What you were expecting to happen, and what actually happened:
I did not expect that the Death Mark effect (Herald of Chaos - Death Touch trait) will get triggered on a unit (Serpent - Agile trait, and Artema - Dexterous trait), meaning, that there was no damage done, but the effect was still applied to both units.
How often does this happen? When did it begin happening?
Always. I am not sure if this also issue is also triggered on other units.
I am also not sure if any similar cards with the same trait (Death Touch) can cause the same issue.
Agile and Dexterous traits are both affected by this. Tested only on the Serpent and Artema.
Dexterous trait - 40% chance to dodge skull damage.
Agile trait - 20% chance to dodge skull damage.
Steps to make it happen again
You can play the Explore mode and PvP on Normal or Warlord IV difficulty.
I think this is intended, though I agree it’s weird.
In terms of video game logic, a player might think this way:
“The ability is one atomic attack: it does skull damage, and when it does that skull damage it applies an affect. This implies a story event like ‘You got stabbed with a poisoned dagger’. So, logically, if the target dodges the attack, they didn’t get hit, and shouldn’t get the effect.”
There’s nothing wrong with this. Lots of games implement it this way. But I think, instead, GoW does it this way:
The ability is a spell that triggers when you match skulls. Whether or not the skull match does damage, the affect will be applied.
So in the GoW case, it’s not “you’re stabbing someone with a poison dagger” but instead “when you try to stab people this happens”. In terms of video game logic, that’s sensible, but it doesn’t necessarily make the most sense.
What about this issue, when you hit protected or barriered Titan hero, you get stunned, though first talent of Titan says: enemy get stunned when i take skull damage. so, it seems that you take damage, but barrier absorbs it.
is the same mechanic here as well? Some official feedback or clarificiation would be highly appreciated, @Kafka, and @Cyrup.
Webspinner will still web you, even though you dodge the skull damage.
Forest Troll will entangle, Psion will drain your mana, and Kruarg can still devour you even if you dodge the actual damage.
My guess is the interaction is limited by the game code and its in fact matching skulls that triggers the corresponding event, whether the actual damage is dealt or not.
This also raises some questions for me.
The Assassination trait - 10% chance to assassinate the last target when I deal Skull damage.
Same applies to the Shadow perk from an Assassin as well. I would like to make more sense of this.
May take another couple of days, since the Dev/Support Team holiday is from 25-27 December. As I recall, many effects that apply on skull damage were recently fixed to actually require damage to be dealt, such as Forest Troll’'s entangle, as well as several others that I can confirm. Not sure about this case (and I haven’t tested it, myself).