October 23rd, 2018
Idle Champion Spotlight - Donaar 
Posted in Idle Champions.

Today, we're going to go into detail on our newest Champion: Donaar Blit'zen, the Dragonborn Paladin.

Donaar will be available in our next Year Two Event, Liars' Night, which launches TOMORROW (October 24th)! I hope this blog will give you all you need to know about our latest champion. But don't forget that Liars' Night is also a chance to collect and gear up Krond, the Half-Orc Fighter who recently got a big balance upgrade. You can read more about Krond and his new abilities in last week's Champion Spotlight.

How you can unlock Donaar:

Donaar is unlocked by playing Liars' Night, a limited-time event launching on October 24th and running until November 5th. Once you unlock Donaar, he swaps with Celeste or Regis (Slot 2).

Donaar will be sharing Liars' Night with last year's Champion, Krond, the Half-Orc Eldritch Knight. Don't worry - you will be able to unlock both of them if you haven't already unlocked Krond!

Who is Donaar:

Donaar is a member of the Acquisitions Incorporated's "C" Team. He is played by Ryan Hartman and will be featured on the main stage at this weekend's Acquisions Incorporated Main Stage game at PAX Australia!

This copper, draconic gentleman claims to know more than one hundred different dragons. Chromatic, metallic—just tons and tons of dragons—I’m hoping we can leverage some of these connections in our dealings. None of the dragons I’ve contacted have gotten back to me, but they’re probably just very busy right now. This is one of the busiest times for dragons… or so I’ve been told by my new best friend, Donaar Blit’zen.


Donaar's Design:

As fans of The C-Team, we were super excited to start working with their crew. Their attention to detail and love of their characters was clear quite quickly. Ryan came to the table with a TON of background info on Donaar and really helped bring the braggadocious Dragonborn to life. It is our hope that we did him justice, and that you become as enamored with Donaar and the rest of his crew as we are!

It's easy to see Donaar and think: Tank, right? He's a gigantic armored Dragonborn! However, the more we learned about him, the more we knew that to love Donaar is to understand that he might not serve your party in the best possible way. He's going to do things his way, cause he's the decisionist! Because of Ryan's love of using command to hilarious effect, we decided to double down on Donaar just doing whatever he thinks is best for the party.

Base Attack - Command: Donaar may have an enormous sword at his disposal, but his go-to attack is using command to compel enemies to do whatever he wants. He targets a random enemy and deals a small amount of damage while commanding them to do one of 4 possible things:
  • Hold: The target is stunned for 3 seconds.
  • Flee: The target is pushed back and damage dealt to it is increase by 100% for 10 seconds.
  • Fear: The target now has a 50% chance to miss on any attack for the next 5 seconds.
  • Drop Your Stuff: The target drops 50% more gold when it dies.

Formation Ability: Aura of Vitality: Every second, Donaar heals the champion who has lost the most health (percentage-wise). They will regain health over the next 10 seconds. He's there when you need him!

Formation Ability: Lead By Example: Donaar increases the damage of Champions in his column and those in the columns behind him by 100%.

Donaar's Specializations:

With Donaar's specializations, we wanted to give you the choice on how Donaar doubles down on his commands. He'll either use "Ohhh Yeaaaaah!" to increase the effect or duration of the commands or use "Everybody Cooool Out!" to allow his commands to affect a small area around the target each time.

Donaar's Ultimate Attack:


One of the best parts of Donaar's story when Ryan was relaying it, was his description of Donaar's "breath" weapon. Instead of exhaling acid, he instead vomits it "like a cat hacking up a hairball". As soon as we heard that, we knew we had our ultimate. Our resident Art Director Adam Kosh brought Donaar's hairball-hacking breath weapon to life in epic fashion. Donaar will cleave through a few baddies with his comically large sword Toothbrush, and vomit an acid pool that will deal damage to enemies that walk through it.

If you're at PAX Australia this weekend (or know someone who is) check the showbook for a code to unlock Donaar's Yum-Yum Hut chef variant outfit!

Donaar's Equipment



Slot 1: Giant Sword
  • Donaar's giant sword, Toothbrush, increases the DPS of all champions.
Slot 2: Toothbrush
  • Donaar's actual toothbrush, a bejeweled toothbrush he calls Percival, will increase the DPS of all champions. Tooth decay is a real problem when you're constantly vomiting acid!
Slot 3: Yum-Yum Hut Menu
  • The menu for Donaar's diner increases the effect of Aura of Vitality.
Slot 4: Decisionst's Coin
  • Donaar's role in the C-Team is the decisionist. It means that his vote counts twice. In our game, the decisionist coin buffs Lead By Example.
Slot 5: Eggy
  • Donaar's goddaughter Eggy/Chronaar increases the damage of his ultimate attack.
Slot 6: Cape
  • Donaar's regal and totally epic cape decreases the cooldown of his ultimate attack.

What about any other Donaar Details I'm looking for?

Donaar is Chaotic Good, a member of the Acq Inc "C" Team, and his stats are as follows:
Str: 18 Dex: 8 Con: 14 Int: 10 Wis: 10 Cha: 16

TL/DR- Final Donaar Thoughts

Donaar is a goofy, braggadocious buffoon, and we love him as a support/healer. He uses his Command ability to deal random effects to random enemies because he's the decisionist, darn it! He buffs the damage of those in his column and behind him, making him a row 1 or row 2 stalwart. He also heals the Champions in the formation who have lost the most health, keeping them fighting longer. His ultimate attack will bring a tear to your eye, his eye, and anyone unlucky enough to walk through the mess it creates!

We'll be watching the discussion online and on discord to see how well she's received, so let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter, or on the official Discord! If you are enjoying Farideh, consider checking out the C-Team broadcasts
October 17th, 2018
Idle Champion Spotlight - Krond Rebalance 
Posted in Idle Champions.

Krond was originally released during our first Liars' Night event in 2017. Initially, he was seen as a powerhouse thanks to his strong Ultimate. Unfortunately, an error in the calculations for the Ultimate happened to sneak through our QA pass, so we had to dial him back. It was all downhill for Krond from there. We don't normally like to "nerf" champions, but the bug presented us with a choice we had to make and so we toned down his power. Between that tweak and the design idea that we could split the power level of his cantrips between 3 equipment pieces, he was seen as a sub-par Champion for much of the past year.

As we started our TLC pass for Liars' Night, we had a discussion on if we should wait for a big rebalance pass, or use the coming event to give Krond some redemption. We decided to take some time to work on him now, bringing some newfound glory to our Half-Orc Fighter. These changes are live in the game as of the Grand Tour 6 update today, so everyone who has Krond can have a week to get used to him before he's available for everyone in Liars' Night Y2 starting next week!



We started by looking at Krond's slot, and how it has grown this year. Evelyn is a go-to tank in the meta, so a sub-par DPS just wasn't going to cut it. Additionally, Krond is a CNE-exclusive Champion, so we have a bit more leeway to make major changes to the character. Given that, we wanted to take a look at the champion from the ground up.

Survival of the Fittest

Knowing what is coming in the upcoming Tanking & Healing update allows us to do a bit of future design with nu-Krond. We started by creating a new Formation Ability titled Survival of the Fittest. Because everything in his design is tied to his specializations, we wanted to give him a "build around me" ability that might make you think about a different formation. We decided that Krond has been looked down on for so long that he's probably pretty cranky. He's missed out on a TON of adventures and he's ready to create his own crew. Survival of the Fittest was born from that idea: Krond's damage is increased 100% for each champion in the formation (multiplicative) who is Evil (Arkhan, Jarlaxle, and Makos at the moment), or has a Strength score of 16+ (Arkhan, Azaka, Barrowin, Binwin, Donaar, Jamilah, Krond, Minsc, Tyril, and Wulfgar). Eventually, this should allow Krond to create a new formation type, focusing on heavy hitters and evil Champions.

Ability Scores & Alignment

Given his new focus on strong and evil Champions, we imagined Krond benched from almost all adventures and quietly stewing and working out. We increased his Strength to 18, and tipped his alignment from Chaotic Neutral to Chaotic Evil. That's right. Nu-Krond isn't messing around!

Equipment

We wanted to break Krond's equipment away from the focus on his specializations. So we merged the 3 equipment items that each boosted a single cantrip power into one equipment item that boosts Krond's chosen cantrip. With the 2 extra equipment pieces we gained, we gave Krond another self DPS equipment item and an item that increases his bonus from Survival of the Fittest, pumping up his power level.


Base Attack

In balancing his damage, we decided to shave a half second off of his base attack cooldown, lowering his cooldown from 5.75 seconds to 5.25 seconds. We also doubled his base attack damage.

Cantrips

We buffed upgrades to Eldritch Strike to give Krond's follow-up attacks more of a kick, positioning Krond as a DPS who excels at longer drawn-out encounters. We also increased the damage modifier of Krond's Thunderclap and Fire Bolt cantrips, though his Shocking Grasp is still the best bang for your single-target buck, if that's your thing.


Ultimate

While Krond's original ultimate packed quite the punch, we had to dial it back in a major way shortly after he was released. We've fine-tuned his Arcane Charge for a better balance between over-powered and feather-tickling.


In the end, our entire focus was to pull Krond out of the DPS dead zone and get him in fighting shape. As we mentioned above, we're aware of some of the tanking & healing updates we'll be making, and we were able to take into account how much better new Arkhan is going to be. We're confident you'll be satisfied with nu-Krond's power level, and even happier when nu-Arkhan comes around in the coming weeks. We'll be watching the discussion online and on discord to see how well he's received, so let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter, or on the official Discord!
October 2nd, 2018
Idle Champion Spotlight - Farideh 
Posted in Idle Champions.

Welcome to our next Champion Spotlight design blog!

Today, we're going to go into detail on our newest Champion: Farideh, the Tiefling Warlock.

Farideh will be available in our first Year Two Event: Highharvestide, launching TOMORROW (October 3rd)! I hope this blog will give you all you need to know about our latest champion.


How you can unlock Farideh:

Farideh is unlocked by playing Highharvestide, a limited-time event launching on October 3rd and running until October 15th. Once you unlock Farideh, she swaps with Minsc or Catti-brie.

Farideh will be sharing Highharvestide with last year's Champion: Stoki, the Gnome Monk! Don't worry - you'll be able to unlock both of them if you haven't already unlocked Stoki.

Who is Farideh:

Farideh is a character from the from the Brimstone Angels D&D Novel series written by Erin M. Evans.

Abandoned as an infant and adopted by an outcast dragonborn warrior, Farideh grew to adulthood acutely aware of the drawbacks of being a tiefling. Despite doing everything she could to reassure her neighbors, including keeping her wild twin sister, Havilar, out of trouble, the villagers focused on Farideh as the one who would embrace the dark side of herself. They weren’t wrong.

When Havilar tried to summon an imp to practice her blade on, she drew the attention of Lorcan, a cambion looking to make warlock pacts with the descendants of one of the first Infernal warlocks, the Brimstone Angel. But Havilar was always meant for the glaive--and Farideh would do anything to keep her sister safe. While Lorcan, Asmodeus, and the Nine Hells do their utmost to corrupt her, Farideh isn’t interested in power so much as defending the world from demons, the undead, and any other villains trying to bring trouble or drag her friends and family into danger. Even being made the Chosen of Asmodeus--something Asmodeus isn’t going to explain to Farideh or anybody else--just means she has more magic to turn against the powers of evil.


Farideh's Design:

We were excited to have a fully fleshed-out 5th edition stat block, which gave us a great place to start from a mechanical standpoint. Between the stat block and our knowledge of the Brimstone Angels series, we reached out to Erin M. Evans, the author of the books Farideh appeared in, to see if she was interested in working with us to make our version of Farideh. Luckily for us, Erin was game for anything we threw at her. She worked closely with us, reviewing the design, sketches, and the equipment pieces. She also helped come up with some really fun GIFs, like this one showing Farideh enjoying her tea with WAY too much sugar.


We decided early that we wanted to place Farideh into slot 7 (Minsc, Catti-brie) and we wanted her to be a pure DPS character. I found her Hellish Rebuke ability super compelling. I really liked the idea of giving her a reaction-based ability to push back against the horde. From there, Justin and I sketched out the rough design and passed it over to Erin who enjoyed it as much as we did!

Base Attack - Scorching Ray: Farideh starts in your formation with her Scorching Ray attack. Scorching Ray begins with 3 rays of fire that attack random enemies. As Farideh increases in level, the number of rays she creates increases, which increases her DPS. Her DPS is key to her design as you'll see shortly.

Hellish Rebuke: When you unlock Hellish Rebuke, you start to tap into the infernal power that Farideh controls. Whenever an enemy hits Farideh, they take damage back equal to a percentage of Farideh's DPS. It starts as a modest percentage, but as you gain levels, and earn better slot 3 equipment, that percentage increases. On my dev server, each Hellish Rebuke is currently dealing 1,300% of her DPS!

Chosen of Asmodeus: Being a chosen of Asmodeus has to grant you some sort of advantage, right? When you unlock this ability, she grants Hellish Rebuke to champions adjacent to her. This means that when enemies attack Champions adjacent to Farideh in the formation, those enemies will take damage from Hellish Rebuke. Even though this damage is coming FROM a different Champion, the calculation is based on Farideh's DPS, so put her behind your tank(s) to maximize her damage dealing capabilities!

Pact Family: Farideh and her twin sister Havilar were orphaned at a young age. They understand the sting of growing up as a Tiefling. Because of that, Farideh's damage increases based on the number of Tieflings in the formation. Bring out Makos & Strix. It's time for a Tiefling party!

Farideh's Specializations:

With Farideh's specializations, we wanted to help you decide how you want to use Farideh's Hellish Rebuke based on your formation.
You can either use Dark One's Luck to expand the range of Hellish Rebuke, granting it to Champions within 2 slots of her, or you can increase her damage with Dark One's Blessing, which also increases the damage output of Hellish Rebuke to those Champions that have access to it.

Farideh's Ultimate Attack:


Farideh's Infernal Aspect is a new ability granted to her as a Chosen of Asmodeus. With it, she can project an aura of menace, affecting her enemies and causing them to be frightened. In our game, that means she's going to sprout a pair of fiery wings for the duration of the ability, tapping into her infernal connection. She pushes enemies back, slowing them for the duration of the ultimate, while she also damages a random enemy EVERY second, for 15 seconds.


Look out, baddies. We've got an angry tiefling!

Farideh's Equipment



Slot 1: Amulet
  • Farideh's amulet increases her damage.
Slot 2: Magical Rod
  • Farideh's chosen focus increases her damage.
Slot 3: Spellbook
  • Farideh's book increases the effect of her Hellish Rebuke ability.
Slot 4: Armor
  • Farideh's armor increases the effect of her Pact Family ability.
Slot 5: Wroth Deck
  • Farideh's wroth deck increases her Ultimate Attack damage.
Slot 6: Chapbooks
  • The chapbooks that Havilar continues to loan Farideh reduce the cooldown of her Ultimate Attack.

What about any other Farideh Details I'm looking for?

Farideh is Neutral Good, and her stats are as follows:
Str: 10 Dex: 14 Con: 14 Int: 14 Wis: 13 Cha: 18

TL/DR- Final Farideh Thoughts

Farideh uses her Hellish Rebuke as an unlimited reaction to deal damage to enemies that attack her or Champions in the Formation she wants to support. She wants to work with other Tieflings and stay near your tanks. She's a DPS character that you'll want to buff, especially when facing down an enemy that attacks multiple Champions!

We'll be watching the discussion online and on discord to see how well she's received, so let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter, or on the official Discord! If you are enjoying Farideh, consider checking out the Brimstone Angels series by Erin M. Evans. It's a good read!

Chris Dupuis