-evaluate Kyre when we were we he lands after these changes.
- After units are pulled to him, they are now knocked back, scattering them over a 15m area and preventing them from clumping on top of one another when landing
- Reduced speed of Eldritch Winds projectile from 15 to 12
Previously Dire Avengers were effective enough to deal with most situations such that there wasn’t much need to use other units until Tier 2. After we reduced their range and reduced the shield doctrine, we noticed their usage swung too far in the other direction. Giving back some of their range will allow them to exploit their speed even outside of webway range.
- Dire Avengers range increased from 30 to 35
These units have a very low build rate, which isn’t ideal for a unit that’s supposed to function as anti-vehicle. We think that the combination of the Eldar speed increase, a Power cost reduction and increased formation size should make them less susceptible to area of effect damage. This, in turn, will make them more viable.
- Power reduced from 30 to 15
- Increased formation size
Like Shadow Spectres, these units are not built very often. We are considering altering their ability, but that will take more development and testing time to implement. In the meantime, we did observe that they often have trouble getting into melee in a timely manner and we plan on addressing that by slightly increasing their melee weapon range and giving them a passive charge.
- Increased Shields from 1725 to 1890
- Increased Health from 1150 to 1260
Added passive melee charge on Wraithblades which has 10 range, a 10 second cooldown, lasts 5 seconds and grants 4 movement speed
This puts it in line with other melee walkers (Deff Dread, Dreadnought, Mad Dread, Wraithlord) when it comes to timing how quickly they can close the gap
Increased weapon range from 1 to 2
Overall, the Space Marines versus Ork matchup is very close to dead even, though it varies a bit per skill bracket. Although they’re in a better spot and while we are buffing Eldar, we do still feel there are a few issues that need addressing.
We’ve already addressed Tireless in this week’s patch, but we felt that we needed to dig a little deeper, as the Space Marine’s effectiveness doesn’t stem from a single doctrine choice.
Recent changes to Assault Marines put them in a much better place and that perhaps other units (such as Howling Banshees) needed some help. One thing we did notice was that their passive charge range was extremely long and slightly faster than comparable melee units. This improved their ability to get on top of and stay on top of units even more pronounced than it should have been. Given that Assault Marines already have a tremendous gap-closing advantage thanks to Jump, their passive charge should be brought in-line with other units.
- Reduced passive melee charge range from 30 to 10
- Reduced passive melee charge speed bonus from 4 to 3
Diomedes isn’t being fielded as often as we’d like, and we think that reducing his Elite Point cost should greatly improve his viability. The other benefit is that by introducing another 3 point Elite, Space Marines will have more to choose from at that stage of the game.
- Elite Point cost reduced from 4 to 3
- Health reduced from 3600 to 3100
- Respawn time reduced from 240 to 200
Predator Destructor & Annihilator
Alright, we admit that our last patch pushed the Predator Destructor too far. Our concern was that the role of this unit was muddy compared to its Annihilator counterpart, but as a result we’ve created a unit that is too effective versus all things, including the units that were meant to counter it. The plan is to bring down its damage, which consequently makes the Destructor versus Annihilator choice much more situational. Relative to other factions, they are a tad cheap to field. Based on the way we calculate population cost (based on unit price), this actually increases their population cost by 2.
- Damage decreased from 200 to 150
- Power cost increased from 275 to 300
- Population cost increased from 17 to 19
- Power cost increased from 275 to 300
- Population cost increased from 17 to 19
Nobz are a really useful unit and we don’t want to do anything too drastic, but we do feel that their Taunt range makes it too easy to land on too many units.
- Taunt radius reduced from 20 to 15
Shoota Boyz are a lot more viable now and while Stikkbombs are intended to deal more damage than other grenades, we want to reduce it a bit.
- Stikkbomb damage decreased from 90 to 60
- Tonz ‘o Bombz: Stikkbomb damage decreased from 90 to 60
Oops, we neglected to change the Gretchins’ population cost when we looked at all the other units.
- Gretchin population cost reduced from 4 to 1
- Their upgraded Suicide Bomma from scrap will do less damage versus structures
A note on doctrines
We’re aware that there are doctrines for each faction that are dominant and others that are not. We’ll be addressing this with slight nerfs, but mostly buffs. This will take longer because we have to consider and test how much these changes can act as a multiplier for overperforming units. This may occur over several patch cycles, but rest assured that we’re keeping a close eye on them!
Please feel free to share your thoughts!