[Investigating] Heroic gems travel time should be removed

Platform, device version and operating system: any

Screenshot or image: hard to reproduce on-wish, but happens everytime

What you were expecting to happen, and what actually happened:
Heroic gems with travel time: burning, curse, spirit (important as it’s now a part of every fight and affects the situation much more than others)

Last time I reported the softlock bug with heroic gems travel time when you started to cast a targeted spell. That was resolved by prohibiting to press ‘cast’ before all the flying heroic gems have landed.

Now, with spirit gems, it’s time to take down another side of the same medal. Travel time ignored by AI. So, if you match 3x burn/curse/spirit gem, AI starts to act instantly, before the landing. That means.
Burning gem: 1st instance of burning is skipped as at the start of the turn there are no flame on the troop.
Curse gem: doesn’t apply dispel instantly, allowing affected troop to match skulls while being enraged (as an example)
Spirit gem: enemies might cast their spell right away, despite the fact they would have lost 2 mana this turn.

There are no reason to keep travel time having THAT many issues with that mechanic. It’s redudant for any player with x4 speed enabled. Please make those effects apply instantly and leave animation for users who still learning the game with 1-2x speed.


Contrast the very longstanding bug regarding secondary damage from Doomskulls (and Elemental Stars) which was purely visual (even if it caused incidents of a weakened troop “spontaneously” dying with no damage numbers shown).

Update: Videos got! Animation speed technically has nothing to do with this, there’s definitely a bug. An esoteric one, yes, but still:

Notice how Fire Lizard’s “Pyromania” activates when dealing Skull damage here…:

…but does NOT activate when dealing Skull damage here:

It’s the same setup both times, literally the only difference is the specific timing of events.

Another example where this can make an important difference is Curse gems vs. Barrier, where a cascade of Curse Gems → Skulls will either deal normal damage (if the Curse Gems finished first) or get negated by Barrier (if the Curse Gems are still traveling). (And if you happen to be running a Mang team at the time then you know how much difference a single Barrier can make)


thanks, thats about it

Hello :slight_smile:

Just wanted to give a heads up that I’ve forwarded your notes and videos to the development team for further investigation.

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Hello again :slight_smile:

I’m moving this thread to the feature requests and game feedback category as there are no issues found for the animation speeds.

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This isn’t actually about animation speed. It’s about certain Heroic Gems not applying their intended effect immediately upon match, allowing SUBSEQUENT actions to be potentially processed BEFORE the Heroic Gem’s effect, in some cases causing incorrect/different results.

This is about the internal implementation of Heroic Gems (Lycanthropy, Curse, Burn, Freeze, Web, etc) being ever so slightly flawed from the outset, albeit in a way that is very elusive to confirm.

Again, look closely at my pair of videos and note how Fire Lizard’s “Pyromania” trait triggers in one case but not the other, when the outcomes should ideally be the same. THAT’s the bug.


I’m afraid you might have to open a new bug report, Game Feedback is for archiving purposes only, it doesn’t seem to get visited from official side.


Yeah, open a new bug report. This one is dead.

lol, I can be cynical and pessimistic about official responses but I am not THAT pessimistic.

In the meantime, I will definitely link more video footage when I can generate some clear cases (I’m currently looking at Curse Gems vs. Barriers). Spirit Gems vs. full mana is a particularly important case to prove, but as I’m on Switch that will have to wait a few campaigns first… (in the meantime, if anyone can confirm/record footage of this happening on other platforms, knock yourself out)

Yeah, I’ll be interested to see if a Troop manages to cast a spell despite being supposed to have lost mana from a Spirit Gem that was delayed in effect due to this.

In the meantime, it looks like this has been moved back to Bug Reports and re-tagged as [Investigating].

Hello :slight_smile:

In the meantime, I’ve moved this thread back to bugs to take another look.

If you’re able to record more video footage of this happening in not x4 speed I’d appreciate it.

On the first passover, it looks like because the current speed is set to x4 which is very fast, it appears like the order is out of sequence when it isn’t.

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Easy: the footage is already showing it at x1 game speed.

(Yeah, I normally play at x4 but for these specific setups switched to x1 speed, and I purposely left that in when clipping it – for comparison, here’s the full uncut footage)

Uncut video capture


I assume Heroic Gem travel is adjusted to match the selected game speed, meaning the actual setting is technically irrelevant to the behavior.

[Update] I can confirm that when matching Heroic Gems it is possible for the enemy turn to initiate with the Heroic Gems still in transit (i.e. their effects as yet unapplied) so not only can things like this technically happen, I’ve already caught it on video:

Example A:

Video footage


  • Enemy with “Frenzy” or similar traits (Orc Armor, Orc Cunning, etc)
  • match Burning Gems (no cascades or extra turns)
  • expected result: Enemy is on fire and traits activate upon turn start
  • actual result: traits do NOT trigger if the Gem is still traveling

Example B:

video footage


  • Enchanted enemy (Baihu) approaching full Mana level
  • match Cursed Gems (no cascades or extra turns)
  • expected result: Curse Gems dispel enchantment, enemy cannot cast that turn
  • actual result: enemy collects +2 mana if the Cursed Gem is still traveling and can even spellcast that same turn
(and for the cherry on top...)

Notice how Baihu got to enchant itself despite the Cursed Gem hitting it.

  • If the Cursed Gem applied before start of turn, Baihu wouldn’t have been able to cast at all (10/12 mana level).
  • If the Cursed Gem applied after spellcast, Baihu wouldn’t be enchanted again.

So the only remaining possibility is that the Cursed Gem took effect during the spell animation itself. Well … I suppose we’re lucky that doesn’t softlock the game, right?

This latter example is comparable to the OP’s claim that when matching Spirit Gems the cpu can still be able to spellcast “before” the Gem touches them. (because Switch won’t have access to Spirit Gems for quite some months yet…)

One obvious thing in common with all these experiments: I tried to make matches close to “my” side of the board (for maximum travel time). But it can also happen in your favor if the cpu makes a match close to “its” side of the board and your turn initiates before the matched Gems reach you.


Dev asked for a video not in 4 times when they could just click the gear icon on the youtube video and select .25 if they want to slow it down.

Not sure if thats what they lookin for but thought id add my 2 cents. You can slow down the youtube video if thats the problem

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Welcome back, I was willing to bet this would drop off the radar.

You are not looking at the correct spot.

What is shown in the videos

In both videos, there’s just one opponent troop left, which doesn’t have the Burning status effect. The player matches Burning gems, which apply Burning to the opponent troop, directly followed by a cascading skull hit. Burning gems have a fancy animation showing which targets they cause to burn, the game only updates the status effect afterwards. In the first video, the game finishes the animation fast enough, the target is Burning when it receives the skull hit. In the second video, the game is still busy with the animation, the target isn’t Burning when it receives the skull hit.

How to see what is going on

What you need to look out for is the text “Pyromania” plopping up on the topmost troop on the left side when dealing skull damage. That’s the indicator that the Pyromania trait, dealing double damage to Burning targets, has activated.

Isn’t this actually working as intended? The Burning gems haven’t hit the target yet!

Definitely not. Gems of War isn’t an action game, events are supposed to happen in sequence, no matter how long a screen update takes. In the videos above, the first event is matching Burning gems, followed by a second event, a cascading skull match. The animation is just visual fluff, the outcome has to be the same, even if your device might render some things a bit slower.

This isn’t the first issue with special gem animations. Some older bug reports, there are probably more:

So far the duct tape fixes only seem to have introduced multiple follow-up issues. I’m not really confident the next attempt will be any more successful. Maybe entirely removing the animation, as proposed by @DracoL1ch, could finally make this work properly?


This. This. THIS. Literally everything else in the game engine has a predictable, clearly defined sequence of operations … but the “travel time” of Heroic Gems occurs parallel (asynchronously) to everything else, enabling strange edge cases of unpredictable/incorrect results.

Take my Baihu example – in a low-level battle this is just an annoyance, but in a closely matched, high-stakes battle a single-turn difference in when a troop is able to cast could very easily spell the difference between victory and defeat.

I don’t think this is a “follow up” issue at all – it was a direct (albeit unintended and elusive) consequence of the chosen implementation.

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it might make for a really obvious reproduction if this can be done using Spirit Gems when the enemy troops are full of mana.
it has been seen that the enemy troop can cast before the Spirit Gems reached them to drain their mana.
but of course video or it didn’t happen.


Overall, game speed is irrelevant. Whats relevant is:
there must be 1-turn only;
there should be no following cascades which prolongs the turn duration;
heroic gem better be located far from the enemy’s icon for better chance to reproduce.


Excellent clip!

No two ways about it, this is tantamount to an “AI cheat”.

Hello :slight_smile:

Am currently reviewing all of your videos/footage! (Hasn’t been forgotten)

Thank you for your patience