Acid Cloud

I'm going to have to be the one to address the elephant in the room as no one else seems to want to.

I've yet to play a game since the 1.1.1 update but from what I have read/heard there are a lot of updates/balancing that I am a big fan of.

However, Acid Cloud has now had its final nail in the coffin with the change that it cannot be placed on the same tile as Prison. I'm not one to have a rant normally but to see my original, favourite spell have it's ONE advantage taken away is upsetting.

Back in the day, I was heavy user of Acid Cloud, it was my signature move. As the skill level rised, I clung to it trying to desperately prove its usefulness but was quickly shown it was far too mana-expensive to be of any real use. The one silver lining would be the hope that the opponent could be trapped and gassed at the same time. As I improved myself I quickly realised that a good player would not be harmed by this combo anyway and I eventually had to get rid of Acid Cloud in my arsenal.

To see it be nerfed completely is sad.

TL;DR Acid Cloud is realistically now just a 4 damage spell for half of your mana. This is insane and should be the next spell to have some drastic changes made to it.

Comments

  • @RiCarlos thank you for taking the time to write this. Your skills with Acid Cloud has been recognized by people at the office to a point where you're somewhat of a legend.

    To be honest I wasn't a big fan of the decision to remove the Cloud / Prison combo either, but it ultimately felt like a necessary evil since it brought a lot of headache with it, e.g. teaching new players how it worked was gruesomely hard. We think however the update counters some balancing issues that goes beyond those two spells. Chaos Leap and Prison for example have also been discussed thoroughly.

    With that said, Acid Cloud is definitely a spell we will improve in the future as I agree with you it's not up to par with some of the other spells. If you have suggestions on how to make it better or if you have any other concerns with the new update, please share it with us here or in a pm. We do try our best to keep up to date with all ongoing discussions here.
  • I think the fundamentals of Acid Cloud shouldn't change. It should still occupy a tile for a set period and do damage over time. The obvious answers would be
    •Reduce mana cost
    •Increase damage per second
    •Increase duration

    If it costs less, you could occupy more tiles with it. This would make it a real nuisance for the opponent.
    Having the damage doubled would still not make the spell overpowered but would mean deciding to stay in one spot to grab health for example would now cost you about 16hp. Makes it much more important that you don't hang around.
    Duration is a middle ground where you really could hold a tile for a long time. E.g a cloud on every pickup up for a minute

    These are the most glaring answers but what do I know... I'm just a legend.

    Ha :awesome:
  • I think Acid Cloud could be really effective as a soft area denial spell, but to do that it would need to be more feasible to have 3-4 active at a time (or keep 1-2 running full time with enough juice left to port/attack). Something like:

    Cost: 30 mana
    Damage: 3 per second
    Duration: 25 seconds

    -Demon is a hard denial that removes access to one spot (and threatens any others within LOS).
    -Spikes is a medium-soft denial for one spot.
    -Twins is a hard denial for 2 spots, which ends up being strictly superior than Acid in many ways.
    -There isn't anything that fills the niche of controlling a wide swath of spots at once. Acid could be that spell.

    Being able to keep more lower damage Acids going at once allows you to start penalizing transit through certain areas. We already have plenty of spells that force the other player to move (which is mostly all that Acid accomplishes atm)...but it could be really interesting to have a spell where your opponent must make calculated movements through it, taking small amounts of damage along the way.
  • Yeah I like the idea too. It's never meant to be a spell that does serious damage. Just something that becomes another layer of strategy to the match.

    Can anyone confirm whether Acid does damage to a demon? I think it would be beneficial now to throw a cloud on demon as a counter to it. Being able to regen mana while the gas slowly does the work.
  • edited January 2017
    Another interesting change to consider is Acid doing 50% damage through Armor but not breaking it.
    hanlid said:

    To be honest I wasn't a big fan of the decision to remove the Cloud / Prison combo either

    I agree. I hope not allowing Prison/Acid to be used together is just a temporary fix until you guys decide how to fix Prison. Not being allowed to use Prison/Acid together probably doesn't make sense to players who don't follow these balance discussions.
  • edited January 2017
    Thanks for your input guys!

    Here's a quick summary of how Acid Cloud actually works (since a key feature's never brought up):

    The dmg/s ratio displayed in the Workshop description is actually an average, the real value is a dynamically changes throughout the clouds lifespan. Starting at 1 dmg/s, when an opponent enters the tile the cloud increases it's damage done with 1 dmg/s up to a total value of 8 dmg/s. In short, the longer you stand in a Cloud the faster you will lose your health. We basically wanted to give the opponent some time to react, like we do with Soil Spikes. This is also one of the reasons the Prison / Acid combo was so potent.
    OccyRing said:

    Another interesting change to consider is Acid doing 50% damage through Armor but not breaking it.

    It was brought up to discussion but I ultimately rejected. There's a fun tactic behind letting your opponent stand in an Acid Cloud with Armor and then break it once the cloud has reached it's dmg/s peak.
    OccyRing said:

    I agree. I hope not allowing Prison/Acid to be used together is just a temporary fix until you guys decide how to fix Prison. Not being allowed to use Prison/Acid together probably doesn't make sense to players who don't follow these balance discussions.

    I really can't say what the future holds but we'll probably want to test these latest balancing updates for a couple of weeks and just add to them at the moment.
  • That's really interesting. Something about Acid Cloud's damage always seemed a bit off (didn't feel like 4/second), but I couldn't put my finger on it.
  • edited January 2017
    @hanlid I had no idea Acid worked this way and I spent quite some time working with it to get accurate numbers for the Spell Comparison Chart.

    There needs to be feedback for the damage ramp. I would suggest having the color of the Acid change over time (green-->yellow-->orange) to reflect the current damage output. You might also want to represent this damage as an increasing frequency of damage "pings" (rather than increasing the amount of damage per ping) because this will be much more readily noticed and accurately interpreted by players.
  • @CharmedImSure Haha yeah I figured as much based on how you guys talked about it. We do mention this in its description but that's clearly not enough.

    Your idea with visual representation of the Cloud's current damage state sounds quite neat. Not sure I understand your ping idea though. Thing is we are currently increasing the frequency of the damage taken feedback (screen flash and sfx) but I guess that wasn't enough either :)
  • Hmm, that sounds like what I was suggesting. Damage indicators (VO, FX, actual visual reduction of the health total) would "ping" 1 per second when the Acid starts, but by the time it's doing full damage the damage indicators are playing at a frequency of 8 per second.

    so like this:

    "ow!..................................ow!.........................ow!..................ow!..........ow!........ow!.....ow!..ow!.ow!ow!ow!ow!ow!ow!"
  • @CharmedImSure beautifully visualized :proud:

    I'll take a look at the frequency again and make sure it corresponds better with the damage dealt. Thanks.
  • edited January 2017
    How long does it take Acid Cloud to reach 8 dmg / sec? The full duration of the spell, or less?
  • edited January 2017
    It's ticking up with a speed of 1 dmg / s, so should be 7 seconds.

    Might also be worth mentioning, it resets when a player leaves to Cloud. So you can't stand in a Cloud for a couple of seconds to make it more lethal in case your opponents jumps there afterwards. Although that sounds like a fun tactic :)
  • edited January 2017
    Very interesting. That means Gas is less powerful than I expected. If I understand correctly, when a pickup tile is covered by gas, you can teleport into it, grab the pickup, and teleport out, only taking 3 damage (from being in the cloud for 2 seconds). But in practice, you'd probably take 6 damage since you'd likely be in the cloud for about 3 seconds. That's still +9 health though and means Gas isn't a good option for guarding pickups.
  • @OccyRing you mean assuming everyone's as fast as you are... ;)

    Crazy thought: what if Acid Cloud turned pickups poisonous :dizzy:
  • What if you couldn't see out of an Acid Cloud? It would cause panic frantically hitting teleport to get off of the tile and there would be the potential for more damage done.

    Don't know how difficult it is to do that though. A green haze over your eyes obscuring your view.
  • edited January 2017
    RiCarlos said:

    What if you couldn't see out of an Acid Cloud?

    That could be cool. There's lots of stuff you could do in this direction though, like maybe the cloud has hallucinogenic effects (it is acid cloud after all) and you start hearing random stuff like teleports and meteors being shot and such, maybe it lasts for a second after you port away. I'm guessing most of that would be, at best, pretty fickle to code up but would make the last minute pretty crazy xD
  • Seeing twins that aren't really there!! Amazing idea @jcwilk
  • @RiCarlos That would probably cause too many rage quits from newbies too count :)

    Lol @jcwilk that's the greatest idea ever! :D
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