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Nimhain's Lair: June 12th

Hey Guys,

Welcome back to the lair. As Sirrian said in the Weekly Event blog post, this week’s blog is going to be discussing the Troll troops and our thought process when we decided to buff them (the buff is not active yet by the way, but it’s coming shortly after 3.0.5).

When we originally designed the trolls, we wanted their spell to be all about risk/reward. Doubling 12 Blue gems on a board would give 12 more Blue Gems. If there were MORE than 12 to start with, even better! Players that waited until the right time would be rewarded for good gameplay, rather than just using the spell whenever it was available. And Trolls could potentially be one of the most prolific gem creators.

However, these fun gem creation moments were not as common as we had hoped, and doubling 7 Blue gems into 14 didn’t feel as worthwhile. This meant that when players did cast a troll’s spell, it felt more risk and not so much reward. It seemed that unless the board had large number of the color a troll created, it was hard to get a 4 of a kind, and more than likely it would set the opponent up for a good next turn. To make matters worse, the more you NEEDED the Troll to give you Gems, the more likely it was that there weren’t many of that color on the board.

We went back and re-evaluated the trolls’ spells. How could we increase the usefulness of a troll spell so that they kept their identity as a gem creator, using existing colors on the board, but also didn’t feel worthless to cast them?

We also had to consider a secondary problem, the Rock Troll who created Brown used Purple mana, while the Dark Troll who created Purple used Brown mana. This meant that our solution would need to be keep the trolls useful but didn’t cause these 2 trolls (and any future overlapping trolls) to be able to constantly loop and fill each other.

Increasing the Gem Creation Multiplier
The first solution we investigated was the most obvious one, increasing the multiplier. We started by increasing the multiplier to x3 so they tripled the number of gems on the board instead of doubled. Tripling 7 Blue gems into 21 Blue gems felt good and would most likely cause a 4 of a kind. However, tripling the amount would cause too many gems to be created, such as turning 12 blue gems into 36 gems (more than half the board). This would quickly spiral out of control, and with the Dark + Rock Trolls easily cause them to loop. Throw in a Color Storm, and got a little too crazy too quickly.

We also experimented with x2.5 multiplier, however while not as bad as triple it still caused too many gems to be created and the possibility to cause gem spam looping. It turns out the closest multiplier number that felt good was x2.25, however this didn’t read well in the spell and we believed it would be difficult for some players to visualize.

Secondary Spell Effect
We also discussed the idea that trolls would have a second effect to their spell beyond gem creation (like Dark Troll’s soul generation). We decided not to go with this as it felt too similar to several other gem creators already in the game.

What about if Trolls created Storms?
While the idea of storms may seem like a good idea, it doesn’t the solve the trolls’ original problem with setting up the enemy with gem matches. Also, many of the other storm creators have better primary effects to their spells and would be out the trolls for storm generators. Furthermore, the Storm didn’t really feel good until the Troll’s second cast, and we were looking for something with a more immediate effect.

What if Trolls got an extra turn?
While trolls getting an extra turn may avoid the problem of setting up for the enemy, it would remove that risk/reward feel we wanted trolls to have. Also, we feel that an extra turn is thematically more appropriate for small and quick enemies (such as goblins); or clever troops that would use tactical advantages (such as Desdaemona), and didn’t suit the image of big lumbering trollish brute.

The Final Solution
In the end, we kept the troll spell doubling the colour on the board, and added that trolls will create an additional 4 gems. Now this might not sound like much but take the 7 gems into 14, then the troll will create another 4 gems on top of that. That’s means instead of just create 7 gems, it would now be creating 11.

To keep the trolls from potentially looping we’re also going to increase all troll’s mana to 11. So, while one troll can fill another, they are a little less likely to loop. We feel it’s a small price to pay for 4 extra gems though.

We still wanted to give them just one final little positive touch, and we also love the classic fantasy trolls which are hard to kill and regenerate damage if left alone for too long. We’re created a new version of regeneration exclusively for trolls, which will recover 3 Life at the start of each turn. Trolls already with regeneration will get upgrade to Troll regeneration, and Dark Troll will be switching Elemental Bond for it.

(Don’t worry Rock troll lovers, he isn’t going to lose any traits for this Troll Regeneration. We were happy with his current traits. Besides… Rocks don’t regenerate!)

What about Skeleros?
Skeleros is the unofficial troll as his spell works similar to theirs. At this stage, we aren’t going to be passing along the Troll buffs to Skeleros, due to the fact he is a skull creator and we want to make sure we don’t accidentally end up with another Bone Dragon skull spam issue. We may revisit him later but at this stage we’re going to leave him as is.

Extra Note: Barrier vs. Devour in 3.0.5
Just wanted to throw this in here as I know there have been discussions regarding whether the upcoming changes with Barrier blocking devour will affect Kerberos and other devour troops that also deal damage.
Now, normally a spell resolves its effects in the order that it is written (or at least it SHOULD). For example, Khorvash will apply his damage first, then he would mana drain and stun them.

However, percentage-chance-devours like Kerberos actually resolve the devour chance first, then apply the damage. The spells were created this way so the troop had a chance to trigger the devour before dealing the damage, thereby gaining more life from the devour (it also meant that a troop would miss out on a chance to devour because their damage killed the troop).

In Kerberos’ case with the change to barrier, IF HIS DEVOUR TRIGGERS it will break the barrier but will not actually devour anything. It will then apply his damage, since the barrier is now gone. Of course if the barrier does not trigger, then the damage will be blocked instead.

The only exception to this behavior is the Kraken, as his devour does trigger after the damage (which is why his spell says, “Then there is a 40% chance to Devour”).


Sounds awesome, can’t wait

Finally something Jotnar can work with! This is seriously good

It’s time to start thinking of combo breakers that stop instant 4 or 5 matches and prevents an easy 4 or 5 setup for next turn.

You probably wanted to say welcome back to the lair :slight_smile:

About troll:
Did you try “Summon a X storm. Remove all gems. Double the number of X Gems on the Board”? It could have been fun and it could have give a good example of how Storms are great ;-).

About Barrier:
Maw and Wulgarok are sad… Will they have a little boost to compensate? :slight_smile:

we are going to back the lair up :slight_smile:

yes :thumbsup: for the troll buff
and yes :thumbsup: for the shield buff

and yes for wulfgarok buff :stuck_out_tongue:

I like the buff to the trolls, they deserved it.
Barrier buff - also great.

@turintuor there aren’t many troops with barrier, so it won’t be as big of a problem to maw and wulfgarok.

Nice changes.

So, the opposing team having barrier will actually benefit the devouring Kraken. Catch 22.

How is it better than just making more gems? it just complicates things for the same results, while losing the need to “choose the right moment to cast” (which was part of the idea) since you can’t know what the new board will look like.


it will not be benefitting the kraken but rather working plainly like pre-buff?
it just wont nerf the kraken while nerfing all other devourers…

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Not better but it could be in the theme of trolling.
Everyone will use them when there will be like 10 gems so one troll will create 14 gems so 90% chance of an extra turn. So you can use them with 0 risk.

With my solution, you cannot reduce the risk, you have to take it or not use this troop ;-). And as said, it could be a good showcase for the Storm.

Else, in a different order “Double the number of X Gems on the Board. Summon a X storm. Remove all gems.” So if the first effect creates many 4-turns, you cannot take them because of the 3rd effect so more troll for the player ;-).

But I guess that devs already made their mind and my comment will change nothing.

Clearing the board when a storm is active will cause the new board to have an average of 17 gems of that color. Doubling that will be 34 - over half the board. Once again, that is way too much, and will guarantee looping.

The idea was not to make the trolls “more trollish”, it was to make them more useful. Making their spell more complicated (harder to understand what’s going to happen) will not cause them to be used more. Making it too good most certainly will - but we don’t really want to reintroduce infinite loops, do we?

In what world would 90% success rate translate to 0% failure rate? if there’s 90% chance of reward, then there’s 10% chance of risk. and that’s a lot. Also there’s no guarantee that a such a fitting board will be available to you when you need it, or even during that whole match, so that’s an additional risk.


sounds interesting, i know devs already made their mind, but in terms of “trolling”

how about a random effect?

remove the gem color from the board or triple it (50% chance)

wouldnt that still be risk/reward? :sweat_smile::laughing:

Thanks for doing the math for me :stuck_out_tongue: . It seems it doesn’t work so 2nd version seems better “Double the number of X Gems on the Board. Summon a X storm. Remove all gems.”

Trolls seems to be somewhat special as they have their own Nimhaim’s Lair. So a quite classic “Create X gems” is not that much special…

The solution chosen by the devs (a flat +4 gems) is a little disppointing after the nice ideas that Nimhaim provided…

Maybe too much risky :stuck_out_tongue: .

Should the troll troll the player or the AI? :slight_smile:

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what about the black menacles? are they kraken or kerberos like?

you an still clculate extra turn from removal, sometimes xD
but i know what you mean :slight_smile:

And when does the 3.0.5 will go live?

Doesnt really matter that much if Kraken applies damage before or after devour trigger. it’s a lot harder to get barrier on your troop (or all troops using Jotnar) if your opponent uses a Kraken anyways. A simple match 4 pops all those shiny bubbles. And since Kraken cannot be stunned, all barriers are pretty much gone 1 or 2 turns later.


touché :smiley:

@JasonAshcroft buried me and didn’t even look back! Think I have faced Jotnar twice so far on console so I will pretend that’s why…