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marke83

How has balance been in M3E so far for you?

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I've played maybe 5 games of 3E. I've only fielded  Redchapel and lost every game. Vs viks, zipp, dreamer.. I haven't felt any issues with balance with my very small sample size, but how about you people?

Is the edition balanced, and if so, how well? I guess factions' internal balance is a bit off, but that's a very minor concern with the new hiring system imo.

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Generally very good, what issues I suspect exist I'm not prepared to call out until I see more data, and I'd wager they're in the category of just needing small tweaks.

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I played a Redchapel game, bringing the dreaded do-not-take Belles, and managed to tie out the game. I'm not sure I've actually lost a game on Nephilim yet but the edition is young. Non-Nephilim games I play can go either way, but I don't ever feel shut out at crew select, so that's always a good sign. I think most of the time that I win games in M3e handily, I think to myself "why did my opponent do that and not this other thing" a few times during the game. Honestly, Redchapel players (to summarize the keyword, not the players) always seem to be the most vocal about how hard their lives are, but I haven't made any sense of it as to why. 
I'd say keep playing until you get the hang of things, or seek out successful players of your kind and see what they're doing to make it work. The game itself I would argue is fairly balanced, moreso than M2e ever was, though there will always be gaps here and there. 

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In my opinion, M3E is more balanced at release than M2E was at the end. Are there issues? Hell yes. Some things are going to be above or below the curve. Are we going to find things that slipped past playtesting? 100%. But at the very least it is better. The gap between the best and worst master in a faction is far narrower than it was in M2E (especially as an Arcanist)

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Sounds good :). Haven't found much outliers by theoryfauxing either. Also,  I'm certainly not whining about Redchapel at all. If I have to guess, the noise might come from the combination of Seamus being popular and the crew requring work to do well with.

I like the crew actually, Belles and Sybelle still feel so-and-so, but I'm predicting Belles gonna be solid later in the edition. They do bring quite a lot of stuff with 5 stones, despite the critique and (unfair) comparisons to non-faction lurebots.

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I think it is hard to tell.

Skill is such an overwhelming factor in Malifaux games, I imagine it'd be very easy to not realise a crew is under- or over- powered.

Particularly at such small sample sizes/so early in the life of the game, as noted above.

"Balance" is also strange in Malifaux. A crew might be overall strong, but still has weaknesses. A 'weak' crew might still be the best pick for some strategies or opponents.

So rather than looking at "balance", I would ask if every crew has something meaningful to contribute. And so far, I'd say yes. There is at least some combination of opponent/strategy/scheme that every crew I have seen is good against (for instance, Kaeris and her burning crew is good against things with damage reduction that doesn't stop burning, like hard to wound or incorporeal).

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Balance to me feels pretty much exactly the same as it was at the end of 2e. I regard 3e as more of a side grade rather than an objective improvement. There are some brilliant concepts in the new edition regardless of how well they were executed.

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It's a hard question to answer.

In a certain sense, M2e was more balanced because the whole game was reduced to playing the same "best" models, with minor changes based on the master you picked. This was not always the case, but it often was. In other words, the balance across factions was alright, but the balance within each faction and across models was pretty bad.

M3e is a different beast. Each keyword is supposed to be balanced regardless of faction and that's hard to accomplish, especially when considering how many models already existed before testing even began. Just assigning models evenly across keywords while keeping the theme strong was probably a challenge in itself. 
What ended up happening is that M3e is more asymmetrical (in a great way) than M2e was. I can't express how much each keyword feels like playing a completely different game. It's delightful and addicting.
The downside is that, since each crew has their gimmick, it's really hard to make them all equally "competitive". Is the chance of drawing extra cards better than handing out upgrades or summoning? That said, since keywords are so different from one another, if a top-dog keyword starts dominating, there's very likely another keyword that is particularly good against it (or even out-of-keyword models that can compensate).

In the end, it really depends on how you define balance.

Are all factions going to be viable? I think so.
Are all keywords going to be equally good? No but I don't think that's possible.
Are the majority of the models going to see play? Absolutely freaking yes. This is, to me, the best measure of balance, and an immense improvement over M2e.
 

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At the moment, it's definitly more diverse. You see many different keywords and after a few dozen games of testing they feel like ranking closere then before. A part of this is just because everything is new and many players have to find there comfort lists yet.

On the other Hand there are some loose ends, that need to be tied, as they were in m2e (for example i think gamble your life should be cheatable by both players or reworked as an attack action; Chi is way to easy to come by, or should only add 1 to a stat or at least be declared before flipping; Flickers positive DMG Flip may be to much and McCabes Upgrades are in need of a Wastrel restriction)

 

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It's hard to say with small pool of games and keywords played, but honestly I don't feel any improvement in terms of balance. I played Redchapelle most of my games and I haven't lost a single game using that keyword so far, despite being an average player. If my opponent does not bring a summoning master, I feel that I have won already on a stage of crew composition. But this may be because many players in my city still try things out, so they too often bring generic keyword based crews with no OOK/versatile models to cover their weaknesses (like access to free focus, healing, etc.). So time will show and once meta settle down I will propably have to put Seamus on the shelf. But I don't think that competitive meta will become more diverse than it was in 2E. Simply, not every keyword has a lot of free focus, card draw, summoning and AP allocation, and these are features which at this point seem to me to be meta defining (btw. haven't you noticed that Sandeep once again has all of them?)

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I think there is one or 2 masters that are slightly above the curve but so far it's looking fairly balanced. Certan masters such as the above mentioned seamus might have a really powerful master but his keyword is fairly naff (in my opinion the worse save reva's stuff in ressers) prob even better shown by mccabe who just simply doesn't have a filled out keyword dispite mccabe being put out silly amount of aoe simple duals. 

 

I think the 2 masters are above the curve are Zoridia and Shenlong 

Zoridia's obays mean that she can score a lot of points off enermy models really easily for idols and plant explosives, and can score alotof the 2nd half of schemes off making a friendly model kill the target of said scheme 

 

Shenlong can be set up to get round all defensive tech and so can just murder models before there is any chance to respond, doesn't matter if he's tied up in combat, the model is in concieling cover with armour, serene countenance and hard to wound, Shenlong is either made better for this or ignores it

 

Dreamer could be up there as well but I think that less the dreamer and more how stupid that both the stitched gamble your life and the destracted his other big minion are tactical actions so again ignore a lot of defensive tech

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While I am very excited about M3E, I still think that a lot of the more popular factions came out on top. Still, I guess the dust will have to settle before we pass judgement on the new edition.

I'd personally like to see Wyrd take a different approach in the future, where they focus on a single faction at a time. I understand that this wasn't possible this edition, but maybe in the future. Also this edition felt very rushed in the end, which might also have something to do with it.

The game-order where you announce your master first, and then begin building a crew, has flat-out excluded certain crews from competitive games, which is a shame if you ask me.

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I've lost some game, I've won others, with different crews (mostly Parker Barrows, Cornelius Basse and Perdita). All the lists I've played so far seems pretty well balanced and the guys at Wyrd did an amazing work in reworking Family keyword to something enjoyable and playable (during the Beta, Family was HORRIBLE). So, good job Wyrd !

Maybe, the only thing I've found very frustrating are the 2-Masters list. Those, I find pretty annoying to play against. Sure, I have (in most cases) bigger numbers than my opponent, but how am I supposed to move around with a Perdita and a Lady Justice that threaten to 1-shot basically EVERYTHING I throw on the board? There, if I have to make a complaint, I would say that the 2 Master rule seems out of balance. 

 

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2 hours ago, dannydb said:

I think the 2 masters are above the curve are Zoridia and Shenlong 

I haven't played against Shenlong, and Zoraida only once, but I think part of the reason Zoraida is so strong is the fact her Swampfiends have Stealth.  The Obeys are annoying, and she is really good at them, but they don't have a huge range, so you should be able to avoid them using ranged attacks to take out key pieces.  But the combination of Stealth and Zoraida being able to cast through models makes that really difficult to do.

 

On the subject of balance though, I have lost all four of the games I have been able to play (all beta rules) but I don't feel that anything I faced was theoretically stronger than anything I could have brought to the table (except Zoraida for the reasons above).  I simply lost because I'm rubbish and don't know what I'm doing.  I'm fine with that.

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1 hour ago, JellyRoll said:

Maybe, the only thing I've found very frustrating are the 2-Masters list. Those, I find pretty annoying to play against. Sure, I have (in most cases) bigger numbers than my opponent, but how am I supposed to move around with a Perdita and a Lady Justice that threaten to 1-shot basically EVERYTHING I throw on the board? There, if I have to make a complaint, I would say that the 2 Master rule seems out of balance. 

And that "more models" argument falls flat the moment you go up against a summoner as 2nd master.

Thankfully it will be an easy fix for TO's to just say "no 2nd masters" if that ends up being as big of a problem that some people fear it is.

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It’s going to be awhile before we know for certain how any of this actually shakes out. I mean the discussion is interesting and useful, but I saw the exact same arguments when 2e released, for both sides. Also consider we are still in the “Book” era of schemes and strats, which brings its own stamp on balance. Anyone remember only having access to the book scenarios in 2e and what that did to the perceived balance? GG documents and how they impact play are going to have a major impact on the perceived balance of the system as well.

I personally think most people are in the honeymoon period where things are being figured out, and the mechanically edges that are present for some masters and keywords are being heavily overlooked. I’m pretty certain that the amount of playable models and masters is going to shake out be pretty close to exactly how it was at the end of 2e once the dust settles. I will certainly be happy to be wrong however, and Ive been pretty satisfied with how well the new developers have handled rules edits and testing so there are grounds for some optimism that they will be making an effort to improve the experience for masters and keywords that fall to the wayside.

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1 hour ago, GrumpyGrandpa said:

I'd personally like to see Wyrd take a different approach in the future, where they focus on a single faction at a time. I understand that this wasn't possible this edition, but maybe in the future. Also this edition felt very rushed in the end, which might also have something to do with it.

I respectfully disagree on this. I have yet to see a game where this was pulled off, and it wasn't a complete clusterfeth. 

First off, even if you shrink turnaround times to 6 months, that means that the first faction released won't see anything new for 4 years, meaning that it will essentially be unchanged for the rest of the edition (~5 years is the length of an edition so far, and I wouldn't be surprised if it happened again in ~2024). Similarly, the last faction to get released will only see a year or less of active play at it's potential before it's reboot time.

Heck, the disgruntlement of people with regards NepGraves and WoeTannen was pretty palpable, and that was two alternate models. Imagine that feeling for an entire faction.

Similarly, it means a good concept either can't be added, or a faction remains defenseless against it, for the entirety of it's run. I saw this in Warzone 2nd Ed, when it was determined a few stealth models (similar to what Undercover Reporter does, but much more potent) needed counters. So, the second and third faction books were made with counters, but the first book didn't have them, so tough noogies for them.

Third, it's MUCH harder to consider those two issues, and not end up with general power creep. Making sure that the newly released stuff is not below the existing models (because people having to wait for sub-par stuff is not going to go over well) means that it's more likely to have something close to broken slip through.

That's not to say the current system is flawless. But it does mean that Wyrd can work around what's been released in the next year, and provide new ideas and the counters to those at the same time, and work with that, rather than having to think 4+ years in advance.

Also, there's the marketing/sales/freshness issue. Not all factions are created equally, at least not in metas. With the release of a new "annual" from Wyrd, everyone gets a taste. And so the interest from the playerbase is universal. If I were a single or dual faction player, and I either had already gotten my faction books, or weren't getting my faction books, then where would my excitement be for the year's releases? I may get to see my opponents play with new toys (assuming anyone in my meta played that faction), but I'm stuck playing with the same options I had last year.

I get why people like the idea of "everything in one book". But every time I've heard someone argue that, and it's been the first or last (or even completely missed) faction released, I've heard nothing but disgruntlement. 

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2 hours ago, Morgan Vening said:

I respectfully disagree on this. I have yet to see a game where this was pulled off, and it wasn't a complete clusterfeth. 

You make some very good points throughout your post, and I think that I can see where you are coming from. Still, I do not see how this version of testing is the better alternative for future additions to the game. Hell,  I imagen Wyrd had a very heavy drop in sales with the announcement, and this indirectly made them rush certain parts of the process. I'd like to see them avoid such things in the future unless nessesary.

Perhaps a third option could be found?

2 hours ago, Morgan Vening said:

Similarly, it means a good concept either can't be added, or a faction remains defenseless against it, for the entirety of it's run. I saw this in Warzone 2nd Ed, when it was determined a few stealth models (similar to what Undercover Reporter does, but much more potent) needed counters. So, the second and third faction books were made with counters, but the first book didn't have them, so tough noogies for them.

Not sure if I agree with this, or maybe just need to see the process before me. I don't believe new concepts can't be added due to this. Aren't Privateer Press doing this with their new sub-faction Inferno? The idea is simply to add things that are unique but not game breaking, and present it to the public for testing. You'd then have all others factions able to focus on the new additions and give their review. Will it counter X Theme? Maybe. And maybe that is okay. But this way it'll get a more grounded and well-rounded review before release.

Obviously this isn't viable when focusing on a complete overhaul like M3E ended up being, but would be possible for when the new faction is being introduced, or if they change the core concept of the current rules (like Upgrades and such).

 

2 hours ago, Morgan Vening said:

Also, there's the marketing/sales/freshness issue. Not all factions are created equally, at least not in metas. With the release of a new "annual" from Wyrd, everyone gets a taste. And so the interest from the playerbase is universal. If I were a single or dual faction player, and I either had already gotten my faction books, or weren't getting my faction books, then where would my excitement be for the year's releases? I may get to see my opponents play with new toys (assuming anyone in my meta played that faction), but I'm stuck playing with the same options I had last year.

Gotta ask if you actually mean that certain factions are intentionally left weak by Wyrd due to popularity? 

Either way, a testing phase can be done multiple times with different models before the release of a faction book or new release wave. It doesn't need to be focused on a single faction for a year.

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Aside from overpowered combinations, there is literally no reason why 2 master crews shouldn't be strong. Master is just a powerful model after all. I feel 2e mindset is part of the worry. 

Other than emotional reasons, why 2 master setups becoming the meta should be avoided or banned? As long as there are enough good competitive options within every faction, I don't see the problem.

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14 minutes ago, marke83 said:

Aside from overpowered combinations, there is literally no reason why 2 master crews shouldn't be strong. Master is just a powerful model after all. I feel 2e mindset is part of the worry. 

Other than emotional reasons, why 2 master setups becoming the meta should be avoided or banned? As long as there are enough good competitive options within every faction, I don't see the problem.

Totally agree. Though, I definitely don't want double masters to be the only competitive option. I'm fine with them being really good, as long as they don't totally overshadow single master. 

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9 hours ago, JellyRoll said:

I've lost some game, I've won others, with different crews (mostly Parker Barrows, Cornelius Basse and Perdita). All the lists I've played so far seems pretty well balanced and the guys at Wyrd did an amazing work in reworking Family keyword to something enjoyable and playable (during the Beta, Family was HORRIBLE). So, good job Wyrd !

Maybe, the only thing I've found very frustrating are the 2-Masters list. Those, I find pretty annoying to play against. Sure, I have (in most cases) bigger numbers than my opponent, but how am I supposed to move around with a Perdita and a Lady Justice that threaten to 1-shot basically EVERYTHING I throw on the board? There, if I have to make a complaint, I would say that the 2 Master rule seems out of balance. 

 

Hello Jellyroll,

 

Happy to know that Family is finally playable. I should give them a try soon. Perhaps we will confront our respective Family crews during a future tournament.

 

What annoys me with 2 Masters list is if it becomes a necessity in competitive play. As long as a 1 Master list can win versus a 2 Masters list, no problem. If you are "obliged" to make 2 Masters list (even if you don't want to) to win games, then it will become a problem.

 

 

In my experience I only faced once a 2 Master list (the Justice+ Perdita team you are speaking about) for the moment and won with a single Colette list. Not enough to decide if 2 Masters lists are too strong or not but it is a potential problem.

 

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1 hour ago, Vangerdahast said:

 

What annoys me with 2 Masters list is if it becomes a necessity in competitive play. As long as a 1 Master list can win versus a 2 Masters list, no problem. If you are "obliged" to make 2 Masters list (even if you don't want to) to win games, then it will become a problem.

In my experience I only faced once a 2 Master list (the Justice+ Perdita team you are speaking about) for the moment and won with a single Colette list. Not enough to decide if 2 Masters lists are too strong or not but it is a potential problem.

 

For now I think the only time you are rewarded for playing a duo master list, or 'obliged' as you coin it, is against Zoraida specifically, as a form of anti-obey tech. 

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1 hour ago, Vangerdahast said:

What annoys me with 2 Masters list is if it becomes a necessity in competitive play. As long as a 1 Master list can win versus a 2 Masters list, no problem. If you are "obliged" to make 2 Masters list (even if you don't want to) to win games, then it will become a problem.

 

 

In my experience I only faced once a 2 Master list (the Justice+ Perdita team you are speaking about) for the moment and won with a single Colette list. Not enough to decide if 2 Masters lists are too strong or not but it is a potential problem.

 

In my experience, our perception of what Masters are capable of, are at their height of power, nestled into a crew that works to support them, with free run of the resources (namely, the cards and stones) available to that crew. 

In a double master crew, that usually falls short of the sum of its perceived parts. If you burn a couple stones and cheat half your hand that you farmed Family Values triggers to have Perdita land those shots, then Justice starts to top deck to resolve her turn, and at that point she can actually fail actions. Multiple actions, purely dependent on luck, instead of those crucial in-hand face cards and stones for triggers. Justice in her own crew would instead be the first stop for those big cards and stones, and her actual power increases because she's not in a resource starved environment. 

There are masters that can replenish resources burned, Zoraida or Misaki as examples, but stones are finite, and there's only one King of Rams per shuffled deck; Perdita and Justice aren't both getting to use it to attack. So I think double master is an interesting pick, but not by definition the optimal pick. 

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3 minutes ago, Kharnage said:

In my experience, our perception of what Masters are capable of, are at their height of power, nestled into a crew that works to support them, with free run of the resources (namely, the cards and stones) available to that crew. 

In a double master crew, that usually falls short of the sum of its perceived parts. If you burn a couple stones and cheat half your hand that you farmed Family Values triggers to have Perdita land those shots, then Justice starts to top deck to resolve her turn, and at that point she can actually fail actions. Multiple actions, purely dependent on luck, instead of those crucial in-hand face cards and stones for triggers. Justice in her own crew would instead be the first stop for those big cards and stones, and her actual power increases because she's not in a resource starved environment. 

There are masters that can replenish resources burned, Zoraida or Misaki as examples, but stones are finite, and there's only one King of Rams per shuffled deck; Perdita and Justice aren't both getting to use it to attack. So I think double master is an interesting pick, but not by definition the optimal pick. 

If you take 2 masters that compete for resources it is due to fail. The problem I see is with 2 master lists in which one master covers up weakness of  second. So far for me all support master+summoner master lists felt really strong be it nelly+dashel. molly+kirai. asami+mccabe etc and much more potent then any singel master list maybe apart for Sandeep who yet again is king of everything and has all import stuff rolled into his keyword(card draw, summong, damage and support) so dosent need any help from a second master.

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After playing an average of about a game a day since release, plus many many closed and open beta games, I've had my ups and downs with this edition. The rule set is definitely much more tight, and use of the same name abilities, actions and triggers has really streamlined to a much simpler playing experience with all the complexity Malifaux had to offer. The new conditions are working a charm as well.

However, I do have some serious concerns between power balance between certain keywords. There are some extremely oppressive crews that made it through the test that I outright don't have fun, or an answer to, when I play against them. I hope, after a little more settle time, there will be a sufficient errata to address some of the more oppressive experiences. Perhaps I'll find counters to them before then, but I don't think its likely! For instance, in a game today vs. Tormented  I had my entire 6 card hand discarded by Jack in a single activation and there was nothing I could have done to stop it 🤮. Super not fun.

From a tournament standpoint I'm looking forward to Gaining Grounds. I'm really enjoying getting to know M3E with a new faction at the moment though! General balance feels closer than wave 5 M2E, but the few imbalances I've come across feel much more extreme than anything from wave 5.

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