4 mana for disbelieve is too much.

Discussion and questions about the latest version of Chaos Reborn. Not for bugs, but for comments about the game play.
Sun Nov 20, 2016 11:36 am

  • I'm spending games using disbelieve as a mana battery rather than as a means of testing out whether my opponent is using illusions or not.

    The whole bluff aspect of the game that is associated with the illusion/disbelieve mechanic is a wonderful aspect of the game. But it becoming sidelined as a mechanic when disbelieve is such as attractive option to cast.

    - Disbelieve gifts 4 mana.
    - A successful disbelieve allows a 2nd cast of the same (or another spell).
    - Mana for burning starts at 8 and then scales down 8, 7, 6 ,5 and then you might as well disbelieve.
    - For matches with a high number of turns the number of spells available to you doesn't scale up, therefore disbelieve will always become a default cast for players at some point in the game.
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  • SpiteAndMalice wrote:- For matches with a high number of turns the number of spells available to you doesn't scale up, therefore disbelieve will always become a default cast for players at some point in the game.


    I am not disagreeing with your point, but remember that each time a Mega Spell is used, this is essentially increasing the deck size by 1 by delaying the casting of any other spell. ;)

    Personally, I don't feel that getting 4 mana for an unsuccessful disbelieve is too much in Chaos mode; it seems just about right for that mode. However, in Law mode, I think farming mana by disbelieving is more of an issue because mana itself is more important. I have had matches where one or both players refuse to cast creatures and instead cast magic weapons, growths or structures just to deny their opponent a consistent source of mana in the early game. I have also had matches where another player consistently disbelieved everything I cast so that they could get their own Mega Spell out earlier. Both of those situations only happen in Law matches for me, and somewhat infrequently.

    But when things like this do happen, it is frustrating to me. :evil: This seems like an unintended mechanic that can affect the dynamic of the match significantly. I'm not sure exactly what the solution should be.. Reduce it to 3 mana in Law mode, maybe? Or perhaps there should be a system of diminishing returns, like with burning spells for mana (ie, you get 4 mana for the first one, 3 for the second, 2 for the third, and 1 for each one thereafter)? :idea:
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  • I don't think there is much of a problem myself. Remember, they have added in other stuff like it costing 5(?) mana to dispel a blob and some ice.

    There might be more of a point in Law but a lot of the Law creatures cost so much in the first place to cast that overall it is probably not much of a factor.. you are losing a turn when you disbelieve incorrectly, anyway.
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  • Yogicfire wrote:I don't think there is much of a problem myself. Remember, they have added in other stuff like it costing 5(?) mana to dispel a blob and some ice.




    That's kinda the point I'm making... Disbelieve with a 4 mana reward is made partially into a sub mechanic of mana. It should IMHO exist in its own right.

    I don't know about other people, but I'm personally finding that in Chaos Mode at around turn 12-15 when I have the opportunity I spend a few turns spamming the hell out of disbelieve, not because I genuinely suspect that my opponents have a hoard of illusions on the map, but because I can see in a close game that gaining that mana for myself, (and starving my opponents of it) is potentially going to be a factor in who gets the edge in a match.

    In fact was using disbelieve as a mana battery when it was only worth 1 mana, never mind 4. The difference is that it used be the odd game when I really needed to, now it's more often than not.

    If there is a genuine need for more mana in Law then that mana could come from other sources, i.e. Mana Sprites being worth more mana. If they gave 30 mana each for example, then there wouldn't be the same need for Disbelieve to give any. And the Illusion Mechanic then goes back to figuring out whether a creature is an illusion or not, which was its original intent.
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  • I have gone on about this lots already, especially in law mode. Again, bored with myself doing so, so not going to.
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  • Agreed that Disbelieves are very potent in Law mode given the determinative importance of mana.

    Also, it's not 4 mana for disbelieve. In reality, it's net 8 mana because you're depriving your opponent(s) of 4 mana and getting 4 mana yourself.
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  • IMO, 4 mana for a failed disbelieve really improved the whole mechanic and is one of the best subtle game changes in recent times, it was a great move to take some of the mana-gain away from the card burning mechanic and redistribute it (as compensation) into something more interesting (disbelieves/dispels, real/illusion mechanic), it was part of a bunch of changes that totally improved the game.

    The re-balanced mega-spell costs and the changes to mega-spell base cast %'s also complimented the decreased burn mana values and the increased mana value for failed disbelieves. The lessening of the alignment swing seems to have worked really well to (I thought it would de-emphasise it, but I think it's had the opposite effect).

    Dispels became something that required mana.. There's a nice emphasis on mana management now.. Think back to when it was only 2 mana for a failed disbelieve, it was almost a pointless amount to have as a value..

    Players already used strategies that involved intentionally failing spells to gain mana, they can also intentionally fail disbelieves (which is also a spell) to gain mana, it's the same process of sacrificing a vital casting turn to try to achieve something else, in both instances the cast still has a chance to succeed (instead of failing, which is the desired outcome), this would net you zero mana.

    It's all part of the fail mana mechanic, the fail mana rewards used to be all over the place with all kinds of differing values for similar types of fails.. so the whole system was made more coherent by scaling the fail values with the base cast % values..

    a 20% cast fail = 12 mana..
    30% - 11
    40% - 10
    50% - 9
    60% - 8
    70% - 7
    80% - 6
    90% - 5
    ..100% (failed disbelieve) - 4

    Chaos mode (classic & equipped) is in a great place balance wise, I cant fault it, I wouldn't like to see it tinkered with, all the core values are spot on..

    I think it's healthy that various mega-spell costs (and staff stats) come up for review occasionally (based on usage).. but on the whole they are all pretty much balanced, there's no longer any obvious bias towards any one particular staff type/mega-spell in MP (there may be a couple of things that seem more popular than others, but it's borderline).

    So I don't see a problem in chaos mode.. or in law mode for that matter. I've played a lot of law mode and even though I feel that the sum of all its parts don't really come together ..and some of its mechanics just flat out don't work..

    For example, one of the reasons why the core mechanic of being able to cast creatures real or illusion doesn't work in law mode is because most of the time disbelieve is the only card you can feasibly play, there are no tough or interesting decisions to make when it's the only card in play. Every player can afford to disbelieve everything while they're waiting for their mana to charge up..

    ..Every cast is going to get disbelieved along the way (and early on to). Therefore illusions are less viable in law mode because players are either testing each others casts more often (and gaining 4 bonus mana on top of the mana gained per turn) Or choosing to not cast at all (because of the higher chance of an incoming disbelieve, casting it fake would just waste the card.. better off saving it or burning it).

    Having said that, 4 mana for a failed disbelieve even in law mode seems fine to ..it makes sense, 2 would have no impact and 6 would be too much, so it's delicately balanced at 4.. and 4 is sizeable enough to attach some strategy to it.
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  • Mazy, you persuaded me. E.g., mana for disbelieves is not a real problem in Law mode; rather there are other more fundamental mechanics of Law mode that feed the prevalence of disbelieves.
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  • Mazy wrote:IMO, 4 mana for a failed disbelieve really improved the whole mechanic and is one of the best subtle game changes in recent times, it was a great move to take some of the mana-gain away from the card burning mechanic and redistribute it (as compensation) into something more interesting (disbelieves/dispels, real/illusion mechanic), it was part of a bunch of changes that totally improved the game.


    Improved which mechanic? It may well have improved the mana mechanic's balance overall, but it's been detrimental to the Illusion and Disbelieve mechanic IHMO. Whether the change is good or not then comes down to whether you have a preference for playing a game which is dependent on mana building and strategies related to that, or a game based on a bluff and call of illusions and disbelieve.

    For me personally, being in that second group, I certainly don't feel that the game is improved or more in balance. It's feeling stayed and less interesting with a focus that lands too heavily on just one mechanic whilst others are being overlooked.


    Mazy wrote:The re-balanced mega-spell costs and the changes to mega-spell base cast %'s also complimented the decreased burn mana values and the increased mana value for failed disbelieves. The lessening of the alignment swing seems to have worked really well to (I thought it would de-emphasise it, but I think it's had the opposite effect).

    Dispels became something that required mana.. There's a nice emphasis on mana management now.. Think back to when it was only 2 mana for a failed disbelieve, it was almost a pointless amount to have as a value..

    Players already used strategies that involved intentionally failing spells to gain mana, they can also intentionally fail disbelieves (which is also a spell) to gain mana, it's the same process of sacrificing a vital casting turn to try to achieve something else, in both instances the cast still has a chance to succeed (instead of failing, which is the desired outcome), this would net you zero mana.

    It's all part of the fail mana mechanic, the fail mana rewards used to be all over the place with all kinds of differing values for similar types of fails.. so the whole system was made more coherent by scaling the fail values with the base cast % values..


    And this is the problem... It's ALL part of the mana mechanic now, but the game itself involves more mechanics than just that one. You burn a card; mana, you fail a spell; mana, you dispel something; mana, you'll be getting mana for making a cup of tea next.

    Technically you can't 'deliberately' fail a cast, but I know what you mean, and again that's wrong in my book. Trying for an early Hyrda or Dragon used to be a risky move made by players who fancied a high risk gamble early in the game. Fail mana was introduced for players who felt that the game shouldn't be as RNG based (not that it ever was too much), we've then since had Law mode introduced which takes the game to the end of the scale where everything possible being about player 'strategy' and RNG is as mitigated as possible. Unfortunately we've not got a Chaos mode that takes us back to the opposite end of the scale when the game was a lot more about risk management.

    The game's wrong if you're deliberately 'failing' a cast to gain mana, and the game's also wrong if you're deliberately disbelieving something that you expect to be real in order to gain mana. The key reason that you should be trying a high risk cast is because you took a risk on a spell, the key reason you should be casting disbelieve is because you suspect an illusion.


    Mazy wrote:a 20% cast fail = 12 mana..
    30% - 11
    40% - 10
    50% - 9
    60% - 8
    70% - 7
    80% - 6
    90% - 5
    ..100% (failed disbelieve) - 4


    That's not strictly true. Disbelieve is a 100% cast that always works, it therefore doesn't carry and fail mana in the same way that 20-90% cast does. Existing as a 100% cast, disbelieve will always works as a spell, but the creature that it is targeted on can be real, and its the creature which triggers the 4 mana. Awarding 4 mana here, is akin to giving a player 4 mana for a Magic Bolt not killing its target, (Or for that matter, any spell that's boosted to 100% not having its desired affect when successfully cast)

    Casting Disbelieve is also not just 4 mana on a fail, it's 4 mana, and the potential chance that you'll get it right, leading to another spell cast in the same turn. Your worst result from a disbelieve is 4 mana, your best case is that you make a number of correct guesses that then snowball.

    Disbelieve used to be a one off cast, you never got that option for a repeat, it either worked or it didn't and that was your spell cast. I think that left the game in a place where you had a lot more illusions being cast, the repeat factor for disbelieves reduced that amount drastically, but giving mana for it on top of that takes things far beyond where they should be.

    Mazy wrote:Chaos mode (classic & equipped) is in a great place balance wise, I cant fault it, I wouldn't like to see it tinkered with, all the core values are spot on..


    Again it may feel in balance for the mana mechanic, but mana can be acquired from a number of ways whereas illusions and disbelieve are dependent upon each other.

    The game doesn't feel in balance with regards to illusion and disbelieve. There's too much artificial incentive to cast disbelieve, and as a result there too much disincentive to cast illusions, I'm seeing matches where usually nothing is cast as an illusion any more; that disbelieve spell awards so much benefit, it's getting cast early and more frequently, and players know it. I think it's a real shame that we're effectively losing the fun which relates to this great bluffing aspect of the game, especially when mana doesn't need to be affecting it in the way that it is.
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  • NoWorries wrote:Agreed that Disbelieves are very potent in Law mode given the determinative importance of mana.

    Also, it's not 4 mana for disbelieve. In reality, it's net 8 mana because you're depriving your opponent(s) of 4 mana and getting 4 mana yourself.


    Just a point of note; if treated as an 8 mana swing (i.e. in a multiplayer match), that reality of an 8 mana swing applies in all game modes, not just Law mode.
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