Possible fixes for Transformation

I appreciate that devs express they are monitoring how transformation is effecting the game and especially PvP.

This thread is offering possible solutions that could be implemented if its decided something is going to be done.

Transformation wears off -
This is the first thing that comes to mind. Transformation would be still be sufficiently powerful if it simply wore off after a set, or ranged number of turns. Perhaps it could have a cumulative chance of wearing off like other status? What happens then would naturally be the troop returns to full health as they came into battle. Alternatively, they could A) Recieve the same statuses and damage incurred by their transformed state, possibly dieing if the damage is greater than the original health B) Return to their status before being transformed including mana before transformation

Give Transformation immunity -
Most would agree that rolling this into Impervious would be overpowered. However a more fair possibility would be if this also gets rolled into Mana Shield, Undying, Ancestry, and other groups of resistances when it makes sense. Making transformation resistance a new trait isn’t going to cover enough troops.

Shapeshifters gonna Shapeshift - What if troops that have the ability to transform themselves (and possibly others) keep this ability when transformed? A) When the transformed troop gains full mana, they cast their new spell and change back to their original state. B) Transformed troops cast their original transformation spell when they reach full mana.

Make transformation react to existing status effects-
Cleanse, and could erase it. The instability of transformation could be that any/specific negative and/or positive status effect ends the change.

Make heroes immune to transform- I feel this would be a reasonable limitation.

Making Transform spells mana color specific - This is a bit arbitrary. Reducing transformation spells to only influence troops of specific Mana color (perhaps any color outside of their own) would instantly cut the number of troops that can be effected by transformation by a set amount and it isn’t focused on a specific subset like rarity.

Specifically reducing the versatility of Dragon’s Eye - Because let’s face it, the whole reason that we are having this discussion is because one single weapon is be coming out of hand. Nerf gets treated like a bad word, and understandably the fear is that fixing a handful of items creates a vacuum that another problem can replace. I can’t imagine that a small change (increased mana cost) in conjunction with other fixes would invite such issues.

While I don’t believe anything in this realm is in imminent jeopardy of destroying PvP, taking an action that is mindful of the transformation problem is a good idea. If multiple things are done, not making the rules too complex is important.

I would love to hear some feedback on if transformation needs to be fixed and what you feel needs to be done.

I feel this is a situation similar to Dawnbringer in Arena and it ends up contentious because the playerbase has two completely different opinions based on whether we’re talking offense or defense.

On offense, most people like DE or find it amusing. It wins fights you have no business winning, and can take some of the sting off particularly powerful teams. But it’s super-high variance. I don’t like it against any Yao Guai team because I can never get it to hit Yao Guai. And well, that’s the price of “random target”. On offense I feel the weapon’s fairly well-balanced.

On defense is where people don’t like it. If it gets lucky, it’s far too effective. And because of how it works, it doesn’t have to be on a coherent team. Just one that has a lucky setup. When you fall into that setup, you get really angry. I’ve been against DE teams that were far more annoying than any Goblins team I’ve ever faced. In particular the way DE interacts with heavily defensive teams (barrier on brown, summon troops on ally death, etc.) makes it very cheesy if it gets a good start. The best offense against it is a team that can cheese into turn 1 wins. That’s probably OK in PvP, but concerning in GW.

But that makes for a sticky situation. The devs can’t adjust its defensive power without also changing its offensive power. Or, the ways the could mess with other things people like. (For example, they could try adjusting hero talents to get rid of barrier-on-brown.)

It’s a problem of limited foresight. Nobody cared about DE until Delves made “ridiculous scaling” a feature. The DE teams people complain about on defense have been around for months, but everyone was so busy using Divines for everything they didn’t think about how sinister it might be to create a third-slot hero who has perma-barrier and summons replacements on 50% of ally deaths and combine it with either free turns out the wazoo or a freezer like Mab. Boy, Mab sure does show up on a lot of teams that end up nerfed.

Anyway, I’m curious how the devs plan on changing it. I don’t know a productive way to discuss how they could, because I know there’s no perfect solution (except maybe “never have introduced it”). Every potential change is going to break someone’s favorite way to play.


How about just reducing Dragon’s Eye to 50% chance to Transform?

Or make it not work on Dragons themselves?

Or Transform an enemy into a Baby Dragon with full Mana?

i want there to be 5 more versions of eye for each color so people will stop singling it out xD

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As stated: all of these things affect how DE works on offense, which means people will feel strongly about it. Two of them won’t change defense, which raises, “Why make the change at all?”

The first is a powerful nerf and will make the weapon “worthless”. The second is questionable, seeing as no meta PvP teams use many Dragons so it won’t do much to the Defense problem. The third is not a strong enough nerf: Baby Dragon isn’t a threat.

I personally don’t mind DE. If it was to be nerfed I wouldn’t care much as I don’t use the weapon but
My friend suggested that maybe after transforming an enemy it would then transform itself into a random dragon which I thought was a pretty good suggestion.

If I was to choose something to be nerfed I’d want the amount of troops a hero can summon to be capped. Killing 5-10 bandits is annoying and unnecessary time wasting.


Reducing DE’s probability to 50% of the time doesn’t make it “worthless” unless you’re relying solely on it to the exclusion of all else, it just makes it less overpowering.

The point of the second and third changes (especially if combined) is that you can’t keep zapping a Dragon back to a Baby Dragon with no mana (which is just ridiculous).

I definitely agree here - the inconsistency that makes it less valuable to me on offence is exactly what makes me avoid it on defence (and in Delves, too). It may not always work, but it does have the potential to go horribly wrong.

I think there may be some merit in making transformations less expensive mana-wise, but also less devastating, and able to be countered, which could help bring it slightly back towards the strategy (rather than slot machine) side of gameplay.

Specifically with Dragon Eye, I could perhaps even be happy with it costing less mana, but keeping the Baby Dragon at max level/traits, as well as the Dragon it can then transform into (giving you a bit of a chance to fight back, but still breaking up the strategy/rhythm of your match). Maybe have it destroy proportionally fewer gems, as well.

On the broader scale of things, what I think really needs to happen (not to say that Transformations can’t or shouldn’t be revisited) is for there to be greater rewards for setting and defeating good PvP defences.

Try this:

  1. Each time your defence team beats an opponent, add a certain amount of reward (e.g. 100 gold) to your defence ‘pool’ and compound it, similarly to how tributes (and defence rewards?) used to be calculated.

  2. When someone beats your defence team, they earn the contents of the ‘pool’ in addition to the normal rewards, as do you (:open_mouth: Double Jackpot?!?!). This is your reward for contributing to the dynamic, challenging and enjoyable PvP environment.

This way, there would actually be incentive proportional to the variable difficulty of teams rather than solely based on team power.

I liked this one :slightly_smiling_face:, and/or

although that one’s a bit more like your traditional Polymorph/turn an opponent into a chicken for a few turns, which could almost be its own thing.

« 25% chance per dragon ally to transform a random ennemy into a baby dragon »

So only a full dragon team with a Dragonguard hero would get 100%.
It is the class weapon after all.


I don’t want this to become more luck-based than it already is. All the above solutions are not really required.

This is how I would fix it:
I would allow the 100% transformation only to take place if you are under the Stun effect.
When you’re stunned, you’re vulnerable. That’s it. It even makes sense now, doesn’t it?

I am not sure about the Dawnbringer. I don’t have it yet, but it I think it’s not as problematic as some might want to think, annoying at most.

Try fight a stealth/backup class on third slot that use db and we talk again.

Betwhen summons (that are actually 3, not just bandits) and barrier is almost untouchable while it also does some damage to all your team.

Also nice thing about it that you dont need anything else but the hero so fit any team (anyway after a few turns it’s always the hero and various summons).

I quitted a match with one of those and was my first time in months to give up a match lol.

Right now i got DE on def just cuz i find amusing those threads ( taipan def is lot more effective and jar with stealth/backup annoying, even though nothing compared to db) but at soon i get db it will be throw in the trashcan, not even using it on delve anyway.

Or just change the second part (the explosion).
Explosion refills your team including the DE.

Make it something like « remove all X gems » or change color to color. Or better, create X skulls.

Basically something still useable on offense but with high chance to backfire on defense.

And you could make it permanently remove one Baby Dragon from the collection of the caster. The Baby Dragon has to come from somewhere, so this makes even more sense, doesn’t it?

I’m somewhat convinced that introducing a condition next to impossible to achieve isn’t the right way to go, they might as well just delete the weapon, it’s less effort and amounts to the same. I really don’t know any good solution either, the hole they dug with this design idea feels a lot like a bottomless pit. Transforms should probably have been limited to your side only, never to the opponent team, that ship has sailed though.

Majority of the times 1 transform is still doable for a come back.

The issue is when you end up with 2 or 3 baby dragons in 1 turn then it seals the match.

The trouble i find is the destroying of gems which cascades too well with deep borer or gimlet stormbrew.

It’s an already overpowered weapon which can kill one of your troops in 1 turn so do we need to give it another option where it can cascade and cause further damage?

Like I said above, the best option would be to have transformations only possible if you’re stunned.
However, this complicates certain matters.
You can either keep it as it is, or make it so that the enemy Hero cannot be transformed.
Maybe only units without the armor (taken away by damage) could be transformed.

And like I said above, the even better best option would then be to remove transform entirely, because keeping something around that has next to no chance to happen just creates unhappiness. There’s a lot of troops that can’t be stunned, very few troops one would ever want to use that are able to stun, and stun itself wears of fast and can be cleansed. Good luck with randomly hitting the one stunned troop in a group of four if you do manage to set it up, that’s like hoping your Orb of Chaos will turn into an Ascension Orb.

Limiting transform to stunned troops would require some massive improvements to transformers to keep them even remotely viable. Dragon’s Eye would at least need to attempt to transform all troops, part time transformers like Night Hag would require even more help to not make their spell read “… OR just waste your turn and mana doing nothing at all”. Considering that the devs have been busy with the Pan’s Vale rework for most of the year now, I just can’t see that happening in the near future.

I’m against on over-complicating a spell that is not ground breaking unless it is chained in succession.

As i said 1 transform at start is not difficult to come back unless your only attack troop was changed, a good example being the Skeleton Key team which the hero drives pretty much all the damage.
But for teams like this you should absorb the risk since you concentrate firepower for a quicker and easier win.

Balancing as i like to call (not nerf) means to make the spell or troop sensible, not unusable.

I don’t think it’s as simple as changing the spell. I know how I’d like it to change but…

All of this reeks of every aspect of “Dawnbringer in Arena”, just as I said.

  • The weapon is fine on offense and has a lot of utility, so in general we’d like it to stay exactly as it is.
  • The weapon can be defeated on defense, but has a very wide “lucky” window that is devastating.
  • If it were a “rare challenge” there would be fewer complaints. Unfortunately it tends to cluster into “gauntlets”.
  • Some people like facing 50 DE teams in a row and would play the game if the ONLY defense teams were DE.

DE in PvP defense is a very complicated issue due to the interaction of several different mechanics. I don’t think something as simple as tweaking transform mechanics or DE’s ability alone will help. The “right” solution is probably a more wide-ranging change to all of the moving pieces that make it feel bad, including the matchmaking algorithm that sometimes throws an abnormal cluster of DE teams your way.

I have been thinking about this thread as well as experimenting with transformation both defensively and offensively. Even though Night Hag is far from popular at the moment, I can promise that she can be nearly as troublesome. DE isn’t solely the issue.

I don’t think it’s as simple as changing the spell.

This is very true. Transformation is a deeprooted issue. There are a number of issues that play into DE’s annoyance and like you said, PVP’s defensive complications is the biggest one. I have paid attention to some of your other insights on how dynamically going 2nd and extra turns influences the battle. I agree with you as long as you aren’t implying that those problems make it impossible to come up with reasonable intermediate solutions for the illusion of balance.

That being said, I feel stronger that making changes to transformation is in order. Its not easy to say what does and doesn’t cross the line, but this is an easier case. If letting a low/medium mana cost spell get successfully casted once irreversibly takes ANY troop out of the battle and creates a nearly unwinnable situation, there is a problem.

Transformation is an outlier. This spell effect can be more devastating than lethal damage to high level players. Having red mana intercepted by a baby dragon Vs arriving at secrets of the Crypt can easily cost a battle. Many times, I rather deal with having my troop killed than transformed.

I have 2 more possible solutions I want feedback on. As long as we are going to transform mythic heroes and fully buffed troops into baby dragons, toads, and toadstools, these are intermediate ways to keep that action from resulting in an instant win. Lust and the Possessed King are different that the caster’s team needs to consider ways to deal with the transformed troop Vs turning them into 5th, mana intercepting teammate. These ideas keep transformation in the game, and set it up to work with already existing effects, like destroying armor, true damage and devour.

Transformation should only work on troops that have received damage to life.


Transformed troops should keep all of their former skill points (including hp, armor, attack, mana etc) and statues

(With both of these, DE becomes targetable and Night Hag has separate 33% chances to transform/halve mana/halve attack on a random troop.)

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