Mid-season Balance outreach: our Balance plans for 1.4
Hello Tamers! We are bringing you a mid-Season update on the upcoming balance plans for Season 4 and patch 1.4. We have been working on this patch for some weeks and there’s already a lot of progress on it, so we’d love to share some of it with you.
We previously announced that the focus for this patch would be on Stall, and that has not changed: we’ve practically reviewed all Temtem with a primary usage in Stall.
Overall, the key to making Stall more interactive is to strike balance between defensive and offensive strategies, and to keep the opponent on their toes by introducing unexpected moves and tactics.
That’s not all, of course: during these past weeks we have also started reviewing every support and some bulky offense Temtem. Our approach has been to establish a set of “rules” or checks shared amongst all of them, to ensure that they are all seen under the same light.
These rules/checks, explained below, cover overlapping effects, high hold techniques, cheap efficient options, doom, and offensive coverage:
The first rule is that any overlapping on technique effects should be avoided, unless it serves the Temtem’s theme. For example, Pocus has Slow Down and Hypnosis as Sleep tools and that’s alright, as Dreaded Alarm can take advantage from these two without being too oppressive, given that Slow Down needs its Synergy to apply the Sleep SC. On the other hand, Kinu is going to lose Lullaby and keep Hypnosis. This Temtem is mainly focused on supporting its allies with defensive buffs, healing, and speed control, so Sleep is not an essential tool for any of its main kits; we kept Hypnosis over Lullaby as Kinu takes more advantage from it.
High Hold Techniques
At least one Technique with a High-Hold should be included on the Temtem’s kit, and this technique should help the Temtem in its role.
Hold 2 Techniques fit better as the top-end of a rotation for Aggro and Midrange style Temtem (think of something like Fire Tornado or Ninja Jutsu). For Temtem oriented to Stall, techniques on a 3-4 Hold, or even a 5 Hold, are going to cover that role.
A selection of high Hold Techniques have been changed to fit the niche of being the top-end rotation of Stall comps. One example would be Winter Call. In the past Yowlar had access to self-buffing tools, and these were an issue for balance due to the low Hold on them. With the new Winter Call, Yowlar could have this tool back in a more controlled way, and still create a turning point in the match after using it. As a 5 Hold technique, this powerful tool is infrequent and gives the opponent multiple turns to try to prevent their rival from using it, feeling a bit more fair than previous versions of Yowlar, while keeping its Raid Boss identity.
Cheap Efficient Options
Cheap Techniques that deal small damage but offer utility through the application of Status Conditions, or with additional effects such as Debuffs, are a must on the Temtem that are being reviewed.
Stall Temtem are intended to use these to pressure the opponent over time and set up to win the game later. We have improved the number of Techs that have access to Poison, but restricted the Burn effect in general, as it was a mechanic that was restraining team building.
As a small peek into some of the changes implemented towards this goal, Grumper is now going to learn Tesla Prison – a moderate damage Electric technique that helps its allies be faster than the opponent, and works well with Grumper’s Inductor trait.
The main concept for Doom this next season is for it to feel more like the “finisher” mechanic it was intended to be.
This Status Condition has been in a difficult spot for many patches and a big reason for this has been Purgation. We are making some changes to this Technique, that is already good only with the ATK buff it offers. However, other Techniques are going to cover the cleansing spot that Purgation occupied.
There are also going to be new tools to deal with Doom, but they will allow it to thrive a bit more than in the current meta.
Utility is very important on archetypes such as Stall and Support, but having offensive options is also necessary. We want to encourage these Temtem to do more than target exclusively themselves or their allies with their techniques. With the loss of some techniques to avoid any overlapping effects, the Temtem had room for new offensive techniques. Even though these Temtem are not meant to hit hard, they can deal damage while supporting their ally or pressuring their rival, so we gave preference to techniques that can do that, like the example we mentioned before, Grumper getting Tesla Prison.
Going further, even though it’s important for the game to have buffs, debuffs are equally as important, as they keep some archetypes in check. That’s why we have made some changes to Misogi and Laundry to give them a new layer of performance. Misogi now removes only negative Stage changes with its Synergy effect, and Laundry can now be used as a counter to heavy Stall comps and Raid Bosses as it removes only positive Stage modifications from the target once its Synergy is activated. We’ve also reviewed distribution for these techniques to avoid situations like the one we have right now, with Misogi being over-populated.
Finally, we’ve also added a new technique called Composure, which removes all Status Conditions and Stage changes from every Temtem in the battlefield. This tool has a high Hold and cannot be easily spammed for complete denial of Status or buffs/debuffs strategies.
A word of closure:
We have been testing these changes in scrims for a number of weeks, and so far everything seems to be working as intended. We are currently starting tests with some Gears that have been problematic and/or needed a revision, like Redirection Device, Slingshot or Hacked Microchip.
We are optimistic that these changes will make Stall a bit more interesting, whether you are the one playing it, or playing against it. Also, as an appetizer for the rest of the changes to the meta, Time Split and Jack of All Trades are going to receive changes.
1.4 is not too far away, and we hope you are as excited as we are about what’s coming in this next season. Sit tight and Temtem Up!