I’m going to go through the classes alphabetically and touch on a couple of issues I have. I’ll also go through the talent trees as I come across them. There are 17 different talent trees (Arcane, Chaos, Cunning, etc.) to get to
First up is Archer. We need consistency on wording. Bullseye reads: “15% chance for Skull damage to be lethal” but Assassinate says “10% Chance to assassinate the last enemy when I deal Skull damage.” Are these the exact same mechanics, just different targets? Megavore has a similar “lethal” effect: “8% Chance to kill the last enemy on 4 or 5 Gem matches.” Scorpius too says “The damage is lethal on any poisoned enemy” (against the last 2 enemies).
There are three different words used there: lethal, kill, and assassinate. Do they all mean the same thing? Do they all work the same against things like Barrier? Assassinate says “when I deal Skull damage” but Bullseye doesn’t, yet I’m quite sure Bullseye only triggers when my Hero does Skull damage.
On to some of the talents. Elven Sentries at Forest 70 says “All Elves gain 1 Magic and Attack at the start of a battle.” Is this different from Celestial Currents in Wind at 20 that says “All Centaur allies gain 1 Magic.” Don’t they both gain it at the start of the battle? Or do summoned centaurs gain 1 magic, but summoned elves don’t?
Dodge: 30% chance to dodge Skull damage. The Dervish class also has Agile, which provides a 20% chance to dodge. I’ve noticed that sometimes either one can activate. Does that mean there’s a 20% chance and then a separate 30% chance? Because sometimes they will miss skull damage and “Agile” will pop up, other times “Dodge” will.
It takes a really, really long time to get to level 100 on a class. From 0 to 100 is 5040 experience, which is 5040 Explore fights, or half that in fights that give double class XP (like Arena, PvP, Pet battles, etc.)
And yet the level 100 talents are really lackluster in most cases. There are some that are incredibly good, but most feel like 100 doesn’t even matter. In Forest tree we have Harvest Moon at 100 which gives Wargares 2 Life every turn. Then right next to it (in Archer anyway) we have Wind with Stryx Commander, and that one gives 1 Attack to all Stryx every turn. How is that ever going to matter? You might end up with 5-10 Attack on your front line (the only thing doing Skull damage) when the fight ends. But the majority of a fight is determined in the beginning. The Child of Sky talent at 70, for instance, is incredibly more powerful. The 25% chance to summon a Heronath when an ally casts a spell can save you in a fight. It gives you another front line who can give everyone armor and create a leafstorm. That’s powerful. Gaining 1 Attack a turn isn’t, and yet going from 70 to 100 takes as much time as going from 0 to 70.
Next up is Assassin. The traits are okay. Poisoning enemies doesn’t really do anything unless there is a check for it for something (like Scorpius or other damage boosts), so the Venomous trait (Poison enemies when doing Skull damage) is pretty lackluster. Your Hero has to be the one doing the Skull damage, which you would anyway because of the Assassinate trait, even though Vevenmous does not say “when I deal Skull damage,” it still only triggers off the Hero doing it. But then you have to remember that Poison doesn’t stack and it doesn’t fall off by itself. Unless they are repeatedly getting cleansed, multiple triggers of the trait don’t do anything.
Poison itself is a weird mechanic in that way, as far as how it’s applied. You have Venoxia, a Legendary, with its last trait Miasma “Poison a random enemy on 4 or 5 Gem matches.” Then you have the Mythic Euryali who Poisons all enemies on 4+ matches with Poison Gaze. Poisoning a random enemy has always seemed kind of useless, because you’re not doing anything more to enemies that are already poisoned, unlike Bleed or things that have a chance to fall off.
Anyway, Assassin’s talent trees are Death, Shadow, and Cunning. It’s interesting that Shadow Scales (“All Naga Allies gain 1 Armor every turn”) is a level 5 talent, but similar “1 every turn” talents are at level 100. Death is a pretty solid talent tree, except for Soul Caller at 10. Gaining 1 Soul every turn is so low that I can’t imagine anyone would take it unless they don’t understand the value of the other two. No one is going to wait around turn after turn to collect 1 Soul each time, and it’s far too slow for things that are boosted by Souls (especially when there are plenty of Abilities that generate Souls much faster).
Proportionally it’s way off too. Light Fingers gives you 5 gold every turn. That’s 5% of your 100 gold in the battle. But Soul Caller is 1 out of 40, which is half that amount: 2.5%.
Bard is a great class with great traits, so I’ll only touch on the Morale tree it has, specifically Urska Major, which is identical to Stryx Commander: gain 1 Attack every turn. What’s weird about this talent though is that 7 classes have the Morale tree: Bard, Dragonguard, Knight, Orbweaver, Sentinel, Warlord, and Warpriest. Only one of those has anything to do with Urska though. Of course, the same is true about Stryx Commander in the Wind talent tree (Archer, Dervish, Mechanist, Oracle, and Thief), but the interesting thing about the Morale tree is that it’s very indepedent from troop types. There’s Royal Armory at 10 which gives Knights 2 Armor, but Knights are more of a subvision. There are Divine, Undead, Human, and yes, Urska Knights. All the other talents though are very generic and I like that. Commander with +2 to All Skills in first position. Inspiration for the 15% mana start, etc. But Urska Major is too specific and weak, just like Stryx Commander.
Next class to talk about is Knight (I’ve got nothing to say about all the classes inbetween Bard and Knight, they’re great). The Knight class’s traits are so… so… boring. Knights gain 2 Life? I don’t know of a single Knight that does anything based on its Life, bu there are a handful that rely on Armor (Gaard’s Avatar, Lady Garnetia, Lady Ironbeard, High Paladin, Paladin, Pride Guard…). Then we have Avenger: Gain 3 Attack when an ally dies. Well that’s encouraging. This would only be helpful if your Hero was tanking and they were killing everyone behind you first, but unlike Sentinal or Dragonguard, Knight doesn’t have any Skull damage reduction. Then last is Full Plate: Gain 2 Armor every turn. How bad is this? Bard for instances gets Immunity to Silence and ALL yellow allies gain +1 to all stats every turn. Knight just gets 2 Armor every turn and only on the Hero.
Next is Necromancer. Its trait Ensoul is even worse than Knight’s. Gain an extra Soul on 4+ gem matches. Necromancer is the second class that is Undead type with the other being the Deathknight who gets Death Curse: Death Mark all enemies when I die and Warded: Immunity to Death Mark. I can’t really compare Magic Spirit to Warded, because you might face a team that doesn’t even do Death Mark, whereas +4 Magic can be very useful. But comparing Ensoul and Death Curse, if you had to pick an Undead Hero solely based on traits and not talents, I’m not sure why you would take Necromancer. Instead something like enemies losing skill points when you death mark them would be neat.
Next up is Warden who, similar to Knight, is puzzling. It’s supposed to be Beast type, but only one Trait even has anything to do with Beasts (Beast Bond which gives beasts 2 life). It has Avenger which I’ve already talked about and Ward as its last trait: all allies gain 5 Armor. Sure, that’s a total of 20 Armor, but for its last trait, it’s not very impactful and has nothing to do with Beasts specifically.
Next, the War talent tree ends with another one of those 1 Attack every turn for Tauros allies. At least Tauros kind of rely on that because not only does it increase skull damage but 3 Tauros (Ketras, Chief Stronghorn, and Earthcaller) do damage boosted by their stats, which includes Attack. But still… 1 a turn…
That wraps up my class traits and talents overview! I await a patch that does some kind of overhaul to a number of these things to bring them more in line with existing classes like Dervish +2 stats to Monsters on 4+ matches, or Warpriest with its Stun, Tidecaller with its Blue gem explosion, Sentinel with its Barrier chance, etc. THOSE are the interesting traits!