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Spell+Ability Utility Tiers

Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior MemberRegistered Users Posts: 24,710
edited September 2018 in Balancing Discussions
I think it's obvious by now that certain spells and abilities are more equal than other spells and abilities, here's a hand tier list:

DISCLAIMER:
There are spells that belong to a certain group that are however higher or lower rated because of certain quirks, stuff like Windblast (which is easily higher classed than other AoE spells) or Traitor Kin (which is lower than other direct damage spells because it's fairly weak). For simplicity's sake I've left them out for now.


T0 - No Brainer

Any direct damage spells/abilty + any healing spell/ability*

Defeating your enemy requires destroying the HP of his units. Of course spells and abilities that do this in the most direct way are of the greatest utility. Investing WoM into draining HP directly is propely the most cost-efficient trade in the game since you only spend a non-vital resource on taking something your opponent cannot easily regain (or at all regain). Likewise preventing your enemy from taking your unit's HP is just as important. If your opponent has exhausted and bruised his Dwarf Slayers in trying to kill your Carnosaur, being able to undo their effort with a simple click is another highly cost-efficient trade. Therefore direct damage and healing spells are of top tier utlity.

Examples: Spirit Leech, Fate of Bjuna, Liber Bubonicus, Soul Steal, Accusation, Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma (which is a slow-down too), Final Transmutation, Regrowth, Item-Bound Regeneration* (doesn't come with the 20% fire weakness), Earth Blood, Apotheosis

I don't count the VC healing here because the whole of the VC army is balanced for it with very low stats, so their healing is more of a necessity than a pure boon here


T1 - Highly Efficient

Snares and Slow-downs

Being able to impede the mobility of an enemy unit is of great use since that opens them up for all sorts of punishment, be it via units or via spells/abilities that require aiming. It also can negate a unit's charge bonus and save the bacon of your backline in a pinch. Snares and Slow-downs still require an additional element for maximum efficiency and are somewhat situational, so they're one step removed from T0.

Examples: Net of Amyntok, Tempest, Howling Warpgale, Warp Gaze, frostbite inducing attacks


T2 - Mostly Efficient

Stat Buffs and Debuffs

Any spell/ability that makes your opponent's troops fight worse and yours better requires the right timing and situation to cast it. A mistimed Pha's Protection or Soulblight might end up being completely wasted. Still, cast at the right time they can be devastating, so their usefulness is even more dependent on any given situation which requires more "work" and therefore lowers their utility tier. There are also some buffs/debuffs that are just overcosted or plain useless (Birona's Timewarp for example).

Examples: Cascading Fire Cloak, Flesh to Stone, Curse of the Midnight Wind, Curse of Years, Mantle of Khorok, Fists of Gork,


T3 - Sometimes Efficient

Magic Missiles and AoE/Wind damage spells/abilities

AoE damage spells almost always require your enemy to make major blunders and blob his troops up for maximum efficiency, which doesn't happen with any half-way competent opponent. While they can still do damage when cast on the right target, most of them have a fair forewarning period which means the opponent can try and dodge out of the way. Magic Missiles have been buffed a bit, but they suffer from having to set up a clear shot and at least for spells it makes more sense to use something that requires less time and effort to invest. Bound magic missiles and AoE abilities are a bit higher-rated because they don't cost WoM to use and are in a sense "freebies".

Examples: Dwellers Below, Plague, Piercing Bolts of Burning, Searing Doom, Cracks Call, Ruination of Cities, Fireball, Shem's Burning Gaze, Vindictive Glare, Gaze of Nagash, Viletide, Awakening of the Woods, Soul Quench, Plague Breath, Scorch, 'eadbutt, Brain Burster, Amber Spear


T4 - Inefficient

Vortices

All of the moving vortices have the same problem, they have a >50% of having low, zero or even negative RoI, and that chance increases with every turn the vortex takes. Sure some of them can be quite devastating, a Banishment or Firestorm that moves exactly right can probably do the most damage out of anything in the game, but that's the catch, that perfect movement pattern is excessively unlikely to occur and most often any WoM invested in them are wasted or repay very little. Again, bound vortices are a bit higher rated because of their "freebie" status

Examples: Chain Lightning, Gehenna's Golden Hounds, Purple Sun of Xereous (somewhat increased utility because it sucks units towards it)

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Comments

  • Green0Green0 Registered Users Posts: 6,383
    edited September 2018
    so funny, hating on Regrowth and lore of life but VC healing is fine because they’re units have low stats. God how I feel outplayed when my VC opponent overcasts IoN on 2xTG, Lord and a couple GG for 11 mana. VC healing is fine until you only heal elites in an AoE, toxic gameplay and big problem that needs to be addressed.

    Vortex spells, especially static vortices aren’t situational. Of course some spells are going to be stronger in this game, it’s impossible to balance everything 100% especially since this also depends on what units are meta to begin with. For example, in a cav heavy meta like now, spells like Dwellers seem a bit UP but vs factions who don’t play cav like Skaven or GS they’re strong. I also suggest you try out Awakening of the Wood next time you use Lore of Life, doesn’t cost too much to pick it and in many cases your army won’t need Regrowth so you bring that + EB. You also vastly underestimate how strong some buffs/debuffs like Pha’s protection are, especially in cav fights, in some cases they are much better than Regrowth. Also in your list you put Howling Warpgale and Tempest in the same tier but for me HW is definitely 1 tier below Tempest.

    In short: everything you listed is your opinion and your take on the game which in turn reflects how you like to play. It is true that spells like Regrowth or Net are a bit on the strong side but you don’t necessarily hinder yourself if you don’t bring them and bring something else.
  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 24,710
    You didn't even read the whole post, right?

  • Green0Green0 Registered Users Posts: 6,383
    wrong, I just don’t share your opinion. I see why you would confuse the 2 though.
  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 24,710
    edited September 2018
    Green0 said:

    wrong, I just don’t share your opinion. I see why you would confuse the 2 though.

    No, I can tell you just skimmed the post and then started ranting because you missed both the disclaimer (in which I acknowledged that certain spells escape their archetype's rating) and the whole point of this list, which is utility. The more situtational and the more setup something requires, the lower it is on the list.

    Drain and Heal spells are on top because they can affect the army healthpool in the most direct way with the least amount of setup. Vortices are on the bottom because they have a 50+ chance of not paying off regardless of setup and effort and if you had read the whole post you'd have noticed I said MOVING vortices.

    Before you disagree with me, have at least the decency of putting some effort into your disagreement.

  • Elder_BasiliskElder_Basilisk Registered Users Posts: 382
    Melikoth's doesn't seem to actually do vey much damage--id put in the snares rather than direct damage. If you bring it, it's probably for the slow not the damage.
  • eumaieseumaies Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 6,155
    Vortex spells should be cheaper to take since they are expensive and risky to cast anyway.

    That said not all vortexes are bad. Some are pretty reliable.
  • Cukie251Cukie251 Registered Users Posts: 984
    Alternatively, there should be some maximum amount of distance the vortex can actually move. So maybe it will go off track a little bit but say, wont take a cross country road trip into your army.
  • ystyst Registered Users Posts: 7,200
    Vortex r easy fix. Been suggested gazillion times simply reduce vortex move speed by 66% or so and they will be viable.

    Augment and curse spells r trashy as hell with such short duration.

    Magics a hot mess, in any lore theres basically just 1-2 thats worth ur mana, sure some spells looks amazing on paper, but dont kid urself that ure going to use them in battle.
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  • ystyst Registered Users Posts: 7,200

    Melikoth's doesn't seem to actually do vey much damage--id put in the snares rather than direct damage. If you bring it, it's probably for the slow not the damage.

    Dmg per mana on par with bjuna
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  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 24,710

    Melikoth's doesn't seem to actually do vey much damage--id put in the snares rather than direct damage. If you bring it, it's probably for the slow not the damage.

    The thing is that you can cast Melkoth's a whole lot during a battle and then it accumulates actually more damage than FoB.

  • HorseWithNoNameHorseWithNoName Registered Users Posts: 1,001

    Melikoth's doesn't seem to actually do vey much damage--id put in the snares rather than direct damage. If you bring it, it's probably for the slow not the damage.

    The thing is that you can cast Melkoth's a whole lot during a battle and then it accumulates actually more damage than FoB.
    Yes, but burst damage is much better than damage over a longer time, so the niche (burst damage spell vs mainly slowing spell) can be different.
    yst said:

    Vortex r easy fix. Been suggested gazillion times simply reduce vortex move speed by 66% or so and they will be viable.

    Augment and curse spells r trashy as hell with such short duration.

    Magics a hot mess, in any lore theres basically just 1-2 thats worth ur mana, sure some spells looks amazing on paper, but dont kid urself that ure going to use them in battle.

    Yes, vortex spells would be better that way, but they would also do almost the same as other aoe spells (Bombardments, Explosions, aoe Damage spells) and that niche is already quite overpopulated.
  • Green0Green0 Registered Users Posts: 6,383
    I think CA has been pretty adamant about wanting to keep vortex spells as they currently are. They might not be the best in MP, but they see some use in campaign and limiting their RNG factor (which I don't like either) risks turning everything into a proxy of Piercing Bolts/Searing Doom and then a hierarchy would emerge among these all similar spells.
  • ystyst Registered Users Posts: 7,200
    edited September 2018
    Huge mistake those vortexs. As bad as rampage but still ca loves it.

    So thats that really.

    Improvement on vortex will only help campaign carebear, theres no negativity to it. Which campaigner wants to see their vortex kills couple of dude and ran off other direction doing nothing.

    Significant reduction on vortex move speed such as -66% would not only make them viable, it would also keep their moving nature intact. Destroying everything on path all long still being a risky spell because u simply cannot control it.
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  • GodOfGobbozGodOfGobboz Registered Users Posts: 144
    edited September 2018
    Do we really need more ''tier lists'' for things ?
  • Ephraim_DaltonEphraim_Dalton Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 24,710
    Fixing Vortices is by either making them way cheaper than they are now or by restricting the randomness of its movement . My suggestion was that it would only ever move away from its point of origin. This would keep its random nature but increase the chance of the Vortex going in an "useful" direction to more than 50%.

  • XxXScorpionXxXXxXScorpionXxX Registered Users Posts: 1,049

    Melikoth's doesn't seem to actually do vey much damage--id put in the snares rather than direct damage. If you bring it, it's probably for the slow not the damage.

    I agree, I might cast if for the damage if I have nothing better to use it on and don't have enough mana for a different spell.
    Request scorched body textures, poisoned dying animations for infantry's skeletons, a blood slider that allows us to control how much blood appears in battle and make proper death animations for all ethereal units so they vanish for Blood for the Blood God 3.
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