The State of Andromeda

Discussion in 'Kongai virtual card game' started by ChadMiller, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. ChadMiller

    ChadMiller Well-Known Member

    So last night, and in the new patch thread there's been a lot of talk about how to make Andromeda good. This is an attempt to summarize multiple discussions, and give some added observations after mulling over them today.

    Problems with Andromeda right now:

    Death Rays: There are several characters with big long range attacks whose general affect is to force the opponent to stay at close. Of course, Andromeda can't go close because kick is pathetic. Worse, Trueshot is speed 2 so all these attacks flat out beat it even with Valkyrie Charm!

    Speed: Speaking of which, why is our master archer so slow? Just about any ranged attack is faster than any of hers except Crippling (which does almost no damage), meaning she's going to take more hits than she's going to give most of the time. And that's not even counting the damage she takes at close before getting to far.

    Resistance: It's ironic that I bitch about this because the physical tanks are actually among Andro's best matchups currently, but that's really because her innate + stoneheel gives her such an absurd energy advantage against characters that can't afford to let her stay at far. Step-trueshot is her ONLY move against characters with any kind of resistance and for that reason I would even consider making Trueshot 50en just to make sure someone can't screw it up with their own Stoneheel.

    Crippling Shot: This attack isn't useless, but it's only real use is in her best matchups, and even then it really shines when she's already winning. Consider: if the opponent has any kind of ranged capability, they will probably do more damage than she did on her Crippling Shot turn, and Crippling loses energy overall (while your close-only opponent doesn't) so why didn't you just use a real attack in the first place? Answer: because it's a tank and you're threatening to combo them out with crippling/crippling/...trueshot, or that tank is their only character and you will combo them out barring a miss. Just doesn't add enough to her in my opinion, especially since the more I think about it the more I think she'll need more than one new attack to be completely fixed.

    Proposed Solutions so Far:

    Close Attacks: I brought this idea up in another thread; Sirlin vetoed this one saying Andro should be a ranged attacker, so I will mention it no further.

    Inner Peace: Current idea is 0 energy at close for full energy bar, but has the problem of creating stalemates in the mirror and possibly making her overpowered against tanks. Proposed fixes have included lowering the proc rate or adding a life cost, but I hate the former and Sirlin hints that the latter doesn't really fit the character.

    Interrupts: Some ideas came up like "20 energy, 10 speed, 20 damage, interrupts light attacks" but eventually shot down because it was too mindless; I agree. It would be just as bad as how Higashi's old Open Palm worked. Worse, the super nasty attacks are mostly high speed (except, ironically, those of the other ranged specialists, which makes less sense the longer I think about it), so we can't make it like Shield Bash where it mostly stops other super strong attacks while leaving the smaller attacks alone. I don't see a way to make this idea work without monkeying with the speed of a ton of other attacks.

    Chi Reflect: One suggestion that came up was to just give her Chi Reflect. This would give her a defense against all the death rays except Amaya's DCB. The bad: If all we do is go Kick -> Chi Reflect, it makes her too directly comparable to Yoshiro. Consider:

    Rising Dragon vs. Rain of Arrows
    Chi Blast vs. Trueshot
    Chi Reflect vs. Chi Reflect

    That leaves Crippling Shot vs. Open Palm...the end result of all this I think is that one ends up flat out better than the other overall (right now I think Yoshi wins this comparison, but if we juice up Andro until she wins that's no better).

    Another far attack: Rain of Arrows does crap damage against too many characters (i.e. anyone with significant physical resistance). Trueshot completely drains her if she changes ranges in the same turn, and that's assuming she started with a full bar. Something smaller might give her something to do from far other than Trueshot, especially since it allows for things like, Andro goes far, fires her cheap attack, opponent switches but Andro can still Trueshot if they don't move close. I explain in more detail below.

    My Current Proposal:

    Rain of Arrows: As is
    Trueshot: 50 energy?
    Chi Reflect: I wanted to come up with something else but it's not coming to me. This gives her a chance against the death ray characters without making it crazy lopsided (Higashi has Dashing Strike, Voss has Radiance Burst, Yoshiro has Chi Reflect, all of the above can go close, no other characters even care really)
    Holy Arrow: 10 energy, 20 light damage, speed 7. This is the most elegant way I could come up with to solve all her non-deathray problems without creating some kind of degenerate loop or lockdown. I gather from her innate + the Inner Peace proposition that Andromeda's supposed to gain some advantage through maintaining energy better than the other characters; this would do that, but without letting her do broken annoying stuff like maintain one range indefinitely. FWIW the one person I've run this by (FinalSlayer) thinks this one is over the top; if it must be toned down go for the damage and not the energy; letting her rest at close and always be able to step into this attack is part of its purpose, since my version does not include Inner Peace.
  2. MaddAddams

    MaddAddams New Member

    How about a long-range interrupt? To replace Crippling Shot?
  3. ChadMiller

    ChadMiller Well-Known Member

    Problem with interrupt that I have is that it's hard to find a point between "broken" and "sucks" that doesn't end up being luck-based and mindless. Make it high speed, high proc = lockdown for like everyone. Make it low speed and there's no point. Make it proc like 60-70% of the time and it's basically "interrupt shot and pray it works," no strategy at all and too dependent on the RNG.

    IF the fireballs were all like speed 2-4 then it could just be like spd 5+high proc and that would play well. This is what I meant by needing to monkey with a lot of other characters to like the interrupt idea.
  4. Sirlin

    Sirlin Steward of the Realm Staff Member

    You're getting closer. I'll think about it.
  5. Nicol Bolas

    Nicol Bolas New Member

    No, remember Higashi?

    Just make her attacks faster, thats all. Its ridiculous that pure ranger is weaker than most versatile characters at long range (Rumiko)
  6. PeteyC

    PeteyC New Member

    Great post Chad. If Sirlin doesn't want to give another character chi reflect, I think the problem could also be solved with something like this:

    True Shot: Leave as is
    Rationale - It's a plenty good ability as is, and has its place. Some of the other abilities I will be suggesting changing make it more likely she'll be able to use it.

    Rain of Arrows: Raise Speed 3->7
    Rationale - Andro needs a fast, long range attack. At speed 7 it ties Rumi's new shurikens, and beats Higashi and Amaya's blasts, though it still loses to Yoshi. Note that in a long range battle with Higashi she still loses, and in a long range battle with Rumi both die, so it's not making her super good against them, though it does make her usable against them. This change does not affect her fights with tanks.

    Kick replaced with Holy Arrow: 10 energy, 12 light damage, speed 8, 90% hit, far only
    Rationale: This gives her a way to ping tanks to death if she can't get enough energy at range to use True Shot. Since it uses under 20 energy it means she can threaten True Shot the round after using it in a number of cases, forcing an opponent to move close. The 8 speed means she can at least get off a parting shot against any other ranged attacker. 20 damage was a bit much, and made it much too powerful. A reduction to 10 damage might even be appropriate.

    Crippling Shot replaced with Crippling Kick: 25 Energy, Close Only, Otherwise same as before.
    Rationale: At close range Andromeda now has two choices, she can go far or she can pass and crippling kick. First off, this means a tank needs to guess whether they should go close or pass, making her less predictable. She cannot crippling kick, go far, True Shot (that would be too powerful), but she can Crippling Kick, go far, Holy Arrow. At that point, she will have enough energy to threaten a True Shot (even if the tank has Stoneheel attached), meaning tanks need to guess whether she'll go far or pass. If both pass she gets a true shot off, if both go far/go close then she gets another Holy Arrow and the tanks energy starts looking pretty bad, especially if they went close the first round while she stayed and used crippling kick.

    Short synopsis of changes:
    Basically, crippling kick combined with holy arrow solves a lot of her energy problems in the same way that Inner Peace would, but without the infinite loop. Meanwhile, the Rain of Arrows speed increase makes her a little better at range against characters with ranged nukes.

    Possible Problems:
    1) She still seems oddly weak at range against mixed range characters, which doesn't make much sense flavor-wise but which could work balance-wise, since she needs to be weak against someone to balance out her strength against tanks.
    2) Crippling kick may be a little too much like Phoebe's new Hamstring, which in turn makes Andro a little too much like Phoebe. In this comparison, Phoebe looks a bit better than her, I think, since her Rain of Arrows equivalent (Rapid Slashes) deals light damage instead of physical damage, and her True Shot equivalent is not reliant on crits to do massive damage, and can stun besides. Then again, crippling kick would be better than hamstring, which combined with Andro's innate means Andro would be better at range changing than Phoebe. To fix this similarity Holy Arrow could be replaced with something more creative, I suppose. Ideas?
  7. ChadMiller

    ChadMiller Well-Known Member

    I remember sweep was broken against Juju, fair against like 3 characters and useless against everyone else. :confused:

    EDIT: Oh, wait, I see now. Yea, giving her a fast diceroll interrupt would make her play like old Higashi in a bad way.
  8. Sirlin

    Sirlin Steward of the Realm Staff Member

    How about this:

    Crippling Shot, energy down 35 -> 25 (this doesn't break anything, right? She loses 5 energy per turn so can only keep it up so long.)

    Kick replaced with Lightning Arrow. Speed 8, 12 light damage, far-only, 0 energy cost. (it lets her charge up for trueshot while still attacking.)

    Her energy management becomes really good, but it's still weird that she loses to beams at far range. Seems like she needs an answer to that, but our other answers so far weren't the best.
  9. FinalSlayer

    FinalSlayer Banned

    That was an extremely deep and well-described synopsis by ChadMiller, and reading through Petey's suggestions, I really like them a lot.


    Maybe. If she starts firing Crippling Shots after going far, she can throw out 11 in a row before she gets down to 20 energy. That's 55 damage against Onimaru, 77 damage against Helene, and 99 against Ashi.

    Obviously, there's only an 81 percent chance of hit and stun each time, but it gives her a really nasty possible combo now. I don't know whether that's good or bad, heh.
  10. Xanthus

    Xanthus New Member

    Don't want to go offtopic too long, but are the hit and proc percentages the same roll or not? So would you actually proc 90% (100% of hits) or indeed 81%?

    I think we'll have to decide what this long only character should be good at; beating tanks by keeping them away and damaging them slowly, owning the beams (and rumiko) by having fast (big) damage, or just plainly beating everything that's far.
  11. MaddAddams

    MaddAddams New Member

    I'm fairly certain they are not, because Sirlin confirmed that crit and hit are the same die roll. I've seen crits without procs, procs without crits, and procs with crits. This suggests either an extremely convoluted mechanism or that they are independent.
  12. ChadMiller

    ChadMiller Well-Known Member

    Like the Lightning Arrow variation. Doesn't do abusive amounts of damage, but also doesn't leave her as a non-threat while winding up for trueshot.

    Crippling shot, probably won't break anything but I don't think it helps much either. It very slightly increases the chances of locking a tank down while doing nothing anywhere else.

    Another strange idea I just had: Crippling Shot -> Diversion, works from close and far, effect: Opponent gains no energy this turn? Maybe her strategy can be to get hit at close on purpose so they won't have the energy for beams, lol.
  13. Xanthus

    Xanthus New Member

    I have indeed read that. So my understanding now is this: when something says 'high crit rate', which we know is 25% for most, it is in fact 25% of all attempts to hit, so for a 90% hit rate it would be equivalent to something like a 28% 'independent' crit rate, 28% of hits. Proc rate on the other hand is independent, so if something says 90% proc rate it will proc on 90% of hits, which, assuming 90% hit chance, is 81% of all times you clicked the button.

    I made it sound more difficult than it actually is :)
  14. x1372

    x1372 Active Member

    I really don't think rain of arrows should change, the slow hits fleeing move is balanced, make it fast and you're stepping on yoshiro's toes.

    trueshot is good as is, maybe a bit faster, but its fine.

    I definitely like the lightning arrow, but I think crippling has to have something changed. As stated, the fact that it only helps in her best matchups is a very bad thing.

    The "close only prevent range change" idea (which was my suggestion as the only change for phoebe) has some merit here, but andro needs something that can at least partially counter the "beams." Here's my idea for a replacement for crippling shot.

    Partial Absorption (20 en), 0 damage light, speed 10. If hit by a light or dark attack this turn, takes 50% normal damage and maxes out her energy. either long range only or any range.

    What this would do is allow her to eat a "beam" for less than normal damage and gain more energy than just resting. Opponents would have to guess when she would attack or when she would absorb and fire off their power moves according to their guess. Unfortunately, its not perfect. She could rest and gain a net 60, instead of risking things with the absorption. But this puts the ball in the opponent's court for it and still gets andromeda to take some damage even if she guesses correctly. Only issue I have with this is that she could still get full energy off something weak like radiance burst.
  15. ChadMiller

    ChadMiller Well-Known Member

    x1372's idea is interesting. I like it, but I'm skeptical because it really only shines when the opponent has full energy, and Andromeda has low energy, but high health, which isn't the most likely set of circumstances. Where beam characters give Andro the most trouble is when they're both at full (and the other character can let Andro rangedance with impunity because she's hosed at both ranges).

    Maybe combine my last idea and his? 1/2 damage from light attacks and opponent gains no energy that turn (EDIT: This is also self-balancing for stuff like Radiance Burst because the weaker your opponent's attack, the less the energy blocking is likely to hurt them)? Would probably prevent beam->close and still allow Andro to retaliate, maybe with a fatal Rain of Arrows.
  16. jiaflu

    jiaflu Member

    x's solution doesn't only shine when opponent has full energy. It completely shuts down half the cast's range attacks.

    For example, moves that are affected - Taf's Darts, Juju's Hex, CC's attacks, Cain's attacks, every single one of Amaya's ranged attacks. That basically completely shuts down those character's range games... Partial Absorption makes her a BEAST at range whether or not opponents have full energy. It's not just a Death Beam solution, it's basically an anti-range solution.

    Hrm, it wouldn't be quite as bad if it was anti-light only. So, she has to eat a DCB from Amaya, whoopee.
  17. ChadMiller

    ChadMiller Well-Known Member

    Oh man, you're right; I was thinking of the beam characters only. In that case it's definitely bad, cause I'm not convinced it shores up say, the Higashi matchup while breaking previously fair matchups in half. I'm not so concerned about CC (there should be some incentive for other characters to move close, same as there's incentive for them to go far against helene), but it hoses those other characters way too much. Definitely can't fill her energy bar unless there's some further restriction on it.
  18. x1372

    x1372 Active Member

    well my original idea was to have it have no energy cost and cut damage taken in half and have her gain the same amount of energy as the damage she takes. This would be significantly weaker than the "full bar" idea but its questionable if anyone would really use it. That kinda defeats the point about resting though, since assuming she DOESN'T take 20 damage she's worse off energy-wise in that case. But regardless, it doesn't completely shut down other characters at range. She still takes some damage. And regardless, they still have the switch/change range issue for the next turn.

    I dunno, is that a kind of move that she'd really get a lot of use from?

    ok. fine. that sounds complicated even to me. example time:

    Juju vs Andro at long. Juju uses hex. Andro uses the absorption.
    Hex normally does 30 damage to Andro, but now only does 15. Additionally Andro gains 15 energy (less than resting).

    Maybe also give it the "can't be used twice in a row" modifier like chi reflect or hypnotoad.
  19. jiaflu

    jiaflu Member

    I think as long as it absorbs only light attacks, it should be fine. Off the top of my head, there are like two power dark hits - Rush of Bats and DCB. But it does indeed boost her ranged power. Give her +1 dark def to lower void/hex/rush dmg.
  20. ChadMiller

    ChadMiller Well-Known Member

    1/2 of the big attacks is barely relevant by itself in her trouble matchups, and now that I think about it even my "opponent doesn't gain energy" rider doesn't do much either. So, Andro's far against Yoshiro, and blunts half a Chi Blast. So...she still dies to Chi Blast next turn unless Yoshiro's low enough to be finished off by Crippling Shot or our hypothetical Lightning Arrow. Against Higashi...if she's at full health, it lets her live long enough to Trueshot once. She could have just Trueshot that turn as long as the Chi Blast doesn't crit!
  21. ChadMiller

    ChadMiller Well-Known Member

    OK, just did some more chatting and I'm now completely convinced Lightning Arrow is so much better than Crippling Shot that I think it can replace it.

    When Crippling Shot is good:

    -When finishing off tanks
    -When being speed 8 is more important than doing substantial damage

    To keep the second use we can just make Lightning Arrow also be speed 8, and tanks are where Andromeda needs help the least, and it both hits tanks harder and can always be stepped into. Also, a 0 energy Lightning Arrow simulates some of the "can't close" effect by allowing her to maintain -> Lightning as long as she has at least 45 energy (50 vs. a stoneheel). This is probably more useful on multiple accounts anyway; it doesn't have to be set up in advance, it sometimes burns the opponent's energy when he tries to close (and he's spending more to do it than Andro, unless the tank has Stoneheel and she doesn't), and it allows for scenarios like your opponent deciding not to close and make you burn your energy, only to be facing a Trueshot/Intercept dilemma. It's a win all around imo.
  22. ChadMiller

    ChadMiller Well-Known Member

    Ran into Onimaru w/ Stoneheel last night. It's just as bad as it looks on paper. Also, in the last two days I have played probably around 30 games and have probably used Kick three times, and Crippling shot around five or six times. One of those times was to keep Juju at far, let Andro die to hex and then bring in Higashi for game over, the rest I just wanted to attack at speed 8 to preempt other far attacks.
  23. Sirlin

    Sirlin Steward of the Realm Staff Member

    How about this:

    Kick replaced with Lightning Arrow. Speed 8, 15 light damage, far-only, 0 energy cost. Interrupts light magic attacks 100%, but can't be done two turns in a row.
  24. x1372

    x1372 Active Member

    Even with that it feels like crippling shot is a waste. If we're removing only one move I'd have it be crippling and keep kick, crappy as it is. Maybe give kick a 40% interrupt and make it speed 5 to scare off a FEW of the close hitting moves.
  25. redenmity

    redenmity New Member

    I like the idea of not being able to spam the 0 energy attack. As for its ability to interrupt, that will toss some "gotta think right" or "get lucky or die trying" into the mix. Although im sure the idea behind the interrupt of light attacks is to stop Higashi type cannons and the slew of new light attacks on upcoming characters, i figure i still wont be lucky enough with it that i'd use it at all except for the ping damage. in that respect, it looks good and buys Andro some time, which means i figure it would serve its purpose well enough. And i'd rather keep crippling shot and lose kick :p i've never kicked unless it landed a killing blow, otherwise i've always rested, chested the damage upfront to push long and fire the big shot or hits fleeing. all circumstantial, but its something to try out.
  26. ChadMiller

    ChadMiller Well-Known Member

    I'm with x1372, if she has that Lightning Arrow, Kick is probably > Crippling Shot. From my last post:

    Lightning Arrow still mostly fills the second role. The character where it's the most substantially downgraded (Voss) is one of the beam characters we're trying to counter, so it's still a big help there.

    In the first, it is true that Crippling is better at comboing off. But at -10 energy/turn trying to combo into a 55 energy attack, you couldn't do it more than once or twice anyway.

    Kick is nearly useless but it's actually less useless at that point. Maybe in furtherance of the "gain energy without gaining energy" design you could cut its cost to 10 so it's less likely to be strictly worse than resting in non-fatal situations.
  27. ChadMiller

    ChadMiller Well-Known Member

    From the beta page:

    I think this version is good enough to test with.
  28. x1372

    x1372 Active Member

    Is lightning arrow speed 8 on purpose? It's still going to trade with yoshiro's chi blast that way.

    If anything that would make me want to consider putting the scroll of inner focus on yoshi. With that, he could chi blast twice in a row, right through andro's interrupt.
  29. Sirlin

    Sirlin Steward of the Realm Staff Member

    Ok, speed 9 then.
  30. esiex3

    esiex3 Active Member

    I found a use for crippling shot, but andro has to die for it to work. Not to mention, it's completely situational and i've only used it once out of 10 battles with her.

    Basically, the enemy kills you after you do a crippling shot. You then switch in with someone like Yoshiro, who can attack fleeing enemies, then you close in without anything stopping you and you attack.
  31. ChadMiller

    ChadMiller Well-Known Member

    Esiex: Ha! I've done stuff like that with Higashi (can't range-change out of incoming Chi Blast) but it never occurred to me that it keeps them from going far as well. That's awesome.

    x, good catch about Yoshi's Chi Blast. It's still probably unfavorable overall if he starts with full energy when you bring her in, but I think we can test and see now.

    Some elaboration on what I think of the new package: I think Andro is still going to lose to many if not most characters at full energy 1v1. On the other hand, when I use Andro it's generally to pull her from the bench against a partially spent character. She's good enough in that capacity that I'm not even sure she'd still be balanced if she could beat a lot of the cast 1v1, but this version looks to be able to hold her own for a bit longer and finish off characters a little easier. I like that the new Crippling and Lightning allow a constant stream of attacks with a net energy gain still.

    Interestingly, she looks to be terrible against Phoebe with the type changes on her attacks. Power Lash becoming Physical makes it the new death ray. The only plan I see for Andro is to Trueshot/fast attack and hope that's fatal.
  32. esiex3

    esiex3 Active Member

    When i had andro in my new deck, she was kinda useless. Rain of arrows did physical damage which is useless against tanks. Not to mention, 8x5 isn't much, since most of the characters have at least 2 physical defense. Whenever i used trueshot, that would run me out of energy and the enemy could close in and just rape my andromeda. Andromeda, IMO, even with the lightning arrow crap, still needs something else to make her good.
  33. thezig

    thezig New Member

    Maybe get rid of Crippling Shot and give her some kind of teleport power. Costs 10-15 energy, does some kind of pathetic damage (10 physical, perhaps), sets range to far, and has some kind of cooldown timer. Speed 6. Make it useable every other turn, or every three turns. You could call it "Kick Flip" or something.
  34. esiex3

    esiex3 Active Member

    erm, ninja port is speed 4 and 35 energy, so kick flip should be speed 6 and 40 energy like marquis.
  35. x1372

    x1372 Active Member

    Not to mention that would be seriously unbalanced. At close, juju and ubuntu could do nothing to andromeda with that move. Even worse, it would render ashi and onimaru's power attacks against her worthless. It's bad enough that amaya currently completely wrecks juju with his ninja-port, we don't need someone who can do 40 damage even if he switches to be able to do the same.
  36. thezig

    thezig New Member

    Yeah, that works, though it'd be better if she had her own move. Marquis doesn't have a cooldown on his teleport, so I think it would be fair to raise the speed or lower the energy cost if it can only be used occasionally. Maybe speed 7 or 25 energy.


    Yes, I can see how that's unbalancing, but Andromeda does need something else. How about a high speed close-range move (speed 7?) that gives some percent chance to evade close-range damage, then sets the range to far at the beginning of the next turn?
  37. Sirlin

    Sirlin Steward of the Realm Staff Member

    I'm not so sure Andromeda needs anything else, considering she has 5 less energy cost to change range, she can now change + trueshot in the same turn, her crippling shot costs less, and her lightning arrow is actually good. Maybe try this super powered up version of her first before asking for more.
  38. ChadMiller

    ChadMiller Well-Known Member

    I doubt Andro is completely there, but she's close enough that I'd rather test her and see if I'm wrong, or see what weak spots remain, rather than theorycrafting and turning her into a bad Rumiko. If I can beat like 95% of players with the current version I'll have plenty of fun with this one.

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