Commendable Ascendables PART THIRTY SEVEN

COMMENDABLE ASCENDABLES
SET 37: TOO SOON

In our thirty-seventh installment of Commendable Ascendables, we take a spoiler-filled look at some comic characters that died sooner than they deserved. Spoiler alert!


TOUGH

ABRAHAM (fear the hunters 2)
Ascended from Abraham (life among them)
Trait: tough
Role: medic
Weapon: default rifle
Damage: 1565
Defense: 1835
Health: 1500
Rush: the muscle: deal 300% damage in strong damage to up to 2 enemies, and inflict -100% heal reduction for 1 turn. Revive 1 teammate with 30% health. Up to 2 teammates recover from bleeding.
Rush Progression:
1: initial unlock
2: -2 ap
3: +50% rush damage
4: -2 ap
5: -2 ap
6: ±50% heal reduction
7: -2ap
8: -2ap
9: +50% rush damage
10: -2ap
AP requirement: 76
Active ability: Strong trait offense self
Initial cooldown: 3 turns
Cooldown: 2 turns
Number of uses: 4
Effect: when attacking normally, this unit is considered to be strong for 1 turn, and may act again this turn.
Specialist: life steal


ALERT

GLENN (something to fear 2)
Ascended from Glenn (something to fear)
Trait: alert
Role: medic
Weapon: default pistol
Damage: 1720
Defense: 1425
Health: 1755
Leader skill: all alert teammates receive +40% attack and a huge bonus to ap when attacking
Rush: hope for a new life: deal 225% damage in fast damage to up to 3 enemies. Up to 3 teammates are healed +35% health per turn for 2 turns
Rush Progression:
1: initial unlock
2: -2 ap
3: +1 enemy
4: -2 ap
5: -2 ap
6: +1 teammate
7: -2ap
8: -2ap
9: +50% rush damage
10: -2ap
AP requirement: 75
Active ability: heal
Initial cooldown: 2 turns
Cooldown: 2 turns
Number of uses: 4
Effect: up to 2 teammates are healed +25% health


STRONG

SHIVA (march to war)
Ascended from Shiva (all out war)
Trait: strong
Role: support
Weapon: shiva’s paws
Weapon stats:
+30% attack
+30% defense
Damage: 1805
Defense: 1815
Health: 1280
Rush: ferocious roar: inflict stun to a single enemy for 1 turn, and inflict -75% attack to that enemy and all adjacent enemies for 2 turns. Remove all positive offensive and defensive bonuses from up to 4 enemies.
Rush Progression:
1: initial unlock
2: -2 ap
3: +1 enemy gets bonuses removed
4: -2 ap
5: -2 ap
6: +1 turn of attack penalties
7: -2ap
8: -2ap
9: +1 enemy gets bonuses removed
10: -2ap
AP requirement: 76
Active ability: remove offensive bonuses
Initial cooldown: 2 turns
Cooldown: 2 turns
Number of uses: 5
Effect: remove offensive bonuses from a group of enemies
Specialist: outlast


FAST

MORGAN (too far gone)
Ascended from Morgan
Trait: fast
Role: Medic
Weapon: default Knife
Damage: 1430
Defense: 1550
Health: 2020
Leader skill: all fast teammates receive +40% defense and a huge bonus to ap when taking damage
Rush: a father’s advice: all teammates are healed +60% health per turn, which decreases by -25% healing per turn, for 3 turns.
Rush Progression:
1: initial unlock
2: -2 ap
3: +2 teammates to 3 teammates
4: -2 ap
5: -2 ap
6: +3 teammates to 4 teammates
7: -2ap
8: -2ap
9: +4 teammates to all teammates
10: -2ap
AP requirement: 75
Active ability: recover offensive penalties
Initial cooldown: 2 turns
Cooldown: 2 turns
Number of uses: 5
Effect: up to 3 teammates recover from offensive penalties



2 Likes

They were all good. Except for glenn. Firstly, he only gives 30 attack and his ap give is severely nerfed by making it when taking damage. Also he only gives it to alert while his 5* gives it to all ranged. I can still use him as a leader because of his ap boost when attacking. Was some of it a typo?

1 Like

The 30 attack and ap was a mistake! Nice catch! I meant for it to be just alert though. I try to avoid making leader skills affect 2 traits at the same strength as it would be if it affected 1 trait. There’s no good reason why one leader skill should be twice as effective as another, so I’ve got my own internal rules for when they can affect different amounts of toons in order to keep things balanced.

1 Like

So… In 1.5 years if they released 1 per week

We still wouldn’t have <58 AP toons.

Haven’t shown much of a meta transition throughout your promo builds out.

Do you not envision legacy toons being more than fillers?

1 Like

Allen also should be on this list, but he can’t because he hasn’t 5* Version. Just needed to write this down :slightly_frowning_face:

2 Likes

Why would I want to envision power creep in my for-fun magical daydream fantasy game world? There’s no power creep in this series because if I were to be running the game in a way geared towards player satisfaction and coming up with stats myself, I wouldn’t have promo toons coming out that are objectively better than the other toons. The way I see it, the appeal of promo toons ought to be that they fill roles not filled by any other toon. For example, promo toons introduce new combat effects and whatnot. But I don’t personally believe that a gradually increasing meta helps a game or the player experience in the long run, especially since 6 stars were introduced to solve that very problem. That’s why I balance my toons as if they were to be implemented right now, into the current meta. It’s why other than some light inside-the-box creativity with a couple of rushes, active abilities, and specialist skill+weapon combos, I don’t make up new combat effects. It’s why once disarm came out, I started creating toons with the disarm ability. Im not trying to create a new meta, but rather to imagine a scenario in which we try to maintain it.

1 Like

That’s fine. Was just curious. But from a business perspective power creep is inevitable as you would want to encourage players to transition from current roster into the new ever changing landscape.

Imo, feels stagnant without some level of creep. Although there is a difference between creep and leaps which Scopely prefers the leaps model as it is more aggressive manor of extracting cash from customers.

Too each their own. Was mainly curious.

1 Like

I have a question,

Do you weight each stat and then add up everything associated with the Survivor to have this “Meta Number” to represent their overall power? How do you gauge if something is too strong or too weak?

1 Like

When it comes to the actual numerical stats. It all adds up to 4900, which is just a number I rounded to when taking the rough average of total stats among existing 6 stars. As for rushes, I usually copy down existing rushes, then tweak them bit by bit. So I might start off with mirabelle’s rush, 250% damage and stun for 1 turn to 3 enemies at 66ap. And then I’ll go “alright, what if I remove 50% damage? I think -25% defense for 1 turn is roughly equivalent”, and now that rush is 200% damage and -25% defense and stun for 1 turn to 3 enemies at 66 ap. Then I might replace the stun with confuse, and lower the damage another 30% to compensate for the 50% chance a confused enemy has to attack their own people. So now that rush would look like 170% damage and -25% defense and confuse for 1 turn to 3 enemies at 66 ap, which is a pretty different rush than we started out with. Usually I just keep tweaking it until I find something that I think fits the toon well and will make playing them feel unique.

Rushes that only do a single thing, such as tyreese’s 650% damage to 2 enemies, are great for gauging what kind of power we’re talking about for specific ap levels. 5 star blue Andrea set the precedent by having a 44ap 800% damage rush, so now we know, every 5 star 44ap rush has to be roughly equivalent to a single 800% damage strike. It’s easy to look at that and say “lose 100% of the attack, add such and such”.

I’ve been writing stats since the game came out, but haven’t released any until this series. It’s a lot of practice, and going back later and eyeballing it and saying “you know what? I feel like this toon doesn’t need that extra stun effect” or whatnot. The best way to judge though is to get feedback from others. If the feedback misses the entire point of a character (such as somebody saying that this medic doesn’t heal enough, even though its rush is 10% health to all teammates and +70% attack for 3 turns, clearly indicating that the attack buff is the main show here and not the health), then I tend to look for a reason why I shouldn’t tweak it. But most of the time, I’ll get a “rick looks too weak. He’d die before he could complete the role he’s meant to fill”, in which case I might throw in that his rush buffs his defense briefly or something like that.

So that’s all it really is; study of the current meta and lots of playing, tweaking the stats after they’re written, and feedback.

1 Like

I remember the good-old times I had raiding teams with 5* something to fear Glenn. Good times.

1 Like

That’s fair enough. What I find to be an interesting technique that scopely is using though is releasing lots of alert 6 star promo toons, but not a lot of freemium alerts. This makes that trait pretty much premium. It’s not inherently more powerful than any other trait, (arguable once weapon specials enter the debate of course), but it does fill a specific role on the battlefield that obviously can’t be filled by any other trait, in that it can take down strong toons easily but gets wiped out by tough toons. This is the kind of premium toon ideology that I think works better for a game in the long run than slowly raising the objective stats (such as they do with the numerical stat counts, or with promo weapons), which just ends up making the game harder for new and mid-game players, rendering worthless past cash spent on prior promos, and neccecitates drastic meta reset measures once power creep becomes unbearable. Priya, for example, is the apex example of 5 star power creep. In 5 star combat, just put down 2 of her, and you can’t be beat-- not a single strategy could fix the fact that all your enemy’s toons were confused or stunned and would continue to be confused or stunned until your team wiped them out. There’s nowhere to go from there. So scopely hit the reset button, nuked the 5 stars by making 6 stars have double the stats, and put rush speeds at a manageable level so that you wouldn’t have a single toon stun locking entire teams and removing any strategy. But it’s not perfect. As we all know, certain abilities will always be overpowered compared to others. For example, I think we can all agree that confuse shiva is better than 6 star Shane. Sure, they fill different roles, but the ability to quickly confuse an enemy will always outweigh a tiny bit of healing because one removes the ability for the enemy to make tactical decisions, and the other just undoes a couple turns of damage that can just be re applied. The most important thing is to keep it strategic, give everything weaknesses and strengths, and make the flow of power circular, just as the trait advantage-disadvantage system works. That’s how you make a game balanced, and a balanced game is the most fun game for all involved.

1 Like

I like it, that is cool af.

I am curious since you make a lot of characters, have you thought about making this game in a “Card Game” manner to test out certain ideas? In game dev we will recreate ideas on a basic level by just simply writing on index cards and apply the idea however fit. RNG stuff is just rolled by a dice if you were to do weapons with proc effects. I sort of wish I had that setup in my living room so I can test some of these characters out.

1 Like

I used to do that with board games and whatnot, which is how I first started out. I remember when I was little I started coming up with new chess pieces and trying to design balanced ways for them to play in the game to make it fun. It’s harder with video games, and since this one has so many variables and so much rng, it feels like a bit too time consuming for the practical payoff (and I already have a low bar for time spent -> practical payoff, as you could probably tell from me writing this series without expecting scopely to actually use these). I find it much easier to just play the game itself a lot and get a different feel for how different abilities and stats work. Now and then I’ll throw some 4 star characters into a raid against 6 stars just to see how they fare and what makes them tick. At one point I even developed a set of formulas to actually quantify the power of each unit’s rush, stats, specialist skills, and leader abilities (though I stopped updating it when 6 stars came out because I couldn’t figure out a reliable way to quantify the power of active abilities). If I were a coder though, I would love to create a copy of road to survival and add my creations in to see how they play. It would be a dream come true to be hired as the fella who comes up with this stuff, since I already do so much of it in my spare time.

And just to show another relevant example of how I tweak toons, Glenn’s rush in the original post above is based off both 6 star Carl’s rush and Vincent’s rush, with a bit of 3 star Billy’s unique “different trait” effect thrown in.

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On the bright side, his comic character is way different than his tv character, and his tv character would already be long dead if it had followed the comics, . so these spoilers are just comic spoilers, not tv spoilers.

1 Like